Preparing a Marketing Plan for Terry's Group Novelty Chocolates by Analyzing a Particular Case

Marketing Plan for Terry's Group (novelty chocolates) by analyzing a particular case

Marketing Plan for Terry's Group

Terry's Group is a New York-based company, operating throughout the entire world and activating in the food industry by producing high quality chocolate products for over two centuries. Today, the company is integrant part of United Biscuits, which desires to become an international leader in the snack industry. A main product line of the organization is formed from indulgent countlines, which initially registered great success onto the market, but which currently are faced with constantly decreasing sales. The primary focus of the company is to revitalize the Pyramid brand by combining the characteristics of boxed chocolates with those of indulgent countlines.

Analysis

Market Conditions

The chocolate producing industry is a highly competitive and dynamic one, with new requirements and changes occurring on daily basis. So intense is this competition that only a quarter of the newly launched products actually register success. "In 1992, the market was valued at £3,724 million and 803,000 tones per annum and had experienced growth rate of about 7% per annum throughout the 1980s" (p.5).

The products on the chocolate market were divided into five major categories: boxed assortments, countlines, sugar confectionery, molded chocolate bars and novelties, with different product and market characteristics. The market of indulgent countlines is also extremely dynamic, encompassing all sorts of products at varying prices.

2.2 Competitive Analysis

Terry's Group encounters severe competition from three major brands: Cadbury, which has a market share of 26%, Rowntrees, subsidy of Nestle, with a market share of 23% and finally Mars, with a market share of 19%. Terry's Group is the fourth major player on the market, with a share of 5%.

A major competitor of Terry's Group is Godiva, a manufacturer of specialized chocolate products, but which implements higher prices.

2.3 Consumer Issues

The main buyers of indulgent countlines purchased the products for self consumption as a reward for a job well done or as a consolation, unlike other chocolate products that were bought to serve as gifts. In addition, the buyer has to be impulsive.

2.4 Internal Issues of the Company

Terry's Group is part of United Biscuits, which supports the chocolate manufacturer in becoming a leader onto the industry. This support is both financial as well as non-financial. The downside of this resides in the lack of a personal marketing team centered on the core problems of Terry's, but centered on the problems and objectives of United Biscuits. The company has conducted numerous market and quantitative researches in order to identify and be able to best address the characteristics and needs of the market and the customers. The internal and well as external forces affecting Terry's Group are organized into the SWOT analysis, presented in the following section.

2.5 SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Long established international recognition and good reputation

High quality products, revitalized brands (such as Terry's All Gold or Terry's Chocolate Orange) and new product lines (such as Pyramid and Moments)

Integrant part of an international conglomerate focused on sustained growth and which offers them support with "finance and accounting, business planning, purchasing, legal distribution, management development, corporate communication functions and research and development" (p.4)

Multitude of strategic partnerships and acquisitions of numerous recognized European brands

Increased profitability and the core of United Biscuit's profits

Sufficient financial resources to invest in product development

Increased focus on fully satisfying the customers' needs

Retail prices lower than those promoted by specialized chocolate producers, such as Godiva

Weaknesses

Terry's Group does not possess their personal marketing team, and the marketing at United Biscuits sometimes fails to see the real picture at the chocolate manufacturer, basically because they are focused on the overall good of the group

The initially successful line of Pyramid chocolates is unable to sustain growth and continues to drop in sales

Opportunities

The indulgent countlines are not purchased to satisfy hunger, but for emotive reasons, which will be never exhaustive, generating as such the possibility to increase the demand

The contemporaneous development of great marketing tools which allow the organization to better identify and address the characteristics and needs of the market and the customers third opportunity is given by a the mixture of increased demand for indulgent chocolates and increased preference for boxed chocolates; Terry's Group could combine the two and sell the contents of boxed products in the form of indulgent coutlines

Terry's competitors did not possess a comparative advantage onto the market of indulgent countlines, therefore no major barriers were presented

Threats

Highly competitive market

The existence of markets where the products are sold based on seasonal preferences - this could lead to a decrease in sales during certain periods

The market for mainstream coutlines presented major barriers to entry and required increased costs in order to compete with the leaders of the industry

The combination of boxed chocolates and indulgent countlines would increase the retail price

3. Problem Identification

As revealed by the previous analysis, the chocolate producer is faced with numerous problems. The most important one is posed by the increased competition and the declining sales. The strategy proposed is that of selling the boxed chocolates in the form of indulgent countlines. But this would automatically generate increased retail prices, and the company is not sure whether the public would be willing to pay more.

4. Marketing Solutions

Target Market

Applying segmentation criteria to the market of chocolate consumers is rather difficult, moreover when the products are consumed by both genders, all ages and all income categories, regardless of cultural backgrounds. A main specification that must be made is that since the chocolate is not a vital subsidy, the decision to purchase comes from the personal preferences of each customer.

A primary target market for indulgent countlines is formed from women between the ages of 15 and 40 who purchase the countlines for individual consumption, as a reward or consolation. In 1991, these women made up 70% of the entire customer base. Another characteristic of the target market is that they make the purchase based on buying impulse.

Objectives

In order to resolve the problems of decreasing sales, the company has established numerous objectives which will be achieved through the implementation of a variety of strategies. The management at Terry's Group will implement clear control procedures to identify how the strategies chosen are able to aid the organization in reaching the established goals. They will identify any shortages and propose new and better solution if any inconsistencies occur. The established goals are to:

Improve the quality of the product and bring in the element of novelty as a competitive advantage

Integrate the new product into the corporate culture and image

Design innovative and distinctive packaging as to attract the interest of the consumer and present information on the product

Create a brand that could be substantial, sustainable and valuable

Build up a substantial brand and one that would generate sales on a long-term basis required investment in advertising

Create a brand that was valuable - that is profitable - meant the brand had to sell in sufficient volume per annum (in excess of 1,500 tones) to pay back the cost of a national advertising campaign (£1 million per annum) and overhead in excess of £150,000 per annum" (p.12)

To be able to meet these desiderates, Terry's Group will have to make numerous decisions in regard to product, place, price and finally, promotions. These are briefly discussed below:

Product Decisions

The new Pyramid chocolates will be sold under the manufacturer's brand name

The stated functionality of the products is to satisfy the hunger, but also to offer the buyer a personal treat

The chocolates will be packed in modern and interesting packages, that capture the attention of the buyer and inform him on the product characteristics

The…