Focus groups were conducted that indicated that the target audience audience for the new Hershey’s chocolate product could be of the age between late teen and young adulthood. The individuals within this age are soon to be graduates, work full time or part time and get their first taste of independence and responsibility. When they are in the mood to take a break from their hectic lives, they prefer to enjoy it. The new product would have been a fun treat for these individuals. The ingredients of the bars, like caramel wafer, pretzel and chocolate would encourage them to eat the product in playful ways. The product was to be used as an alternative to other products like Coffee Crisp and Kit Kat. The unique taste that the product had was very much appealing to the consumers.
The case suggests a consumer response segmentation approach. This approach believes that the reason why a consumer would buy the product needs to be unearthed and assessed. Such a responses are beneficial from all aspects (Solomon 2017). Hershey’s has given efforts to understand why the young generation group would like the new product and prefer it over other products of different companies. This is a practical approach that would bring amendments in the marketing strategy as per the needs of the consumers. The other segmentation approach that can be considered is the consumer characteristic approach. This would be effective in highlighting the psychographic, demographic and geographic features of the potential consumers. Understanding these differences would highlight the differences in preferences for chocolates on the basis of regional differences. This would aid in a divided marketing plan if needed. Social class of the consumers would direct the pricing strategy for the product so as to meet the target sales figure (Armstrong 2014).
Hershey needs to improve on the marketing startegies to reach out to the target market and expand its ustomer base. Attention of the consumers can be drawn by utilising innovative technologies for creating diverse design of chocolocates. This strategy may prove to be costly but public image would increase considerably. Hersheoy needs to have the focus on global market and move beyond the limited presence in limited areas of the globe. Marketing of the new flavoured chocolates in the supermarkets would having growing appreciation. The company would be provided with opportunities to work in collaboration with other food industries (Tanner and Mary 2011).
Political- At present, there is no certain regulation related to price control. Moreover, there is no support received by the cocoa production from the government. Since the prices of chocolate are rising, it can be expected that there would soon be price control imposed on raw materials of chocolate. Cocoa production would also gain the price support from the government.
Economical- The nest sales of the company has been found to be increasing in the last few years. The 5-year compound growth rate is 6.1% on average. In addition, a rising demand has been noticed for dark chocolate, that needs more amount of cocoa for production, due to benefits of health issues. This would potentially drive up the cocoa prices as a result of the deficit.
Socio-cultural- People have higher preferences for chocolates during the festive periods, especially Christmas. The demand for chocolates is likely to be more in these time of the year in countries of North America. Regarding the demand of chocolate, a rise in the grindings is expected in North America.
Technology- Lower prices of sugar, apprehensive knowledge resources drives manufacturers of Canada to manufacture in the United States. This provides the local chocolate retailers with a high chance to import their chocolates in place of purchasing the ones sold locally. Though this brings benefits for the chocolate manufacturers with less cost of input, the sugar producers of America face difficulties when the price falls to a very low level (Kotler and Armstrong 2013).
Two direct competitors of Hershey’s are Nestle and Mars. Two indirect competitors of Hershey’s are The American Pop Corn Company and Fortune Cookies. It is likely that the response of the competitors to such marketing strategy wouldcreate a ripple in the marketing domain. The first step that the competitors would take would be to understand the strenghts and weaknesses of Hershey’s so that based on these findings the competitors may bring suitable changes in their marketing plan as well. The main focus of the competitor comoanies would then be drawn towards the customers in order to give a tough competition. For them this can prove to be a decisive benefit. Assessing what Hershey’s is offering would be ther competitor’s prime aim. Some aspects that they may focus on are social marketing strategies, pricing strategies and target customers. Whether the prices are lower, wether the products are of high quality, whether the customer services are higher and whether marketing needs are more engaging, are some of the pitoval concerns for the competitors that they would address. They would attempt to bring impreovements in their marketing strategies through these methods (Barrett and Weinstein 2015).
The specific target market for this product would be the young generation consumers. This would encompass individuals of age between 13-25. This group of customers would bring the maximum profit for the company.
Product- The product of Hershey’s can be improved through some effective strategies. The first would be to cater the consumers with dark chocolate that have a low content of calories. This would possibly change the perception of chocolate being an unhealthy food. The second strategy would be to add flavonoid substances in the products since such flavonoids help in protecting the cardio-vascular system in consumers immediately after consumption.
Pricing- It would be highly beneficial to dip down the prices of the product and set it at a range that can be afforded by target consumers. Since the target consumers of the product are youngsters, it is likely that they would not be able to spend much on buying the product. Setting the price at a reasonable level would ensure maximum sale and popularity. The pricing power needs to be developed with special attention to prices set by new entrants in the market. Competitive pricing would be the underpinning strategy for the product.
Promotional- Promotion is a key aspect of marketing and greatly influences the sales figure. It is, therefore, to be done smartly. The product needs to be marketed with the help of TVCs as well as print advertisements, specially magazine. The company also needs to plan for accomplishing promotional programs with the help of event sponsorship. Social media is a good option for reaching out to the younger generation, and therefore social media platforms like Facebook and Youtube can be used for online promotion. This would ensure that communication with the target customers is established.
Commercialisation of holidays could possibly increase the popularity of the product. The product can be sold at discounted prices during holidays for gaining more profits.
Place- The product needs to be available in mall supermarkets, groceries, stores, movie houses, coffee shops, connivance stores and at times at discount stores. The product is to be found in the candy aisles and cash register. The stores are to offer good customer services. Using trade discounts would be beneficial for the product (Hollensen 2015).
Armstrong, Gary, et al. Principles of marketing. Pearson Australia, 2014.
Barrett, Hilton, and Art Weinstein. "Corporate entrepreneurship, the marketing mix, and business performance." Proceedings of the 1997 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference. Springer International Publishing, 2015.
Hollensen, Svend. Marketing management: A relationship approach. Pearson Education, 2015.
Kizil, Cevdet, et al. "Hershey's Entry to the Australian Market with a New Brand: An Accounting and Marketing Perspective." Emerging Markets Journal 3.2 (2013): 97.
Solomon, Michael. Marketing. 1st ed., Pearson, 2017.
Tanner, John F., and Mary Anne Raymond. Principles of marketing. Irvington, NY: Flat World Knowledge, 2011.
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