Strategic Marketing: McNeill Satchel Bags

Satchel bags have always been the preference of children for their school bags because of its ability to accommodate heavy school books. However, children grow up into adults and most families today tend to have lesser number of children at a later age as opposed to the previous generation. As a result, the school children as the target group of satchel bag manufacturers have begun to decline. Along with this, manufacturers are now looking into new market groups to market satchel bags to.

This paper will present a proposed new product for McNeill Satchel Bags Company in order to expand their target market and the marketing strategy that will be used in order to promote this new market group. McNeill Satchel Bags Company In order to properly present the proposed product for the new target market that McNeill will tap in this paper, a brief overview of the company must first be discussed. Initially, Thorka Company, makers of McNeill Satchels, manufactured hand bags and shopping bags.

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In 1973, it converted its specialization to the production of satchel bags using the logo of a small Yorkshire Terrier with pointed ears and shining eyes named McNeill, hence the name of the satchel bag brand (“With love for the detail”, 2008). Eventually, these bags, which are at the most 10% of an average child’s weight, has become preferred by parents not just of the designs the company offers, but also of the construction of the bags. Using Schult ash, these bags are contoured for a child’s body which prevents any injuries in the child’s spine and spinal column as a result of carrying these bags (“The first schulranzen”, 2008).

Today, the company also offers shoe haven bags, sports bags, backpacks and lunch boxes (“The first schulranzen,” 2008). Looking for New Markets Despite the wide range of the products of McNeill Satchels, their market has continuously declined. This has been a result of the lower birth rate observed in Germany and the success of its rival companies. Because of this, the company would need to expand their marketing strategies further. The first way of doing this is through segmenting the consumer market.

Target market groups may be segmented into four general categories. One might segment the market groups based on their location, age group, psychographics, or behaviors. These groups, however segmented, are still considered as broad since when targeting market groups based on the age group, for example, one must remember that within certain generation groups, there are further distinct segmentations that could be made such as older people wanting to be younger and vice versa, which would greatly affect their preferences for purchasing products.

Furthermore, target groups by generation would need to cater to both male and female buyers (Etzel, Walker & Stanton, 1997; Marconi 2001). In order to properly segment a market group that a company would like to tap into, the company must first determine what do the members of this market group want. This could be done through the use of interviews and observations. The second step is to identify the characteristics that distinguish this market group from the rest.

Often members of a specific market group have similar behavior characteristics and attitudes. For example, individuals who belong to the Generation X group are characterized as those who are fashion, brand and price conscious as well as having an immense loyalty towards a particular brand or brands for a certain product (Etzel, Walker & Stanton, 1997; Marconi 2001). Based on this, the company would know how to effectively create a marketing strategy in order to entice this new market to purchase existing or new products.

Lastly, the company must determine how feasible these market groups are based on their purchasing power and potential sales that can be made. This would give the company an idea on whether their marketing strategy will be feasible and profitable in the long run buyers (Etzel, Walker & Stanton, 1997). Proposed Product and Market Group Since McNeill has been known for their school bags that are considered safe for children’s spines, the product proposed in this paper is for McNeill Satchels to produce camping and travel bags for young travelers who fall within the Generation X category.

Majority of the European members of the Generation X market group enjoy travelling and would frequently travel from city to city using big backpacks to hold their belongings for ease in mobility and travel. Apart from this, members of the Generation X market group have previously been patrons of McNeill Satchels back when they were children and were still going to school, making it easier for the company to market this new product to this market groups since they are already aware of the quality of the products of the company and the company itself, particular since they are characterized by Marconi (2001) as extremely brand conscious.

Another characteristic of this market group is that they are more conscious about health and safety (Marconi, 2001). This characteristic could be advantageous to the marketing strategy of the company since one of the main selling points they now have is that their satchel bags, particularly their backpacks are body contoured, resulting on less weight and pressure to be placed on the spine and spinal column.

Since many travelers from the Generation X market group would often use large backpacks to hold their belongings and would travel on foot for hours at a time, this feature developed by the company would prove to be beneficial because they would be assured that no matter how long their journey is or the weight of the bag may be, it will not cause any harmful effects on their spine. Marketing Strategy The marketing strategy for this product will involve the use of discount coupons as well as a raffle contest alongside with advertising in the various forms of media as well as an online shopping over the Internet.

Since the product targets travelers from the Generation X market group, the central theme for the marketing strategy will be travel and the outdoors. The television and print advertising materials would center on this theme for the promotion of the product. The models would be a male and female from the market group since it is important to remember that when targeting a particular market group for this product, it must cater to both male and female.

Discount coupons would be sent out randomly around the middle class households which are highly populated by members from the Generation X market group via regular mail. The coupon would advise the recipient that for a certain time period, he or she may be able to purchase of the models of the new product with either a particular discount or at a certain price. Since members of this market group are also price conscious, giving discounts is one way of enticing them to make a purchase.

Another part of the marketing strategy would be a raffle contest. In this case, for purchasing a certain amount of McNeill Satchel products with at least one coming from the new product line, the purchaser will receive a raffle coupon. Since the central theme of this marketing strategy is travel, the grand prize may be to another European country. This means that if the buyer purchased twice the minimum amount to receive a raffle coupon, that particular buyer would receive two raffle coupons instead of just one.

This marketing strategy would not only promote the new product line to the target market group, but would also encourage those who have begun to patronize McNeill’s rivals to purchase again their products, allowing movement in their different product line. The last marketing strategy for this is to create an online store where members of the Generation X market group would be able to purchase the products. Because this market group is considered to be “computer-savvy” (Marconi 2001), they would be more familiar with online shopping and searching in the Internet.

This makes the purchasing the product more convenient for the potential customers. It would also serve as a way for the company to promote its products to other countries to where they may be able to market their products in the future. Conclusion Target markets continue to change throughout the years. As such, companies such as McNeill would need to keep itself updated on the trends of marketing groups and open itself to other target market groups, since what could have been a lucrative group to market to 5 years ago may no longer be the case today.

Although this paper has proposed a potential product and target market that the company may tap into, it would only become beneficial to the company if the company would be willing to expand to other markets so as not just to remain as the second largest producer of satchels in Germany, but to minimize financial problems that may arise in the future as a result of their currently shrinking market.