I. Current Situation
The selected situation is about a Columbus based company named as Great Cups of Coffee which was started by four fast friends. The idea behind this venture was to offer best coffee at reasonable price and to expand it in as many regions as possible. The management wants to formulate a comprehensive marketing plan so as to create brand visibility and recognition in order to distinguish its product clearly from competing products.
The vision of Great cup Coffee is to make best coffee for its customers, to have huge number of customers as well as a deeply concerned about the welfare of its society by contributing generously to various charity programs.
The mission statement of the company reflects commitment to supreme quality of product, exceptional services to customers and appealing ambiance at store while maintaining a cost effective budget.
IV. Objectives (Strategic and Financial)
The strategic goals of the company are to become the market leader and also to expand into different regions with wide range of products other than coffee like ice creams, deli food and beverages. Financially the management wants to remain cost effective and to better capitalize on available resources.
V. Driving Forces
Company started to realize the consequences of its extensive expansion and had to face many problems and challenges in its different departments. The Finance, HR, Information system and Marketing departments were not fully integrated to perform up to the required level. Inconsistent and uncompetitive marketing plans, weak HR policies and disrupted IT system resulted in high rate of turnover, low ROI and low brand recognition. The outside economic situations, competitors and environmental forces also impacted its product sales.
Competitive marketplace offers multiple substitutes for coffee so customers should be given superior services. The customers can easily switch to other brand or option if they are not loyal or happy with the brand. Therefore it is very important to adapt to new changes and challenges with time.
Company can use pricing strategy as its strength to attract large number of customers; its location and extensive expansion provide an edge, loyal customers, good brand image in community, skilled people in management, diverse product range and the unshaken commitment of company to maintain supreme quality. These strengths of the company help it to become a strong brand.
There are certain weak areas that company needs to work on like, less band recognition, weak accounting management, lack of future plans, less stock inventory, high rate of turnover in management, ineffective training programs for employees, poor coordination and communication among different divisions, no innovation in product, decreasing revenues and low motivation level in employees,
Company has some attractive opportunities to re build its unique position in market like; chances to expand in untapped regions to increase sales and customers, new trends in coffee industry, better and improved distribution ways, product diversification is also an impressive way to attract new customers by offering closely related products, company needs to streamline all of its operations and departments, use its website to actively inspire customers and also provide online booking, orders and home delivery ,merge various divisions at corporate level to enhance coordination and unified branding of the stores and the products portfolios.
Every business has its own threats likewise Great cup coffee faces certain threats like intense competition as many active players from this industry are coming in to market, competitive prices, decline in demand of the product and most important is visibly de-motivated employees.
VIII. Analysis of Strategic Issues
The thorough analysis of this industry reveals the fact that coffee is an exchangeable commodity as customers can easily switch therefore company needs to promote and market its product and brand image so as to increase awareness about the brand among existing and potential customers.
IX. Strategic Alternatives W/ Pros and Cons
Company needs to focus on enhancing its communication among business divisions for better coordination, proper planning of the product is very important in order to target the right audience, through planning of brand awareness and recognition, pricing strategies, distribution strategies and advertising plans if properly executed can boost the sales volume to an incredible level.
X. Recommended Strategy
Company should make use of its website to increase its sales and to build favorable brand image. Pull strategy seemingly the best strategy to be used by the company to survive in intense competition. Company should personally approach to its customers and make sure that product is visible in retail outlets. Website will facilitate the purchasing process for customers and they would be able to place orders from their home and this will gradually build a strong emotional bond with customers.
This is the most important phase in the marketing plans and therefore marketers prefer to conduct test marketing before fully launching any new idea. Sun Tzu ideas would be more helpful to be implemented in this case as company needs to create its own unique market place therefore it has to beat its competitors in a silent yet smooth manner.
XII. Evaluation and Control (If Appropriate)