1] Market research is an important tool before devising a marketing strategy. Here are some of the important points from the market research-
Candle industry is one of the oldest industry. The sales for this industry took off in the 1990s and with an annual growth rate of 10% the sales peaked in the early 2000s. Scented candles formed a large part of the market as consumers were inclined towards home fragrance products. US forms an important market for scented candles with nearly 2000 varieties and 10000 scents to choose from. The candle market is slowly reigniting after the slow sales during the recession period. As a result, marketing strategy needs to be carefully devised as in the case of JC Penny when the retail sales went down in recession.
Candles have now become a fashion trend with many people using it as home décor. A research suggested that 90% of the consumers who bought candles were women but with a change in trend men were also equally receptive about the idea of buying scented candles. As we have seen in the Crescent case demographics played an important part while choosing whether to position the drink as energy or sports drink. Psychographics play an equal role, in this case scented candles act as a fashion statement.
Based on the above marketing research here is the target market for scented candles-
• Young singles (18 to 32)- These are the consumers who live an active city life. They are career-oriented and have more purchase power. These consumers are fashion-savvy and like to be in trend. They are likely to buy candles for the comfort.
• Young families and mature families (33 to 55)- These consumers are mainly the housemakers and are more likely to invest in scented candles to decorate their homes and also may use for comfort.
• Empty Nesters (55 to 66)- These consumers are financially secure and have a good spending power. These consumers are willing to enjoy their retirement life and could be a potential target as they are looking for comfort.
• Spa and wellness centers- Apart from the individual consumers, these businesses could also be a large target market. These businesses tend to offer their consumers with a good ambience and a good fragrance adds to their overall experience.
Wicks and more manufacture scented candles which is the biggest point of parity as the scented candles market is a very competitive market in the US. As a result, here are some of the points of difference that Wicks and more should incorporate while positioning their product-
• People are attracted more towards the tags such as handmade which in this case can be used since all the candles Wicks and more manufacture are hand-poured.
• Fragrance is a large part while positioning our product and unique fragrances by using natural ingredients can be a good selling point for our product.
With a wide group of consumers, it is important for Wicks and more to have a strong position statement by including its points of difference to attract the consumers. Here is a sample positioning statement for Wicks and more “Wicks and more brings you a unique fragrance with its all-natural ingredients that are hand-poured to enhance your surroundings”. This statement does not only limit us to homes but also other places like spas and wellness centers.
Along with a good positioning statement comes a strong brand mantra. Brand mantra is the core of any marketing strategy (as we have seen in the Crescent case). For our product the brand mantra would be “A Scent of Happiness”.
2] Here are the four choices that the company has while developing an existing brand-
• Line extension- Introduction of additional items in a same product category under same brand name.
• Brand extension- Launching a new product in a new category using a successful brand name.
• Multibrands- Adding another product with a new brand image under same company to attract different customer base
• New brand- Launching a new product category with new image
Wicks and more could add candle stands and holders to their existing products. Not only would they get benefits from this new product category. They can also sell their candles and candle holders as complementary products by bundling them.
Wicks and more can collaborate with some of the big Spa chains in the US. This would be an example of B2B model just like in the case of Stickk. Going B2B will also give Wicks and more a larger clientele.
Wicks and more could also partner with home décor stores like Pottery Barn. Being on their shelf can help Wicks and more to reach a wide audience.
3] One of the biggest drawbacks that Wicks and more have is the insufficient information to promote their sales. Small businesses generally rely on the outsiders to provide them with the data. Apart from the data many small businesses rely on outsiders to give out promotions for their products (Groupon case).
In the case of Wicks and more, here are some of the sales promotions that they can use-
• Coupons- As Wicks and more are already using Newspapers for advertisements, they can send out sale coupons with their advertisements.
• Samplers- Wicks and more can provide consumers with samples of their unique fragrances.
• Gift packs- Scented candles can be good gifts. Wicks and more could introduce gift packs which the consumers could gift to whoever they want.
• Limited editions- Wicks and more could introduce limited edition fragrances which would be available to consumers around festive season.
Apart from the above mentioned offline channels, Wicks and more can also use direct online channels such as-
• Direct e-mail marketing: Wicks and more could use email services to send out promotions and new product launches to target the registered consumers.
• Social media marketing: Wicks and more could use the social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram etc.
• A well designed user-friendly website can also help Wicks and more's consumers to have a good online shopping experience.
Advantages of sales promotions-
• Additional revenue can be generated apart from the conventional sales as consumers tend to buy more on promotions.
• Retain the returning consumers by giving them discounts for their favorite products.
• Gain new consumers who are willing to try our product and get a consumer base for future promotions.
Disadvantages of sales promotions-
• Sales promotions if not formulated properly can be misused.
• Sales promotions affect the net income as we need to pay for the usage of external resources such as customer base or platforms.
4] Digital and social media marketing is a complete different ball-game from the traditional marketing techniques. The exposure that Wicks and more can get from the Social media is infinite. With our target segment being fashion savvy and tech-savvy digital marketing will play an important role in the marketing campaign for Wicks and more. Here is a general framework which Wicks and more can used to devise a strong social media campaign-
• Wicks and more can use ads to increase the exposure of their product.
• An important step for them would be to identify the target group on social media platforms.
• Highlight their attributes, their lifestyles and cultures, their likes and dislikes, the people they follow, the things they connect to, this is important to market them our product.
• While promoting it is important to convey them the uniqueness of our product(POD) like hand-made, all-natural. This can be used for keyword search by search engines. Also, hashtags are new trends for the social media users.
• Understand the response and feedback from the customers and refine the marketing campaigns. It is also important to measure the effectiveness of our campaign.
• Continue to increase the campaign if getting a good response or try different campaigns.
Social media campaigns can definitely be used by Wicks and more as they have large exposure and more power over the consumers. But while doing so they also have to take into account every detail and always stay with the current trends as social media can make or break the brand equity.
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