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Innocent Smoothies Brand: Marketing Communication

Executive Summary

Innocent Company sells its fruit smoothies at one point five million (1.5M) rate yearly and has conquered sixty percent (60%) of the United Kingdom market. The company has spread its wings to various countries such as the Low Countries and France. It has also advanced into countries such as Germany, Australia and Scandinavia. From the company humble start, it has rapidly grown to become an international brand with 76 million pounds turnover. Sustaining and developing a culture that is extremely creative among its employees, has enabled Innocent drinks to celebrate its principal brand values through expansion and growth extended periods.

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The founders of the company were Adam Balon, Jon Wright and Richard Reed who saw a need to make people’s lives a bit healthier. The company came into being as a result of a simple idea that each and every product contains one hundred percent (100%) fresh, pure ingredients without the presence of food concentrates. The company’s target market is the young and urban professionals. From its humble beginning, Innocent has excited its clients with its approach to business that is straightforward. It uses down-to-earth, simple communications techniques that highlights their products and brand honesty. The company market strategy is not perfect as it does not take care of the needs of the elderly population. Therefore, the company needs to identify a target market that it will satisfy its needs.

Through various means of Integrated Marketing and communication strategies promotion mix such as advertising, public relations and sales promotion, the company has been able to create awareness among its customers on the health benefits of its products. It is evident that much has been done by the company in keeping the product’s brand competitive in the current market. The present brand image of Smoothies has to be sustained throughout the inflationary market using various market strategies. Consumers normally have very low income to dispose off during recession hence they become more price sensitive therefore the worth for their money needs to be emphasized. Innocent Company is faced with aggressive competition from its rivals but the good thing is that the competitors seem to be imitating Innocent’s brands.

This is a relief to the firm since consumers are knowledgeable on how to make a distinction between the brands (Kemsley 2006). In spite of the recession Smoothies is still experiencing growth. Last but not least the company has just embarked on its tactic to target the ageing population, with more advocacies for healthy lifestyles enabling them produce more non-alcoholic products. Online advertising has also been instrumental in promotion of the products. The Integrated Marketing Campaign aims to reposition the Innocent smoothies in the UK market through the use of various IMC promotion mix with a budget of ten million pounds within a time frame of one year. Therefore, the project will be divided into two main parts. Part A will comprise of the rationale of the project and the other part will be made of the integrated marketing communication plan for the project.

Introduction

Overview and Clarification of the Topic

This paper documents the supporting evidence and rationale for the Innocent Industry in the United Kingdom. From the macro extensive review of the industry, the paper will provide an extensive analysis of the Innocent Smoothies brand. The principal idea of the project will be to reposition the brand in an effort to change the existing consumption behaviour of the company’s target market. This will be made possible through the encouragement of the brand consumers to incorporate the product into their daily endeavours. The rationale of the company is to increase in both revenue and volume sales. In addition to that, increase consumer interaction with the brand.

The budget proposed to make the communication campaign successful is ten million pounds (10M pounds). The budget will be equitably distributed amongst above the line of traditional advertising and also tactical below the marketing line activity. Given the target niche audience relativity, and in light of the objective of the communication, it is estimated that approximately 60% of spend will be utilized on the latter.

Having experienced an exponential growth of one hundred and fifty nine percent (159%) sales volume between the years 2005 and 2007, the market for Smoothies saw a fortune dramatic reversal with a thirty six percent(36%) decline between the years 2007 and 2009 due to the squeezing of consumer’s spending. The three years have been extremely tough for the Innocent brand whose value has been decreased by one third. As a matter of fact, this has been triggered as a result of recession. Furthermore, the brand equity has experienced a lot of hits making it extremely difficult for it to recover in the long-run (Smoothies, 2011, p.6). Despite the brand losing its revenue, Innocent market share has increased significantly by eighty percent (80%). With the re-positioning of the Innocent brand in the United Kingdom Market, Innocent Company aims at changing the consumption patterns among its target group of 18-34 years old. This is in order to increase its volume sales and revue.

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The Host organization

Innocent Company sells its fruit smoothies at one point five million (1.5M) rate yearly and has conquered sixty percent (60%) of the United Kingdom market. The company has spread its wings to various countries such as the Low Countries and France. It has also advanced into countries such as Germany, Australia and Scandinavia. From the company humble start, it has rapidly grown to become an international brand with 76 million pounds turnover. Sustaining and developing a culture that is extremely creative among its employees has enabled Innocent Drinks to celebrate its principal brand values through expansion and growth extended periods.

The founders of the company were Adam Balon, Jon Wright and Richard Reed who saw a need to make people’s lives a bit healthier. The company came into being as a result of a simple idea that each and every product contains one hundred percent (100%) fresh, pure ingredients without the presence of food concentrates. The company’s target market is the young and urban professionals. From its humble beginning, Innocent has excited its clients with its approach to business that is straightforward. It uses down-to-earth, simple communications techniques that highlights their products and brand honesty. Uncommonly, this approach is also utilized by retailers who get Innocent regular communications. The communication techniques are such as newsletter that integrates fun stories with product information. With this method, Innocent Company has been able to expand its partners and customers network.

Crucial to the success of the company is its strategy of employment. The company is making a lot of effort to employ relevant expertise in various fields ranging from web design to ethical procurement. Guardian newspaper ranked the company as the top employer in the industry. At the same year of its ranking, it reported a turnover of thirty eight million pounds (38M) (Innocent Drinks N.d). In the United Kingdom, the Company’s biggest competitor is PJ Smoothies which was purchased by the giant group PepsiCo. With the desire to conquer, UK market, Innocent has joined hands with Jamie Oliver (Marketing Smoothies, 2006).

Mission of Innocent Company

“Make natural, delicious food and drink that helps people live well and die old” (Sweeney 2009). The mission statement helps the company to reinforce its brand values. In addition to that, it makes it a hundred percent clear what the purpose of the company is. For instance, the purpose of the company is to give people a reason and a goal to put all their energy into their work. Everything the company produces will often be 100% delicious, natural and nutritional. As a result people are mentally and physically well after consuming Innocent products.

Innocent Company values

Be generous Be natural Be responsible Be entrepreneurial Be commercial
The company aims to give feedbacks that are honest among its stakeholders via taking their time to appreciate people through various ways such as donating money or resources to the disadvantaged individuals in the society This not only applies to the company’s products, but also to the ways they treat those whom they interact with especially their consumers The company keeps its promises and are conscious about their actions on their environment and the community Innocent commenced as a small enterprise and it has not undergone any significant change. The company is ready to carry out their functions differently The company focuses on bringing growth to themselves and their customers

Scope of the business activities of Innocent Company

The company aims to provide its consumers with healthy eating habits through the provision of natural foods. The objective of any business is to maximize profits and became a leader in the market when it comes to products and so does the Innocent Company. In addition to profit maximization and becoming a product leader in a highly competitive environment, the key objective of the company is to provide employment. Employment creation is both for the farmers supplying the company with raw materials and the company’s workers.

Corporate objective

The company takes responsibility for their business impact on the environment and the society. The Company shifts the business effects from negative to neutral. The Innocent Company principal objective is to create a business that is sustainable through the use of healthy, renewable and natural ingredients for their drinks. In the year 2007, the company started measuring their carbon footprints. They started right from the firm to the fridge and ending with the recycling bin. By the end of 2007, the company had reduced their smoothies carbon footprint by fifteen percent (15%). Another area of their focus was to ask their suppliers to go green (Innocent Annual Report, 2007, p.6).

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Financial Performance

Year Total Revenue
2003 11Million pounds
2004 17 Million pounds
2005 38 Million pounds
2006 80 Million Pounds
2007(Estimated) 138 Million Pounds

Having a great dominance in the United Kingdom market, the company has extended its markets by getting into the Danish market and consequently targeting Australia, Germany and Sweden (Anonymous, N.d, Innocent Drinks). Innocent drinks exhibit the largest market share in the United Kingdom smoothie industry. Various factors have significantly contributed to the biggest share of the market. To start with, the change in consumption patterns among the United Kingdom citizens. This has greatly triggered the company’s product high demand. Furthermore, the large market share has been enhanced by the company’s brand awareness and marketing strategies. The company make use of a variety of strategies to market their products. The marketing strategies are such as traditional marketing and internet marketing. This has made it extremely easier for people to have a wide range of information with regards to the company and its products (Solomon, et al 2009).

A great deal of effort has been diverted to products marketing in order to maintain its share of market. In 2010, the profit of the company was almost one hundred and twenty eight million pounds (128Million pounds). The highest amount of profits recorded by the company is associated with the quality of the products and perfect marketing strategies. Majority of the population in the UK prefers smoothies to other products which has made the company to greatly increase its profit margins. In the year 2007 as highlighted on the table above, the Company’s revenue was almost reaching the one hundred and thirty eight million pounds mark. On the contrary, in 2008, the company’s revenue dropped due to the country economic crisis. The crisis impacted the smoothies demand in the UK and other parts of the globe where the company has its stores (Aaker & McLoughin, 2010, p. 235)

Research Sources

For the IMC research purpose, various literatures have been reviewed in order to get information about the smoothies industry sector trends. Various library websites such as proquest and Ebscohost and internet articles have been reviewed to get adequate information with regards to the Innocent Smoothies, consumption patterns and in planning the media vehicles and communication strategies to support it.

Campaign Rational

The company macro and Microanalysis (External and internal analysis) will be performed to find its position in the UK market through the use of Pest and SWOT analysis. In addition to that, from the micro and macro analyses, the findings summary, recommendations and conclusion will be produced to give answers about the company future plans.

Competitors Current in the market

The major competitors of innocent drinks are the Tropicana and the Pepsi owned company. Pepsi owns approximately twenty nine point three percent (23.9%) of UK market share. The innocent Drinks competitors’ uses a similar marketing strategy which focuses on their products health benefits. In addition to that, various marketing strategies including packaging appealing artwork have been used by these companies to improve on their brand loyalty. In comparison to Innocent smoothies, Tropicana smoothies are a third cheaper. Therefore, attracting more customers who are more concerned with the price rather than the process used to manufacture the products.

Extremely aggressive tactics have been applied to the brand which has also triggered the creation of products aimed at the smoothies kids market. As such, the Tropical Company has set prices that are low so as to maintain its competitive advantage. Since the launch of Tropicana smoothies in 2008, the company has been able to achieve its principle objective of strengthening its market presence by various means such as the use of wide television advert campaigns. Its ethical values regarding environmental sustainability, its fruit sources and the use of energy that is renewable to increase their brand loyalty further are similar to those of Innocent(“ All about smoothies”). Hence the need for Innocent Company to utilize the 10milion pounds allocated in the budget to improve on its integrated marketing campaign.

Micro (SWOT analysis)

Strengths

The company (Innocent) drinks have distinct capabilities that have enabled it to survive in the highly competitive smoothie industry. The way the company’s products are packaged has made it extremely easier for the company to perfectly compete with its competitors in the industry. For example, the packaging is done with the aim of combating environmental issues. The bottles used for product packaging are always clear. Similarly, the bottles contain succinct information about the product. Moreover, the packaging bottles have one colour. Numerous customers have been able to easily identify the Innocent Company’s products in the supermarkets and restaurants because of their uniqueness. The unique packaging is the company’s differentiation strategy to distinct its products from other companies’ products. The packaging bottles undergo recycling after being disposed by the consumers.

Apart from the effective packaging, Innocent Company has adequate resources. For example, the company has enough financial and human resources. The company’s employees have a wide range of capabilities and expertise. This has impacted significantly on the company’s innovativeness and creativeness. The company competitive advantage is provided by its human resources. The company financial resources have made the company to be highly competitive as it has enabled it to invest in the new technology (Leeman, 2010, p.35).

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The company exhibit a remarkably strong brand. As such, the brand makes it to compete effectively with its competitors in the industry. The development of the brand has been done perfectly to create awareness of the brand. Just like other companies, the Innocent Drink offers its consumers unique products that are of high quality. The company’s smoothies are produced from fruits that are natural rather than chemicals. With its unique products, the company has targeted a wide range of consumers with ease like the elderly and the young children. This has enhanced the company to increase its profits and maintain its share of market (Leeman, 2010, p.50).

Innocent Company has good communication with its retailers and consumers. The company keeps routine communication with their suppliers giving them a direct support. In addition to that, its retailer’s data base is the best. The database helps the company to manage its communications with both the smaller corner shops and large supermarket chains. With the consumers, the company keeps in touch with them via letters, emails, and post cards among others. In addition to that, the company possesses a “banana phone” where their consumers can air their opinions with regards to the company performance and products (Hutton 1996, pp. 155-162).

Weakness

Innocent drinks face challenges in response to prices. It is extremely hard for the company to smoothly adjust its prices for purposes of meeting the changing needs of the consumer. For example, in case of product low demand, the product prices cannot be lowered by the company. This is because, when the company lowers the price, it will result to a great impact on the company’s brand and leading to loosing of clients. As such, the company’s sales have been greatly affected during recession time. This is because the company cannot adjust its prices accordingly.

Furthermore, the entire market is the target of the company as it does not possess proper strategies to separate its market according to the needs of the consumer. For example, the elderly consumers’ need has made it difficult for the company to split its market. As a result, it has been extremely difficult for it to concentrate its resources and efforts to a single segment of a market. As a matter of fact, the company needs to review its marketing and segmentation strategies if it wants to meet the expectation of its consumers. Without the two, the company is easily prone to aggressive competition since majority of the firms in the industry have market segments and a single target market (Westwood, 2002, p.65). In addition to the above, Innocent company exhibit a low customer base. In comparison to its competitors, its customer base is relatively smaller.

Threats

Just like Innocent Company, there also exist numerous companies that supply the market with soft drinks and smoothies. The companies have come up with brands that are unique to achieve competitive advantage. Some of the Innocent competitors have brands similar to its brand. This makes it extremely difficult for the company customers to distinct the company’s brand from its competitors despite the brand being clearly packaged and correctly labelled. As a result the sales of the company have been affected as some individuals get confused with the brands and end up purchasing brands that other firms offer.

Another threat is that customers keep on changing their tastes in terms of product variety and range. Another threat is in terms of cultural differences. The success of innocent company has primarily relied on language. Differences in terms of culture might create a barrier for the company while expanding to other continents in the world. Brand susceptibility is another challenge. Given the fact that the company is expanding, the value of its brand will be subjected to greater scrutiny with reference to their actions. For instance, they received a lot of criticisms when they collaborated with McDonalds.

Opportunities

There exists a trend in the global market that encourages individuals to be health conscious. As a result, people have diverted their attention to naturally produced foods such as the innocent smoothies and drinks. This is because of their natural characteristic and their market reputation. Most people in Innocent markets such as Australia have been forced to stop drinking alcohol and sugary and fatty foods. The main reason is to improve on the life quality and also prevent chronicle diseases incidents among the population. These individuals have been coerced to take natural foods such as vegetables and fruits. Majority of people in the population prefers non-carbonated drinks and smoothies because their harm to the body as compared to fast foods. Despite its green credentials criticisms and its tie-up with McDonalds fast food chain, Innocent is good at striking a balance between ethics and size.

Increased market share: The market being occupied by innocent is continuously increasing as customers are becoming more and more health conscious. This presents a good opportunity for the company to conquer more and more markets.

Summary of SWOT analysisю

Strengths
  • Has the leading brand of smoothie. For instance, the company owns seventy seven point five percent of the smoothie market. In addition to that, through its humored communication the company has been able to develop a brand image that is resolute
  • Quality of the product- the product is made from natural fruits supplied by regulated suppliers
  • The company exhibits a growth that is consistent. This a proven evidence of the company perfect track record for any ventures in the future. Since its start, the company has been able to make regular prices and expand rapidly
  • Distribution channels- Including the larger markets, the company is presently stocked in more than ten thousand retail outlets
  • Ethics- The Innocent packaging bottles are hundred percent recycled. In addition to that, its papers for labeling are twenty five percent recycled. They are also using resources efficiently and creating environment that are conducive in countries they source their fruits from
  • Price- Innocent Company has set premium prices for its products making it more favorable to retailers because of their profitability.
  • Product development- Through the use of mainstream channels, currently Innocent Company is thirty six brands of smoothies
  • The health benefits of the Innocent smoothies are actively promoted by various organizations and also the government
Weakness
  • Price- The premium retail prices for innocent company means that there exists a market segment that is relactant to buy their products in favor of their rivals
  • Low base of customers- Compared to its competitors, Innocent Company has the lowest number of customers
Opportunity
  • Increased share of market- The market being operated by innocent is still expanding as more and more customers are being alert with regards to the processed goods effects
  • As a result of global market expansion, new markets are still emerging
  • The product range is wide. For instance dairy, vegetable and whole grain products
  • Then company’s products are eco-friendly. As such, it is promoted with organizations such as National Trust
Threats
  • The tastes of customers are ever changing, for example the product variety or range are becoming extremely competitive
  • -Cultural differences- Language is the significant instrument when it comes to the success of the company. Differences in terms of culture creates create a success barrier for the company especially when expanding into other continents
  • Susceptibility of the brand- As the company expands; the brand gets subjected to great scrutiny based on their actions.

Macro Analysis (External Environment)

Analyzing of the external environment is significant to the Innocent Company as it helps it in the understanding of the external environment. For instance, the Company is able to understand how various social changes and policy affects it and also how it helps it in achieving its objectives. Macro analysis helps the company in planning well in order to achieve its goals. Just like other companies in the smoothies industry, Innocent Drinks needs to analyze its external environment so as to make export decisions that are right (Keller 2001, 820). In that case, the company needs to analyze its legal, economic and political environment. Other things that need to be analyzed are such as social factors and technological factors. For purposes of analyzing Innocent company macro environment, PEST will be used.

Political Environment

The United Kingdom trading standards ensures the safety of the consumers. In addition to that, quality and fair trading standards are maintained by the UK. Office of Fair Trading is in charge of enforcing legislations. Various pressure groups such as ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) and Pepsi have raised complains concerning Innocent to ASA.

Economic Environment

The United Kingdom economic conditions have not favoured numerous businesses for a couple of years. This is as a result of the country’s economic recession. The recession impacted on many businesses growth and the country gross domestic product. In addition to that, the purchasing power of the consumers was also affected by the recession period. As a result, the consumers were unable to purchase services and goods thereby lowering the services and products demand. In addition to that, United Kingdom economic trends and situation has affected the cost of the company such as, the cost of ingredients and energy.

Social Environment

Ethics of the business: Ten percent (10%) of the company’s profit is channelled to Innocent Foundation which empowers the community through various activities including post-tsunami regeneration. In addition to that, the company ensures that its fruits are grown ethically in work conditions that are acceptable

Health: Awareness on health has continuously grown tremendously in the United Kingdom via NPO advertisements. As a result of the advertisements, consumers have become more health conscious. Innocent company has capitalised on this advertisement by highlighting their products principal health benefits.

Attitude of consumers: The consumers have become more health conscious. As a result, the Innocent Company is making their smoothies using pure natural fruits in order to meet the demands of the consumer. As such, the consumers are willing to pay high prices for the company’s product because of their high quality. In order to increase the choice of the consumers, the company has developed a variety of products.

Brand image: Innocent developed a trusted with diverse health benefits. In addition to that, the brand is affirmed with uniquely and subtle humour communication. The communication strategy is identified easily with products containing ingredients that are natural. Finally, poster and television adverts have helped in the strengthening of the brands’ image and growth of the company.

Technological factors

The company utilizes green technology to carry out their operations. Furthermore, the company recycles its products. For instance, their packaging bottles are recycled after they have been used. The company has also advanced in terms of manufacturing.

Environmental factors

The company has come up with ways to reduce the wastage of resources. The company’s founders avails the company’s employees with the opportunity to work in their expertise areas. The attitude of the company’s staff is in the brand value testament, being good to the environment and to the people. The morale of the staff has been boosted by the company’s rewarding and friendly environment. Innocent company also offers products that are healthy and diverts all of its effort towards interaction and communication. For example, they have a blog membership website which enables the company to get valuable feedback from its consumers.

In the current highly competitive market, Innocent Company should understand perfectly well the environment in which it conducts its operation. In addition to that, the company should focus on the external factors that impact on its performance. The external factors impacts on the business internal factors and its marketing strategies or objectives. Therefore, it should devise on ways to deal with all its macro and micro environment to remain competitive in the market (Anonymous, N.d, All about innocent smoothies, n.d).

Strategic context

Ansoff Matrix

Through the utilization of Ansoff growth matrix, the Innocent company will able to determine smoothies market growth given the existing aggressive competition from Tropical Smoothies, PepsiCo, Happy Monkey, Locozade Sport, Red Bull just to mention a few. Through the utilization of market development and market penetration, diversification, and product development, the company will be able to develop its business strategy direction (Watts et al., 1998, p.101). Through product development, the company should come up with new types of products flavours, added value or improvements hence increasing its market share in the current market. In addition to that, the company should strive to exploit the existing market opportunities over competition without adding any value to their existing products. Segmentation strategy is the main issue affecting the Innocent Company. In that case, the company needs to expand into markets that are new through the consideration of developed segmentation strategies. As such, they should satisfy the needs of both the young and the elderly population. This can also be achieved by the company going global. Furthermore, the company needs to reposition itself into additional or other industry sectors or diversify into new markets and products as shown in the figure below.

Ansoff Matrix

The Ansoff product/ market matrix output is a series of growth strategies suggested that sets business strategy direction.

Porter’s strategies

What strategies firms choose and how they compete are significant questions to an economy. Answers to these questions helps in explaining a firm’s successful and un-successful competitive positions and moves. Moreover, it helps a firm in understanding the causes of its worst and better performance. Firm’s competitiveness improved understanding serves as an input in improving policies with regards to competition and related challenges. Improved policies provide a support that is valuable in developing markets and businesses. Given the competition significance, it is essential for businesses to identify strategies that are more competitive such as the Porter’s model of 1980, 1998 and 2004. The model focuses on three generic competitive strategies such as cost leadership, differentiation and focus (Ormanidhi & Stringa, 2008, p.55).

Porter (1980, p.11-15) argues that, the strength of a firm falls into one of the following headings: differentiation and cost advantage. Innocent company uses product differentiation to remain competitive in the market. Through product differentiation strategy, Innocent has developed products that offer its consumers an attribute that is unique. The unique attributes are highly valued by their customers as they view them to be better off than those of the company’s competitors. The unique attributes are such as the use of natural fruits and packaging designs. As a result of the unique attributes, the company has been able to charge premium prices for their products. Through the allocated budget, the company should be able to access effective scientific research, recruit and train a team that is creative in terms of product development and also put in place a strong sales and marketing team to communicate successfully the products perceived strengths.

The IMC Campaign

The IMC Role in marketing management

The concept

IMC (Integrated marketing communications) puts emphasis on the advantages of harnessing synergies across various types of media in order to build product and services brand equity. Practitioners and theoreticians have embraced the IMC concept and it is firmly well-established in marketing. IMC is defined by the American Association of Advertising agencies as a marketing communications planning concept that recognizes the comprehensive plan added value. The comprehensive plan helps in evaluating the strategic roles of various communication disciplines. For instance, direct response, general advertising, public relations and sales promotion. The IMC joins these disciplines to provide consistency, clarity and maximum impacts of communication (Schultz, 1993, p.17).

IMC is a tool that is extremely powerful in terms of reaching a company’s target audiences with messages that are persuasive. There exist debates among academicians with regards to IMC scope and nature (Gould, 2000, p.25). Over a long period of time, marketers have had the privilege of selecting the perfect combination of various elements of promotion mix in order to be successful in competitive situations that are specific. The combination is done based on the following elements such as personal selling, advertisement, publicity, word of mouth, sales promotion and other significant tools that attracts awareness, attention and creates an image.

The greatest strength that IMC has is its flexibility. An IMC that is finely crafted helps in influencing target audiences that in most cases are unreachable (McCarthy 2005). In addition to that, if handled well IMC can reflect a combination of elements that are unique depending on the situation of the promotion. This is because of its effectiveness and versatility. The new millennium came in with an era of unparalleled choice of consumers and marketers unparalleled challenges. Despite the marketers recognition of the broadcast entertainment industry fracturing, current events have pushed boundaries that are traditional beyond their expectations. The cable television widespread availability offering hundreds of entertainment channels caters for a variety of tastes. As a result, traditional television networks have been humbled greatly.

In the light of the above, marketers no longer exhibit effective and reliable ways of reaching the mass markets. On the contrary, the situation might not be catastrophic since they can still hit their niches. The availability of various television channels in numerous locations provides opportunities that are narrow casting and have the potential of reaching specific audiences interested in topics that are specific. For instance, audiences are not only interested in sports but also in sports that are specific like soccer and tennis. However, commercial avoidance by viewers diminishes specificity benefits. Hence, the reason why marketers are pursuing ways that gets the attention of the consumers outside events being deemed as effective. Consumers’ attending various events such as sports gets immersed in it and participates actively in the experience.

In comparison to broadcast media encounter, events are quite distinct. For instance, they are always interactive as the crowds can complain, cheer or catch a ball that is foul. Such events interactivity illustrates that consumers experiences an involvement heightened by the situation. As such, they may attend to advertising stimuli or cues at the event that are marketers programmed. Involvement is extremely significant to any marketing communication that wants to be successful. The principal reason why word of mouth and personal selling are more effective than publicity and advertising is because of their perceived involvement (Digital Strategy Consulting, 2009). Flexibility and effective use of elements by IMC’S provides promotion managers with a wide range of useful applications. Due to the increased growth effects of environmental factors, marketers need to exploit IMC’S flexibility for purposes of reaching their target audiences (Pitta et al., 2006, p.156).

In the light of the above, marketing communications plays a significant role in maintaining and building stakeholder’s relationship. In addition to that, it helps in promoting these relationships with reference to channel and brand equity. Promotions and advertising of brands helps in driving sales volume and traffic, whilst marketing outcomes and efforts are managed and measured at the brand level (Dawar, 2004, p.31). As a matter of fact, in response to competitive moves that are short term, various firms use their brand. For Integrated Marketing and Communication to be successful, there is need for an organization to understand the relationship that exists between market orientation (MO), brand orientation (BO) and IMC as shown in the figure below.

Intersection of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) and Market and Brand Orientation
Source: Mike et al. (2005, p.12).

According to the figure above, the organization culture is represented by market orientation through market concept adoption and processes and systems that underlie the market being oriented (Harris, 1998, p.110). The business unit or functional unit is represented by brand orientation. This section focuses on company’s brands strategies and brands. The brand strategies are often in support of stakeholder and customer relationship regardless the state of the brand (Bridson & Evans, 2004, p.403). In this model IMC represents the establishment of integrated marketing communications for purposes of achieving stated communication and brand objectives and providing the bridge between the strategy of the brand and actions put in place with the aim of building essential stakeholder and customer relationship.

In summary, IMC involves a couple of processes. Thereby, indicating that all departments in an organization that interacts with strategic stakeholders and customers must work collectively and share a similar understanding in order to develop brand relationships that are long-term. The IMC should shift its focus from customer target audiences to the involvement of principal stakeholders such as the social community, the media, distributors, suppliers, investors and employees. Effective and successful IMC should have the following characteristics: it should be more strategic in comparison to execution, should not only focus promotional messages, sales and advertising but also include one-way as well as two-way communication. Furthermore it should be result oriented.

Despite the significance of implementing IMC procedures, majority of companies’ organization structure restricts or burs its successful implementation. According to Percy (1997, p.225), the existing organizational structural barriers to integrated marketing communication concepts are such as: the absence of horizontal communication, decentralisation, functional specialisation, lack of expertise and IMC planning, inadequate budget, fear of change, corporate culture and absence of database technology. In that case, these barriers need to be assessed by various firms and clearly understood for purposes of facilitating the implementation of IMC within an organization.

The IMC changing Nature

The IMC focus is being driven by the marketing communications ongoing global changes in the business environment. There is the need to improve on the effectiveness of the strategies of marketing communication. The changes are such as sophisticated customer database development, mass media fragmentation, new customer acquisition costs, customer defection, the correlation between above and below line of activities and consumer response changes to traditional approaches and tools of communication

The concept applied to Innocent Company

Integrated Marketing Communication has been viewed as a communications philosophy that is emerging and a process of strategic management of various companies. The IMC is used to manage the development of strong brands. When consumers become aware of smoothies varieties, styles and region, they tend to specify their demands. As such, their demands correspond to a range of consumption and life style situations. Consumers who are informed have a greater capacity of trading between brand labels and brands price that offers superior value. On other hand, un-informed consumers relies more on brand label cues and communications to make their smoothies choices amongst competitive level high activity.

Innocent company faces aggressive competition from other companies in the industry. However, through the use of web technology, print media, and tradition method of advertising, the company has been able to strategically coordinate company messages and brand based on the understanding of value perception by consumers (Kitchen and Schultz 1999). In the global soft drinks and smoothies industry context, understanding of consumers’ view of value requires a wide range of professionals in marketing communications. The professionals should have a greater understanding of the company’s target consumers and the manner in which sales activity and brands building are supported by marketing communications. Innocent company does not have a target market because they have been unable to split the needs of the elderly population. However, its employees possess various expertises thus making the company to increase in its sells volume.

The increasing retail power and brand competition has triggered the need for the company to adopt IMC. Worldly, competition is increasingly becoming more fierce as brand new products gets into the principal markets and the traditional and existing producers improves on product quality, viticulture practices and of great significance, brand communication and marketing skills. In summary, Innocent Company marketers are required to channel more attention to competitive marketing strategies. The strategies will be essential in providing the company with some form of sustainable advantage in the globally competitive environment (Howley 1990; Spawton, 1990). Appropriate application of IMC will enable the company in achieving a superior market position. In addition to that, it will facilitate the competitive market strategies implementation. Innocent Company adoption of IMC will enhance the development and creation of strong brands. Consequently, it will be able to access both channels of partners and customers and brand positioning to deliver a value that is superior to more knowledgeable and assertive consumers.

IMC Performance Objective

The IMC objective is to develop the range of Innocent smoothie. Given the fact that this is a highly successful product in the UK market, the scope of the product to grow through the development of market such as new customer’s acquisition is limited. Therefore, the IMC objective is to focus on the products growth via product penetration amongst the targets that exists. Specifically, the IMC role is to shift the perceptions of the consumer with reference to occasions they might take smoothies. This is done with an overall aim of encouraging people to incorporate the drink in their daily activities. The objective needs to be fulfilled in one year’s time after the repositioning of the product in the UK market.

Consumers Profile

The means-end approach

The 20th century is characterized with technological, social and cultural change and innovation. This is in terms of mixture of communication means, the internet, interpersonal interaction space, shopping and business. The significant growth of customer value in marketing literature is nothing new. The application of customer values has always been related to brand and product strategies such as positing and differentiation, which helps a company such as Innocent in gaining competitive advantage over its rivals (Dibley & Baker, 2001; Gutman 1981; Vriens & Hofsede 2000). This has been used as a means of establishing segmentation strategies as a tool that is extremely powerful in the creation of communication strategies and constructing of a powerful explanation of the behaviour of consumers and their attitudes determinants.

The means-end theory argues that the manner in which customers relates with a product can be portrayed by the use of three interconnected levels of hierarchical model. The three levels are such as personal values, products attributes and consequences of its use. The model helps in the interpretation and analysis of how consumers perceive a company’s product or service as self-reliant and how it impacts on their daily lives such as the Innocent smoothies which improves their life as it is healthy and made form natural products rather than food concentrates.

Basic structure of a means-end chain

Basic structure of a means-end chain

Decision making process

Consumers often undergo various stages before they purchase the innocent smoothies. The decision purchasing processes are as shown in the figure below.

The decision purchasing processes.

Need for recognition: Company marketers often make efforts in making consumers to see the need of purchasing their products

Searching for information: Through the use of both print and electronic media, customers search for information to find out if the products offered adequately satisfy their needs.

Evaluation of product: Since it is not the innocent company that produces smoothies, a consumer may design an evaluation criterion which might aid him or her in choosing the product that satisfies her needs. For instance, the product may be evaluated in terms of size, price, contents and packaging material. After, evaluation the customer makes a decision on which product to purchase and from which store. The next step is post purchase use and evaluation. This is the stage where the consumer has already acquired the product and finding out if it matches with the first hand information he had. Majority of companies try very hard not to disappoint their customers. This is through offering of warrant and having sales and marketing person to help the consumer’s in case of any need in terms of the product. The last process is about the product disposal. Innocent company being environment conscious recycles its products. The smoothie bottles after being used they are recycled and reused again thus minimizing company’s production costs.

Segmentation Strategies

There exist various segmentation strategies that can be used by Innocent market to segment its market. A market segment consists of people with similar characteristics. In addition to that, the product demand always depends on the functions and price of the product. A perfect market segment should exhibit specific qualities such as being distinct from those of its competitors, be accessible using a variety of market interventions. The target group for innocent drinks is adults and young children in the market. The company has not yet established strategies that targets individuals who are old. Therefore, the company is required to segment its market with respect to age. This will make it able to provide its consumers with services that are effective.

For example, Innocent Company needs to offer smoothies to adults aged forty-five (45yrs) and above years. Innocent Company currently does not have a market segment that is specific. As a result, it is extremely difficult for the company to meet the needs of its client. The segmentation of the market with respect to age will enable it to develop products that satisfy the needs of various customers in distinct segments. Customers who are elderly require products that are distinct from those offered to young populations. In that case, the company needs to align the product of the company with the elderly customers expectations via the the adoption of segmentation strategies that are right (Dunbar & McDonald 2004).

Branding Issues

Positioning Strategy

Innocent company is required to use distinct positioning strategies in case it needs to target its products. To begin with, the company can use the features of the product to position its products. A company is supposed to identify the products best features and use them in product positioning. Therefore, Innocent Company should select the smoothies nutritional features in order to sell the products. The company should also take a step create awareness among the public on the smoothies health benefits. Moreover, it should use IMC strategies to make individuals acknowledge that Innocent smoothies are hundred percent (100%) made of fruits and are non-carbonated. As such, they are from high fat and sugar contents. In addition to that, the company can make use of the consumers in product positioning. Thus, the company has to design products for users that are specific. For instance, the elderly people should be provided with smoothies that satisfies their needs. Similarly, the young people and children should be provided with their own smoothies. In the United Kingdom, the company make use of user strategy for product positioning. This is because the company produces products for adults and young kids (Luther, 2001).

Communication and Campaign strategy

Smoothies of Innocent Company has an extensive assortment of campaign objectives. The firm has aims to extend its product line. Being the chief product for the company, more product lines are being innovated. For example, guest smoothies and seasonal smoothies. Going by the name, seasonal goes by the different seasons. Presently, the firm aims young adults and children. Furthermore, the firm has plans to extend the product line in an effort to satisfy the needs and preference of other individuals in the community such as the elderly. Besides, another goal is to attain a rivalry advantage. The firm has desires to promote Smoothies’ brand to be in a position to rival with other companies in the industry (Aaker & McLoughlin, 2010; p. 123).

Likewise, Innocent Smoothies has plans to take some of its products to the foreign markets. The most preferable foreign market is the Australian market. This will enable the company to improve on its sales revenue and its production by approximately 68.5 % in the subsequent four years. Consequently, the firm intends to export about 60% of its Smoothies product to Australia in the four ensuing years. The firms marketing strategies and objectives are in line with the company’s mission of involvement in innovation as the unsurpassed tradition in the industry of foods and drinks. The implementation of this will involve proper product communication through efficient promotional mix, which include; advertising, sales promotion and proficient public relation.

Communication messages

The main aim of introducing Smoothies in the market is to reduce the risks associated with unhealthy lifestyles. Hence the campaign dubbed ‘here to save the peckish’, intends to inform the potential consumers that the product has the ability to improve on their diet content especially during seasonal celebrations such as Christmas. The main objective is to capture about 66% of the existing market share and to improve on the real fame while staying genuine to its brand image. As a result, the company intends to invest over £2.7m in the marketing campaign that will run throughout the year.

Promotional Mix

Advertising

The firm intends to employ various advertising media such as TV, posters and digital adverts that will be anchored by developed website, on-pack, and in-store and i-phone usage. A move that was instigated in the year 2000, Innocent UK found Smoothie product brand with a market segment of 75% intends to grow by a further 14%. Compared to the previous growth of 11% in 2010, the firm has intentions to sustain the brand’s market as the chief player in the food & drinks Industry. The target market for the adverts on various media will be majorly kids hence the launch of innocent kids’ website. The website will promote various initiatives undertaken to reach out to millions of children in planting and harvesting their own farms of fruits. Easy to grow seeds will be distributed to the kids, a platform for kids to upload their own photos of progress for their plants and green houses to host a variety of competitions and gardening tips. In addition, Innocent makes of the phrase ‘Super fruit’ to imply its unique range of fruit juices and its legacy of un-eddy advert.

Public Relations

The company has one of the most popular brands which attract so much constructive publicity that is very remarkable. The public relation team comprises of two members who have built the reputation of the firm’s products to great fame in the country. There is a huge connection between the size of the internal affairs of the company and the level of publicity by the organization. If the company adopted principles of public relations in the entire firm then the role of the existing public relation team will only have to handle the engagements by the media. This might involve reacting to questions raised, organizing for interviews and other press events. The two members of the company are doing greatly in this area to enhance positive public opinion of the company. On the contrary, it might be ill of them if they would share the corporate level of opinion on day to day basis in regard to public relations. This would be detrimental to the company at large as to amount to lack of transparency.

Sales Promotion

The company has devised various sales promotional activities in an effort to boast new markets of its products. Innocent smoothies will use restaurants, supermarkets and other appropriate entertainment places to promote the sales of its products. The supermarkets will have the smoothie products displayed at convenient visible places to ensure potential target customers see the products. This method of product promotion will increase the awareness of its products’ brand among the potential consumers. Restaurants will have their menus structured in such a manner to hasten marketability of the products. More to the point, smoothie brand could be used in meal offers in increasing the awareness and creating customer loyalty to the product brand. For example, the firm’s strategy could be based in offering clients smoothies at a cheaper price if they buy a meal.

In sales promotion, the element of place is very significant. All firms are obliged to make sure their product and services are accessible to the consumers at an appropriate time and place. Innocent Smoothie must place their products in convenient places such as restaurants and supermarkets. For example, Innocent smoothie should aim supermarkets and chain stores where its target consumers frequently visit. In fact, where adults, old aged and children shop from time to time. This will ease the accessibility of the products by customers. Right positioning and placement of products enables the firm to upgrade on its strategy of positioning. It provides assurance to the firm to place their products in the right location for easier accessibility (Weisten, 2004; p.71).

Marketing Proposal to venture in Australia

By evaluating the major events and strategies of Innocent drinks firm, it is now feasible to conduct an innovation for a marketing strategy that can be used to distribute product brand in Australia. Since the company has a positive brand image, it is possible to sustain the strategy in a recessionary. Besides is apparent that the depression has molded consumers into a sense of being more responsive to pricing mechanisms which demands that Innocent firm must push their worth for money. Moreover, the company is experiencing the hardships in stiff rivalry with other firms in the United Kingdom. In addition, the Australian firm is Nudies has similar products to Innocent’s production. In this line of thinking, various strategies have to be applied in entering the Australian market which must be considered by Innocent Smoothies production.

Strategies to be used by Innocent Drinks Smoothies

A part from pricing strategies Innocent Drinks Smoothies can make use of the preceding tactics:

Worth for money

Apparently, consumers who lack well paying jobs posses very little amount of cash to use owing to their low-income level. As a result, their buying behavior is restricted to the level of income they have. To trigger an increase in their buying behavior, Innocent Smoothies must apply the use of Buy-One-Get-One-Free. Through this strategy, the firm will minimize on their level of holding inventory and further reduce the height of price sensitivity among the consumers. Since the worth for their money has been provided to them, their buying behavior will be improved even with the little income at their disposal. A similar tactic can be used in Australian market which will see the demand for Innocent Smoothies increasing tremendously (Cottrell, 2008; p. 37; Brassington & Pettitt 2006)

Exceptional flavors to premium supermarkets

New products with exceptional taste can be invented by Innocent Drinks to stand as product of constricted flavor. Upon the establishment of this product the company should therefore proceed to invent good deals with a variety of premium superstores in Australia. A good example of the superstore is the Coles Superstore where Innocent Company can inquire for a suitable position to place their products for sale. This tactic would increase the level of sales revenue in the supermarkets hence enhancing the product brand penetration in the competitive market. This tactic increases the awareness of the product brand by Australian consumers which then boosts the level of sales. It is not a must for the supermarkets to be premium stores, this tactic can also be used for non-premium supermarkets. For those target consumers who can afford the products, this tactic is very instrumental in boasting sales for the company at large.

Investing into new products for the elderly

According to the Australian Bureau of statistics (2011; p. 517), the country is currently in fundamental transition as a result of the increasing population of the elderly in the nation which has an impact on the policies in the economic and social sector. This therefore is the right moment for innocent to invest into this type of market environment. Invention of drinks which suits the elderly is essential in promoting the products among the old aged in Australia. First, the products of the firm can be tested in the United Kingdom market and later on drive the products to Australia.

According to Mintel Group (2008; p. 61) a preposition had been provided concerning the population of people between 45 to 54 years of age being projected to go up. Therefore, Innocent firm must heavily consider new products that will be appropriate for the ages beyond 34 years of age. Fort instance, the company might invent a product with the name Innocent Ancient Smoothie. The flavors injected into the product could those that foster the level of memory among the old. This is because most old people prefer mostly recipes with traditional flavor such as ginger, artichoke, sage or rosemary, which helps them remember their youthful life.

Investment into restaurant and resorts menus

There are numerous famous restaurants in Australia of which Innocent can consider forming alliances with. Such restaurants include; Y bar, Two Wheeler Creek, Sage café, Bistro, Bluestone, Best, De Groots and Marron. This implies that the company can enter into several agreements with the various links of restaurants to have their products incorporated in their menus for accessibility by the consumers. The customers can obtain the products from the restaurants accompanied by meals through different offers which may be deemed appropriate by the two parties in the agreement. For instance, the firm can bargain with the hotels to offer half cost for the drinks which go along with the meals. Eventually the company will be boosting healthy living through nutritious meals such as vegetable salads and fruit salad. An improvement in sales would then be observed which will also mutually promote the level of sales in the restaurants (Dodds, 2009; p. 89)

Innocent Alcohol free cocktails

Invention of new product brands without alcohol flavor but with other flavors can be intrinsic for the company. The major benefit will be to capture the market segment which comprises of non-alcohol consumers. Besides, the varying tastes and preferences have a hand to play in this invention. Even though it might be challenging to incorporate this into the smoothies’ products, most customers who have a notion that the company promotes a healthy living, will be more than delighted by this development. Cocktails with Smoothies without alcohol will more than important if the consumers are elderly because non-alcohol content is essential for their health.

Conclusion

Innocent smoothies are a company that can make maximum use of its marketing strategies without necessarily interfering with the cost of the products. The attention is shifted towards the unmentioned demographics, picking an appropriate channel such as restaurant and superstores and new product creation. Efficient execution of these tactics in the European and Australian market base, the company stands to benefit more of being victors and attaining a very efficient rivalry advantage in the long-run. Therefore, all stakeholders are required to join hands in making the brand a success in the foreign and local markets as it calls for collective responsibility in the success of the brand.

Campaign Delivery and recommendations

Innocent Smoothie Promotional financial details

Innocent products have the largest market share in the foods and drinks industry in the United Kingdom. A variety of factors have a part to play in the market share. First and foremost, the variation in the habits of eating among the nationalities of United Kingdom has resulted into a surge in demand of the firm’s products. The big market share is owed to solid strategies of marketing and awareness of the brand in the firm. The company makes use of different market strategies to trade its products such as internet marketing and ancient marketing. This has fostered many consumers to be aware of the product so as to sustain the big market share.

Consequently, the reported net income in 2010 was a bout £ 128 million. This is the highest profit ever to be achieved which is linked to ample strategies of marketing in the firm and top quality product brands. Most consumers have preference for smoothies as opposed to other rivals’ products which has triggered the trend of making more and more profits for the firm. For instance, dating back to 2007 the firm recorded sales revenue equaling to £ 134 million. Nonetheless, the revenues slumped in 2008 owing to the extreme financial crisis in the country. Most companies were highly affected by the economic crunch where the innocent smoothie was not left out. Its volume of sales went low due to lower demand (Aaker & McLoughlin, 2010; p.59).

Marketing strategies

Market strategy is a step taken by a company which helps it to evaluate how it applies its handy resources to mould with the variations within the marketing background from which it carries its functions. A firm has an obligation to repeatedly execute and mould the various form of market strategies to benefit and sustain a rivalry upper hand over its competitors. Examples of market strategies may involve the capability of the firm to form a consumer product that is more eye- catching and enticing to the final customers at the focus of other comparable and cut-throat products.

The current world business is increasingly becoming very competitive which demands companies to adapt to the revolution through developing marketing strategies that are aligned to the environment in which they conduct their activities. Modification to the environmental changes comprise of executing strategies of marketing which are very critical to the triumph of the business and perpetuity of the company. These strategies are built via the method of effective organization and planning on the factors which would control the operations of the company in marketing plans. A company has to make efforts to find ways of using the resources available in ascertaining that these resources are proficiently applied for the betterment of environmental adaptation from which the firm operates under.

A section of the strategies of marketing comprise of variations in the promotional mix, modification of pricing techniques, strategy of distributing products, branding plans, creation of products and distinction strategy and variations in the sales plans among other strategies. These strategies are harmonized for the objective of fulfilling the company’s goals of marketing. The plan/pattern of management and the marketing strategies are collectively reliant factors which have a goal to provide a replication of the make-up of the firm. This therefore implies that any company which is product based has a propensity to accustom to the tactic which are in line with the goods being offered.

Marketing strategy analysis for Innocent Smoothies

A huge number of organizations globally, whether big or small, are tirelessly searching for strategies that can bring about dependable promotion which is booming to the business. This one element has made Innocent firm a maker of smoothie to attain high rivalry and strong categories. It should be noted that the strategies applied Innocent are not that mysterious neither are they unattainable. This is because these are procedures which any firm can emulate to innovate brands of fresh labels. The traditions and ethics of the firm it to give goods established from pure and new fruits to the customers. This has been an element of the organization that has constituted the innocent smoothie. The notion of the company is that any good it produces, it must have tastes and provides the customer a nice emotion. The firm also pays attention on the dangers of using chemical additions, additives and concentrates in the drink brands.

Smoothies are the major product brand for Innocent Drinks firm. Nonetheless, the life of Innocent Drinks has not been an easy affair. The firm has encountered different challenges like variations in the consumer’s tastes and preferences. These problems have been experienced by the firm since its initiation. The local market share of the company stands at 65% with a formidable labor force of 278. The top senior management is found in the United Kingdom with a market turnover of over £ 100 million. Another main challenge the firm is facing is the new competitors’ entry threat. Therefore, the firm has put its main focus on the discipline, recruitment, extension of the product line and sustenance of its workers.

The initiators of the firm have devised methods of marketing tactics that will enhance its ability to compete perfectly with the upcoming rivals. The most important element is in the way the company does its product packaging. The packaging is so attractive hence leading to more constructive response from the consumers in connection to its attractiveness. The furtive lying behind this method of packaging is that in general humans are always attracted to good and interesting items. Therefore, Innocent has used this strategy in staying connected to the existing market. The firm’s reasonability is to create a significant product line found on the consumers’ health and items individuals are fascinated by.

Segmentation strategies

In segmenting its market, companies are exposed to a variety of segmentation strategies do exist. A segmented market is that consisting of individuals with similar descriptions but different buying behavior. For example, in the energy sector we have the domestic distribution of energy and the industrial distribution of energy; though need the energy for more less similar uses. Moreover, the insurance market has individuals with same needs for product and services but the pricing of the product is found on the capability of the individual and the use of the products. There are certain features that a real market segment must have. First and foremost, the segment must be distinct from the other market segment. The segments must be accessed via different interventions in the market. In this respect, Innocent smoothies aim adults and young children in the market. Currently there are no clear-cut strategies to reach out to the old population. The firm is then needed to fragment the market in line with age to be in a position to provide efficient services and products. For example, the firm can decide to provide smoothie’s products and soft drinks to consumers above 45 years of age.

At present, the firm lacks particular market partition and this has resulted into poor satisfaction of the customer needs. The strategy of market segmentation will foster the company to fragment its market share into a variety of partitions. In turn the company will be in a position to improve on its product growth hence the customer’s needs will be met due to awareness. Old aged customers will require products that are unique from the young consumers. Therefore, the firm must connect the firm’s product line with the anticipations of the old aged consumers. Ultimately, the organization must embrace an appropriate strategy of segmentation (Dunbar & McDonald, 2004; p.93).

Targeting strategies

A side from segmentation tactics, there is target strategies which can be used to develop rivalry benefit and also acquire the customer’s needs. Upon identifying the market segmentation the firm has objectives to discover the target tactic to apply. This form of strategy helps the firm to aim to reach out to the segment of the market that requires fulfilling the needs of the customer. Different strategies exist for which the company can make use of in aiming for their target market segment. One of the strategies is concentration strategy of marketing, selective marketing and undifferentiated strategy of marketing. Innocent smoothie can make use of the concentration strategy to aim for its market. One way of permitting the firm to aim for one market is the Niche strategy. For example, the firm can decide to choose the young consumers as it has been in the past.

A variety of benefits do exist for niche strategy. One of the benefits is that it fosters sales increase in the organization. There is a general presumption by the company that consumer’s needs are the same. Nevertheless, this kind of tactic can have an impact on the sales and the satisfaction of many consumers. This is because most consumers might not really go for standardized product but they go a product that satisfies its needs. At present the firm does make use of the undifferentiated strategy which makes it a challenge to meet customers’ demands. The best tactic to use for innocent product brands is the niche and differentiated strategy. The company will be in a position a specific niche. The firm will then achieve the ability to understand customer’s needs (Luther, 2001; p.61).

Positioning strategy

The firm requires application of apply various strategies of positioning in the market to aim its products. The firm might use the features of a product to position its products. A firm is under jurisdiction to ensure its products are positioned in the household. In this scenario, the firm must pool its nutritional characteristics of smoothies in order to make a rational decision to sell or not educate its customers on the benefits and health hence using this as a platform to position its products. A range of health gains in comparison to other product brand distributed in the market. The products are not susceptible to risks of health for the elderly due to their low level of sugar and fat content. Therefore, the product is more appropriate for the old aged consumers. Besides, the products do not make use of carbon and other additives to preserve the products hence healthy for every consumer. In addition, the firm can make use the consumer to position its products. Thus, the firm must put a design in such a way that it is specific for different uses.

Marketing Mix

It is very important for every firm to have an efficient marketing mix. This enables the company to sale their products and services successfully. The type of the marketing mix applied in a company dictates the level of productivity and consumer satisfaction. Organizations that are able to use elements of marketing mix in an affluent manner make it easier for them to gain more customers and retain the existing cliché of customers. Conversely, those organizations that do not use the elements of marketing mix in a better way will find it hard to acquire more customers and grow their level of productivity. Most organizations such as Innocent Drinks have in the recent times found it difficult to incorporate the elements of marketing mix in their operations. Therefore, the company finds it a challenge to distribute products, upgrade their products and sustain their customers. It can be noted that Innocent smoothie only makes use of one of the 7 Ps of the elements of marketing mix. That is the product.

As a result the organization has always maintained the quality of the product and its uniqueness. In so doing, an exceptional marketing proposition by promoting the production of the goods and its packaging. The goods produced by the firm are specifically fresh fruits manufactured hence the term used by the firm ‘always100% fruits’ the packaging of the smoothies is done using transparent package that is unique from the rivals (Sengupta, 2005; p.159). Therefore, the company should make use of the 7Ps to upgrade on the products manufactured and ascertain the firm’s ability to attain its objectives of marketing. The 7Ps of marketing mix comprise of place, product, price, process, promotion, people and physical evidence. Notably, most companies make use of price, promotion, place and product otherwise what they term as the 4Ps of marketing mix. The 4Ps have enabled the organizations to produce constructive outcome because positioning strategies are enhanced.

Synchronizing on the elements, one of the Ps refers to people. Companies have a duty to hire the right people so as to guarantee efficient services and better quality products. Moreover, companies must provide their staff with an appropriate training so as to upgrade on the level of competence and expertise. Hiring the right staff and proper training enable the company to acquire a rivalry advantage. This is due to an increased level of innovation and creativity among the employees. Thus they are in a position to improve on the promotional tactics and positioning tactics. Judgment is made by consumers based on the product’s quality which is instilled by the employees. Therefore, it is a necessity for the employees to posses’ appropriate attitude and skills in order to promote satisfaction among the customers. Innocent Drinks must therefore adapt the other Ps by recruiting the right staff to promote the level of creativity and innovativeness. This will sum up to the value on the products being provided and assure of a better quality of the products. It will also enable the firm to improve on the level of its sales revenue.

Another P stands for the processes used in the company. Process is used to recognize the structure and systems that are applied by the firm offer its products and services. Innocent Drink like any other company has in place systems that are applied in producing smoothie and other soft drinks to its consumers. The firm must therefore, make efforts to upgrade its processes in order to provide the best quality services and goods. Developing the processes in the company will enable it to achieve its corporate objectives such as improving on the sale revenue and establishing an awareness of the brand. The organization must be in a position to provide faster services in different outlets where its goods are being marketed. For example, the restaurants where their smoothies are promoted must receive the products at the right time to guarantee customer satisfaction (Sengupta, 2005; p.121).

Physical evidence is another element of marketing mix. It is used to connote to the location where the products are being produced. Most companies are judged by consumers based on the physical evidence. Those companies with relevant physical evidence find it simpler to pool in more customers since the consumers rate the company highly. In contrast, the companies that do not have better physical evidence normally find it complicated to entice more customers because the consumers do not have preferences in buying from them. In turn this has an impact on the level of productivity of the companies. Most consumers anticipate the locations where the goods and services are being presented for sale to be friendly and tidy.

For example, consumers have expectations that restaurants and other eating-places must be tidy and friendly in order to buy goods from the place. In this respect, Innocent Drinks must focus their attention on the physical evidence to be in a position to attract more customers. The supermarkets must also be tidy and have an appropriate environment to purchase the products. In keeping the restaurants and supermarkets tidy, the firm will advance on its positioning tactic enabling it to position its products and services appropriately. Besides, the organization will be in a position to improve on its sales revenue and perception of the firm as the consumers will perceive the organization positively (Weisten, 2004; p.11)

What’s more, there is pricing as another significant marketing mix element. Through pricing, profits are generated in any company. Pricing is also meant to promote other elements of marketing mix such as product design and product promotion. Coming up with price for a commodity is not usually an easy going hence it must always reveal the connection between the supply and demand for that commodity. There are elements which pricing mechanism must take into consideration. These include; company’s goals and the positioning tactic used in the firm. Besides, the customers willing to purchase the product must be considered and the level of competition present in the market. Innocent Drinks lacks efficient pricing mechanisms as the product being offered are affected. This goes to an extent where the product price cannot be modified to achieve the customers’ expectations which affects the sales revenue. It is therefore necessary for the firm to use the newly adopted pricing tactic to promote reduction of cost for the smoothies during low demand for the product (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2008; p. 51).

Enhancing the product in the organization will enable the firm to achieve the wants of the consumers in the market segment. The firm will aim various types of customers in the market place. For instance, the elderly customers who fall in the bracket of over 45 years will be targeted. Besides, children and adults who fall below 45 years will also be targeted using the market segmentation. The firm must therefore provide smoothie products suitable for children and elderly segment of customers. For example, cocktails can be given to consumers below the age of 45 years. On the other side, through innovation the firm should find ways of modifying its products that will suit the elderly. It must be cautioned that the elderly customers must not have their smoothies designed with alcohol as this increase the vulnerability to heart illness. Packaging must also be done in such a manner to suit the two markets segment-elderly and the children.

Eventualities and controls

In process of campaign delivery various factors might affect the execution process in a negative way. These might to a large extent influence objectives of marketing and the company at large in the elements discussed earlier. Implementation of the marketing plan is impaired by inadequate resources within the company. This might in turn affect the results of the marketing strategy. For instance, lack of adequate resources prevents Innocent Drinks from expansion and penetration into the foreign firms. Apparently, most companies prefer to form mergers and alliances with foreign organization to minimize on the impact of financial risks involved in expansion into export markets in general. Through mergers, companies ease the methods of venturing into foreign market segments. Elimination of financial risks through mergers ensures proper execution of the marketing strategies. It is however a necessity for the company to have alternative sources of money and a wide assortment of investment. Investments ad ventures are usually sources of funds for organization which can enable the organization to obtain loans from banks in an ample way.

The process of execution can also be affected by inadequate skilled and expertise employees. Adequate skills and expertise is needed in strategies of marketing specifically in the process of designing and positioning tactics. Therefore, employees must posses the necessary skills and expertise to implement. Competency is required in exportation and handling of documents and overcoming challenges. Inadequate technology is also another factor to put into consideration during the process of implementation. Innocent Drinks Company needs technology to invent the right product in the right quality. Thus, the organization must venture heavily in the level of technology to attain satisfaction of customers (Weisten, 2004; p. 33).

The Campaign budget

The estimated cost for the various product promotion mix is follows

Table 1. Cost estimates.

Activity Amount
Extension of the product line £600
Sales Promotion activities £500
Improving the restaurants and the supermarkets where the customers get the smoothies and creation of an ample public relation £600
Advertisement £1000
Total £2700

Table 2. Calendar of marketing activities.

Marketing Strategies Start date – finishing date
Developing new products line and enhancing the packaging 12/08/2011-9/12/2012
Enhancement of the company brand 10/11/2011-12/010/2012
Promotion of restaurants and supermarkets 13/03/2012-23/09/2012
Designing a pricing strategy 24/09/2012-10/07/2013

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The estimates projected above were determined through reference to the previous budget. Provision for inflation was given owing to the recent economic crunch that ripped through the country in 2008. The timeline for the product promotion has been provided in the table 2. As it can be clearly seen the strategies of creating new product brand and promoting its packaging began last year in mid August. The strategy is expected to be through by early December this year as indicated in the table. The estimated cost for the activities will be about £1000 for the entire period indicated.

Sales promotion

Sales promotion to enhance the company brand will cost about £500 and it will run for about 11 months. The process began on 10th November 2011 and it is expected to end on 12th October 2012. Trained and qualified Salesmen and sales ladies will be used to market the products where they will be paid based on commission. Other avenues that will be used include proper displays in supermarkets and restaurants for easy access and brand awareness by potential target customers. The restaurants will have smoothies on their menus to create brand awareness among the target consumers. The expectations by the firm are that the company’s products will have achieved customer loyalty to guarantee adequate sales revenues. Designing of the pricing strategy is also essential in the calendar of events of the firm. This is expected to last for about 10 month in order to determine a price that will be favorable for either segments of the market. This is expected to cost the company a further £600.

Public relation

Various activities to enhance public relation will attract a total cost of £600 which will be driven towards public press, media interviews and other activities that can enhance the image of the company in the general public. In fact, the two main personnel behind this are currently working towards a one year project that will see to it that the reputation of Smoothies is high to promote its sales and customer loyalty. This will involve media relations, providing guidance to the human resource department on the qualities of employees they recommend would be appropriate to build the image of the firm on the product brand. Cooperation among key players in the organization is required to trigger this project to its highest level.

Total cost for the budget

The total cost for the promotion activities will be approximately £2700. This comprises of cumulatively the cost of the entire promotion mix. The cost will be funded majorly by the investment the company has put in the firm and associate other firms.

Recommendations

The table below provides a summary of the important recommendations and the resultant outcome derived from the strategies recommended.

Idea Ethics Scale Ease Speed Cost Profit Strategy
1.Strategic Pricing Yes OK Simple Quick Low No Destructive
2.Innocent Tradition Ok Poss. inflexible extended lofty Yes trivial Risk
3.Premium supermarkets Ok Yes Med Med Med Yes Ok
4.Innocent Cocktails threat Yes inflexible Long High Yes potential
Risk
5.Restaurant Menu Ok Yes Med

UK Smoothie Market

United Kingdom imaginative and re-forecast retail sales of smoothies
United Kingdom imaginative and re-forecast retail sales of smoothies, by value, 2003-2013. (Source: Mintel Group, 2009).

The graph shows the effect of inflation on the sales revenue of smoothies in the UK market. The estimates reveal a gradual and steady increase in the sales revenue over the years. Besides, the trend in market growth can be seen to dwindle in the year 2010 though a steady increase is estimated from 2011 onwards. The slight drop is perhaps as a result of competitors influence who are flooding the market at an alarming rate.

Competitor Analysis

The following summary gives a brief comparison of the major competitors and their share in the current market.

2006 2007 2008 (est.) % change
£m % £m % £m % 2006-08
Innocent 96 59 141 66 154 63 +60.4
PJs 23 14 25 12 27 11 +17.4
Tropicana 0 0 10 4
Own-label 41 25 44 21 46 19 +12.2
Other 3 2 4 2 9 4 +100.0
Total 163 100 214 101* 246 101* +50.9

Source: (Mintel Group, 2008).

In respect to the current reports, the present market share for Innocent is around 80% (IRI Infoscan, 2009). Despite the market dipping, the yearly revenues are constantly on the increase. The growth for the sector, which is the fruit industry, is very solid which benefits more Innocent Smoothies despite the looming harsh conditions in the market. The company had a growth rate of 60% in 2008 compared to the close competitor’s 17.4%. It can be noted that the competitors are very few though they have an impact with PJs and own label giving a substantial sales volume into the existing market. Though Tropicana is very small it is just but a matter of time it strategies on growth where a stiff rivalry will be presented in the market segment.

The consumers are all aware of their favorable brands and the location where they can access them. Innocent brands are well known globally hence enabling it to have external influence.

Growth opportunities for Innocent smoothies

The brand is currently at the growth stage hence better chances of further growth in the market. The company has an opportunity to expand its product line. Owing to the high costs of production and search for proper logistics, innocent brand is normally perceived as a premium brand hence its image is always high in the market. Besides, key policies by the government such promotion of the product as a healthy option is very instrumental for the growth of the firm. After modification for economic downturn, further growth in the market share still stands at 66%. However to ensure continued growth the firm must deal with the potential mentioned earlier in this paper. The potential threats include; stiff competition and recession as an economic factor.

Conclusion on the integrated marketing strategies

It is evident that much has been done by the company in keeping the product’s brand competitive in the current market. The present brand image of Smoothies has to be sustained throughout the inflationary market using the mentioned market strategies. Consumers normally have very low income to dispose off during recession hence they become more price sensitive therefore the worth for their money needs to be emphasized. It can also be noted from the discussion that Own label has brands which are in rival with innocent but the good thing is that the competitor seems to be imitating Innocent’s brands. This is a relief to the firm since consumers are knowledgeable on how to make a distinction between the brands. In spite of the recession Smoothies is still experiencing growth. Last but not least the company has just embarked on its tactic to target the ageing population, with more advocacies for healthy lifestyles enabling them produce more non-alcoholic products. Online advertising has also been instrumental in promotion of the products.

Campaign performance evaluation

Smoothies market in the United Kingdom has been on decline despite the numerous campaign strategies used in promoting the product. This is as a result of the 30% downturn of the UK economic environment. A report assessing the UK smoothie market share provides the way forward for the falling market share in the UK for the preceding three years. The main aim is to provide alternative options in the present climate to enable the company grow its volume of sales.

The extent of economic environment in the United Kingdom market

UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been on the decline from the year 2004 as it can be seen from the diagram below. But the GDP is expected to rise from 2009 to the next 5 years owing to the stability observed in the current market.

Percentages
(Source: United Kingdom Bureau of statistics, 2009).

From the diagram, there was a slight fall in GDP between 2-3% in the year 2008 to a low down of -5.5% in the year 2009 which was the climax of the economic crisis. The demand for products declined to a great level in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. The consumer’s confidence went below the expectations of the business entities. This in turn affected the level of business performance in the entire State. Innocent Drinks was not spared either. Its products were considered to be a luxury hence the buying decisions on their products was greatly hampered. This is because the consumers shifted their attention on fundamental goods such as fuel, clothing and food.

The level of individual debts went down since consumers did not have the confidence in their own market of employment. The bank of England (2009) intervened by reducing the rates of interest on personal loans. Yet still the consumer’s confidence did not resurrect because most of them were not willing to splurge their cash on luxuries. Despite the plans to recover the consumers were not willing to take loans to buy ‘unwanted goods’ hence the interest rates remained low and the level of unemployment remained high. This was damaging to Innocent Drinks Smoothies as they could not achieve the required sales volume hence its profits were greatly on decline.

In this circumstances recession remained to be the major reason as to why Innocent’s sales and market share was on the decline. Consumers shifted to affordable brands such as personal brand from the supermarkets and other cheaper juices. Most of them were not willing to strain their finances into buying the most expensive brands from the Innocent Drinks.

Competitor firms began producing cheaper brands to gain from the fall in demand for the high street. Other firms such as Waitrose had to initiate into the market lower cost brands to compete with the existing expensive brands. Given the fact innocent is a premium product brand the only remedy available was to review the strategies being used to adapt to the varying market background and sustain its bigger share of the market. However, as the GDP grew once more consumer confidence has been reviving steadily but gradually.

The growing age of the UK population

The graph presented below shows the population age distribution of the United Kingdom. From the graph it can be observed that in the middle of 2008 the optimal age of the population was about 39years. This was an increase from 37 observed in 1998. The age distribution is st to increase from age between 4554 years in the near future. This then underlies the significance of modifying the marketing strategies for Smoothies to appeal more to the older age (Mintel Group, 2008; p. 69). The promotion of the products should shift from the younger generation to widen to a wider consumer base. The coming segmentation and marketing must be diversified to attract this group of customers who tends to have a lot of disposable income. to boast the sales revenue the company must also fast track its marketing mix to adapt to the ageing population. Evaluation of the brand image is also necessary to shift the attention from the younger population even though some of the population who grew old with the products might continue consuming them.

The growing age of the UK population
(Source: United Kingdom Bureau of statistics, 2009).

Socio-cultural move towards healthy eating habits

The last decade has been characterized by a great push in the media and government strategies in connection to a healthy living style. Customers are becoming more informed hence changing to healthy options. The products brand produced by Innocent are better placed to satisfy these needs. Most of the consumers are of the idea that there will be an increase in the intake of purposeful health products. Hence marketers are required to have a look at the present opportunities and effectively change their design of products to suit the current healthy lifestyle being advocated (Kemsey, 2006; p. 33). Therefore, packaging may need to be transparent to enable the consumer judge the products effectively. This will also improve on the choice for healthy products since the products can be seen clearly.

Horizontal Integration

Owing to the stiff competition presented by Innocent Drinks, Coca-cola bought a major stake in the firm (Sweeny, 2009; p.1). As a result of the takeover, the brand’s ethics are stake due to the level of hostility from the giant Coca-cola. Any alterations to the lineup of the product or its marketing must be done in the consideration of coca-cola venture to ascertain that consumers do not perceive the Innocent’s value. This has the meaning that decisions cannot be made without consultations with the interested parties. The method used in this strategy is a practical defense tactic by the Coca-Cola Company. The firm found out that Innocent firm was making huge steps in capturing the largest share in the market which would otherwise endanger the firm’s sales revenue in the long-run. Nevertheless, in the United Kingdom, it is stipulated by the competition commission (CC) that the companies involved in merging must not take a stake of more than 25% of the shares of the takeover.

Conclusion

The smoothies brand of the Innocent Company is quite unique. Each and every brand they manufacture is made from natural fruits. The company does not add preservatives and additives to its smoothies. They are the perfect choice for individuals who want to remain healthy. Innocent company segmentation strategy needs to be rechecked as it focuses on the whole population rather targeting a specific segment. Therefore, the company needs to segment its market in terms of age. The company only offers its products to the young, children and adults. The older segment of the population has not been well represented. Thus, in order to remain competitive in the market, the company needs to identify a market in which it can satisfy their needs adequately.

The company needs to invest in integrated marketing communications in order to develop its online marketing strategies. Given the fact that the business environment is becoming more complex and competitive, there is need for Innocent to invest in integrated marketing communication (IMC). Integrated marketing communication will help innocent company in informing, persuading and reminding the company’s target customers about the services and products unique benefits available in the market. The IMC comprises of processes such as evaluating, executing, controlling and planning the utilization of a variety of promotional-mix elements to communicate effectively with the company’s target audience.

The adoption of IMC by Innocent Company will help it in generating product awareness thus creating potential customers. Ideally, IMC helps in delivering a unified message that is consistent via various channels that attracts customers’ attention in the current era of commercialization. IMC mix constitutes of media advertising, personal selling, public relations, sales promotion and publicity. It also incorporates sponsorship marketing, internet marketing, database marketing and direct marketing. Thus, the investment in IMC will enable the company to convey information that touches all marketing mix elements such as promotion, place, price, product, physical evidence and people.

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