Depth Interview with an Expert
The Cold Stone Creamery is an ice cream parlor chain based in the US. Its manufactures ice cream products usually made and customized at the point of purchase depending on the wishes of the buyer. An interview was conducted on behalf Cold Stone Creamery aiming to identify and understand the different ways and means that can be used to enhance the marketing capacity of the company. The interview was conducted with Axiom Marketing Consultants and aimed to collect information on the structure of the industry Cold Stone Operates in. The interview also aimed to gather current data and information the environmental factors that affect the operation Cold Stone Creamery. The information would help understand different avenues and opportunities Cold Stone Creamery could exploit to market its products. The information would also help understand the problems that Cold Stone Creamery could encounter in the marketing of its products thus help in the preparation of early solutions.
The interview was held with a consultant from Axiom Marketing Consultants, who has been conducting research for companies dealing with ice creams products in the region. The consultant was chosen for a number of reasons. An investigation of the consultants working in the consumer industry showed that Axiom Marketing Consultants was the most appropriate as it has been working with companies dealing with the food industry. Based on its motto, “think snow blowers in summer” the company specializes in helping companies excel through use of effective sales and marketing. The consultancy works by conducting market research and developing different approaches to enhance brand awareness, consideration and preference. The consultancy proved effective as it has offices in a number of states thus will provide comprehensive data that will help understand the industry in which Cold Stone operates. Axiom Marketing serves and works for Fortune 500 manufacturers and retailers of consumer products. The interview with the Axiom Marketing Communications consultant helped gain information on the makeup of the ice cream industry, the trends and surroundings around which Cold Stone operates.
The interview showed that franchising is the most appropriate approach that Cold Stone Creamery can use to increase its market size and coverage. Other options that the company can use to increase its market size are the establishment of special offers, whose terms and displays should be regularly changed and establishment of provisions that encourage large buying. The interview showed that children are the largest consumers in the industry. The company should therefore put up marketing approaches suitable for children. It also showed that there is a decline in the youth population in the country and an increase as been recorded in the call and campaigns advocating for healthy eating habits. The company should therefore produce healthy products that are favorable to adult consumers.
Interview with the Axiom Marketing Consultant
Question one: An investigation shows that in the last fifteen years, there has been a major increase in the market size served by Cold Stone creamery. The company has used franchising to increase its market size, which has resulted to it been ranked as the sixth best selling ice cream brand in the US with a number of outlets in Europe, South America and Asia. Its franchise success is illustrated by the fact that Entrepreneur Magazine rated it as the 11th fastest growing franchise in the globe. Other than franchising, what other approaches can be used to increase Cold Stone’s market?
Axiom Marketing Consultant: Franchising is good as it facilitates easy penetration of new markets. Another option that Cold Stone Creamery could use to increase its market size is market concentration. A number of options are available that Cold Stone Creamery could use to monopolize the US ice cream market. The company should frequently put in place special offers in its outlets and the special offer displays should be regularly changed. The company should also improve consumer convenience and put in place measure to encourage bulk buying. For instance, the company can give incentives on mass purchases done in its stores.
Question Two: Could you please describe the structure of the ice cream market?
Axiom Marketing Consultant: There has been tremendous growth in the ice cream market in the last two decades. For instance, between the year 1998 and 2003, there was a 24% in the market size. Study shows that 93% of households in the US consume ice cream. Of this, the households with children consume four times more ice cream than those with no children. In the recent past, there has been increase in the call to consume healthy foods with low sugar and fat levels. This raises fear that decline could recorded in the industry which is considered as dealing with unhealthy food products.
Question Three: Based on understanding of the ice cream market, which avenues could Cold Stone Creamery use to market its products?
Axiom Marketing Consultant: The main consumers in the ice cream market are children. The company should therefore design advertising techniques targeting children. Research conducted by the US Census Bureau of Statistics shows that a decline is expected in the youth population as from the year 2010. Cold Stone should therefore develop products that are attractive to adults to sustain and enhance its level of sales. Cold Stone should also place emphasis on its super premium ice cream line, which have low levels of fat and sugar to meet the call for healthy foods.
Question Four: From your experience in the consumer goods market, what problems might Cold Stone face in the marketing of its products?
Axiom Marketing Consultant: The main problem Cold Stone faces in its marketing is stiff competition from other firms. Before Cold Stone’s entry, the market had a number of established firms that had a very strong following. This requires Cold Stone to determine means and ways that can be used to take the customers away from the firms. In the recent past, there has been an increase in the level of campaign to engage in healthy food products. This might reduce the consumption of ice cream, which is considered to have a high sugar and fat levels. The other problem is to ensure that all consumers get full satisfaction on their purchases. The problem Cold Stone Creamery faces is to ensure that the relationship between the consumer and the frontline worker is as favorable as possible. The company is faced with the need to ensure that each service made is of the highest quality. Its products and services involve human interaction. There is need to ensure that every service that is made is of the highest quality, failure to which the company will lose its consumers.