The following information is a marketing plan for Hersheys Ice Breakers Cool Blasts, an innovative product that offers consumers a new chewing and fresh breath experience. A cool blast is a new product that is a hybrid between mints and chewing gum. As such, the development of this marketing plan aims to map out the salient features of the campaign and to capture the target market, the environmental factors and other critical considerations for decision makers.
The American consumer no longer chews gum like they used to before (Gum in the US. 2014). Euromonitor published a report in which they noted gum sales declined each year from 2009 and the period from 2009- 2015 saw a 15% cumulative drop in sales. Among the reasons for the diminished sales include a lack of interest from the younger market demographic and competition from mints that do not produce waste.
Hersheys main strengths are its strong brand position and involvement in social initiatives. As for the weaknesses, the company holds more debt than competitors in the same industry, and it also faces volatility in raw material prices, especially cocoa. The chocolate business is strong in spite of challenges and the company brands elicit a lot of consumer loyalty two factors that present the opportunities for Hershey. The biggest threats that the company faces are competition from companies such as Nestle and Cadbury as well as the rise of the health- conscious consumer who shuns products such as chocolate.
The product targets the young population aged between 18 and 34 years. The product positioning is as a hybrid, comprising features of both gun and mint, only with the benefit of not requiring one to throw away after chewing. The marketing effort should try and place the product as entirely different and superior to the existing ice breakers brand and as being a revolutionary product (Ferrell, 2011).
According to Ferrell (2011), the primary goal of the marketing campaign is to popularize cool blast among consumers and get hopefully transform the increased visibility into sales. As such, the choice of product mix is a combination of in-store activation as well as social media, events, and experiential marketing. The in-store activation is to take place in major stores such as Target and Wal-Mart where the marketing team will interact with customers and offer more information about the product, get them to try it, and obtain feedback. Event branding is another avenue where the cool blast brands can gain traction, and in this case, events involving the young and hip generation such as music concerts. The choice of events is the ability to get the product information to a big crowd at a low budget and once the people get the information out and try the product they may tell their friends and peers about it. As for the product, the product packaging should change to provide more information about it and to tell consumers how it is different from other products.
Budget and other Recommendations
The set budget is $10 million covering the year from April 2016 to May 2017. Half of the money is to be used during the first three months when there is a lot of development and conceptualization work. In- store and experiential marketing will take the lions share of the budget, about 70% of the total amount. The rest will go to the events and other ancillary costs that may come up during the marketing drive. The efficacy of the interventions will be based on the recorded increment in sales as well as the return on investment.
Gum in the US. (2014). Euromonitor.com. Retrieved 8 March 2016, from http://www.euromonitor.com/gum-in-the-us/report
Pride, W., & Ferrell, O. (2011). Marketing foundations. Mason, Ohio: South-Western/Cengage Learning.
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