One Shot Deal Making a brand your new best friend

"The most powerful element in advertising is the truth"

- Bill Bernbach

Michael Ambrosino

is an aspiring brand strategist who is ambitious to build a career within the entertainment industry. He believes brands should stay true to who they are and maintain a keen eye on their target audience as new trends and developments step in and out of our dynamic society.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-ambrosino-211a03108/

Whole Foods was the first grocery store of its kind to sell high-quality organic produce and exclusively purchase their foods from local farmers. They have incredibly high standards as a food retailer, and are looking to represent the peak of food market standards. Over the course of the past few years, they have been cutting their prices at a quarterly rate to attempt to increase their revenue. Investors noticed this, and statistical analysis has shown that prices are not the primary issue, and have decreased backing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/02/09/why-whole-foods-is-now-struggling/?utm_term=.75a25fed4b34

BUSINESS PROBLEM

The company has lost both their exclusive status and loyalty from their clientele. There is a lack of monetary support from investors. In addition, they have an increase in competition with bigger brands, as they are buying from local farmers due to their ability to purchase on a larger scale and sell at a lower price.

COMPETITION is increasing in the organic food market due to the higher demand of organic foods – these foods are becoming increasingly popular among people, primarily millennials. COSTCO made $4 billion in organic produce sales in 2015. They have more stores nationwide than Whole Foods does, and they have the buying power to purchase organic produce in bulk and sell it at a cheaper price. They have remained consistent in their selling, as opposed to Whole Foods, who started at a peak and has recently been continually dropping for six quarters.

TARGET MARKET: Whole Food's main target audience are men and women between the ages of 25 and 50, namely those who care about environmental sustainability on earth and have an income over $50,000.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CULTURE?

Being healthy is becoming less of a trend and more of a lifestyle. Not everyone can afford Whole Food’s prices, which is why wholesale markets are becoming popular in the organic industry. As a result, skepticism was raised among their customers as Whole Foods’ prices dropped.

SOLUTION

Whole Foods should refocus on their mission statement regarding the quality of their produce. They should position themselves as a local farmers market, rather than attempting to become a wholesale brand. They should emphasize the sale of their produce rather than their ready-to-eat meals. By cutting their lunch and dinner “menu options,” and stressing the importance of their produce, they can potentially increase their sales and raise their status to where it used to be.

NASA has a goal to be the pioneer in space exploration, scientific discovery, aeronautics, and technology development. In addition to this, they attempt to put their attention towards humankind with space centers and museums (a case in point is the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., also city of their headquarters) that they can access to view their previous work and success.

https://www.nasa.gov/about/whats_next.html

BUSINESS PROBLEM

While NASA is still the world’s leader in space exploration, it has become less transparent in making advances in technology development. The tech industry has become segmented due to outside brand influences. While NASA is still advancing in their own way through technology, other brands (Apple, Samsung, etc.) are pioneering in daily technology, which is more of a daily concern to consumers.

COMPETITION: Their primary competition would be the Russian Federal Space Agency or programs in China made by the China National Space Administration. Apple is another competitor, as their development of day-to-day technologies moves at a fast pace.

TARGET MARKET: NASA’s target is those actively involved in science, space, and its exploration, as well as those with long-term vision for investment purposes.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CULTURE?

Society has become more focused on materialism and tangibility. The majority of society, 99%, have the mindset of “if it doesn’t affect me now, it doesn’t pertain to me.” While society is focused on the short-term, NASA is focused on the long-term, and there is a disconnect as well as a lack of understanding as to what they are trying to achieve.

SOLUTION

If NASA could utilize innovative technology from other countries (China, etc.), to create “products” that would influence humankind positively, their brand awareness would increase as well as their reputation in the eyes of the consumer (imagine a NASA cell phone, for example). They need to find a way to increase their transparency and relevancy in the eyes of the consumer, and if they can do that, their reputation as the lead pioneer of exploration and science in the world will be solidified and expanded.

The Starbucks brand offers a much more unique, almost high-end experience than other coffee franchises in the market, as their stores include lounge areas and a welcoming atmosphere.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2017/01/26/starbucks-mobile-orders-grow-but-not-enough-to-lift-q1-sales-above-expectations/#76cc8454166f

BUSINESS PROBLEM

In terms of revenue, Starbucks did not reach their expectations in the first quarter. Wall Street projected $5.85 billion in revenue, however Starbucks generated $5.7 billion – even with mobile, they fell short Wall Street’s projections. The primary business problem Starbucks faces is to generate more revenue through both their mobile app and company store sales.

COMPETITION: Starbucks' main competitors are Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's McCafe. In regards to their mobile presence, Starbucks is the superior brand.

TARGET MARKET: While Starbucks' main target audience are males and females between the age of 25 and 40, their appeal rides through most generations. Pertaining to the business problem at hand, Starbucks' older audience lacks much mobile presence and awareness, thus resulting in low mobile numbers.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CULTURE?

Our culture is becoming increasingly independent and impatient. People would rather use their time to stay at home and make their own coffee, rather than waiting in lines in the Starbucks stores.

SOLUTION

Starbucks should put focus on creating promotional strategies for their mobile app and gear them toward their older customers. They need to communicate to customers on-the-go the quicker and easier methods of purchasing menu items at their stores.

JCPenney has alienated a large number of their most loyal customers due to their cutting of coupons and sales. They are attempting to reach out to bigger name brands in an attempt to open up their market and bring in more customers, as they were failing with the pre-existing brands that they had.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/03/08/is-jc-penneys-comeback-in-trouble.aspx

BUSINESS PROBLEM

JCPenney has plateaued in the sales department. After their decline in profit over the last six years, they began to pick it up again in 2016, but that nonetheless flat lined. They do not intend to make profit through sales, but instead they’re banking on real estate, by closing close to 140 stores by June 2017. JCPenney seems to be confused and is gripping at straws, trying anything and everything to figure out why their sales are not remaining constant, but not truly coming up with the real problem. They have lost their way and are seemingly stuck in the past, where they were a big name brand to compete with.

COMPETITION: JCPenney’s main competitions include Macy’s, Kohl’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom. Macy’s is JCPenney’s biggest competition, and JCPenney is trying to follow in Macy’s footsteps with their latest plan of selling off some of their real estate that they are not making great use of.

TARGET MARKET: At the moment, JCPenney' seems to have lost their target audience. They are looking to incorporate more big-name brands (as seen with the addition of Sephora, Coach, Disney, and Michael Graves) in an attempt to open up and find an audience within today's brand-crazy culture.

In our day and age, we have more and more online shopping. We have more options within the market, and the trends within the market is on a constant change. As customers can order online, the customer experience has to be more and more considered by stores. Big name brands are remaining popular among the newest generation of shoppers.

SOLUTION

  • Product: Incorporate higher-quality fashion products, such as Sephora’s products.
  • Price: Reinstate couponing and sales, as well as offering better prices.
  • Promotion: Promote online sales more and increase promotion on bigger name brands.
  • Place: Create a big JCPenney store “for show,” in order to attract customers.

The Freeport/Lucaya territory of Bahamas has a very strong lack of branding due to their inability to generate much revenue and lack of relevance in the travel industry.

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2017/apr/05/grand-bahama-residents-left-feeling-cut-out-govern/

BUSINESS PROBLEM

Freeport/Lucaya’s main problem resides both financially and politically. They lack support financially and political leverage from the Bahamian government due to their smaller, weaker reputation compared to the more popular tourist sites, such as Nassau, Bahamas. As a result of their declining economic state, they have been cutting back on provisions on the island, including their popular Junkanoo Carnival.

Image from Freeport/Lucaya's Junkanoo Carnival

COMPETITION: In this situation, Freeport/Lucaya's primary competitor would be Nassau – the island in the Bahamas most highly recognized by tourists. It reels in most of the revenue and is emphasized by the Bahamian government. The government is presently backing Nassau, with little support behind Freeport.

TARGET MARKET: Freeport/Lucaya’s current target market is value travelers who want an island getaway but don’t want to spend much. A younger generation of travelers would fall under this category. Compared to most Nassau/Atlantis prices, most Freeport/Lucaya prices are cheaper, with a closer distance to the airport, which many travelers prefer.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CULTURE?

Young people today are vastly interested in paying to travel and staying in beautiful locations. Travel/tourism is statistically proven to be growing, especially among our younger generation, as they intend to invest in memories as much as they are interested in buying material items. The younger generation is also very keen on attending festivals (music, etc.) and parties to celebrate and embrace their youth.

SOLUTION

Freeport/Lucaya must focus on building their brand and attracting a new market, while making themselves more relevant to the Bahamian government in an effort to increase financial and political backing and leverage. This can begin with an emphasis on the Junkanoo Carnival, branding that as a main attraction of the island, almost in the way that Mardi Gras is branded in New Orleans. If the island can obtain sponsors for Junkanoo (much like Nassau acquired Cartoon Network for their summer events), and target a younger generation of consumers who are interested in party scenes, they can convince the government that they are worth backing, and that there is more to Bahamian tourism than just Nassau/Atlantis.

Snapchat is an entertaining social media app that allows for loose daily connection between friends through pictures. Their main goal is to “re-invent the camera” to aid in fun communication between friends. Relating to the business problem, such loose connection and fleeting photos does not appeal to businesses or upper-echelon.

Snapchat user using filters

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertberger/2017/03/07/snapchat-ipo-dont-confuse-popular-with-profitable/#74da04192b73

BUSINESS PROBLEM

Snap is facing is the lack of understanding to the professional investors. They are afraid of the original selling price of the stock not exceeding a profitable rate. Snapchat is not an app that is appealing to a large demographic; it is a niche app that appeals to a certain kind of market, namely millennials or those with a large social media portfolio/platform.

COMPETITION: Snap’s main competition are Facebook and Instagram, as well as Tencent QQ in China. Instagram Stories Facebook’s up-and-coming Messenger Stories could be a big potential threat to Snap, as it offers face-recognizing filters just like Snapchat. People who already have Facebook accounts but not Snapchat account may prefer to stick with Messenger Stories, as it offers a similar experience to Snapchat without creating another account and adding another app.

TARGET MARKET: Snap’s primary target market is mainly millennials, with a secondary target of those who are deeply invested in social media and their “image” - those who are willing to try new types of social media.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CULTURE?

There has been a huge social boom as of late, and altering pictures is on the rise as a trend. There is an increase in creative expression of personality, and social media aids in this. There has been a shift in keeping up with culture: where older generations get their information from newspapers and cable TV, newer generations are turning to social media apps and are zoning in on opinions as well as stated facts.

SOLUTION

Snap needs to continue to expand and keep up with the shifting trends to maintain relevant. They could consider incorporating specialized “culture packs,” where based on culture or location, users are offered different features, filters, and face-recognitions that relate to them. They should focus on becoming more attractive to investors to increase stability in the market. There should create a structure behind Snapchat, a sort of end goal or purpose, rather than just being seen as that funny app with the filters. With a backbone or a purpose that allows users to connect with each other, the app and the company could become more appealing to investors and older generations.

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