The best and appropriate strategies for Diamond Snack PLC

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Overall, my assignment is to suggest the best and appropriate strategies for Diamond Snack PLC. My main objective is to increase Diamond Snack PLC markets shares. Currently their existing market sales have been at a steady sale for about three years, however they are receiving an income on the average scale which means that they will soon decrease and fall behind in the existing competitive market. They only way to survive is to remain at the same level with the main competitors e.g. Walkers and preferably have a slight increase in sales.

As a business consultant I have been asked to give advice on whether Diamond Snack PLC should develop a new product or increase the sales of their current product mix with slight alterations e.g. new packaging. Throughout this investigation I intend to apply both field and desk research. The field research will be based on gathering new data directly from consumers. The information and data collected is called primary data. I believe field research is useful because it gives the business the exact information it requires, however sometimes it tends to be expensive to carry out.

My field research methods include

* Questionnaire

* Focus groups

* Test Marketing

* Consumer Panels

This method will enable me to discover how Diamond Snack PLC could increase their market sales. The desk research will be used to gather existing data, data that has already been collected and published for another purpose. This is known as secondary data. The desk research will be used will be used to discover what competitors on the market are doing with their products e.g. the most popular flavour, the type of crisp. This also makes it possible to work out the pricing strategy. For desk research the resources are quite easy to obtain these are:

* Newspapers

* Magazines

* Public Libraries

* Internet

* Office for National Statistic

* Office of Population Census and Surveys

* Market Research Agencies

Diamond Snack PLC is an orientated company which aims to put their customers wants and needs as the main objective to please their potential consumers satisfactions. So I intend to create or edit a product which will still meet the needs of consumers but as well increase Diamond Snack PLC market sales, basically I am trying to find the appropriate product which benefits the company along with the consumers.

In a competitive market it is essential that companies like Diamond Snack PLC are able to identify the consumers needs and wants. The suitable method of market research will have to be market orientated rather than product orientated. This is because market orientated researches and develops a product to meet the consumers needs. The advantage of this is that when the product is released into the market it is more likely to be purchased by customers as this is what they desired. However product orientated is when a company e.g. Diamond Snack PLC would develop and launch a product, without consulting their potential customers. They then spend a lot of money to embark on a heavy promotion and advertising campaign to convince consumers that they want the product.

This method used to be very effective as a technique called subliminal messages was used during the advertisement but soon later got banned as it had a great deal of control on peoples minds. The product orientated method has successfully been proved that it’s not as effective as market orientated. As consumers will not purchase goods that they don’t want and need. It’s much beneficial for Diamond Snack PLC to carry out market research and use their data to produce a product that consumers want and need. Diamond Snack PLC must realise is that they is a gap in the market and they have the opportunity to take advantage of this situation by applying the suitable methods i.e. market orientated.

I will be performing a field research to collect data directly from the consumers. This will determine what the consumers want from a snack company such as Diamond Snack PLC. Questionnaires and surveys will be used to confirm what consumers want. For my questionnaire to be useful it must be written with a set objective in mind e.g. the questionnaire I aim to produce will be clear, simple and unambiguous questions. The questions will be closed questions, which means the interviewee is given a limited number of possible answers. The simplest is a question that requires Yes/No answer I do intend for these to be available but I also want their opinions. In addition I will involve multi-purpose question, which will provide the interviewee with a range of possible answers to chose from. The questionnaire will include questions such as ‘what’s you favourite flavour?’ etc. Once I have set up a questionnaire with the relevant appropriate questions I will then hand them out to different people. I intend to have whole variety, range of results.

I can use two methods. Random, which is a system of selecting people so that everyone has an equal opportunity of being chosen. If I was going to apply the random method to the questionnaires I would chose different people at random without considering their age or status. Therefore all different age groups will have equal chance of completing the questionnaire. However, a quota is when the market is divided into segments and an equal amount of people are asked or different percentages of people are asked with corresponding percentages e.g. 60% boys and 40% girls completed the survey. Also the quota method includes deciding on an age group and aiming the research at that specific age group. It could be targeted at groups such as 13 to 21 year olds in addition target at people in primary school and secondary school or just have a full range of people to complete the questionnaire e.g. 6 – 75 of age.

I assume that using the quota method is more suitable because then Diamond Snack PLC will know where to target their product. I will hand out 20 questionnaires, 25% of these people will be aged between 6-11, 50% will be aged between 12-25 and 25% will be 25 and over. I have decided to use the quota method as I think it will benefit Diamond Snack PLC to know who completed the questionnaire and what answers (response) the different people gave. With the questionnaire complete, I will be able to identify what different age groups desire in snacks especially crisps. This will help Diamond Snack to produce a product that is intended for a certain age groups e.g. if most people said they prefer to purchase crisp with an attractive appearance this then can inform Diamond Snack PLC to design a packaging which is very appealing.

To extend my investigation I intend to carry out survey in a local retail outlet. I then intend to list all the places that sell crisp-like snacks and then finally decide which one I should visit. All the data that I collect will have to be done in an effective and reliable way as the data and results I have accumulated will assist me to make a recommendation to Diamond Snacks PLC

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