I Executive Summary In the current beer Industry not many companies are Incorporating the winter extreme sports scene Into their marketing plans. Skills and snowboarding attract a vast number of people every winter and tapping Into the winter extreme sports market may be beneficial for Linkages as well as Colonial Wholesale Beverage. Therefore, Linkages will offer a winter promotion entitled the Winter Wonderland Getaway that will give consumers the opportunity to win prizes, go on vacation, and drink delicious beer. Codes will be included inside all Lankiness’s Fireside Nut
Brown cases that may be redeemed online for chances to win weekly giveaways. Also, special codes will be scattered across our region that entitle consumers to larger prizes as well as the grand prize at the end of the promotion. Consumers will be able to win weekly prizes throughout the promotion that include: skis, snowboards, hats, gloves, shirts, coats, ski or snowboard winter gear, discounts to mountains, etc. All of the merchandise that Language offers will of course have their beer logos on them and demonstrate their Involvement with winter extreme sports.
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There Is a vast amount of possibilities when It comes to reconsidering in the winter with extreme sports and many of the prizes will entice consumers to choose the Linkages brand over competitors. Along with the weekly prizes, Linkages will offer monthly prizes that include vacation packages to the surrounding mountain resorts of New England. These lucky winners will find specially marked codes inside of 10 lucky cases of Lankiness’s Fireside Nut Brown that will instruct them to redeem their codes through the Backbone page dedicated to the promotion.
Linkages will have to be responsible for accommodations for the winners such as lodging, lift tickets, rentals (if needed), DOD vouchers, and gas costs. These prizes will create desire in the consumers and may persuade them to switch brands In order to participate In the promotion. Language will also choose to Include a grand prize within the promotion that will Include a trip to Colorado for a weakling winter adventure. This kind of trip would be much more expensive than the other trips and would also entice more people to participate in the promotion.
Linkages will provide winners with all of the necessary accommodations including: lodging, transportation, ski passes, ski rentals, and food vouchers. This option would create value for the consumer and cause a dramatic increase in sales and buyer approval. The costs associated with running the promotion are relatively small in comparison to potential gains. The main costs include: merchandise (for weekly giveaways), ski packages (for monthly giveaways), the grand prize ski package, and advertising. All of these aspects of the promotion add up to a minimal $7127. 8 and can be decreased due to partnerships with mountains, current partnerships with multiple radio stations, and utilizing discounted mountain resort packages. A. The Marketing Environment 1. Competitive Forces. There are numerous competitors to Linkages that become serious threats to the revenue of the business. These competitors include: Enhances- Busch, The Boston Beer Company, Beck’s, Westchester, Harpoon, Shipyard, Red Stripe, Landmark, Corona, etc. However, the largest two competitors within the New England region are Enhances-Busch and The Boston Beer Company.
Enhances-Busch operates twelve breweries and distributes to almost twenty different countries. They brew many popular beers such as Budweiser, Busch and Bud Light. Their “Great American Beer” campaign entices many consumers to drink their products. The Boston Beer Company has been around Boston since 1985 and holds the largest market share for the craft brew market in the New England area. Samuel Adams is the most popular beer that The Boston Beer Company produces and is extremely popular in the Boston area.
Both companies have wide selection of different tasting beers and lagers, which makes them a huge competition in the several distinct beer markets. Although these two popular beer companies seem to have a competitive edge on the craft beer market, there are some things that they lack that Linkages can exploit. Samuel Adams only distributes their product in bottles and not in cans. This type of standardized packaging can sometimes hurt a company’s overall sales because some consumers only like to drink beer out of cans. 2. Economic Forces.
While the country has been in a recession for a few years, there are finally signs of moving out of it. Spending has been increasing significantly and unemployment is at its lowest since the recession began. This is great news for Linkages because beer is a commodity that is bought for pleasure and having a good time. With people able to have some extra money in their pocket, they can look award to going out to bars or partying more which will help increase sales for us. 3. Political Forces. The political forces affect the beer industry to a large extent.
The rates of the beer in various parts of the country are affected by the taxes and duties applied by the Government. The political forces also affect the pricing of the beer by lowering the duties or deregulating the distribution channel. This leads to lower margins for the distribution channel partners. Linkages will need to set up a distributor in the New England area to effectively distribute to this area. 4. Legal and Regulatory Forces. Unfortunately, Lankiness’s is not authorized for sale in all states; nor can we sell and ship beer directly to customers who live in unauthorized states.
In the states we are authorized to sell, state laws require that we sell our beer to distributors, who then sell the beer to the retail stores where consumers buy it. By selling beer directly to consumers through the Internet or telephone orders, we would be bypassing this distribution system, and subsequently violating state laws. We are always trying to expand our distribution markets based on consumer demand, so feedback from consumers helps us determine where we would expand. If Lankiness’s products are sold in a specific area, but not at someone’s favorite store, then they have the opportunity to talk to the store’s their store. . Coloratura Forces. The advantage we have over competitors is being able to market to the extreme sports enthusiasts. This market has not really been tapped into for craft beer and is a perfect opportunity for Linkages. Linkages demonstrates its “one with nature” attitude that will appeal to many of these people who participate in extreme sports. One of Lankiness’s slogans reads, “Join us out here. By associating Linkages with the outdoors, it has grown in popularity and made consumers feel a sense of ruggedness upon consumption. B. Target Markets.
The current target market of the Jacob Linkages Brewing Company generally consists of anyone between the ages of 21 and 40 years old that enjoys a great tasting German beer rather than a traditional American beer. Currently, Linkages can be found in almost all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. Producing different types of beer has expanded Lankiness’s target market and they will continue to market new beers to broaden the market even more. Lankiness’s specific target market can be described by three samples: David, Wayne and George.
David is a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and will never be found in the library. He devotes most of his time snowboarding on the local mountains and having fun partying with his friends. David has always lived in the Northeast region, which is popular for winter sports and cold weather. He drinks Linkage’s Octobers because of its blend of pale, caramel and rich taste. Octobers is perfect for David, especially because he spends the majority time outside and Octobers correlates with cold weather very well.
Wayne is a recent college graduate student at the University of Texas and finds himself at the beach every weekend, whether it is surfing or hanging with his friends. Wayne will never be caught drinking any other beer besides Lankiness’s Summer Shanty because he enjoys the blend of the light wheat and pale. This summer type beer is perfect for Wayne because it is also mixed with a little bit of lemonade, which is typically enjoyed in the summer time. Since he lives in Texas, the weather is hot year round and a Summer Shanty is perfect for any occasion. George is a sales assistant at a local marketing firm in New York.
His work can be somewhat stressful, so he enjoys going out with his fellow employees into the city for a few drinks. George enjoys sweet, berry flavored beer that does not have a typical American beer flavor. George will always be caught drinking Lankiness’s Berry Weiss because of his sweet taste preference. C. Current Marketing Objectives and Performance. We would like to expand our market more to the rest of the United States and become a large competitor in the beer market. Linkages also strives to be at the top of the “top-of-mind” craft beer brand list.
One area in particular that Linkages would like to expand its reach is in the Northeast. There are several ways that Linkages can achieve their goals. Increasing brand awareness is an essential part of becoming a better beer company. Many consumers are not even aware that Linkages exists. Therefore, several promotions such as: contests, giveaways, and addition to added promotional strategies, Linkages will establish a strict three- year timeline that will outline a plan for success. This timeline will include promotional strategies, revenue milestones, expansion schedules, and market share ports.
In 2010, it sold 500,000 barrels, which ranked it as the nation’s sixth-largest craft brewer, according to trade publication Beer Marketers Insights. That was a 32% increase from 380,000 barrels in 2006, the publication said. Without disclosing sales volume numbers, company spokesman Tom Ryan said Linkages Brewing sales volume increased 17% in 2011. Ill Situation Analysis This section describes the SOOT, industry, competitive, company and customer analyses that Linkages must consider before implementing the Winter Wonderland Getaway promotion in the winter of 2012/2013.
SOOT Analysis Strengths Quality Product Diversification of Beers Efficient Distribution Channels Effective Marketing Strategy Brand Recognition Opportunities Untapped Winter Sports Market Expand Target Market More Distribution Channels Strong Competition Weaknesses Threats To become successful and sustain a competitive edge over the competition, Linkages must possess many core business strengths. – Delivering a quality product. One of the easiest ways to gain sales and consumer loyalty is to offer a quality product.
The recipes for beers at the Linkages brewery have been perfected in over 140 years of operation. Linkages takes pride in its products and constantly searches for new innovative ways to make them better. – The diversification of products that Linkages offers caters to the various tastes of consumers and increases the value of the brand. By offering several varieties of beer, reach more consumers and sell more beer. – Use of efficient distribution channels. By making use of effective distribution channels, the product becomes more accessible to potential buyers.
Especially when brand awareness is low, it is very important to use proper distribution channels to help create brand awareness by making the reduce easily accessible for consumers who may have never even heard of the brand before. – Use of effective marketing strategies. Putting together the right combination of marketing strategies can have a great impact on how the company rates in terms of market share. An effective marketing scheme can increase brand awareness where awareness is low, as well as give a boost to physical sales.
Lankiness’s use of an effective marketing strategy is a large part of what made them so successful in the central part of the United States and if executed properly, will also make them very successful in other parts of the country. Although Linkages presents many strengths that can be huge threats to their competition, they also have a big weakness that their competition will most likely exploit. Lankiness’s main weakness is their brand awareness. For many years, they were only distributing their product to upper Midwest and only recently to other parts of the nation.
Since the product is practically brand new to this region, their brand is not very well known. This can be a huge problem when a consumer walks into a liquor store and wants something new, but has never heard of Linkages. This would cause a lack of sale and can result in an overall loss of revenue in the long run. By focusing on their strengths in order to overcome their weaknesses, Linkages has many opportunities to help them succeed and sustain themselves over a period of time. One of the biggest opportunities that Linkages has is their opportunity to expand their target market.
Since Linkages is not highly recognized and distributed in the New England region, a new market is available. Right now, Linkages is marketing their product to consumers who enjoy the outdoors and a great-tasting beer. Due to the popularity of winter sports in the Northeast region, Linkages has the opportunity to market towards consumers who enjoy these winter sports. More and more people tend to enjoy winter sports than they did in the past, so with this growing population, Linkages has the opportunity to not only expand their target market, but to increase overall sales and boost their brand awareness.
Although the opportunities for Linkages can result in a huge future success, there are many threats that stand in the way. The biggest threat that Linkages faces is their competition. When attempting to expand their target market to the New England region, their biggest competition will be The Boston Beer Company’s: Samuel Adams. Samuel Adams currently holds the largest market share for the craft beer market within the New England region. Along with Linkages, Samuel Adams produces a wide variety of different flavored beers including seasonal beers that match up very well with Linkages.
Also, Samuel Adams possesses very high brand awareness in the Northeast region, and since this is Lankiness’s main weakness, Samuel Adams can be a gigantic threat. For Linkages to sustain themselves over the years and generate positive annual revenue, it must successfully have both current and new customers enjoying their product. Although, repeat purchase and brand loyalty are imperative for success, new business is Just as important. Two of the main strengths that Linkages possesses that will help sustain customers over the years are their diversification of beers and efficient distribution channels.
Every customer will have a specific preference of what flavor beer they prefer and since Linkages offers eleven different flavors, satisfying those needs will not be a challenge. Since Lankiness’s new customer base will be focused on the New England region, effective distribution is necessary to reach this specific target market. With distributors all over the nation, reaching the Northeast region can be done successfully and efficiently which will in turn lead to greater customer satisfaction and increased brand loyalty and V.
MARKETING STRATEGIES A. Target Market(s) Current Customers: Current customers will remain loyal to the company and the great tasting beers offered. This will be done by continuing to expand the variety of beers and promotions offered. Also, maintaining the production of seasonal beers will not only generate more customer awareness and repeat purchase, but help expand brand loyalty. Linkages is confident the high brand loyalty will increase over the years due to the upcoming promotional campaigns. New Customers: Due to the lack of product availability in the Northeast region, Lankiness’s new customers would be located in the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Winter sports are extremely popular in the New England region and would be a perfect target for Linkages. Implementation f the Winter Wonderland Getaway promotion, will get these new customers to not only enjoy new great tasting German style beer, but participate in a new and exciting promotion.
Targeting this audience will not only expand Lankiness’s target market, but also increase overall sales and brand awareness B. Marketing Mix Product: The product that will be the focal point of the Winter Wonderland Getaway is Lankiness’s Fireside Nut Brown. This beer is an amber-toned brew that features a maple aroma with pronounced chocolate, caramel and hazelnut top notes. In addition to a warm winters taste, Fireside Nut Brown also has an alcohol by volume of our seasonal beers and is a perfect choice for the Winter Wonderland Getaway.
Price: Fireside Nut Brown is priced competitively with other craft brews of its kind. The average price for a six-pack is $7. 99 and the average price form a twelve-pack is 12. 99. Place: Due to the cold weather and mountains, winter sports are extremely popular in the New England region and would be a perfect target for Linkages. With implementation of the Winter Wonderland Getaway promotion, these new customers will not only enjoy new great tasting German style beer, but participate in a new and exciting promotion.
Promotion: The overall strategy that Linkages will follow will be to introduce a new winter promotion that will take the beer industry by storm. This promotion will run all winter and give consumers a chance to win great prizes and visit the wonderful mountain resorts of New England as well as Colorado. There will be two potential ways that consumers can win during the Winter Wonderland Getaway promotion. One way of winning is to redeem the codes found in all Fireside Nut Brown cases through Lankiness’s Backbone page for a chance to be selected as the weekly inner.
The second way to win during the Winter Wonderland Getaway promotion is to hunt for the special “winning tickets” that will be hidden inside of select Lankiness’s Fireside Nut Brown cases. When a lucky consumer finds one of the ten winning tickets, they will be instructed to redeem the winning code on Lankiness’s Backbone Page then given further instructions on how to claim their prize. There will also be one lucky winner that will win the grand prize of the promotion.
What Consumers Win Weekly Prizes: The weekly prizes that Colonial and Linkages will award to nonusers consists of skis, snowboards, hats, gloves, scarves, Adirondack chairs, key chains, towels, helmets, goggles, outer wear, etc. All of the weekly prizes that are awarded will have the Lankiness’s Fireside Nut Brown logo on them and reflect the themes of the beer. These weekly giveaways will excite consumers and attract low- brand-valuation consumers. The added value of the increase of winning potential and the reduction of opportunity cost of switching brands will cause more consumers to try Linkages and participate in the promotion.
Monthly Prizes: The Getaway prizes that will be offered during the promotion entitle consumers to all expenses paid vacations to local New England mountain resorts such as: Westchester Mountain, Watermill Valley, Blue Hills, Tastiest, Loon, Sunday River, Wildcat, Breton Woods, Mount Snow, Smoke, etc. These vacation packages will include lodging for two for two nights at the local mountain hotel, two two-day lift tickets, rentals if needed, gas costs, and food. Grand Prize: The grand prize of the Winter Wonderland Getaway will be the focal point of the promotion.
It will entice consumers to drink Linkages as much as possible and rapidly grow brand awareness for our brand. The grand prize is an all expenses paid vacation for a week to the Mecca of winter in the United States; none lodging for two, two five-day lift tickets, ski rentals, and food vouchers.. Upon finding the winning tickets, consumers will be instructed to redeem the code on our Backbone page dedicated to the promotion. They will then be congratulated for their victories and given instructions of how to claim their prizes. VI. MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION A.
Marketing Organization Colonial and Linkages will use many marketing tools in order to effectively run the Winter Wonderland Getaway. One tool that Colonial will use is Backbone. Backbone as many features and applications that will allow Colonial to run the promotion as well as market it. One tool that Colonial will use to market the promotions is Backbone Ads. These advertisements show up on the sides of consumers’ Backbone pages and effectively increase brand awareness. One beneficial aspect to Backbone Ads is the feature that allows marketers to target consumers by region and demographics.
This will allow Colonial to only advertise to consumers that will potentially be interested in the promotion. Another tool that will help Colonial run the promotion is an application called Pagoda. This application enables marketers to create a homepage on Backbone that shows Backbone users what the promotion is about, how to enter, and what they can potentially win. The Pagoda page for the promotion will have a large picture of a ski resort on the cover and instruct consumers to click the picture to enter. Upon entry to the page, another Backbone application will take over.
Contact will be the landing page for consumers once they click the ski resort on the Pagoda page. This application allows users to enter their name, e-mail, phone number, birthday, and the code provided within the cases of Linkages. This information will be sent to an e-mail address at Colonial Beverage and marketers will be able to store the information provided as well as select winners. A CRY code is yet another tool that Colonial may wish to use during on and off premise promotions. For example, when the promotional team goes to liquor stores or bars, they will have a large poster with a CRY code on it.
Consumers who purchase a Linkages can scan the CRY code and automatically be directed to the Backbone page where they can enter to win without a promotional code. Potential Problems This type of promotion presents two problems to Linkages as well as Colonial Beverage. The first problem that Colonial may encounter with this promotion deals with gas prices. With rising gas costs, consumers may not want to shell out the extra money to drive up to the mountains of northern New England after they have won their prize.
This may deter consumers from participating in the promotion, hurt sales, and have negative effects on how consumers feel about Linkages. A second potential problem that Linkages may encounter is based around public relations. Linkages does not want to appear as though they support drinking and riding or skiing together. This could cause a series of lawsuits and poor public relations if consumers feel that Linkages is supporting dangerous activities such as skiing and drinking.
Solutions: winning packages that have a set amount of money allotted for gas services. This would negate the problem of spending money on gas and allow people to enjoy their trips. As a company, Linkages must make it a point not to appear as though they support drinking while engaging in winter sports. Drinking responsibly must be a center frame in all of the promotions, especially when it comes to extreme sports where people may be hurt. Making this known and perhaps running a ski safe aerogram with the Winter Wonderland Getaway may be a beneficial idea.