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Question:

What is the problem or the key issue in the case? You may list a range of symptoms however you must finish this question with a one or two sentence, marketing related, problem statement/question (See note on problem statement.

 

Answer:

Introduction and Background:

The current paper will be focused to address various marketing aspects of bowling parlor on the basis of case study of Sugar Bowl. Sugar Bowl is a family oriented business organization led by Shelby Givens. The organization deeply enrooted with the seventies style bowling business. In this context Shelby Givens led a numbers of transformational approaches aiming to ensure the sustainability as well as growth of the organization. The modernization of the organization has provided a significant amount of popularity as well as imminent growth. However, despite of the potentiality the business is continuously experiencing a fluctuation in respect to the customer presence. Several corrective actions has been failed to ensure the stability of the business.
The current paper will be highly effective to investigate the most profitable business path for Sugar Bowl. In order to find out the most suitable business approach the paper the problem statement of the Sugar Bowl has been addressed in an articulate fashion. The paper has also conducted an evaluated 5c analysis. The paper is also inclined to discuss the core competencies of the company with the help of SWOT analysis. Moreover, the paper has been able to address the market segmentation of the company along with an effective outline of the objective proposition. The objectives are analyzed by SMART matrix model. Lastly the paper proposes the marketing mix strategies which will be most profitable for Sugar Bowl.
 

Problem Statement

Under the influence of losing market value, the issue of Sugar Bowl is to make the decision on whether to keep going with the business and joining the group offered by Given’s school friend in New York or to sell the property for $1m to the local investor.

5c Analysis

5c analysis that includes analysis of customer, company, competition, collaborator and context would help Sugar Bowl and Givens to make a marketing decision for the future of the organization. Under the current circumstances when Givens is unable to decide what she should do with Sugar Bowl, 5c’s of marketing will help her to make right decision and to construct a well-defined marketing plan and strategy if she decides to continue with her entrepreneurship (Hakala 2015).
Customer
In the US, the bowling industry was at large during the time of late 50’s (Hill 2015). However, in recent times the popularity of the game has gone down due to the absence of bowling leagues and proper promotional events (Dibb and Simkin 2013). However, most of the bowling clubs have enhanced their business by dividing it into two parts. The same strategy was taken by Givens as with the entertainment of bowling, she also implemented a full bar facility along with food products such as pizza and hotdogs. Besides, for the Mondays and Tuesdays the facility was offered for personal events. In recent times, Sugar Bowl experienced both young customers and family customers in their facility which is a good sign. However, recently the number of customers is decreasing which in reality should not bother Givens. The location where Sugar Bowl is situated was kind of isolated. Recently the location has seen opening of a wine and cheese bar, and an art gallery which indicates that slowly but steadily the area is getting flourished. Therefore, the chances are high that in near future the area will be an appropriate place for a business such as bowling.
In order to obtain situational 5c analysis on Sugar Bowl, it is necessary to describe vision, strategies, capabilities, product line, culture and objectives of the
Vision: Currently the organization is working under a vision of making it one of the most popular bowling facilities in city.
Strategies: Givens has implemented strategies such as bar facility, unique sitting arrangement for families, singles and groups, personal events and light foods such as hotdog and pizza. It clearly indicates that the organization is experiencing lack of productive strategies as most of the bowling facilities has the same strategy, thus Sugar Bowl has no uniqueness and competitive advantage.
Capabilities: With the neighborhood growing slowly but steadily, Sugar Bowl now has the capability of implementing more money on their advertisement and promotional strategies. Bowling is truly out of fashion in US under the lights of Soccer and Basketball. Therefore, Givens will have to consider of adding new things in Sugar Bawl such as disco plaza, bigger arrangements for bar facility and game parlors.
Collaborators: Currently the organization has working under the collaboration of Westlake board and a local bank that allowed Givens to have a loan of $400,000.
Competitors: Currently Sugar Bowl is working in an environment which is absolutely free of competitors. There no other bowling club located in the city. Recently a cheese bar and an art gallery have opened that are also offering beer and wine to the adults. However, they cannot be considered as competitors.
Climate: Climate of Sugar Bowl that includes macro environmental factors such as political issues, economic issues, social impacts and technological developments are not supportive enough. Political factors are the only exception that is not creating any negative impact on the business. On the other hand, economic issue is at large as Givens is carrying a burden $400,000 loan on her back when fluctuation of customers is depriving her to gain ample amount of profitability. The issue related to social impact is the average age of current citizen is growing in the city; therefore, the numbers of customers who are willing to lose some sweat on the floor are reducing day after day. As for technological development, Sugar Bowl only has one technician to look after the bowling lanes that cost Givens $26,000 when machineries of two lanes were malfunctioned and Gary, the only technician was on vacation.
 

SWOT Analysis

Through the SWOT analysis Givens will be able to understand the current strengths of her business along with opportunities, weakness and threats.
Sugar Cane SWOT analysis
Strengths    The primary strength of the organization is the absence of competition in its current business location. As no other clubs and entertainment facilities are offering bowling with their products, Sugar Bowl has placed themselves a unique brand of mix entertainment opportunities within their facility. Besides, during Mondays and Tuesdays Sugar Bowl also allows the local people to conduct personal events in the facility which is another unique option in their marketing strategy.
Weakness    Less number of collaborators and limited resources in terms of employees and food products are the main weaknesses of the organization. Besides, their unique option which is to offer the facility only for personal events during the Mondays and Tuesdays can also be considered as a threat when no such event is taking place. It is true that during those two days of a week the capacity of customers is as low as 15%; however, it at least it offers some sort of sales. On the other hand, if no personal event takes place during those two days, the sales will remain zero.
Opportunity    Recently one cheese bar and art gallery was opened near Sugar Bowl which will definitely attract both young and aged customers. This will allow Sugar Bowl to gain new customers if they implement collaboration strategy with those businesses. For example, any customer from those two businesses will gain gift coupons and discount coupons that can be used in Sugar Bowl will help Givens to gain new customers. However, in this case Sugarcane will also provide same offers to their existing customers so that those businesses can also gain some profit from it. Besides, more the location becomes populated by the new businesses, more the chances that Sugar Bowl will be able to establish their brand name.
Threat    The major threat for Sugar Bowl is their current condition which is unstable as a result of fluctuation in the number of customers. Average age of the local people is also high; therefore, they will not commit themselves to place that mostly focuses on games like bowling.
 

Market Segmentation of Sugar Bowl

While describing market segment for Sugar bowl the main factors that will be described are demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral segments (Venter et al. 2015). Currently the organization is mostly focusing on local people, mostly young age and middle age people as the primary product of the organization is related to sports which old age people cannot consume. As the area of the organization also has facility for groups to enjoy foods and beverages, the organization also targets families. Besides, bowling is always a fun game for kids; therefore, families would love to spend some time here (Liao et al. 2014). As the price of the products is not at a higher side, families that belong to middle class can also enjoy their staying in Sugar Bowl. As for psychographic segmentation, the organizations try to allure mostly people who are willing to send time in playing something. Besides, existence of beer also attracts people with modern lifestyle. The major issues come when behavioral segmentation is described where the organization has succeeded to attract only loyal customers (Hassan and Craft 2012). In spite of implementing personal event facility, most of the customers do not return to Sugar Bowl for other purposes. Therefore, it is important that Givens must implement new strategies and tools so that Sugar Bowl can attract the potential customers too.

Outline of the objectives for the organization:

After discussing some other aspects of this case scenario, in this part, it is important to shed light on outlining the objectives of this organization. It has been seen that after reviving from the previous scenario, the management of this organization has failed to hold on their present market position. Thus, they are required to focus on these objectives for modifying the present scenario. After going through the entire case study, it has been found that the organization has no future objective at this moment and thus they are required to frame the objectives on an early basis (Bagautdinova et al., 2012). Initially, the organization is required to handle the customer fluctuation largely; otherwise the organization would not be able to hold on the market position.
The major objectives for the organization are initiating a numbers of innovative strategies of the business approach. The organization need to initiate the television coverage of the bowling tournaments. This will eventually provide a greater platform of business communication along with customer attraction. The citizens of the bowling tournaments will be highly attracted towards the bowling event and it will eventually increase the customer presence at the bowling Centre in a significant fashion (Ruiz and Kowalkowski 2014). They are required to increase the forms of the competitive family entertainment. In addition to that, the organization will require complete technological support to maintain the customer attraction in the competitive market. In order to maintain the impression the organization will have to produce a numbers of creative special offers at the time of bowling.
S - SPECIFIC    The objectives are specific as the organization will be able to address the problems with the objectives in a specific way. The ways of achieving the objectives is quite certain therefore the objectives can be considered as specific.
M - MEASURABLE    The objectives are also measurable as the organization will be able to measure the success with the growing progress of the performance of the entire bowling Centre. The feedback from the customers will be greatly helpful for the measurement of the success of the objectives.
A - ACHIEVABLE    The objective is achievable as the neighborhood areas of the bowling parlor are continuously flourishing. The increase of the customer population will serve a greater role in respect to achieving the goals.
R - RELEVANT    The objectives are quite relevant as it is observed in various bowling parlor that the creative ideas are quite effective to raise as well as maintain the customer attention with a supreme efficiency.
T – TIME SCALED    The objectives are obviously time scaled as the objectives will be achieved within a time period. The creative ideas along with associated success will not be waited for a infinite time period. The organization will measure the success within a limited a time scale and the achieved success will be time scaled.

Explaining the proposed marketing mix strategy for the organization

They are required to focus deeply on marketing mix, as this would help the organization to gain competitive advantage. Initially, they are required to focus intensely on Product. It can be suggested that the organization is required to design a game parlor and disco plaza in order to get the attention of large number of population. Apart from that, it can be suggested that Sugar Bowl is required to hire comparatively large area for the further expansion of the business. Moreover, they are required to increase the food items in the menu for the customers (Berthon et al., 2012). Different types of starters, main courses and desserts are required to introduce in the menu of this organization, so that many people love to come to this facility. Place is the second place where the management of the company is required to focus on clearly (Wilson and Gilligan, 2012). With the help of accumulating capital, the company is required to hire large place, where they would be able to launch the new game parlor and design a new disco plaza with all new facilities for the visitors. Hollensen (2015) has stated that the place in the marketing mix refers to the point of sale and in every industry, catching the attention of the customers and making it easy for people to buy is the main aim of the business.
Price is the third most important part that the company is required to concentrate on, as this refers to the value that is put for the product. It has already been seen that in the phase II, the management focused deeply on renovation and set the price. However, this was not appropriate enough and thus the company is advised to focus on price differentiation. Based on the thorough market research, the company is advised to differentiate the price depending on the types of the customers, time of delivering the service, ordered quality of the products as well as the taste and preferences of the customers (Morgan, Katsikeas and Vorhies, 2012). The entire operational system is required to upgrade to the online process, as most of the businesses in the present day operates online. Taking the online orders, tracking the orders as well as delivering the products are required to upgrade to grab the attention of the new customers along with the existing customers (Terpstra, Foley and Sarathy, 2012).

Discussing any implication for the implementation of the proposed strategy

Sugar Bowl is required to implement the strategies mentioned in the marketing mix and this part would shed importance on this part sincerely. Morgan et al. (2012) has stated that first-degree price discrimination is a prevalent practice in the business markets given the private nature of interaction between the buyers and the sellers in any industry. It can be seen that some of the buyers prefer paying high prices, as they have imperfect information regarding the distribution of prices or cannot afford to switch to an alternative in the short run. However, it can be mentioned that consumers might become well aware of the fact that where the prices paid fall in the overall distribution of the prices, triggering changes, which can affect their buying behavior (Kumar and Rajan 2012). Therefore, it can be stated that the at the time of setting the prices, the management of the organization is required to focus on these parts sincerely to grab the attention and flow of large numbers of the customers.
After that, Sugar Bowl is advised to use the Second Degree discrimination, where they would different prices depending on the quantity consumed. If it is seen that the customers are ordering huge amount, they are required to encourage by providing some cash less facility or discount opportunities (Venter et al. 2015). This would encourage the customers to come to this shop. Beside these two strategies, the management is advised to use the third degree price discrimination too, as this would engage different groups like student, office goers, peak travelers and some more (Kurt and Hulland 2013). Additional facilities on the weekends and weekdays separately are other pricing strategies that the company is advised in this case to get more number of new customers. Incorporation of these strategies would help this organization to survive from the present situation.
 

Conclusion:

From the above discussed paper it can be concluded that for Sugar Bowl the future opportunities are high if the can successfully implement the given recommendations. The neighborhood of the organization is slowly but steadily flourishing as new companies and business are entering the market. This will attract people from different areas to come and stay in the locality as the opportunities are increasing. Besides, the recent trend shows that people are now getting attracted toward in house games. Bowling is a in house game and if the authority can implement gaming parlors then it is obvious that the fluctuation of customers will decrease. Therefore, in the end it can be said that Given must not sell the shop to the investor and should wait for more two years. Besides, it is also seen if she joins the group proposed by her school friend she will also be able to promote the place outside the city which is another great opportunity for her.
 

Reference List:

Bagautdinova, N., Gafurov, I., Kalenskaya, N. and Novenkova, A., 2012. The regional development strategy based on territorial marketing (the case of Russia). World Applied Sciences Journal, 18(18), pp.179-184.
Berthon, P.R., Pitt, L.F., Plangger, K. and Shapiro, D., 2012. Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy. Business horizons, 55(3), pp.261-271.
Cross, J.C., Belich, T.J. and Rudelius, W., 2015. How marketing managers use market segmentation: an exploratory study. In Proceedings of the 1990 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference (pp. 531-536). Springer International Publishing.
Dibb, S. and Simkin, L., 2013. Marketing essentials. Cengage Learning.
Hakala, U., 2015. Tracing for One Voice—The 5Cs of Communication in Place Branding. In Harnessing Place Branding through Cultural Entrepreneurship (pp. 229-242). Palgrave Macmillan UK..
Hamermash, R. and Zalosh, A. (2016). Sugar Bowl. [online] Hbr.org. Available at: https://hbr.org/product/Sugar-Bowl/an/913537-PDF-ENG [Accessed 9 Jun. 2016].
Hassan, S.S. and Craft, S., 2012. Examining world market segmentation and brand positioning strategies. Journal of Consumer marketing, 29(5), pp.344-356.
Helms, M.M. and Nixon, J., 2010. Exploring SWOT analysis-where are we now? A review of academic research from the last decade. Journal of strategy and management, 3(3), pp.215-251.
Hill, M.A., 2015. Historical Dictionary of Bowling by John Grasso and Eric R. Hartman (review). Journal of Sport History, 42(2), pp.251-253.
Hollensen, S., 2015. Marketing management: A relationship approach. Pearson Education.
Jelfs, A. and Thomson, H., 2016. Marketing small and medium sized enterprises in the digital age: opportunities and challenges. Teaching Business & Economics, 20(1), p.4.
Kumar, V. and Rajan, B., 2012. Social coupons as a marketing strategy: a multifaceted perspective. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40(1), pp.120-136.
Kurt, D. and Hulland, J., 2013. Aggressive marketing strategy following equity offerings and firm value: the role of relative strategic flexibility. Journal of Marketing, 77(5), pp.57-74.
Liao, C.N., Hung, J.Y., Kao, H. and Wu, C.J., 2014. Marketing strategy model: A conceptual framework for micro-enterprises. Human Systems Management, 33(4), pp.199-206.
Lindgreen, A., Hingley, M.K., Grant, D.B. and Morgan, R.E., 2012. Value in business and industrial marketing: Past, present, and future. Industrial Marketing Management, 41(1), pp.207-214.
Morgan, N.A., Katsikeas, C.S. and Vorhies, D.W., 2012. Export marketing strategy implementation, export marketing capabilities, and export venture performance. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40(2), pp.271-289.
Morgan, N.A., Katsikeas, C.S. and Vorhies, D.W., 2012. Export marketing strategy implementation, export marketing capabilities, and export venture performance. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40(2), pp.271-289.
Ruiz, C.A.D. and Kowalkowski, C., 2014. Market representations in industrial marketing: Could representations influence strategy?. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(6), pp.1026-1034.
Terpstra, V., Foley, J. and Sarathy, R., 2012. International marketing. Naper Press.
Varadarajan, R., 2015. Strategic marketing, marketing strategy and market strategy. AMS Review, 5(3-4), pp.78-90.
Venter, P., Wright, A. and Dibb, S., 2015. Performing market segmentation: a performative perspective. Journal of Marketing Management, 31(1-2), pp.62-83.
Wilson, R.M. and Gilligan, C., 2012. Strategic marketing management. Routledge.
Yang, C.G., Huang, Y., Yang, K.H. and Lee, S.G., 2014. Marketing strategy on social commerce based upon marketing mix. SOP Transactions on Marketing Research, 1(1), pp.62-76.
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