In this paper, we present a marketing plan for My Wonderland, a specialty smoke shop based in Lancaster City, CA and which also operates as a gift shop. The marketing plan includes a detailed analysis of the company, its clients as well as the possible expansion/success strategies. The aim of the marketing plan is to make the business appealing to potential franchisees since the business plans to employ franchise model as an expansion strategy.
Consumer behavior which defined by Hawkins (2010) as the study of individuals, organizations or groups and the processes that they use in selecting, securing, using, disposing of products, services and experiences as well as ideas for the purpose of satisfying the needs and impact of the processes on the consumers is an important aspect of marketing. In this paper, we present an elaborate marketing plan for selling smoke shop franchises. The franchises will operate under the brand name My Wonderland.
My Wonderland is company with a single outlet which serves as a Smoke shop / gift shop outlet. The outlet is a boutique as well. This makes the company's products to be diverse. The company hopes to adopt a franchise form of business as its model and therefore intends to come up with the best marketing plan to sell it among other investors and customers a like. The company however specializes as a smoke shop. The rest of the products are just complementary and acts as basis for differentiation. The company is based in Lancaster, California
In a strict sense, the customers for this marketing plan are different franchisees from California and other states. The business needs to first expand within California before embarking on a nationwide expansion campaign. In regard to customers to its products, the company's customers will mainly be segmented by their age, income and sex.The target market will consist of customers who are aged between 18 to 28 and want to party. Their market will further be driven by the fact that cannabis is well accepted in the state. The target market will also be made up of persons aged 55 to 70 mature markets have the income, are healthy, active. They could be the aging outgoers or the sick ones who only stay at home and enjoy to smoke.
The company faces a stiff competition for several shops in the Lancaster area, California. The main competitors being Tony's Smoke Shop, Lucky's Smoke Shop & Gifts, I Smoke Shop, Smoke Check, Smoke 4 Less, and Cig Store. All of these competitors are fairly the same in size and therefore My Wonderland has a better chance of leading them if it adopts the marketing strategy that is presented in this work. This is within California. Outside California, it faces stiff competition from One Stop Smoke Shop Franchise, Inc.
The tobacco and marijuana industry is a heavily regulated one. The usage, advertizing, processing and selling of tobacco is heavily regulated by the U.S. government (McDaniel & Malone, 2005). In California, individual who are 21-year-old or older are permitted to possess, cultivate as well as transport marijuana as long as it is for personal use. This is contained in proposition 19 which also permits the local governments to effectively regulate as well as tax the commercial marijuana production, distribution as well as sale of the product to individual who are 21 years or older (SOS, 2010).
We expect close to 90% of our clients to be men. Our clients have been divided into various market segments on the basis of their dedication. The segments are specialty smokers, recreational smokers, average smokers and the occasional smokers. Because the most frequent clients to My Wonderland are the specialty smokers and the recreational smokers, they are the ones that harbor the highest profit margins. My Wonderland therefore will be focusing on these clients.
At the moment, there are six main competitors within Lancaster city. Most of the competitors are in the form of single store companies most of whom have limited stock. Additionally, the number of local participants in marijuana and tobacco industry has significantly declined due to government regulation and other factors. This means that the market has been left for survivors like MY Wonderland. This therefore gives My Wonderland a chance to consolidate and therefore gain a larger market share. Currently, the management is considering a chance of consolidation as well as franchising within the business across the entire Californian cities before venturing to other states. This would create a significant buffer to recently documented decline in profits through the increase of market share as well as volume.
One of the most important marketing attribute that relies on the mystery of consumer behavior is market segmentation (Dennis, Marsland and Cockett,2001,p.221).market segmentation is the process by which companies divide the market on the ground of certain specific factors like geography, psychology, demography, socio-cultural factors and their use related factors (ICM, n.d). At the moment the potential customers at My Wonderland include the entire smoking population of City of Lancaster. With an adult population of close to 90,000, (those who are older than 21-year) (City of Lancaster planning Department), a large part of the client base will come from this category.It is worth noting that only a small fraction of the potential clients are in the category of specialty smokers since most of the population are clients who are used to buying the nationwide brand cigarettes as well as smokes sourced from various non-specialty stores like grocery markets as well as convenience stores. My Wonderland's clients are segmented on the basis of their dedication. The segments are;
1. Specialty smokers: This category is made up of hardcore smokers who are active in patronizing smoke shops as well as looking to locate the brands that are hard to find in order to give themselves a uniquely wonderful smoking experience.
2. Recreational smokers: This category is made up of habitual smokers who take every brand but on certain occasions look for smoothing else.
3. Average smoker: This category of clients is made up of clients who are dedicated to the everyday brands but with a habit of shopping at the smoke stores as opposed to convenient stores and markets.
4. Occasional smokers: This category of clients who smoke occasionally .Their choice is either cigarettes or cigar and they may be attracted to shopping at a smoke shop on special occasions like birthdays and bachelor parties.
It is worth noting that there are also chances of meeting female customers but close to 90% of the clients will be men. We plan to engage e-commerce and e-marketing to target potential clients nationwide. Once we get established as one of the best online retailers of specialty cigarettes and smokes and with a nationwide brand name, the company expects to target a large customer base of close to 150 million clients.
According to Kotler (2002) positioning refers to "the way the product is defined by consumers on important attributes - the place the product occupies in consumers? minds relative to competing products" (p.269). Consumer more often than not, holds a series of complex perceptions, impressions and feelings in their process businesses and products with their competitors. These feelings, impressions and perceptions don't merge randomly. Before positioning a given product, it is necessary to identify the target market and segment it appropriately. My Wonderland should strive to position itself as an affordable smoke shop with a wide rage of high quality products. Gunter and Furnham (1992) indicated that when selecting the target market, the firm must appropriately come up with its marketing objectives and then employ them in formulating an effective marketing mix.
Asker (1996) on the other hand recommended the development of the positioning objectives just after establishing value proposition as well as brand identity. Kotler indicated that positioning refers to the unique selling proposition that a product has.
Impact on consumer
Brand perception refers to the ability to positively identify a given brand under various different conditions as indicated by recall performance and brand recognition (Kotler & Lane,2006). Consumer should perceive My Wonderland as a specialty shop with the highest quality products.
Learning and Memory
In regards to learning and memory, My wonderland should aim to create a high level of brand recall from its customers.. The concept of brand recall refers to the ability of a customer to retrieve a given brand from their memory as pointed out by Keller (1993). The company can achieve this by the provision of excellent products and services, advertizing as well as promotions.
Consumer Attitude Assessment
There are several reasons as to why My Wonderland should engage in a consumer attitude assessment. This is because the attitudes of the customers affect their shopping style, taste as well as perceptions. Bellman, Lohse and Johnson (1999) for instance found out that there is a relationship between consumer attitude towards online shopping and other factors…