PROMOTION JONES SODA

PROMOTION JONES SODA

Objective:

Promotional Activities appears to be the easiest element of Marketing 4P. However, it has its own challenges:

· Social Media is quite prominent, but not all platforms of social media are available throughout the world

· Internet is not necessarily available or reliable at some parts of the world

· Traditional media is still heavily used in many parts of the world

· Different medium of traditional media works much better in some countries than others

· Literacy rate is not necessarily high in some parts of the world, making written messages difficult to disseminate

· Translation of promotional messages, slogans, brand promises have known to be lost in translation or mistranslated (e.g. Coca Cola, Nova, etc.)

· Package Labeling practices differ globally (legal requirements, labeling standards, etc.) (Package is considered the last piece of advertisement consumers see before purchasing)

The objective of this assignment is to evaluate what a global company needs to consider in how to engage and stay relevant to consumers through promotional activities, considering the cultural differences.

You will be researching Jones Soda. Here is the background:

Every great product has a secret formula.  Coca-Cola’s legendary recipe is locked deep within the vaults in its Atlanta headquarters. KFC mixes different parts of its 11 herbs and spices at three separate facilities to safeguard the Colonel’s secret bland.  McDonald’s hunted down its original special-sauce mix for Big Macs last year as part of its turnaround effort.

Jones Soda, the small Seattle soft drink maker, has its own secret ingredient – one that has created buzz, at one point produced 30 percent yearly revenue growth in a flat beverage market, drawn major distribution partners such as Starbucks and Target, and brought in $30 million in annual revenue.  That ingredient: a small but growing following of devout customers.  These are not just any customers — Jones Soda knows its niche.  It targets young buyers — 12 to 24-year-old — who appreciate the brand’s wacky, irreverent attitude.  By focusing in on these customers, listening to them, and giving them what they want, Jones Soda is thriving in the shadows of the soft drink giants.

Virtually everything about a Jones Soda, from labels to flavors, comes from its carefully targeted customers.  The world is not clamoring for another soda, even if it tastes like blue bubblegum.  So how do you sell a non-necessity product? (“non-necessity” because it is not an essential food source you need for nutrition)   According to van Stolk (the founder, but no longer CEO), who started Jones Soda in 1986, “People get fired up about Jones because it’s theirs.”  It all started with the Web site Jones Soda launched in 1997.  Hundreds of comments poured in from customers, and van Stolk quickly took up their suggestions and online votes for neon colors, wacky names (like Fufu Berry, Whoops Ass, MF Grape, and Bada Bing!) and off-beat flavors (including blue bubblegum, crushed melon, and twisted lime — or even strange seasonal flavors like fruitcake of turkey and gravy).  Van Stolk also encouraged customers to submit photos, and the eccentric and strangely captivating images on Jones’s stark black-and-white bottle labels have come largely from fans. Jones also stays close to its 12- to 24-year-old customers with a pair of roving RVs.  The two flame-festooned vehicles spend nine months out of the year visiting Jones-friendly sites, from small skate parks in the middle of nowhere to major extreme-games competitions such as the X Games.

Whereas its mainstream competitors work at making something for everyone, Jones Soda understands the importance of sticking to its niche.  “If you’re able to listen to customers from their perspective,” van Stolk says, “not everything they do will be right.  But you’ll know more about what you have to do because of it.”  So far, Jones Soda has learned that small can be beautiful — and very profitable.  Jones Soda may not be in the mainstream anymore in the competitive beverage market, but it is still considered valued brand.

Instruction: Part 1 Individual Work – 25 points Part 2 Group Work – 25 points

For submission and presentation in class, research the following questions. College level research and critical thinking responses are expected. MLA citation required.

Individual Work

1. Determine 2 countries where you believe Jones Soda will do successfully. (Do not select Canada)

a. Name the two countries. Make sure the Jones Soda is not sold in those countries.

b. Substantiate your choice with research and supporting facts and data.

i. Facts and Data for country 1

ii. Facts and Data for country 2

2. Develop a very brief promotional plan for each country

a. Design the name of the brand in country 1

i. Will you keep the same name, Jones Soda?

ii. If you choose to keep the name, why do you think the name, “Jones” will resonate with the consumers in this country?

iii. If you choose to change the name, what will you change it to? Why

b. Design the name of the brand in country 2

i. Will you keep the same name, Jones Soda?

ii. If you choose to keep the name, why do you think the name, “Jones”, will resonate with the consumers in this country?

iii. If you choose to change the name, what will you change it to? Why?

c. Design the product label

i. For country 1. Explain your reason for this design.

ii. For country 2. Explain your reason for this design.

d. Design promotional activities

i. How would you promote this brand in country 1?

1. Select 1 medium (traditional or social). Explain your reason.

2. Select 1 event to sponsor or host. Explain your reason

ii. How would you promote this brand in country 2?

1. Select 1 medium (traditional or social). Explain your reason.

2. Select 1 event to sponsor or host. Explain your reason.

Group Work

1. With your group, consider all the choices of countries you have brought to the table.

a. Select the optimal 2 countries in terms of (1) brand value, (2) revenue generation, (3) ease of market penetration, (4) ease of promotion execution.

b. You will be presenting these two choices to the CEO.

i. Which do you think the company will wish to enter first?  (consider the decision criteria listed in “a”)

ii. Substantiate your choice with researched data and facts.

Ishihara 2