The bottled water industry is an extremely dynamic one which has brought the players major revenues. Seeing the great potential for further profits, new companies have emerged and some of the already existent ones merged as to get better comparative advantages. Evian's main competitors are the Perrier Group, Aquafina and Dasani, and all these have engaged in marketing operations to differentiate themselves from the newly entered players and consolidate their position in the international market. The Perrier Group based their marketing campaigns onto radio announcements in order to reinforce their brand; Dasani has launched a new television advertisement featuring the Commodores and other funk stars; and Aquafina (from PepsiCo), has developed a televised campaign based on advertisements featuring celebrities (Hein, 2001).
3.4 Target Market
The target market is identified through the application of the segmentation criteria. The most commonly used such criteria include age, cultural background, economic and social status, political and religious convictions as well as any other criterion considered relevant for the product analyzed. In the particular case of the Evian water, the primary selection criteria are given by socio-cultural background, age, gender and economic status. All these reveal the primary target market for the new Evian water as being formed from high class women between the ages of 31 and 50 who desire to improve the quality of their life and health. The economic status criteria is necessary so to identify those that are willing, and more importantly, able to pay the rather higher price of Evian in comparison to other products on the market. Women are then targeted primarily because they tend to consume larger amounts of water than men do and because they are more conscious of the beneficial effects of water onto the individual's body. The age limitation is given by the belief that women younger than 30 are rarely health oriented and also, women older than 50 find it difficult to drink large amounts of water. As such, however it will address it products to a wide palette of customers, the primary market will consist of high class 30 plus women.
4. Marketing Mix
Before actually developing the marketing mix at the basis on launching the new line of Evian water, the company has to identify the features that differentiate it from the competing products. There are two main features that differentiate the new line of Evian water from competing products and which give it a sustainable comparative advantage. These refer to the oxygenated nature of the water and the biodegradable nature of the recipients. Highly oxygenated water offer the consumer larger amounts of energy and Danone has incorporated the technological developments in their operational processes as to increase the levels of oxygen in the water. Then, the biodegradable recipient is environment friendly and does not eliminate greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
The new line of water will be sold under the Evian brand, with focus on the benefits of drinking Evian water and the complex but natural method of extraction and bottling
The stated functionality of the water is to clinch the thirst of the consumer and help her / him stay in shape by preserving his health
The water will be packed in bottles with modern designs; they will contain depictions of family life, nature and health and will be biodegradable as to limit the polluting waste released into the atmosphere
The product will comply with the highest standards of quality as to serve the most pretentious customers.
During the immediate period since launch, the oxygenated Evian water will be sold to the public at promotional prices, through the implementation of the penetrating pricing strategy
Once the customer have become familiarized with the product, Danone will implement a variable pricing strategy, meaning that the retail price to the end consumer will be based on the operational costs
The company will use the already established intermediaries to sell the oxygenated water to the public
The products will be available for purchase in all supermarkets, local stores as well as restaurants
The warehousing of the bottled oxygenated water will be assured by Danone and it will meet the highest quality standards
The promotional campaign will be based on the presentation of drinking the highly oxygenated Evian water and the biodegradable nature of the bottle
Promotional operations will take the form of television advertisements, radio announcements and also street banners
Advertisements will also be presented online and within magazines, such as Elle or Vogue
The stars of the advertisements will be celebrities, representing the image of strong and independent women, as to address the campaign's primary target market
Danone officials will participate to international industry conferences and will grant interviews in specialized magazines and journals, as well as participate to radio and television talk shows
5. Conclusions and Recommendations
The Evian water is an international brand addressed to high-class consumers and promoted as offering net benefits to the health of the drinker. The new line of products includes highly oxygenated water which increases the levels of energy, packed in biodegradable bottles which are extremely environment friendly. The promotional campaign is focused on the presentation of these benefits upon the individual and the environment and these points of difference will be revealed throughout the media channels by celebrities.
The implementation of the plan has to be extremely well developed and supervised and based on the objective characteristics of the market. Initially, it will be sold onto the French and American markets, following to enter then other European as well as Asian markets. The managers at Danone will control and coordinate the operations as to ensure that they are implemented as established and support the corporation in reaching its final goals - increase in market share and profits. The managers will identify any shortages in the implementation of the strategies and will find the sources of the impediments and propose solutions to resolving them.
Due to the rather high prices of their products, Danone is able to address only a limited customer palette. The basic recommendation would be for them to diversify their products and try to reduce manufacturing costs as to be able to address the population outside the high-class. Otherwise, they risk becoming a niche industry. In addition, they should pay close attention to the strategies implemented by the competition and the changing demands and behaviors of consumers.
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