U. K. is one of the world’s largest tea consumers. In spite of the fact that this beverage has become almost a national emblem, the English tea market is undergoing major changes.
Consequently, in order to survive, specialized companies are compelled to adapt to new trends. One of the most famous firms operating within this domain is PG Tips, a company which will organize a promotional campaign mainly aimed at encouraging black-tea consumption.
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Before starting to delve into campaign details, a snapshot of the U.K. tea market could prove extremely useful.
According to BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4556103.stm), the traditional tea market underwent a severe decline between 2002 and 2004 when the sales for tea bags and loose tea decreased by 16% and, respectively, 9%. However, the sales volume of other varieties received a major boost over the same period. The items subscribing to this optimistic tendency were the herbal and fruit tea which increased by 30% and the “specialty” varieties (green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea) which boosted sales by 50%.
The upward trend for the latter category is explained by the young generation’s preferences and concerns. Researches have emphasized that youngsters consider tea to be a fashionable drink which succeeds in ensuring a long-term health, at the same time.
Thus, the new trend is the natural result of healthier life-styles and higher social needs. A survey that was carried out between 2002 and 2004 on a sample of 25,000 individuals showed that 80% of Britons drank tea, 70% of the persons aged over 65 drank tea at least twice a day while the percentage of youngsters (aged between 15 and 24) having the same behaviour was 38. Standard tea continues to have the highest share in terms of retail sales (63%) compared with herbal and fruit teas which account for only 27%. Moreover, the English breakfast tea is the first choice when it comes to the Britons’ preferences.
In conclusion, tea companies have lost market share because they have failed to meet the new generation’s requirements and needs. This is not as preoccupied with maintaining tradition as it is with being healthy and in fashion, at the same time.
Consequently, if PG Tips wants to boost its sales, it should focus on this market segment which seems to gain more and more adherents every day. Additionally, one could say that the new trend works in favor of PG’s main objective (promoting black tea) as “specialty” varieties are those who have had the most significant increase over the last few years.
Therefore, the company will reposition tea brands by focusing on health benefits and special moments shared with friends or family when chatting over a cup of tea creates a warm, relaxing atmosphere. Thus, tea will be promoted as both natural medicine and social anthem, acting as a liaison among individuals belonging to the same group.
The target audience will encompass persons aged between 15 and 45, situated within the medium and superior social strata and having an average or superior level of education (or belonging to families which have an average/superior level of education, in the case of the youngest). The audience will include consumers and non-consumers, at the same time.
The sales promotion will be an event capable of revealing tea benefits, and implicitly, achieving the campaign’s objectives. In time, tea has become a habit within the framework of the quotidian landscape. Buying and drinking such beverage has turned into a routine which has lost its attractiveness to marketers.
These have preferred to focus on new brands of automobiles, perfumes, sweets and so forth which are considered to be more enticing in terms of advertising. Consequently, tea has been neglected and has begun to lose market share as any fire ceases to burn when not appropriately fuelled. Thus, PG Tips will try to remind the advantages of drinking tea (and especially, black tea) to Britons.
By highlighting the impact on health, the campaign will make non-consumers switch from other hot beverages to the PG’s black tea. Moreover, those who already are consumers of this product will feel as some sort of veterans who have made the right choice before their less expert counterparts who have discovered the nature’s miracle later. This conclusion will feed their ego and strengthen their loyalty to the PG’s products.
To sum up, I’d say that the sales promotion will strongly impact on both consumers and non-consumers, thus managing to increase the total share that PG Tips holds in the home tea market.
The sales promotion will consist of a three-tool mix: free samples, point-of-sale displays and a contest.
Free samples of black-tea bags will be given to customers in supermarkets and hypermarkets. These will be accompanied by attractive leaflets that will emphasize the major health benefits comprising reduced risk of stroke and heart attacks, stronger immune response and faster recovery after a stressful event.
In order to achieve higher credibility, fliers should name the research institutes which have carried out the respective studies - e.g. The Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital etc. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_benefits_of_tea).
Secondly, in-store merchandising will play a major role through posters situated at the store entrance or at the tea shelves. These displays will attract viewers by statements like:” PG Tips cares about your health and takes you on a Tea Tour” which will surely determine customers to read more.
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