Skittles is a well-known, long-standing brand that has pleased consumers for generations. However, it is our contention that the name’s growth is stagnating, and needs to be revitalized based upon a core marketing goal: bring Skittles from simply a candy – something one consumes on a whim and forgets about – to a brand that engenders both value and feeling for consumers. With such a focus, the objective is to influence the seemingly minor consumer choice between confections in vending machines and on store shelves by linking a positive and pleasing emotion to the image of the brand. The intention is to achieve realistic, long-term financial goals, which will be controlled through measuring actual results against initial projections. The overall target for the marketing return on investment (ROI) is a minimum of 1.2% within two years. Furthermore, plans to expand the Skittles product line through seasonality and a joint venture with Absolut Vodka will pull in a wider variety of our target market. This addition will attract various ages and personalities from the target segment to the Skittles brand, and will ultimately grow the distribution and sales of Skittles. Product:
The marketing plan will affect the entire marketing mix, beginning with product. For consumers, the core value of Skittles is in its physical characteristics; they are colourful, relatively cheap, assist in improving focus, and help to control cravings for higher caloric options, like chocolate cake. Skittles is a non-chocolate confectionary usually sold to retailers in large boxes already containing individually-wrapped packages of Skittles weighing 55g, averaging 42 in every package. In 1979, the first Skittles were created in Britain; in 1982, the product was being manufactured in America. Seven years later, Tropical and Wild Berry Skittles were introduced with banana, kiwi and mango, as well as raspberry, wild cherry, and strawberry, respectively. The millennium brought the dawn of sour Skittles, and 2004 ushered in Skittles bubble gum. A smoothie mix – incorporating two flavours in one candy – was released in 2005, and 2006 saw the first limited edition product: X-treme Fruit Skittles.1 Going forward, the basic template for the product and branding – the candies themselves, lettering, and basic packaging of the product – will adhere to and be customized for further products. The proposed brand extensions, aiming to increase the target market of “Snackers” through exposure and familiarity, consist of seasonal Skittles promotional products; Christmas would see red and green Skittles sold in specific packaging, St. Valentine’s Day would see bags of red candies, and so on. This trend can be extrapolated to take advantage of other external consumer interests; for example, a Skittles product that is composed completely of green candies, with a portion of the proceeds supporting a “green” effort. Since product and the majority of printing requirements are already available, the costs to produce these additions are negligible. This expansion adds exclusivity to these specific incarnations, taking advantage of seasonal novelty to boost sales. Furthermore, the opportunity to capitalize on an already-established trend that influences the targeted segment manifests itself in the form of a joint product venture with Absolut Vodka. Skittles vodka will appeal through its novelty and sweet taste, the former towards both genders, while the latter mostly to women. The planned name, pending partner approval, is “Absolut Rainbow”. Since university students and young professionals make up a large percentage of alcohol consumers, as well as much of our chosen “Snacker” segment, this product release will increase exposure and link Skittles with memories of cheerful, fun-filled times. Price:
The pricing strategy for Skittles, given the elastic nature of the candy industry, will always be constrained by competitors and retail decisions. Being priced competitively,...
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