“Go to Market” Strategy Index 1. Mission Statement2 2. Product3 3. SWOT Analysis4 Strengths5 Weaknesses5 Opportunities5 Threats5 4. Competition6 Ad Comparison: Smirnoff vs. Absolut7 Smirnoff Vodka8 Popularity9 5. Market Research10 Target Market10 Focus Group and Blind Taste testing13 6. Marketing Strategies15 Table of Figures16 1. Mission Statement It was very difficult to find an actual mission statement for Smirnoff Vodka but we did find a mission statement for Smirnoff Vodka’s company owner Diageo.
Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with a collection of alcohol brands that are sold across the globe. Smirnoff is one of Diageo’s fourteen strategic brands. Diageo’s mission statement states: “Our great range of brands and geographic spread means that people can celebrate with our products at every occasion no matter where they are in the world. This is why ‘celebrating life every day, everywhere’ is at the core of what we do. ” This statement demonstrates the company’s intentions toward customers and buyers.
This means that Smirnoff Vodka promotes and contributes to the pleasure of celebrating life and positive attributes of life in people that purchase Smirnoff Vodka. The mission statement portrays the value of celebrating life and desire for happiness. Smirnoff Vodka is also committed to promoting responsible drinking and is involved in organizations like Drink IQ that restrict alcohol abuse. Smirnoff Vodka’s key market is targeting the younger generation crowd drinkers. Usually drinkers that range from age 25-35 from all ethnic background and income level.
Smirnoff Vodka can range in many drinks that may fit in different occasions from a casual soft drink in a business meeting to a strong drink for the party scene. There is a variety of products that Smirnoff Vodka contributes to the market. There are over forty Smirnoff Vodka products in the market which all contribute to over thirty drinks that are consumed in bars, clubs, hotels, and other nightlife locations (Smirnoff Drinks, 2011). The variety that Smirnoff Vodka offers contributes to the sales and promotions for consumers.
Smirnoff Vodka is also constantly presenting new markets to the market that have significantly boosted they’re sales, revenue, and reputation. Smirnoff Vodka’s primary focus is to grow across global markets to consumer appeal and expand new trends for consumers. Its unique selling proposition is to promote their products across the globe contributing to new trends and products. Smirnoff Vodka’s focus in new products has contributed to new marketing campaign that has attracted new consumers and buyers. 2. Product
Smirnoff has two products they are most known for including Smirnoff Ice and their quality 10 times filtered Smirnoff vodka. Smirnoff offers their Smirnoff Ice line to attract a crowd who does not prefer hard liquor and this helps Smirnoff enter a new market that has not been tapped into very much. When it comes to Smirnoff’s vodka, it is filtered 10 times and is one of the purest vodkas on the market. There are a wide variety of vodkas on the market but Smirnoff is the number one seller in the United States and is sold in many countries across the globe. Currently, Smirnoff uses commercials and events to reach their audience.
The commercials tend to be funny or shocking as they try to catch the attention of potential and current customers. The reason Smirnoff holds events such as concerts is because they cater to the younger crowd and this is a great way to show their product off while at the same time getting some advertising. Smirnoff has really only stuck to the previously mentioned marketing strategies but we feel they can make a presence in sporting events and action sports as this market can be very profitable. Some of the things Smirnoff could do to bring more life to their products would be to introduce new products to the current market.
Our Marketing textbook describes this as “new products that supplement a firm’s established line”. An example of how Smirnoff is introducing a new product to an existing line would be their new Smirnoff Black, which is processed “in copper pot stills, distilled from Russian grains, and filtered through silver birch charcoal. ” This is a much different process than their other vodkas. Introducing this new product to the market will make consumers curious about how it tastes and thus produces more sales as people try this interesting vodka.
Smirnoff has been introducing many different types of vodka lately, such as Smirnoff Whipped, and this will help strengthen their product line not only in the U. S. market, but worldwide as well. 3. SWOT Analysis According to Idaho State University “A SWOT Analysis looks at and defines the strengths and weaknesses of the internal environment of the organization or organizational unit, as well as the opportunities and threats within the environment external to the organization or organizational unit. Therefore SWOT has four basic components strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and by analyzing these factors a company can make decisions about their product, create different marketing strategies, do a better job at advertising, make changes in the company’s structure, and reach out to their target market as well. Strengths Smirnoff has several strengths and one of its most important strength is that it is the world’s purest vodka which is also the main factor behind the company’s success.
According to the New York Times describes Smirnoff as “the single best-selling unflavored vodka in the United States. ” A blind test was done and Smirnoff was preferred over several new brands of vodka thus outlining its supreme strength when it comes to purity. The target market for Smirnoff are college students as depicted in the survey. The reason being is that people have the luxury of choosing from a wide range of flavors such as Blueberry, Citrus, Cranberry, Green Apple, Orange, Passion Fruit, Raspberry, and Vanilla. One of the main factors in choosing a product s the price. Smirnoff falls into a category of being easily affordable. Consumers don’t have to spend a lot in purchasing Smirnoff. The price ranges anywhere from $11. 95-$19. 99 according to Crown Wine and Spirits. Weaknesses Smirnoff’s main weakness is that most people tend to prefer Absolute over Smirnoff as it has a better taste and quality. Also since many people were not drinking responsibly it became hard for Smirnoff to progress forward. The competition amongst cheaper brands makes it difficult for Smirnoff to sell its products as people like to spend less. Opportunities
Opportunity wise Smirnoff India boosted the company’s goodwill and brand image globally and internationally. This new program organizes events, music shows and parties that attracts thousands of customers. The reality TV show “Master of the Mix” airs on television which has nearly 500,000-1 million viewers every week thus expanding Smirnoff’s market growth. Threats Absolute is Smirnoff’s biggest threat to success. It is also Smirnoff’s largest competitor because they both have a similar taste, pricing and quality. Products like Sake in Japan, Soju in Korea, and Tequila in Mexico are also threats to Smirnoff.
But most of all the young generation are the biggest threat as they do not drink responsibly thus harming their lives as well as Smirnoff’s reputation. 4. Competition Smirnoff Vodka’s biggest competition in the market is the world’s third largest premium vodka brand known as Absolut. Founded by French group, PernodRicard, Absolut vodka has been distributed in over 126 markets across the globe with a wide range of flavors. Absolut vodka has promoted over twelve types of branded Absolut vodkas that have distinguished it from other vodka brands.
This innovation not only flavors different drinker’s styles but also excites them with a wide range of natural tasting choices Absolut vodka delivers messages of arts through historical cultural values to consumers. The brand value is also visible on the bottle as it portrays a message of clarity, simplicity, and perfection that the product may offer. All the inspiration shown unrestrictedly on the bottle makes it become a promotional advertisement itself. Smirnoff Vodkas unique products and advertising has set them apart from other branded vodkas in the market.
The idea of promoting across the globe and emphasizing there products through new trends has boosted up Smirnoff vodkas recognition and awareness. Smirnoff Vodka’s distinguished flavors, packaging, and price have all contributed to the uniqueness of the product. Currently, Smirnoff Vodka has been focusing on new products and promotional ads that fit to the trend of consumers. Smirnoff’scompetitor Absolut has focused on details of the product to attract consumers and new buyers. Absolut Vodka has positioned themselves in a variety of marketing campaigns that fit to sell more of its products.
The designs of many Absolut Vodka bottles have changed to a more new night-life-like design where the bottle may set a theme for the night. This focuses more on the design of the bottle to better position its brand towards consumers and to fit the needs of the night life. Ad Comparison: Smirnoff vs. Absolut 1) Smirnoff (http://youtu. be/-iXwzBvdrIY) 2) Absolut (http://youtu. be/ORC8YSS1WrI) Compare: 1) Message (does it match the company’s mission? ) The main message of the Smirnoff ad is “pure vodka”. It emphasizes purification, clearness/clarity, purity, and their necessity in order to beextraordinary.
It targets everyone, every ethnicity in a worldwide market. However, this does not exactly match Diageo’s mission statement. The Absolut ads try to tell a story and replace the word “perfect” with “absolut”. In the ad they show how a perfect (“absolut”) world would run without a currency. People would pay each other with kindness with hugs, kisses, massages, etc. The use of humor gets people interestedby making them laugh and have them talk about the ad later. 2) Target Audience for ad (does this match company’s target? ) Smirnoff usually goes for the party crowd, people who like to go out and have a good time.
In this ad they focus on the quality-oriented audience and make them aware of the purity of their product. Absolut targets usually for a niche group of people, like more art, music and “lifestyle” oriented people. They’re more urban, as one can tell by the different city editions of their Vodka (Absolut Brooklyn) but both Vodka brands target the same age group. 3) How ad communicates to audience (ex. Celebrity endorsement, use of humor etc. ) In some of Smirnoff’s ads Manchester united soccer players and Madonna endorse the Vodka by appearing/performing around a purity and quality statement.
Absolut uses humor and tells stories of individuals or groups in almost all their ads. They do have quality and purity oriented ads too. 4) Which ad do you think does a better job? Why? Absolut’s ad does a better job. The “in an Absolut world” commercials draw your attention, entertain you and make you laugh. It’s not like watching a commercial but more being told a story so you don’t get annoyed by claims how much better their product is compared to the ones from their competitors. The message is way more subliminal but perfectly easy to interpret and understand. Smirnoff Vodka
Smirnoff’s general target audience, judging by its recent campaigns is slightly confusing, it is a social, party loving 21-35 year old who drinks vodka on a night out, not at home; however, they are currently leaning towards the male consumer due to their alliance with Manchester United and recent re-launch of Smirnoff Black (see Current Positioning for further detail). Smirnoff Ice, has a slightly younger female audience, however the focus for this model will be on Smirnoff as an umbrella brand as that is the audience which will be expanded upon in the later communications strategy.
People who want to buy premium vodka focus on the quality-oriented audience and make them aware of the purity of their product. The top products include: Popularity Even though the survey result the favorite vodka—Absolut has 14% greater than Smirnoff 5 % but Smirnoff is the largest vodka in the U. S. by volume. According to research firm Beverage Information Group, Absolut- Vodka is the second largest. Some benefits that contribute to popularity of Smirnoff Vodka products include: * Focus on being there in the moment Emphasizes having fun and sharing it with friends * Focus on being social , friendly, and lifestyle based, as opposed to previous positioning emphasizing purity and its premium-status * Found mostly on the web * Emphasizes a good time and sense of humor 5. Market Research Target Market Due to our survey we have a nice overview of the vodka drinking party scene in the age range of typical club scene people and bar-goers, age 21-35 (figures 1 and 2). The survey had 44 participants and was linked and spread on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ Figure 1 – Education
They buy Smirnoff because it’s available almost everywhere, heavily advertised and been established on the market for a long time. Even though Smirnoff is not the favorite vodka pick in our survey (figure 3), it still is the best sold vodka worldwide and Diageo’s strongest international brand. It’s very mainstream and tries to expand its reach beyond the masses by introducing other vodka related products and premium co-brands (like Smirnoff Ice or black label) for either younger or female as well as wealthier drinkers. Figure 2 – Income levels Figure 3 – Favorite Vodka
Competitors in contrast are targeting subsets of the market and try to find profitable niches. Absolut for instance is heavily marketing the brand inside the gay community, Grey Goose, Skyy and Ketel One are going for the wealthier population and are marketed as premium vodka. Smirnoff Vodka offers a wide range of benefits to its customers: * Different flavors and sizes – variety, offer customers more choices while still having the same brand * Glass bottles instead of plastic – separates from cheap and in-store brands, helps the customer to differentiate and feel more sophisticated * Wide availability – makes it asy to stay faithful to the brand * Twist-off caps – for mixed products like Smirnoff Ice add convenience to the handling and drinking process * Affordable – Having a mainstream brand comes at the cost of having to offer reasonable mainstream prices, which can make it affordable and desirable for the masses. For the more upscale drinkers, premium sub-brands try to diversify towards their direction (Smirnoff Black Label) * Easy to carry – Six packs for mix products
When we thought about psychographics of our target audience we came up with the following, backed by the experience and results we got from the survey: •Personality: adventurous, outgoing, fun, social •Attitudes: happy and sad •Values: enjoy a good drink •Interests/hobbies: clubbing, music, dance, socializing, networking •Lifestyles: wide range from college grad to CEO •Behavior: party animals ranging to (responsible) drinkers Our product will mostly be consumed on weekends, at social events (bars, clubs, parties, etc. or on special occasions like holidays and celebrations. For higher priced sub-brands like Smirnoff Black Label it might also be consumed in a more sophisticated way like as a nice aperitif or a toast-drink for celebrating the closure of a business deal. The most appealing feature might be the mix of affordability and the more upscale packaging of the product, along with its purified brand image and the wide availability in stores. Magazines, online, TV, radio, and billboards are the main advertising platforms to reach the targeted audience.
Especially when having a look at our survey, online ads are the main source that should be focused on in order to attract the maximum amount of eyeballs/ maximize reach and frequency in our target market (figures 4 and 5). Figure 4 – Social Media use Figure 5 – Target audience’s main sources of information To verify and justify our decision on the target market we asked us if the resulting audience is big enough and suitable for our product. The answers are yes and yes.
It is a very mainstream product (red label) it is very affordable and fits our customers wants in the product perfectly. In order to serve different other market segments like the premium vodka drinkers or women we have sub-brands and labels in our portfolio to specifically target those as well. Any segment however benefits from the strong brand name, recognition and reputation. The consumers we want to reach are also very accessible and open to try new things. Focus Group and Blind Taste testing
The sales data for Smirnoff, a top-selling brand, and the results of our survey didn’t really agree (see figure 3 and 6). So, in order to better understand our consumer’s purchasing patterns compared to their opinions on vodka, we conducted a focus group. The focus group consisted of eight participants from our target market. There were four female and four males between the ages of 21-28. Questions were asked mainly about how they choose what to brand of alcohol to purchase in certain scenarios. Figure 6 – Biggest buying influence
When purchasing alcohol in a store to be consumed by them, the majority of participants said that current promotional pricing is the top factor, and that they would be willing to choose different liquor over their preferred brand if it was less expensive and still comparable in quality. A couple of participants said they buy the same brand all the time because they know it is something they prefer and they are willing to pay a little more for it. When purchasing alcohol for someone else, for example as a gift, participants said that they choose the more expensive “Top Shelf” brands.
Some reasons given for this are they don’t want to seem cheap for choosing something inexpensive, and participants felt that people typically enjoy “Top Shelf” brands more because they are better quality, and that’s the reason they are more expensive. Participants were asked when consuming alcohol out at a restaurant, bar, or club how they choose their liquor. The response was a pretty even divide. About half said they choose the promotion the location has at that time, for example “happy hours. ” The other half said they order whatever sounds good to them at the time, a few of them had a “usual. Along with the focus group questions we also conducted a blind taste test where participants could compare Smirnoff, Absolut, and Grey Goose vodkas. Absolut was an equal brand competitor and Grey Goose was rated favorite vodka in our survey results. The results were made on a points scale based on 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice. The results ended up at Grey Goose with 12 points, and Smirnoff and Absolut tied with six points. The majority of participants rated how smooth the vodka tasted as their main determining factor.
A couple of participants admitted to just choosing for the sake of the survey and that they really had no preference. This would make the results more evenly distributed across the three brands. This helped to prove that although people think they like the higher end vodkas better for the product, it is actually for the brand. 6. Marketing Strategies To market Smirnoff we plan to advertise in print media sources such as magazines specifically aimed at our target market like Cosmopolitan and Maxim just to name a couple for example.
Also, we plan to advertise through social media sites such as Facebook and Google+. Facebook hosts around 800 members that spend nearly 740 billion minutes logged in per month. Facebook advertisements are a great way to reach not only many members of our target market but other possible markets as well. Facebook advertisements should include our commercial advertisements as well as still images. Smirnoff should also maintain a website displaying all of their current promotional products as well as archives of all their commercials.
Giveaways and contests will help to drive traffic to the website as well. The website is also a great way to co-market other company’s products to our same target market for the exchange of the same advertising on their website. On the shelf marketing strategies are important to Smirnoff as well. The marketing materials such as flyers, displays, print ads, etc. that we provide to retailers who sell our product is key. To be upfront and on display in a grocery store is some of the best marketing we have for our products. Table of Figures Figure 1 – Education10 Figure 2 – Income levels10
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