Gridiron Gourmet Barbecue Sauce: Situation Assessment
Successful marketing takes place upon analyzing the organization’s situation and strategy development that fits the organization. An organization can sometimes decide to keep the brand on hold for marketing ambitions because of an unfeasible situation assessment. Situation assessment comprises environmental scanning and SWOT analysis, which evaluate internal and external environmental factors. SWOT analysis includes strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats, while environmental scanning includes other factors such as political, economic, social, technological, and legal (PESTL) aspects. It is important to conduct an analysis of these factors to determine the opportunity that Gridiron Gourmet Barbecue Sauce has in achieving its objectives after investing in the United Kingdom market.
The SWOT Analysis
An organization’s SWOT analysis aims to establish internal strengths and weaknesses. Gridiron Gourmet Barbecue Sauce has acquired three strengths over the years. First, the company has several products within its operation line. Currently, the sauce-product line has BBQ beef ribs, BBQ salmon, BBQ meatloaf, and BBQ beef brisket as part of its product mix (Gridironbbq.com 1). The variety of products is an indisputable strength because it enables the company to serve consumers with diverse tastes and preferences. Apart from the sauce product line, the company has another product, referred as Gridiron Hamburgers, as a diversification strategy to boost its sales and profit levels.
The second strength is Barbecue’s Sauce is its ability to be an all-purpose company that can be used for other food items, including meat, fish, poultry, and chips. Customers value such products because they do not have to purchase a variety of sauces to use on different food items. The third strength enjoyed by Gridiron Gourmet Barbecue Sauce is its ability to be accepted in institutions from different sectors, including restaurants, hospitals, and schools (Gridironbbq.com 1b). The diversified market served by the organization is significantly important in that a failure in one of the divisions cannot lead to massive losses to the organization.
Weaknesses are the factors that hinder an organization from achieving its objectives. A successful marketer should understand internal weaknesses to develop strategies to minimize them and strengthen the company’s financial position in the market. Gridiron Gourmet Barbecue Sauce is faced with one main weakness. Its products primarily depend on Michigan as its primary market. The company has not exploited its potential market in other parts of the country and the international market (Gridironbbq.com, 1). Despite its products being highly acceptable, the company has not taken advantage of this strength to expand its market, an indication of weak strategies applied by the management.
An organization that realizes opportunities in its strengths and weakness overcomes the odds in its operations and marketing functions. There are two opportunities that Gridiron Gourmet Barbecue Sauce can use to improve its performance. First, the company should seek to expand its market to other areas with equal potential as the already exploited market. The company can establish franchises, mergers, and acquisitions in the target markets. For example, the company aims to invest in the United Kingdom, where franchising can assist the company in entering the new market. Secondly, modern technology allows the company to reach out to the potential market cheaply and successfully. For example, through e-marketing, the company can reach out to suppliers and customers, while social media will provide opportunities for successful interaction with potential customers.
Threats are the potential factors that can hinder a marketer from realizing objectives even after putting in place all the required strategies. Gridiron Gourmet Barbecue Sauce is likely to face two threats. First, the sauce is consumed with other products such as potato chips, considered part of fast food, whose health-based debate is still alive worldwide. Potentially, legislation can be passed In Michigan as the primary market, Chicago as the secondary market, and in the United Kingdom as the target market for the company. Secondly, there is the threat of new entrants. Other investors, particularly large-scale food organizations, can venture into massive production and distribution of sauces. New entrants will likely develop better products and technologies and take over a certain portion of Gridiron Gourmet Barbecue Sauce’s market share.
The SWOT analysis has several implications for Gridiron Gourmet Barbecue Sauce. First, Gourmet Barbecue Sauce’s outstanding products appeal to most consumers. The company should try to market the products in unexploited areas where possible improvement product mix is possible, thus meeting the customers’ changing needs. Secondly, depending on a single market in Michigan is a risky marketing approach since a new entrant can take over the market, leaving the company with a weak financial performance due to low revenue and profit. Thirdly, Gourmet Barbecue Sauce should adopt new technology to reduce its operations costs and strengthen its ties with its customers.
PESTL is a powerful tool applied by organizations in scanning their target markets. The PESTL, in this case, is based in the United Kingdom, which is the target market. The analysis will assist Gourmet Barbecue Sauce to understand the environment of the target market. The political analysis concerns issues such as government policies, the type of governance, and the stability status. The United Kingdom has been considered one of the most stable countries in the world with many decades of peaceful political transitions. The government allows private investors from both the internal and foreign economies to carry on their activities without political interference. In addition, the United Kingdom is a close ally of the United States. Thus Gourmet Barbecue Sauce is not at risk of facing political sidelining because of its country of origin.
In the United Kingdom, hotels, health, transport and communication, and education contribute about 75 % of the output levels. The per capita income for the year 2013 was $37, 955, an indication that many citizens can afford at least an average livelihood. The number of people falling under the working age bracket (16 to 64) is 73 %, implying that the labor supply is adequate to support economic activities (Bamford and Grant, 23).
The social factors, including population size, social structure, level of education, and social stability, are crucial regarding marketing in a foreign economy. The United Kingdom’s population is dominated by whites and other races worldwide. There is social freedom that exists, particularly when it comes to religion. Hence there are all forms of religious groups represented in the country. There is peaceful co-existence in the United Kingdom, where people from different backgrounds can carry on their activities as long as they are within the legal framework and do not bring about social unrest. A Larger portion of the population belongs to the working age bracket; thus, it implies that the labor supply is available from within the country.
Technology is a transformational tool that has brought about many changes in all aspects of human life. Business operations and processes are in modern days based on technological advancement. In fact, investors attempt to use the latest technology to reduce costs and improve the quality of goods and services offered to markets. Technological advancement has been adopted in the United Kingdom. Hence Gourmet Barbecue Sauce is not expected to export any form of technology and expertise. Online marketing should be given a higher chance where interaction and transactions between the organization, suppliers, and customers can be carried out through the corporate website or any other internet-based platform.
Legal aspects and situations are the other immensely important factor to consider before investing in a certain economy. The legal system in the United Kingdom is as stable as the one in the United States. The laws can be passed on two levels, including the national level through the legislature and at the local government (Brinkman, Bateman, Harper, and Hodgson 312). Legislations are based on the interests of the people, and the court of law can term legislation to be unfair and unacceptable if it adversely affects members of the public. The courts are very effective, with both the aggrieved and the accused given a fair hearing and representation in the court proceeding. Gourmet Barbecue Sauce is not under any legal threat or disadvantage due to the existing checks and balances in the legal system.
Consumer Buying Habits
The situation analysis seems to be favorable; hence, Gourmet Barbecue Sauce can go on and invest in the United Kingdom. However, the company should understand customer buying behavior to develop strategies to capture their interests and serve their needs. Product-use patterns, product feature preferences, and shopping habits are the key factors to consider in this perspective (OECD 1). The company uses product patterns to consider the frequency and volumes consumed in a given period. In the United States, people are used to three-course meals in the morning, lunch, and evening. A combination comprising bacon, eggs, grilled tomatoes, fried bread, fried mushrooms, and sausages is commonly consumed. Those products are the key primary food items that Gourmet Barbecue Sauce combines with its product, thus making it easy to market the sauces on the market.
Product feature preferences concern the quality elements associated with the product in question. Potentially, consumers expect Gourmet Barbecue Sauce to be healthy and safe for consumption. Many people are highly educated and sensitive regarding the quality of food items they consume (OECD 4). Gourmet Barbecue Sauce may not have issues with health and safety measures that have succeeded in the United States, where both the government and consumers observe equal measures. Shopping habits are also the other consumer-based concern to put into consideration. Customers in United Kingdom are fond of purchasing in large quantities and preserving adequate food items to consume for a certain period. In most cases, shopping takes place over the weekends, mid-month and at the end of the month. Therefore, Gourmet Barbecue Sauce should take advantage of those days when shopping takes place by ensuring its products are available in retail outlets.
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