An Integrated Marketing Strategy for a Healthy Burger Brand
The paper has explored the best possible integrated marketing strategy for a healthy burger brand that appeals to the needs and preferences of the health conscious customers. The burger is produced by a company operating in the hospitality industry. The product has been created using new technologies that have reduced fat content. In addition, the product has increased fiber and vegetable content. It targets the health food market segment that is experiencing significant growth. The physical market includes all the restaurants that operate using the company’s brand name. The price for the new product will be slightly higher than that of the conventional burgers to reflect its value and cater for the increased production costs. The advert campaign will involve an expert in food production to explain the process of making and the benefits of the burger. The public relations campaign aims to create a positive image for the company and dispel the earlier negativity associated with unhealthy foods. Free coupons and price variations at different times form the basis of the promotion campaign. The internet marketing campaign involves search engine optimization and emails to the customers. The marketing strategy ends with the direct marketing that utilizes customer relations techniques.
The company, for which this integrated marketing strategy will be written, has operated in the fast food industry for a long time. It has experienced both growth in profits and decline in market share, in different times of its history. Whenever faced with a slow or negative market growth, it has adjusted its strategy to face the emerging challenges and optimize opportunities. Previously, the company has encountered negative publicity from its customers and other publics, because its food items do not reflect the changing trends and customer preferences towards healthy foods. An increasing proportion of its customers have become conscious of their health and the content of the food they eat. Since the healthy-conscious customers represent an expanding market segment, the company has decided to create a marketing strategy for the new product to address the concerns of this market segment. Therefore, this term paper will focus on the healthy food market segment by creating an integrated marketing strategy for a burger with health benefit considerations.
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Product Description and Desired Brand Image
The new product is a burger that has been prepared using low fat ingredients and technologies. The bun of the burger has been made using high fiber wheat flour, while the cooking method has been modified to reduce the content of fats and oils in the product. In addition, vegetable salads have been introduced as accompaniments to the burger. The beef part of the burger has been prepared using new methods that reduce its oil absorption rate. Initially, the beef part of the burger was prepared using conventional frying method, through which a lot fats and oils were retained in the product. However, the frying method for the new product has a pre-treatment phase that reduces the oil and fat permeability features of the beef. The new beef, therefore, absorbs less fat than the conventionally prepared beef.
The new product aims at creating a new brand image that reflects the company’s concern for the welfare of its customers. The effort dedicated to the production of the burger must go beyond creating a positive public image to solving the consumers’ problems. Most organizations in the fast food industry emphasize low fat content of their food as a marketing strategy meant to create a desirable image to the customers. However, the new brand aims to reduce the fat content of the burger and incorporate other features, such as high fiber buns and vegetable salad accompaniments.
The new product targets the emerging segment of health-conscious consumers that is on the rise. The new segment has resulted from the awareness of the negative consequences of the unhealthy eating habits. Most of the food items in the fast food industry contain ingredients that customers perceive as unhealthy. The new brand will strive to meet the unsatisfied desires of the customers for the healthy products.
The company operates in a developed country, where the population structure is changing rapidly, with the majority of people being old. The age group targeted by the new product is between 50 and 70 years. The younger population has declined significantly over the last two decades. Such a demographic change has prompted the company to focus on the aging customers, who are more health-conscious than the young people. The older population is educated and aware of the health repercussions of the unhealthy eating habits. Those bent to eating out within the older age bracket have disposable income, because their children are already grown up. Therefore, they have limited responsibilities to strain their disposable income.
The psychographic characteristics of the target market, such as attitudes and lifestyles, have justified an increased focus on the segment. The conservative lifestyle of the customers in this market segment makes them an easy target for the loyalty programs. Once they have formed a connection with an organization through high quality products that serve their purpose, they become loyal. Therefore, the company’s focus on creating the healthy burger is justified, because it aims to attract the loyalty of the target customers. Their attitude towards unhealthy food is negative, which makes them a perfect target for the healthy product.
The motivation of buyers in the health food market segment is the need to live healthy and for long. As earlier mentioned, customers in this market segment are aged and prone to the various diseases due to their advanced age. Their desire to reduce the risk of health-related illnesses influences most of their eating decisions.
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Overall Marketing Strategy
The aim of the company is to occupy a leading position in the new segment. The achievement of this objective relies on the establishment of a comprehensive marketing mix that reflects that nature of the market (Chan, Mauborgne, 2005). The new product will become available to the customers in all the company’s restaurants, in the different geographic locations. The widely distributed restaurants provide a unique opportunity to the organization to reach out to a large number of the target customers. Since the objective of marketing is to achieve a leadership position, the pricing of the new burger should be slightly higher than that of the conventional burgers in order to reflect the difference between the two. The pricing is unlikely to affect the purchasing decision of the customers, as long as the product serves their needs.
Most of the company’s competitors have made little effort to analyze the motivation that makes the customers prefer healthy products. Therefore, they have superficially targeted the consumers by merely emphasizing some features of the product that have health benefits. The new brand has moved a step further by developing a solution-based product, whose aim is to serve and appeal to the motivating factors in the consumers. The organization’s positioning strategy will emphasize the functional benefits of the product by outlining the differences between it and that offered by the competitors (Hooley, Saunders, Piercy, 2004). To communicate the value of the product compared to others in the market, it is crucial to create a good advertising campaign.
Advertisement campaigns through various media, such as television, are very important to communicate the availability, features, and location of the products to the customers. Since most of the target customers are old, the campaign will utilize the television as the channel of communication. The main advert for the product will entail the procedures that the new product goes through, until it is ready for consumption. In the advert, an expert in the new production technologies used to limit fats and oils in the burger will explain the process, emphasizing the benefits of the reduced fats and oils to the health. The use of the expert and detailed explanation of the product will increase its credibility in the eyes of the customers with the aim of enticing them to purchase.
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Public Relations Campaigns
The fast food industry has previously been criticized for its contribution to health-related illnesses. Such negative publicity has tainted the operators’ reputation in the eyes of the customers. With the new health-conscious product, the company can repair the lost reputation by demonstrating its effort to depart from the old norm. The public relations campaign will aim to position the company as an establishment of choice among the fast food restaurants, because of its commitment to creating products that promote the health of its customers. The creation of the new image will also form a new brand image that is likely to promote the overall performance of the establishment.
The use of the improved methods of product creation has ensured that the product is unique and has high quality features, as compared to other products in the market. Therefore, promotion campaigns will provide prospective customers with an opportunity to sample the product and gauge its quality. Since the company is sure of the product’s high quality, the promotion has a high chance of success in creating customer loyalty. Promotion campaigns include free coupons distribution through print and non-print media (Porter, 2008). In addition, the campaign will utilize price variations at different times in order to drive short-term sales volumes. Although the promotion campaigns aim to increase sales, they contribute to the building of a strong brand image, because of the large exposure of the products to the numerous clients. Another effect the promotion strategies are likely to produce is a referral system. The establishment can benefit from the customers referring to their friends and families to try the product after their first encounter with it. Therefore, despite driving sales in the short run, the promotions will contribute to the enhancing of the overall brand image.
Internet Marketing Campaigns
Through the company’s website, the restaurant will promote the new product by making sure that it is the first item the customers encounter, when they visit the website. To ensure the company’s website appears among the top websites that provide customers with information about the health foods, the company will work with the experts to generate techniques and search words. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will utilize the techniques and words created to ensure that when customers search for health food establishments, the company will be among the first to access. The most appropriate search engine for the internet marketing campaign will be Google, since it is the most preferred in all the locations, within which the restaurant operates. In addition to SEO, the company will form agreements with other websites visited by health food prospective customers to link the company’s website to them. Such linkages will increase the probability of customers visiting the company’s website.
Apart from the use of the website, internet marketing will utilize customers’ emails in order to communicate the new product offering. The company has email addresses of all its customers. It communicates with them about the new products and services. The establishment’s loyalty programs are also communicated to the customers using their email addresses. The use of emails is effective, because it is a sure way that the customers, with whom the company has communicated, will get the message. In addition, it is likely to elicit responses, because the customers feel special because of the personalized message.
Direct Marketing Campaign
The direct marketing campaign focuses on the specific customers and customizes the message to suit the customer’s profile. Direct marketing is an excellent marketing campaign, because it offers high chances of response from the customers. In addition, the customized message using customer profiles enables the establishment to appeal to the aspects of the customer that have elicited the responses before.
Customer Relations Management (CRM) is an example of direct marketing that the company plans to use in order to promote the new product. In the management of customer relations, a company accumulates and stores vital customer information that facilitates its interactions with them. The data stored by the companies include behaviors, trends, and preferences (Kurtz, Boone, 2010). Through the use of this information, the organization can predict the behavior of customers. Consequently, such forecasts lead to the creation of the strategies that align with their future expectations. The company will use the customer relations management to communicate to the current customers about the product. The use of CRM is essential for the success of the new product. The current customers represent a big portion of those, currently yearning for healthy foods. As they grow old, their preferences and tastes change. Since the restaurant is aware of the customers’ preferences, it will be able to design a message that will attract them to purchase the product.
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The integrated marketing strategy comprises of several aspects that aim to market the burger to the health-conscious consumers. The strategy includes the description of the burger, its ingredients, and production process. The target market to be served by the new product is made up of the health-conscious consumers. Majority of these customers are old within the 50 to 70 age bracket. The marketing strategy includes an advertisement campaign to communicate the benefits and characteristics of the burger, promotion campaigns to enhance short-term sales, and public relations management to create a new brand image for the company. Internet marketing through emails and company’s website, and direct marketing through public relations management form part of the integrated marketing strategy. Therefore, the integrated marketing strategy has considered the elements that will make the new burger brand attractive to consumers.