For an organization, marketing is
ntroduction:- For an organization, marketing is the most important process of promoting and selling the products and services via advertising and market research. With the increase in the competition, companies are incorporating sustainability principles to stay competitive against industry rivals. Sustainable marketing is an innovative concept in the business and marketing that is proving to become game changer in the industry. On the basis of social and environmental sustainability, sustainable marketing assists in meeting the needs of targeted audiences. This report includes the marketing analysis of Hersheys that is operating its business operations in chocolate manufacturing industry. Hersheys is one of the largest chocolate manufacturing organizations of United States of America (Hersheys, 2018). The report discusses the marketing mix of Hersheys by considering product strategy, pricing strategy, distribution strategy and promotion strategy. Furthermore, it includes SWOT analysis to position Hersheys against its competitors. At the end, there is the discussion about the principles of sustainable marketing used by Hersheys. The company can improve its strategies and operations by adopting other principles of sustainability. Company Description:- The Hersheys Company is an American Organization that is one of the largest chocolate manufacturers all over the world. The company was founded in the year 1894 by Milton S. Hershey and it is headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania that is the home of Hersheys Chocolate world. The products of Hershey are available across the United States due to its extensive distribution network. In addition to this, it offers its products in more than 60 nations all over the world (Hersheys, 2018). Hershey is a member of World Cocoa Foundation and associated with Giant Cente and Hersheypark Stadium. Thus, The Hershey Company is a market leader in confectionary business and it has focused on strong brand image and product innovation through effective marketing strategy. The major brands of company are such as Kisses, the Hershey, Twizzlers, Reeses and the Hershey Bar. These are the strong pillars and top ten candies of Hershey Company. The mission statement of this company is to bring the sweet moments of Hershey happiness to the world. The company is implementing effective marketing strategies to attain this mission and provide tasty chocolates with higher quality ingredients. Marketing Mix of Hersheys:- Marketing mix is the framework that is used by an organization to develop and implement marketing strategies so that it can approach a large population and attract more people towards its products and services (Bahadir, Bharadwaj and Srivastava, 2015). The marketing strategies of Hersheys are stated below: Product strategy:- Hersheys Company has developed various products under its brand like cookies, chocolate bar, kisses, chocolate syrup, baking pieces, candy bar, nuggets, milk bars and dessert toppings. The company is offering convenience products by including higher quality ingredients (Ramli, 2017). The innovation in marketing mix has assisted the organization to grow through the years. (Source: Hersheys, 2018) It has positioned itself as healthy and delicious for growing children. The major products of the company are: Chocolate Kit-Kat, Mounds, Kisses, Brookside, York, Reeses Candy Jolly Rancher, Twizzlers, Allan Candy Gum & Mint Ice Breakers, Bubble Yum, Breath Savers Caramel & Nuts Rolo, Payday, Lancaster Others Bliss, Drops, Nuggets, Symphony, Miniatures, Peanut Butter Cups (Hersheys, 2018). In addition to this, the organization is focusing on the packaging of products to do sustainable marketing. It is using different chocolate wrappers for seasonal events. It has replaced its previous papers with the environmental friendly packaging that is bio-degradable materials (de Andrade Silva, et al, 2017). Under its product mix, the company is doing on-going commitment to environmental sustainability that includes decreasing the waste to packaging, landfills and they are going greener. Furthermore, it is providing proper safety measures to the employees under production process. Price Strategy:- Hershey Company is a premium brand that charges higher prices in comparison to other popular chocolate brands in market. Under this, the company targets upper and middle class population and international tourists. The prices of chocolates vary from $10 to $60 according to the type and size of chocolates (Gerstein and Friedman, 2015). Recently, it has not made changes in the prices but it has reduced the quantity of various products. If the company will introduce any new product in the market then it will use penetration pricing strategy. Under this strategy, it will offer the candies on a price lower than competitors. It will give its customers an incentive and motivates them to buy the new product of Hershey. In the future, the organization is planning to offer an appropriate combination of superior quality and better service at fair prices. It will assist the organization in create its sustainable image among its targeted audiences (Kizil, et al, 2013). Distribution Strategy:- This is one of the major strategies of Hersheys that assists in approaching the customers through its product offerings. As discussed above, the company has an extensive distribution network that includes different places where people can purchase the products of Hersheys. The products of the company are available in drug stores, grocery stores, vending machines, shopping malls, departmental stores etc. The people can purchase its products online from Amazon, eBay and Bigbasket. It has established strong and extensive distribution network that enables the organization to reach across various nations worldwide (Davari, and Strutton, 2014). All the major cities are covered by the channels of organization. In addition to this, the company has focused on improving its supply chain to become more sustainable. The major focus of Hersheys was on increasing its product offerings to the customers, but customers were not adapted the wide variety of the firm. Considering this, it has transformed its supply driven model to demand driven model. This approach assisted the organization in generating significant cash flows. In the supply chain process, the company focuses on the fact that it does not harm the environment and natural resources (Gutirrez, 2017). Promotion Strategy:- Promotion strategy is one of the significant components under marketing plan and process. Hersheys is implementing effective promotion and advertising strategies to approach a large population. The company does promotion through TV advertisement, magazine, billboards, newspapers etc. It uses different ways and ads to promote different products. For example, the ad of Hersheys milk booster tries to place itself as a healthy product for growing children. These promotion mix strategies assist the organization in informing, persuading and reminding the people about its products. Hersheys is using effective slogans and taglines to enhance its presence in the market. The major examples of Hersheys advertising are such as Drops, Carolers, Mother and Daughter and Smores. It has hired Arnold to develop integrated marketing and advertising programs for its chocolate products (Hannah, et al, 2014). Arnold is very popular for creating brands via multi-faceted campaigns which include print, broadcast, promotions and public relations. Under sales promotion, Hershey is providing gift products in specific seasons. It provides the organization to have an opportunity to enhance its sales. Moreover, the company is engaged in socially responsible marketing process and providing actual information to the people. In this way, the company is engaged in sustainable marketing efforts by the use of above marketing strategies under marketing mix framework (Pappas, 2016). SWOT Analysis:- SWOT Analysis is the technique that is used by an organization to analyze the external and internal factors like strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is a major effort of the organization towards sustainable marketing (Blockeel, et al, 2016). It indicates that how Hersheys positions itself against its major competitors. The SWOT analysis of Hershey Company is stated below: Strengths:- Largest Chocolate Manufacturer:- As mentioned above, Hersheys was established in the year 1894 and it has gained a large presence all over the world. Now, this organization is considered as one of the biggest chocolate producers in the world (Market Realist, 2018). The below-given graph shows the market share of Hersheys in United States. (Source: Market Realist, 2018) The company has attained a significant market share in the United States i.e. 44.1%. It is more than its major competitors like Mars, Nestle etc. Extensive Distribution Network:- Hersheys has established an extensive distribution network and it is distributing its products in over 60 nations (Khan, 2014). However, the organization is highly focused in some nations and it has average market share in other nations. This is the major reason behind an increased customer base of Hersheys. Sustainability and Philanthropy Efforts:- Hersheys is also engaged in sustainability and philanthropy activities as it has done various efforts towards educations. The organization has its schools with better facilities. The company has been investing in corporate social responsibility and making efforts in the benefit of environment. Currently, with the Clinton initiative, it has assured to consider the basic nourishment for Ghana. Huge Brand Portfolio:- One of the biggest strengths of Hersheys is its huge brand portfolio. The company has introduced more than 50 products under its different brands. The brand portfolio of the company indicates that it has a large collection of chocolates (Renton et al, 2015). This strength attracts a large customer base towards the company as the people can find any type of chocolate under its portfolio. (Source: Hersheys, 2018) Weaknesses:- More Long term Debt:- One of the major weaknesses of Hershey is that it has more long term debt than its major competitor like Mondelez. In the year 2014, the company has total debt of 2.4 billion. In this, 70% of the debt is long term debt (The Statistics Portal, 2018). It uses debt financing to decrease its cost of capital, because debt is less expensive than equity financing. (Source: The Statistics Portal, 2018) Huge advertisement Expenses:- Hersheys is ranked among top five advertisement spending organizations in the United States. It spends $541 million to convince the customers to pick up a chocolate bar of Hersheys (Malawskey, 2011). This was calculated move as the chocolate manufacturer moves to the global markets and continued to emphasize on developing its domestic brand (Kurie, 2018). It has increased the total expenses of company towards its sustainable marketing process. (Source: Malawskey, 2011) Opportunities:- Further Business Expansion:- Operating business in 60 nations is not enough for this largest chocolate manufacturer so it has more opportunities to expand business operations in more developing and developed nations. The organization has very low brand presence in India and other similar nations where it may have more scope of expansion due to large population (Chawla and Sondhi, 2016). Segment Development:- Apart from chocolates, Hersheys can introduce a new segment of snacks though it will create more diversification then emphasis on the brand. There are various FMCG brands which operate their business in more than one segment for economies of scale. In addition to this, it can introduce some sugar free chocolates with healthy ingredients (Gallo, Antolin-Lopez and Montiel, 2018). Threats:- High Competition:- Competition is one of the major threats to the Hershey as there are various competing brands in Chocolate manufacturing industry. The major competitors of the company are such as Mars, Cadbury, Nestle, M&M, Cargill, Mondelez, Barry Callebut etc. Some of them are also strong brands in this segment. As a result of this, Hersheys is fighting against these competing brands at all the steps (Huang and Sarigll, 2014). Increased Health Awareness:- In todays modern environment, more people are becoming aware and conscious about the benefits of healthy lifestyle. After reading the related blogs and news programs, the people are focused on their health. First, the doctors suggest stopping to consume sugar and sugar products. As the chocolates contain sugar heavily so people are avoiding them and chocolate consumption has been dropped. This has affected the sales of Hershey Company adversely. Issues Related to Raw Materials:- Cocoa is one of the major raw materials that are utilized in Hersheys and there is a large utilization of Cocoa in different forms all over the world. The fluctuating prices of this raw material in different regions affect the manufacturing of chocolate products (Afoakwa, 2008). Apart from this, there is a decrease in the natural resources like agriculture land and higher costs of milk and sugar. Due to higher consumption of Cocoa, procuring the right quantity of Cocoa is a main cost and blockage of manufacturing. (Source: Afoakwa, 2008) SWOT Analysis final Analysis Report:- From the above analysis, it can be stated that Hersheys has positioned itself as a major player in chocolate and confectionary industry. This organization is considered as one of the largest organizations all over the world. The company is making various efforts in the field of marketing and sustainability that is the major reason behind its viable growth. The below-given chart shows the positioning of Hersheys among its major competitors: Barry Callebut Hersheys Mondelez Cargil The chart shows the positioning of Hersheys against its major competitors. The company is offering premium chocolates at higher prices. So, it will come in the category of higher prices quality chocolate manufacturer. The organization is working to become more sustainable in the market (Kurie, 2018). Company is offering higher quality considering the health of people that will assist them to gain sustainable growth in this industry. Sustainable Marketing Principles:- Sustainable marketing Sustainable marketing is the environmentally and socially responsible marketing efforts which fulfill the needs of customers and business while enhancing the ability. Hersheys has adopted various sustainable marketing principles to enhance its brand image among people. Nowadays, people have become very concerned towards environment so Hershey engaging in social responsibility activities by adopting these principles (Gordon, Carrigan and Hastings, 2011). Societal Marketing:- Under its sustainable marketing efforts, Hersheys has adopted societal marketing to attract more customers towards its chocolates and other products. The company has conducted a marketing research to identify the needs and preferences of customers. After that, it has made its product and marketing decision in the interest of organization and customers. In the country, the company has considered that customers always change their needs and preferences for the products. It is not a surprise if they want for the Hersheys products have changed into the desired products that mean bakeries manufacturing products by utilizing cocoa and chocolate products (Gopaldas, 2015). It has enables the organization to introduce more product lines considering consumer needs and preferences. It prefers to promote its products at television and social media sites as most of the people are active on these platforms. In this way, the organization is using societal marketing considering customers preferences (Carroll, 2015). Customer Relationship Management:- It is the major sustainability principle behind the success of Hershey in global chocolate manufacturing industry. The company always makes efforts to develop better relationships with its existing customers. It assists them in retaining the customers for long term. After the sale of chocolates, the company takes the feedback from customers so that it can understand their response. It connects with the customers on their special days like birthdays and anniversaries. It assists the Hersheys in developing customer loyalty (Hunt, 2011). Other Principles:- However, Hersheys has adopted effective strategies and principles which have assisted the company in becoming success in competitive business environment but company should implement some other principles for long term growth. First, the company needs to focus on its value proposition and to position itself as a socially responsible firm among targeted audiences. Under its positioning statement, it can include something creative that can affect the perception of customers positively (Bassell, and Friedman, 2016). For example, people think that Chocolates of Hersheys are not good for their health. So company should include healthy ingredients and promote it in an effective manner. It will affect their perception positively that company thinks about them and their health. Conclusion:- From the above report, it can be concluded that Hersheys is the most popular brand in Chocolate producing industry. The company has some competitors but it is able to gain more competitive advantage by the use of effective marketing strategies. The report includes different sustainable marketing concepts regarding Hersheys. It can be found that the company can use its strengths and opportunities to overcome its weaknesses and threats in the industry. In addition to this, the company is able to develop a strong image by adopting sustainable marketing principles. These principles will affect the buying behaviors and perception of customers positively. In addition to societal marketing and customer relation management, the company needs to adopt more principles in order to gain more competitive advantage over its competitors. The strengths and opportunities will assist the organization to get a strong position in Chocolate producing sector. References:- Afoakwa, E.O., 2008. Cocoa and chocolate consumption Are there aphrodisiac and other benefits for human health? Cocoa and chocolate consumption: Invited Review, 21(3) pp. 107-113. Bahadir, S.C., Bharadwaj, S.G. and Srivastava, R.K., 2015. 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