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Kubus Sports

Strategic Marketing Plan

ATOM

“Launch phase for ATOM”

Name: Kjeld Jansen

Student number: 500709263

Class: 4T

HvA e-mail address: [email protected]

Name lecturer: Hans Mackaaij

Date: 12-01-2018

Table of Contents

Page

Executive Summary

Introduction

1.0 Internal Analysis

1.1 Conclusion

2.0 External Analysis

2.1 Conclusion

3.0 Market Overview

3.1 Market Size – Launch phase

3.2 Market Demographics

4.0 Strategy Analysis

4.1 SWOT Analysis

4.2 TOWS Confrontation matrix

4.3 The Treacy & Wiersema Value-Discipline Model

5.0 Mission, vision & objectives

6.0 Marketing Strategy

6.1 Segmentation & Targeting – Customer Intimacy

6.2 Positioning

6.3 Differentiation

7.0 Brand Strategy & Brand Building

8.0 Marketing mix

6.1 Product

6.2 Price

6.3 Place

6.4 Promotion

9.0 Communication Strategy

9.1 Main message

9.2 Media mix

10.0 Distribution strategy

11.0 Loyalty Strategy

12.0 Evaluation

References

List of figures

List of tables

List of plates

Appendices 

1.0 Internal analysis

The internal analysis takes an in-depth look at the current situation internally at Kubus Sports. The main sources for this segment are Kubus-Sports.nl, the market research report of Luuk van der Plas and chats with the CEO and employees of Kubus Sports.

Kubus Sports described: Kubus Sports is a stockholding distributor of several high-end sport brands for retailers and dealer. The Kubus Sports facility consists out of two floors or the right side of a three-story office building with a front & back office, canteen, a big two-story showroom, a private warehouse and another separate warehouse two buildings down the street.

Sport Business: Kubus Sports is a profit oriented sports commerce business. Kubus Sports currently is the distributor for several hockey, fitness and water sports related brands. Now, Kubus Sports wants to introduce a brand new triathlon wetsuit brand called ATOM into the European market.

Goal: The main goal set for the implementation of this marketing plan by Kubus Sports is to penetrate the international triathlon market with a new triathlon wetsuit brand named ATOM. The goal is to develop a marketing communication plan for the launch phase of ATOM.

1.0.1 Current business model

Infrastructure

Industry/Key Activity: As mentioned in the segment above, Kubus is a profit oriented company in the sports commerce industry. Therefore, Kubus' main activity is selling merchandise to retailers and or international dealers and distributors. Kubus' role as a distributor is supplying sports merchandise to Dutch and international retailers (B2B). Kubus however, does not directly supply to end-consumers (B2C). Kubus Sports is a stockholding company for several sports brands, which will be discussed in the ‘key partners' segment.

Key Resources: The first main resource for the Kubus Sports value prorposition is its distribution capability. Manufacturers deliver products of several sports brands to the Kubus Sports warehouse and Kubus Sports distributes these products to multiple dealers and retailers throughout the world. The second main resource is the main revenue stream from purchasing products from manufacturers and selling them through to international retailers and dealers. It is key that this revenue stream has a consistent flow in order to have a substantial

Key Partners: Like mentioned before, Kubus Sports functions as a stockholding distributor for the following sports brands:

Figure 1: Brand assortment Kubus Sports

Kubus mainly focuses on the partnerships with their suppliers since the distribution of their products creates the main revenue stream for Kubus Sports. Other partnerships Kubus is involved in are with shipping companies UPS, DHL and CTS, who ship the products from the manufacturers to Kubus and from Kubus to the retailers.

Offering

Product/Value Proposition: Kubus Sports serves as a supplier for high-end sport products in the national and international market. And since the sports industry has been growing at a steady rate for the past decades, this creates a huge relevance for sports products distributors, like Kubus (Statista, 2017). And since being founded in the 1970's and starting out with only distributing sailing products, Kubus is now the (exclusive) stockholding distributor of 15 high-end sports brands. Through this process of growth, expansion and quality & service development Kubus has established a solid market share in the national and international market, with a loyal client base. Other qualities that give Kubus Sports value opposed to its competitors are the following; reasonable prices from season to season, a fully stocked automated warehouse, professional service from a back-office with very experienced sales representatives and a state-of-the-art B2B webshop with 24/7 current status of orders. Probably one of the most valuable aspects of Kubus Sports is that it owns two brands and has distribution right in the Benelux for the remaining brands.

Customers

Customer Segments: Kubus Sports client base is segmented on several different levels. Kubus delivers products to international retailers, such as Intersport. However, the needs, demands and characteristics of each dealer/retailer is different. Another segmentation is made by the varied range of products that Kubus Sports offers. Retailers are very diverse and focus on different types of sport. So Kubus' client base is segmented through its assortment of different sports products.

Kubus Sports is located in the middle of a multi-sided market where retailer (customers) are on one end and manufacturers (suppliers) are on the other end. It is key for Kubus Sports to maintain their relationship with the manufacturers as well since they can also be considered as customers.  

Channels: Kubus Sports focuses on but is not limited to establishing contact with customers through offline and online marketing channels such as visiting trade shows, sport events, expo's and contacting (potential) customers via phone and e-mail. Since Kubus Sports operates B2B selling, representatives use these channels to establish contact, develop, cultivate & maintain relationships and mainly create B2B sales. Sales representatives of Kubus Sports often schedule meetings with customers to show the product assortment in the Kubus showroom and discuss order, purchase and delivery specifics.  

Customer Relationship: Kubus has become the standard for high quality professional relationships with a focus on punctual, precise and personal relationships amongst sports distributors. Retailers expect Kubus Sports to have the products they want in stock and that the products that are not in stock can be ordered from manufacturers on their demand. Kubus Sports strives to meet any customer with all their wishes and demands and guarantee high quality service and products for a reasonable pricing with a ‘Dedicated Personal Assistance' approach (Ostenwalder, 2004). These customer relationships up the costs of operating for Kubus Sports, however the return on investment Kubus' receives has been key to the success of Kubus Sports throughout the years.

Finances

Cost Structure: The main cost posts for Kubus Sports are the purchasing of stock for every brand, costs of staffing, shipping & distribution costs and office rental. Kubus Sports can be considered as a value-driven company. Kubus does not focus on minimizing costs, but rather on creating value for their products and services.

Revenue Streams: Kubus' main revenue stream is generated from ‘Asset Sale', so by selling products to clients. Most retailers buy products from Kubus in ‘bulk', which means large amounts', for a so-called ‘wholesale price'. This price is determined by the manufacturer. Retailers usually pay by invoice. Access to the revenue streams from each brand or an overall revenue stream from Kubus Sports is not available.

1.1 Conclusion

Kubus Sports is clearly an established sports brand distributor within the market, with more than 40 years of experience in the industry and a solid and loyal customer base.

2.0 External analysis

Porter's Five Forces model is a simple but powerful tool for understanding the competitiveness of your business environment, and for identifying your strategy's potential profitability (Porter's five, n.d.).

Threat of new entrants: Your position can be affected by new entrants to your market. If your market is easy to enter at relatively low costs and no protection for your existing technologies, new entrants could easily disturb your market position.

In the case of Kubus Sports and the launch of ATOM, there is a relative low threat of new entrants. For example, costs are made for research & development, production, transport, storage, marketing and sales. This results in a high initial investment for new entrants. Plus, Kubus Sports has the rare advantage that it has already got access to distribution channels. Another factor that influences the low threat of new entrants is that proprietary technology and retaliation by existing firms result in a lower threat of entrants since there are certain capital requirements and a solid brand equity required in entering this particular market.

The products in the triathlon wetsuit market can be considered undifferentiated, since any differences between wetsuits are insignificant and only preserved for styling purposes. Since Kubus Sport will launch the ATOM brand and function as its distributor, the location is not of relevance. Another factor is brand loyalty within a market. Triathletes are known for their willingness the invest and experiment with new revolutionary products, which means that they are open to try new brand or products. This means that the current threat of new entrants is relatively low. However, since triathlon is the fastest growing individual sport in the world and could cause the threat level to change.

Threat of substitutes: Substitute products use a different technology or sales strategy to cover the same economic need. Triathlon wetsuits are specifically developed for swimming in open water during triathlon races, therefore substituting to a surfing wetsuit would not improve the athlete's performance due to the weight and thickness of a surfing wetsuit. However, there are plenty of other triathlon wetsuit brands in the triathlon market. This means that there is a low threat of substitutes from other industries. The competition from within the triathlon market create benefits for ATOM too, since every growth they encounter results in the growth of the triathlon wetsuit market. This results in a bigger market for ATOM to compete in.

Bargaining power of customers: Also known as the market of outputs: the ability of customers to put the company under pressure. Since there are a lot of triathlon wetsuit brands currently active in the market, it gives the customer a high bargaining power.  The customer has many alternative wetsuits to choose from. However, in the triathlon market there is a high availability of buyer information, triathletes are known early adopters and have a relatively high expenditure (Roethenbaugh, 2014). This means that ATOM has to create a brand loyalty program to influence and lower the bargaining power of the customers.

Power of suppliers: Also known as the market of inputs: the ability of suppliers to put the company under pressure. These suppliers can be supplier of raw material, component, labour and or services to the firm (Porter, 2015). The suppliers can have a source of power over the firm (in this case Kubus Sports) when there are few substitutes. The suppliers of wetsuits are limited, while there are 17 main triathlon wetsuit brands (Aquaman, Orca, 2XU, MAKO, Zone3, Z3R0D, TYR, Roka, Dare2Tri, Xterra, Blue Seventy, Sailfish and several local brands). This means that one wetsuit factory produces wetsuits for several main brands. This gives suppliers a high bargaining power over triathlon wetsuit brands. However, Kubus Sports has built up a multi-decade long professional relation with its wetsuit supplier SHEICO. This gives Kubus Sports another competitive advantage over other new entrants.

Industry rivalry: The intensity of competitive rivalry amongst existing competitors is a major determent of the competitiveness within an industry. This means to what extent do companies put pressure on one another, fight for a larger market share and increased sales. The following factors weigh in in the measurement of the industry rivalry (Porter, 2015). Triathlon is currently the fastest growing individual sport in the world, which means that the market is growing. The industry is not overcrowded, but definitely big enough to create rivalry amongst the before mentioned main wetsuit brands. The products are undifferentiated and there are no costs related to customers switching brands since these wetsuit brand fulfil the same need. Competitors however, do differentiate strategically by only offering high-end or starter focused products. For example, Orca offers only high-end wetsuits, while MAKO offer affordable wetsuits for beginners. These factors contribute to the rivalry within the market.

Other factors influence the rivalry too, such as unequal size distribution between brands and their market share. The higher growth rate of the industry, the higher the rivalry. The commercial triathlon industry has an annual growth rate of 10% and therefore enhances the rivalry amongst existing competitors (Roethenbaugh, 2014). Brand loyalty is a big factor that actually decreases rivalry within the industry. Since triathletes stay loyal to the brand that works for them (despite potential extra costs), it lowers industry rivalry.  

As mentioned before, triathlon is the fastest growing individual sport in the world, with an annual market growth of 10% from 2010-2014 and with a 15% growth in 2015 (Roethenbaugh, 2015).  This market growth results in an increase in the market's ‘firm concentration ratio' and therefore increases industry rivalry between competitors.

2.1 Conclusion

To conclude the analysis of the target market for ATOM it exhibits a low threat of new entrants, since there are high initial capital investments required to enter the triathlon wetsuit market. There is an also a low threat of substitutes since only a ‘triathlon wetsuit' fits the needs a triathlete has. For example, a surfing wetsuit would not suffice for a triathlete. However, customers have significant bargaining power since there are multiple competitors they are able to choose from and are not limited to just a couple brands that offer triathlon wetsuits. There is a high bargaining power for suppliers in the market too, since there are only a few wetsuit suppliers/factories and there are many wetsuit retailing brands. Lastly there is also a lot of industry rivalry among competitors, since the market has had a steady growth for the past couple of years. However, Kubus Sports and therefore ATOM possess several competitive advantages over other new entrants, such as the availability of starting capital, access to multiple distribution channels, network contacts and decades of experience in the sports commerce industry.

3.0 Market overview

This chapter gives a brief summary on the target market and audience by looking at the market overview from Luuk's Market Research and current trends and changes in the market (Van der Plas, 2017).  This market overview will focus on the countries targeted for the launch of ATOM: Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France & the United Kingdom. These countries have been selected on market size, market phase, accessibility & overall potential. The market overview will not go into specifics on triathlon as a sport, but rather on the commercial triathlon market, specifically the triathlon wetsuit market.

3.1 Target market size

Luuk van der Plas has selected the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France and the United Kingdom to be the target countries for the launch phase of the ATOM wetsuits brand. As shown in the figure to the right, every country selected for the launch phase has claimed a spot in the top 20 countries with the most active triathletes, except for Luxembourg (MultiSport Research, 2015). However, Luxembourg is often automatically included in the Benelux region or collective market. Germany claims the third spot with 200.000 active triathletes and therefore the biggest market segment of the selected target countries. Next is Great Britain, with 110.000 active triathletes within its region.  Further followed by France, with 102.330 active triathletes, the Netherlands, with 33.000 active triathletes, and Belgium, with 15.000 active triathletes. This results in a total target group of approximately 460.000-500.000 potential customers for the launch of ATOM.

Europe has a dominant role in triathlon club activity, with Germany, France and Great Britain all having in excess of 500 clubs. Germany even noting just over 1500 clubs. However, since being a more established club base, the European clubs activity has witnessed a slowing down in several countries. But still comprise the biggest club region with 5500 clubs in 2013 (Roethenbaugh, 2014).

3.2 Target market demographics

This segment will discuss specific demographic facts that contribute to the definition of ATOM's target group. These findings are collected from quantitative desk research from primary and secondary sources, such as research conducted by official triathlon entities.

Male-female ratio

Between 2012 and 2013 the global triathletes' male-female ratio was 66,6% male active triathletes and 33,4% female triathletes. These research results date back from 2014 and it has been predicted that this ratio will eve out in time because more countries offer up female specific races (Roethenbaugh, 2014). From this we can assume that the current male-female ratio lies around 55-60% male triathletes and 40-45% female triathletes.

Age group split

Within the global triathlon participation, there is a wide spread of age groups involved. However, the largest age group globally is 40-44 years old, accounting for approximately 16% of 2.3 million active triathletes worldwide in 2013 (Roethenbaugh, 2014). But there is an encouraging 15% of active triathletes within the 19 years & under range. This age group and triathlon in general are poised for continued growth in the near future with the retention of younger athletes in the sport. The rest of the age groups can be summarized as one broad base of athletes with ages that span from 20s throughout the mid 50s. Other age groups can be considered irrelevant.

Triathlete buying behavior

Multiple surveys have been conducted by triathlon related entities and organizations to research the buying behaviour of triathletes, since triathletes often are relatively highly educated, earn above average and therefore form a unique consumer group. This segment will discuss several important research findings and observations.

86% of athletes participating in triathlon related activities and events have college or university degrees and are considered opinion leaders in their field (Challenge Family, 2015). Another important influencer of a triathletes buying behaviour is their income. Approximately 42% of all active triathletes have an annual income of $150,000 or higher. This annual income is relatively high compared to customers' annual income in other industries of sports, which means that triathletes are willing to spend big.

Starting triathletes are not only required, but willing to purchase ‘big items', such as a tri-suits, wetsuits, bikes and running shoes. However, they often try to purchase equipment at ‘entry level' price points. About 80% of athletes starting with triathlons is convinced they will continue with races, which is a positive prospect for the triathlon industry.

Established triathletes are more likely to travel to participate in races and have a bigger expenditure on equipment since they buy ‘premium' products. Female triathletes tend to focus their expenditure on coaching, training camps and gym memberships, while male triathletes focus their expenditure on new hardware (Triathlon Industry Association, 2016). Triathletes are known to be ‘early adopters', which means that they embrace innovation and new technology and are open to trying it. This is a positive feature for new entrants such as ATOM.

There are several marketing related research observations. Triathletes are active and committed participants and they are becoming more and more active on social media. The most used social media platform used by triathletes in the UK (and obviously by everybody worldwide) is Facebook. However, less than 25% of the surveyed British triathletes sharing content weekly (Triathlon Industry Association, 2016). This indicates opportunities to grow the influence of triathlon through social media, with a special focus on the younger community of 19 and under. And retention and recruitment of new participants especially from the younger community are core objectives of all stakeholders in the triathlon industry, including ATOM. An ‘upgrade path' for athletes through products is a driving gain for triathletes and should be implemented in marketing strategies within the industry.

Persona

To conclude this chapter and by combining the information featured above from surveys, website analytics, personal interviews and third-party data, a persona is formed to visualize a typical European triathlete and therefore potential customer of ATOM (Challenge Family, 2015).

Name: Stefan

Gender: Male

Age: 42 years old

Nationality: German (might just as well be Dutch, Belgian, French or British)

Education: Bachelor degree

Occupation: Full-time employee

Status: Married

Annual net income: €140.000±

Active in triathlons: 7 years

Level: Advanced

Racing frequency: 5+ races per year

Training hours: 10 hours per week

Additional information:

- Member of national triathlon federation.

- Member of local triathlon club

- Will go to a training camp in 2018

- Buys nutrition supplements frequently

- Buys 2 pairs of running shoes per year

- Buys a new wetsuit every 2nd year

- Owns a road bike and a triathlon bike

- Will spend €2500-€3500 for next bike.

4.0 Strategy analysis

This chapter will discuss a SWOT analysis conducted with the results from the internal and external analysis mixed with findings of the market research. This will be followed by a confrontation matrix and will result in the value-discipline analysis by Treacy & Wiersema (1996). From the value-discipline model, one value discipline will be selected as the main focus for ATOM.

4.1 SWOT

The SWOT analysis is a structured planning method that visualizes the evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization, project or business venture (Osita, Onyebuchi & Justina, 2014). This SWOT analysis will discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Kubus Sports in relation to the launch of ATOM Wetsuits.

Strengths Weaknesses

1. Kubus is an established name in the sports industry and adds value to the brand ATOM.

2. Kubus has the financial resources available to launch ATOM.

3. Kubus has a solid professional relationship with the SHEICO factory, manufacturing the wetsuits.

4. Dedicated & experienced marketing department.

5. Kubus has existing distribution channels available.

6. Solid primary activities such as Logistics and Operations.

7. Experience with starting, running and maintaining its own surfing brand ProLimit and hockey brand Brabo.

8. Existing supportive activities such as Infrastructure and Technological development can tie in with the launch of ATOM. 1. No unique selling point (yet) due to lack of evidence of ATOM offering the best wetsuits.

2. No unique low-cost structure.

3. No previous triathlon experience, nor having expert employees.

 4. No clear brand image, guidelines or strategy developed yet.

5. Only one category manager involved with the launch of ATOM, no support from other employees.

6. Kubus not specifically focused on ATOM, but on 15 other brands as well.

7. No clear competitive advantage, apart from resources currently available to Kubus Sports.

Opportunities Threats

1. Triathlon is the fastest growing individual sport in the world, with a total of 2.3 million active triathletes worldwide.

2. Selected countries for the launch of ATOM, comprise a total of 500.000 active triathletes.

3. Triathletes are big spenders compared to other athletes, due to their high income.

4. The average triathlete purchases a new wetsuit every 2nd years.

5. Triathletes are known ‘early adopters' and are open to trying innovative and new technologies.

6. European triathlon market highly club & event focused.

7. Growing interest in triathlon from Millennials (19 & under) age group.

8. Triathletes are very active & responsive on social media. Facebook & SlowTwitch are two main channels.

9. Low threat of new entrants, due to initial capital investment and lack of distribution channels.

10. Low threat substitutes, due to no substitute products being able to meet the demands of a triathlete.

1. High bargaining power of supplier, due to scarcity of suppliers and growing number of competitors.

2. High bargaining power for consumer, due to many competitors.

3. Other brands are more established and already have a solid client base and market share.

4. High rivalry amongst competitors, due to number of competitors.

5. Technology is easy to copy and material to produce wetsuits is not scarce.

6. Wetsuits are seasonal products and ATOM limits itself by only operating in Europe.

7.  Offering only wetsuits limits ATOM's assortment and decreases interest from potential customers.

4.2 TOWS Confrontation Matrix

The TOWS Confrontation Matrix is a part of the SWOT-analysis in which the strengths and weaknesses are “confronted” with the opportunities and threats, with the aim of developing a solid strategy (Muilwijk & Intemarketing.nl, n.d.).

External opportunities

1. Triathlon is the fastest growing individual sport in the world, with a total of 2.3 million active triathletes worldwide.

2. Selected countries for the launch of ATOM, comprise a total of 500.000 active triathletes.

3. Triathletes are big spenders compared to other athletes, due to their high income.

4. The average triathlete purchases a new wetsuit every 2nd years.

5. Triathletes are known ‘early adopters' and are open to trying innovative and new technologies.

6. European triathlon market highly club & event focused.

7. Growing interest in triathlon from Millennials (19 & under) age group.

8. Triathletes are very active & responsive on social media. Facebook & SlowTwitch are two main channels.

9. Low threat of new entrants, due to initial capital investment and lack of distribution channels for potential competitors.

10. Low threat substitutes, due to no substitute products being able to meet the demands of a triathlete. External threats

1. High bargaining power of supplier, due to scarcity of suppliers and growing number of competitors.

2. High bargaining power for consumer, due to many competitors.

3. Other brands are more established and already have a solid client base and market share.

4. High rivalry amongst competitors, due to number of competitors.

5. Technology is easy to copy and material to produce wetsuits is not scarce.

6. Wetsuits are seasonal products and ATOM limits itself by only operating in Europe.

7.  Offering only wetsuits limits ATOM's assortment and decreases interest from potential customers.

Internal strengths

1. Kubus is an established name in the sports industry and adds value to the brand ATOM.

2. Kubus has the financial resources available to launch ATOM.

3. Kubus has a solid professional relationship with the SHEICO factory, manufacturing the wetsuits.

4. Dedicated & experienced marketing department.

5. Kubus has existing distribution channels available.

6. Solid primary activities such as Logistics and Operations.

7. Experience with starting, running and maintaining its own surfing brand ProLimit and hockey brand Brabo. SO

Maxi-maxi strategy

Looking at internal strengths 1, 2, 5 & 7 and external opportunities 1, 3, 4, 5 & 7 it would be an interesting Maxi-maxi strategy to offer ATOM with a broad and deep products range that focuses on the different age/entry groups and with that make ATOM the solution for triathletes of every level. This way ATOM will be able to cover a bigger market section by using strengths and maximizing its opportunities. ST

Maxi-mini strategy

Looking at internal strengths 2, 3, 4, 5 & 7 and external threats 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 the Maxi-maxi strategy mentioned before would also be an interesting Maxi-mini strategy since a broad and deep product range in combination with using the strengths of Kubus Sports to minimize threats and differentiate ATOM from its competitors.

Internal weaknesses

1. No unique selling point (yet) due to lack of evidence of ATOM offering the best wetsuits.

2. No unique low-cost structure.

3. No previous triathlon experience, nor having expert employees.

 4. No clear brand image, guidelines or strategy developed yet.

5. Only one category manager involved with the launch of ATOM, no support from other employees.

6. Kubus not specifically focused on ATOM, but on 15 other brands as well.

7. No clear competitive advantage, apart from resources currently available to Kubus Sports. WO

Mini-maxi strategy

When looking at internal weaknesses 1, 3, 4, 7 and external opportunities 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 8 a solid Mini-maxi strategy would be to create a broad and deep assortment for ATOM and to develop a solid brand strategy that speaks to all levels and age groups within the European triathlon market to tap into trends mentioned in the opportunities. This strategy minimizes weaknesses while taking advantage of opportunities. WT

Mini-mini strategy

When looking at internal weaknesses 1, 3, 4 & 7 and external threats 2, 3, 4, 5 & 7 is would be a key Mini-mini strategy to create a solid brand strategy and brand loyalty program with which potential customers could identify themselves and be attracted to ATOM as a brand in order to manage the threats and minimize weaknesses and to create a competitive advantage over existing and future competition.

4.3 The Treacy & Wiersema Value-Discipline Model

The Value-Discipline model by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema describes three generic value disciplines. The value-discipline model has been collected from new literature that was read (Treacy & Wiersema, 1996). In order to be successful, it is key for any company to select one of these value disciplines and act upon it consistently and vigorously. Each generic value-discipline causes customers to value the company for different aspects. These three value-disciplines are:

• Operational Excellence

• Products Leadership

• Customer Intimacy

The next segment will discuss each value-discipline and will be concluded by discussing the value-discipline chosen for the launch phase of ATOM.

4.3.1 Operational Excellence

The main focus of operational excellence is the streamlining of processes. Minimizing errors, creating a reasonably reliable product and increasing efficiency are several action points for companies that selected operational excellence as their value-discipline (Toolshero, 2017). Logistic is the dominant resource of the company.

4.3.2 Product Leadership  

Companies that focus on product leadership revolves around R&D, strong innovation and brand marketing. Development, design, innovation and high margins in a short timeframe is key when focusing on product leadership.  Every new product is more innovative and revolutionary than the previous one. Research & development is the most dominant resource of the company.

4.3.3 Customer Intimacy

Excelling in customer attention and customer service is the main focus of the value-discipline customer intimacy. Developing and maintaining a loyal customer base is a key priority and R&D is focused on innovation at a customer level by offering the best solutions for its customers. Customer Relations Management is the key resource of the company (Treacy & Wiersema, 2014).

4.3.4 Conclusion

Kubus Sports already possesses solid Logistics and Operations departments which gives ATOM an Operational Excellence competitive advantage over other new entrants. ATOM is also able to tap into the value-discipline Customer Intimacy, with Kubus Sports being known for its sublime customer service. Having the focus on the customer experience and customer service together with the Operational resources Kubus currently has already creates a competitive advantage with low-cost, low-risk and high reward for ATOM.

Kubus has a good relationship with the manufacturer and allows ATOM to expand their assortment from just wetsuits to a broad and deep product range with multiple wetsuit lines and accessories. Another big factor in achieving Product Leadership is brand management. To make your target audience aware of the fact that you offer the best product it is key to have a solid brand image and strategy to improve brand awareness. The desired brand image should be included in the marketing strategy in order to get the main message across to the target audience. The rest of this marketing plan will thoroughly discuss the marketing and brand strategy of ATOM with the focus on the selected value-discipline Product Leadership.

5.0 ATOM – Mission, Vision & Objectives

This chapter will briefly discuss the mission and vision statements that were developed for ATOM by Luuk van der Plas and Sven Kraakman (Van der Plas, 2017). This will be followed by the core values of ATOM and several objectives set to be accomplished throughout the launch phase.

Mission

The mission of ATOM states that ATOM will “continuously exceed customer expectations by designing progressive and distinctive products, for all triathletes”. The mission statement of ATOM ties in with the selected value discipline of Products Leadership which focuses on an innovative progressive and distinct assortment complemented by a solid brand strategy.

Vision

Core Values

Launch Phase Objectives

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