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Simply Sigg


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Marketing Plan for Principles of Marketing, Fall 2009

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Simply Sigg

  1. 1. Executive Summary The Company: SIGG was founded in Switzerland in 1908 when Ferdinand Sigg opened an aluminum product factory outside Zurich. The fledgling company produced durable and long-lasting household products like saucepans, frying pans, and bottles from aluminum, which Sigg considered “the material of the future.” After 80 years of business in Switzerland, SIGG developed a new shape and design for one of its products: the bottle. The redesign of the bottle, followed by a 1993 appearance in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, led to significant success for SIGG. In 1997, a European-based investor group bought SIGG and focused on making it an environmentally friendly and responsible company. In 2005, SIGG expanded its market and launched a United States subsidiary based out of Stamford, Connecticut. Although SIGG is still headquartered in Switzerland, the establishment of its U.S. subsidiary has presented SIGG with the opportunity to break into the American market. The Product: SIGG water bottles are 100% recyclable and are manufactured in an ecologically friendly environment. SIGG boasts a useful life for each bottle of between 10 and 20 years and come in approximately 100 unique designs. The SIGG bottle is produced from a single seamless sheet of aluminum, making it extremely durable and long lasting. In fact, Backpacker magazine conducted a test of several water bottles and awarded SIGG’s the title of “World’s Toughest Water Bottle.” In addition to its resilient outside, the SIGG bottle is lined with a special coating, resistant to remnants of fruit juice acid, energy drinks, and alcohol. The composition of the liner also deters the buildup of bacteria, limiting the amount of times users must wash their bottles, which enhances the environmentally friendly aspect of a SIGG. The Problem: In 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency found that many of SIGG’s competitors were using plastic containing BPA, a chemical used to harden plastic that has been linked to diabetes, premature puberty in girls, reduced sperm count in men, and in some cases, cancer. In the wake of this controversy, SIGG boasted that their bottles’ plastic liner did not leak BPA into the contents of their bottles, resulting in increased profitability for SIGG.
  2. 2. Further investigation of SIGG bottles, however, showed that the plastic liners manufactured before August 2008 actually did contain BPA; as a result, SIGG’s customers were angry about the company’s lack of disclosure and concealment. In addition to this problem, it was discovered that SIGG had known about the BPA in its liners and had quietly formulated a BPA-free liner without informing loyal SIGG customers about the issue. This deception caused the market to lose trust in the SIGG brand, which led to a decrease in profitability for SIGG. The Solution: The BPA problem caused SIGG’s once loyal customers to distrust the brand. Thus, it is necessary for SIGG to restore its reputation as a firm that creates high quality, environmentally friendly products. In order to achieve this, SIGG must publically apologize to its customers for its deception. SIGG should also boost its efforts to be more “green.” Sponsoring a charitable event or giving a portion of the company’s proceeds to an environmental charity will allow SIGG to prove it truly cares about the environment in addition to profits. SIGG also needs to establish more transparency and openness with its customers. An easy way to achieve this goal is to get involved in social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media provides a forum for consumers and companies to interact with one another, increasing trust and making customers feel as if they are a part of the company. Once SIGG has reestablished its reputation, it should also focus on entering new markets. With the expansion of SIGG into the United States in 2005, SIGG was faced with many opportunities to enter new markets—such as the market for college students. For SIGG to successfully take advantage of such opportunities, SIGG should partner with college campus representatives across the country to organize events and contests that would work as viral marketing for their product. Customization of SIGG bottles would also attract the college student demographic who tend to purchase university paraphernalia. This would establish a strong connection to the SIGG brand and increase customer loyalty. Last, SIGG should work to gain product placements for their bottles. Youth are often influenced by those in the media when making purchases, so appropriate product placements would be essential in persuading students to purchase SIGG bottles.
  3. 3. PEST Analysis Competitive Environment: • Direct Competition: Other reusable water bottle producers, such as Nalgene Nalgene is a sub-company of Thermo Fisher, a supplier and creator of laboratory equipment, supplies, and software. In 2007, Thermo Fisher’s annual revenue was $9.5 billion, around $65 million of which was generated by Nalgene. Nalgene, being a large supplier of reusable water bottles, poses a direct threat to SIGG products. • Indirect Competition: The plastic water bottle industry In 2007, 8.82 billion gallons of bottled water worth $11.7 billion dollars were sold in to U.S. consumers. According to Beverage Marketing, the U.S. market for bottled water is the largest in the world, and is still growing. Because plastic water bottles take a portion of the market that could potentially belong to SIGG, plastic water bottle manufacturers are an indirect threat to SIGG. Social-Cultural: Environmental issues are extremely important to modern consumers. Many companies are moving toward “green” or “sustainable” business practices. SIGG is a company that strives to be environmentally friendly in both its manufacturing practices and its business tactics. It makes sense, therefore, for SIGG to target individuals who care about the environment and are interested in purchasing sustainable and 100% recyclable products, such as SIGG bottles. Political-Legal: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors tap water in the United States. They require strict testing of all tap water several times a day. This agency is also responsible for uncovering the BPA contamination that had a significant effect on the reusable water bottle industry. SIGG must be informed on all EPA rules and regulations, as any rule relating to tap water will influence the sales of reusable water bottles. Economic: The current recession makes consumers more cautious when making purchases. There is a large focus on saving money, especially when it comes to everyday purchases, including reusable water bottles. Non-reusable plastic water bottles can be convenient but costly, with one 24-pack costing as much as $12.99, whereas a SIGG bottle is a one-time purchase that can be reused for up to 20 years.
  4. 4. Technological: Technological improvements in consumer products are constantly advancing. It is important for SIGG to keep up with technological advancements that could lead to an improvement in product quality, a decrease in manufacturing costs, an increase in manufacturing speed, or any technological advancement that could give SIGG’s competitors an edge. Also, consumers are using technology such as social media more and more frequently. It is important for SIGG to stay up-to-date in any social media developments so that they can stay in touch and communicate with potential customers. Maintaining a presence in social media will give an advantage to SIGG if its competitors fail to do so.
  5. 5. SWOT Analysis Strengths • Over 100 years of experience making high quality products • Highly durable product • Environmentally friendly • Trusted brand name (Before BPA scandal) • Customers flocked to SIGG during Nalgene scandal Weaknesses • Lost trust after BPA scandal • High cost • Lack of interaction and communication with target markets • Not taking advantage of all possible target markets Opportunities • Connecting with consumers using social media could create more brand awareness, trust, and increase customers • Giving back to the community could raise awareness of SIGG and could help restore their reputation • Creating partnerships with area universities can help gain market share and access into a new target markets Threats • Direct competition from Nalgene products • Indirect competition from plastic water bottles • Lack of presence in social media
  6. 6. Marketing Mix Product The SIGG bottle has been successful for over 100 years and will remain virtually unchanged. It will be the traditionally durable, stylish, and sustainable aluminum bottle that was once featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Each bottle will be unique and customizable with regard to design. Promotion Campus representatives will assist in word-of-mouth marketing within the target market. Campus representatives will hold contests, sponsor events, and disseminate knowledge to college students about the SIGG brand and its products. In addition, SIGG will be involved in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, allowing the brand to successfully interact with consumers. SIGG will use social media to post photos, create contests, host events, and receive feedback about its products. Price SIGG bottles are extremely technologically advanced and are created in an environmentally friendly environment. Both of these factors lead to an increase in both quality of the product and price. The price point is higher than an average reusable water bottle, but can be justified by the product life and the incredible durability of SIGG bottles. Place The target market should be able to find the right quantities of the product in convenient places. Making SIGG bottles available in college bookstores and dining halls would make the product easily accessible. SIGG already sells products in outdoor stores such as LL Bean and EMS; however, it can be difficult for students to reach these outlets. SIGG must expand its distribution to places easily reached by college students.
  7. 7. Creative Brief Objectives: • Regain consumer trust in SIGG after BPA scandal • Increase sales after decrease due to BPA disaster • Break into new market: college-aged individuals • Show consumers that SIGG bottles are both eco-friendly and useful for campus life Target Audience: • College-aged individuals, ages 18-25 What we know about our Target Market: • College students are constantly using water bottles • College students are extremely conscious of the environment and many tend to be involved in the “green” movement • College students are cost-conscious • College students are influenced by the media and are focused on new developments and trends How we want our customers to perceive SIGG: • SIGG is a trustworthy, open brand that strives to be environmentally friendly in both its manufacturing practices and its business tactics • SIGG cares about its customers • SIGG bottles are the most economical, durable, and eco-friendly bottle to carry around campus • SIGG bottles are convenient and make a consumer’s life easier • SIGG bottles are trendy and fashionable products Credentials: • SIGG has over 100 years of experience in making quality products • Backpacker Magazine named SIGG the “World’s Toughest Water Bottle” Suggested Tone: • Lighthearted • Creative • Informative • Caring • Apologetic
  8. 8. Strategy To solve the issues facing SIGG, we propose spearheading the campaign with a new tagline: SimplySIGG. Each day, college-aged individuals are faced with complicated situations: How can I be cool? How can I give back to my community? What do I do about the environment? Who am I? What they are really searching for, however, is an easy answer to all their problems—something to simplify their lives. With this in mind, we created the SimplySIGG tagline, which demonstrates SIGG’s ability to provide simple and easy solutions to some of life’s complicated problems. With just one SIGG bottle, an individual can answer all of these questions. How can I be cool? SIGG bottles are a growing trend—stars like Cameron Diaz and Adrien Grenier carry them constantly. How can I give back to my community? SIGG is an environmentally friendly company that donates part of its proceeds to charity, giving customers the opportunity to give back. What do I do about the environment? SIGG, unlike many other companies, strives to be sustainable and eco-friendly; SIGG bottles are 100 percent recyclable and won’t hurt the environment like plastic bottles. Who am I? No matter who you are, SIGG bottles can be custom designed by its freelance artists to suit your desires and demonstrate your personality. The answer to some of life’s complicated problems? SimplySIGG.
  9. 9. Survey Results Out of 78 college students surveyed, data was retrieved to draw conclusions about environmental importance and knowledge of the SIGG brand within the target market. • 87% of students surveyed agree that the environment is important to them • 76% are active in their efforts to be environmentally conscious • 67.1% of those surveyed agree that plastic water bottles are harmful to their health and the environment • 35.9% do not believe that bottled water is healthier or safer than tap water • 37.2% of students frequently carry a reusable water bottle • 81% of survey participants do not own a SIGG bottle, but the majority would like to know more about SIGG and its products • 36.7% of students surveyed a familiar with SIGG bottles The majority of students surveyed are interested in helping the environment and in sustainable practices. Because SIGG is an environmentally friendly company that specializes in “green” products, it is logical to target college students. Many of the students surveyed were unfamiliar with the SIGG brand and its products. They do, however, have an interest in reusable water bottles and learning more about the SIGG brand. This interest provides an opportunity for SIGG to break into a new target market and influence college students to buy SIGG bottles.
  10. 10. SimplySocial Description: An official SIGG Facebook page and Twitter handle will allow customers to interact directly with SIGG. The Facebook page will present photos, create events, and hold contests that allow consumers to connect with the product. SIGG users will have the ability to post their very own SIGG photos, stories, and ideas for the company to see. The Twitter handle will allow customers to pose questions and leave comments for the SIGG brand on a more immediate basis. SIGG can then respond to these questions and comments, effectively interacting and satisfying their customers. Rationale: We are in an era where consumers are sick of traditional communications. They want to interact with brands beyond just their logos, products, and press releases. They want a two way street, a conversation with the brand and the real faces and personalities behind the company. With over 300 million active users on Facebook and over 8 million U.S. Twitter accounts, the opportunity for SIGG to interact with consumers cannot be ignored. Using social media to connect with consumers allows for an increased flow of information, making customers feel more in sync with brands. In fact, a study conducted by eMarketer found that social network users who are fans or followers of a company or brand are more likely to say something good about that company or brand than they are to say something bad. Maintaining a presence in social media will allow SIGG to rebuild its reputation as a transparent and caring company while also giving them the ability to connect with new customers.
  11. 11. SimplySustainable Description: An integral aspect of SIGG’s improved marketing activities will be event sponsorships. Sponsoring events, particularly those that raise awareness about environmental issues and sustainability, would promote the SIGG brand and its eco-friendly products. One such event that SIGG could get involved with is EarthFest, a free outdoor spring concert in Boston, hosted by radio92.9. Several bands and artists who are proponents of environmental issues participate in the concert; activities at the concert are dedicated to raising awareness about “green” practices that individuals can introduce into their daily lives. In recent years, sponsors such as Whole Foods Market, Burt’s Bees, Home Depot, and Starbucks have set up booths to advertise their “green” products while educating concertgoers. Although EarthFest is Boston-based, similar events can be hosted throughout the U.S. Another opportunity for sponsorships would be Earth Day events on college campuses. Eco- friendly student organizations and environmental proponents on college campuses throughout the United States organize events in celebration of Earth Day on April 22 to raise awareness about global warming, pollution, and the benefits of using green practices. SIGG could seize this opportunity to reach a new target market while simultaneously promoting itself as an environmentally friendly company. Rationale: While SIGG’s goal is to extend its market reach as much as possible, this plan emphasizes targeting college-aged students. It is not practical, therefore, for SIGG to limit its marketing efforts to television, radio, and display advertising. Its target market, the environmentally conscious 18-25 year old, is active, enjoys outdoor activities and is not likely to spend large amounts time watching TV or listening to the radio. In order to reach consumers with these active lifestyles, it makes good business sense to sponsor events such as EarthFest and Earth Day where the younger generation of environmentally conscious college students and twenty-somethings are likely to gather to advocate for environmental issues and green practices. For SIGG to sponsor an event alongside a company such as Whole Foods, which is known for selling only organic, healthy, and unprocessed foods would enable SIGG to begin rebuilding its image as an eco-friendly company.
  12. 12. SimplyStylish Description: The Simply Stylish component of the Simply SIGG campaign aims to strategically place SIGG bottles with celebrities who share the company’s eco-friendly values. SIGG will pursue A-list celebrities who not only identify with SIGG’s core objectives, but are also well received among the target market, college students. SIGG representatives will contact and contract trendy, eco-friendly stars such as Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jessica Alba, who will be required to attend specific SIGG fundraisers and promotional events, as well as carry their unique SIGG bottles in public. The goal of the campaign is to make the media aware of SIGG’s stylish and sustainable product. The Simply Stylish aspect of the campaign will also seek to form partnerships with major film production companies to strategically promote and place SIGG bottles in films with college-aged target audiences. Placing SIGGs in major films could potentially reach those college students who may not purchase a SIGG bottle in hopes of being eco-friendly; instead, these students would see SIGG bottles in popular culture and would purchase them because the bottles are seen as stylish and trendy. For example, the upcoming war films Dear John, featuring Channing Tatum, and Green Zone, featuring Matt Damon, will both draw large crowds of college-aged students. In these films, SIGG bottles could potentially replace traditional military water canteens, allowing SIGG bottles to gain publicity as durable, sturdy bottles. Though these films may not be eco-friendly, they still have the ability to project images of the product and brand name to potential buyers. Rationale: SIGG product placements will enhance product awareness and ultimately sales. Young and trendy college students have favorite faces in the media, which they often imitate in terms of clothing and accessories. Identifying celebrities who influence the behaviors of our target market will make the individuals in the target market more inclined to purchase SIGG bottles. Identifying young celebrities with credible reputations to use SIGG products will have the added benefit of restoring the integrity of the SIGG brand. Stars such as Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba, who are often revered for their fashion sense, will render SIGG bottles current and hip in the eyes of college students inclined to follow the latest trends.
  13. 13. SimplySignature Description: Currently, the SIGG bottle comes in hundreds of unique designs, allowing consumers to have many choices when purchasing a SIGG bottle. However, many college-aged individuals enjoy being independent, unique, and creative—they want to make a product their own. With this in mind, SIGG will allow for the customization of SIGG bottles. Not only will consumers have the option to customize their own SIGG bottle, but also through their college bookstores, they will be able to purchase botles that display specific school colors, logos, and mottos, creating a greater presence of SIGG bottles on college campuses. With the customization option, students will truly be able to demonstrate their unique school spirit while remaining eco-friendly. Rationale: Providing customers with freedom is an excellent way to increase sales. Allowing consumers to customize their SIGG bottles puts the buyer in charge of the product, providing individuals with a deeper connection to the SIGG brand. Furthermore, working closely with different college bookstores will increase the presence of SIGG bottles in schools across the nation. Whether it is conserving electricity or saving paper, many colleges are joining the “green” movement. Customization of SIGGs, especially within college bookstores, is a great opportunity for the company to increase sales while promoting sustainability in a new target market.
  14. 14. SimplySynergistic Description: SIGG aims to connect with and get involved in its customer base. To do this, SIGG will link with college campus representatives at universities across the United States. These representatives will be marketing or communication majors who will arrange and host on- campus events such as contests, booths, and promotions. This student representative would assist in spreading knowledge about SIGG products to their college campus as a sort of viral marketing campaign. The student representative would also be particularly helpful in the Simply Signature aspect of the campaign because the student liaison would have insight into what the students on each campus would want to purchase, allowing for a more successful targeting of the college-aged market. Rationale: According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, a “person like me” is the “most trusted source for information about a company, and, therefore, products.” Thus, students at a particular school are more likely to listen to and be influenced by another student who attends the same school. With a SIGG student representative, individuals on college campuses will have a trusted source of information on SIGG products, making them more likely to purchase a SIGG bottle. A student liaison would also provide invaluable insight into what the students on each campus are looking for in consumer products—a source of free market research— that would allow SIGG to better target its college-student market.
  15. 15. SimplySympathetic Description: In the aftermath of the BPA scandal, SIGG lost consumer trust and its reputation as an honest, sustainable company. With the loss of trust and its damaged reputation, SIGG also lost a large number of customers. For this reason, it is necessary for SIGG to publicly apologize to its angry consumers and to offer a trade-in program for SIGG bottles with BPA in the liners. SIGG’s CEO, Steve Wasik, will offer a public apology on behalf of the entire SIGG Corporation, and will promise to increase honesty and transparency with its customers. Also, SIGG will offer a trade-in for those who purchased SIGG bottles with BPA liners. With this trade-in offer, SIGG will donate the cost of each BPA-infected SIGG bottle to an environmentally conscious charity, improving customer trust while simultaneously restoring a soiled reputation. Rationale: With headlines such as “Take Your BPA-Tainted, Soulless SIGG Bottles Back to Major Retailers,” in the wake of the BPA scandal, SIGG is in need of a refurbished reputation. Once loyal consumers lost faith in the SIGG brand when it was revealed that the company was dishonest about BPA in their bottles’ liners. When consumers lose trust in a brand, they stop purchasing their products and writing positive reviews. Thus, it is necessary for SIGG to publicly apologize to those consumers and attempt to rebuild the bridges that they may have burned in the after effects of the BPA scandal. By admitting fault and being sympathetic to their customers, SIGG can begin to restore the trust that was lost as a result of the BPA outrage. Also, the SIGG trade-in project will allow SIGG to give back to the community that it hurt with its dishonesty, effectively reconstructing its reputation as an honest, caring, sustainable company.
  16. 16. Sources Consulted 1. "About Sigg." SIGG. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>. 2. "About Us." SIGG USA. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>. 3. D'Estries, Michael. "Take Your BPA-Tainted, Soulless SIGG Bottles Back To Major Retailers." Ecorazzi. 3 Sept. 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>. 4. "Earth Day Network." Earth Day Network. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>. 5. "Industry Statistics: Power of Word of Mouth." BazaarVoice. Sept. 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>. 6. Ostrow, Adam. "Half of Social Media Users Connect With Brands." Mashable. 31 Aug. 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>. 7. "Radio 92.9 EarthFest." Radio 92.9. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>. 8. Rochman, Bonnie. "How Green Is Your SIGG Water Bottle?" Time. CNN, 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>. 9. Smith, Tom. "Study: Social Media Transforming Our Influences on What to Buy." Mashable. 13 Oct. 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <>.
  17. 17. APPENDIX