STP analysis begins from segmentation to involve targeting and positioning in a sequence that will ensure that the company progresses gradually towards the attainment of objectives (Khan, 2013, p. 58). Segmentation will inform identification of specific consumer needs and develop categories of customers. As a marketing company, Local Source Group is concerned with the welfare of the local farmers as pertains to the production and distribution of apples to enhance profitability (Bose, 2012, p. 116). Segmentation should also involve the separation of duties and responsibilities between and among farmers on roles that they ought to play to ensure that the local industry lobby group functions to champion better prices for the commodities produced and sold locally. Subsequently, targeting will involve the establishment of commitment of various categories of the consumer market in the purchase of products. To achieve this end, the group must identify the segment of the market that offers the most promise in regards to the consumption of apples. In that esteem, women prove to be the segment of the market that effectively responds to the purchase or consumption of apples. The group should, therefore, prioritize women as their foremost target market. Finally, the group should work to position the product uniquely based on the premise that locally produced apples are not cultivated through genetic modifications; hence, offering the customers natural nutrients in the vitamins contained in locally produced apples as compared to international brands.
The price of the locally produced commodities is also considered to be higher than that which is of imported apples. With respect to the rate of inflation, it would make a lot of sense if the lobby group worked towards initiatives that would serve to reduce the selling price of the product and ensure that the locally produced apples are affordable. In an effort to achieve that end, the marketing group should lobby for the rollout of government policies that offer subsidized farming inputs to cushion farmers from exorbitant costs of production. An example of such policies would be the exemption from taxation or the subsidization of fertilizer prices which would have the implication of reducing the cost of production on the farmers or local apple producers. Ultimately, such policies will go a long way in reducing the final price of the commodity in the market making it affordable to local consumers which will then boost sales.
The pricing strategy is well covered in the previous section where the company should lobby for policies that lead to a reduction in the cost of production with the target of lowering the final price of the commodity to enhance consumer affordability.
Place is associated with the location of the retail of the apples, knowing that local retailers are warming up to imported products due to the affordability of imports, the company should work to harmonize prices of locally produced apples with imports. The ultimate result of such harmonization will be that locally produced apples and internationally imported ones will compete for side by side on an even platform.
The product itself should offer a competitive edge based on the premise that it relies on naturally occurring farm implements in its production (Yasanallah & Vahid, 2012, p. 196). In contrast, a genetically modified alternative that comprises much of the imports lack the natural nutrients in the form of vitamins that the local fruits have to offer.
Processes are associated with the laid out channels, structures, and strategies that the lobby group will use to ensure that farmers in the local farmers get their fair share of apple market especially since it is at current overrun by imported alternatives (Akroush, 2011, p. 142).
The physical environment proves advantageous for the production of various apple varieties an attribute that gives locally produced apples a competitive edge against the competition for the assurance of quality.
People play an important role as the membership of the Local Source Group proves critical to the welfare of the farmers at large. As such, the organization must ensure that members join in to pool efforts towards the attainment of common objectives. By growing the membership of the group, the capacity of the group in terms of its bargaining power will be such that it facilitates supplier power giving farmers the authority to determine the fate of their products and shape demand-supply relationships in the market (Mohammad, 2015, p. 81).
Promotion of the group relies heavily on word of mouth and social networking development between and among farmers whose membership to the organization will strengthen it. The company can explore options such as the use of social media platforms to strengthen the influence of the Local Source Group and, thereby, facilitate growth in its impact on the development and lobby of the interests of the farmers.
Porter’s Generic Strategies Analysis
Cost leadership lies in the capacity of the Local Source Group to advocate for cost reductions that will have the implication of ensuring that the cost of production comes down and thus, reduce prices of locally produced apples.
Differentiation is contingent on the quality of local apples as naturally grown as opposed to genetically modified foreign alternatives
Focus will rely on the segmentation of the market specifically identifying the most significant or promising client. To this end, women should be the number one target for locally produced apples.
ü The presence of locally produced apples is in most convenience stores in the UK
ü The development of product is seasonal; hence, prices shift depending on availability of product in the market
MARKET DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
ü Encourage local production through subsidies
ü Enhance competitiveness through price harmonization with imports
ü During peak season, varieties of apples from different regions will be sold at different times.
ü Planting of varieties of apples in various regions will also be distributed evenly throughout the year
ü High market growth rate relative high market share will require cancellation of apple imports by the UK to boost market for local production
ü High market growth rates relatively low market share. Imports of apples are cheaper than locally produced apples
ü Low market growth rate, relatively high market share.
ü Subsidies on local production lower cost of inputs making local apples cheaper to compete with imported brands.
ü Low market growth rate coupled with relatively low market share.
ü The cost of local production is high while cheap imports are more affordable in the market.
British Apples Recommendations
British apples offer the best quality in regards to the high grade that is contained in them in terms of vitamins. Moreover, the natural production means or approaches adopted ensure that the apples are of preference in comparison to the apples that are imported. Local Source Group should work in collaboration with farmers all over the county in an effort to pool their efforts towards the achievement of common objectives. In that esteem, farmers should work to ensure that their production costs are lower than the production costs of competing rivals that are imported. To attain this goal, it would be necessary that the company lobbies for reduced costs of production keep prices for its commodities within reach of most middle-class consumers.
It is also the recommendation of this report that the organization should lobby for a seasonal harvesting plan that will ensure apples are in season all year round. Due to the fact that apples are sourced from various geographical regions that plant the crop across Britain, the company can lobby various regions to plant their crops at different times of the year. The effort is towards ensuring that harvesting season is as well distributed evenly throughout the year. Consequently, locally produced apples will not go out of season because they would be in steady supply. The ultimate objective of stabilization would be to ensure that prices are predictable and that farmers are assured of income throughout the year.
Finally, this report finds that government policies toward importation of foreign fruit serve to favor the import of commodities from abroad at the disadvantage of the locally produced produce. In that esteem, it is the recommendation of this report that the Local Source Group should lobby its members in a fronted effort towards demanding better policies from the government that protect locally produced apples. In that regard, protecting the local production industry will require that the government adopts stricter policies meant to discourage importation of apples such as high taxation on imports. In comparison, the government should offer subsidies to local manufacturers such as offsetting tax on the price of fertilizers used to produce apples locally. Consequently, the government will facilitate the reduction of costs of production that will reflect in the reduction of the final price of the locally produced apples in the market.