Marketing Portfolio


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This marketing portfolio is a compilation of the marketing efforts that I have completed during my graduate as well as undergraduate studies. It also contains several parts of projects that I have written as a part of a group. Every piece in this portfolio is solely my work.

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Marketing Portfolio

  1. 1. Marketing Portfolio By Keshonda Walker Masters Candidate Retail Merchandising Florida State University **This marketing portfolio is a compilation of the marketing efforts that I have completed during my graduate as well as undergraduate studies. It also contains several parts of projects that I have written as a part of a group. Every piece in this portfolio is solely my work.
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS Orion World Wide Travel………………………………………………………………3 News Article………………………………………………………………………3 Facebook Group…………………………………………………………………...4 Monthly Reports…………………………………………………………………..5 January……………………………………………………………………5 February ………………………………………………………………….6 The United Colors of Bennetton Promotion Plan……………………………………...8 Executive Summary ………………………………………………………………9 Issues Analysis……………………………………………………………………10 Market Strategies ………………………………………………………………...10 Creative Recommendations………………………………………………………11 Maggiano’s Little Italy Marketing Plan …………………………………….………...14 External Environment Analysis…………………………………………………..14 Industry/Market Trends …………………………………………………..14 Competitive Trends……………………………………………….……….15 Technological Trends……………………………………………….……..17 Economic Trends ……………………………………………….…………17 Political, Legal and Regulatory Trends……………………………….…..18 Cultural Trends……………………………………………………….…...19 Customer Analysis…………………………………………………………….…..19 Action Plan: Wine Tasting with Maggiano……………………………………..…22 Action Plan: Largest Spaghetti Dinner ……………………………………..……..23
  3. 3. ORION WORLD WIDE TRAVEL News Article This is an article that I arranged to be published in the FSView, which is the school newspaper, to promote the European Odyssey Graduation Tour for Orion World Wide Travel. The link to see the article online is: AID=/20090319/FSVIEW/90318033 ’Noles explore Europe Andrew Grossman • Contributing Writer • March 19, 2009 As life on campus begins to return to normal following midterms and spring break, it’s time for students to start making their summer plans. For those graduating this spring or other recent alumni, the Florida State University Alumni Association offers its third European Graduation Tour. “I think it is very important because the trip is targeted toward people who have just graduated,” said Keshonda Walker, a recruiter for Grad Tours. “They’re in a time where they are adjusting from going to classes to a full-time career. There usually won’t be a chance for you to experience something like this for years.” The 16-day tour beginning on May 15 will give graduates the opportunity to explore many of the major cities across Western Europe. Grads will arrive in London to begin the trip, and from there the tour will cover Paris, Brussels, the Rhine River valley region of Germany, Munich, Salzburg, the Austrian alpine resort town of Zell Am See, Venice, Florence and Rome. The trip includes downtime at each destination to give the travelers a chance to explore on their own, but for those who want to hit all of the major sights, there are plenty of tours available. Some of the highlights include a tour of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace in England, The Louvre and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a choclatier in Brussels to learn how Belgium chocolate is made and a traditional Bavarian bratwurst and beer fest during the night spent in the Rhine Valley. “To have a trip like this where the FSU Alumni Association has mapped everything out for you, planned everything out, planned out all of the locations as well as the activities, it’s a great experience,” Walker said.
  4. 4. There are also extra options that are available in order to further enrich the European experience. Some of these include a cabaret show in Paris, white water rafting in the Alps and a gondola ride through the canals in Venice. There is also an optional Greece add-on, which would extend the trip until June 11. With or without the Greece add-on the tour includes transportation each day on a luxury coach bus, stays at three- to four-star hotels, tour guide directors to help transport travelers to each location, free breakfast, half of the dinners as well as in-depth city tours in five locations. The trip costs $3,077 and with the Greece add-on it is an extra $856. To ensure your spot on the trip, alumni must submit a $500 deposit. The rest of the money is due 90 days prior to the trip. The deadline to book is March 20, but there are only 48 spots on the tour, and once that fills up, no more alumni can participate. For more information, attend the information session Thursday, March 19 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Oglesby Union in room 311B. Interested parties can also visit the Web site at Facebook Group As a part of my marketing plan for the European Odyssey Trip, I created a Facebook Group for students who have booked the trip and are considering booking the trip. Here is a picture of the Facebook group. The link to the Facebook group is below. q=FUS+european&init=q&sid=17ab49e0ca7cc9f65333969dcb67557f#/group.php? sid=17ab49e0ca7cc9f65333969dcb67557f&gid=101894790087&ref=search
  5. 5. Monthly Reports Every month I follow up with Orion World Wide Travel with my progress through preparing reports. Here are my monthly reports for January and February. Monthly Report January Events Completed: Presentations ♦ 1/27 – Presented to 2 classes in the College of Human Sciences ♦ 1/29 – Held information session from 4:30-5:30 pm Tabling ♦ 1/12 – Put up table tents in the Union (100) ♦ 1/19 – Put up table tents in the Suwannee and Fresh Food Company (160) campus dining rooms
  6. 6. Emails sent ♦ 1/23 – Email blast sent to all sophomore, junior and senior students about the Jan. 29th information session ♦ 1/28 – Sent email to addresses obtained from class presentation inviting them to join Facebook group ♦ 1/29 – Email blast sent to all sophomore, junior and senior students about the Jan. 29th information session ♦ 1/30 – Sent email to addresses obtained from Jan. 29th presentation inviting them to join Facebook group Misc. activities ♦ 1/5 – Stuffed 1,000 shopping bags with flyers at Bill’s Bookstore on campus (sells textbooks) ♦ 1/7 - Posted flyers on event boards throughout the campus ♦ 1/9 – Event has been posted on the LED board in the campus Union ♦ 1/9 – Event printed in the Stall Stories (one page flyer distributed to 7,000 residence hall rooms on campus) Events Planned for Next Month: Presentations ♦ 2/4 – Hold presentation at Southern Scholarship Foundation ♦ 2/11 – Hold information session from 1:00-2:00 pm in the Student Services Bldg Tabling ♦ 2/1 – Have requested that table tents remain up through to March 4th . ♦ 2/5 – Will table outside of the Union from 12:30 -3:00 pm. On-campus events ♦ Attend Union Friday’s and pass out flyers Emails sent ♦ 2/3 – Event will be printed in the Village gram (an e-news letter sent to the 1,250 residents that live in the Alumni Village) ♦ Event will be printed in the stall stories
  7. 7. Misc. activities ♦ Event will be posted on the LED board in the Union ♦ 2/8 – Chalk on campus Issues Faced: ♦ I was not able to table in the month of January. Since the FSU Alumni Association is not considered a student organization, I had to go through other avenues to be able to table in February. Notes: ♦ Will need to contact Pan-Hellenic council to present to fraternities and sororities ♦ Also, will look into other student organizations to present at their meetings Monthly Report February Events Completed: Presentations ♦ 2/4 – Held information session at Southern Scholarship Foundation at 6pm ♦ 2/11 – Held information session from 1:00-2:00 pm Tabling ♦ 2/1 – Put up table tents in the Suwannee and Fresh Food Company (160) campus dining rooms ♦ 2/5 – Tabled in the Olgesby Union from 12:00 – 3:00 pm ♦ 2/19 – Tabled in the Olgesby Union from 12:00 – 2:30 pm Emails sent ♦ 2/4 – Sent email to 60 different student organizations providing information about the trip and requesting to set up an information session at their upcoming meetings ♦ 2/24 – Emailed FSView (school newspaper) to have press release printed in the paper; still being reviewed ♦ 2/18 – Emailed the presidents of the IFC, NPHC, MGC and PH (over all greek organizations on campus) to set up an information session ♦ 2/18 – Submitted proposal to purchase advertisement through the Student Life Cinema on campus ♦ 2/28 – Include the trip in the Parent’s E-Newsletter “What’s Going Round” for March Misc. activities
  8. 8. ♦ 2/3 – Event was published in the Housing gram ♦ 2/5 - Posted flyers on event boards throughout the campus Events Planned for March: Presentations ♦ 3/19 – Hold information session from 2:00 – 3:00 pm in the Olgesby Union Tabling ♦ 3/19 –Table outside of the Union from 12:30 -1:30 pm On-campus events ♦ Attend Union Friday’s and pass out flyers ♦ Deliver flyers and handouts to greek houses on campus and attempt to set up information sessions Emails sent ♦ 3/3 – Event will be printed in the Village gram (an e-news letter sent to the 1,250 residents that live in the Alumni Village) ♦ Event will be printed in the stall stories ♦ Event will be printed in the E-newsletter to parents in the Parent’s Association Issues Faced: ♦ I was not able to obtain as many tabling dates as I had hoped ♦ Only 1 person came to the information session at the Southern Scholarship Foundation, however I did receive quite a few emails in regards to the trip ♦ I could not use my laptop during tabling because there was no outlet, but I was able to use an enlarged image of the flyer blown up as a poster to attract students ♦ I was not able to chalk the sidewalks; other organizations cluttered the space available ♦ None of the greek and student organizations have emailed me back in regards to scheduling an information session UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON This is a promotional campaign that was completed during my junior year at the University of South Florida for my Promotions Management course. My group devised a campaign to promote
  9. 9. a children’s collection for Benetton, which at the time they did not have. I have included all the parts of the project that I researched and wrote. United Colors of Benetton Children’s Collection for Fall and Winter 2005/2006 Executive Summary The United Colors of Benetton's Children Collection's is an innovative brand of children’s apparel that uses its global influence and social image to promote colorful and energetic clothing. The objective of this promotion plan is to implement an awareness campaign for the Children’s Collection of The United Colors of Benetton. Benetton is a vibrant and effervescent company, which will optimistically be displayed through this projected campaign. The proposed promotion campaign will display the current status of the product, the conditions of the environment around the product, the target market, as well as the strategies that will be implemented to reach them, and a thorough analysis of the company and its customers. The general goal of FlippinSweet Ads for the United Colors of Benetton Children’s Collection is to bring innovative products into stores and price them reasonably and competitively, while using fresh, visual merchandising, a fresh product mix and a new pricing strategy to attract targeted consumers. Target customers include women aged 25-44 of all races and religions, who live in the state of Florida, have an associate, bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree, are married and have at least one child, and whose household incomes are $50,000 and above.
  10. 10. A key issue for management will be catering to the “new and improved” American. Americans are leading more chaotic lives then before. Due to the current globalization within the American life, Benetton can make an easier transition from the European world to the American lifestyle. Benetton allows Americans to band together against the chaos that surrounds them with a brand that recognizes social instability and represents it in their style of clothing. Although, Americans have been moving faster, their conspicuous spending has decreased and their tastes have shifted from high quality at a high cost to the best quality at the lowest cost. Management will have to focus more on brand relevance to increase the influence of brand over cost. Another key issue addressed for management is the current image of Benetton to the public. The United Colors of Benetton is characterized by its arousing and robust advertising. Some of Benetton’s customers have steered away from the brand in search of a less controversial product. All of Benetton’s campaigns have expressed unity in some fashion. This promotional plan presents the subtle side of Benetton, in attempt to appeal more to the target market for children’s clothing. Some campaigns that will be employed are print ads that will run in four leading women’s magazine displaying Benetton’s new Barbie Collection. There will also be a billboard displaying naked baby bottoms in which the babies are wearing Benetton’s baby socks. This billboard has been cleverly named “Baby Booties.” Amongst these campaigns are an interactive campaign which will include a short film expressing the theme of “unity”, promotional fashion shows, charity donations in the form of foundation sponsorships, and promoting current catalogs for an increase in awareness and sales. This marketing campaign includes a public relations segment which has been budgeted to be $100,000, the direct marketing segment has been budgeted for $98,610, the interactive segment is budgeted to be $117,000 and the media recommendations are budgeted for $9,315,510. With all parts of the marketing campaign active and operating, the total expected budget is $9,631,120. By executing this promotional plan, results include an increase in market share in the United States by 10%. By increasing market share in the United States, Benetton can redirect 30% of its marketing efforts towards the American market. This marketing campaign leads to an increase in the global market share as well as an increase in revenues. All campaigns suggested are in compliance to the brand image as well as the company’s persona. Issues Analysis The United Colors of Benetton’s advertising institutional campaigns are controversial and this has had an impact on the popularity of their brand in the U.S. Campaigns with intense messages might have a different effect in the European market, but in the United States of America they evoke negative impressions . No other renowned clothing companies engage in such a marketing tactic and this differentiation has been innovative but ineffective. United Colors of Benetton may meet negative perceptions of their brand in the Floridian market. Moreover, Benetton has no return policy on their purchased apparel, which is ineffective in the U.S. market, because all of their competitors offer that feature. This will cause significant drop in sales if not adjusted to the system of return policies of this country. Another issue that Benetton faces is the fact that their promotional campaigns are not directed toward a specific target market. All of these issues contribute to Benetton’s low revenue within the U.S. of only 4%.
  11. 11. Market Strategies Target Market United Colors of Benetton Children’s Collection in designed for infants (babies up to 18 to 24 months), toddlers (up to 3 years), preschoolers (3-5 year olds), younger kids (5-8 year olds), as well as for older kids often referred to as tweens (8-12 years old children). In almost every case, the woman of the house tends to be the kids clothing purchaser, especially in the Infant, Toddler, and Preschooler market (ITP Market). According to James Mcneal, children develop their independent consumer behavior when they are 8 years old; that’s when they start purchasing products on their own. Even though the collection is dedicated to children, the purchaser of the product is primarily the child’s mother, whose decision is influenced by her child. The company’s primary target market consists of women aged 25-44 of all races and religions, who live in the state of Florida, have an associate, bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree, are married and have at least one child, and whose household incomes are $50,000 and above. Since the company designs fashionable Italian clothing and markets its clothes across racial, cultural, and religious borders, their customers are typically well educated and open- minded about the world surrounding them. Demographic Characteristics As stated by U.S. Census Bureau, Florida’s total population counted 16,990,183 persons in the year 2004. Females made up 51.4% of that total, children under 5 years of age represented 6.4%, children 5 to 14 years accounted for 13.1% of the total population. 88.4% of the total population consisted of households who were made by a householder, a spouse, and a child. 26.7% of the total population was between 25 and 44 years of age. Economic Characteristics According to the U.S. Census Bureau from year 2004, 1,222,481 Floridians had children under 6 years old and 63.8% of them included both parents in labor force. Also, 2,482,912 Floridian families had children who were 6 to 17 years old; 70.4% of those families consisted of two working parents. In 2004, families whose household incomes were $50,000 and above accounted for 2,808,724 households in the state of Florida, which was 41.1% of total Florida households. The average household income in 2004 was 56,550 dollars. Social Characteristics 50.1% of all women living in Florida were married, according to the U.S. Census Bureau from year 2004. There were 913,198 people, 25 years and over, who had an Associate degree, 1,884,193 persons who had a Bachelor’s degree, and 1,051,911 who had a graduate or a professional degree in the year 2004. Florida has a great population of people who are born outside the United States. In 2004, 17.9% of the total population was foreign born, most of them immigrate from Latin America, then Europe, Asia, Northern America, Africa, and Oceania, accordingly 74.5%, 11.3%, 9.2%, 3.2%, 1.5%, 0.3%. According to the U.S. Market for the Multicultural Women, the multicultural women’s segment is highest in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida reaching 61.3% of overall population of U.S. women.
  12. 12. The secondary market of United Colors of Benetton Children’s Collection consists of single mothers or single fathers at the age of 25-44, who are of all races and religions, who live in the state of Florida, who have an associate, bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree and have at least one child, and whose household incomes are $50,000 and above. Those people are well-educated as well as successful in their career lives and most often believe in the same causes as the company. Also, the relatives of the immediate family, such as grandparents (people over 45 years of age), are included in the secondary market of the company. As stated by U.S. Census Bureau, there were 1,869,568 never married Floridian males in 2004 and 1,603,340 never married females. In 2004, there were 511,446 female householders who did not have a husband present at home and who had children under the age of 18 years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the year 2004, the total population of Florida counted 16,990,183 persons; 48.6% were males, 51.4% were females, overall 41.4% of them were people over the age of 45 years. In Florida, there were 330,268 grandparents living with own grandchildren less than 18 years of age in same households; 38% of them were responsible for their grandchildren. Creative Recommendations Direct Marketing Recommendations Techniques Two techniques that will be implemented under direct marketing are: • billboards • catalogues The objective of the billboard is to increase awareness of the brand as well as to spark interest. The objective of the catalogues is to encourage purchase. Benetton currently has catalogues but does not employ them to their customers. Rationale Benetton’s first objective in advertising is to increase awareness. Both billboards as well as catalogues increase awareness. The title of the billboard is “United Baby Booties.” The billboard will show a group of naked babies in an array of races. All of the babies have their back towards the front of the billboard and all that is visible will be the babies’ booties. The babies will also have on Benetton’s colorful baby socks, also known as baby booties. The title will be across the top of the billboard and the United Colors of Benetton green logo box will be in the right hand corner as well as the Benetton website. Benetton will also make more ways for customers to acquire their catalogs. For instance, all Benetton stores will add catalogue registration cards in their stores to send to the corporate office. Also, a catalogue registration option will be added to the website. Along with the request for a catalogue, you can also request more information about Benetton as well as constant updates, sales and etc with Benetton via e-mail or direct mail Direct Marketing Plan/Timing The billboards will be placed in the cities along roads and/or highway leading to a Benetton stores or shopping malls with heavy foot traffic. The billboards will run for an
  13. 13. approximate year. The catalogues are a consistent factor in the direct marketing plan. There is no end time for catalogue registration. Budget • Billboard for a year- $96,000 • Catalog- $2,610 • Total Budget- $98,610 Billboards prices range from $700 to $2,500, depending on location and competitor bids. The planned location for the billboards is on major highways and/or major roads, therefore placing the price of the billboards in the high range. Benetton has a total of 3 Benetton Group stores and 2 Benetton retailers in the state of Florida. Implementing five billboards on a major highway or road leading to these stores would cost Benetton around $8,000 a month. Executing this plan for an entire year will cost roughly $96,000. Benetton pays an average of $1.74 for each catalog that is printed. Due to the potential increase in catalog orders, Benetton will only incur costs from additional catalogs ordered. An estimated 1,500 catalogs are expected to be ordered within the course of a year, which gives Benetton the additional cost of $2,610. Internet/Interactive Recommendations Techniques Three techniques that will be implemented under Internet marketing are: • catalogue sign up • sign up for Benetton promotions, fashion and trade shows, as well as other information • internet movie Rationale Placing the option to sign up for a catalogue online will make buying Benetton apparel easier for consumers which encourages purchase. Benetton currently has catalogues but does not employ them to their customers. Most of the time, they are only accessible to their customers on the internet. This sign up allows for customers to put in a request for a catalogue as well as sign up for other promotional events. By having customers voluntarily sign up for promotional and informational e-mails, Benetton will not have the problem of sending unwanted junk mail to customers. When accessing the website, a short internet movie will play. The movie displays a young white boy growing up with a young black girl. As they get older, they begin to court. They start school and suddenly realize that interracial couples are not popular in schools. The young girl becomes disheartened due to the ridicule from her classmates and begins to cry. The young white boy sees her and writes UNI on his hand and TY on her hand and combines his hand with her hand to express unity. At the end, the Untied Colors of Benetton logo is displayed. The motto behind this movie is “there is unity in colors.” The purpose of this movie is to show the character of the Benetton company as an introduction to its website.
  14. 14. Direct Marketing Plan/Timing The registration option will be a definite addition to the Benetton website. As for the internet movie, it will run for a period of six months. Budget • Set/Props/ Wardrobe- $15,000 • Actors- $100,000 • Web Designer- $2,000 • Total Budget- $117,000 The registration portion will be an attribute added to the website which will be no additional cost to Benetton. In the budget for the web movie, Benetton will have to include the wage for the actors, production team as well as the director. Benetton will also incur the cost of the set, props, and most obviously the wardrobe. The estimated cost of the commercial including all of the factors above is 117,000. MAGGIANO’S LITTLE ITALY MARKETING PLAN This is a marketing plan that was completed during my senior year at the University of South Florida for my Marketing Management course. The objective was to create a marketing plan for the Italian restaurant Maggiano’s. I have included all the parts of the project that I researched and wrote. External Environment Analysis Industry/Market Trends
  15. 15. Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant is a part of the food service industry. According to the Datamonitor industry profile, the food service industry is defined as any sale of food or drink for immediate consumption on the premises of which it was bought or in a designated eating area shared with other foodservice operators. The industry is divided into four categories: cafes and restaurants, fast food, cost and other. Cafes and restaurants include full service restaurants, hotels and retail locations. The fast-food category includes quick service, takeaways, street vendors and entertainment locations such as cinemas. The cost category includes any food purchase in which a subsidy is paid, like hospitals and schools. The other category includes venues like nightclubs, planes and trains. As of 2004, the foodservice industry reached a volume of 173.4 billion dollars. By 2009, the foodservice industry is expected to grow by 13.1%. Cafes and restaurants generate 39.4% of the 173.4 billion dollars that the food industry produces, making it the most profitable segment in the industry. There are seven primary corporations that govern the food industry. These seven include Brinker International, Burger King, Yum! Brands, Darden Restaurants, McDonalds Corporation, Starbucks Corporation and Sodexho Inc. Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant is a part of Brinker International, along with Chili’s Bar and Grill, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, Rockfish Seafood Grill, Big Bowl and Corner Bakery Café. Brinker International comes last in the race for revenues only contributing 3.71 billion dollars to the industry. Next to last is Darden restaurants, which includes Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones, coming in with 5 billion. Leading Danden would be Starbucks Corporation with 5.5 billion, Yum! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s and Taco Bell) with 9 billion, Burger King Corporation with 13.2 billion, Sodexho Alliance with 14.3 billion and McDonald’s Corporation with 19.1 billion. In recent reports, America has shown to be the most obese country in the world. According to the current issue of the Business and Economic Review, America’s obesity rate has risen 90% from the year 1990 to 2002. Americans are becoming more health conscious and in the process, they have created a new consumer need: health conscious foods. The food industries top seven have made several marketing efforts to meet these new needs. For example, Wendy’s has adopted new items on their fast food menu, which includes fruits, yogurt, a variety of side salads and even milk. McDonald’s has also joined the race by creating its new premium salads. During the Atkins Diet fad, restaurants like Subway and Chili’s provided low-carb menu options. One of the major menu items is the low-carb wrap, which substitutes a wrap (made of spinach, wheat, etc.) for the bread used for sandwiches. Applebee’s has also begun to offer dishes that are based on the point system of the Weight Watchers program. This gives consumers the luxury of dining out without the worries of watching calories. Another major trend for consumers is convenience. The new generation has embraced the new working mother. Women have begun to place more emphasis on careers and a little less on mopping floors and cooking dinners. Because of this trend, consumers have created a need for “on-the-go” meals. The fast-food sector of the food industry has had a steady increase. In the Food Service Industry 29% 1% 39% 31% Fast Food Other Cost Cafés & Restaurants
  16. 16. year 2004, the fast food sector contributed $50 billion to the food service industry, making it a key component of the industry as a whole. The “on-the-go” theme is also being adopted by several full service restaurants like Carrabba’s and Lee Roy Selmon’s. The restaurants provide curbside pick up, where an order can be placed by telephone and delivered to the car upon arrival. As a result of America’s increasing diversity, restaurants have began adapting ethnic cuisines. America’s has become the melting pot of the world providing a home for many cultures and ethnicities. Some of these ethnicities have tremendous spending power. According to, Hispanics have $55 billion to contribute towards the consumption of food. Restaurants such as Don Pablo’s and Tex Mex have recognized this need and have become very profitable. Other cuisines, such as Italian and Caribbean, are provided through restaurants like Maggiano’s and Bahama Breeze. There is rising competition in this category, as more and more full-service restaurants are recognizing the consumer’s need for diversity. Competitive Trends Brand Competitors: The chief competitors of Maggiano’s Little Italy are other full-service chain Italian Restaurants. that These include Darden’s Olive Garden, Brinker’s Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Carrabbas Italian Grill which is part of Outback Steakhouse Inc. These restaurants have marketing strategies and financial statistics which make the difference from all the other competitors. Olive Garden: Olive Garden has seasonal specials such as “all you can eat pasta bowls.” It also has everyday specials which consist of unlimited salad and breadsticks. Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with 563 locations, 70,000 employees and more than two billion dollars in annual sales. Romano’s Macaroni Grill: Macaroni Grill markets its customers by offering a “create your own bowl” so they can choose from a variety of pasta‘s, sauces, vegetables and meats they would like to eat for their meal. Romano’s Macaroni Grill has one year’s sales growth of 5.5% in 2004 bringing in $3912.9 million. Carrabbas: Carrabbas is known for their fresh food that is cooked on an open grill for all to see. Carrabbas Italian Grill has grown sixteen percent in total sales from 2004 to 2005 bringing in $138 million in revenue. Product Competitors: Maggiano’s Little Italy has many competitors that are in the same full-service chain restaurants, however, serving different types of food. P.F. Changs, Cheesecake Factory, Darden’s Red Lobster and Outback Steakhouse are a few examples. Outback Steakhouse: Outback is one of the leading competitors in the full-service restaurant industry which has over 1,200 locations and markets its consumers by serving a variety of food
  17. 17. such as steak, chicken and seafood in an Australian-themed atmosphere. Its sales from 2004 were $3,201.8 million and a yearly sales growth of 16.7%. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro: P.F. Chang’s has 100 full-service restaurants which offers lunch and dinner menu’s inspired by five culinary regions of China. Its sales from 2004 were $706.9 million, a 26.4% increase from 2003. Red Lobster: Red Lobster has 636 restaurants which offer seasonal marketing strategies such as “all you can eat shrimp” and “summer seafood feast.” These promotions bring in most of Red Lobsters sales each year. Darden’s revenue increased from $5,003,355 in 2003 to $5,278,110 in 2004. The Cheesecake Factory: The Cheesecake Factory has 90 casual full-service chain restaurants that offers about 200 menu items ranging from sandwiches and salads, to steaks and seafood. However, the highlight of course is the 40 varieties of cheesecakes. Its consumers could enjoy a full-service meal or indulge in a wonderful dessert. Its 2004 sales were $969.2 million, a 25.3% increase in sales growth from 2003. Generic Competitors:  Potato chips  Chewing gum  Candy bars  Meal replacement bars  Shakes and smoothies  Grocery Store  Domino’s Pizza Total Budget:  Retail  Music CD’s  Beauty cosmetics  Museums  Theatres Technological Trends Technology is changing so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up. A technology phrase used in the restaurant industry is Technotweaking (tek-no-twek-ing) which is the improving or refining a situation by means of advanced technology. One way of technotweaking in a kitchen is installing a computerized french fryer that will automatically raise and drop the french fries so they cook perfectly each and every time. Every full-service restaurant is filled with products such as computers and registers. However, these are just some of the things that make employers jobs a little easier. When a consumer comes into a restaurant and the restaurant has a wait time, each party is given a pager that lights up and vibrates when the table is ready. Before the host/hostess prompted that seats were ready by yelling the name of the party. This makes the wait a little
  18. 18. more relaxing and consumers are less confused about whose name has been called at the time of seating. As customers are seated at the table, the server will get the drinks and pass out the menus to select for meal selection. Today, more and more servers aren’t writing orders. Everything that is ordered is logged into flat screen monitors. These computers are supplied with menu items and products that can be assessed just by the touch the screen. After the order is entered, the order is automatically sent to the cooks and saved on a ticket for the end of the bill. This technology gives the servers more time to spend catering to the customers needs and pleasing them. Soon, in the future, servers will be using palm pilots to put orders in right in front of the customers and the cooks will be able to start on the order immediately. Many restaurants display TV’s in the corners of the broadcasting the news or even sports events. Most TV’s are serviced by satellites, so games can be played on more than one TV at a time. Sports events attract many customers to restaurants to meet up with friends and family and be catered while watching their favorite teams play. Economic Trends Perhaps the most obvious economic trend at this time is the rise in gas prices due to the current hurricanes. During this hurricane season, consumers and industries have been affected more than predicted by expert economists and marketers. Due to the effects of the recent hurricanes, the nation’s consumers have experienced short-come job loss, loss of homes, loss of possessions, high gas prices, and higher heating bills. The current hurricanes have caused a shortage in oil, thus driving gas prices to a record high. The August 29th issue of the Nation’s Restaurant News magazine confirmed that from August 8, 2005 to August 15, 2005 gas prices increased from $2.368 a gallon to $2.550 a gallon. This is the largest increase in oil prices recorded since the initial tracking began in 1990 by the U.S. The short-come job loss that consumers are encountering may also aid to its recession. According to Standard & Poor’s Industry Survey there has been a steady decline in inflation rates since 1998. There also has been a steady decline in interest rates since mid year of 2000. Interest rates have had a perpetual decrease from 6% to 1% since the year 2000, but have increased steadily since 9/11. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate is 5.4%. Out of the 367 metropolitan areas in the U.S., 161 of them have a rise in unemployment and 78 are unchanged. It's not clear how much higher the minimum wage might go. House Budget Committee Chairman Martin Olav Sabo (D- MN) for example, has been joined by Democrats from New York, California, Pennsylvania, and Georgia in sponsoring a bill to increase the minimum to $6.50 an hour, a 53 percent increase. Reduced employment has long been an accepted result of a higher minimum wage. Most economists agree that employment goes down one to two percent for every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage. According to a survey by Nation's Business, nearly half the respondents said that increasing the minimum wage beyond $6 an hour would either slow down or halt hiring. These factors have created a considerable depression in consumer’s discretionary income and consumer confidence. According the 2004 U.S. Census, the average household income is $56,644. As told by David Rosenburg, an administration official of Merill Lynch and Company Inc., every penny increase in gas takes away 1.5 billion dollars of consumer’s discretionary budgets. From February to March 2005, disposable income among consumers rose by .1%. These facts justify why consumer confidence is extremely important. Even if there is not an
  19. 19. abundant amount of discretionary income, consumer spending is based on consumer confidence: low confidence=low spending. According to the Consumer Confidence index, consumer confidence had a score of 72.6 in July and has risen to 105.6 since then. 107.5 is considered a “healthy” score for confidence level. Economists are unsure of how the score will be affected by the current conditions due to the hurricanes. Included in the craze of rising prices is the food industry. The annihilation of crops caused by the hurricanes has forced restaurants to increase their menu prices due to the cost of supplies. Casual dining is on the verge of becoming a sacrifice to consumers. Consumers are assessing the cost of gas to drive to the restaurant, along with rising menu prices and the slow growth rate of the economy and are becoming less confident in leisure spending. Political, Legal and Regulatory Trends Judicial and legislative laws have been putting a considerable amount of strain on the food service industry, especially the cafés and restaurants. Such laws as mandated health benefits and family and medical leave for employees has disabled smaller restaurants. Less than 70% of restaurants in the U.S. make under $500,000 in revenues. Government has allowed businesses to deduct meals from their taxes for up to 80% and President Bush voted to raise tariffs on imports like French wines and other goods. States are becoming stringent about the amount of working hours for teens and enforcing accessibility adjustments for the handicap in public places. Individual states may begin adopting regulation laws. For instance, Michigan requires 50% of dining space to be non smoking and other states such as Florida have adopted a complete ban on smoking in full service restaurants. The food industry is considered “high-risk” in concerns to safety and health regulations. During a fire safety inspection, sprinklers, life safety systems and capacity have to be checked. Many states are adopting the practice of using local fire departments to enforce regulations instead of having and assigned representative from the state. States are adopting this method for building inspections as well, which includes the inspection of indoor air quality, structural integrity, plumbing electric and accessibility for the handicap. Health inspections are also monitored by local and regional departments. The regulations are usually adapted from the states regulations, some with minor differences. Many health departments are implementing the HACCP in the inspections. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, which is where production flow and layout of kitchen functions are included in the approval process. The National Restaurant Association has set in motion a training program that provides training on serving alcohol based on government regulations. The program is not only for bartenders and servers, but valets, hostesses, busboys, and security personnel are encouraged to attend as well. The program includes tips for detection of fake ID’s and strategic planning for handling difficult situations that may emerge due to alcohol. The incidents of 9/11 have also produced a major fear of bioterrorism. In December 2004, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) propagated record keeping regulations under the Public Health and Bioterrorism Response Act of 2002. This law states requires “persons who manufacture, process, pack. transport, distribute, receive, hold, or import food to establish and maintain records that identify the immediate previous source of al food received, as well as the immediate subsequent recipient of all food released.” The FDA has also required for companies to give priors notices of arrival of food imports to the U.S.
  20. 20. Cultural Trends The cultural values that are affecting the food industry include the ban on smoking. All 50 states have clean indoor air provisions restricting smoking in certain places. These laws range from simple, limited restrictions, such as designated areas in government buildings, to laws that prohibit smoking in virtually all public places and workplaces. Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, Florida, Idaho and Utah prohibit smoking in restaurants. People enjoy the clean atmosphere it creates and much more, they no longer have to deal with the second hand smoke. Sanitary factors of food was a major concern for consumers before smoking was restricted indoors. Consumers worried whether or not their meals were going to taste like an ashtray. The food service industry is one of the biggest fractions (over half) of disposable waste. Everything is prepared fresh every morning and tossed at the end of the night, used or not. Over half of the U.S. landfills trash is contributed by the food service industry. Today’s food industries are becoming more prone to varying lifestyles. More and more families are eating at family owned restaurants. These mom and pops restaurants cater to everyone in the family making it easy to satisfy the elders, children and couples all in one meal. Customer Analysis Who Maggiano’s Little Italy attracts customers in urban, upscale areas who have a taste for southern Italian cuisine. Patrons of Maggiano’s are worldly, educated, classy, and sophisticated. The thirty-three Maggiano’s across the United States are in major cities such as: Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Within the large cities that it occupies, Maggiano’s target busy shopping areas. Out of the thirty-three Maggiano’s, eighteen anchor large malls or shopping centers and the other fifteen are within a mile of a major shopping center. Not only are the malls within urban areas filled with locals, but they also serve as hot tourist spots. Families that have spent a long day shopping have homemade, authentic Italian food at their disposal. Maggiano’s family style cuisine is perfect for a family gathering such as a bar mitzvah, wedding, banquet, or business function. Maggiano’s offer at least two banquet rooms and plenty of seating for smaller parties. Not only is Maggiano’s a great place to go for a celebration or gathering, it also is a great place to bring a date because of its romantic setting. Valentines Day and Mother’s day always attract a lot of traffic into the classy Maggiano’s. According to C&R, a research company for the National Restaurant Association, Maggiano’s customers would be considered “adventurous diners,” meaning that they are “more enthusiastic about trying new types of food and ingredients. They are frequent diners who are upscale, educated, and more likely to live in urban areas.” Maggiano’s offer its “adventurous diners” with items such as: veal, eggplant parmesan, and calamari. What Maggiano’s customers flood the doors to enjoy the homemade Southern Italian feast. Maggiano’s environment is classy, sophisticated, romantic, and relaxing. If a large party is dining at Maggiano’s they will take advantage of the family style arrangement and experience a taste of Italy. For smaller parties, Maggiano’s offer an individual menu where the portions are
  21. 21. significantly smaller. Customers have the option to start their meal with an appetizer such as brushetta or calamari, along with a glass of Merlot. Maggiano’s provide its customers with a full bar stocked with a multitude of spirits and of course, wines. The main course is the star of the show where Maggiano’s offer an array of classic Italian dishes, such as Four Cheese Ravioli, Lasagna, and Chicken and Spinach Manicotti. Maggiano’s also offer salmon, shrimp and steak with an Italian twist. If the guest still has room, they can enjoy a traditional Tiramisu or even a slice of apple pie. Maggiano’s customers certainly take advantage of the vast food and beverage selection offered. They can sip on a Sicilian Coffee as they enjoy their Tiramisu or have a glass of Merlot to complement their eggplant parmesan. Maggiano’s menu is filled with Italian favorites but at the same time provides customers with alternatives such as Prime Rib eye or Jumbo Lump Crab cake in an attempt to appease everyone’s taste buds. Where Maggiano’s customers can enjoy its Italian cuisine at any of the thirty-three locations in twenty different states nationwide. The following states have one or more Maggiano’s location: Florida, Georgia, California, Illinois, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Colorado, and North Carolina. While dining at Maggiano’s, each customer will be provided with an experienced server and he/she will act as an intermediary between the customer, kitchen, and the final product delivered. Servers will interact with customers and aid them in food and beverage selections, perhaps by suggesting a personal favorite or house special. The servers at Maggiano’s are considered priceless jewels for the entire operation. The servers have face to face interaction with each customer and have the opportunity to up sell by employing suggestive selling. For example, a server can suggest adding a side salad to go with dinner and a premium wine, opposed to the house wine. After up selling to their guests, servers then must communicate the order correctly to bartenders and chefs. Servers play a significant role in the overall satisfaction of each customer who visits Maggiano’s. Food on the go has become a trend throughout the restaurant industry and Maggiano’s will not disappoint its customers. It now offers carry out food and has adopted the slogan “Any time, Any where” to appease the demand for customers on the run. According to Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage, the average family has less time to prepare meals due to the substantial increase in dual income families. In 2003, the Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded that more than 50% of families were getting by with dual incomes. Maggiano’s carryout allows customers to pick food up, perhaps on their way home from work, and provide their family with a delicious, nutritious meal. The carryout menu includes family style portions, individual portions, and even “party-sized pans” suited for twenty people. Customers can now enjoy Maggiano’s at home or in the restaurant itself to appease their craving for homemade Italian cuisine. When Most customers frequent Maggiano’s more so in the evenings. Although Sunday and Monday nights are prime ‘staying-in’ times Maggiano’s sees most of its business on Friday and Saturday nights. Maggiano’s is a hot spot for frequent daters, hosting a business meeting, and the holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother and Father’s Day. Maggiano’s has also extended its size to accompany larger parties for banquets. The great atmosphere Maggiano’s exhibit, especially if romance is in the air, is seen with its elegantly dimmed lighting and the wine flowing. Maggiano’s has a vast return rate on the customers. Once customers take
  22. 22. a bite of the enormous portion of the Rigatoni “D”, they are sure to revisit. Although Maggiano’s does not do any advertising, they rely on word of mouth to gain the respect they have been entitled to. It is by word of mouth that it sees the continual business and return rate increase. Banquets in its halls help to open more people’s eyes and fill their stomachs. Italians always know how to keep them coming back for more. The purchasing and consumption habits differ as customers go out for dinner. One is more apt to buy a nice glass of wine to go with their twenty dollar meal as opposed to the house wine. People work hard to earn their money to be able to go out to nice dinners, spending how they please, and while still fitting in with the atmosphere. No one wants to feel like they are out of place. Wine accents pasta perfectly, and Maggiano’s does a wonderful job on making many assortments available. Why and How Consumers frequent Maggiano’s in search of great Italian food. In all of its menus, Maggiano’s states, “Our portions are large enough to share – so you get to taste more of a variety of foods than you would, if you were to order individually.” Customers are always looking to get more for their money. Maggiano’s depicts the typical Italian stereotype of “Big is more”. Although Maggiano’s does not offer curb side services for take out as does its competitor Carrabba’s, it still offers take out and has added advantages of delivery that no others do. Although curb side is becoming more accepted with restaurants today, Maggiano’s has raised the standard higher with delivery. Maggiano’s menu is flexible to changes as you are able to substitute out any of its sauces. Its menu states that one is able to order any dish with oil free sauces as well. This has been very helpful to the average American who on one of the famous fad diets. Although pasta is full of carbs and the average American is considered to be obese, Maggiano’s has not seen a decrease in its profits. The average meal for two customers out on a date (not including alcohol) including beverages, appetizer, meals, and desert is around forty-five dollars. Maggiano’s accepts payments in all forms of credit cards, cash, traveler’s checks, gift cards and certificates. Personnel checks are however not accepted anymore as means of security to the company. Non-Customers With the recent dieting trend outlawing carbohydrates, Maggiano’s has most certainly been affected. Currently, Maggiano’s does not offer whole grain pasta or a dieter’s plate. In fact, it prides itself on serving hearty proportions of Italian bread and pasta. Many other restaurants have adapted to the current trend of eating healthy and have added parts to their menus especially for carb-conscious dieters. However, Maggiano’s does offer salmon and shrimp, which are both healthy alternatives to pasta. In addition, Maggiano’s is perceived as an upper class dining experience. Most would agree that when visiting a Maggiano’s it is an authentic Italian experience, from the table clothes to the chandeliers, to the food itself. According to its parent company, Brinker International, the average check at Maggiano’s is $25. Olive Garden offers “all you can eat soup and salad” for $5.95 so many customers head there to stuff themselves to capacity for under $10. However, when considering portions to price, it is among the most reasonably priced food for the money. In addition to price, Maggiano’s does not advertise at all, unlike its competitors Carrabba’s and Olive Garden who advertise heavily on television. Restaurant patrons may not be aware of Maggiano’s unless they physically see the establishment
  23. 23. or hear about it from a friend of co-worker. Maggiano’s lacks the familiarity that Olive Garden, Carrabba’s, and Macaroni Grill currently have. Not only do these competitors advertise heavily and have more exposure, there are many locations within a concentrated area. With only thirty- three location in the United States, Maggiano’s is far less exclusive than its competitors. With that said, Maggiano’s differentiates itself deliberately by not advertising or having a location on every corner. Many non-customers are simply unaware of it, but with time, the quality and experience of Maggiano’s will result in a broader customer base. Action Plan: Wine Tasting with Maggiano’s Objective: To increase awareness of regional Maggiano’s eventually leading to an increase in sales in food and alcoholic beverages by 5% for every region taking part in the promotion. Target Market: This promotion is targeting the parents of families discussed in the primary market, as well as the intimate individuals in the secondary market, with a knowledge and interest in wine and alcoholic beverages. Description of the Program: Maggiano’s combined with the AIWF (American Institute of Wine and Food) will be a sponsor for their on going event Harvest, A Tasting of a New World. This event is centered on exploring new wines and other alcoholic beverages while being able to explore food as well. Maggiano’s will sponsor the event by donating all of the food in the form of appetizers, as well as some of its signature alcoholic beverages and wines. There are 10 chapters of the AIWF that are located in the same city as a Maggiano’s. Who: The Regional Marketing manager will be responsible for executing this promotion. It is their responsibility to contact the chapter for information about the event as well as sponsorship information for the event. Timing: The Harvest event is held every year in the fall. This program will run for two consecutive fall seasons with each region. Budget: Maggiano’s will not have to pay to sponsor the event since there is usually a general fee to participate. Although, all the food as well as alcoholic beverages and wine will be provided by Maggiano’s. Each event expects about 140 to 200 guests. Supplying food and alcohol for one
  24. 24. event will range from $3,080 to $4,400. If the event was done with all of the 10 chapters for two consecutive seasons, the total cost of the promotion will be about $88,000. Measurement: The most reasonable method for measuring the success of this promotion is to calculate the rise and/or the decline of food, wine and alcoholic sales of Maggiano’s in the regions that the promotions were executed. Action Plan: The Largest Spaghetti Dinner Ever Objective: The objective of the promotion is to increase awareness of Maggiano’s on a nation and world wide span by attempting to make the largest bowl of spaghetti in the history of the world while raising money for charities as well as the surrounding communities. Target Market: This action plan is aimed at the families in the primary target market, specifically located in the city of Chicago, Illinois as well as any person of all races, backgrounds, incomes, education and social status that would like to take part in a record breaking event. Description of the Program: This program begins with contacting the Guinness Book of World Records to inform them of Maggiano’s attempt to make the largest spaghetti dinner in the history of the world. Also, news programs in the area will have to be contacted as well. Maggiano chefs from different states would gather on the anniversary of Maggiano’s in its birth city Chicago, Illinois. Here, the anniversary of Maggiano’s will be celebrated by attempting to make the largest bowl of spaghetti, including one meatball, in the entire world. The record to beat for the largest bowl of pasta is 7,355 pounds, which was performed by Tony’s Pizzeria in Hartford New York. Additional pasta, sauce and meat would have to be imported into the Chicago location of Maggiano’s. 50 chefs would gather on that Friday (20 already a part of the Maggiano’s in Chicago) and the event will be held that following Sunday. The event will be held at nearby Highland Park, Chicago. Participants are free to dine in on the bowl of pasta but will have to donate $5 for a fork. All proceeds will go to various charities as well as the surrounding community. Who: The Marketing Manager for Maggiano’s under the Brinker International Corporation would be responsible for executing this action plan. Timing: The event will be held on in the summer of 2006, celebrating Magginano’s 15year anniversary. Budget:
  25. 25. The budget will mostly be spent on supplies for the chef. These supplies include pasta, sauce, meat as well as drinks and for the participants. There is no charge to fill out the application for the Guinness Book of World Records. There is also no charge for the news crews as it will be free publicity. The 30 chefs from different areas will be brought in on a volunteer basis, but Maggiano’s will pay for the travel and hotel accommodations. The total projected budget for this promotion including supplies, travel as well as hotel accommodations is $40,000. Measurement: There is no true way to measure the effectiveness of this event except to measure the rise and/or the decline of sales in Maggiano’s restaurants across the nation.