Marriage is an occasion that would remain in the minds of the bride and groom forever, and making that moment seem extraordinarily special is the fantasy of every couple. However, not everyone is lucky enough as some would be spending time before, during and after the wedding taking care of the arrangements for the wedding. This ruins the purpose of the wedding and many special moments are lost. This calls in the need for a professional wedding planner and the idea of “Fairytale Weddings” sprung due to this existing gap of demand and supply.
Just like the business of event management, a wedding consultancy business is severely dependant on months of organization that would fructify on one fine day. The planning, perseverance and execution have to be meticulous to create the perfect wedding for a client. With the expertise and vision that the founders of Fairytale Weddings possess, the company can be a formidable force in the industry or wedding planning. Target Market for wedding planning Every year millions of couples get married around the world, and a significant number get married in America too.
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As long as the population is on the rise, the business also would continue to be on the rise, giving the business a perpetual continuity guaranty. A study done in the year 2009 provides some valuable information about the potential of the wedding planning industry in America. (www. weddingreport. com, 2009) 1. Projected weddings in America: 2. 16 million 2. Average cost per wedding: $19580, which was about $26400 in the year 2006, indicating a 25% drop due to recession over a period of 3 years. 3. Wedding planner fee average: 10-15% 4.
Potential earnings for wedding planning industry (10% service fee): $42 Billion of a professional honeymoon planner, Fairytale Weddings can consider this too as a part of its business proposition. Apart from weddings alone, in the future Fairytale weddings could expand into other important ceremonial services like funeral services. Marketing Mix for Fairytale Weddings Product Strategy A major factor that has to be thought over is that there are umpteen numbers of wedding planners in the country, and while some of them have a local presence, others have a national presence.
As a result, by merely offering services the same way as the competition would not create enough momentum for the business. Hence, a service differentiation strategy has to be introduced. 1. Offer end to end wedding planning and execution services that start with the engagement and end with honeymoon planning. As a result, the couple need not approach another consultant or vendor for any wedding related services. 2. To bring a stronger differentiation, matrimonial services might also be offered for potential grooms or brides to find their loved ones. 3.
Offer wedding services for people of various cultures and religions. Since, the country has a growing population of Indians, Chinese etc; this factor would be a strong differentiating factor. 4. Establish co-branding with premier wedding dress designers & companies. The customer would be able to choose her wedding gown or honeymoon attires for a discounted deal. 5. Offer customizable wedding or reception stage decorations to meet every budget. Pricing Strategy The industry average for wedding planning has been between ten to fifteen percent over the years.
Hence, it would be pragmatic for Fairytale Weddings to look at a more aggressive penetrative pricing strategy for the first couple of years. A suggested pricing strategy would be about eight percent for the first couple of years. However, a research shows that most of the people that employ wedding planners are mostly the elite and sometimes the upper middle class strata of society. These weddings could constitute a merely five to ten percent in the whole market share and hence a strategy needs to be devised to penetrate the larger chunk of business ignored by most wedding planners.
Another pricing strategy that Fairytale Weddings is considering is to introduce a mechanism where the customer saves costs and the company makes some additional revenue. For example, if the actual budget of the marriage was $30000 and the actual spending was only $22000 due to the negotiation strategies of the company with vendors, Fairytale weddings would charge an additional 20% on the saved costs. This makes the company cost conscious that fits the bill of most customers. Marketing channel Fairytale would be establishing its head office in New York City.
Though the company might consider opening branches at other locations around the country, initially the primary focus will be to work with local vendors around the country. Fairytale would find competent vendors and local consultants to deliver business around the country at standards set by the company. The idea would be to convert these locations in the future into regional offices or franchisee locations to penetrate the market further. Another strong marketing channel the company shall work upon is to strengthen is its online presence.
A professionally developed website would work greatly as a branding tool and also help increase sales, as several packages can be displayed on the website itself. Promotional Strategy Any business can be successful only with a strong promotional strategy. Though not all promotions are capital intensive, most are and as a result, it is important the company allocate a significant promotional budget at the launch itself. For the wedding planning industry, a research shows that specialized magazines and television are the most powerful mediums of promotion.
At the same time, nothing can beat the promotional power of happy customers. Hence, sending reference offers to existing customers should be one of the most important strategies the company should implement. Legal Structure of Fairytale Weddings Of all the various options available to float a business, the most beneficial is the Corporation. However, considering the fact that fairytale Weddings is a startup company, meeting the statutory demands for starting a corporation can be quite cumbersome. Hence, we have chosen the Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) as the best option for the legal structure of the organization.
A LLC is a very strong legal entity that has perpetual existence and is a separate entity than the people who own it. As a result, such a legal business structure allows for investors to invest money without having to bother about the liabilities of the organization. Even from a taxation perspective, the LLC is a far better legal structure to adopt than the others for the business model of Fairytale Weddings. Organizational structure The above diagram clearly illustrates how the organization would work and how responsibility would be shared between different stakeholders.
Since, Fairytale Weddings is a startup, it is deemed important that there is a centralized structure of authority and responsibility. With just seven major employees, the CEO can directly handle day-to-day operations and decisions. To make the job of the internal workforce much easier, an external or freelance workforce have been identified to advice and also execute the assignments. Among the prominent external experts would be a strong legal team, as the wedding planning business is very sensitive and a minor unwarranted problem like a downpour of rain can ruin the day.
As the organization grows larger, a similar setup would be established in every region and a group of regional heads would be heading similar establishments, who would in turn report to the CEO. Conclusion The wedding planning business is a recession and inflation proof business as people would tend to get busier by the day and hence would be dependent on a professional for expert advice. Fairytale Weddings is here to stay for many years. Its primary objective would be to establish itself in the market of New York and then slowly expand all over the country until it becomes a nation level force to reckon with in the wedding planning industry.
The executives, heads, managers and the vendors together will work towards the organizational motto of “Making your dreams come true”, and in turn develop the brand image and repute of the organization “FAIRYTALE WEDDINGS”. References 1. Rajendra Nargundkar, 2006; Services Marketing, Text and cases, Tata Mc-Graw Hill publishers. 2. Imonthly magazine, Survey Issue No 26, August 2004 3. www. weddingreport. com, 2009 4. Philip Kotler & gray Armstrong, 2008; Principles of Marketing, 12th Edition, Pearson Education
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