Today when taking a bottle of shampoo or a tube of toothpaste off the shelf in the pharmacy we do not usually take time to analyze these products from a business point of view. This applies not only to these small products of personal hygiene, but also to bigger products. However, when looking into it one may see that creating an idea of a product, thinking of channels to distribute it, coming up with advertising strategies, locating funds for the new product and many many other tasks are a vast part of the product history that is usually not known to the consumers. In my paper I would like to present a report of a sales manager (whose role I will take upon) who is telling the story about a company (imaginary one) where a new product line was successfully introduced and managed. The below report will provide the reader with background information about the company as well as all the aspects of the product development in detail.
My name is Roger Peters and I am a sales manager at the Bella Cosmetics Company. I was appointed to this position about a year and a half ago after having worked at the company for two years as a junior manager. I am sure you have heard a lot about Bella Cosmetics Company, I am also sure that you come across this name every time you look through your morning paper on our way to work. You read about this company, you hear about it on the radio, you see it on TV. I am certain that it seems to you that Bella Cosmetics is a magnate that makes its competitors shiver. Yes, all of the above is true, however it has not always been this way, and, in fact, such popularity came to Bella Cosmetics after it had introduced a new product line. This new product line, as you have probably guessed is the BE MINE perfume line.
But let me provide you with some basic information about Bella Cosmetics. The company was originated in 1996 by Madeline Fisher – a woman of great character and outstanding business grip. Madeline loved taking care of her appearance and she wanted to create a company that would manufacture products to help other women look beautiful. Though, Madeline narrowed her business down to only producing perfumes. Madeline’s plan was to combine various natural essences with oils and already existing smells that would produce original and unforgettable perfume samples. By the end of 1997 the first line of Bell Cosmetics perfumes was launched. The line was successful, however Madeline was not satisfied with the result and set her heart on achieving greater success at the market.
In 1998 the company has started a thorough research and development campaign. More than forty perfumers and chemists were hired and the whole team started working together on creating extraordinary smells. In 2000 the company presented the market with the second perfume line named LIGHT THE FIRE INSIDE YOU. The line consisted of diverse dynamic and active smells for wild and vigorous women. This was the line that brought the company success and recognition. This line was so popular with people that the company could not keep up with the high demand. Madeline chose to enjoy the hype around the perfume line and started to work energetically on developing a new even more brilliant line. This line now carries the name BE MINE.
Mission and Vision
Bella Cosmetics is a company dedicated to making the lives of women more beautiful. We understand that every woman is fathomless fount of beauty and it is our honor to help define and emphasize this fount. Our mission is to create scents that will suit every woman at every age, because without a shadow of doubt a woman is beautiful and fabulous at absolutely any age. Additionally, at Bella Cosmetics we strive to set an example for treasuring and pampering women, not just in the world of beauty, but in everyday world.
With the latest fragrance line Bella Cosmetics is one of the leading medium-size manufacturers and retailers of fragrances in the country. As of now, we are not willing to stop and soon are planning to indulge out customers with an absolutely revolutionary perfume line. Bella Cosmetics is planning to continue being a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be. Finally, it is one of Bella Cosmetics’ goals to nurture a winning network of partners and build mutual loyalty.
Before talking about the way sales are integrated within our company and more precisely about our target group. I would like to describe in more detail our new fragrance that brought such success to the company. BE MINE line involves six different perfumes of alike, though different scents, this rather wide range of scents in the product line allows women of different ages and different tastes to purchase the BE MINE that would suit them perfectly. All the fragrances of the line come in bottles of 30 ml, 45 ml, or 60 ml. The bottles themselves are designed in a way that they at one attract the attention of the customer, even before he/she gets a chance to sample the perfume. The six scents of BE MINE perfume fabulous sprays for women. They are a charming and comfy fragrance along with an attractive combination of jasmine, sandalwood, a mixture of floral orchids, violets, rose, and blackberry musk. BE MINE is the product rich in tradition and memorable in appeal.
As it has been made clear before, the target group of our new product line was the women of all ages, starting from girls in their early teens. Of course, when launching the product we understood that our target group was a bit too broad, though, as Bella Cosmetics Company only operates on the market of our city N. and has not gone international or even cross-border yet, we decided to limit the target group to the women of all ages who were then living in the city and thus would be introduced to the new line. It has to also be mentioned that the products of Bella Cosmetics are targeted mainly at women with medium income, who are not able to afford purchasing Christian Dior or Chanel perfumes, though are willing to follow the latest trends.
Madeline Fisher, the founder, was aware of the greatest importance of learning about the target group when it comes to running a small business. She knew that without knowing anything about this group this small business could actually fail. To determine the target group for our local business we first of all wrote down demographic data about the customers, after we put effort into brainstorming about psychographics, that includes things like lifestyle, social class, opinion, attitudes and beliefs, etc. Then we pulled our information together and that gave us the perfect picture of who our ideal customer was going to be. Finally, after that we conducted market research and purchased the names and addresses of specific customers that were looking for, based on information that we provided.
When the product was launched and it became winning, the company focused on the integration of sales. The program for sales integration was launched in order to ensure that there would not be a separation between the field sales representatives and the rest of the company. We understood that only with the right communication and flat organizational structure our company would be able to become one of the local top players. The first step we took on the way to sales integration understood that we could not expect the same level of devotion and enthusiasm from all the sales people we employ. Thus, base the expectation and pressure level we have on the sales forces on three main points: (a) their skill set, and (b) their compensation plan. Thus, what we do at the company is we try to allocate positions within the sales forces to those whose abilities better match a given task. In fact, the same is done within the office personnel and sale personnel. This allows for every task in the company to be carried out for a person who is willing to do it and has the needed skills to, and is achieved through paper systems, call reports, etc. Moreover, the company possesses a special system where the data is shared by all those with a need to know it.
In Bella Cosmetics we understand that coming up with a new product is not a pledge for success, though, suitable marketing activities are. When we first launched the BE MINE line we were sure it would be very popular with customers, though we had to work extensively to figure out the right distribution channels, and market strategies. When talking about the channels of distribution we assume the set of interdependent organizations—such as wholesalers, retailers, and sales agents—involved in making a product available for use by the customers.
In Bella Cosmetics we chose to have two distribution channels’ structures: the two-level structure, and the three-level structure. The two-level structure is one, in which goods and services move directly from the manufacturer to the consumer. Thus, it is possible for our consumers to order products directly from Bella Cosmetics and we fulfill these orders through our own physical distribution system. However, we also find it is necessary to have a three-level channel structure that involves retailers that serve as intermediaries between consumers and Bella Cosmetics. Retailers order products directly from us (the producer), then sell those products directly to the consumer. Thus, one can see that Bella Cosmetics’ products can be purchased through various channels and as we are operating in a rather small city, soon most of the people became aware of where their favorite fragrances could be purchased. In our opinion, applying the three-level structure of distribution has provided the company and our consumers with some benefits, such as, a better assortment of products, improved efficiency, reutilization of transactions, and easier searching for goods as well as customers (Weitz1, Sandy, 2008, pp. 305-307).
In this section I would like to present several steps Bella Cosmetics took in the framework of out marketing strategy, which as you have already seen, is very successful. Of course, when the company launched its new revolutionary fragrance line it started a massive advertising campaign. The new product was advertised in the newspapers and on TV. In the biggest department stores Bella Cosmetics’ sales employees were eager to offer the customers samples of the new perfume. Furthermore, Bella Cosmetics made an agreement with the local company that produces hair-care products. According to that agreement, a small bottle of BE MINE perfume was attached to the bottle of Company X’s shampoo (that was already very popular). Also, Bella Cosmetics’ well-planned website was also in hand when advertising company’s product. Additionally, two new Bella Cosmetics Fragrance stores were opened in the city with the emphasis on the new fragrance line BE MINE.
Though, there is much more to our marketing strategy than pure advertising. First of all, we are willing to gain customer confidence. Thus, we made in our goal to use experience, quality, dependability, excellent customer service, and added value to win the confidence of our prospective customers. Then, we assured that we would penetrate awareness of our target audience by using integrated marketing strategy, thus raising the awareness of our product. We at Bella Cosmetics also make sure that there is sincere enthusiasm, in both print and in person. Thus, we carefully chose our sale force in order to ensure that our wonderful products will be delivered in the best way. I have mentioned earlier in the paper that BE MINE perfume was so popular that we could not match the demand. This was also one of our strategies, we were willing to impose a deadline and to create some kind of urgency, showing that it takes time and effort to get our product.
At Bella Cosmetics we are dedicated to employing only enthusiastic and professional employees. Our employees represent the company and what it stands for, thus the selection process is very strict and lengthy. The employees are usually recruited through the online platform available at the company’s website or through assessment events that are organized once in six months on the premises of the company. At the assessment events the perspective employees get a chance to get to know the company better as well as show the management why they are the right people to be hired. One of the requirements for the employees of the company is holding at least one academic degree and in general be an intellectual individual. This is so, because our sales forces have to talk the customers into buying our product, and we want to be sure that out representatives make an impression of intelligent people, from whom it is useful to take advice. Our employees receive high compensation, which is based on the set sum every employees receives every month, and the percentage of the monthly’ sales. Of course, every employee also receives a Christmas, and Easter bonus on their paycheck.
Currently, the company employs fifty employees that are involved directly in selling Bella Cosmetics fragrances. The company is rather small, as well as the city we are operating in is not a megapolis, thus this amount of sales personnel that is spread between the four stores of the company is very efficient. In order to ensure that the employees stay motivated and professional we have training programs and workshops that are organized every three months. Furthermore, Madeline Fisher, the CEO of the company, has come up with an idea of rotating the sales force from store to store every two months. Thus, every employee working in sales gets a chance to work in different locations. This keeps the motivation high and prevents boredom caused by the mundane workplace.
All the sections of the above profit have focused on describing how big of a success was Bella Cosmetics’ new line. Thus, it is clear that big part of the budget is generated through the revenues from the sales. Though, currently, Madeline Fisher is involved into negotiations with potential investors, thus the capital is expected to raise soon.
A big part in the financial planning of Bella Cosmetics is a sales forecast that is made for every quarter estimating what the expected income and expenses can be. The figures are based on the each previous quarter’s actual numbers. Using this system of creating a forecast and comparing that to actual financials on quarterly basis the company is able to focus on income areas that are falling behind and stop expenses that are not necessary. At Bella Cosmetics we believe that the best way for forecasting sales is to use a financial program, meaning tracking all revenues and expenses using the software.
As it has been mentioned already the income of every employee in the company depends on the sales of the particular month. Thus, the financial resources are allocated differently every month.
In conclusion I would like to say that Bella Cosmetics is a great company to work for and it is a pleasure for me to be part of the activities of this organization. As you have seen above Bella Cosmetics had put a great amount of effort into creating the perfume line BE MINE, and is now fairly enjoying the fruits of this hard work.
Weitz1, B. A., Sandy D. J. (2008). Relationship marketing and distribution channels. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Springer Netherlands. Issue Volume 23, Number 4. Pages 305-307
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