The “Chrono United” is a USA-based company that deals with the selling of authentic timepieces, sports, and luxury watches. The main and only branch of the company is located in the design district of Miami. There are several motives behind the selection of this location for the watches business. For instance, Miami’s design district has grown rapidly during the last couple of decades and experts believe that it can easily rival Madison Avenue or Rodeo Drive any day. Additionally, it has always been a fascinating melting pot of social activity and is also recognized as the home to the corporate branches of several watch brands like Rolex, Chopard, Patek Philippe, Piaget, and Weiss.
The fundamental objective of this manuscript is to design the marketing plan for Chrono United Company. The overall structure of the plan is divided into four parts; 1) mission statement, 2) goals, 3) environmental analysis, and 4) SWOT and needs analysis. The first part describes the mission statement of Chrono United which is harmonized with five core values including drive, deliver, strengthen, develop, and seek. The second part of the plan defines the short-term and long-term goals of the company. The third part revolves around the environmental analysis which is often recognized as the PESTEL analysis (Yüksel, 2012). This tool or framework is used to monitor and analyze the external marketing environment (macro-environmental factors) that have impacts on Chrono United. The results of which are used to identify weaknesses and threats which are used in the last section of the plan titled as SWOT analysis.
2 Mission Statement
“Our mission is to introduce a broad collection of watches and timepieces people love. Not just any ordinary watches, but high quality and trendsetting watches that are memorable and meaningful to satisfy all segments of society. Watches that are as good as in the finish, feel, fit, and build to considerably more expensive watches. That will always be our Mission.” As mentioned earlier, Chrono United mission statement is synch with five core values comprising drive, deliver, strengthen, develop, and seek. Drive indicates safer and smarter watches, deliver means creative products for different customer groups i.e. sports watches, casual watches, and wall timepieces, strengthen means offering customer-oriented products, develop means encouragement of open communication within Chrono United, and seeking means regular improvements and advances in all kinds of watches of the company.
Goal setting is the most important part of the success of any marketing or business plan. This section deals with the goals of Chrono United Watches Company which is further divided into two sub-sections; short-term goals and long-term goals. The SMART tool is used for goal setting where SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant, and time-bound (Bjerke & Renger, 2017). As Chrono United is new in business, so the prime goals of the company are; 1) to increase the profit of the Miami branch, and 2) then grow the business operation throughout the USA. Both goals are SMART in nature which can be explained as:
Specific: Chrono United Miami branch will increase its revenue via lowering down the expenditures. To cope up with the upsurge of costs due to COVID-19, Chrono United will move towards cutting operational costs by 7%. And then open 2 more branches countrywide within next 5 years.
Measurable: Miami branch will increase sales over the next 10 months with the use of a social media campaign. The increase in operation depends on the profitability of this branch because this will, in turn, facilitate the growth to more branches.
Attainable: Miami branch will improve customer relationships and promote business through social media because social networks will provide leads to increase revenue. An increase in selling space at the Miami branch by 20 percent means more production is needed. This can be achieved via the opening of new branches.
Relevant: Movement towards cheaper establishment will lower down the operation cost of the Miami branch. An increase in revenue and production means a bigger client base which requires more branches.
Time-Bound: Miami branch will have increased the profit by the end of 6 months. While the establishment of new 3 branches should be within next 5 years.
3.1 Short Term
- Increase advertising budget of Chrono United each month for the next 4 months.
- Hire an advertising consultant for 2 months to analyze and capitalize on buying trends of customer.
- To spend the next 2 months learning the major competitors and brainstorming on what Chrono United offers that others do not.
3.2 Long Term
- Double Miami branch revenue by the end of this fiscal year.
- As far as customer service is concerned, the goal would be to achieve at least 95% positive customer feedback.
- Awarding an “Employee of the Year Award” to the worker who provides the most creative input in the business activities.
- Web traffic would be increased by at least 50% by the end of this fiscal year.
4 Environmental Analysis
This section belongs to the “marketing environmental analysis” of Chrono United which is a strategic tool that can help to pinpoint external and internal environmental aspects that have impacts on Chrono United’s abilities to work properly. The macro-economic or external and micro-economic or internal factors are taken into consideration during this environmental analysis because these forces have a significant influence on the success rate of a marketing campaign. The external or macro-environment indicates the uncontrollable factors outside Chrono United that may influence its performance and planning either negatively or positively. On the other hand, the micro-environment is dealing with the factors that are close to the Chrono United and directly influence the company and its ability to serve its customers. Once these factors are examined by an organization then it can improve its decision-making process about the expansion of business activities and marketing strategies. The prime focus of this marketing plan is to examine the macro-environment of the Chrono United because they are uncontrollable and can have severe negative impacts on the company. We divided this section into five sub-sections; 1) competitive analysis, 2) economic analysis, 3) political and legal analysis, 4) technological analysis, and 5) sociocultural forces analysis.
4.1 Competitive Analysis
The market of watches has always been extremely competitive and it has always been walled by aggressive threats in all areas of a business. Due to the invention of smart watches by mobile phone companies like Apple and Samsung, Chrono United has to face extra competition because it is a new concept that is overtaking the US markets very quickly. As mentioned earlier, Chrono United deals with traditional watches like sports watches, casual watches and wall clocks which are in danger of becoming another sector destroyed by the disruptive power of Samsung, Apple and Fitbit. Globally speaking, these three companies are now among the top five watch brands in the world. In terms of volume, Apple Company shipped 28.4 million smart watches in 2019 and 33.9 million in 2020. On the other hand, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH), the entire Swiss watch industry shipped 21.1 million. As far as the US market is concerned, the takeover of smart watches over traditional watches has become more apparent in the fourth quarter of last year when Apple and Samsung smart watches outsold the traditional watch industry 55 percent to 45 percent. Last year’s sales upsurge of smart watches by 18 percent with a worth of more than 5 billion dollars.
So the main competitors that Chrono United Company is facing right now are multinational smart watches companies. However, the products of Chrono United have some edges over smart watches that need to be highlighted through a better marketing plan. For instance, smart watches quickly become outdated while the Chrono United products do not need anything to stay up-to-date except occasional cleaning. Additionally, Chrono United watches have more durability than smart watches. The smart watches are also quite expensive as compared to Chrono United products. The low battery problem is giving the edge to Chrono United products over smart watches. From a traditional watch perspective, the major competitors that Chrono United is facing include ROLEX, OMEGA, Tag Heuer, SEIKO, and LONGINESS. The competitor analysis of these products is presented in the following chart.
Table 1 Competitor Analysis
|Signifies accomplishment and prestige
|Talks to self-esteem and self-identity
|Success, accomplishment going beyond one’s limits
|Elegance is an attitude
|Made to last beyond time
|Not ordinary but high quality and trendsetting watches
|Luxury; the spirit of achievement
|A sports, chronograph, self-esteem
|A jewel; the symbol of success
|Elegance and beautiful designs
|A premier well-engineered
|Durable and affordable in a wide range of sports and casual
4.2 Economic Analysis
Several economic factors may have impacts on how Chrono United does commercial activities and how profitable they are. These factors include disposable income of people, inflation, exchange rate, interest rate, and economic growth. These factors can further be divided into two categories; 1) macro-economic factors which are related to the overall economy like taxations etc. and 2) micro-economic factors that are all about the way people spend their income.
The global financial crisis 2007-08 and the recent COVID-19 pandemic affected the overall watch industry and its products negatively (Thorbecke, 2020). Watches are actually a kind of accessory and people can avoid purchasing them if their disposable income falls. The same happened during the COVID-19 crisis. The sales of traditional watches significantly reduced in the USA during the pandemic. The cost of labor has changed in other countries like China who is producing the watches at a comparatively lower cost than US and Switzerland which is giving a tough time to Chrono United. The USA has cooled somewhat and recovered from the pandemic. According to Federal Reserves, the real GDP of the country has increased at an annual rate of 6.7 percent in the 2nd quarter of 2021 which means that Chrono United would also grow at a better rate. Similarly, the US interest rate is almost close to zero which means the cost of borrowing is lower that can boost the FDI in the country. An increase in FDI means higher per capita income that can help to boost the sale of Chrono United products. The rate of inflation is revolved around 5.4 percent in the USA which is relatively lower than other countries and has a favorable impact on Chrono United.
4.3 Political and Legal Analysis
This section sheds light on trade restriction, taxation laws, political stability, and other governmental policies. The recent trade war of USA with the China has negatively affected the sale of Apple and other smart watches which is providing an opportunity for Chrono United to penetrate the market as quickly as possible. As far as legal factors are concerned, Chrono United needs to adhere to legal aspects of the USA. With competitors like ROLEX, OMEGA, Tag Heuer, SEIKO, and LONGINESS, Chrono United need to be on their toes in case their technology or any intellectual property is stolen or leaked. The US policies associated with the customs duties on imported watches and clocks have given Chrono United an opportunity to promote and establish its products in this segment. The several trade wars around the world have led to fluctuations in the gold and silver prices, thus affecting the functioning of Chrono United. However, Chrono United needs to assess common laws like data protection laws and intellectual property rights protection of states before expanding business activities from Miami to other cities.
4.4 Technological Analysis
Technological factors can affect the management and marketing of Chrono United in different ways like new ways of communicating with target markets, new ways of distribution of watches, and new ways of production of watches. To consider the technological environment from another perspective, Chrono United is facing the transformation of technology. For instance, in the last couple of decades, mobile phones have become a necessity for the people who use them to check the time or to keep time. This transformation have a major impact on the watch industry as a whole and needless to say have an influence on Chrono United.
4.5 Sociocultural Forces Analysis
It involves the attitude and shared belief of the general population which includes health consciousness, age distribution, population growth, and career attitude. Chrono United needs to carefully evaluate the views and lifestyle of the people in the design district of Miami. Almost 27 percent of people of Miami have age below 40 years. A general perception about the Miami people is that they are more willing to buy expensive watches, pay more attention to watches, and appreciate luxury brands. The modern US customer more quickly reacts to innovative advertisements on social media and TV. In fact, social media have a great influence on the customer decision-making process. Socially speaking, the customers moving their attention towards new brands and demand for smart watches and other wearable’s. Accordingly, these factors can severely damage the sale volume of Chrono United. So the Chrono United needs to emphasize the modern ways of marketing like social media platforms with innovative ads to attract customers.
5 SWOT and Needs Analysis
SWOT analysis is an assessment technique to evaluate the internal weaknesses and strengths of Chrono United (Islam, 2017). In addition, these analyses identify the potential opportunities that exist in the market along with the threats that you may face. SWOT is an abbreviation of four words Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats which is used by the analysts to explore the plus points and limitations of an organization.
Table 2 SWOT Analysis
Note: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for Chrono Watch Company.
The prime strength of Chrono United is a wide variety of watches covering all consumer preferences and price segments. For instance, it offers sports watches, casual watches, and wall clocks from average to premium pricing. Secondly, the company is hiring local celebrities and social media influencers to spread awareness of the durability and usefulness of Chrono United products. Lastly, Chrono United has developed its pages on different social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with more than 1 million followers which are showing its strong online presence.
However, Chrono United has some weaknesses that can damage its short-term and long-term goals. A major weakness is that the company is new in the watch business and the COVID-19 recession is making it difficult to produce watches at a favorable per unit cost. Additionally, Chrono United has no experience in the marketing of watches and distribution to jewelry stores. Also, Chrono United has a smaller scale than smart watch companies which can influence the penetration to the already competitive US market.
Several opportunities exist for the Chrono United Company in the US watch market. As mentioned earlier, the company deals with sports watches, casual watches, and wall clocks. These products are either family or for men. There is an opportunity exists for Chrono United to have a separate product line for women to expand their customer base. Currently, the company has only one retail store in Miami. The company can introduce online selling of its products with the effective use of e-commerce (Bhatti et al., 2020).
A major threat that Chrono United is facing is the expansion of smart watch uses and rapid technological shifts in the attitude of the general public. Nowadays, American people are more concerned about their health. Smart watches are offering different features about fat-burning exercises which give them more edge over Chrono United products. These multinational organizations are giving tough competition to Chrono United. Moreover, the watch industry is very sensitive to swings in the business cycle of the economy which makes it a vulnerable investment.
This paper provided a comprehensive market plan for Chrono United. Different types of environmental analyses were conducted to examine the future prospect of the company. A broad SWOT analysis helped to evaluate the internal weaknesses and strengths of Chrono United. Overall, this marketing plan identified the key competitors of Chrono United and provided a comparative analysis in terms of pricing, benefits and product range. Also, the plan identified the different key areas that can help Chrono United to efficiently penetrate the competitive US watch market.
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