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This report evaluates Whittaker’s current market segment by describing the consumer target profile, and then proposes a new market target, presenting perpetual maps in both cases. Product recommendations and justification, and the company’s positioning statement are presented. Analysis of the current target market showed that Whittaker has historically targeted male consumers aged between 18 and 24 years. This has been because the company produces premium products which are targeted at a consumer group of older and sophisticated people in the New Zealand market.
For the new target market, Whittaker should target university and college students, especially during lunch hours, evening, and weekends. University and college students are among the highest consumers of chocolate, especially during such days as Valentine. Targeting this market can help Whittaker to increase its sales volumes and thus capture a more significant market niche.
In the proposed target market, Whittaker should shift its position in terms of pricing by lowering its prices while ensuring that the flavors for the consumers. As such, it moves from the second to the first quadrant of the perpetual map, where businesses are characterized by low prices and a wide variety of products. This will improve its market positioning and competitiveness as it will attract customers from across all social classes. It will also ensure that they can access a wide variety of their favorite chocolate.
The advertising method that Whittaker should utilize is the pull and push strategy. This is a technique of advertising that will enable the company to be informative towards its customers; it will enable customers to learn a lot about the products and services, and why they should buy them. Further, Whittaker will adopt the following positioning statement: For individuals looking for high quality and tasty chocolate that refreshes their breath, Whittaker gives you value for your money by offering you a high variety of chocolates in different flavors and sizes at affordable prices. This positioning statement will be aimed at convincing customers that Whittaker offers higher quality and affordable products than its competitors.
1. The Current Market Segment
Current Market Segment described
Whittaker has historically targeted male consumers aged between 18 and 24 years. This has been because the company produces premium products which are targeted at a consumer group of young and sophisticated people in the New Zealand market (Vandevijvere, Aitken, and Swinburn 2018, p. 14). Targeting such a consumer market is also evidence that Whittaker considers quality over quantity, and the management is convinced that the chocolate that the business produces in different shapes and sizes will remain appealing to people; the company also considers providing chocolate in different flavors and sizes so as to meet the demands and expectations of the target market. Further, the chocolate is appealing to individuals who are enticed by different flavors as produced in the chocolate, and one of the components of the recipe is organic milk from New Zealand. As such, individuals who like organic milk are also attracted to chocolate products. The milk used in making the chocolate is free from permeant and Palm Kennel Expeller, and it contains real chocolate.
Further, Whittaker targets consumers with access to the internet, since the business does much of its marketing online through digital and social media marketing. As such, it is targeting such consumers has also eased the company’s marketing efforts (Kulkarni, Swinburn, and Utter 2015, p. 79). Whittaker has also created various social media channels to use to communicate with its customers and potential consumers. For instance, its Facebook page has 811,000 likes, Twitter has over 30,000 followers, YouTube has over 1070 subscribers, Instagram has over 15,000 followers, and Google Plus has over 110 followers. This shows that the business has created a huge online following, and this creates a platform through which the company can engage its customers and potential customers regarding existing products, new products, and offers (promotions).
However, Whittaker needs to segment so that it focuses on a particular market for it to be successful and establish a competitive edge over its competitors. The following table summarizes the target customer profile for Whittaker.
|Geographic||Brisbane in Australia|
|Occupation||Employed, mothers, campus female students.|
|Hobbies||Lifestyle shows, cooking, adventure, social media, and promotions.|
|Marital & Family Status||Married, and with children|
|Income||High, and can afford the luxury.|
Notably, the segmented market for Whittaker is mainly composed of white-colored professional females who are aged between 23 and 34 years, and have a high income that can enable them to afford luxury to some extent; they are also married and have children. Since Whittaker sells its chocolate bars at premium prices, they may not be affordable to children and low-income earners; this explains why targeting mothers is an effective strategy as they can purchase for their teenage children, and this improves sales volumes (Girona et al. 2019, p. 726). Most females from average households are keen on purchasing chocolate that they consider to be of high quality. Such chocolates are given to guests or treated as a family treat.
Perceptual Map and explanation
Whittaker’s main competitors include Lindt, Cadbury, Nestlé, Wellington Chocolate Factory, and M&M. The perpetual maps of the four competitors is shown below.
Flavor (Variety of flavors)
Wellington Chocolate Factory
This perceptual map shows the market positioning of Whittaker and competitors. Whittaker is the only business entity with a variety of flavors and shapes of chocolate, and its products are sold at premium prices. On the other hand, Cadbury and Wellington Chocolate Factory have few flavors but also charge highly for their chocolate. Lindt, Nestle, and M&M have a few flavors, but their prices are low. From the map, it is evident that Cadbury, Wellington Chocolate factor, and Whittaker are disadvantage in terms of pricing. In most cases, low-income earners and lower-class consumers tend to go for the cheapest options in the market (Damen 2019, p. 12). However, Whittaker has established a competitive edge over the rest because the company has a variety of flavors and shapes of chocolate, unlike all the competitors. Although Lindt, Nestle, and M&M can benefit from fair pricing of their products, they are negatively affected by lack of a wide variety of flavors of chocolate. As such, all the market players should work on their weaknesses. For instance, Whittaker should work on its pricing if it is to compete with the competitors and enhance its effectiveness.
Proposed New Target Segment
New Market Segment described
Chocolate has become a popular product in New Zealand with the consumption of each individual being approximately 4.8kg in the year 2013. As such, it is easy for the product to slot easily into the market. For the new target market, Whittaker should target university and college students, especially during lunch hours, evening, and weekends. University and college students are among the highest consumers of chocolate, especially during such days as Valentine (Brown et al. 2019, p. 7). They also tend to buy chocolate for lunch, during the evening after classes, and over the weekend. Targeting this market can help Whittaker to increase its sales volumes and thus capture a more significant market niche. Further, Whittaker should improve its marketing and target universities and colleges through social media, notice boards, and promotions within the campuses. For instance, the marketing should target promoting the health benefits of consuming chocolate; the cocoa flavanols contained in chocolate are associated with increased cognitive function, blood flow, and cardiovascular health. The marketing team should also convince customers and potential customers by mentioning that the products use dark chocolate, with at least 50% cocoa solids, and this increases the number of cocoa flavanols present in the products.
Regular consumption of cocoa flavonoid helps in reducing such effects of cognitive function as cognitive dysfunction. As such, the products sold by Whittaker and targeting university and college students should be appealing to the otherwise young consumers due to the health benefits that it provides. Notably, the target market is also made up of learned individuals, increasing their chances of being aware of the health benefits of chocolate. Further, the prices should be dropped, while ensuring that Whittaker provides consumers with a wide variety of flavors.
Perceptual Map and explanation
The new perceptual map should be as follows.
Flavor (Variety of flavors)
Wellington Chocolate Factory
In this case, Whittaker should shift its position in terms of pricing by lowering its prices while ensuring that the flavors for the consumers. As such, it moves from the second to the first quadrant of the perpetual map, where businesses are characterized by low prices and a wide variety of products. This will improve its market positioning and competitiveness as it will attract customers from across all social classes. It will also ensure that they can access a wide variety of their favorite chocolate. Through this, Whittaker is highly likely to attract consumer loyalty and thus increase sales volumes and consequently the organizational profitability.
3. Product recommendations and justification
Whittaker can improve its market position and competitiveness by developing its 4Ps marketing strategies. It can achieve this by implementing the following suggestions.
Whittaker should seek to introduce smaller bars of chocolate, such as 10g and 50g. Such flexibility will also increase the affordability of the products. To ensure that consumers have a wider variety, the company will also need to establish new flavors and sizes of the chocolate bars. This is important as introducing and producing more flavors and sizes will enable consumers to have a broader range of choice, and consequently increase sales volumes and profitability (No 2014, p. 75). The company can develop different flavors and sizes by considering the current competitors’ range and then expanding its premier quality range. This will also be beneficial to Whittaker because it will enable the business to understand the production processes adopted and practiced by the competitors and compare with its own. It will also help Whittaker in identifying market gaps that it can quickly address.
The pricing strategy that Whittaker follows is essential since it is built around the five crucial components of pricing; they include costs, competition, customers, company objectives, and channel members. The actual cost price needs to revised and monitored carefully to ensure organizational goals are achieved and profitability promoted. The product will also be enhanced by quality flavors to ensure that it remains in the niche high-end market and that sales improve. The pricing strategy is also advantageous to the company because it will promote development of other high-end flavors of chocolate that can be sourced throughout the country (Ni Mhurchu, Mackenzie, and Vandevijvere 2016, p. 53). Currently, the pricing strategy is effectively aligned with the objectives and overall goals of the company, with eth aim of maintaining the products to have a unique taste in the market. This has also been possible due to the premium pricing of its products. This means that although there is a need to reduce the prices, a guaranteed minimum amount that should be set to ensure that there are adequate financial resources for the company to continue producing and selling sophisticated products.
In the market, Whittaker has established itself as the primary distributor of fresh and high-quality chocolate; it does this through significant chains of supermarkets and specialty shops and chocolate outlets. In the proposed strategy, the company should seek to implement a distribution strategy similar to the existing one, but ensure that the chain management is more effective (Sun, Ryan, and Pan 2015, p. 543). Efficiency could be enhanced through integration of modern technology in the chain management. During the initial stages, shipping and transportation of the chocolate should be done in bulk before being unpacked and repackaged.
The promotion objectives of Whittaker regarding improving its sales volumes should be improving profitability by penetrating more markets. It should also focus on gaining a more extensive consumer base and also meet the ever-growing market demand for chocolate. Further, it should invest in an integrated marketing communications plan that can help it in realizing its promotional objectives (Zadeh, Robertson, and Green 2019, p. 190). It should thus formulate and implement various marketing techniques to ensure effective communication of the right message, and that the right mediums of communication are used to reach the targeted audience. The following table below shows some of the objectives that Whittaker should set and pursue, as we as some of the methods that it can employ in pursuing the techniques.
|To improve sales, penetrate more markets, expand its consumer base, and create consumer loyalty while ensuring that it meets the ever-growing market demand for chocolate.||Whittaker could negotiate with such firms as Woolworths so that the organization’s products and services can be advertised on the point of sale display in all the chain’s stores (25 of them). There should also be free tasters for consumer as a way of convincing them of the high quality of the chocolate so that they can consider purchasing.||Cost per store – $2,000|
The advertising method that Whittaker should utilize is the pull and push strategy. This is a technique of advertising that will enable the company to be informative towards its customers; it will allow customers to learn a lot about the products and services, and why they should buy them. It will also ensure that a high level of brand awareness is created within the consumer base, and also move the consumers through buying cycle to make them purchase the products. Giving out free samples to the customers is an effective way of advertising the products since it motivates the consumers so that they can try out the products on sale; it also effectively influences the consumers’ decision making regarding purchasing.
Whittaker will adopt the following positioning statement: For individuals looking for high quality and tasty chocolate that refreshes their breath, Whittaker gives you value for your money by offering you a wide variety of chocolates in different flavors and sizes at affordable prices. This positioning statement will be aimed at convincing customers that Whittaker provides more top quality and affordable products than its competitors.
- Brown, T., Moore, T.H., Hooper, L., Gao, Y., Zayegh, A., Ijaz, S., Elwenspoek, M., Foxen, S.C., Magee, L., O’Malley, C. and Waters, E., 2019. Interventions for preventing obesity in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (7).
- Damen, F.W., Luning, P.A., Hofstede, G.J., Fogliano, V. and Steenbekkers, B.L., 2019. Value conflicts in mothers’ snack choice for their 2‐7 years old children. Maternal & Child Nutrition, p.e12860.
- Girona, A., Iragola, V., Alcaire, F., Curutchet, M.R., Pereira, P., Magnani, D., Barreto, P., Petingi, S., Allegue, G., Conzalo, G. and Mosteiro, C., 2019. Factors underlying compliance with a healthy snacking initiative in the school environment: Accounts of school principals in Montevideo (Uruguay). Public health nutrition, 22(4), pp.726-737.
- Kulkarni, A.A., Swinburn, B.A. and Utter, J., 2015. Associations between diet quality and mental health in socially disadvantaged New Zealand adolescents. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69(1), p.79.
- Ni Mhurchu, C., Mackenzie, T. and Vandevijvere, S., 2016. Protecting New Zealand children from exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks: a comparison of three nutrient profiling systems to classify foods.
- No, E., Kelly, B., Devi, A., Swinburn, B. and Vandevijvere, S., 2014. Food references and marketing in popular magazines for children and adolescents in New Zealand: a content analysis. Appetite, 83, pp.75-81.
- Sun, M., Ryan, C. and Pan, S., 2015. Using Chinese travel blogs to examine perceived destination image: The case of New Zealand. Journal of Travel Research, 54(4), pp.543-555.
- Vandevijvere, S., Aitken, C. and Swinburn, B., 2018. Volume, nature and potential impact of advertisements on Facebook and YouTube by food brands popular in New Zealand. The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online), 131(1473), pp.14-24.
- Zadeh, N.K., Robertson, K. and Green, J.A., 2019. Lifestyle determinants of behavioural outcomes triggered by direct‐to‐consumer advertising of prescription medicines: a cross‐sectional study. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 43(2), pp.190-196.
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