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About Oxfam Shop

Question:

Describe about the "Oxfam Shop- a subsidiary of Oxfam Australia".
 

Oxfam Shop is a subsidiary of Oxfam Australia, a Non-profit organization that believes that poverty and injustice around the world should be eliminated by providing opportunities to the poor to have a stable income. The company sources products from under-developed societies for a fair price and sells then in the Australian market through their online and retail stores. One of the various brands that are a part of the Oxfam shop is Wakami, which comprises of hand made products sourced from rural Guatemala women, providing them a livelihood. Wakami produces bracelets and necklaces that are hand made in Guatemala using ancestral artisan techniques. The brand has come up with a new product called the Five Element Bracelet.

The Five Element Bracelet is a stunningly unique bracelet that is made up of 5 strings of beaded Poly threads. Each thread consists of a distinct colored beads, with each color representing the five elements of the earth. A bright green represents the Earth, a subtle blue represents Water, a blazing red represents Fire, a pearly white represents Air and a deep purple represent Aether. These five elements is a reminder of the bountiful nature provided to us and symbolizes the multiple emotions within a human.

The below report is a marketing plan developed to launch the Five Element Bracelet for Oxfam Shop. A detailed environmental analysis is done

Before developing a marketing plan for a product, it is crucial to understand the environment in which the product would be sold. An understanding of the various factors that influence the marketing of a product helps in designing an efficient marketing plan (Mullins, 2012).

2.1 Competitive forces

The competition in online retail stores especially in the jewelry segment is very strong. It is common to see most of the fashion brands promoting jewelry of one kind or the other. Most of the competitors have a well-established brand image and most of the jewelry sold by them is manufactured or machine produced (Solomon, 2014). The key advantage of the products sold by Oxfam shop is the objective the company would like to achieve. Also, the products themselves are hand-made and have a very earthly appearance. The product Five Element bracelets though look similar are not completely interchangeable as each of it is hand-made and hence, would have a unique appearance. There are very few jewelry selling companies that believe in fair trade rather than profits and this makes products of Oxfam stand out, as every product bought is for a good cause.

2.2 Economic Forces

The price of advertising has become relatively cheaper after the advent of internet. Also, the modes through which advertising can be done have exponentially increased (Chung, 2015). Hence, economic forces are favorable to marketing strategies as long as the methods used are restricted to the internet. In case of broadcasting and publishing the money involved is huge and hence, marketing in these forms is usually limited (Alon, 2013).

About Wakami and Five Element Bracelet

2.3 Political Forces

Oxfam shop sources products from various parts of the world. The current product is from Guatemalan. The products have to have clearance from customs to be exported and imported and several other factors such as taxes and customs policies play a key role in sourcing the products (Johnson, 2013). All the above are highly dependent on the political forces in each of the country and the attitude and objectives of the respective governments determine if sourcing could continue. However, since Oxfam works with an objective to improve the quality of life of the backward communities, it is unlikely that any political changes that have a negative impact on the business would be made (Felzensztein, 2014).

2.4 Sociocultural forces

The social mindset of the customers plays a key role in sales of the product and the marketing strategy to be adopted to sell the product (Mooradian, 2013). In today’s society lot of people are ready spend money to help the backward communities rather than spend time due to the work culture. This attitude of customers is an advantage in the current market as each product sold influence lives of people who produced it. Each customer needs to be informed what good they have done by buying a product from Oxfam shop to increase the customer base.

2.5 Technology

The technology involved in the marketing of Oxfam is relatively simple as the company uses the well-established e-commerce platform for sales and simple internet advertising for marketing. Unlike, several software companies, Technological influence is pretty basic on Oxfam, as the products are hand-made. 

The marketing objective of Oxfam for the Five Element Bracelet are as follows:

  1. Introduce the Five Element Bracelet to the current market in an effective manner
  2. Use innovative and economic marketing strategies, especially the internet to attract the huge base of online customers (Ritter, 2016)
  3. Increase the customer base of the product by 10 % by the end of the financial year
  4. Build brand awareness amongst the customers through informative marketing strategies to connect to the customers at an emotional level.
  5. Provide customers information on the suppliers and help customers understand how they can be a part of a fair trade movement

4.1 Product

A product needs to fulfill the need of a customer. The product Five Element Bracelet is a tangible product that can be used by every customer as a fashion statement. It is necessary to consider the brand image, resources available and the motive of the company for producing a particular product (Pels, 2013). The Five Element bracelet is unique as it is hand-made using the ancestral artisan techniques of the Guatemalan suppliers. The product comes as a combination of five attractive colors sewn together with poly threads and is very beautiful. Since the product symbolizes the elements of nature, it is gender neutral and can be worn by men and women alike. However, being a fashion product, the female customer base in much higher than other customer bases. Being hand-made the product has an exclusive and antique look and goes well almost all costumes setting a signature style. The product is neither too big nor too small. It two finger width and hence is sleek and stylish with eye-catchy colors.

The product indirectly fulfills the need of a customer to be a better person by contributing to the society in one way or the other (Fitzgerald, 2014). This is an intangible feature of the product. Since the product is made by the economically backward sectors and making this product is their source of income, a customer who buys the product automatically contributes to their income.

Environmental Analysis

4.2 Price

Price in the simplest terms is the amount a customer pays for a product. Price is a key factor in determining the profit and organization would make as it plays an important role in influencing the customer’s wish to buy the product. Ideally, pricing of a product has to be optimal. It should not be too high, as the customer base ready to invest high amounts for simple jewelry products is low. On the other hand, the price should not be too low, that it effects the operation of the organization and the income generated by the suppliers. Oxfam being a non-profit organization, intends in putting its profit margin as low as possible. They make sure that the price is enough to generate a sustainable income to the supplier and cover the sales and marketing costs.

Understanding the customer perceived value of a product can help in pricing a product. Also, a detailed explanation of the product will help the customer understand if the product is worth their money. Hence, the description given to each of the product justifies the price. To increase sales, a discounted introductory price would be beneficial (Motohashi, 2015).

4.3 Promotion

Promotion of a product is the communication adopted by the company to pass information in any form regarding the product. Promotional activities such as advertising, public relations, sales promotions, etc., are adopted by organizations to gain customers and improve sales. Promotion usually has a direct impact on the sales of a product (Christopher, 2013). Since the Five Element Bracelet is a piece of jewelry that chances of a customer buying multiple pieces for themselves is low. So in this case aggressive promotion has to be made to make sure that a huge customer base can be approached. The information used to promote the product plays a crucial role. All the key factors such as the background of the suppliers, the uniqueness of the product, the aim of the company and the contribution of the customer needs to be mentioned when trying to promote a product to gain a surge in sales.

4.4 Place

Place or distribution is the location in which the product is sold. The Five Element Bracelet is available online, providing services in major parts of Australia including A.C.T, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. The company also has retail stores.

Supply may not meet demand. Since the product is hand-made the time taken to produce each piece is significantly higher than that of a machine made product. Also, the product has to be sourced from another country which increases the shipping time in case of low stock (Gorton, 2013). 

6.1 Target Market: Online Customers

Two different marketing strategies can be adapted for online customers.

1. Ads on YouTube: A simple 20 second ad explaining the origin of the product, use of the product and how the customer can contribute to the society through the product is to be created. The same is used to advertise over YouTube, specifically on videos related to society development, poverty and other videos that have a huge female followers

Competition in Jewelry Segment

2. Social networking sites: Ads can be published on the social networking sites, with simple 100 word explanation and an attractive image of the product (Chaffey, 2012).

6.2 General Public

An interesting hoardings of the bracelet with the statement “Would you contribute?” should be developed and places around key locations to make the customers curious. A link or a scan code can be given to help the customer research more. The same picture with scan code can be used as 5 second ad on Television and a free bracelet can be given away for all the customers who can scan the code in the 5 second ad. Later informative hoarding and videos can be used for advertising. On the website an introductory discount price can be offered for the first month (Ferrell, 2012).

6.3 Corporate Tie Ups

Every company has a corporate social responsibility. So tie ups with corporates for the sales of products is beneficial. The companies can give away the product as a part pf gifts and recognition hampers they provide to the employees or as a token of remembrance to the clients. Giving away informative brochures to the employees can also boost sales.

A timeline of the entire marketing plan that would last for 3 months is explained through a Gantt chart.

Figure 1: Gantt chart explaining the various timelines of implementing marketing Strategy

8. Conclusion

To develop an effective market plan, it is important to understand the environment, marketing objective, and the 4P’s of the marketing mix. On analysis of all these factors a efficient marketing plan can be developed that achieves the marketing objectives through marketing strategies.  

9. References

Mullins, J., Walker, O.C. and Boyd Jr, H.W., 2012. Marketing management: A strategic decision-making approach. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Solomon, M.R., 2014. Consumer behavior: buying, having, and being. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Green, K.W., Whitten, D. and Inman, R.A., 2012. Aligning marketing strategies throughout the supply chain to enhance performance. Industrial Marketing Management, 41(6), pp.1008-1018.

Chung, T.L., 2015. Research on the brand marketing strategies of convenience stores: a consumer’s view in Taipei and Shanghai.

Alon, I., Jaffe, E. and Vianelli, D., 2013. Global marketing: contemporary theory, practice, and cases. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, c2013. xxi, 602 pages: illustrations, maps; 26 cm...

Johnson, J.S. and Sohi, R.S., 2013, March. THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW MARKETING STRATEGIES BY BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS SALESPEOPLE: THE CONSTRAINING FACTOR MODEL. In ROBERT MITTELSTAEDT DOCTORAL SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS (p. 1).

Felzensztein, C., Stringer, C., Benson-Rea, M. and Freeman, S., 2014. International marketing strategies in industrial clusters: Insights from the Southern Hemisphere. Journal of Business Research, 67(5), pp.837-846.

Mooradian, T., Matzler, K. and Ring, L., 2013. Strategic Marketing: Pearson New International Edition. Pearson Higher Ed.

Ritter, J., 2016. Marketing strategy in the 21st century, a review and assessment of strategies and procedures for success and implementation. The Business & Management Review, 7(3), p.68.

Pels, J. and Saren, M., 2013. The 4Ps of Relational Marketing, Perspectives, Perceptions. The Future of Relationship Marketing, p.59.

Fitzgerald, J., Neal Cavanaugh, R.B. and Borden, N., 2014. CPR for the 4Ps Breathing New Life into the Marketing Mix. In International Academy of Business and Economics Conference.

Motohashi, K., 2015. Marketing Theory in Global Business Context. In Global Business Strategy (pp. 137-154). Springer Japan.

Christopher, M., Payne, A. and Ballantyne, D., 2013. Relationship marketing. Taylor & Francis.

Gorton, G.B. and Ordonez, G., 2013. The supply and demand for safe assets (No. w18732). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F., 2012. Digital marketing: strategy, implementation and practice. Pearson.

Ferrell, O.C. and Hartline, M., 2012. Marketing strategy, text and cases. Nelson Educat.
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