Flavored Mineral Water Strategy ? Japanese Market Essay

This essay has a total of 3265 words and 14 pages.

Flavored Mineral Water Strategy ? Japanese Market





South Beach Company (SoBe)
Flavored Mineral Water Strategy - Japanese Market















INTRODUCTION:
South Beach Beverage Company, SoBe, makes and markets herbal enhanced beverages. These
beverages, called "healthy refreshments" have been designed to market to active persons
concerned with their health. Other products that SoBe sells online are hats, shirts,
limited collectibles, children's clothing, sportswear, and some other miscellaneous items
to include duffle bags and water bottles. SoBe products are available throughout Canada,
Puerto Rico, Aruba, Anguilla, St. Kitts, Nevis, Grand Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos,
Bolivia, Antigua, Barbados, Guam, Bahamas, Bermuda, United Kingdom, Ireland, The British
Virgin Islands, El Salvador, Trinidad, Mexico and Curacao. Beverages can be found in
convenience stores, grocery stores, mass merchandisers and warehouse clubs, delis, gas
marts, and select restaurants/hotels. A separately operating unit of Pepsi-Cola North
America, SoBe markets and sells its beverages through the combined efforts of Pepsi-Cola
bottlers and independent distributors.

Starting in 1996 by four partners who were into health and fitness as a way of life, the
first product introduced, SoBe Black Tea 3G with Ginseng, Ginkgo and Guarana brought an
overwhelming response. As a result, the company gained ground and immediately introduced
SoBe Green Tea, SoBe Oolong Tea, SoBe Orange Carrot Elixir, SoBe Cranberry Grapefruit
Elixir and SoBe Energy. These products started the company and now serve as the foundation
for future brand development.

Most SoBe beverages are sold in a 20 oz. glass "lizard" bottle that is double sealed to
protect the freshness of the beverages. However, in order to make their product more
portable and safe for places where glass isn't the best material to use, the company
produced one line of their drink, SoBe Synergy, in a can which is 11.5 oz. SoBe also makes
several other beverages to include SoBe Sports System, an advanced performance beverage
system, SoBe Adrenaline Rush, an all-natural maximum energy supplement, Love Bus Brew, an
energizing chocolate-flavored drink, and SoBe Ice, an icy-cold fountain-dispensed frozen
drink. SoBe's name can also be found on SoBe Gum and SoBe Chocolate - two of their
licensed products. The newest product is the 16-oz. energy-packed SoBe No Fear Super
Energy Supplement.

Being in the business of producing healthy drinks, SoBe even has a sugar-free product line
called SoBe Lean. This line appeals to diabetics and all health-conscious consumers who
want to avoid sugar. These drinks are sweetened with a blend of sucralose and ACE-K. The
company boasts many different recipes for health drinks and there are currently over 200
different cap slogans in production. The flavor of the beverage is on all of the front and
back labels, excluding the 3G Teas. Although some products don't have the flavor of the
beverage on it, because it is part of their older stock still on the market, new labels
are being generated so that all products will eventually have their flavor name on it.
Another health issue for consumers is weather or not caffeine is added. SoBe beverages
show an ingredient statement on the back label for all of their beverages. In general, all
of their tea drinks contain caffeine that is naturally derived from the tea leaves.

The list of flavors available to consumers of SoBe health drinks is so long that room
often needs to be made for the production of new drink flavors. There have been several
flavors discontinued to make room to include SoBe Drive, SoBe Essentials, Edge, Eros, Red
Tea, Orange-Tomato, Strawberry Carrot Elixir, Karma, Wisdom, Lean Green Tea, Lean Peach
Mango, Lean Orange Carrot and Lean Citrus. However, some of these discontinued flavors may
come back in the future. Although SoBe just came out with a 4 pack of SoBe bottles in
their more popular flavors and currently make 12 pack variety cases, usually sold at
wholesale clubs, they don't make the 6 pack.

Complete Beverage Line:
Exotic Teas and Fruit Juice Blends (Black Tea, Dragon, Green Tea, Nirvana, Oolong, Zen Tea)
Powerline (Courage, Drive, Energy, Fuerte, Power)
Elixir Line: (Pomegranate Cranberry, Cranberry Grapefruit, Orange Carrot)
Lizard Line: (Black and Blue Berry Blue, Liz Blizz, LizFuel, Lizard Lava, Lizard Lightning, Tsunami)
SoBe Lean: Cranberry Grapefruit, Peach Tea, Tropical
SoBe Adrenaline Rush: Adrenaline Rush, Sugar Free SoBe Adrenaline Rush
SoBe No Fear
Special Recipes: Long John Lizard's Grape Grog, MacLizard's Special Recipe Lemondade
Synergy: Fruit, Grape, Kiwi, Lemonade, Mango
Variety Pack: Includes Green Tea, Lizard Lava, Energy, Orange Carrot Elixir
Fountain Drinks: Includes Energy, Lean Cranberry Grapefruit, Power
SoBe Ice: Frozen drink
As mentioned earlier, SoBe is a player in the international market and, therefore, already
understands how to operate on that level. However, SoBe doesn't currently sell their
products in Japan, a market that research has shown to be a lucrative one for exporters of
health beverages. In addition, research has also shown that this is especially the right
time for sellers of health beverages to get into this market because Japanese consumers
are more health-conscious than ever before. This is so much the case that the market for
these beverages continued to grow, even during Japan's recent recession. Companies like
SoBe, which produce natural, organic, herbal or fruit ingredients have a great chance of
being a success in Japan as a result of this continued demand.

Currently, 20 companies own 80 percent of Japan's beverage market with one U.S. firm alone
holding 35 percent. But these large market-players still need reliable suppliers of trendy
health and natural products. This is why SoBe should initiate one or more of their product
lines to the Japanese market.

INTERNAL FUNCTIONS:
PLANNING:
SoBe's new product in Japan will need to be designed to meet Japan's market needs and to
comply with SoBe's core strategic plan. Before the final product is marketed,
manufactured, and sold, SoBe needs to ensure that all departments participate in providing
a product that SoBe can proudly stand by. The departments that will be involved for
finding the appropriate product for the appropriate market will be the marketing/sales,
research & development, production, and operations department. These departments will
conduct the analysis that will provide for a defined strategic plan. Their analysis should
ensure information to include economic, cultural, legal, and competitive conditions. After
SoBe finds that it's advantageous to enter a certain market, it will need to modify the
product for that market. In addition, charts should be created by the production
department to include action-plan deadlines for roll-out of the product.

ORGANIZING:
Marketing
SoBe's marketing department should organize the product launch by deciding the activities
that would need to take place and by assigning responsibility to the various business
department heads. They would need to ensure communication with the Research & Development
department to create an accurate product. This is an important step since the product
needs to be developed for Japan's specific tastes. For example, pre-analysis has already
shown a strong difference between the U.S. and Japan's taste preferences with the U.S.
beverages being too sweet for Japan. The marketing department also needs to coordinate
with the Human Resources department to ensure adequate personnel being ready to support
their marketing efforts. This is especially important in that persons pulled on this
project need to have the educational background combined with related experience to bring
forth the knowledge required. Next, further market analysis needs to be performed in order
to broaden the span of knowledge pre-analysis has provided on the Japanese market. In
addition to market analysis, competitive analysis needs to be performed to provide
information on possible direct and indirect competitors in the market, how much market
share they have, what specific regions they operate in, and the normal business
practices/lessons learned of those competitors who have sustained market share (in order
to learn from these). Marketing research needs to provide specific target markets that the
SoBe product should engage in. A marketing plan then needs to be created to provide a list
of objectives that are desirable to meet and the appropriate method for advertisements. A
pricing strategy needs to be developed with relation to the current pricing standards and
the prices of other companies operating in the same market. A decision needs to made on
whether or not to price higher or lower. If the plan is to develop a high-end product,
higher prices could be acceptable but certain market share would be lost. Volume
projections with production need to be defined in order to indicate how much of the
product needs to be manufactured. This can only be known with the background information
marketing analysis can provide. Finally, promotional and marketing materials need to be
developed that will appeal to this specific market. There needs to be sensitivity in this
area with regard to what is considered acceptable and what is considered offensive to the
Japanese population. This would all help reduce the costs of production by generating more
volume and helping to customize the product to consumer needs while differentiating the
product from competitors' products.

Research & Development/ Human Resources/ Production
The Research and Development department will be responsible for designing and producing
the new SoBe beverage (most likely being a new SoBe flavored water since pre-analysis
Continues for 7 more pages >>




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