Unilever group is global leading supplier of consumer products. In addition to their considerably significant global hold, their Lipton Tea Brand is market force in the international space. In this section, I will be exploring the market dynamics revolving around Lipton brand based on an analysis of the tea industry to bring out a comprehensible photo the key issues affecting the brand, and evaluation and winning recommendations to boost the company’s market hold. This should help in designing an effective brand management plan that will bridge the gap between business and environment and assist in gaining devotion to a strategy, pinpoint means of competitive advantage, informing Unilever investors, setting objectives and measuring performance (Round & Roper, 2017).
Lipton Tea has been a leading product for over 120 years and thus far considered a brand (Murphy & Murphy, 2018). The market force and rising popularity of the company is secondary to acquisition, corporate expansion and utmost concern for dynamic needs of the consumer at every point of their life. The processing of Lipton tea is for the sole purpose of making it “great tasting and good for (customers) because it is rich in protective antioxidants” (Murphy & Murphy, 2018). In the global market, the brand is marketed as “The perfect drink for active, healthy lifestyle” The product comes in multiple packaging options ranging from 330ml to 20gm packs.
The brand extensions of Lipton Tea products is primarily based on launching modified products in fresh categories, for instance the introduction of Lipton Iced Tea into the Pakistani market. The brand is globally recognized with occasional launching of fresh products into new markets based on the contemporary market segmentation factors that drive branding aspects (Dubey et al., 2020). The company features variety of products –Lipton Green Tea, Yellow Label Tea, Lipton Darjeeling Tea, Black Iced Tea Peach, Classic K-cup pack, Matcha Green tea and Mint, Green Iced Tea Citrus, Berry Citrus (Murphy & Murphy, 2018). All these brand products are licensed to secure against copyright infringements. The company features a brand personality that primarily appeals to all classes at a budget-friendly price. The brand equity is a sales pitch for Lipton Tea as the company basks in considerably significant margins of consumer brand awareness and loyalty.
Analysis of Key Branding Issues
Branding issues are a huge concern and should be addressed in the brand management plan for the brand’s ultimate productive gains (Round & Roper, 2017). These are some of the notable issues affecting Lipton brand and consequently impacting their market influence and this include the solid understanding of the consumer needs, partner relationships, leadership and their pricing strategy.
The contemporary health situation is worsening as days go by following lifestyle issues and the demographic inclination towards junks and foods sparking health concerns (Jonathan, 2019). Unilever’s market research is showing that large segment of the population is more health conscious following frequently aired health programs and campaigns. As such, the market is reverting back to natural health maintenance means. The shift to better foods is not sudden and so the population will opt for better products for satisfy their healthy lifestyle (Jonathan, 2019). Lipton’s product listing is all tea, if they can be able to prove to the consumer that the product could serve as tea while at the same time be of medicinal importance, this will push the global performance of the brand. This is because; consumers will view the product consumption as a healthy activity (Jonathan, 2019). This can be captured as part of their objectives in terms of offering healthy benefits through Lipton Tea.
This mainly revolves around strategies that assist in improving communication and their overall relationship with Unilever, other brands and channel partners. Some of the key issues in this segment involve product selling, commissions, opportunities, promotion campaigns and inventory access (Pramita Sari & Melinda, 2017). Product delivery can be required at a given time of the day, in some of the busiest market locations, within a short time window and the brand is expected to make the delivery within the stipulated time frame (van Driel, 2019). Traversing large geographic areas have proved to be of huge concern and effective communication instruments can help address this. The use of communication software and instruments offer through partner relationship brand management strategies, the supply chain, distributor channels and the product recipient for constant communication can help with this situation (van Driel, 2019). This will help address and possibly modify the production systems to avoid decommissioning of entire operations that could have otherwise been productive.
Leadership is a key branding concern for the success of Lipton Tea. The brand culture and powerful leadership are inseparable (Round & Roper, 2017). Part of the leadership package involves encouraging and training the management to be liberal minded, always strives for meaningful change, the ability to incubate novel ideologies and oversee their implementation. Lipton Tea should go for reputable managers in the tea industry who will work towards resetting the organizational tone and go-ahead to reflect on the need for the implementation of better brand management plans, and in doing so, be the leading example in terms of devotion and purpose for winning brand management changes (Murphy & Murphy, 2018).
The main concern for Lipton Tea is their overly priced products despite inflation times and global economic constraints, but then, the brand product pricing is more of value-based than consumer preference (Pilapitiya, De Silva & Miyazaki, 2020). An effective band management plan would be to set the product pricing based on the consumer benefits in terms of qualify and quality. The brand’s product listing is primarily unique as compared to its competitors (Pramita Sari & Melinda, 2017). Because of high value features and better market positioning, the brand should make the most out of this by opting for value-based pricing (Pramita Sari & Melinda, 2017).
Having an established brand name under the Unilever Company gives the brand a competitive advantage in the market (Murphy P.E. & Murphy C.E., 2018). The considerable significance of Lipton brand products as compared to their market competitors comes from their proven track record or producing incredible quality, nutritious and healthy products (Murphy P.E. & Murphy C.E., 2018). The products come with much convenience to the consumers in terms of the packaging which features an easy-to-open lid, topped with a tin pack or in some products, mix sachet, to limit product complexity and ease optimize positive consumer experience (Round & Roper, 2017). In terms of communication, it is very much easy and straightforward to communicate about Lipton brand; they employ advertisements for producer-consumer communication in terms of what they are offering (Murphy & Murphy, 2018).
The market mix features the Lipton Tea product as one of top quality that comes in uniquely blended herbal tea, in various packs each appealing to a specific target market (Murphy & Murphy, 2018). The packaging is all about promoting the brand’s image for equity and consumer’s loyalty; Lipton employs a color, mission and image that blend in a unique fashion to encourage consumer loyalty. Lipton Tea can be sold directly to the consumer or through opening up of brand-owned stores for retail services to supply the products, and also through established distribution channels (Murphy & Murphy, 2018). The pricing in the brand management plan will have factored in the competing brands offering the herbal tea product (Round & Roper, 2017). Promotion is an essential aspect of brand management to help push for the brand’s image, product listing and incentives to appeal to the consumer’s purchase power (Konuk, 2017).
After a careful evaluation of the market dynamics and analysis of key branding issues, here are some of the working recommendations that should form part of the brand management plan, to improve brand productivity and optimize market influence.
The employees are key drivers to help the brand realize their brand management plans. Lipton Tea needs to consider going for competence when it to recruiting, training and retaining of a skilled workforce. Recruiting a competent workforce will solidify the brand to meet the performance objectives amidst resource scarcity during hard times (Khamis, 2016). Established brand management plan objectives can only be realized with a competent workforce.
The brand needs to revisit the existing brand policies and protocols, and make important changes for the facilitation of the brand management objectives following the strategic initiatives (Pramita Sari & Melinda, 2017). The contemporary organizational framework can be a significant hindrance to the incorporation and integration of strategies. Policy guidance would be approach in this case (Mupepi, Mupepi & Mupepi, 2019).
Effective communication and accountability are part of the analyzed branding issues faced by Lipton Tea. Utilization of technology in enhancing and maintaining communication for entire management team and staff during the implementation of the brand management plan, to keep track of strategy implementation, objectives and their overall attainment (Khamis, 2016). In this case, Lipton Tea should consider the addition of better and functional systems and infrastructure, and train the team on how to effectively employ them.
To achieve the new strategic brand objectives, the management should consider adjusting the present inducement systems. This can be based on performance appraisal that involves rewards (Mupepi, Mupepi & Mupepi, 2019). Based on “Thompson Strickland, Crafting and Executive Strategy, the employee’s incentive-based objectives should always concur with the brand objectives.” A good approach would be to raise the Lipton’s service plan sales and adjust the organizational framework to furnish staff with monthly plan sales numbers.
What is Positioning and Target Market?
The success of a brand is dependent on their mental resources targeting the costumer’s mind, as commonly referred to as brand positioning in the market. Herein, the market moves are meant to drive the brand towards establishment and consolidating its position, and thus impacting the customer’s buying behavior (Jonathan, 2019). After which, aspects of product marketing, pricing, distributing channels and promoting the product, now come in. Also, the content of the marketing mix is impacted by positioning, and as such determining its establishment and location consolidation.
In an ideal market, brands are to establish and define their target market and in doing so, determine how the brand will secure their market position (Round & Roper, 2017). The main target market for Lipton Tea brand is inclusive of all classes. A look at Lipton’s Ice Tea product for instance, can help appreciate the marketing dynamics revolving around the brand’s approach to marketing positioning in terms of target consumers and product flavor options.
The brand product’s target consumer is primarily the middle age demographics as the ice tea drink largely aims for nutrition and replenishment due to its vitamins and minerals composition which are essential for a proper health (Hilal & Mubarak, 2016). After a careful evaluation of market dynamics and how to capture the middle age population market gap, the brand opted to come up with a product that will very well serve the purpose, and as such the launch of Lipton Ice Tea product. Increasingly, the product did well in the market, but then, the brand has a notable image and reputation of matching the pivotal needs of consumer, part of what drove to the success of the product, and eventual positioning in the Pakistani market. This brings up the issue of how maintaining a notable brand image and reputation, helps with product establishment after to secure their market position (Hilal & Mubarak, 2016). The brand is popular for its hot cup of top-tier tea blends, but with this new product, the brand has set a new precedent in the global market, ultimately impacting its market positioning and global competitiveness (Hilal & Mubarak, 2016).
A notable approach employed by Lipton Tea is that of chasing the most attractive market segment –the middle age population, based on fact that the middle-age demographic is approximately 60% of the total population with an increasingly high market growth (Pilapitiya, De Silva & Miyazaki, 2020). Furthermore, the early market adopters are from this market segment, which will ultimately influence the rest of the population to adopt the product (Hilal & Mubarak, 2016). A careful look at the Ice Tea product can help one appreciate the overall market positioning of Lipton Tea, and their approach towards market appeal and maintaining a global hold in the tea and beverages space.
What is competitor analysis of branding?
This is whereby; a strategy is employed to point out the significant competitors and research on the brand products they offer, sales and marketing strategies, and in doing so, generate a comprehensive and stand-out market branding strategies, based on the research and analysis results to impose upon competing forces (Pramita Sari & Melinda, 2017). A comprehensive, detailed and well-evaluated competitor analysis assists the brand in appreciating the yin and yang on how to the competitive market operates. By conducting a competitor analysis, the brand is able to identify the various aspects in the brand, done right on wrong, and how appropriately the marketing team can one-up them through an all-inclusive branding strategy (Pramita Sari & Melinda, 2017). Lipton Tea can significantly benefit from continual competitor analysis to point out the tea market gaps, come up with new products, unravel market patterns, to market their tea brand and sell accordingly. A competitor analysis is conducted to identify Lipton Tea’s competitors, the products they offer, their market tactics and results, brand and product marketing strategies, engagement levels of their content, market promotion, social media instruments, and lastly the most important is a SWOT analysis (Oluyole et al., 2019).
On psychoanalysis, the Lipton Tea brand is health caring, adventurous, active, and young and expressing vibrant (Dubey et al., 2020). Their ideal target market is inclusive of all age groups except the young, upper middle and social class and urban areas. The market positioning of Lipton Tea products express top quality, premium price, appealing aroma with a great taste. In terms of price, Lipton’s brand products are high priced to target the middle and upper class segment (Deebhijarn, 2016). Their strategies broadly feature market and product development, cost leadership and economies of scale with an RND approach of innovation and differentiation. The snow and miles topologies capture Lipton as a prospector, following it is innovative, growth-oriented and is always on the chase to find and explore newer and promising markets for growth.