The following marketing plan is devoted to a new company, which specializes in producing watersports clothing such as surf shorts, wet suits and bikinis. The company is located in Florida. However, goods are manufactured in South America. The business area where the company operates is highly competitive. Therefore, the organization's managers developed surf shorts with waterproof pockets. This feature differentiates the company's products from the competitors and there is its competitive advantage. The target market is surfers, so the main objective of the organization is to increase brand awareness among them. The company's mission is to provide sportswear that is both comfortable and convenient. The Business Challenge
The following marketing plan has few goals. First, it is a research of the market that includes the investigation of a customer base, main competitors and collaborators. In addition, SWOT analysis will be performed. This is an important section of the marketing plan because it helps to evaluate objectively all the company's strengths and weaknesses together with the threats and opportunities that exist in sports apparel business. Second, one of the marketing plan's sections will be devoted to analyzing the company's strategies. This section includes the description of strategies, communication plan and ways of distribution the goods. Another important section of this marketing plan is researching the budget. This part includes the researching the investments necessary for launching and maintaining the offering. Besides, it deals with defining short-term and long-term financial goals. The Market
The company's customers are teenagers and young adults who like surfing and swimming. They spend much time in the water, so they need waterproof pockets in their surf shorts where they can put their possessions such as money, mobile phones etc. Besides, the company offers wet suits and bikinis. The customers of these goods are all people, who are interested in water kinds of sports. Generally, they need water clothes with a pleasant design. In addition, wet suits and bikinis should be comfortable for a continuous and frequent staying in the water. Apart from that, young people and teenagers need materials that are easy to clean and to dry. Besides, water sport clothes should be reliable because the company customers have a limited income, so they cannot buy their water costumes often.
As for the company's strengths and weakness, it has them both. First, the producer has qualitative goods with an important competitive advantage such as waterproof pockets. In addition, the management of the company is motivated and experienced. On the other hand, it is a new company, so its brand is weak. In addition, the distribution and communication channels are not settled. Moreover, the company does not have a permanent customer base.
The analysis of the company's strengths and weaknesses demonstrates that it needs collaborators. As its main target market is surfers, it needs to collaborate with specialty retail stores, which are becoming more popular now. Such stores are convenient for buyers because they get bigger choice of goods in one place (Mukerji, 2012). It is especially important for surfers because apart from clothes, they also need surfboards. Besides, the company can find collaborators among surfing schools. It can offer them commission for opportunity to put flyers and coupons in their facilities.
Another component of marketing plan is determining the main competitors. As it was said before, the watersport clothing industry has many players. However, according to Surf-Transworld (2013) Hyperflex has the most number of offerings. In particular, they sell 112 goods including wetsuits, gloves, boots and other similar products. The offerings of other competitors do not differ much from Hyperflex.
On other hand, the Water sport clothing company depends not only on its competitors but also on also other external forces such as governmental regulations and legislation, the economy, social, cultural and technological forces. To start with, the influence of government is relatively low due to clear and settled regulations in this area. The main demand of the law is quality of clothes. They should not damage the health of customers. However, the impact of technological forces is more significant. In particular, companies pay much attention to improving the material used for producing watersports clothes. For example, Speedo's AQUALAB scanned hundreds of swimmers' bodies in order to determine areas of high fraction. After that the Speedo's swimsuit designers developed clothes that possess low-friction fabric in those areas. It reduces drag (Willens, 2012). As for the economy, it also influences this area, because watersport clothing does not belong to essential commodities. Therefore, the reducing the customers' income will also influence negatively their buying patterns. Moreover, the target market of watersport clothes is young and teenagers are especially dependable on reducing of economical rates. Besides, people often stop surfing when they get older, so the clothing company needs to perform advertising and promotional campaigns in order to attract new customers.
The main strategy of this new watersports clothing company is creating a strong brand awareness and customer loyalty. It will be achieved with a help of few tools. First, customers will be able to see and order the goods on the company's official website. There will be opportunity to sign for newsletters. Second, the organization's goods will be advertised in social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Third, specialty retailer stores in the internet are becoming more and more popular among customers especially young people (Mukerji, 2012). Therefore, it is necessary to locate the company's goods there too. For example, one of possible online stores is Surf-Transworld. This website has a wide choice of brands and much interesting information about surfing. Therefore, presence there is beneficial for a new company. In addition, it is necessary to start cooperation with surfing schools and facilities located near sea cost. In particular, the company can place coupons and gift cards. It will help to attract customers directly. As for opening own brand stores, it is not appropriate due to few reasons. First, it will increase production costs. Second, the company specializes in producing only watersports clothes, whereas customers prefer stores that can offer all the goods necessary for a particular area. The only solution of this problem is opening stores that also sell products of their brands. However, it may affect negatively the sales of the new company's own brands. Therefore, it is more appropriate to open such stores when the brand will become stronger. The only exception is opening three stores, which will also serve as offices for communication with online customers. Besides, adverting and marketing in print media, radio and television is not necessary due to its low popularity among target market.
Another important strategy is differentiated pricing. It involves creating goods of few categories. The first category is basic. It includes items made of simple materials. The second category offers exclusive clothes produced from the most innovative fabrics. However, both categories include surf shorts with waterproof pockets because it is the company's competitive advantage. In addition, the company offers discounts during the winter period due to a lower activity of customers. As for price that customers are ready to pay, it usually reaches $217 for a full wetsuit. The important peculiarity of selling wetsuits is increasing popularity of fullsuits. In particular, their customers sales were $110.4 in 2010. It is 24.5% over in 2008 (Bradstreet, 2011). Therefore, there company needs to develop special offers for those, who want to buy fullsuits.
According to SIMA study (Bradstreet, 2011), the popularity of independent wholesale channel reduced. On the other hand, mall chains and different kinds of owned retail expand. In addition, more than 55% retailers have catalog in the Internet or offer online sales. All these statistics demonstrates that products of a new watersports clothing company should be obligatory presented in the Internet. In particular, the company will have catalog on the website. Customers will be able to read it and buy goods they want. Apart from that, the company's goods will be placed in the internet specialty retail stores such as Surf Transworld. In addition, organization will have three stores in Florida. Its mangers will be responsible for those customers, who come to their stores directly and for Internet buyers. In particular, they will ship orders.
The initial budget for the following watersports company is $75 000. This includes rent, production costs and operation costs (Paul, 2007). As for return, the company will get it approximately after the first year. In particular, sales and income will increase significantly in one year. On the other hand, projected costs will reduce because managers will be able to monitor customers need and correct the company's policy if necessary. In addition, the company will create website, develop other advertising and marketing tools, start production during the first year so the company's expanses will be less during the second year. However, the company will be able to cover initial expenses and get sustainable net income only after the third year.
To sum up, the following marketing plan demonstrates that opening a new water sports clothing company involves many difficulties due to a big number of competitors in this area. On other hand, the increasing popularity of internet sales helps to reduce advertising costs and return invested money earlier. In addition, the following company possesses the competitive advantage over other brands – waterproof pockets on the surf shorts. Therefore, it has all the opportunities to build a strong band and attract loyal customers.