Marketing Plan for Create a Dog Company
Creating a sustainable business strategy in any industry entails planning for the future. For an airline to plan for its future, it must be aware of its present position from a broader perspective. In other words, the airline must perform a strategic analysis of its internal and external environments. The approaches for strategic analysis vary and some of the dimensions include scanning internal and external environments of a company. Environmental analysis (internal and external) identifies internal and external parameters in the company and the industry respectively, as well as translates them into strategic decision and plans (Capon, 2008; Lynch, 2008). The section that follows highlights the branding strategy, social media strategy, differentiation strategy, competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and integrated communication strategy for Create a Dog.
As part of Create a Dog marketing strategy, the company addressees various essential branding aspects. Create a Dog will offer differentiated products but position its single-brand name as the healthier option in the fast food industry. Following the unpredicted fast food industry dynamics, Create a Dog will extend its brand to adjust to the industry dynamics. As an umbrella branding strategy, the company will attach its brand name to all the products offered. Additionally, all the company’s packaging will bear the same company brand name and logo. The umbrella branding strategy has more advantages over house of brands strategy considering the fact that once the key brand name is established in New York, subsequent hotdog introductions sharing key brand name will be easier for customers to accept and understand. It follows that new product lines will be introduced with high levels of awareness (Iacobucci, 2014).
Price is the amount of money customers are charged in exchange to the offered products and services. To offer competitive prices, the company must consider factors, such as competitors’ pricing strategies, customer preferences, and production costs within the target market. Based on the competitive nature of the fast food industry, Create a Dog will use a hybrid form of initiatives in pricing. Both economy and penetration strategies would be to attract and maintain the existing customers. Penetration pricing involves setting comparatively low prices to improve sales. Such strategy is effective, especially when growth is one of the key objectives of marketing.
Placement or distribution is one of the major components of the marketing mix, which include place, position, and product. Products must be delivered to the customers at the right time and place. For a start, the company will employ selective distribution to create awareness and ensure that Crate a Dog delivers orders offering to not only improve sales but also ensure customer satisfaction. The selective distribution strategy begins with reputable food suppliers to maintain the reputation for high-quality. The distribution model should strive to increase customer visits to the establishment. To build and maintain a solid reputation in the industry, the company will create and experiment with various distribution channels, including mobile shops and office delivery.
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Inter/Intra Competitors’ Strengths and Weaknesses
The fast food industry in the United States is one of the most competitive segments within the foodservice industry. With many entrants venturing the industry with single or few shops to explore the demand, competition for both new and major industry participants is becoming more intensive and challenging than ever. For this reason, the entity will focus on discounted prices and new menus. The section that follows explores inter- and intra-competitors in the industry.
The Nathan’s Famous is a fast food restaurant chain consisting of over 300 outlets, which are mainly franchised units (Nathans Famous, 2015). It means that they are owned by individuals or entities that have purchased the right to sell its products and use its brand. Franchise owners also have a competitive advantage over other competitors in the sense that they have access to Nathan’s supply chain systems, as well as its extensive marketing and advertising resources. The outlets are mainly found in various captive and traditional market venues, including College Campuses, Travel Plazas, Malls, Airports, Casino Hotels and Sport Arenas. Nathan’s strength resides on its high quality brand with almost a century of heritage. The company also boasts to be world’s best crinkle cut fries and beef hot dogs since 1916. Nathan’s also offers adaptable and flexible restaurant designs for franchisers. In the same context, the company offers low cost, high profits and great returns to franchisers. As of consequence, the company has recorded a remarkable expansion across the United States and beyond its borders through effective franchising. Nathan’s also has relationships with the major distributors in the United States, including McClane, Vistar, US FoodService, and Sysco.
Despite having a cross-border presence, Nathan’s relies on the American market. Out of the 300 outlets, 238 restaurants are located in the United States, 13 in Kuwait, 12 in Russia, 6 in Dominican and the rest in Jamaica, Mexico, Egypt, Costa Rica and Turkey. One of Nathan’s weaknesses is represented by its overdependence on revenue from the United States market. Moreover, there are few opportunities for significant expansion through acquisitions. The overdependence on revenue from the United States outlets implies that price shocks or changes in the United States have a significant impact on Nathan’s net revenue. In other words, Nathan’s is much likely to incur losses than its competitors if the US market performs poorly. For instance, the economic hardships experienced across the United States reduce visits and spending at Nathan’s.
Shake Shack started its operations 2001 as a hot dog cart Madison Square Park (Shake Shack, 2015). As of this writing, it had expanded to become one of the upscale fast food entities providing all-natural hot dogs. Its strengths lies on the fact that it major on organic foods. Besides hot dogs, Shake Shack stands serves frozen custard, burgers, wine and beer. Unlike Nathan’s which enjoys industry experience, large market share and cross-border presence, Shake Shack operates majorly in New York. As of December 2015, the company was also not offering franchising option.
Differentiation Strategy Relative to Nathan’s
Based on the concept of positioning, Create a Dog operates uniquely compared to its competitors, especially Nathan’s, by offering unique, healthy and nutritious food products, and services that can be customized to meet individual requirements. The restaurant will focus on differentiation strategy, whereby food offerings are differentiated from that of the traditional fast food restaurant outlets. Such strategy is chosen because Nathan’s and Shake Shack are extremely aggressive in their price competition. The company’s brand will be positioned as the healthiest option for customers within its locale. The company will achieve unique value position by offering high quality services and nutritious food products for the customers. In other words, the restaurant will position its product offering in nutritional and health aspects, which is arguably unique from Nathan’s. Such approach is much likely to attract customers that are unhappy with the unhealthy menus offered by both Shake Shack and Nathans’s. Create a Dog is capable of providing enhanced value proposition in the highly competitive environment. Enhanced value proposition can be achieved by offering nutritional and healthier food than what Nathan’s is currently offering. Besides its original customized offering, the restaurant can serve similar foods offered by other competitors, such as Shake Shack, Crif Dogs, and Bark Hot Dogs. Create a Dog will also make regular changes to its existing menu to adapt to the ever changing customers preferences and taste. Additionally, new outlets will use warm colors to signify the emphasis on organic and healthy foods.
Being Industry Leaders in Natural and Organic Fast Foods
Create a Dog can evade health-based criticism by being a leader in the expansion of organic food supply. The company should focus on the supply and provision of natural and organic foods in its outlets. It can be achieved by setting the wellness and health trend, which is linked to the notion that natural and organic food is healthier when compared to the non-organic foods offered by Shake Shack and Nathan’s. As of consequence, the restaurant will be identified as an industry leader in the natural and organic fast food segment. At the same time, the restaurant can gain an advantage in regard of its brand awareness when compared to Shake Shack and Nathan’s. Given that the organic food movement in the fast food industry is limited to wealthy and educated populations, the company can exploit such opportunity and become a leader in the given segment.
Social Media Tools
Create a Dog intends to exploit the viral nature of Twitter and Facebook to create awareness and attract more customers. The two platforms are used mainly due to their reach. Twitter and Facebook are increasingly serving as the key social media tools for inducing interests and actions. Additionally, as more people continue using their handheld devices, it follows that Twitter and Facebook would adapt to the mobility of users. The addition of the ordering system comes with additional hardware, software, and security requirements. Since there is a need for customers to contact the company about inquiries or complaints regarding the new service, there must be a team that handles customer interactions. The interactions may be performed through phone calls, e-mails, and social media networks, including Twitter and Facebook. For such reasons, maintenance and support resources should also be included in the overall project support services.
Integrated Communication Strategy
Besides the mentioned social media tools, the company should integrate other modes of communication to expand its advertising and sales promotion initiatives. For instance, word of mouth would attract new customers in addition to the existing ones. Interest in the restaurant’s offerings can be induced by creating websites that improve customer satisfaction.
Table 1 Integrated Communication Strategy
|Attention||Treat someone you love to delicious hot dogs||Word of Mouth|
|Internet||Get the lowdown on all things Create a Dog||Website|
|Desire||Standing For Healthy Food||Social Media|
|Action||Treat someone special to Hot Dogs||Great Customer Service|
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Websites can be hosted internally or externally. In the latter case, the website is hosted by a web service provider, such as HostGator and GoDaddy. The external web hosting company owns and maintains the rented infrastructure and services. Such option is appropriate for light web sites and start-up businesses. Additionally, the method is suitable for a website that does not need extensive bandwidth, monitoring, storage, and customization. When an entity needs control over its website, it can install its servers internally or use private server service. A combination of company website and social media will enable the company to reach more customers online in the sense that the two channels can be accessed on the same platform. While Facebook and Twitter creates awareness, the website can be used to offer more information and place orders. In other words, a promotional advertisement on Facebook can attract an interested individual to the company website where orders can be easily placed. Functional reviews of the ordering system from both server and client views would help the company maintain regulatory compliance. For example, the ordering system must be assessed by a qualified payment application security assessor to ensure that it is in compliance with the Payment Application Data Security Standard (IBM, 2010).