(I did from executive summary to current marketing objectives)
Uptown Tots is a children’s clothing store located in downtown Cedar Falls, IA. The store was opened by the owner Ruth Ernst-Beek in 2013. Ruth has over 25 years of retail experience and decided to give the Cedar Valley more options for their children’s clothing needs. The store carries upscale, designer clothing for infants through children’s youth sizes. The store tries to stay current on trends and desires of target markets. In addition to clothing, Uptown Tots also carries toys, educational materials, and infant supplies for young parents.
Uptown Tots is known around the Cedar Valley for the cloth diapers that they sell. Cloth diapers have just recently re-entered the market as a trendy item. Though cloth diapers were very common in the past, more and more new moms are starting to like the idea again. Saving money and being environmentally friendly make cloth diapers a very attractive option to our target market.
Currently, Uptown Tots has an online store. This store features only a few select items that they carry in the actual store. Items such as clothing and toys are featured on the site. These items are available to customers in the continental United States.
- Internal Environment
Social media is a big way they reach their customers. Their marketing is really geared towards the community they are in which is one of their goals. They are continuously using their marketing to try to grow because that is the main way they try to reach out to their customers as well as possible new customers.
Uptown Tots has done several things to promote their products, and they have been successful throughout the Cedar Falls area. They have taken an approach to reach their targeted audience by keeping their social media feeds up to date with their latest and greatest trends. A big way they touch on promotion is posting pictures on facebook as well as posting pictures and videos on instagram. They post tweets and statuses letting their followers know what they currently have to offer. They have also posted blogs in the past talking about their products. The blogs give information on specialty products such as cloth diapering, and explaining why this is a cheaper and more efficient way.
Uptown Tots offers a lot of great trendy fashions for children that you can’t find at regular retailers. They also are great at staying up to date with current trends in the mom world such as the newly reinvented cloth diapers. Uptown Tots has great quality products from top brands in the baby industry, though their prices may be higher, you know you’re getting great value with these products.
- External Environment
Target: Expect more. Pay less. Target is the second largest discount retail store in the United States. As of 2015, Target operates 1,802 locations throughout the United States. Target Corporation is consistently ranked as one of the most generous companies in the US. It ranked No. 22 in Fortune magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” for 2010. Target has had success hitting their targeted market. They have a wide variety of a targeted market including infant, toddler, and children’s clothes and accessories. They have had a lot of success in this department. One of the few things that have helped them in the past is their variety of selection. It is easier to target mothers shopping for their kids when you are also targeting the mother’s needs as well.
Babies”R”Us: Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Their mission statement is “We are relentlessly striving to be the best toy and baby products retail company in the world!” They are appealing to children because of the wide variety of their toy selection. In order to achieve their objectives, they focus on four key strategic pillars: make talent and culture a competitive advantage, grow and build the Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us brands throughout the world, create a world-class experience for their customers and create a strong financial foundation. They have so much success due to the name they have created for themselves over the year and how large the brand has become.
Peekaboo: Peekaboo is located on Main Street in Cedar Falls next to Uptown Tots. They are a direct competitor to Uptown Tots because of their location, style, and targeted audience. Peekaboo strives to make the one childhood that children are given a special one. Their goal is to provide children with the best experience by providing children with products they can’t find in a regular superstore. They specialize in the specialty furniture they provide. Due to them being a small business in the Cedar Valley community and targeting the same audience they are automatically a competitor to Uptown Tots.
Economic Environment: consumer spending is up and the economy is stable. This will give Uptown Tots consumers more freedom to purchase products for their children and families. Uptown Tots is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. This is a community that shares both high income as well as low income throughout. Uptown Tots is targeted towards the average and higher income wages. With a wide variety of clothes and accessories and what they have to offer then that expands the willingness to spend throughout the Cedar Valley community. Since Cedar Falls is not a large city completely full of wealth, in order for them to be successful they have to aim towards a reasonable target as well as find a way to make the store successful.
Small private business can always go one way or the other just like many large corporate companies can as well. Often times large corporate companies already have made a name for themselves even if they are new to the area. This is because they are usually known nationally or in other big cities. Whereas a small private business has to be smart and choose wisely where they may want to start up. For a small private business they really have to have a targeted market in mind and chose a location where the targeted market can be reached. Uptown Tots chose the Cedar Valley community for several reasons. Uptown Tots provides exactly what its consumers need and are looking for. It is a community constantly evolving and growing and Uptown Tots is there to grow with them and the children and provide them with the best childhood experience.
Legal and Regulatory Forces
There are many regulations that children’s toys, clothing, and accessories are required to meet. Safety regulations are huge especially with baby products. All toys intended for the use of children of the ages 12 and under must be third party tested and cleared by the Children’s Product Certificate. This is a certificate written up based on rules, tests, and regulations that make up the safety of baby toys. Uptown Tots offers a variety of toys for infants and children under the age of 12 that have all met the legal requirements. They have also taken on an up and coming trend among parents, cloth diapers. Cloth diapers have found their way back into the spotlight for several reasons. They are much cheaper than disposable diapers, they are healthier for your baby since disposable diapers contain tons of chemicals, and they are much better for the environment. There are no huge legalities when it comes to cloth diapers except where they are and are not allowed when it comes to day cares. Every parent has the option to use cloth diapers for their baby but not ever daycare across the board is required to allow them. There are still about 40% of daycares that do not accept them in their care.
Social media is a popular medium of communication. The popularity and ease of social medium will benefit Uptown Tots. The store has the ability to post specials, sales, and to promote new products. The low cost of websites allows businesses to create them. Technologically Uptown Tots is making strides. They have created a very active Facebook page that is always offering photos of the newest styles and trends and giving customers previews of infants and toddlers modeling the photos. They have also created a twitter account updating their followers on upcoming events, specials, and newest arrivals. One of the most underestimated technological advances they have made is their Instagram account. Instagram is strictly pictures that Uptown Tots post of the fashionable clothes and accessories. Uptown Tots is currently working on improving their online shopping store which is also another outlet that will be a large success for them once it is finished being updated and improved. This gives their customers another shopping option as well as people in the surrounding communities who may be unable to shop there as frequently as desired.
Uptown Tots is constantly making adjustments due to the influences by the society and the culture. High end baby clothes are becoming more and more popular. They are always trying to stay up to date with the newest trends and fads. They also feed off of the Cedar Valley community and are constantly on the lookout for what the people want. The way people live, their beliefs, and their norms play a huge role in the adjustments made by Uptown Tots. They are always striving to be one step ahead of the rest of their competitors as well as the surrounding community. Not only do they keep up with the changes in culture, but they also try to create their own. Their goal is to create clothes and accessories for the fashion forward young ones becoming the next generation.
- The nature of the market: The baby market is huge! Not only do people buy baby items for gifts but moms and dads love to spoil their children with top brands. The brand name also helps show value to the customer.
- Competitors and their strategies: Peekaboo is a baby store next to Uptown Tots. This designer store offers similar products to Uptown Tots. Peekaboo utilizes social media for frequently as a way to promote their products. They also offer more products than Uptown Tots such as furniture. Peekaboo does not have an online store. Babies R Us,. Walmart, Kohls, and Target are national retail stores. Retail stores are well known inexpensive products that people trust. You can go to these stores all over the country. They use this to their advantage in marketing strategies by using the familiarity and price they are able to provide.
- Current Marketing Objectives and Performance
Marketing enhances the vision of the online store and creates awareness for audiences. By making the online store easy to use, trendy, and eye-catching, it will grab the attention of consumers. With marketing, we can also find out what our consumers want to see on the online store and what they are drawn to. This can give us an idea of what other consumers in the state, and even the nation may be attracted to and want to see from the store. Marketing needs to attract a wider range of customers for the store and expand the online store. By doing this, the business can gain profits and consumers, as well as make their name known.
- SWOT Analysis- Megan
- Uptown Tots Goal: To increase sales by 5% each year
- Marketing Objectives-
- Broaden Target Markets to include fathers and grandparents
- Update the online store to include all inventory to reach more consumers
- Add variety to inventory to appeal to new target markets
- Bring more fashion forward items to appeal to our target markets
- Marketing Strategies
- Target markets and positioning
Uptown Tots will continue to market towards its primary market which is mothers of small children, but it will also expand the target market to fathers and grandparents. The idea would be to make products simpler and more enjoyable for these demographics to shop for at Uptown Tots. This would happen by expanding the products that are sold at Uptown Tots. The store will focus its energies on consumers who will express brand loyalty and support the mission of Uptown Tots which is to give options for parents to buy high quality products for their children.
All products will be sold on the online store, not just select items. By putting the whole store online you are reaching a whole new market beyond that of local Cedar Falls. With proper advertising and implementation, Uptown Tots will be able to reach consumers all over the United States.
- Product strategies
The store would begin to sell sports toys for toddlers and interactive games they can play with their families and friends. Every different kind of product would be labeled with a distinct section to make products more accessible.
Although Uptown Tots will continue to have the traditional cutesy baby clothing, they would also begin to integrate new styles. It is becoming a huge trend to dress babies and toddlers like adults and have style that is more fashion forward. Uptown Tots will respond to this trend by purchasing new items that would represent the want for this type of clothing. About 83% of babies are born to Millennial Moms. These moms want these new trends that they are seeing on their social media platforms such as pinterest and instagram. Our cloth diapers are a really great seller as well, so we will continue to carry a great selection of those. In addition to all these items, Uptown Tots will begin to carry more gadgets. There are always a lot of new trendy baby gadgets hitting the market and we will be quick to adopt these products.
- Pricing strategies
Everything sold by Uptown Tots would reflect the high quality of the products and their brands. All the items being sold would have an individual price. Our pricing strategy will be odd-number pricing. This is a very common way that many companies price their products, so it will not be unfamiliar to our consumers. When introducing a brand new product to our consumers we will use the price skimming strategy. After the product has been around for awhile and demand begins to level out, we will lower our prices on that product. Factors such as manufacturing, storage, and delivery fees will all be considered while deciding the selling price of each individual item. Uptown Tots will also consider its competition when pricing products. For delivery and shipping, Uptown Tots will use the United States Postal Service because of its reliability and reputation.
- Promotional strategies
A big presence on various social media platforms will help get the word out about Uptown Tots. Being able to purchase products online means that our consumers aren’t just local anymore, but nation wide. By posting about Uptown Tots online, more and more people will have the opportunity to find our online store and purchase products online. Having a presence on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest will cost the company little to nothing and has the potential to bring in customers from all over the nation.
Local downtown events such as Sturgis Falls, Ladies Night, and other seasonal festivals are a great way to advertise our products and build relationships with the families of Cedar Falls. During these events we will have special-event pricing in relation to the event we are participating in. Uptown Tots will be introducing Uptown Tots Tuesdays where every Tuesday we will run a sale on all apparel items. All apparel items will be on sale for 25% off throughout the entire store. Also, at least once a month, Uptown Tots will post on their social media accounts notifying customers of a Flash Sale where the chosen items will be 50% off for a limited time. This random discounting will encourage people to follow us on social media to stay up to date on promotions and special events.
- Marketing Implementation- Megan
|Update all items on the online store to include all inventory||June 1st||Ongoing||Ecommerce Sales Intern||$0.00||Hiring an intern to work on handling all ecommerce sales and shipment will be a great addition to the Uptown Tots team|
|Buy more clothing items to appeal to new target markets||Twice a year – Spring & Fall||Evaluate every 3 months||Owner/
|$500 per month as budget allows||After evaluation, determine how much should be bought for upcoming season|
|Grow social media presence||June 1st||Ongoing||Social Media Intern/Owner||$0.00||Begin scheduled posting on social media handles such as Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.|
|Expand inventory of sporting equipment, toys, and trendy gadgets||Twice a year – Spring & Fall||Evaluate every 3 months||Owner/
|$250 per month as budget allows||Expanding the products being sold in the store in order to appeal to target markets.|
The marketing implementation for Uptown Tots does not require much for the businesses budget. There are a few things that will need to be taken into account, but there is not a lot. For two of our action plans we will be using interns to fill those positions and do that work for Uptown Tots. The next action is to buy more clothing products to appeal to new target markets. This will cost the business about $500 a month. The next action is to expand the inventory of sporting equipment, toys, and gadgets. This will cost about $250 a month. Both of these plans are based on a monthly basis. It is an ongoing budget amount for Uptown Tots. The budget for this plan calls for the business to have about $750 set aside each month for these action plans. The total amount per month would be $750 for the overall budget.
- Performance Evaluation
Because Uptown Tots is a clothing store, the products available will change season to season. Every three months Uptown Tots will evaluate itself in order to reflect on how well the store is doing. After each evaluation the store management can decide on how successful the current pricing, promotion, and product strategies are doing. After we evaluate how we are doing, we can then move on to buying more products or having special promotions on existing products remaining in the store. If we are reaching our current goals we can adjust our objectives to strive to do even better. If we are not meeting our goals we can go back and look over where we could improve and adjust from there.
Cloth Diapers in Daycare (USA) – Diaper Wrecker. (2013, September 15). Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://diaperwrecker.com/2013/09/cloth-diapers-in-daycare
Hintz-Zambrano, K. (2015, March 03). Millennial Mom Statistics – BabyCenter Survey. Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://www.mothermag.com/millennial-mom-statistics/
Peekaboo Baby. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://peekabooonline.com/
Toy Safety. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Business–Manufacturing/Business-Education/Toy-Safety/
Uptown Tots – A Children’s Boutique. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://uptowntots.com/
Why Should You Use Cloth Diapers? (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://www.diaperjungle.com/why-use-cloth-diapers.html