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STRATEGIES FOR INTRODUCING A NEW PRODUCT IN THE MARKET (A CASE STUDY OF FANTA LEMON OF COCA-COLA COMPANY IN ENUGU METROPOLIS)
Developing new products is very important for profitability survival and growth of a company. To develop and market new product did not fail in the market.
There are two important stages in development of any product, the actual development of product and commercialization or introduction of the new product in the market.
Many products have failed to make the expected impact on the consumers because the company did not use the right strategies such as pricing, promotion and high product quality. A company such as Nigeria Bottling Company must avoid making mistakes that may spell danger for its newly developed products.
The Nigeria Bottling Company being the market leader in the soft drinks has been pursing vigorously its policy of developing and adding new products to its product line. In 1995, the company introduced Fanta Chapman in Enugu metropolis. This product did not make the expected impact and it was withdrawn from the market. The company, though, did not give-up, and in 1996 the company came up with Fanta Lemon. This new product has been in the market for more than (12 month) i.e. I year. In evaluating the performance of the new product one would like to know the extent of its acceptance by the consumers. What strategies used by the company to introduce new product in the market and how effective have these strategies been. The Nigeria Bottling Company would like to equip itself with these data in order to ensure that its product strategies are effective that is why this research has been undertaken.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Coca-Cola first came to Nigeria in 1953, when Nigerian Bottling Company set-up its first plant in Lagos. It was to be the beginning of an executing story of growth and development particularly during the past 12 years.
Nigerian Bottling Company Plc is today Nigeria’s number one better of soft drinks selling more than six million bottles per days, a figure which is still growing with option of new plants in various parts of the federation. There are 52 scattered ground the country as to effectively serve the grass roots, the company has a product mix ranging from coke, Fanta Ginger Ale, Fanta Tonic, Fanta Orange, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Chapman, Kris Bitter Lemon and Fanta Current.
To maintain its standard, Nigeria Bottling Company has a product quality control department and staff training school all at Ikeja Area of Lagos State. The head quarter is situated at Leventis Building, Ilolo House, in Lagos State.
In Enugu State, it has its plant at 9th Mile Corner from where it supplies four depots at Nsukka, Abakaliki, Ogoja and Makurdi. From these depots, it distributes soft drinks to dealers who directly or indirectly sell to ultimate consumers. Each plant is managed by a plant manager with the following department namely: Catering, Dinic, Stores and Servicing Department.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
The Nigerian Bottling Company Plc has been the market leader in the soft drink business. The company wants to maintain its leadership position. That is why it has the policy of developing new products to extend its product lines. In pursing this policy, Nigerian Bottling Company developed a new soft drink which is called “Fanta Lemon”. The new product was introduced in Enugu Metropolis in 1996 and has confirmed to be marketing till now.
In looking at this product, one would like to know how it has faired. What strategies were used to introduce the product in Enugu metropolis? What strategies and being used to introduce the product in Enugu metropolis? What strategies are being used to market the product? Have these strategies been effective and have consumers accepted the new product?
1.3 PROBLEMS THAT THE STUDY WILL BE CONCERNED WITH ITS SIGNIFICANCE
The following objective have been used in carrying out the study.
1) To find out strategies which Nigerian Bottling Company used to introduce Fanta Lemon in Enugu metropolis
2) To determine if these strategies are effective
3) To ascertain if this product is acceptable to the consumers.
4) To find out how distributors evaluate the new product.
5) To recommend what the company would do to further enhance the marketing of this new product.
1.4 IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING AND MARKETING OF NEW PRODUCTS BY THE COMPANIES
This study will be use to the Nigeria Bottling Company Plc. The study will establish whether the objective of the company in developing and introducing Fanta Lemon has been realized. In assessing the strategies use to introduce the new product, the failings of the research will establish whether they have been effective. The recommendation made by the research will enable the company to implement further strategies aimed at changing the situation.
The findings of the study will equally benefit the consumers by ascertaining whether the new product has been accepted or not. Acceptance of a new product depends on its quality and performance. When the study establishes that the new product is found waiting in any dimension, the company would have to undertake improvement or modification. This will ensure that consumers and given the satisfaction they are looking for.
The distributors are equally concern about the success of a product because this will determine the extent of margin or profits they make. If Fanta Lemon succeeds in the market, the distributors will gain. Since the objective of this study is to evaluate and recommend for effective marketing of this product, the distributors will benefit from the product’s performance in the market if enhanced.
1.5 DEFINITION OF TERMS
New Product: This can be describe as a creative, an innovative or a modification of an existing product or the complete invention of an entirely new concept. Modification of product could be trough-repackaging, redesign of an existing product in the market in other to ascertain market acceptance.
Business: This can be defined as the control and management of money, goods and resources as commercial activities that is profit oriented, this is necessary to the nation’s standard of living of any given nation. Menedith et al (1991).
Market Acceptance: Marketing acceptance could be described as the stage where sales and profit of a product starts to rise because many customers ask of the product.
Customer Satisfaction: This means helping the customers to solve the problem that is facing him or her, by making available to the customer the right product or service at his right time, at the right place, right price, quality and quantity is assured.
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