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Business to Business Marketing – A Marketing Plan

Contents
1. Introduction
2. Recommendations on the channels of distribution that Canterbury Spice Man should use
3. The market offerings proposed for intermediaries/channel members
4. Recommendations as to specific strategies that Canterbury Spice Man should use
5. Conclusion
6. Bibliography

Introduction
Nowadays, the world economy tends to globalization. Nonetheless, regardless the strong trend to the unification, the ethnic specificities can still be successfully used to promote certain goods and services and develop a successful business. In this respect, it is worthy of mention the food market, which is traditionally considered to be extremely conservative because food habits, preferences and food culture are believed to be not very susceptible to substantial changes. In such a situation, it seems to be quite problematic to introduce and successfully promote new products in the food market. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that this view on the food market is not fully correct.
Naturally, it is necessary to agree that food habits and culture are quite conservative but this does not necessarily mean that any changes in the industry are impossible. In fact, it should be said that, despite the current processes of globalization that implies economic unification that contributes to cultural similarities between different peoples, including similarities in food consumption, the food industry often tends to diversification. To a significant extent, this trend is determined by the growing interaction between different cultures and national cuisines. Obviously, this contributes to the mixture of food traditions and change of habits. At the same time, such countries as the UK are characterized by the large ethnic communities widely represented throughout the country which have preserved their national identity and their traditional food culture. As a result, people representing such communities prefer to consume traditional food, instead of the local food or, to put it more precisely, they prefer national cuisine to the local one.
Obviously, in such a situation, different ethnic communities have a strong demand on dishes and products typical for their ethnic cuisine. At the same time, it is necessary to remember that different ethnic groups with their unique cuisine cannot live in a total isolation from the rest of society. In stark contrast, they constantly interact with representatives of other ethnic groups that include not only communication, professional cooperation, social interactions but it also implies certain changes in food traditions and culture. As a result, people having different preferences get used or tend to consume food products and dishes which are not typical for their own ethnic cuisine as well as the local population tends to change their traditional tastes and try new products and readily experiment with the food, especially this is a characteristic of the younger generation.
In such a situation, the decision of Mr. Rizal Ahmad to launch the distribution of spicy sauces in Great Britain seems to be quite logical since this country has large Asian communities which could be the major consumers of these products, while the rest of the society also is susceptible to changes in its food preferences. This is why, potentially, the national market of the UK can be quite perspective for the implementation and development of “Canterbury Spice Man” products.
At the same time, it is necessary to remember that the development of the brand’s positive and popular image recognizable among customers and the distribution of the products are quite complicated processes. This is why, in order to effectively realize the strategic goal, i.e. to launch the distribution of spicy sauces, which actually are totally to the local food market, it is necessary to develop the market plan that would provide an opportunity to analyze and carefully organize the essential steps that should be taken as well as the strategic directions of the work of the company on the distribution and promotion of the new products. To put it more precisely, it is necessary to clearly define possible ways of distribution, take count for the major distributors and interaction with them, and develop effective strategies of the further promotion of the new products in the market. In such a way, it will be possible to clearly define in what way the products will be distributed, by whom and what the customers will be attracted by and the relationship with the partners.
Recommendations on the channels of distribution that Canterbury Spice Man should use
Obviously, the products that Canterbury Spice Man is supposed to sell are quite specific and unique. Moreover, these products are new and, apparently, unusual for the vast majority of British consumers. This is why it is possible to presuppose that it will be quite difficult to rapidly and effectively promote these products and distribute them. In fact, it is quit natural that distributors would rather prefer to sell traditional products than take risk and launch the sales of new spicy sauces offered by Canterbury Spicy Man.
However, it does not necessarily mean that the distribution of these products will be practically impossible. In stark contrast, while choosing the potential distributors of the spicy Asian sauces, it is necessary to take into consideration the specificity of these products. To put it more precisely, these products are typical for Asian cultures and cuisines mainly. Consequently, its distribution should be oriented on the communities and regions where the share of Asian population is high enough to evoke interest of customers and, thus, distributors to these new products.
In this respect, it should be said that the larges cities of the UK seem to be the most perspective regions for the distribution of the new products offered by Canterbury Spice Man. To put it more precisely, it should be said that such cities as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bradford are the most appropriate for the distribution of spicy sauces since Asian communities are quite numerous in these cities. In actuality, these cities may be viewed as centers of Asian communities. Consequently, it will be easier to distribute the new products in these cities due to the presence of Asian communities which have not lost strong connections with their cultural heritage and which food habits fully correspond to the offering of Canterbury Spice Man since the spicy sauces are typical for various Asian cuisines.
Also it should be said that the distribution of the new products in the largest cities would be easier because, as a rule, the rates of consumption are higher there compared to smaller cities and towns of the UK. On the other hand, it is also necessary to remember that spicy sauces offered by Canterbury Spice Man are unique and original products which are practically unknown for the local population of Great Britain. This is why these products will not be just new products but they will be absolutely unusual and totally unknown for the local customers.
In such a situation, the advantage of large cities is quite obvious since due to the permanent interaction between various ethnic groups, the larger number of people gets acquainted with different cuisines, including Asian one. Consequently, the probability that the larger number of customers will learn about the new products faster in large cities is higher compared to smaller ones.
Furthermore, it is worthy of mention that, in recent years, the trend to the growing popularity of Asian cuisine remains quite stable that means that the new products, being distributed as original Asian spice, could become quite popular among the mass customers.
Nevertheless, to gain the popularity and recognition the spicy sauces offered by Canterbury Spice Man should be accessible to customers that means that they have to be effectively distributed. Otherwise, all the efforts of the company to increase sales rates will be doomed to failure. In this respect, it should be said that, while choosing the distributors of the products, it is necessary to take into consideration the specificity of the product. Practically, it means that, for the spicy sauces offered by Canterbury Spice Man are of the Asian origin, it would be quite logical to use distributors that are closer to Asian communities of the large cities mentioned above. In other words, the distributors should be well-known to and popular among Asian communities so that the distribution of the new products would not face any apprehension or resistance from the part of the major target customers, i.e. Asians. This is why it is possible to recommend focusing on local shops of a small or medium size which operates specifically for the local market within areas where Asian population constitutes a substantial part of the entire population of the area.
In fact, it is necessary to underline that often such shops of the small or medium size are quite popular among Asian communities, especially if they focus on the trade of traditionally Asian products. In such a situation, local customers, being basically Asian, would readily buy products in these shops as they feel the strong correlation between these products and their national preferences and tastes. Consequently, Asian customers, which are the target customers of Canterbury Spice Man, taking into consideration Asian origin of its products, naturally prefer such small and medium shops where they can buy the products they know well and which they really like. Moreover, it is possible to presuppose that the introduction of the spice sauces by the company will meet the interests and expectations of customers because this niche of the market remains practically empty, while the offering of Canterbury Spice Man can fill this gap in the market.
Furthermore, it will be also possible to offer some particular sauces to such shops depending on the community they are oriented on. For instance, Rendang sauce and fried rice may be offered to shops that orient their sales on Indonesian customers, or ethnic groups of customers that have similar cultural and gastronomic tastes, while various curry sauces may be oriented on communities where Thai, Malaysian, or Indian population dominates.
Another potential way of distribution of the new products may be the use of ethnic restaurants which are specialized on a particular national cuisine. Obviously, this can be very effective distributors since the restaurants, which are specialized on Asian cuisines, would readily buy the sauces offered by Canterbury Spice Man and sell them to their visitors. In such a way, the company can find reliable and permanent distributors which could need the constant supply of the Asian sauces that are sold by the company. What is even more important here is the fact that Asian restaurants are quite perspective and potentially the demand on the new products of Canterbury Spice Man can increase. The reason for such an increase of demand seem to be quite obvious since, at the present days, the popularity of Asian cuisine constantly grows. In fact, in modern Great Britain, Asian food is considered to be not only exotic but it is often associated with healthy food different from the more conventional junk food offered by many fast food restaurants in the UK. It should be pointed out that Asian restaurants are popular not only among Asian communities but also among British society at large.
In this respect, it should be said that the distribution of the sauces through the network of Asian restaurants is quite effective and may be very profitable not only because it will be a stable and quite popular distributor of Asian sauces offered by Canterbury Spice Man but also because it will help to shape a customers habits or tastes to these new products. In other words, customers will acquire essential experience of consuming the new products in such restaurants. Practically, it means that if a customer of British origin, for instance, tastes some of the sauces offered by Canterbury Spice Man and he/she likes it, than it is highly probably that he/she would prefer to buy these sauces for a more regular consumption without going to the restaurant, i.e. the customer would simply go to the shop and buy these sauces.
In such a situation a logical problem arises: if a non-Asian customer is willing to buy the sauces originating from Asia, he/she will need to have access to these sauces. Obviously, in such a situation, the small and medium specialized shops, mentioned above as the first group of distributors, do not seem to be the best solution of the problem of distribution because non-Asian customers do not always know well enough such shops or, what is more, such shops may be remote from their residences or places where they regularly shop. Consequently, a logical solution of this problem appears – it is necessary to use a larger retail networks to distribute the new sauces offered by Canterbury Spice Man. For instance, it may be such large networks as Tosco, for instance, where customers can buy a variety of products they are looking for. The advantage of such distribution is obvious since the number of customers of such networks is substantially larger and such networks cover the entire territory of the UK.
Naturally, using large networks will inevitably face certain difficulties, among which the lack of information about the new products introduced by Canterbury Spice Man will be probably among the most significant ones. This is why it is possible to recommend introducing the Asian sauces in large networks only when they become popular enough not only among Asian communities but non-Asian as well.
In fact, it is possible to speak about different stages of distribution of the new products. To put it more precisely, at first, it is necessary simply to introduce the new products to customers. Naturally, Asian communities will be the first customers that will consume these products because it is more typical for their national cuisine, food preferences and culture. Consequently, the distribution should mainly occur through small and medium size shop focusing on the sales of typically Asian products and situated in the areas inhabited by predominantly Asian communities.
At the same time, it is necessary to launch the new products’ distribution through the network of Asian restaurants where customers will have an opportunity to taste and appreciated the new products. In this respect, it is worthy to point out that it will be not only Asian but also non-Asian customers. In fact, Asian network can be used as an indicator which should signal the moment when the distribution of Asian sauces of Canterbury Spice Man should get started in large national networks, such as Tosco.
In such a way, it is possible to say that the distribution through large networks is the final stage in the distribution of the new products of Canterbury Spice Man entering the market of the UK. It is important to underline that the use of this distributors is possible only on the condition that the company is sure that the demand on the new products is high enough not only among Asian communities but among people of British, or non-Asian origin as well because the distribution through large networks implies the orientation of the company on mass customers and large sales rates. This is why this variant should be viewed as a potential perspective but not as an immediate solution of the problem of the distribution of the new products.

The market offerings proposed for intermediaries/channel members
However, to find the possible ways of distribution and potential distributors does not mean that Canterbury Spice Man can really use these distributors. In actuality, distributors must be interested in the cooperation with the company before they agree to distribute the new products offered to them by Canterbury Spice Man. This is why it is necessary to develop effective ways to make the distributors that are considered to be the most perspective interested in the distribution of the Asian sauces.
In fact, there may exist different ways of cooperation with the distributors which may be profitable for both parties, i.e. for distributors and Canterbury Spice Man. It proves beyond a doubt that the profit may be the most important and decisive factor that can make distributors to agree with the company’s offer to cooperate in the distribution of the new products. At the same time, it should be pointed out that in order to persuade a distributor that the sales of the sauces will be profitable for both parties, it is necessary to prove that the demand on these products can be really high.
In such a situation, it is worthy of mention that small and medium shops oriented on Asian customers as well as specialized Asian restaurants would, in all probability, readily cooperate with Canterbury Spice Man since the products offered by the company are really traditional for national cuisines of Asian countries and, consequently, customers will buy these products in order to satisfy their gastronomical needs and tastes. It should be pointed out that the use of the original names of the products may be quite important here because Asian customers are more accustomed to traditional names of the products. Moreover, this will emphasize their Asian origin. In other words, customers will be sure that the products distributed by the partners of Canterbury Spice Man are produced in Asia. As for the products that will be labeled by the brand of the company, it should be said that Asian customers could have certain apprehensions concerning the authenticity of the products.
Nevertheless, it seems to be quite possible to convince distributors that the demand on the new products will be quite high. At any rate, at the beginning of sales, it is possible to make a special offer to the distributors providing them with a larger share of income from the sales of the Asian sauces. In such a way, the company will attract the distributors and, at the same time, it will stimulate them to increase the rates of sales of the new products. However, it should be said that the use of this approach to large networks as distributors could hardly be effective since it will be quite difficult to find an individual approach to each network as it is possible to do to smaller distributors.
Nevertheless, it is possible to make other offerings to the distributors in order to increase the effectiveness of cooperation and stimulate them to distribute the new products. Unquestionably, this is very important to make distributors feel that the distribution of the products will accompanied with certain advantages compared to the major competitors. In this respect, it is possible to offer to the company’s distributors some exclusive right to the sales of the product. For instance, small and medium shops can get exclusive right to sell the new products offered by Canterbury Spice Man in a particular area. It should be said that this will stimulate these distributors as they will receive a competitive advantages compared to other similar shops situated in the area or nearby. The same effect this offering may have on other distributors, such as Asian restaurants which also would readily accept the offer to sell unique products that could not be find in any other restaurant nearby. As for the large networks, it is possible to recommend focusing on the use of only one large network as a distributor. For instance, it is possible, choose Tosco as a distributor of the product and it possible to offer to this distributor that it will be the only large network operating nationwide that have the right to sell the Asian sauces offered by Canterbury Spice Man.
Furthermore, it should be said that the distribution of the new products should be thoroughly planned and regulated. In other words, it is necessary to develop clear schemes and contracts which would clearly define the conditions of the distribution and right and responsibilities of all parties. It should be pointed out that contracts should focus on the stability of relationships of Canterbury Spice Man and its partners because it is one of the major condition of the stable development of the company and promotion of its products in the market, and thus, growing sales rates. On the other hand, distributors will also realize that the company is quite reliable and, consequently, it is possible to cooperate with Canterbury Spice Man for a long period of time that is very important in the current economic situation. Obviously, it is very important that the contracts were signed for possibly longer terms because it will provide both the company and its partners to make a long time forecast and create strategic plan of the development for a long term. Anyway, the basic goal of the company at the first stages of the introduction of the new products should be the involvement of possibly larger amount of reliable distributors. This is why it is possible to sacrifice short-term benefits for the sake of a long-term cooperation. At the same time, it is necessary to use the uniqueness of the product for the British market in order to draw the attention of the distributors to this characteristic of the new products offered by Canterbury Spice Man.
Recommendations as to specific strategies Canterbury Spice Man should use
Obviously, on defining the major distributors and developing the offerings the company can make for them in order to draw their attention to its products and increase the cooperation, it is necessary to analyze possible strategies that can be used by Canterbury Spice Man in order to successfully introduce and promote its new products. In this respect, it should be said that the company should particularly focus on the customers and their interest to the product.
Speaking about the introduction and promotion of the new products, it is necessary to emphasize that one of the main strategic goals of Canterbury Spice Man should be the development of the positive customer experience. It should be said that in the modern world the formation of positive customer experience to the brand is extremely important since the loyalty of customers to the brand can increase the sale rates and even the value of the company in the market.
In this respect, it should be said that the creation of a positive customers experience by Canterbury Spice Man may be quite effective marketing strategy that should be based on a clear plan which should imply five major steps. First of all, it is necessary to analyze the experiential world of customers. This means that it is necessary to analyze socio-cultural context of customers that includes the analysis of customers’ needs, wishes, habits, preferences and lifestyle in general. Practically, it means that before introducing the new products it is necessary to carefully analyze the potential markets and local customers. To put it more precisely, it is necessary to clearly define the areas where Asian communities reside and analyze the extent, to which these communities got assimilated in order to understand whether the Asian sauces will be popular or not. In actuality, Asian communities in large cities of the UK have preserved their national traditions, especially in relation to food preferences and national cuisine still plays an important role to them. This is why it is possible to presuppose that the new products will meet the tastes and preferences of customers.
Secondly, it is necessary to build the experiential platform. This means that it is necessary to take into consideration such fact as the connection between strategy and implementation, which specifies the value which customers can expect from the product. Practically, this implies that Canterbury Spice Man should concentrate on the analysis of customers’ interest in the new product. In other words, it is necessary to assess the extent to which the Asian sauces will be valued by customers. Basically, on introducing the new products, it is possible to benefit from the customers’ nostalgia and national traditions which naturally increase the value of the Asian sauces imported to the UK from the Asian countries supplying the sauces.
The third step implies the designing of the brand experience. This step means the development of the brand experiential features, product aesthetics, a so-called ‘look and feel’. Practically it means that it is necessary to create a recognizable logo of the company and its products which could be easily identified with Canterbury Spice Man and its sauces. In this respect, it is possible to use some traditional Asian symbol as a logo which could be easily recognized by Asians and adequately perceived by non-Asian which also may be the potential consumers of the new products introduced by the company. This step is apparently extremely important to the further promotion and development of the company, its brand and products in the market. It proves beyond a doubt that a successful logo is a constituent part of the product itself. This is why Canterbury Spice Man should pay a particular attention to the development of its logo, but, in such a situation, the fact that the company can label only some of the sauces by its own name, it may be a problem to make all the products that the company sales equally popular and recognizable by customers. This is why it is necessary to make the unification of products under the common label the strategic goal of the company.
The fourth step includes the structuring of the customers interface. What is meant here is the development of all sorts of dynamic exchanges, and contract points with customers’ intangible elements, among which may be emphasized such elements as customers’ values, attitudes, bahaviour and others. Practically, it means that it is necessary to constantly research customers’ preferences, values, attitudes etc. In other words the initial research of customers needs, preferences, and food culture should be continued after the introduction of the new products. To put it more precisely, after the Asian sauces are introduced it is necessary to research what sauces are more popular, define the geographical distribution of different sauces, i.e. what sauces are more popular depending on the region. For instance, Rendang sauce may be more popular in Indonesian communities, while sweet and sour sauce may be more popular among Thai communities. As a result, it is necessary to change the supply respectively increasing the supply of Rendang sauce to areas with predominantly Indonesian population and sweet and sour sauce to areas with predominantly Thai population.
Finally, it is necessary to undertake the fifth step to realize the strategy of the development of positive customer experience. This step implies engaging in continuous experiential innovations. Obviously, this step is oriented on a long-term perspective relationship between customers and the company. The basic goal of this step is to improve customers’ life or, at least, to make customers feel as if their life is changing for better if they buy the new products. Practically, it means that it is possible to promote the new Asian sauces as healthy and natural products that produce a positive impact on the development of human organism and protect people’s health from negative influences of the environment. At the same time, it is necessary to remember that in a long run, Canterbury Spice Man will inevitably face the necessity to enlarge the number of products that the company sells.
However, the enlargement of the products sold by the company may also affect its strategic relationships with its distributors. Obviously, at first stage as the new products, i.e. the six Asian sauces are introduced the use of the existing network of Asian restaurants, small and medium shops will be sufficient for normal functioning of the company, while the cooperation with a large national network like Tosco can make its operations even more profitable.
However, in the course of time, as the company will enlarge the number of products imported from Asia and sold in the UK market, it will be necessary to increase the cooperation with the distributors in order to increase sales rates. In this respect, it is possible to recommend integrating the company and its distributors. Practically, it means that Canterbury Spice Man can acquire some small shops specialized on the sales of original and unique Asian food and products, as well as it is possible to acquire some Asian restaurants. Or optionally, it is possible to develop the network of distribution due to the merger with the existing chain of shops or restaurants.
Alternatively, it is possible to develop an independent network of its own shops where customers could by original products from Asia. However, it is worthy of mention that at the beginning the creation of its own network will be extremely expansive and unreasonable since the products sold by the company are really few. On the other hand, as the number of the products increases, it will be quite useful to create the new network of shops that may be very effective and provide Canterbury Spice Man with serious competitive advantages since the company possesses the exclusive right to distribute the Asian sauces in the UK. Consequently, its competitors will be unable to offer the same products, at least of the same quality.
Nevertheless, this strategy of the development of the company, i.e. the creation of its own network of distribution, seems to be not the best way since it is quite expansive and, basically, it should be viewed as a long-term perspective. Instead, the use of existing networks and alliances with them seems to be perspective in short- and meddle-terms. At the same time, such a strategy may be more cost saving.
Conclusion
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that Canterbury Spice Man has a really great potential due to its exclusive right to distribute the Asian spicy sauces. Obviously, this exclusive right may be a serious advantage compared to its competitors because the popularity of Asian cuisine and sauces is constantly growing. Anyway, Asian communities in the UK constitute a significant part of the population of large cities and Asians will readily buy the new products, as well as Asian restaurants will also use these products in their own business in order to emphasize their uniqueness and original Asian style. Nonetheless, in order to achieve really good results, the company needs to develop and successfully implement the strategy of introduction and promotion of the new products like the one described above.

Bibliography:
1. Gitlow, H. S. The Deming guide to quality and competitive position. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1997.
2. Mohrman, S. A. Tomorrow's organization: Crafting winning capabilities in a dynamic world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998.
3. Hutt, M.D. and Speh, T.W. Business Marketing Management, Ninth Edition, London: Routeledge, 2007.
4. Newel, D. Gaining a Holistic View of the Customer. LA: Printword, 2001.
5. Schmitt, B. and Simonson, A. In Marketing Aesthetics: The strategic management of brands, identity, and image, New York: The Free Press, 1997.

 
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