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2. SWOT Analysis
2.1. Strengths and Weaknesses
The most important strong point of Earth's Best is its wide range of products. The company's extremely diversified products satisfy all types of customers. Earth's Best has lines of products for each age group: the Infant Line, based on iron-fortified cereals and single ingredient foods. The product line for children aged 18 months and older is consisted of Arrowroot Squares, Cereal Bars, Crunchin' Blocks, and Organic Juices. There is also a line for older children, consisting of Organic 2% Milk, Apple Sauces, and Whole Grain Bars. In addition to this, Earth's Best has launched a body care products line.
Another strength refers to the quality of Earth's Best's products. The company's products benefit from a lot of credit from its customers, which become loyal clients. The company's web site presents a series of testimonies from customers that appreciate the quality of the company's products and services.
The company's web site is also very appealing to its customers. Through its web site, the company provides guidance and advice on food related issues. Also, there several lifestyle issues under discussion, issues that are of great interest for the company's customers.
However, the company has a series of weaknesses as well. One of them is related to the quite high prices practiced by the company. This is a weakness that one may find in any organic foods company. Given the financial resources required by manufacturing organic foods, the prices of outputs are in accordance with the costs of inputs.
Another weakness is related to press scandals in which the company was involved. One of these scandals refers to botulism accusations regarding a series of Earth's Best's products. The company was forced to withdraw these products. In addition to cost related problems because of this withdrawal, the company's image was affected as well.
2.2. Opportunities and Threats
The greatest opportunity that the company could take advantage of is represented by the tremendous potential of the organic foods market that has not yet been exploited. Given the fact that this market is at its beginning, the timing is perfect for Earth's Best to establish itself as one of the main producers in this field.
In addition to this, the company should expand its geographical coverage. The company should approach the European market as well. Reports have revealed that Europe presents an increased interest towards organic foods.
The most important threat is represented by the company's competitors. There are more and more companies that address the organic foods segment. One of the organic foods producers that was established in 2007 already has gained quite impressive amounts of interest from customers and retailers. Most of the companies competitors have similar threats, which means that t would be quite easy for Earth's Best to distinguish itself from these competitors.
3. Marketing Objectives
The main marketing objectives that must be addressed by Earth's Best are:
Increasing market share by 5%
Increasing brand recognition
Increasing market coverage degree by 10%
Increasing social responsibility towards the company' customers and towards society
4. Marketing Strategies
4.1. Target Markets
The company's target markets are located in urban areas in Canada and the United States. In addition to this, the company should address the European market as well, due to its enormous unexploited potential, as mentioned above. The main customers segment is consisted of individuals aged 25-35, with medium to high educational level, medium to high incomes, health oriented lifestyle and eating habits.
4.2. Marketing Mix
4.2.1. Product Strategy
The entire product strategy for Earth's Best should be based on expanding the company's current range of products. Due to the fact that this market segment of organic foods is at its beginning, there plenty of new products to be discovered, and plenty of new directions that the company could orient towards. The company has already expanded its range of products by launched a body care product line. In addition to food products and body care products, the company should orient towards entertainment related products and educational products as well. The company's preoccupation towards such types of products could help create a better image for the company. It would show that the company is not only interested in profit, but in educational issues also.
4.2.2. Pricing Strategy
The pricing matter can become quite an important problem for Earth's Best. Organic foods require great financial investments necessary for their production, and this fact is reflected in products' high prices. Organic food products' prices are double, or even triple, the price of standard commercial non-organic food products, as mentioned above. Even so, the number of customers willing to pay more money for these products is continuously increasing. However, Earth's Best could really increase its number of customers if the company could diminish its products' prices. In order to diminish products' prices, production costs must be reduced. One method through which production costs could be reduced is represented by outsourcing.
4.2.3. Distribution Strategy
Earth's Best has a very good distribution strategy. The company's distribution strategy is based on a good retailer network. However, in order to increase the company's sales volume it is necessary to increase the number of stores in which the company is present. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the number of retailers that the company relies on.
4.2.4. Promotional Strategy
In order to have an efficient promotional strategy and to increase the brand recognition level, it is recommended to address all media in adequate proportions. The promotional strategy should not insist a great deal on TV commercials, because customers that demand such products are orienting towards a healthy lifestyle in which television is less followed. Instead, the promotional strategy should focus on the Internet. The company's web site is the perfect place for implementing the promotional strategy. The company should involve in a series of social and charitable actions that bring a lot of positive publicity. The company should also associate its image with a celebrity that customers belonging to target segments would prefer. In addition to this, lifestyle magazines and health magazines are also very suitable for promoting the company's image.
5. Implementation of Marketing Structure
The implementation of the marketing strategy should be made on a medium period of time of approximately 2 years. The strategy should be implemented through collaboration between the company's employees and external experts. It is recommended that the budget for this strategy to be allocated as a certain percentage of turnover or total sales volume. Control over the effects of this strategy should start approximately 6 months after the implementation has started. This strategy is expected to have medium term and long-term effects. Therefore, there should be no concern if results do not immediately appear.
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