NDU Term Paper | Marketing Senior Standing - Marketing Plan
Notre Dame University
Faculty of Business
MRK 433- Senior Marketing
Product Name: ALMAZA
Date of Plan: December 20, 2005
Marketing Manager: Mr. Fouad Mrad
Contributors to the Plan:
Mr. Kamal Zakhour
Fiscal Year: 2005-2006
1) An overall Marketing review.
2) The most important key competitors of Almaza.
3) The product: Almaza beer.
4) Product positioning in the market.
5) Product differentiator and competitive advantage.
6) The customer: where are users’ located and to reach them?
7) Distribution channel.
8) Market research plan and usability testing.
9) Opportunity analysis, financial and marketing objectives.
10) Almaza different Marketing tactics and action programs.
11) A general overview on the advertising plans of Almaza.
12) Different measure of success regarding Almaza.
13) Almaza’s projected profits and losses.
14) Controls within Almaza and we end up with a small conclusion.
1) Marketing Review:
After having done a research about Almaza, and after having done an interview with the
marketing manager, Mr. Mrad, we found out some important information about Almaza
and its competitors in the market.
The most important thing we noticed is that Almaza owns 85% of the market, which is a
huge number. One of the reasons may be due to the fact that Almaza uses Mass
Marketing, targeting all segments in the Lebanese market.
Like any other product, Almaza has competitors, and the more new competitors are
entering the market, the more it is affecting its sales. For that reason, trying to keep or
increase its market share, Almaza has to stay awake and find new strategies to protect
itself from competitors, and this is why Almaza is introducing new RID'S, new CSD'S,
and a new beer with flavors.
2) Mainly, the key competitors of Almaza are the following:
1. Efes, which owns 7 to 10% of the market share, and costs around 1000 LL (the
large size can)
2. Carlsberg, which owns 5% of the market share, and costs around 945LL (the
small can), and 1515LL (the large one)
3. Fox, which owns only 3% of the market share, and is found approximately around
1200LL (however, it is nowadays absent from the market)
We can notice that the price of the small bottle of Almaza is 750LL, and the price of the
larger one is 1000LL
3) The Product:
When we started to ask the marketing manager, in our interview, questions concerning
revenues and the product, Mr. Mrad tried to give us very limited and short answers, since
such questions must stay internal. What we could know is that the prior year revenue is
19% less, but this year forecasted revenues are much better (without any given values).
Almaza is founded by Lebanese shareholders in the market since 1933. For that, Almaza
is not a new product, but an enhanced product. In fact, each period of time, a new feature
is added or changed, such as changing from the brown to the green bottle, introducing
Almaza with no alcohol, etc…
During this period, Almaza is introducing its bottle with uplift an added feature in order
to fortify much better the whole content. And no other new features are been added
recently to its beverage, only slight improvements because Almaza have always been
know to its refined quality.
4) Product positioning:
When we think about positioning, we actually should think about the act of designing
‘Almaza’s’ offering and image in order to occupy a distinctive place in the target
market’s mind. Thus, the end result of positioning is the successful creation of a market-
focused value statement, a compelling reason why the target market should buy the
Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. Well known products generally
hold a distinctive position in customer’s mind; ‘Almaza’ as have been informed promptly
by the marketing manager that its products can’t be judged or even assessed before being
launched into the targeted market. But we as marketing students gave them our opinion
and shared it with the marketing manager, which describes the importance of using a
prototype or do some tests before sending a totally new product into the market in order
to minimize the probability of failure and losing the money invested. As for the typical
well-known beer bottle it has already a strong image in the consumer’s mind.
5) Product differentiator, unique selling point or competitive advantage:
We noticed during our tour made at Almaza that changes are being made internally
because it has recently been sold to a foreign company, therefore new machines, and
high-tech procedures are being integrated in the overall process. The taste is delicious as
old times, the way of manufacturing and bottling the beer is still the same and yet,
delivering the best quality of beverage to the different segments in the Lebanese market.
We noticed also the new advertising campaign launched recently Almaza, in a creative
way on many billboards. These are found in many regions in Lebanon, putting Almaza in
a distinctive and special image in relation to other competitive brands. Almaza is being
differentiated by a refined process of adding a set of meaningful and valued differences
whether in taste, quality, and bottle… in order to distinguish the company’s offering from
those of the competitors’ offerings. Actually, being important with valued benefits,
distinctive, superior, preemptive, affordable and also profitable is a significant potential
for differentiation. Moreover, we can find Almaza beer in many different places, not only
in supermarkets but also in small markets in any local regions whether in a Lebanese
village or in the major cities such as Beirut, Tripoli or Sour. Almaza do cover and reach
successfully many segments. We can find it in Geant Casino, Bhv, Monopris and
Spinneys etc... Or as mentioned above, it could be bought from small local shops near our
homes. Almaza has a competitive advantage over its competitors in the market in so
many different and special ways; it has always been with a high level of quality!
Therefore marketing managers at this firm are socially responsible because they still
ensure serving the interests of the targeted markets as well as the company. We noticed in
our firm tour the changes and continuous diffusion of innovation, of course a lot needs to
be improved, yet Almaza is within the flow of new ideas. The renovation of the brewery
includes a complete set of machineries such as; fermentation, tanks and bottling line. It is
the only one still operating in Lebanon and it is certified under the label ISO 9002 for
quality. Almaza can be found not only in Lebanon but also in: Canada, United States,
England, France and the Gulf countries etc…
6) The customer:
When the marketing manager was addressed with this following question: where are the
users located and how do you reach them? He simply explained that users are being
reached carefully in almost all desired regions; also the sales are made with no specified
targeted places. But we suggested that following the company’s objectives and resources
the firm must ask whether a potential segment has the required characteristics such
assize, growth and profitability. It makes sense for Almaza to consider these before
targeting, but we understood that they are the leaders and strong brand equity has already
been existed long before. Almaza is currently using the full market coverage which
attempts to serve all customer groups with all the products needed. Although they are the
leaders we suggested them to do continuous feedback and evaluation of what is
happening inside and outside the firm in order to strengthen the strategies. Significant
changes are always required to reach the objectives and the mission of the firm.
Advertising creativity as seen on billboards is a good example of Almaza reached many
Lebanese in a humorous, fresh and desirable way. Why not advertising also on radios and
investing in prosperous and promising products. Thus being quick, responsive and
innovative are major things to be considered in order to target prospects and current
Moreover, people buy Almaza for many reasons; some buy it because their parents used
to drink it on many occasions, others are used to drink it long before any imported beer
entered the local markets and finally, who doesn’t noticed the existence of Almaza bottle
on any traditional Lebanese lunch or dinner?
These well-known bottles as refreshments and joy are not only to the Lebanese but also
to many foreigners; the marketing manager informed us that Almaza is definitely an
impulse buying bottom of trolley to the overall loyal customers. The overall prices are
quite satisfying to a lot of buyers; they seek to gain satisfaction while drinking this beer!
7) Distribution channel:
Almaza uses all the different channels existed in the Lebanese market in order to reach all
customers effectively without any delays or exceptions. These set of intermediaries
perform a variety of functions, actually they help in an efficient manner to make Almaza
bottles almost available and accessible to a wide variety of final users. They perform
many different tasks ranging from gathering information, handling promotions, placing
orders and facilitating physical possession etc… Almaza do have many alternatives, it
merely uses the zero-level channel, off, on or the wholesale channels. It sells directly to
its final customers; using its own trucks directly to the stores it wants them to shelve
considerably its different bottles. Thus, this is the case of the “off” method, meaning that
the company does not always depend on intermediaries but also on its own selling efforts.
Almaza has already strong roots in the Lebanese market; its prices are not expensive
comparing to the quality of taste it sells to all customers. We mean by the “on” channel,
the case of using intermediaries, Mr. Mrad the marketing manager, told us that Almaza
depends heavily on it wholesalers in order to distribute to the retailers, who in turn make
sure that all places have their shelves full of Almaza products.
8) Market research plan or usability testing:
The marketing manager told us that Almaza after its products launch in the market, they
use the test of “focus group” in order to assess and gain new ideas concerning its beer
such as pricing, shelving and promotion. Focus group occurs when a moderator meets
with the presence of a certain number of customers, for about 10 or 12; actually it
depends on the product and the company. The moderator has the required skills that
permit him to trigger the discussions among everybody; answers are assessed upon
specified standards set by the company. Of course, many data are learned during this
meeting and these help to make the necessary corrective actions whether in the product or
the strategies. As it has been told, the prices are acceptable by most people because they
are not expensive. We advised the manager to use some other research plan or tests in
order to be more efficient such as surveys and questionnaires, these could be eligible on
line for quick replies or within the supermarkets where many customers come and buy
Almaza. Live interviews can be annoying and biased or sometimes the customer does not
reply honestly. However, any method can be extremely helpful to gain credible
information that can support the changes if needed. Lastly, Almaza is a leader in the
Lebanese market it doesn’t have to joint with any firm but at least it can continuously
improve its internal process, strategies and machineries. Also, training its employees and
teaching them how to be more efficient in producing always the high quality beer, as
promised in the company’s mission to all its stakeholders.
9) Opportunity analysis, financial & marketing objectives:
Almaza is proud today to be a real competitive beverage in the Lebanese market
comparing to the imported ones from other foreign countries. Actually, its prices are
lower then other beers and it has a high quality of taste, light bitterness that stimulates the
appetite, carbon dioxide that helps digestion, vitamins and minerals etc… and many other
benefits are found in each bottle, its really amazing that Almaza could offer a bundle of
benefits with a well-studied prices which are really affordable and suitable to many
customers. Almaza is always fresh and its expiry date is good enough to last, also this
firm has now important opportunities that allowed it to merge with other significant
international firms such as Heineken beer. Its image today is high in the market because it
is really putting a lot of efforts to remain not only the leader but to stretch its resources as
much as it can to become more competitive worldwide.
Almaza today is making a lot of profits, but due to secrecy and confidentiality we
couldn’t get the exact values, but we have been told that its main goal is to increase even
more its profits in the long-run. Moreover, boost its market share and availability as much
as possible. Already, Almaza obtained the best rating (3.9/5) compared to all imported
beers to Lebanon. This rating was quoted in the “beer lover’s rating guide” (over 1,200
beer brands) which was published in 1995 & 2000 by Bob Klein in the United State
10) Marketing Tactics or Action Programs:
Program Scheduled Date(s) Cost
Advertising/Media 1st of March $900,000
Merchandising 1st of March $100,000
Web Marketing update at same time Minimal
Promotions No Promotions
Depending on which target to
Sales Incentives reach
Material New SKU catalogs $5,000
Special Offers No
Pricing Strategy No
“Almaza”, through its strategy of maintaining a good communication with its target
market uses advertising which is an effective tool to achieve its objectives. On the 1st of
March, Almaza will launch a new advertising Campaign. This suitable media should be
useful in order to reach its target audience. The media used is both ATL and BTL and the
programs will be on the peak time to reach the biggest number of audience. Almaza was
hiring full service advertising agency for the past two years and this year Almaza should
renew its contract with the agency since their previous advertising was successful in
reflecting the image of Almaza among the Lebanese. They should maintain their image
and stress on “Lebanese Production Factor” as usual as the Unique Selling Preposition.
They are also introducing new products in the market, thus, this should also take a part of
their campaign. Launching flavored beer is something that can be used to trigger trial and
increase sales and here start the role of creative advertising to enhance the tasty flavors
and encourage consumers to buy the new flavors of Almaza beer.
Note: A budget of $900,000 will be allocated for the campaign.
After the plant visit of Almaza factory in Beirut, we had some insights about
merchandizing that will take place at the same time of the advertising campaign, thus,
another $100,000 will be allocated for this task.
Day after day, the internet is entering the Lebanese homes and its usage is increasing.
Nowadays, this used tool is an important medium that can be updated gradually, thus, this
way of communication can reach more potential consumers. The web marketing should
be practiced carefully and used during the advertising campaign as part of the IMC
campaign that includes advertising, public relations, web marketing, and sales promotion.
Launching a dynamic website, sending mass mails, advertise in selected websites can all
target these new generation that are spending hours serving the internet.
The Marketing Department of Almaza told us that there will not be any sales promotions
during this campaign and this is probably because of the decrease of revenues by 14%
from the next year.
Sales incentives are only possible in B2B (Business to Business) model. Incentives
should be given for Distributors, Retailers, and Merchandisers. These incentives take a
good distribution and filling out the stock of retailers with Almaza, thus, improving shelf
position and increase market share relatively.
Sales Support Material should be given as refrigerators, especially for the “geraba
Almaza is also a seasonal product. It was affected a lot by ups and downs in seasonal
change. It sales more in summer time, that’s why its advertising campaign starts in
March. Here we have an opportunity to work on the positioning of Almaza to be also
consumed in winter and fall seasons.
There is no change in the pricing strategy for the next season. And we agree on this
strategy, because the price of Almaza was always affordable for more than 90% of the
Lebanese population and this price serves the mission of the brand of being a mass
product; available for every one.
12) Measures of Success:
The information collected from the marketing department of Almaza showed us a sample
of their way of measuring their success. They reported to us that they use the following
instruments to measure their success:
• Focus Groups: It’s a part of market research aiming to know about the image of
“Almaza” in the mind of consumers. And to know about some technical and
• Market Follow Ups.
• On Shelves Indicators: how frequent the products are sold from the shelves, are
the shelves attractive enough for the items to be sold? What is the quantity sold on
• Sales tracking through a period of time: measuring success is related to the sales
tracking. If the sales are increasing it means we are near success, and vise versa.
How a period of time can affect the sales (Christmas for example)? Were we
selling enough in Christmas? Is our market share constant?
13) Projected Profit and Loss:
The information about profits and losses are not enough, but what we know from the
marketing department is that they earn 15% profit as a margin. Actually, the marketing
manager couldn’t avoid us with details about revenues and costs due to the
confidentiality sworn to the company that of course he can never break. But, he told us
that costs are well studied in turn not to be beyond the projected values, and as for the
revenues they do cover an acceptable percentage of the total sales.
Almaza always undertake internally management meetings in order to review and assess
the progress of the products over a certain period of time. The market situation, the shares
and everything related to the key success factors of its beers. Almaza is aware of the
economic situation in Lebanon and tries to keep up with the sudden changes that might
occur whether expected or not. Well in case of a war or recession, Almaza’s personnel go
through the process of a direct brainstorming in a way to find quick solutions that might
help, for instance, many schedules are made to find other markets as well as other
indicators, like escaping from big supermarkets towards small shops and mini-markets.
That way they can diminish losses as much as possible and still reach customers near
their homes. Almaza is used to such circumstances and it can still operate in bad
conditions due to its fast actions and well-defined strategies internally. It has a strong
staff working all together for the sake of Almaza; actually they always try to find the best
alternatives and the quickest decisions at the right time.
Our group really enjoyed working this Marketing Plan, especially with “Almaza” a well
known beer company for its superior quality and taste. We found it an amazing
experience and opportunity to discover what is behind that brewery, thus, the tour we had
the chance to take internally was extremely significant in order to check the progress and
high-tech that is started to be integrated in the company. Of course, it still needs a lot of
endeavor to reach a higher level of technology, but we are proud as Lebanese to see how
an old firm founded in 1933 can develop quickly and reach today’s level. It sells in
foreign countries and merged with foreigners in turn to be more efficient and modern.
Moreover, Almaza is still Lebanese and know for its finer taste and image in almost most
customers mind. We learned also a lot from the discussions made with the production,
sales and marketing managers, and they seemed interested to share with us our ideas and
suggestions mentioned in the following plan. Finally, we thank each one who helped us
achieve this plan gradually in an efficient and simple way.