My product is a health orientated, functional energy drink, made using a combination of selected herbal extracts and mineral water. It may be described as a health-orientated product as it is fortified with vitamins, which include vitamins B1, B2, and B6, and minerals that include taurine, niacin and inositol. Herbal extracts would include those of Korean Ginseng and Guarana. A full description of these ingredients and how they would benefit the consumer can be found as part of my secondary research. Our product will contain only natural sugars and will be free from colourings and preservatives.

I will aim to compete with the growing trend towards carbonated functional energy drinks that can often contain high acidity levels, high sugar levels and a large amount of preservatives and colourings. I will aim to provide potential consumers with an alternative to 'unhealthy' functional energy drinks.

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My product will aim to combine high energy, with good health.

This functional energy drink also has potential to be promoted as a stress-relieving product. It is made with from traditional herbal ingredients that can bring a welcome relief from the worry and irritability often caused by the stresses and strains of modern day living.

It will be the first product of its kind to be launched in the UK.

Planning to achieve my marketing aims

There are a number of phases that I must undertake in order to achieve my marketing aims.

1) Identify the business I am in, the benefit I am providing.

My product is relatively unique in comparison with other products in the marketplace. Therefore, it would be true to say that my product will operate in a market of its own. It is essentially a health-orientated, functional energy drink and therefore, when conducting my research, I should include careful analysis of the functional energy drinks sector and analysis of the purchase of health-orientated products as a whole.

My product will aim to provide an energy boost without compromising the health of the consumer.

2) Identify the type of customer who would want the benefit we are providing

I believe that this product will appeal to those that are becoming increasingly concerned about their health. It may be particularly appealing to professional and lower professional people, who live busy, active lifestyles. These people are likely to undergo high levels of stress whilst at work, and will possibly suffer from high levels of exhaustion and tiredness.

3) Appropriately identify, collect and use primary and secondary data relevant to my product

This will help me to acquire vital information about the competitive business environment in which my product will operate. It will help me to understand market share, market size and the extent of competition. It will also help me to develop a marketing strategy providing I attain material that covers distribution, product development, promotion and price.

4) Segment and target my market

Segmentation will allow me to build up a profile of the type of customer who would want the benefit my product provides. It will allow me to develop a concentrated marketing strategy that would appeal to those potential consumers who would help form my target market.

There are a number of factors, on which I may segment my market. These would include social stratification, age group, regional group, sex, income group, ethnic group and lifestyle.

The segmentation of my target market will be done in context of the analysis of my secondary research. However I have already recognised that our product would appeal to those that are increasingly concerned about their health, and live busy, active lifestyles.

5) Set out my objectives

It is important I describe the marketing mix and describe how it would be applied to my product. This would again be done in context of my market research.

6) Consider the external influences affecting the development of the marketing strategy.

This will be carried out using a PEST analysis.

A PEST analysis will identify the Political influences, the Economic influences, the Social influences and the Technological influences affecting the development of my marketing strategy.

It is important that I identify and explain the links between the analysis of the external influences and the development of my marketing strategy.

E2/C3, Market Research: the collection of primary and secondary data relevant to the development of my marketing strategy

Market Research

Market research involves the systematic collection and objective recording, classification, analysis and presentation of data concerning the behaviour, needs, attitudes, opinions, motivations, of individuals and organisations within the context of their economic, social, political and everyday activities.

It is vital I make sure the data I collect is relevant to my product. It may be indicative when developing my marketing strategy.

Market research will normally involve the collection of both secondary and primary data.

Secondary data

The gathering and analysis of already available information is known as secondary or 'desk' research. This is a natural starting point as it is quicker and cheaper than any other method. However, information will normally partly be out of date, and it may not be precisely what is required. It is important to check secondary data for validity.

As already stated, my product is unique, and therefore it will operate in a market of its own. However, as it is primarily a health-orientated functional energy drink, I have decided to collect data from the functional energy drinks sector and the market for health-orientated products. I have only included data that may have proved indicative in the development of my marketing strategy.

There were a number of external publications that would have allowed me to gather information relevant to my product. These included government publications, market research publications, newspapers, and the Internet.

I focused on using data that was compiled using extracts from market research publication, Retail Intelligence. Retail Intelligence is an organisation that specialises in producing reports on specific markets that exist within the UK, and has produced reports on both the energy drinks and health food markets in recent years.

Retail Intelligence was the most accessible form of secondary data; it was available at the library and did not therefore, cost any money to retrieve. It has provided impartial, un-bias information relevant to my product.

It has been presented in two sections; the functional energy drinks sector, and the health-orientated market. Again, the information presented is that which I believe could have proved indicative in my marketing strategy.