Companies’ Market Management Business Strategies Sample Paper

Market Research To handle competitive forces and intense competition from the rival firms, it is important for the company to do the following: a.    Know the U.S. market share in the target market(s). b.   Understand the import tariffs and mark-up structure and the retail price point the products will sell.

c.    Know the legal structure of the distribution system. d.   Know the useful division of sales through several channels and the end-users of the products. e.    Develop a marketing plan that caters to the target market(s). Marketing strategy differs from country to country.  It is important to consider the practices unique to the country’s culture.  What works in the Philippines may not necessarily work in Germany.  This is particularly true in the advertisement of the product.

One must treat the market separately not uniformly.   Sometimes, product modification is necessary in order to meet the requirements or preferences dictated by a particular culture.  Foreign distributors have to cope and follow local regulations on safety and security also import limitations.   Coca Cola makes use of market research to be able to maintain its spot at the top.     A. External Analysis (Porter’s Five Forces Theory)   Porter’s Five Forces Theory   Porter’s Five Forces demands that businesses should consider the possible factors that influence the course of the business, in this instance, wine exporting business.  The five forces (QuickMBA, 2004) include: customer power, supplier power, competition from new entrants, competition from substitute products and intensity of the competition.

  Other factors needed for the company to become competitive in the market involve a careful study and implementation of the following:   B. Internal analysis Identify Strengths and Opportunities     The external analysis requires the limits and opportunities brought about by the company’s environment. The internal analysis demands that the organization pays attention to its strengths and weaknesses.   Part of knowing the company’s strengths and weaknesses is scrutinizing each aspect of company’s operations without being overly critical or too lenient. Honest self-assessment is the key to proper identification of strengths and weaknesses without getting too emotional about it.

The most valuable way to do an internal analysis is to carry out an “audit” of operations. The result of the evaluation produces a structure of the company that can be compared to a similar organization.  However, no two establishments can be the same so it is important to focus on the similar stages of growth they undergo. Perhaps one common denominator found in widely successful companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Coca cola, Intel, Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, Mini / BMW and  Gillette is its ability to identify the Strengths and Weaknesses in their existing marketing strategies, Opportunities and Threats, and issues which requires to be deal with.   Their ability to see a challenge and respond accordingly in a prompt manner is what put them at the helm.

  D. Segmentation     Porter’s Generic Strategies   Another set of strategies that could help the company in generating more sales would be Porter’s generic strategies which consist of three: segmentation strategy, differentiation strategy and cost leadership (Porter, 1980).   Cost leadership strategy pertains to mass production of standardized products to lower the cost.  Manufacturing the product in high volumes or by bulk would lower the costs of the product because fixed costs are maximized.   Differentiation strategy means creating products that are being packaged as unique.  Customers believe that the features of the products are incomparable and superior compared to others hence the reason for its uniqueness.   Segmentation strategy means products are focused on few, selected market or the specialized markets.  The company creates the product to suit the tastes or demands of a specific market.     The company could choose to implement any of the three strategies that would best promote the product at the same time usher in more sales.

Of course, before choosing the strategy it is important that the company chooses the target market first and clearly define their objectives.  Choosing the best strategy could spell the difference between success and failure in the business market.   Coca Cola  uses segmentation to be able to remain competitive. It diversified into various products starting in 1960 when it acquired Minute Maid Corporation, producer of Hi-C fruit drinks.  It also merged with Duncan Foods Corporation.  Then in 1969, it bought the Belmont Springs Water Company Inc. which produces bottled spring water.

It also acquired Aqua Chem Inc and Taylor Wines Company and other wineries. Aside from diversification it also expands its product line by producing Fanta, Sprite, TAB, Fresca and diet colas. Perhaps an antithesis to segmentation and diversification is the Unilever and Proctor and Gamble’s move to downsize, instead of increase, on its product lines. Unilever implemented its year-old marketing strategy which is to trim down its focus on 400 “master brands” instead of the usual 1,500.  To remain true to its campaign, Unilever focuses on promoting its three fabric-care master brands – Wisk, All and Surf. Proctor and Gamble also downsized some powder detergent brands last year , just like Unilever, to be able to focus on its core products Tide.

Lenovo is able to develop into a top brand by using segmentation which means producing catering separately to cost-conscious and premium customers.   Struggling company Levi Strauss has to embark on globalization in order to address its decreasing sales.     E. Brand building According to the American Marketing Association (AMA) a brand is a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers”.

    A good brand should be able to meet the following objectives: Convey the message clearly Validate your credibility Relate to your target prospects in the emotional aspect Encourage the buyer Creates User Loyalty In branding, it is essential that the needs and wants of the business’ customers and prospects should be taken into consideration. A strong brand is important to remain competitive. Time should be invested in researching, defining, and building the company’s brand. It should be given due importance since the brand serves as the focal point of the company’s marketing communication.     Skoda makes use of branding to be able to develop into a powerhouse.  Advertising has made its brand widely perceived as a car that offers great value of money.

Due to this, car sales have increased speedily through the years.  The proper branding and the appropriate perception it created on its target market allowed Skoda to rise from the multitude and a company to watch in the future.   At the opposite end of the pole we see recovering megabrands M&S, Sainsburys and Burberry that suffered reversal of fortune from once being at the top of food chain to acquiring losses.   The brands are perceived to be VFM or those that provide value for money. Unfortunately the perceived value for money changed and standards were seen to be deteriorating for the three companies.  It became apparent among surveys conducted within the companies and outside, from customers.  Another fatal error was the top managers were not able to take swift action to address the matter.   Good thing though that they were able to wake up just in time before M&S, Sainsbury and Burberry sank to the bottom.   This serves as a lesson to those who want to embark on business to stay alert to customers and employees feedback.

  Advertising campaigns made by Gap designed to increase Hollywood celebrity excitement into the Gap’s floundering brand image did not go as expected. This, according to industry analysts and the retailer’s own decreasing sales show. ; ; ; ; ; Conclusions/Recommendations ; Embarking on business venture is a huge undertaking for a first-timer.  Therefore, every step, every decision matters and should be weighed carefully.  There is a huge market which could possibly translate to more sales and profit waiting for the business. The local and international market opens a lot of opportunities at the same time but it is also laden with a number of risks for a business.  Going into business is no small feat.  It is not something to take lightly. For a business to succeed it requires an amalgamation of factors – effort, money and time.  Learning how to maintain competitiveness also enables the company to acquire necessary rudiments to keep their advantage at the local market.  To be successful, the best strategy for the company would be to weigh risks against the possible benefits.

; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; References: ; Knowledge at Wharton. 2006. Selling to the local Chinese market. On-line.

Available from Internet,, accessed 7 January 2007. ; Arts Manager. 2007. Strategic management.

Available from Internet, accessed 7 January 2007. ; About. 2007. What is branding? Available from Internet, accessed 7 January 2007.

; Carpages. 2007. Skoda’s marketing Success from strength to strength. Available from Internet, 7 January 2007. ; Porter, M. E.

1980. Competitive advantage: techniques for analyzing industries and competitors. New York, Free Press. Porter, M. 1980 Competitive Strategy, Free Press, New York, 1980 QuickMBA.

2006.  Strategic Management.  On-line. Available from Internet,, accessed 7 January 2007 ; ; Wikipedia.  2006.  Strategic Management.  On-line. Available from Internet,, accessed 7 January 2007 ; Wikipedia.  2006. Porter 5 Forces Analysis.

On-line. Available from Internet,, accessed 7 January 2007 ; Wikipedia.  2006.  Porter Generic Strategie”. On-line. Available from Internet,, accessed 7 January 2007 ; Wine Vision.

2003. Exporting 101. On-line. Available from Internet,, accessed 7 January 2007 ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Flavoured Milk Essay Example

This research is to be carried out for Norfolk Foods, who have produced a new powdered formulation for dieters and weight watchers, which was added to milk to produce a nutritious, tasty, hunger-relieving drink that is low in calories. The formulation is already in the market in chocolate and banana flavours, and this newly reformulated chocolate flavour would replace the original chocolate flavour if the market research was favourable.

Emerging research suggests that three servings of milk and dairy products each day, as part of a reduced calorie weight loss plan, can help adults lose more weight by burning more fat than just cutting calories alone. Observational research has found that dairy may play a role in promoting a healthy weight or preventing unhealthy weight gain among children and adolescents.

Flavoured 100 percent milk does contain some added sugar (Dairy Field 2006). However, most of the carbohydrate (sugar) listed on the nutrient label is lactose, the natural sugar found in milk. Flavoured milk contains an equivalent of two to four teaspoons of added sugar, or an additional 30 to 60 calories, per serving (Dairy Field 2006). In comparison, regular sodas contain up to eight teaspoons of added sugar per serving. Fruit drinks, perceived by many to be “healthy,” contain an equivalent of six to nine teaspoons of sugar per serving.

Objectives of Study

  • 1) To explore what comes in consumers mind regarding flavoured milk category
  • 2) To identify which attribute of the flavoured milk category is of utmost concern for the consumers out of price, quality & service
  • 3) To explore how much the consumers relate consumption of flavoured milk with their concepts of healthy living
  • 4) To explore consumer experiences of acquiring and using flavoured milk
  • 5) To gain insight as to what extent does the company’s image/brand name influences consumer selection of flavoured milk


Problem Statement

“To understand consumers’ preferences when they are purchasing flavoured milk which attribute out of price, quality and service is of prime concern in their buying decision making”

Research Questions

1) How do potential and current consumers perceive the purchasing of flavoured milk?

2) Which factors are considered by the consumers in their decision making to buy flavoured milk?

3) To what extent does advertising influences consumer selection of flavoured milk?

Overview of Study

Initially this paper introduces the concept of the formulation of flavoured milk as a beverage for health conscious individuals. In the second chapter the related studies done in this are have been explored along with researchers own Experiential Knowledge to form a proper Conceptual Context. Finally the research methodology has been mentioned along with the target population of study and the validity threats and limitations.

Chapter 02: Literature Review

Flavoured milk, which is appealing to children and teens, contains as much calcium as regular milk and is a great way to help them meet the recommended three to four calcium servings daily (Dairy Field 2006). One serving of flavoured or unflavoured 100 percent milk provides about 300 milligrams of calcium, or approximately one-third of a child’s recommended daily calcium intake and one-quarter of an adolescent’s recommended intake (Dairy Field 2006). Vitamin D is generally fortified in flavoured milk at the same level as it is in unflavoured milk and milk is one of the most common food sources. Adequate amounts of vitamin D are critical for calcium absorption and maintaining strong bones. In light of recent reports of increased fractures in adolescents and resurgence in cases of rickets among young children caused by vitamin D deficiency ensuring an adequate intake of vitamin D is very important (Dairy Field 2006).

Retail flavoured milk, which includes eggnog and buttermilk, was a $645 million business in 2000 according to Information Resources Inc (Beverage Industry 2003). For the 24 weeks ending June 17, 2001, dollar sales were up 11% as compared to the same period in 2000. After private label, the No. 1 and No. 2 brands are NesQuik from Nestle USA Inc., Glendale, Calif., with 16.6% dollar share during this time period, and Milk Chugs from Dean Foods Co., Rosemont, Ill., with 6.1% share. The leading flavour is chocolate, which accounts for about 95% of all flavoured milk sales (Beverage Industry 2003).

According to NACS’ 2005 State of the Industry report, the big mover in 2004 in the fluid milk products category was flavoured milk (National Petroleum News 2006). And is that really much of a surprise with such seemingly disparate flavoured products from vodka to smokeless tobacco raising the ante in the ongoing battle for a retailer’s prime shelf space (National Petroleum News 2006)?

The NACS numbers tell the story as flavoured milk accounted for 27.72 percent of fluid milk sales in the nation’s c-stores in 2004, a nearly 50-percent increase over its 2003 percentage of 18.46 percent (National Petroleum News 2006). That leap moved it to second in the list of fluid milk subcategories, ahead of 2% milk (25.77 percent in 2004) and trailing only whole milk (33.53 percent in 2004). Whole milk and 2% milk also saw gains on the 2003 percentages in the fluid milk category, but obviously not on the par of flavoured milk. In terms of industry total sales, whole milk breached the $1 billion plateau in 2004 with over $1.1 billion in sales, compared to $975 million in 2003 (National Petroleum News 2006). Flavoured milk made a run at the $1 billion barrier, finishing 2004 with $916 million in sales after totaling $564 million in 2003. In average store sales, flavoured milk climbed 54 percent to an average of $6,624 per site from $4,286 in 2003. Whole milk’s industry-wide sales went up to $851 million in 2004 as compared to $766 million the previous year (National Petroleum News 2006).

Currently chocolate milk manufacturers use one or more cocoa powder ingredients and sweetener to flavour milk. Cocoa powder can be natural or alkalized (Dutch process), which influences flavour, color and solubility. Cocoa powder also comes in various fat contents. Years ago, manufacturers typically used higher fat cocoa powders in chocolate milk because it was believed to produce a better-tasting product. However, improved pressing and extracting technologies have resulted in high-quality, flavourful lower fat cocoa powders (Beverage Industry 2003).

Cocoa powders are often used in conjunction with chocolate flavourings to make the milk taste more like chocolate than cocoa (Beverage Industry 2003). Some manufacturers will even add a small amount of full-fat chocolate along with the cocoa, but the amount that can be added is limited due to technical issues.

Dairies are promoting the fact that ounce-for-ounce, chocolate milk contains less sugar and more nutrients than other drinks. Laura Nathanson, a physician and author of “The Portable Pediatrician’s Guide to Kids,” says, “As a pediatrician and mom, I’m concerned kids are drinking more and more nutrient-empty beverages like soda and juice drinks, and as a result, they’re not getting the calcium they need at a crucial bone-building age. But milk and chocolate milk are great sources of nutrients–particularly calcium. Kids already think chocolate milk is fun to drink and tastes great, so it may be a parent’s ‘secret weapon’ to getting more milk in their child’s diet.”

Some dairies even make chocolate milk more nutritious through the addition of ingredients or removal of water, which concentrates the inherent nutrients. Upstate Farms does the latter with its Milk for Life (Beverage Industry 2003). Every 8-oz serving contains 67% more calcium and 25% more protein than regular chocolate milk. Hershey’s flavoured milks are fortified to provide 67% more calcium than regular milk.

According to government recommendations, children ages four-eight need 800 milligrams of calcium a day, or the equivalent of about three glasses of milk, while those nine-18 require 1,300 milligrams of calcium, or the equivalent of about four glasses of milk (USA Today Magazine 2002).

It’s not just choosing the right cocoa. Stabilizer selection is important too. When chocolate milk only came in gabletop cartons, stabilization was not very important because consumers could not see the cocoa powder settling out of suspension. However, today’s consumers do not want to see cocoa particles at the bottom of the bottle. Carrageenan is the most common stabilizer in chocolate milk.

When it comes to extended shelf-life chocolate milk, which uses ultra-high temperature pasteurization, there is little room for error with ingredient selection. Different cocoa powders react to the high heat, as do some stabilizers. Over-stabilization can result in clumpy milk.

Recently a new ingredient has become available for formulating chocolate milk. It’s reduced-fat chocolate powder. Chocolate powders are made from full-fat, conched milk and plain chocolate from which some or virtually all of the fat is removed. The conching process removes the acid from chocolate liquor and improves chocolate flavour development. Chocolate powder reaps the benefits of the conching process (Beverage Industry 2003). Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is not conched. Chocolate powder is described as having authentic chocolate taste and aroma, which makes chocolate milk more chocolaty.

According to research from the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP), flavoured milk was responsible for about 3% of all retail milk sales in 2000. It’s what’s driving milk sales.

The single-serve bottle, along with extended shelf-life technologies, encourages processors to experiment with new flavours (Beverage Industry 2003). Processors believe consumers are willing to try a unique flavour when they only have to buy a pint for about a dollar, rather than a half-gallon for $2.50. The extended shelf-life appeals to retailers who do not want to worry about product expiring faster than it turns around.

Chocolate may dominate the flavoured milk business, but the potential for other flavours is impressive. A quantitative consumer beverage consumption study funded by America’s dairy farmers and conducted by Dairy Management Inc., indicates that next to chocolate and strawberry, teens and adults are interested in flavours such as cappuccino, chocolate banana, French vanilla, malted milk, mocha, mocha and strawberry banana (Beverage Industry 2003). The report indicates among those who drink milk, an important issue as to why they don’t drink more is that there are not enough flavours.

Suppliers offer interesting flavours that work in milk. These include blue raspberry, cherry vanilla, chocolate mint, creamy orange, French toast, kiwi colada, pumpkin pie, root beer float and white chocolate (Beverage Industry 2003).

Low-calorie Looney Tunes Slim Slammers, introduced by Bravo Foods International Corp. offer a 1 percent milk alternative to its 2 percent and whole-milk versions of the Looney Tune’s line. With 130 calories, the line is sweetened with Splenda. Slammers are packaged in 11.2-ounce octagonal Prisma shelf-stable packaging, as well as 11.5-ounce refrigerated plastic bottles and 8-ounce shelf-stable Tetra Paks (Berry 2001).

Changing the name of White Soda to Crazy Cow Milk and repositioning the brand in the milk aisle has had a dramatic effect on the Florida-based company’s sales and popularity (Berry 2001). Its lemon-vanilla, strawberry, and orange flavours are sold alongside soda and juice in shelf-stable, 8.5-ounce can.

The following are a few of the main ingredients used in Flavoured Milk Category (Beverage Industry 2003):

Cocoa Liquor: The meat of shelled cocoa beans that has been ground to extract some of the cocoa butter, leaving a thick, dark brown paste.

Reduced-fat Chocolate Powder: A powder obtained from full-fat, conched chocolate, from which some or virtually all of the fat has been removed.

Cocoa Butter: The fat extracted from cocoa beans, which is solid at room temperature and melts in the mouth.

Cocoa Powder: The solid portion remaining after cocoa butter is extracted from chocolate liquor.

White Chocolate: Not true chocolate because it contains no chocolate liquor, only either cocoa butter or chocolate butter, depending on the manufacturer.

Researchers at the University of California-Davis have been making headlines with their new finding–the cardiovascular benefits of chocolate. They have found that chocolate contains some of the same antioxidant compounds of red wine, the polyphenols (Beverage Industry 2003).

Although the French commonly consume rich and fatty foods, their incidence of cardiovascular disease is very low (Beverage Industry 2003). This has become known as the “French paradox.” One theory is that the French remain healthy due, in part, to the consumption of red wine that contains these cardio-protective antioxidant compounds.

The “chocolate paradox” refers to new research showing chocolate, which contains large amounts of fat and sugar, as well as cardio-protective polyphenols, may provide an evenstronger effect than the polyphenols in red wine. In a study of healthy adults, researchers found that platelet activation was inhibited two and six hours after consuming a chocolate beverage, suggesting that a long-term moderate intake of chocolate may reduce the risk of heart disease (Beverage Industry 2003).

With so much interesting research and complex chemistry, it is no wonder that Montezuma was said to consume more than 50 cups of chocolate beverages daily, and chocolate houses in Europe at one time competed in popularity with coffee houses and pubs. Source: Prepared Foods/  (Beverage Industry 2003)

Chapter 03: Research Methodology


Research Approach

This is an exploratory research to understand consumer preferences and perceptions about flavoured milk therefore; initially personal interviews along with a focus group session have been planned. These will take more time as compared to quantitative instruments like a survey but will give us the orientation to carry out this research effectively and explore by probing the participants about their preferences and perceptions of the new flavoured milk idea. But since qualitative responses are not generalisable with some level of confidence over the entire population therefore, a survey questionnaire is also proposed to be conducted based on the conceptual concept formed in this proposal and insights which will be gained from the qualitative instruments. However, it is also proposed that open ended questions be added to elicit flexible responses from the participants to capture maximum ideas and thoughts.


Database of Study

Demographically the research participants consist of both male and female with no age restrictions. Psychologically participants with health awareness and concerns will be included. Sampling will mainly focus on the “Convenience Sampling” technique due to time and budget constraints.

Qualitative Perspective:

Qualitative Analysis will enable us to performed content analysis. As this analysis is exploratory in nature it will enable us to give key insights about the consumer perceptions and preferences about flavoured milk and also give us the right orientation for survey.

Quantitative Perspective:

SPSS or Ms Excel sheet may be used for quantitative analysis as we believe it will facilitate us with quick processing of the quantitative data.


Limitations of Study

The following are a few limitations which the researchers will face:

1)         Limited Budget.

2)         Limited Time,

3)         Lack of Knowledge in related areas.

4)         Barriers while performing qualitative research.

Ethical Considerations

The following rights of the participants will be reserved throughout the process of this research:

  • Informed Consent: The participant will be informed about the details of the study and how they can most effectively add value to this research. (Refer to Appendix: Informed Consent)
  • Right of Withdrawal: Participant can withdraw at any stage during the research process.
  • Right of Refusal: Participant can refuse to share information.
  • Privacy: The information shared by the participant will not be disclosed to others.
  •  Anonymity of Data: The identity of the participant will remain anonymous.


1.      Berry, Donna. Chocolate Milk Wars. Dairy Foods, 08880050, Sep2001, Vol. 102, Issue 9

2.      Beverage Industry. Milk with a kick.  01486187, May2003, Vol. 94, Issue 5

3.      Dairy Field. Got Flavoured Milk? Sep2006, Vol. 189 Issue 9, p47-47, 2/3p

4.      National Petroleum News. Savour the Flavour. National Petroleum News, Apr2006, Vol. 98 Issue 4, p15-15, 1p

5.      USA Today Magazine Flavoured Milk Provides Needed Nutrients. 01617389, Oct2002, Vol. 131, Issue 2689

Market Screening: Italy

Anytime an organization wishes to expand business globally and enter an international market, there are going to be new challenges, and selling in Italy is no exception, and, is in fact particularly overwhelming. At present, there are more than 7,500 U.S. companies actively doing business in Italy with roughly 850 of them physically operating there. Decision-makers in these companies and those who are thinking about taking business into Italy will find a number of practices that differ from how business is done in America (U.S. Department of State, 2000). For example, “the United States remains largely unregulated when it comes to pharmaceutical pricing; however, France and Italy have direct price controls on pharmaceuticals, allowing their citizens access to cheaper prescription drugs” (Gannon, Sheng, and Ismail, 2006).

In March of 2007, Pfizer, one of the leading prescription drug wholesalers announced its direct distribution system in Europe. Upon implementation, the company’s products would no longer be available from a range of wholesalers, but only through Pfizer directly. This drastic change may prove bad for other wholesalers in the region, but potentially good for drug stores and similar retailers (“Pfizer Breaks the Mold,” 2007).

Organizations who intend on satisfying the needs of customers in Italy in the retail industry are required to make large investments into advancing techniques, media promotion, research, and equipment. “The industry’s average return on investment is approximately 13 percent” (U.S. Department of State, 2000). Most countries in Europe, especially Italy, have become more interested in big-box stores and distribution chains as opposed to traditional street vendors and “mom and pop” shops.

Marketing products in Italy can be achieved through a number of existing channels, which vary based upon the type of product being offered, the targeted customer, and promotional activity (U.S. Department of State, 2000). As mentioned, prescription drugs are defined as a basic need in the Italian market; thus, the government has imposed a “price ceiling” that is lower than that which is offered throughout the market. Consequently, the price of the pharmaceuticals is artificially lowered to the point where customers who were once unable to afford them could now do so, causing an increased demand for the product (Gannon et al, 2006).


  1. Gannon, N., Sheng, K., & Ismail, D. (2006). Price controls on U.S. pharmaceuticals. The Heinz School Review. 3(2).
  2. “Pfizer Breaks the Mold.” (2007, Aug 9). Pharmaceutical distribution in Europe: Pfizer breaks the mold. Retrieved August 23, 2007, from Web site:
  3. U.S. Department of State. (2000). FY 2001 country commercial guide: Italy (12-14, IV. Marketing U.S. Products and Services). Rome: U.S. Embassy Rome.

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