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Marketing Plan

The Squirrel Food Marketing Company


Where a Well-Fed Squirrel is Just Plain Happy.

Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

TABLE OF CONTENTS Contents Executive Summary ..................................................................................................................................... 2 Competitive Research ................................................................................................................................... 4 Product ......................................................................................................................................................... 4 Packaging ...................................................................................................................................................... 5 Distribution ................................................................................................................................................... 5 Pricing ........................................................................................................................................................... 5 Stiel Direct Observations .............................................................................................................................. 6 Wildwood Farms ....................................................................................................................................... 6 Healthy Squirrel Food ............................................................................................................................... 6 MARKET SEGMENTATION ............................................................................................................................. 7 Business to Business (B2B) ....................................................................................................................... 7 Business to Customer (B2C) ...................................................................................................................... 7 Product Segmentation .................................................................................................................................. 8 Full Cob in Husk ........................................................................................................................................ 8 Shucked Cob ............................................................................................................................................. 8 Cut Cob ..................................................................................................................................................... 8 Promotions ................................................................................................................................................... 9 Creative Strategy ...................................................................................................................................... 9 Logo .......................................................................................................................................................... 9 Typeface ................................................................................................................................................... 9 Copy ........................................................................................................................................................ 10 Print ........................................................................................................................................................ 11 Web Development .................................................................................................................................. 11 Communication Elements........................................................................................................................... 12 Website ................................................................................................................................................... 12 TIER ONE ............................................................................................................................................. 12 HOME ...................................................................................................................................................... 12 STORY...................................................................................................................................................... 12 Tier One .............................................................................................................................................. 13 The Informative Section...................................................................................................................... 13 B2C Retail Section ............................................................................................................................... 13 INITIAL CONCEPT FOR THE SQUIRREL FOOD COMPANY WEBSITE ......................................................... 14 TIER TWO ................................................................................................................................................ 15 The Informative Section...................................................................................................................... 15 TIER TWO ............................................................................................................................................ 15 B2B Retail Section ............................................................................................................................... 16 Internet Marketing ................................................................................................................................. 17 Keyword Advertising with Google & Facebook .................................................................................. 17 Heres how it works ............................................................................................................................ 17 Pricing ................................................................................................................................................. 17

Stiel Direct LLC

Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

Executive Summary
The Squirrel Food Companys primary product offering is the hybrid corn, created by a world-famous geneticist code-named Dr. Squirrel. Through cross-breeding, Dr. Squirrel is able to enhance features of the corn that increase the nutritional value for squirrels. The embryo, white portion of the corn, is larger than traditional corn. It is the embryo that contains protein and amino acid, fundamental building blocks of cells. Squirrels eat the embryo and discard the outer hull. Squirrels eating the corn have been observed to be more playful and responsive. Dr. Squirrel licensed the patent for this corn from a major company. The actual process for creating the corn is not new, but no other company has licensed the product intent on tailoring it specifically to squirrel dietary needs. Other companies competing for the market offer high quality corn, but are well below the amino acid content in The Squirrel Food Company corn. The competition, in terms of product, packaging, distribution and pricing are all playing in roughly the same field. The Squirrel Food Companys primary competitors offer corn and related extension items such as squirrel feeders. From ordering firsthand, most companies package the product in crude boxes with little indication of corporate identity. In bulk instances, the product is simply piled in a box and its arrival condition is left to the whim of the shipping company. Standard size increments are 5-6 ears of corn, 6.5 lb. bag, 20 lb., and bulk is considered 40 lb. Competition pricing ranges anywhere from $.43 per lb to The Squirrel Food Companys closest competitor, Wildwood Farms at $.92 per lb. However, not all companies measure pricing in the same manner. Some measure per pound and some measure per ear. In distribution, many only offer business to consumer through a website and only take larger orders by specific email requests. We have identified our target market in terms of two divisions: Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C). The distinction between buying interests will also be applicable to the online purchasing arena. Under B2C, we have identified six types of buyers: 1) Squirrel Enthusiasts, 2) Bird Lovers, 3) Casual Buyers, 4) Retirees, 5) City Slickers, and 6) Educators. Under (B2B), we have identified two types of Organizational buyers: Retailers and Distribution agents. The Squirrel Food Companys product can be broken up into five major categories 1) Full Cob in Husk 2) Shucked Cob 3) Cut Cob 4) Cob Medallions 5) Shelled kernels. These divisions do not alter the product itself, but simply influence the way the product is perceived in display and packaging. Using a combination of these categories in packaging can elevate The Squirrel Food Companys perceived value to the consumer, allow for a more diverse pricing scheme, create a more consistent shipping result from start to finish and allow The Squirrel Food Company to offer future line extensions. The creative stance is rooted in the following brand positioning statement: Dr. Squirrels The Squirrel Food Company from Squirrelly Farms is a premium corn snack that promotes healthier, happier squirrels. The creative challenge is two-fold: the creative must appear professional enough to capture the interest of the wholesale market, but non-threatening enough to appeal to people of all ages. We suggest surmounting these challenges by using an illustrative or storybook theme. Bright, non-muted watercolor brush strokes with heavy black outlines will be pervasive throughout the four key creative components: logo, typeface, copy, print and web. Possible methods of promoting The Squirrel Food Company are: the Internet, catalogs, fairs/festivals, direct mailings, newsletters, e-mail, and magazine advertisements. Sampling is an additional method to help obtain market buzz from tastemakers. For example: the distribution of The Squirrel Food Companys product in a small quantity (e.g. 1 corn medallions) would involve a process of giving the public or a select group a preview. There has been a remarkable success rate obtained when using the

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Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

Internet and word-of-mouth endorsements. Grassroots marketing will be a key approach in promoting The Squirrel Food Company, especially on the web. The website will be a product testing platform, publicity generator and also used to gather information about the consumer base. We suggest dividing the site plan into two distinct sections, an informative section and a storefront section (both retail and wholesale). The Squirrel Food Company has the opportunity to create a strong web presence through keyword advertising on search engines and partner site banner advertising. The Squirrel Food Company as a company and a product has a large opportunity to enter the market and fill a niche as a premium Squirrel corn, possibly the strongest of which is Dr. Squirrels Stamps expertise in corn hybridization and the possibility of product extension. However, The Squirrel Food Company must work to avoid having consumers separate The Squirrel Food Company into the genetically engineered category of produce. Genetically engineered produce has historically had a negative connotation. With 10,000 ears of corn waiting to be sold in the Squirrelly storehouse, Stiel Directs job is to help Carol and Dr. Squirrel get the corn for market to make room for next years crop. Each crop developed by Dr. Squirrel will have a successively larger embryo, thus increasing the current embryo size by about 30% in three years.

Competitive Research
Preliminary research has identified twelve main competitors that sell ear corn. These companies offer a variety of wildlife feed products, feeders, and lawn ornaments. The primary means of reaching clientele is through the Internet, although some companies additionally offer catalog ordering. Other means of ordering offered by some companies include fax, mail, and phone.

Product
Research has found that many companies in the squirrel feed industry offer a variety of products to their clientele. The company Healthy Squirrel Food is currently The Squirrel Food Companys only competition offering a high quality product in the marketplace. According to Healthy Squirrel Foods website, Chirp-nChatter, their nutrient-enhanced hybrid corn has a higher protein content then traditional corn and has the ability to give squirrels more energy. Healthy Squirrel Food average price per pound is $0.53. Their ear corn is sold in quantities from 15-60 lbs. 15 lbs is sold for $8.00, 30 lbs for $13.00, and 60 lbs. for $26.00. The company also offers shelled corn, cracked corn, and squirrel feeders. Although Healthy Squirrel Food is currently the only company offering high quality corn, Wild Wood Farms appears to be the leader in the squirrel feed industry. Wild Wood Farms is by far the most dominate company on the internet. They advertise with existing website in a variety of areas including animal lovers, feed stores, and Home & Garden. Their company offers variety of feed mixes, other nuts, feeders, houses, a squirrel call, and novel lawn ornaments. The average price for their ear corn is $0.92 per pound. The delivered product ranges in sizes from a small quantity of 5 ears per tray to a bulk 40 lb. box. As previously mentioned all other competitors do not sell hybrid corn. Each company packages the product differently, but ultimately, is offering the exact same product to their customers. A list of the companies including products and price has been included (Appendix A).

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Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

Packaging
Packages for corn are usually bags, both paper and plastic, boxes with a wide range of sizes, and buckets/jugs for loose corn or mixed feed. Wild Wood Farms offers a 5-ear Styrofoam tray, while others put their smallest quantities in bags or boxes. The most common packaging is a clear plastic bag with labeling that is either printed directly onto the bag or a sticker affixed to the front. The bags are crimped off with a metal staple. Larger quantities use a paper bag with stitch-sealed ends (See Appendix B) Standard size increments are 5-6 ears of corn, 6.5 lb. bag, 20 lb., and bulk is considered 40 lb. Most websites offer an e-mail request for larger quantities. The Squirrel Food Company can easily distinguish itself as a premium product because they combine qualities of a premium product, a classic image, practical knowledge on the improved corn embryo, and prestigious packaging.

Distribution
Overall, most companies warehouse and distribute their product directly from their farm. Companies generally pass the shipping costs to the customer. After receiving orders, the corn is then packaged and shipped via a ground carrier. UPS is the standard carrier used by all the companies. Some companies do offer the option of shipping with another carrier, but UPS is still their preferred shipper. However, using an alternate carrier can drive the cost upwards. Considering the company sizes and locations, this method of distribution seems to be working fine.

Pricing
Not all companies price their products the same. Some companies sell their corn per ear while others sell per pound. The most widely used method of pricing is price per pound. In order to accurately compare pricing between the different companies, companies using price per ear were converted to price per pound, using the assumption that 2 ears of corn equals one pound. The markets pricing for ear corn ranges from $0.43 2.13 per pound and cost does not denote quality. Squirrel Snax only offers bulk options of 28 lb. (four dozen ears) which gives the cheapest price per pound. Squirrels Fed Here has the highest cost and advertises their product by price per ear. Stiel Direct then found the average price per pound for each company. Using this information, Stiel Direct has determined $1.06 to be the average market price per pound. The following chart shows the average price per pound of the ten different companies.
Price per Pound by Company

$2.13

$2.10

$0.98 $0.84 $0.71 $0.60 $0.43 $0.90 $0.86

$1.00

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Wild Wood Farms The Squirrel Lover's Club Squirrels Fed Here The Squirrel Store, Florida Squirrel Snax Nature's Vittles Moscarillos's Kaytee Products, Inc. Healthy Squirrel Food Critter Corn

Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

An added convenience is when consumers are able to select faster shipping options if they are willing to pay the extra fees for that service. Another premium opportunity is to allow variable online payment options (Master Card, Visa, and American Express).

Stiel Direct Observations


To get a better understand of the competition, Stiel Direct ordered some test products from two main competitors, Wildwood Farms and Healthy Squirrel Food. This allowed Stiel Direct to observe the physical characteristics of the companys products, types of packaging, evaluate customer service, analyze the companys ability to handle orders, and the shipping time from when the order was placed.

Wildwood Farms
Utilizing Wildwoods Farms website, Stiel Direct ordered a corn tray with five ears of corn, 6.5lb bag of ear corn, and a 40lb crate of corn. The order was placed on October 8th. An automated e-mail confirmation was sent to Stiel Directs e-mail account confirming the order and purchase price. During this process, Stiel Direct purposely left out the suite number to their location. The morning of October 9th, Stiel Direct placed a call to a representative at the Factory Outlet Store to correct the address mistake. The representative was very nice in changing the order and they noted that it was a good thing they were there behind in entering the UPS orders for that morning and could get that done. Another automated e-mail was sent to Stiel Directs e-mail confirming the change of address. At our request another e-mail was sent with the UPS tracking number once the package was picked up. The products were delivered on October 16th, five business days from the 9th, to Stiel Directs office. The first package was a plain box (containing the tray and 6.5 lb. bag) and the second was cardboard box styled to resemble a wooden crate. After opening the smaller box, Stiel Direct noted that it was a Pantry Pest Trap box that had been turned inside out. Inside the smaller box, the tray with five ears of corn and the 6.5lb bag were packed using their local newspaper. The five ears of corn were in what appeared to be a meat Styrofoam tray. This tray had been shrink-wrapped to keep the corn in place. This package shipped well as there were no noticeable kernels broken off the cob. The 6.5lb bag, however, appeared much worn and had many loose kernels within the bag. The 40lb crate consisted of a bunch of cobs loosely thrown into the box. Numerous kernels were broken off. The packing slip for the order was haphazardly inserted in the top of the large box. The actual weight of the crate including the corn was 42lbs. The total price for all three items after shipping was $60.48.

Healthy Squirrel Food


On October 16th Stiel Direct ordered a 15lb box of ear corn from the Healthy Squirrel Food website. An automated e-mail confirmation was sent to Stiel Directs e-mail verifying the order and additionally included a thank you message for the purchase. The box was delivered by UPS on October 22nd, four business days after placing the order. The corn arrived in a plain brown box and did not include a packing slip. There were large cobs in the box but many kernels had broken off the cob. The damage was so significant that some cobs looked bear with one end completely missing one inch square patches of corn. Kernels were of an irregular size, varying from cob-to-cob, and the nutrient enriched embryo was not noticeably larger as there website suggests. A significant finding of Healthy Squirrel Foods product was that many of the cobs were moldy. Overall, that companys entire presentation was very sloppy, had a repulsive quality to their product, and did not meet the websites advertised standards.

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Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

MARKET SEGMENTATION Business to Business (B2B)


Stiel Direct has identified two types of Organizational buyers: Retailers and Distribution agents. Retailers include: the independent pet stores, national pet stores, big box retailers (e.g. Wal-Mart and Home Depot), feed stores, pet shops, and country-general stores. These retailers will take title of the Squirrel Food Companys product and sell it in their locations directly to the customers. If The Squirrel Food Company deals directly with the retailers, a salesperson will have to establish appointments and visit each retailer individually to discuss the product. The preliminary process of finding a retailer to sell The Squirrel Food Companys product consumes time, energy, and financial resources. The direct marketing process to a retailer can often be very tedious when trying to locate correct contacts, getting them to speak to you, and finally selling your product at the retailers location. Distribution Agents are organizations that have an established list of companies and already conduct business with retailers. These agents offer the new product to these retailers by taking possession of the product, but do not retain title. Retailers are more likely to buy from a distribution agent because these agents provide a means to buy a large variety and quantity of products from one source. Therefore, new products offered from a distributor are more likely to be accepted then if a company was trying to directly sell it to them.

Business to Customer (B2C)


Stiel Direct has identified 6 potential target markets: 1) Squirrel Enthusiasts, 2) Bird Lovers, 3) Casual Buyers, 4) Retirees, 5) City Slickers, and 6) Educators. 1) Squirrel Enthusiasts are the people who enjoy watching squirrels and feeding them. They buy squirrel food for their pet squirrel. These are the people most likely to buy high quality premium squirrel corn as it will keep their squirrels healthy, more energetic and keep them coming back. 2) Bird Lovers are similar to Squirrel Enthusiasts but instead buy squirrel food to keep the squirrels out their bird feeders. Some bird lovers divide the feeding areas in their yard to keep different locations for their birds and squirrels. Usually the front yard is designated for the birds and the back yard services squirrels. The intention of buying a quality of corn would promote the squirrels to the backyard area opposed to the birds front yard feeding area. By doing this, the two animals are able to live together in harmony. 3) Casual Buyers can be grouped into two categories: Impulse shoppers and Gift Buyers. Impulse Shoppers buy squirrel food simply because they happen to come upon it in the store and think it would be fun to try. These people are looking for something to do for recreation or entertainment in a brief period of time. Impulse shoppers are not likely to spend a lot of money on premium quality food. Gift Buyers are those who buy squirrel food for a friend or loved one that is a squirrel enthusiast. They feel it would be nice little gift to give them because they will enjoy it and therefore are probably more willing to spend a little extra money to get the best quality food.

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Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

4) Retirees are those that have extra time on their hands and looking for a hobby or something to do to take up their time. This group might be willing to buy higher quality corn if they knew it would keep the squirrels coming back time after time. Retirees could potentially generate repeat buyers if The Squirrel Food Companys product worked better than the competitors. 5) City Slickers, or vacationers, are people going out on a camping trip and while they are out are looking for something to do. Whether it is feeding the squirrels for leisure or doing something the whole family can enjoy at their weekend cabin. 6) Educators would be teachers in elementary or high school and would buy the squirrel food for class projects or educational purposes. They would probably be willing to spend a premium price for better corn as it is better for the squirrel. Or they might want to do an experiment and see if the squirrel will choose the high quality corn over a regular cob of corn.

Product Segmentation
The Squirrel Food Companys product can be broken up into five major categories:

Full Cob in Husk


Positives- Shows the natural beauty of the Squirrel Food Company product. Negatives- Kernels may break off during shipping if not properly packaged. Husk is not aesthetically appealing, may incur mold. Husk partially hides full impact of kernel. Adds more weight to shipping.

Shucked Cob
Positives- Gives consumer immediate opportunity to see full corn beauty. Negatives- Kernels may break off during shipping if not properly packaged. Husk is not aesthetically appealing, may incur mold. Husk partially hides full impact of kernel

Cut Cob
Positives- Gives consumer immediate opportunity to see full corn beauty. Greater packaging options Negatives- Kernels may break off during shipping if not properly packaged. Kernels may break off of cut end easily. A non-standard process for cutting corn produces a jagged edge. Medallions- small 1 cut of corn cob Positives- Showcases individual kernels of corn. With proper labels and packaging, consumer can be immediately directed to note the difference between The Squirrel Food Company and its competition. Can be used as a promotional piece or sampling tool. Negatives- Cannot drive hard-dollar revenue. Packaging will be more expensive because each individual piece must be wrapped. Shelled- kernels are off-the-cob Positives- Highly cost-effective for packaging. With proper packaging, can invoke a Premium popcorn appearance.

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Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

Negatives- Could be construed as popcorn, instead of Squirrel food.

Promotions Creative Strategy


The recommended creative strategy is as unique and distinctive as the product offering. It all starts with a brand positioning statement. Every part of the creative will refer to, uphold and originate from the following statement: Dr. Squirrels The Squirrel Food Company from Squirrelly Farms is a premium corn snack that promotes healthier, happier squirrels. This statement anchors the creative in something solid and substantial. It gives an incentive for the creative approach to convey the Squirrel Food Company message to the target audience. The Squirrel Food Company has an enormous opportunity to differentiate itself in this arena. The challenge is two-fold: the creative must appear professional enough to capture the interest of the wholesale market, but non-threatening enough to appeal to people of all ages. The overarching creative / artistic approach we recommend uses an illustrative or storybook theme. Some examples of this can be viewed in the works of Beatrix Potter, Stephen Kellogg and other master illustrators. The bright, non-muted watercolor brush strokes and heavy black outlines will send the message that The Squirrel Food Company is a bold product celebrating its specific market niche and finding humor in its squirrel subjects. The illustrations used will be full of energy and will covey movement whenever possible.

Logo
A strong logo and typeface is essential to creating consistency. As seen in the upper-left-hand corner, Stiel Direct and The Squirrel Food Company have already decided on an initial logo. Here are the three essential elements that the logo must convey in less than an instant: The squirrel as the product recipient, the corn as the actual product, the corn kernel embryo as the main product differentiator. Here is a breakdown of the meaning behind Keeshaw, the Squirrel Food Company mascot & logo: By placing the squirrel on its back, this indicates a submissive squirrel, asking to be cared for and fed. It is clutching an oversized The Squirrel Food Company kernel and the embryo is clearly visible. The squirrel tail is wrapped around the kernel and forms the S in The Squirrel Food Company. The logo is just as memorable and as clearly recognizable in black and white as it is in color; the goal of a strong logo.

Typeface
We, as a creative team have chosen to use a typeface that might have been seen on old medicinal bottles and advertisements of the 1920s. This makes

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Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

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an indirect comparison between The Squirrel Food Company and other types of semi-medicinal Oils like Snake-Oil or Linseed Oil. This mildly humorous reference is also reinforced by using Dr. Squirrels in front of The Squirrel Food Company. This helps to invoke the image of Dr. Squirrel selling a cure-all or a tonic-elixir for Squirrels. The highly stylized typeface will be used only when it can be viewed at 16pts or above. Any smaller and it becomes difficult to read. The secondary typeface for documents and general text is Baskerville. The creative approach will be reflected in all copy, print materials, and web development.

Copy
The Squirrel Food Company history, including the technical and scientific descriptions should read like a fable. A stable of characters including Dr. Squirrel, Keeshaw and others will help shine the spotlight on the hybrid corns enhanced embryo and squirrels delightful reaction to it. Large ornamented or illuminated capital letters such as often seen in fairy tales will introduce new paragraphs. The following is an example of a possible story line: Hardly daring to breathe, Carol watched from the porch as the little brown tree squirrel peeked its head from around the massive oak trunk. The squirrel glanced furtively in either direction and stood stock still, staring in the direction of the corn field. Carol smiled as she could almost see the instinctive wheels turning in the little mind. She had allowed this section of corn to dry on the stalk and fall was fast approaching. This squirrel meant business. Muscles tensed, the squirrel sprang from its safe haven and darted across the field and up the nearest stalk. It deftly wrestled the cob from its stalk and it fell to the ground. Carol watched in amusement as the squirrel dragged the ear across the field. The squirrel stopped briefly to catch its breath in the middle of the field. Suddenly, the Squirrel sat straight up and sniffed the air. It went into a full crouch and turned a full 180 degrees toward an oak on the opposite side of the field. Two more beady little eyes shone forth from the tree hollow. The invading squirrel crept low to the ground on all fours and then stopped halfway from its tree to the other squirrel. An agonizing two minutes passed as each squirrel pointed its tail toward the sky meant for intimidating the other. In a blink, the pirate squirrel lunged toward the other. Tiny pairs of claws grasped the ear in defiance of each other. In disbelief, Carol watched the tug-of-war unfold. As the squirrels pulled, the large kernels began popping off the ear. After a minute, the cob was completely decimated and only a pile of the plump kernels remained. The two squirrels, realizing the original prize was in a shambles, declared a momentary truce. Each squirrel gathered a handful of kernels and returned to opposite tree trunks, only to repeat the future theatrics every day for the next week.

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The above anecdote may be embellished for effect, but the tug-of-war did was a real experience. It is one of the main reasons we believe The Squirrel Food Company can dominate the niche market of premium Squirrel feed.

Print
Will incorporate copy and illustrative direction with the following repeated elements. 1) An illustration of Dr. Squirrel with Keeshaw sitting on the bill of his hat. This will be used to call out special information. 2) An enlarged photograph of an actual ear of corn and the corn kernel itself. 3) An illustrative background of a sun-bathed cornfield and Squirrelly farms in the distance. The first recommended print piece scheduled for production is the storybook. The storybook will accompany every product offering. Its purpose is to ensure every customer knows the Squirrel Food Company story and is aware of the differentiating factor. It can also be used as a keepsake, something to be collected as the company grows and new editions are created. Creating this piece from the start will give Carol and Dr. Squirrel a chance to promote the company and create publicity even before the product hits the market. The second suite of printed material is packaging design and packaging labels. This does not have to be expensive to be quality. Labels, for example, could be completely rendered in a metallic ink with an accent color. Using metallic accents or foil accents helps increase the value in the buyers eyes and is less costly than full four color production. Every packaging label will look very similar regardless of product size. Please see the left margin for examples.

Web Development
All elements in print design are translatable into a web environment. However, an illustrative approach is not often used on the web due to the complexity and skill required of rendering hand-drawn artwork. We feel spending the extra time to do this will give the company a unique position on the web from the start and create the kind of draw necessary in quickly promoting the new product. A two-phase approach is recommended for the website. The first level or roll-out can be quickly completed in under a month. It will have the bare essentials such as B2C storefront and an informative section telling the Squirrel Food Company story. The second phase will have added features such as a B2B storefront, a Squirrel fan club and other elements essential in building a loyal and repeat buyer customer base.

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Communication Elements Website


The Squirrel Food Company website creation and implementation will be central to The Squirrel Food Companys initial marketing endeavor. The website will not only be a tool to test the products, but also to gather information about the consumer base and create publicity.

TIER ONE
HOME

According to research, the vast majority of competitors online presence is home-grown at best and amateurish at worst. Most of the sites are small and lack sophisticated online security measures that are increasingly important to consumers. Most sites have the same basic structure, including an informative and B2C section. The objective of the Squirrel Food Company site will be to generate excitement about the new product, initiate the first branding effort and start selling the product. The size and complexity of the site can be broken into two separate levels, Tier One and Tier Two.

SQUIRREL STORY

SQUIRREL GENERAL STORE

Affiliates

SquirreLinks

Home Page

Contact

Survey

Dr. Dave Mettenbrink Farms Squirr-Oil Story Squirr-Oil General (B2C)

Squirr-Oil Statistics

Squirrel Barn Product Offerings Christmas Cob Gift Basket

Squirr-Oil Website
Basic Site Layout, Tier One
The Corn Storybook Characters

Golden Kernel Club

Squirr-Barrel

Squirrel Crib

Messageboard Squirrel Information Member Squirrel Pictures Golden Kernel Club

Affiliates

Search Survey SquirreLinks

Squirrel Catcher

Member Login Home Page

Contact

The Games Squirrels Play

Corn Quest Squirr-Oil Miner

Squirrels In The World

Mettenbrink Farms

Flash Animation

Desktop Backgrounds Online Squirrel Fan Content Squirr-Oil Screensavers The Squirr-Oil Song MP3

Dr. Dave

Squirr-Oil Story

Business Login

Squirr-Oil General Store (B2B)

Account Information

The Corn Squirr-Oil General Store (B2C) Delivery Services Plush Toys Other Items Feeders Squirrel Barn Squirr-Oil Golden Kernel Club Squirrel Posters Squirrel Crib Squirrel Barrel Christmas Cob Gift Basket Squirrel T-Shirts Mettenbrink Tins

StoryBook Characters

Stalk Feeder Chair Feeder Hanging Feeder

Flash Animation

Squirr-Oil Website
Basic Site Layout, Tier Two

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Tier One
Tier one will contain two basic sections, informative and B2C retail.

The Informative Section


We suggest A Squirrel Story page. Directly on this page will be a short summary of Dr. Squirrels discovery/idea and Carols story of the two Squirrels fighting over the Squirrel Food Company. From this page, the reader will be able to click on the other characters in the Squirrel Food Company story. A Dr. Squirrel page will give a more thorough look at his background. A The Squirrelly Farm page will give the proud history of the Squirrelly Farm. A The Corn page will give a more in-depth view of the science involved. Many more links may be included in the Squirrel family page. We recommend storybook characters as a means to reinforce brand positioning. The characters can become a permanent fixture with their own names and lives centered on the Squirrelly farm. Also in the informative section will be a Squirrel Links page which contains links to large clubs and organizations of Squirrel Enthusiasts. It may eventually display partner names and affiliates and squirrel related festivals and events. A Contact us section will be linked from the Home Page. It will give all the pertinent information about the company and an email for inquiries. A feature to consider would be a pop-up survey when the user clicks on Contact. By popping from Contact the user will already have shown an interest in either learning more information about the company or contacting the company directly. The information will be loaded into a database and used for future email marketing efforts.

B2C Retail Section


The Storefront Section can start simple. The Squirrel Food Company customers will be able to order directly from The Squirrel Food Company through the site, set up through an online storefront company. Depending on volume, The Squirrel Food Company can purchase customer relationship management software to better serve clients.

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Below is a table outlining components and pricing for the tier one website:
Complexity 1. Site Copywriting, Design and Coding Components Art and graphic design backend coding for short Flash cartoon and ecommerce 50 M RAM 10 email accounts The Squirrel Food Company retains ownership of The Squirrel Food Company.com Setup of Storefront, outside bank account, etc. Photography of products / offerings Timeframe 80-100 hrs. Rate $5,000-$8,000

2. Site Hosting 3. Domain Registration

Invoiced by month or year Yearly subscription

~10.00 a mo. Or $100 per yr. ~10.00 per yr.

4. E-Commerce Implementation

8 hrs.

Included with 1

5. Introductory Flash Cartoon

Short- 17 sec Long- 1 min

24-32 hrs. 32-56 hrs.

6. Maintenance

Would include any desired changes to product offerings within ecommerce, additional features, art production, etc.

As-needed basis

Included with 1 8-24 hours over included= $680$2030 On $300 a month retainer or $85 an hour

INITIAL CONCEPT FOR THE SQUIRREL FOOD COMPANY WEBSITE

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TIER TWO
Tier two will contain two basic sections, informative and B2B retail. Tier two has more added features for customers to enjoy that will create a sense of community and will keep customers coming back for repeat purchases. Tier two will contain all features and information in tier one with the following additions:

The Informative Section TIER TWO


In addition to conveying the pertinent The Squirrel Food Company information, the informative section will also have a The Games Squirrels Play area where visitors can enjoy amusing Squirrel games. The games can also be used to capture data about high-scoring patrons. A search feature can also be accessed from the home page. With an expanded site, a search feature is necessary to help viewers quickly find what theyre looking for. We also recommend creating a Squirrel fan club. This includes a message board where squirrel enthusiasts can post personal squirrel stories and photographs. A research section may be added to the fan club containing an abundance of squirrel articles and various research topics. In a nutshell, the Latest and greatest in the world of Squirrels. This will show The Squirrel Food Companys interest in the squirrel culture advancement and allow The Squirrel Food Company to claim an authoritative stance in the minds of the customer.

INFORMATIONAL SECTION

SQUIRREL STORY

THE GAMES SQUIRRELS PLAY

SQUIRREL FAN CLUB

SEARCH SQUIRREL

SQUIRREL GENERAL STORE Business to Consumer Business to Business

Wholesale Pricing Shipping/ Delivery Services

Business Account Information

Stiel Direct LLC

Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

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B2B Retail Section


Stiel Direct recommends building a section for wholesalers. The portal will require a secure password protected entry and username. The wholesaler will be able to set up repeat delivery services, store account information, and receive bulk pricing. Other features in this section will include special promotions, added-value product offerings and sophisticated shipping Complexity 1. The Squirrel Food Company Search 2. Squirrel Games 3. Wholesale ECommerce Implementation 4. Squirrel fan club and research section Components Timeframe 5 hrs. Rate

1-3 games Setup of database SS login/password ASP customer Fan club alone Research

80-100 hrs. 40-60 hrs.

24-32 hrs. Information gathering is variable depending on whether it is bought or As-needed basis

5. Maintenance

Would include any desired changes to product offerings within e-commerce, additional features, art production, etc.

On $300 a month retainer or $85 an hour

methods.

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Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

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Internet Marketing

Keyword Advertising with Google & Facebook


Google (google.com) & Facebook (facebook.com) are the two major advertising services. Each offers a unique on-line advertising service that can be a cost-effective means to target web shoppers seeking a niche product such as squirrel food.

Sponsored Links
Premium Squirrel Snacks
A healthy corn snack for your favorite squirrel friends www.squirrelfarms.org Interest:

With just one buy, Facebook enables you to reach more than 80% of active U.S. Internet users. Facebook IS THE MOST POPULAR SOCIAL NETWORK ON THE PLANET. Adding Google provides you with virtually exposure to all internet users using search engines to find the kinds of products you sell.

Heres how it works


When a customer places a web search for something, Google & Facebooks advertisements show up alongside standard Google search & Facebook results. By doing this, Google & Facebook offers a great advantage over other engines. These advertisements are less offensive to customers unlike the tradition pop-up ads because they seem like an additional part of the Google search & Facebook.

See your message here

Pricing
First, users must register with Google & Facebook. There is a one-time sign up and activation fee. After registering with Google, AdWords offers an effective and flexible pricing plan. The advertiser is able to choose how much they are willing to spend per-day on the ads. There are two components to this pricing, cost-per-click and daily budget. The cost-per click determines how much Google & Facebook charges the advertiser every time someone clicks on the AdWords link. This price ranges from five cents to five dollars. Where The Squirrel Food Companys advertisement shows up in the search results is determined by how much The Squirrel Food Company is willing to pay for the cost-per click. The more The Squirrel Food Company pays per click, the higher on the AdWords list they will be. However, paying a high amount is not always important when using keywords that have little or no other AdWords ads attached to them. In other words, if the competitors arent using the same search words, then The Squirrel Food Company will not have to pay a premium to show up at the top of the list. It is recommended that a preliminary on-line search be done before deciding on how much to spend on cost-per-click. The daily budget will allow The Squirrel Food Company to determine exactly how much they will spend on the AdWords per day. Once the amount of the daily budget is reached, the AdWords stop showing up on Google & Facebook searches for the rest of that day. How much The Squirrel Food

Stiel Direct LLC

Squirrel Food Marketing Plan


Company is willing to spend determines the frequency that AdWords show up.

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Both Google & Facebook offer free tracking services, which will allow The Squirrel Food Company to see how effective the AdWords have been. The tracking service shows how many times the AdWord links have been clicked on. Any desired changes to the AdWords are free of charge. Sign-Up Process If The Squirrel Food Company decides to advertise using Google & Facebooks Adwords, the following is a list of typical steps for the sign-up process: Step 1- Target Languages and Countries The Squirrel Food Company will choose the languages they would like to advertise with, along with what countries they want to advertise in. Within the United States there is an option for regional targeting as well. Step 2 - Create Ad Group In this step The Squirrel Food Company will design the Adwords ad itself. They will select and manage the keywords that will trigger the ad. This is also the step where The Squirrel Food Company will determine how much they are willing to spend for the Cost-Per-Click of the ad. Step 3- Specify Your Daily Budget In this step The Squirrel Food Company chooses the daily budget. Google & Facebook does not have a minimum budget. Initially, The Squirrel Food Company should start off with a conservative amount. Then using the free tracking service provided by Google & Facebook, The Squirrel Food Company may adjust the daily budget to optimize the AdWords effectiveness. Step 4- Sign up This is the final step. This is where the advertiser creates the AdWords account. After going through the previous steps, The Squirrel Food Company is able to review all the information to make sure it is correct and allows changed if need. When The Squirrel Food Company wants to activate the ad, they must submit billing information. Once Google & Facebook receives this information, the AdWords will be activated.

Stiel Direct LLC

Squirrel Food Marketing Plan


Adword Advertising Chart

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The following chart contains a list of relevant keywords that would be used to identify companies that sell squirrel food. Next to the keyword under the search engine is a list of companies that currently use them as AdWords (see chart on following page). KEYWORD GOOGLE & FACEBOOK No Entries Squirrel Squirrel Feed Corn Naturesoils.com Goldendropbottling.co m bizrate.com Tjspetshop.com Ebirdseed.com Der.org Ebirdseed.com Bettymills.com Tjspetshop.com Theferretstore.com Paaws.tv Dealresource.com Shopping.com Couponmountain.com Bizrate.com Friskies.com Sanypet.com Prairiepremiumproduct s.com No Entries Ebirdseed.com Apieceofcountry.com Ebay.com YAHOO Pestoffense.com Nixalite.com Doyourownpestcontrol.com Grfrequencies.com Duncraft.com Ancofutures.com Tradecenterinc.com Barronscommodity.com Futuresfacts.com Treefrogs.biz Selectoils.com

Corn Oil Squirrel Food Hybrid corn Squirrel Snacks

Ebirdseed.com Trelay.com No Entries

Pet Food

Friskies.com Royalcanin.us Sojos.com Healthyfoodforpets.com

Squirrel Corn Squirrel Oil

Ebirdseed.com Coolgardenstuff.com Cedarbirdfeeders.com No Entries

From our search results, we discovered that the biggest competitor for related Squirrel keywords is ebirdseed.com. However, there is still an enormous opportunity to capture the Squirrel searchers market. We recommend bidding for the following keywords based on relevance and number of current advertisers: Squirrel Corn, Squirrel Oil, Squirrel, Squirrels, Squirrel Food, and Squirrel Feed.

Stiel Direct LLC

Squirrel Food Marketing Plan


Partner Site & Publication Advertising

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The following chart lists a few Squirrel organizations with a significant online membership. We have emailed these organizations inquiring about their interest in forming partnerships and online advertising exchanges. We have heard back from a few. The responders generally dont carry product advertisements but are very open to the possibility of pursuing a relationship with The Squirrel Food Company. However, the caveat is they want to see the product. As soon as we can start testing the product, it will be important to acquaint these organizations with the quality The Squirrel Food Company product. Advertising on partner sites will not only spread the Squirrel Food Company name through the squirrel community, it will increase the clickthrough rate for The Squirrel Food Company, thus driving The Squirrel Food Company higher in search engine ratings.

Organization The Squirrel Lover's Club Squirrel-Rehab Nature Haven Squirrels R Us The Squirrel Den

Squirrel Place

Banner Links (sponsors) Squirrels-R-Us PetJam www.BurstNet.com Zap Zone Network Squirrels-R-Us Tonys Flying Page Tripod Member Site www.addme.com www.doghause.com Squirrel Wildlife Rehabilitation AOL none

Pricing pending pending pending pending pending

pending

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Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

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Campus Market Place Editorial Calendar 800.622.7498 x 2340, 2344 email: marketingprograms@nacs.org

Issue 10/6 10/20 11/3 11/17 12/1 12/15 12/29

Editorial Feature Insert Due Date Music Sales Review 9/26 A Look Back at Rush 10/10 Preparing for Buy Back 10/24 Hosting Holiday Events 11/7 Value of Succession Planning 11/19 Spring Break Fun 12/5 Sales Planning and 12/19 Markdowns 1/12 Events for General Booksellers 01/2 1/26 Think Spring: Bunnies, 1/16 Shamrocks, and Love 2/9 Pre-Camex issue 1/30 2/23 Pre-Camex issue 2/13 3/8 Post-Camex coverage 2/27 3/22 Garnering Gift Sales 3/12 Here are some magazines The Squirrel Food Company may want to do some advertising in: Animal Fair - lifestyle magazine for animal lovers www.animalfair.com Zoobooks - animal magazine for familys www.zoobooks.com Ranger Rick - animal magazine target towards kids 7 14 www.rangerrick.com

UPCO (United Pharmacal Company, Inc.) is a distribution company that sends out catalogs to pet lovers who want to give their pets the best products out there. The only squirrel products they sell are squirrel cakes and feeders. www.upco.com

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Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

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THE SQUIRREL FOOD COMPANY ANALYSIS The Squirrel Food Companys primary product offering is the hybrid corn, created by Dr. Squirrel. Dr. Squirrel has licensed the patent for this corn from a major company. The actual process for creating the corn is not new but no other company has licensed the product with intentions for tailoring it specifically to squirrel dietary needs. Through cross-breeding, Dr. Squirrel is able to enhance features of the corn that increase the nutritional value for squirrels. The embryo, white portion of the corn, is larger (Appendix C). It is the embryo that contains protein and amino acid, fundamental building blocks of cells. Squirrels eat the embryo and discard the outer hull. Squirrels that eat the corn have been observed to be more playful and exuberant. Corn produced for animal feed, including The Squirrel Food Company, is dried to ~10% moisture. This prolongs shelf life and presents a challenge for squirrels to crack the hard outer shell and eat the embryo. Possible methods of selling products directly to the customers include; the Internet, catalogs, fairs/festivals, direct mailings, newsletters, e-mail, and magazine advertisements. Sampling is an additional method to help obtain market buzz from tastemakers. The distribution of The Squirrel Food Company in a small quantity (e.g. 1 corn medallions) would involve a process of giving the public or a select group a preview. These samples promote the consumer to invest in a future purchase of the product. There has been a remarkable success rate obtained when using the Internet and word-of-mouth endorsements.

S.W.O.T. ANALYSIS Company Strengths The Squirrel Food Companys corn production is not dependent on rainfall because the farm is irrigated. The farm has a nostalgic feel to it. It is family run and not part of a big conglomerate. Even though the farm is not part of a big conglomerate, production is completely modernized with a computerized tracking system. Dr. Squirrel has 15 years of experience working with valueadded products and Carol has both a business and agricultural background. The Squirrel Food Company has company license for the hybrid corn and currently is the only company with this corn intended for squirrel feed. The Squirrel Food Company is able to use internal labor for packaging and local distribution Company Weaknesses The Squirrel Food Company is a newcomer to the market and will have to introduce their product among existing competitors. Nationwide distribution done internally is not an option and will have to outsource this service. Consumers have negative preconceived ideas about hybrid corn that The

Stiel Direct LLC

Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

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Squirrel Food Company will have to overcome. For example, a major obstacle is overcoming the notion that the corn is transgenic. Possibility of pigeonholing the company may occur by offering just corn Opportunities for Growth Through branding and presentation, The Squirrel Food Company has the opportunity to own the niche market of specialty squirrel corn. Specifically, the market seems to be void of good presentation in both website layout and product packaging. Three to four years from now, Dr. Squirrel will have developed The Squirrel Food Company to quality light years ahead of the competition Threats to Market Entry The patent for this hybrid corn is available from a major company for licensing to any company that wishes to purchase it. Other companies may want to enter into the same niche market as The Squirrel Food Company. Product Packaging Recommendations Stiel Direct suggests four different packing ideas for The Squirrel Food Companys corn, the Squirrel Bucket, a Kernel Crib, Aww Shucks, and a Squirrel Barrel. Squirrel Bucket Ears of corn will be neatly displayed along with a variety of items including: a stuffed squirrel, a The Squirrel Food Company Tshirt, a storybook, a squirrel identification book, a pair of binoculars, and a Name-ASquirrel T-Shirt. Kernel Crib The Kernel Crib will display The Squirrel Food Companys corn in a manner similar to that of Harry and David. Individual cobs will be wrapped in a fake tissue paper husk and will be placed in a foam tray to prevent the kernels from becoming dislodged during shipping. Aww Shucks The Squirrel Food Companys shelled corn will be displayed in a cellophane bag and tied with a nice ribbon at the top, similar to packaging premium nuts are sold in and the Cracker Barrel uses. On the outside of the bag will be an adhesive label displaying the Squirrel Food Company logo. Squirrel Barrel

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Squirrel Food Marketing Plan

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The Squirrel Barrel will be used to package at least 40lbs or more of corn. A wood barrel will be inlaid with corn by carefully placing ears corn in a circular pattern starting at the edge and moving inwards. Another

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