COMPANY Light Care has been in the beauty industry for the past 12 years, it began briefly after the beauty boom in India in the early 90’s. In recent times it has introduced to the market a number of pioneering products and has therefore earned a repute of sorts. It has a number of products in the market which include (but aren’t restricted to) a popular protein and anti-dandruff shampoo (‘SCALP CARE’ and ‘SCALP CLEAN’), a regular moisturizing cream (‘SMOOTH AND SILKY’), a fairness cream (‘BEAUTIFUL FAIRNESS’) etc. (Fletcher, 188)
Till sometime back ‘BEAUTIFUL FAIRNESS’ was also, reportedly, the most selling fairness cream in the market. However a recent market survey (conducted in May 2007) has revealed a newly launched fairness solution by Lavender Company to have taken over this coveted spot. The other products of COMPANY Light Care have been found to fair reasonably well in the market. The shampoos for instance are among the top names in the market, the anti-dandruff shampoo being the most popular in its category. (Kar, 145)
In the recent scenario however COMPANY Light Care is much concerned about its current market share. The beauty market is expanding and of course continuing with its present production rate and strategies will allow the company to grow but the establishment is interested in growing at a greater pace and exploring new, uncharted territory. For this purpose they have requested an Ansoff Matrix to help them decide the exact strategy they ought to be following.
Before drawing up the Ansoff matrix however we have decided to run a close inspection of the company’s present environment in order to gauge exactly where it stands. For this purpose we will be running a SLEPT as well as a SWOT analysis, which will hopefully help us in formulating the Ansoff Matrix in a far more ‘informed’ manner. (King, 126)
The SLEPT analysis
The SLEPT analysis is quite simply a scrutiny of the 1) Social 2) Legal 3) Economic 4) Political 5) Technological pressures which a certain company maybe facing at any given point of time. Apart from these factors the only other thing that really has an influence on your business is the performance of your opponents, which too, obviously, is a major consideration while formulating the Ansoff Matrix.
Now, before our analysis let us tackle each factor the SLEPT is concerned with one by one.
The Social factor is associated with the consumer’s likes and dislikes, lifestyles and general behaviour. So in case there is a change in what the customer wants (which in turn is largely dependant on the ever changing trends and styles governing the society) every company is bound to be affected. Similarly, the present organization of the population (i.e. whether it is primarily an ageing or a young population) will determine what the majority of them are looking for.
A beauty product, such as the ones COMPANY Light Care specializes in is directed at a comparatively young population. However the current population has a majority of ageing individuals. This means that the majority of them will not prove to be the consumers of COMPANY Light Care’s products. (Berkowitz, 189)
However, having said that let us remind ourselves that the beauty industry is still in a boom in India. Looking good is still fashionable, and is likely to remain so for quite sometime. Hence beauty products are what maybe called ‘in vogue’, both for youngsters as well as the ageing population, who are constantly being pulled into the consumer circle through products meant specifically for them.
If the social department is related to the consumers the legal department is devoted to the laws that are formulated to rule them as well as the producers themselves. Various new laws in the field of consumer protection are being devised everyday. Their updates and formulations are bound to have an effect on the market as well as the company’s operating in it.
Various beauty products have recently started being pulled to court due to the undue claims they customarily make in order to advertise their products. As a player in the beauty market COMPANY Light Care should therefore take these new updates into consideration before making a new move in order to ensure that it does not get dragged into making hasty alterations in the time of crisis. A pro-active approach (as opposed to reactive one) is of utmost importance when the legal factor is in question.
As is obvious the Economic changes are likely to affect a business establishment almost as strongly as the social and legal changes. Every economy undergoes various kinds of ups and downs every year. When there is an economic boom every business unit reaps its benefits and similarly when there is an economic slump every business unit encounters losses. While planning a strategy every company thus needs to keep a close eye on various economic factors, including the current rate of inflation, the amount of disposable income in the hands of the population etc. (Border, 227-228)
Currently India is experiencing an economic boom, which has successfully entitled more and more people to increased disposable income. Greater disposable income has in turn enabled people to spend more money on luxury goods such as beauty products. At this particular time when demand is at an all time high, expansion is an extremely good option.
The Political changes in the particular country the product is going to be released in are yet another important issue for a company to consider. The standpoint (if any) of the ruling party regarding the industry a company is concerned with or with the product it is about to launch should be taken into consideration during the formulation of the Ansoff matrix.
Various animal rights activist have raised a hue-and-cry about the undue experiments carried out on animals in the research and development departments of various firms manufacturing beauty products. Following their complaint the Supreme Court and the government has become particularly strict about such illegal experimentation.
Last but not the least important are the various Technological changes that might have emerged or maybe in the process of emerging. In the 21st century technology has proved to be of utmost importance especially in the field of telecommunications. This has allowed a large amount of information to be available to the public through various popular mediums, such as the Internet. While planning changes all organizations must take into consideration the new technological choices it now has in its hands. To keep up with the changing times it must incorporate these new changes within its workings in order to ensure success. (Deb, 323)
More and more beauty products are now being manufactured in state of the art factories after long periods of research and development. To keep up in the race COMPANY Light Care too must put in the requisite amount of attention to these fields.
The SWOT Analysis
The SWOT analysis is a scrutiny of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that a certain firm has to encounter. It is one of the first studies any establishment looking to expand or grow must undertake in order to review its position. It is put regularly to use for strategic planning in situations such as this one.
Following is the SWOT analysis tabulation sheet for LIGHT CARE.
Capacity to tap into the country’s pulse.
ISO 2001 certified
Change in management
Division within workers
Lack of leadership
Boom in beauty and fashion industry
Globalisation, exposure to western beauty trends and the usage of beauty and cosmetic products.
Greater interest amongst people to look good and thereby purchase more beauty products.
The recent national economic boom, greater disposable income in the hands of people.
Competition. Emergence of more and more number of beauty products manufacturing companies.
Large loss of key staff who choose to shift to higher paying, brand new beauty companies.
As the SWOT analysis clearly displays LIGHT CARE has more number of positive factors working in its favor than negative factors working against it. Under the circumstances continuing in the same manner will of course entitle the company to reasonable amount of return but tweaking a few of its features will undoubtedly prove thoroughly beneficial.
The Ansoff matrix
Now, as we know the Ansoff Matrix provides four different growth strategies, namely Market penetration and Market Development (in case of Existing Products) and Product Development and Diversification (in case of New Products).
Before plunging into an analysis regarding the decision(s) LIGHT CARE ought to take under the present circumstances let us take a close look what each of these strategies entitles.
1. Market Penetration – Through Market Penetration the firm tries to augment its markets share by means of its present products in what is called its ‘current market segment’. The only environmental factor that can really affect this strategy is the sudden rise of strong competitors. With the appearance of a strong competitor any hope of penetrating the market is lost for a given company.
2. Market Development – Through this move the firm tries to grow by aiming its present products at a different market segment. Any such development however will be largely dependant on proper research and market survey on the part of the company. Knowing the new market segment is essential before taking the crucial step and providing it with the company’s product. Lack of research and general lack of effort in the internal environment can thus seriously hamper the success of this strategy.
3. Product Development – Through this move the firm works out a fresh product and aims it at their present market segment. One of the riskiest moves a company can make a company has to closely observe the market demands and the movement of the economy before deciding to try producing a brand new product. Extensive market surveys, investigations etc. needs to go into devising how exactly a product is to be formulated and how it ought to be released in the market. Again any lack of initiative from the internal environment of the company can keep this strategy from ensuring a resounding success.
4. Diversification – Through this move the firm tries to grow by branching out into a different business by means of fresh new products. Since diversification is almost like beginning a brand new business without any real prior experience it requires the kind of efforts starting a new business does. Proper market surveys, advertisements to prepare the field for the appearance of the new product line apart it also include tremendous effort on the part of the company. Unfortunately the success of this move depends to a large degree on the target group and unless the product line is tailor made to their liking or their particular needs this strategy will sink deep. (Dev, 78-81)
Now, as is perhaps obvious, the risk factor involved in each of these strategies increases at every step such that Market Penetration is the least and Diversification the most risky of the 4 strategies. However, of course being risky doesn’t necessarily mean that either of these plans will not be effective or ensure the kind of growth or success the firm maybe looking for. What the triumph of these plans depends upon in fact is the situation to which they are being applied. Effective usage at the right time under the right circumstances can ensure great success from either of the strategies.
LIGHT CARE, as we have previously related has a reasonably popular range of beauty products, which include Shampoos, Bath Soaps, Fairness Creams, Moisturizing lotions and Hair removing products.
As explained previously all the products presently on offer are doing reasonably well at the market. Most of their popularity can be easily augmented by means of some well-planned publicity campaign, which will reinforce the consumer’s attention on these products. In the meantime the company can get itself busy by planning a Product Development strategy. The plan we propose is as follows.
As we formerly saw most of the products LIGHT CARE offers its consumers presently are directed towards a comparatively ‘young’ (15-25) target group. However, as we have previously discussed the majority of the population in India today falls in the 25-45 brackets. Due to Globalization this bracket too is found to be as inclined to using beauty products as their younger counterparts. Also not many beauty products available in the market presently are directed ‘solely’ towards them, as a result of which this age group still remains as a largely untapped area. (Dos, 441-442)
Under the given circumstances, given the amount of disposable income in the hands of the public and the fact that almost 100% of this particular age bracket belong to the work force LIGHT CARE should exploit their virgin potential and develop a product primarily for them.
It should be taken into account that LIGHT CARE has tremendous experience in this particular field and will therefore not need to diverge greatly from its former techniques. Also, it will, by this means, find an extremely efficient way of uniting a greatly fragmented staff community and new management over an absolutely new product, which both parties could together contribute to and help in formulating. (Dollard, 89-92)
International business has never been a simple matter. In point of fact, with the diversified number of countries which engage in global business, the challenge is anything but easily surpassed. A businessperson’s largest asset would have to be the support gained by his or her employees or employers depending upon the infrastructure in the company. There are many lessons to be learned in gaining an international view of economics. Education about the world’s economic structure, cultural differences and the interrelation between the two is as important as understanding the methods your business uses from start to finish. The primary factor to conceptualize would be the fact that every country pursues business differently. Laws affect the ways in which business is conducted from region to region and country to country. Negotiations are never conducted exactly as they would be where you have pursued such actions in any city, in any state in whichever country from which you originate. It is widely believed that to survive as a corporate sector in the long term it is extremely important to mould the organization into an international sector. Therefore, it’s that much obvious to plan the strategies of the company in accordance to international trade sequences. It is important evaluate the marketing policies to survive in the international market and analyze the effectiveness of the prevailing marketing plan. It is quite true that the activation of the international strategy would collide with that of the plans implemented while operating in the local market.
In this context it should be mentioned that the global parameters are variables that are extremely important for the long run success of the company. In recent years with the development of the concept of global village hybridization is fast becoming the order of the day. In this concept it becomes necessary for an industry to meet the needs of both local and global market all at the same time. And no industry is a better example meeting this dual market at one given time frame than the movie industry to ascertain a formulation of this phenomenon of globalization and hybridization. Thus it could narrate the aspect of the basic issue globalization and hybridization is but a two way approach and where the basic maxims of capitalistic economy are taken into consideration at every step of formulating the strategies of marketing. It is obvious that the basic impetus of any business is to deal with the principals of profit and the methods of maximization of profit margin. In this context of market induced economy that the issues of globalization and hybridization are essentially important. In this context it is important for the company to exhale into a powerful establishment by making the products both local and international at the same time. However, this blend should be well formulated by the Research and development wing of the company. (Lamb, 243-245)
In conclusion it should be taken into account that the company should rely on its existing strengths and that it should put emphasis on the issues such as Experience, Research & Development department, Competitiveness, Popularity, capacity to tap into the country’s pulse and ISO 2001 certificate that provide a competitive advantage. At the same time it should be taken into account that the company should also look into its weaknesses to gain the extra mileage such as Change in management, Division within workers and Lack of leadership. Similarly, the opportunities section should be distinctly monitored like the Boom in beauty and fashion industry in the aspect of globalisation, exposure to western beauty trends and the usage of beauty and cosmetic products. In this context there are other related opportunities that include greater interest amongst people to look good and thereby purchase more beauty products and the recent national economic boom, greater disposable income in the hands of people. However, the threats should also attend with care because threats like Competition from Emergence of more and number of beauty products manufacturing companies becomes a tough scenario. Furthermore, large losses of key staff that choose to shift to higher paying; brand new beauty companies also become relevant. If all these aspects are taken into considerations and proper cares are to be taken then there remains a fair chance that company would become successful in the long run.
Berkowitz, L; Management Principals and Man. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 2006) pp 189
Border, S; Market Strategies: Fire of the Mind (Wellington: National Book Trust; 2006) pp 227-228
Deb, J; Introduction to Marketing Management: Technology for Mankind. (Dunedin: ABP Ltd. 2005) pp 323
Dev, S; Evaluation of Audit (Dunedin: ABP Ltd. 2006) pp 78-81
Dos, M; Future of Thought Process in Financial History (Christchurch: Alliance Publications; 2005) pp 441-442
Dollard, John; Modern Fiscal Policies: A look into Tomorrow. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 2006) pp 89-92
Fletcher, R; Beauty Industry: Beliefs and Knowledge; Believing and Knowing. (Mangalore: Howard & Price. 2006) pp 188
Kar, P; History of Indian Consumer Market Applications (Kolkata: Dasgupta & Chatterjee 2005) pp 145
King, H; Management Fitness Today (Dunedin: HBT & Brooks Ltd. 2005) pp 126
Lamb, Davis; Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization on the Strategic Strata. (Wellington: National Book Trust. 2004) pp 243-245