Lush Company Integrated Communication Marketing Plan
TOC o “1-1” h z u HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425627” 1.0 Background PAGEREF _Toc373425627 h 2
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425628” 1.1 History PAGEREF _Toc373425628 h 3
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425629” 1.2.1 Scope of this Integrated Marketing Communications Plan PAGEREF _Toc373425629 h 3
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425630” 1.2.2 Marketing Objectives PAGEREF _Toc373425630 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425631” 1.2.3 Communication Objectives PAGEREF _Toc373425631 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425632” 1.2.4 Issues and Challenges PAGEREF _Toc373425632 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425633” 2.0 Situational Analysis PAGEREF _Toc373425633 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425634” 2.0.1 Strengths PAGEREF _Toc373425634 h 4
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425635” 2.0.2 Weaknesses PAGEREF _Toc373425635 h 5
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425636” 2.0.3 Opportunity PAGEREF _Toc373425636 h 5
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425637” 2.0.4 Threats PAGEREF _Toc373425637 h 5
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425638” 2.1 Product History PAGEREF _Toc373425638 h 5
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425639” 2.1.1 Product Background PAGEREF _Toc373425639 h 5
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425640” 2.1.2 Current Problems Facing Products PAGEREF _Toc373425640 h 6
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425641” 2.1.3 Current Marketing Situation PAGEREF _Toc373425641 h 6
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425642” 3.0 Target Audience PAGEREF _Toc373425642 h 6
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425643” Figure 1: Cosmetic Distribution with Co-relation to age PAGEREF _Toc373425643 h 7
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425644” Figure 2: Age Segmentation and Market Positioning PAGEREF _Toc373425644 h 8
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425645” 4.0 Competition PAGEREF _Toc373425645 h 8
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425646” 4.1 Product Comparison PAGEREF _Toc373425646 h 8
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425647” 4.1Barriers to entry PAGEREF _Toc373425647 h 8
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425648” 4.2Competitor Differentiation PAGEREF _Toc373425648 h 9
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425649” 5.0 Branding and Messaging PAGEREF _Toc373425649 h 9
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425650” 5.1 Branding Architecture PAGEREF _Toc373425650 h 9
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425651” 5.2 Positioning Statement PAGEREF _Toc373425651 h 10
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425652” 5.3 Value Propositions PAGEREF _Toc373425652 h 10
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425653” 6.0 Communication and Marketing Strategies PAGEREF _Toc373425653 h 10
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425654” 6.1 Social Networking PAGEREF _Toc373425654 h 10
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425655” 6.2 Direct Product Marketing PAGEREF _Toc373425655 h 11
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425656” 6.3 Customization and Internet marketing PAGEREF _Toc373425656 h 12
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425657” 6.4 Television Commercial and Bonus Schemes PAGEREF _Toc373425657 h 13
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425658” 7.0 Budget PAGEREF _Toc373425658 h 14
HYPERLINK l “_Toc373425659” 7.1 Tactical Calendar PAGEREF _Toc373425659 h 15
1.0 BackgroundLush Company is a limited retail company that has its headquarters in the UK. It was founded in 1994 by Mr. Mark Constatine and his wife Mo Constatine. They pioneered the first store at Poole and named it Cosmetic House Limited. It was however on 10th of April 1995 that Lush Company acquired its current name. Since then they have opened over eight hundred and thirty stores in over fifty one countries. The company manufactures and retails a number of cosmetic and hand made products. These include bubble bars, shower gels, face masks and hair conditioners among others. The company uses synthetic ingredients and bees wax to give their products a touch of authenticity and uniqueness. A notable event was when Mo and Mark were awarded an OBE award during the new year of December 2010 due to their contribution to the beauty and cosmetic industry (Wood 31).
1.1 HistoryThe source of what is considered as Lush Company can be traced to 1970 when the paths of Elizabeth Weir an accomplished beauty therapist collided with Mark Constatine and together they birthed the company called Constatine & Weir. The worked together and began experimenting by making simple beauty and bath recipes and selling them to clients. This attracted the attention of The Body Shop which was a company owned by Anita Roddick and based in the UK, She was contracted as their supplier and since then their success has been on a notable upward trajectory. A background analysis of the company will reveal unique and steady business growth and expansion strategies employed by the company’s management (Thorson and Moore 23).
1.2 Executive Overview
The marketing plan clearly outlines various marketing and communication tactics that help promote Lush Company and its products to give it a wider consumer scope. Lush will be able to do this through internet advertising, website promotions and television advertising among other tactics. The tactics implied by this Integrated marketing communications plan will ensure that Lush company is able to fully tackle any challenges relayed to sales and brand dominance to build client and consumer loyalty (Wood 25).
1.2.1 Scope of this Integrated Marketing Communications PlanThis ICM plan entails the various strategies, tactics and communication objectives required to ensure that integrated marketing is executed and implemented successfully.
1.2.2 Marketing ObjectivesThe overall plan is to ensure that purchase of cosmetic materials by a student base target group increases by a considerable 35 % by the end of the 12 months.
Have a significant increase in our market share before the end of the 12 months to approximately 18% through implementation of strategies and modalities laid out in this plan.
1.2.3 Communication ObjectivesEnsure that approximately 15% of our target audience is aware about Lush Company and our cosmetic products by the end of the 12 months.
We also aim to increase our site traffic by 35% by the end of the year through website promotions and search engine optimization among other strategies.
1.2.4 Issues and ChallengesWomen are our major target demographic and due to increased competition with regard to female cosmetic products we will face some very stiff competition. To help us counter this challenge, we aim to diversify our target demographic to include children and men so that we can have an effective marketing strategy through product target differentiation (Wood 21).
2.0 Situational Analysis2.0.1 StrengthsOne of Lush’s key strengths is the invention of fast cosmetic mixing technology which enables cosmetics to be mixed, graded and quantified very easily. This technology has put Lush as the market leader in this field. The company has also ventured into mergers and partnerships increasing its manufacturing capacities.
2.0.2 WeaknessesOne of the key weaknesses of the company is the fact that the major markets are in the USA. The current economic recessions and fluctuations have impacted the sales negatively and Lush is now venturing into Asia and Africa.
2.0.3 OpportunityThere is a lot of opportunity presented by the African and Asian markets. Inflation in Africa and East Asia has led to an increase in demand for cosmetics which are cheap and economical on pricing.
2.0.4 ThreatsRecalls on some cosmetic products have posed a major threat to the company. There have been cases of dysfunctional cosmetic products resulting to accidents and skin irritation in some cases. The company has recalled some of the products in the market and this has threatened business all over the country and the company is working tirelessly to rectify the problem with the cosmetic products.
2.1 Product History2.1.1 Product BackgroundLush Company Over a period of three years have built a team of highly creative employees with Mo Constantine being the lead and overseeing product development. The products are at times highly individualistic and in some cases it is important to educate customers. New products are launched roughly every week and such a product that became very popular with the company was bath bombs which fizz when dissolving in water. A lively online user community and discussion forum is a very useful source or Ideas and input to the creative process (Wong 24).
2.1.2 Current Problems Facing Products One of their greatest problems right now it the lack of a direct link to consumers in that certain clients cannot easily get Lush cosmetic products. Most of their target group demographic hence cannot easily get and purchase their products leading to a gap in product delivery and development (Smith and Ze Zook 15). Another key problem they are facing is consumer brand indifference. There is no brand loyalty especially from women who are their target demographic since there are many diverse cosmetic products to choose from (Smith and Ze Zook 16).
2.1.3 Current Marketing SituationLush company has a website through which it reaches most of its users and has built quite a sizable online community of clients. This is one of their key tactics and they currently do not have other supporting strong marketing tactics.
3.0 Target AudienceFour factors have been taken into consideration in defining our target market. These are:
Based on research and studies regarding the cosmetic market, we have chosen to employ a new approach and target college and university students as our target audience. We are targeting a segmented age range as a new marketing strategy which will help target a well-balanced and defined consumer population ages 19-29 and 32-50 as seen in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Cosmetic Distribution with Co-relation to age
Source: Smith and Pulford 31
Most of our target market includes students and we were able to capture some analytical data to validate our segmentation of this market by asking some questions such as “How would you like to use Lush Cosmetics as your primary products?” and “Would you switch from your current cosmetic products to Lush Cosmetics?”. The response that we have gotten from respondents has given us a baseline to assure us that within the next 12 months we will achieve market segmentation of the said age bracket.
By selecting the specified target market, we aim to capture a well- defined and balanced target group that will ensure even our products have age based diversity and appeal to both adults and young individuals.
Market strategies and Positioning
When most of the students were asked what had greater influence in their decision to purchase cosmetic products, about 56% said that price was the dominant factor. About 32% said that quality was the dominant factor. 21% of the respondents said the design and style was a dominant factor.
Figure 2: Age Segmentation and Market Positioning
Source: Smith and Ze Zook 21
4.0 Competition4.1 Product ComparisonCurrently, there are a number of companies producing cosmetic products that target the youth especially college and university students. With our products being refined to suit this age segmentation bracket, we aim to have a competitive edge and capture most of this market segment share.
Barriers to entryLush company is facing a number of barriers that deter it from fully optimizing this market. Key of these is the lack of awareness of this age bracket to Lush products and services. The economic recession and downturn has also proven to be quite a barrier as more and more people are spending less on cosmetics and beauty products contrary to a few years ago.
Competitor DifferentiationCommunity Engagement: We would like to let our members experience an ownership of the products and services. We will involve the community majorly through the membership and management activity through or website.
Activities and events: Regular on our schedule will be activities and events organized by the Lush management, friends and partners, together with featured institutions. These include, launches, marketing, meet-ups, conferences and regular talks aimed at helping us market our cosmetics to a wider spectrum.
Cost Leadership strategy: Lush Company also aims to make cosmetic products available to this market segment at a cheaper and affordable price slated at a 10% discount compared to current prices of cosmetic products within the UK.
5.0 Branding and Messaging5.1 Branding ArchitectureThe company aims at using young women as the pioneering subjects of brand messaging. Lush say that they are trying to “tap” on the moral sense of young women, so that the market will be more supporting and favor them for their ethical movement. Research also shows that 11% of consumers would be interested in paying for beauty products by a new method of ups on Smartphone’s instead of a credit card (Smith and Pulford 26). Lush company seeks to employ a conjunctive model on its branding message since it is likely to appeal more to young women and students (Brannan 26). One is that for the conjunctive model users, the brand messages should highlight the more professional and corporate side of using cosmetic products than its leisurely aspects or strong points. Brand messages for the lexicographic model however, should highlight the leisurely aspect of cosmetic products than the more formal and stringent professional highlights as is the case with the conjunctive model.
5.2 Positioning StatementLush company hopes to build its brand and establish concrete links among the younger populations and its products. Increasing popularity of cosmetic products among the young individuals is the motivation behind this branding and messaging strategy.
5.3 Value PropositionsLush company aims to use a cost leadership strategy and highlight this in their brand messaging so that more young people can become aware of the cost difference between Lush’s cosmetic products and their competitors. This is set to attract a higher number of clientele and their product value is likely to increase significantly.
6.0 Communication and Marketing Strategies6.1 Social NetworkingSocial networking is a key strategy that Lush Company seeks to use to implement their integrated communication marketing strategy. Through social networking, Lush Company seeks to target the younger generation Y especially via social media. This is with the aim of influencing their decision making skills regarding cosmetic purchases and using social media as a platform to reach them. Research has shown that since businesses embraced social media as a major platform for marketing their products, most companies have experienced a steady increase in sells among the younger generation who are frequent users of social networks (Smith and Pulford 29). The place that social networking plays in undoubtedly very impactive in today’s business tactics and economy balancing to diverse clientele from different generations (Smith and Pulford 38). Online marketing is one of the companies’ marketing objectives and they aim to achieve this through social interaction and culturing a consumer objective for cosmetic products to this younger generation through this avenue (Clow, Kenneth and Baack 31). Through social networking Lush Company will be able to broaden their spectrum of influence to the target audience and this will go a long way in ensuring that their goals are met. The social media commands great influence over today’s generation and affects their position as consumers greatly (Sandhusen 34). Lush Company should hence capitalize on this avenue to increase and cement their marketing tactic through social networking (Boone and Kurtz 24).
6.2 Direct Product MarketingLush plans to use direct product marketing where certain characteristics are similar to those of service marketing but unlike in the latter, individual attention to clients is not always practical as it involves large-scale production of goods and products shifting focus to the production aspects for instance, raw materials, quantities, stocks, and prices (Semenik 21). This is because in order to reach their target market, direct product marketing of their cosmetic product is ensured through conformance quality which is more pronounced, as it is more likely to net a large portion of impressed and interested consumers unlike in service marketing where the service requires more flexibility to adjust to meet the varied particular interests of various clients in the service industry (Bothma 33).
6.3 Customization and Internet MarketingCustomization of products for customers is the most critical means of delivering true value to customers (Ogden 47). Lush company aims to customize their products in order to achieve superior competitive advantage in the marketplace. The company implements product configuration system as a way of achieving this practice (Linton and Morley 17). It provides a lead time for product reduction depending on the demands of customers (Schultz and Lauterborn 31). Therefore, the design of products is done in a way that attracts the attention of customers.
One of the corporation’s Internet marketing strategies employed in marketing their products is lowering of prices for cosmetic products any time all the year round. The company keeps on lowering their cosmetic products in order to compete with their competitors producing the same products (Belch and Michael 21). This is crucial because it strategy has enabled it to acquire more customers who order and buy products online. In 2006, the company cut their prices in an effort of maintaining their market share. It also cut profit margins of real products purchased by more than a half (Blythe 39). This is done for the purpose of maintaining existing customers and attracting more customers in the market.
6.4 Television Commercial and Bonus SchemesAdvertisement has been a very dynamic market that keeps on changing with current societal issues (Cateora and Graham 11). Companies have started using measures that are sophisticated, with many buying agencies and clients using combinations of surveys and “optimizer” programs to analyze the demographic and psycho-graphic characteristics of audience groups and then establish pricing parameters that fit the audiences various networks delivered (Sandhusen 34). Lush company aims at using this to their advantage by launching a series of advertisements targeted at television viewers. The output of these commercials would be a recommended advertising placement portfolio for a specific product campaign (Percy 36). Lush Company also aims to use bonus schemes to further the implementation of their integrated communications marketing plan. This marketing strategy aims at providing customers with bonuses for cosmetic products purchased (Pickton and Broderick 27). The company will offer their customers free bonuses for the products purchased, including skin and hair products. This is crucial, because it enables customers to demand more products from their company since they will be incentivized. They will also make promotions of their services and products online offering a wide range of bonuses in order to attract more customers (Varey 26). Lush aims to use the slogan of ‘Looking younger every day’ as a means of making their products known to customers and establishing their branding structure that a younger demographic can identify with.
7.0 BudgetA large percentage of our budget has been allocated to company promotions about 55% because statistics show that a significant 60% of the target market that we have selected prefer events and word of mouth advertising (Blakeman 25). Our second most dominant budget has been slated for television and commercial advertising which is about 25%. This is because results indicate that a considerable 50% of our target market prefer television advertising (Blakeman 36). Print and paper advertising has been allocated 15 % of our budget and lastly internet marketing and search engine optimization has been allocated 5 % of our total budget.
7.1 Tactical Calendar
Belch, George E, and Michael A. Belch. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009. Print.
Blakeman, Robyn. Integrated Marketing Communication: Creative Strategy from Idea to Implementation. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007. Print.
Blythe, Jim. Key Concepts in Marketing. Los Angeles, Calif: SAGE, 2009. Internet resource.
Boone, Louis E, and David L. Kurtz. Contemporary Marketing. Mason, Ohio: Thomson South-Western, 2005. Print.
Bothma, Neels. Integrated Marketing Communication. Claremont, South Africa: New Africa Books, 2005. Print.
Brannan, Tom. A Practical Guide to Integrated Marketing Communications. London: Kogan Page, 1995. Print.
Cateora, Philip R, and John L. Graham. International Marketing. Boston, Mass: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2007. Print.
Clow, Kenneth E, and Donald Baack. Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.
Linton, Ian, and Kevin Morley. Integrated Marketing Communications. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1995. Print.
Ogden, James R. Developing a Creative and Innovative Integrated Marketing Communications Plan: A Working Model. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, 1998. Print.
Percy, Larry. Strategic Integrated Marketing Communication: Theory and Practice. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008. Print.
Pickton, David, and Amanda Broderick. Integrated Marketing Communications. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2001. Print.
Sandhusen, Richard. Marketing. Hauppauge, N.Y: Barron’s Educational Series, 2008. Print.
Semenik, Richard J. Promotion and Integrated Marketing Communications. Cincinnati, Ohio: South-Western Thomson Learning, 2002. Print.
Schultz, Don E, Stanley I. Tannenbaum, and Robert F. Lauterborn. Integrated Marketing Communications. Lincolnwood, Ill., USA: NTC Business Books, 1993. Print.
Smith, P R, Alan Pulford, and Chris Berry. Strategic Marketing Communications: New Ways to Build and Integrate Communications. London: Kogan Page, 1999. Print.
Smith, P R, and Ze Zook. Marketing Communications: Integrating Offline and Online with Social Media. London: Kogan Page, 2011. Print.
Thorson, Esther, and Jeri Moore. Integrated Communication: Synergy of Persuasive Voices. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996. Print.
Varey, Richard J. Marketing Communication: Principles and Practice. London: Routledge, 2002. Internet resource.
Wong, Ho Y, Kylie Radel, and Roshnee Ramsaran-Fowdar. Building a Marketing Plan: A Complete Guide. New York, NY: Business Expert Press, 2011. Internet resource.
Wood, Marian B. The Marketing Plan Handbook. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005. Print.
* NRS Social grade is a classification system based on occupation:
A Higher managerial, administrative and professional 4%
B Intermediate managerial, administrative and professional 22%
C1 Supervisory, clerical and junior managerial, administrative and professional 27%
C2 Skilled manual workers 22%
D Semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers 16%
E State pensioners, casual and lowest grade workers, unemployed with state benefits only 9%
Brief explanation of marketing communication strategies, 3ps
Push strategy: Create awareness of the brand with the ultimate goal of sale to the final target audience customer/consumer.
Pull strategy: Use Intermediaries, distribution channels and retailers to create awareness and develop strong distribution network to the final target audience customer/consumer.
Profile strategy: Create awareness and spread the communicational message among stakeholders to the final target audience company’s micro environment.