Within the geographic region of Botswana, demographic segmentation will be used. The variable most relevant to the product is the consumers’ economic status. Economic class is an easily measured and objective characteristic. Economic status in a developing country can be split into three levels: poor, middle, and upper class. The lower class is poverty stricken and unable to meet basic needs. The middle class is able to meet basic needs, and they have some extra money to spend on ‘wants’ and live somewhat comfortably. The upper class, which primarily consists of government officials and the country’s leaders, are wealthy and able to live comfortably without having to worry at all about basic needs.One will want to target the lower-class individuals as a segment of the population. The poverty-stricken economic class shares the commonality of malnutrition and some level of starvation; in general, their basic needs are not able to be met.
In terms of a positioning statement, it must be clear to consumers that Vitango is both tasty and healthy. It must be made clear that Vitango offers basic nutritional needs that aren’t met by the majority of the target population. The core benefit of the product is that the consumer receives basic dietary necessities for a healthy body. Vitango fights malnutrition and essential dietary deficiencies.
For the Botswanan impoverished class who lack the ability to obtain basic dietary elements, Vitango provides consumers with a healthy, tasty drink packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional elements necessary for one’s health. Unlike other nutritional sweetened drinks, Vitango is packaged individually, ready to serve, and it comes at a price that’s affordable for those who need it most.
The Marketing Mix: Product Offering
The core benefit of the product is that it makes essential dietary elements available to the lower class segment of the Botswanan population which cannot usually afford to meet their bodies’ nutritive needs.
Vitango will be packaged by individual serving size so that it is clear to consumers how much they need to drink to obtain sufficient levels of the essential dietary components. The style and design will be kept quite simple so costs can stay as low as possible so that the product is realistically available to as many people as possible. Vitango will be packaged in cans because they are easier to ship and less expensive than bottles.
At the augmented level, the product will come with an expiration date and a guaranteed refund if the product is purchased beyond the date of expiration.
The Marketing Mix: Levels of Distribution
One level of distribution will be used for this product: the product will be made by the producer, it will be shipped to retailers in the poorer areas of Botswana, and it will reach the consumers. This method allows Vitango to go from the factory to the store to the consumer. This method will be used instead of two levels of distribution so that there isn’t a wholesaler in the middle adding more to the final price of the product.
The Marketing Mix: Price
The objective is to keep the price as low as possible while still making a profit. Since it was discovered that 20 cents was too high of a selling price for one serving, the initial selling price should be 15 cents per serving, assuming the company is still making profit. Price is cited as a major problem with drinks such as Vitango. The article states that if Vitango was offered at a “reasonable” price, it would “be out of the reach of the world’s desperately poor, the group that needs [it] most” (2). Since Coca-Cola has so many profitable products, it is acceptable for this product to not make as much profit as some of the company’s other products. If 15 cents per serving is still too expensive, a lower price, such as 10 cents per serving, may need to be put into place. The price must be below sweetened drinks because the poor people of Botswana “simply cannot afford to buy fortified sweetened drinks or, for that matter, any sweetened drinks.” (2).
The Marketing Mix: Promotional Strategy
Advertising will take many forms. Billboards are easily visible and they reach a large audience in a particular region. Limited radio advertisement is helpful, because radio is not as much of a luxury as internet and/or TV advertising, so it will still reach the intended audience. Newspaper is another advertising medium that will reach part of the intended audience. At stores selling the product, window clings and posters help show that Vitango is available and popular. Compared to TV advertising, these methods are all quite inexpensive.
Since it is early in the product life cycle, informative advertising will be used. Product-focused advertisements will be used overall. These advertisements will inform customers that the product exists and persuade them to buy the product for the sake of their own health. The product advertising will run on a continuous schedule because the product is relevant at all times of the year at a steady rate. The need for this product will not fluctuate for the time being because malnutrition is not fluctuating.
A public service announcement may be worthwhile for the sake of the product. Malnutrition is a societal issue, and making people more aware of this malnutrition may ultimately benefit the sales of Vitango.
Public relations activities and publicity will be intimately connected. There are two main methods by which public relations will bring media attention: by using local celebrities, and by sponsoring events in Botswana. By convincing local celebrities to drink Vitango at public events where people can see the product being used, and by giving them free merchandise to sport around, the product will be recognized and its perceived value will increase. By sponsoring local events, such as charities or sports games, Vitango will be promoted as a brand while proving that the brand is interested in being involved at the local level.
A variety of sales promotions will be utilized to successfully sell Vitango. Sampling will allow potential customers to realize that the drink tastes good and thus adds value in the mind of the consumer. Coupons can be used so that Vitango is more financially available for individuals who can only buy basic needs in terms of food. Periodic buy-one-get-one-free deals will also make Vitango more affordable and more purchasable in the eyes of the consumer with a very limited budget. Point-of-purchase displays in fridges near the checkout counters will also be used because the strategy makes it so that consumers are likely to see the product and buy it impulsively.
Since this marketing situation is a firm expanding into a new market, a limited number of manufacturer’s representatives will help the product be successful. These manufacturer’s representatives will carry combination duties as order getters and order takers. As order getters, the representatives will identify potential customers in stores and reach out to them to persuade them to buy Vitango. As order takers, representatives will keep track of the stock in stores and reorder accordingly.