Strategic Marketing Plan: Yemeni Coffee

Introduction

The UAE holds many opportunities for business due to its stable economy and remarkable demographic diversity. These factors create a large and attractive market for a wide variety of businesses. Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, with a more recent inclination towards premium coffee brands with rich aromas and flavors with an exotic twist. As the international community begins to appreciate coffee in a variety of ways and in new contexts, the citizens of the UAE certainly have not been left behind. Recently, the nation has been experiencing growth in consumption in the coffee market, with industry revenues reaching more than $120 million in 2015 (UAE’s Tea and Coffee Trade rose 30%, 2015).

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In addition, it has been noted that many new coffee shops have been opening up particularly in urban areas where the populations are beginning to appreciate the coffee culture in a more modern context. Initially, coffee shops were considered a foreign concept, but in the recent past, Emiratis have started developing a strong coffee culture that has created a demand for coffee shops all over the country's urban centers. The Yemeni Coffee business will focus on providing specialty coffee to the UAE population by partnering up with existing coffee shops and opening specialty coffee bean retail centers.

Yemeni Coffee is known for, among other things, being unique and rich in flavor and aroma. This particular product is thus certainly going to appeal to some of the most devoted coffee enthusiasts as the best brand available on the market. While the market competitors might be able to offer coffee with rich and bold flavors, Yemeni Coffee remains distinct because Yemen has a different climate from most of the other coffee growing regions in the world.

Project Objectives

For Yemen Coffee to venture into the UAE market, it is important for the new coffee company to understand and appreciate how the coffee industry is performing at the moment. The purpose of this project is to exam the position of Yemeni Coffee as a brand in relation to the coffee industry both globally and within the UAE in order to create an effective, sustainable marketing plan in a market that is currently saturated with competition. The various coffee niches often define the coffee market, and in that way Yemeni Coffee is unique. As such, the organization has a unique opportunity that will, however, require a strategic marketing plan to succeed. The objectives of the project thus include:

  1. To define Yemeni Coffee’s unique position within the coffee industry.
  2. To set the external environment within which Yemeni Coffee will operate.
  3. To devise a strategic marketing plan for Yemeni Coffee's venture into the UAE.

Company Background

Yemeni Coffee is a new company that seeks to exploit the highly regarded reputation of coffee beans grown in Yemen. Yemen is not a traditional coffee farming nation, and yet it has some of the best coffee varieties in the world. With this in mind, Yemeni Coffee is a small business venture that seeks to source fresh coffee beans from Yemeni coffee traders and sell them to coffee shops while also opening a retail center for the smaller buyer. The company was created with the aim of sourcing high-quality coffee beans at a reasonable price since they are bought directly from the coffee producers themselves. Eliminating intermediaries, in this case, is one of the strategies that the business will seek to use to manage the product costs. Therefore, Yemeni Coffee plans to work with Yemeni farmers and UAE coffee shops as well as the rest of the coffee market within the region.

Company’s Vision

To be a global supplier of fresh, high-quality Yemeni coffee beans.

Mission Statement

To redefine the coffee experience and provide our customers with a uniquely rich, earthy, and pungent Yemen Coffee in an environment that reflects the warmth and enthusiasm of the Yemeni people.

Company’s Mission

  1. To popularize Yemeni coffee in the UAE.
  2. To empower Yemeni farmers by eliminating intermediaries and ensuring that we buy our coffee directly from them at a fair price.
  3. To create a sustainable business by making sure that our practices conform to the highest environmental standards.

Company Image

The coffee culture in the UAE has existed for centuries, and a company that is operating within the industry must have some historical appeal aside from the expected modernization that makes it attractive, especially to the younger generation of coffee drinkers. One of the greatest pursuits that the company intends to focus on is the support for local coffee farmers in Yemen. Yemen and UAE are situated within relatively close proximity to each other, and although the two countries are not next to each other, both share borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Given these facts, showing support for the Yemeni coffee farmers by sourcing the coffee directly and paying fair prices for the product will project the company as a local and socially conscious company. This image will also be emphasized through the company’s interaction with the local coffee shops and the retail centers. The coffee shops will be able to receive the highest quality coffee at fair prices so that they can remain in business.

Company Positioning

As a company that intends to sell among the best quality coffee beans in the world, Yemeni Coffee plans to position itself as a premium but an affordable brand in a market where the product's quality is often directly associated with its cost. Yemeni Coffee, in this case, is looking to create a business model that brings the consumers closer to the source of the coffee products. In this case, the company intends to work with Yemeni coffee farmers to shorten the process of importing coffee beans from a foreign country. This shortened process will not only result in easier access to fresh coffee but will also lower the costs for the end consumer.

However, cheap coffee is often perceived as low-quality coffee whether thee consumer lives in the UAE or anywhere else the world. Moreover, Yemeni coffee wants to avoid creating the image of a low-cost company. The premium position is ideal in this case, with the company seeking to work with middle and high-end consumers directly and through their selected coffee houses in the urban areas.

Product Portfolio

Yemeni Coffee plans to sell Yemeni coffee directly sourced from Yemeni coffee farmers. Yemen has a wide range of coffee types that are difficult to distinguish especially from an outsider's perspective. As such, Yemeni Coffee will not have to package the various types distinctly. Each different type of coffee from Yemen has the same rich, earthy, pungent smell, and taste. The company will thus have only three product ranges. The first is the coffee beans that will be sold to the coffee shops and through the retail centers. These coffee beans will be packaged based on the buyer's preference, with the coffee shops opting for larger packages and the customers at the retail center buying in smaller quantities.

The company will also sell instant coffee. Having a product that enables customers to enjoy their coffee while on the move would be popular among young, middle-class consumers. The instant coffee sachets will be not only easy to use but also very affordable and thus easily accessible for a larger portion of the market.

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Selling Proposition

There is a wide range of coffee brands in the UAE, with most of them being imported from foreign countries like Ethiopia. The proposition of sale that Yemeni Coffee will be using is that of the Yemen brand. Few people know about Yemen's coffee and its uniqueness, and this may be a challenge for the company at first. To popularize the product, Yemeni Coffee will have to create awareness about Yemen as a source for coffee. The uniqueness of the brand will provide a very exciting selling proposition that can be exploited effectively both in the short term and long term.

From a climate perspective, Yemen is ideally not a coffee region, and this is one of the things that make Yemeni coffee stand out from the rest. The richness and earthy scents further improve the brand's worth especially to people who like to indulge in coffee for culturally traditional and sentimental reasons. However, the quality of Yemeni coffee is among the best in the world. As such, every coffee enthusiast who tastes the coffee will appreciate the rich taste, history, and uniqueness of the Yemeni brand.

In addition, Yemeni Coffee is importing directly from the farmers, which is important because most people feel better knowing that they are supporting a business that is changing the lives of a desolate people for the better. Yemen farmers go through great trouble to farm the coffee and deliver it at its high quality. Supporting them directly by offering fair prices compared to what intermediaries and other exporters would offer will appeal to conscious consumers in the market thus working to Yemeni Coffee's advantage.

Sales and Profit Forecasts

Yemen Coffee will be launched in a region that is already dominated by industry giants as analyzed in the external environment sections of this plan. The business expects to invest around $120,000 for the first year, but Yemen Coffee hopes to break even by the end of the second year of operations. The table below indicates Yemen Coffee's sales, costs and expected profit for the next four years.

Chart 1. A 4-year projection of sales, operational costs, and profits forecast.

Macro-Environmental Analysis

PESTEL Analysis

The external environment dictates the degree to which an organization can conduct a successful business within a given geographic area. The UAE comprises several emirates with individual governments, but it operates as a unified country when conducting international relations. Given this territorial arrangement, a macro-environmental analysis will have to be conducted outside the context of the Emirates and within the context of the whole of the UAE. When it comes to the external environment, one of the greatest interests of Yemeni Coffee is related to international relations. The selected tool for this analysis is PESTEL.

Political Factors

The first political issue that Yemeni Coffee has to consider is the potential conflicts that could entangle the UAE with its neighbors in the Gulf region. Disputes over oil reserves are always a possibility, and the region is often at risk from external forces. The oil and gas industry is relatively volatile based on its role in the global economy (Euler Hermes, 2016). This volatility makes oil-exploring countries critical in the global energy ecosystem. It cannot be ruled out that potential danger lurks in the nation's borders. With foreign interests like the US in the region, this possibility becomes even more real with more threats of war or sanctions if the country is caught acting with excessive force against a weaker but problematic neighbor. Fortunately, the UAE has managed to co-exist peacefully with its neighbors for the time being.

Another political factor that the business must consider is the fact that the nation has health international trade relations that encourage foreign firms to invest while also opening up foreign markets to Emirati organizations. Given the scenario described above, Yemeni Coffee will have an easy time if it chooses to export its products to the country's trade partners overseas. Coffee export is a lucrative opportunity that Yemeni Coffee will have to look into in due time. The company still has to find a foothold in the local market before venturing into the international markets.

Economic Factors

When it comes to this country's economy, three factors stand out. First, the UAE has a very low unemployment rate. Low levels of unemployment mean that most Emiratis who are eligible for employment are either employed by companies or running their own businesses. Recent figures indicate an unemployment rate of 4.2% (Trading Economics, 2016). For a new business, competition in the labor market is rather high and the company may have to work harder if they are to get the best talent for their job positions.

Unlike in other parts of the world where the labor market is saturated with qualified personnel looking for employment opportunities, the UAE has a limited labor supply and for the most part, companies have to hire people from the international labor market (Euler Hermes, 2016). Also, the fierce competition for local talent implies that Yemeni Coffee will have to work hard if it wants to be one of the best employers in the region. Recruiting and hiring talent is not enough if the company consistently risks losing employees to better organizations. Employee retention will thus have to be incorporated into the operational strategy to limit employee turnover.

The second important factor is the high amount of foreign direct investments. To promote economic growth, the UAE governments collectively support foreign direct investments thus encouraging foreigners to set up businesses in the country (Euler Hermes, 2016). The presence of foreign companies is likely to have many impacts on the Yemeni Coffee business. First, many expatriates would become a part of Yemeni Coffee's target market. The coffee culture may be deeply rooted in the Arab history, but it is also very popular in other regions of the world. The uniqueness of the Yemeni coffee will be an added advantage considering that expatriates like gaining new experiences when they are away from home so as to make their stay more worthwhile. Another impact is the high level of competition that the foreign direct investment could create.

If one of the international businesses decides to venture into the same line of operations as Yemeni Coffee, the competition would be very stiff since the foreign company would have a stronger capital base and international exposure. To Yemeni Coffee, this can be perceived as a threat and the only effective preventative measure would be to build the Yemeni Coffee brand and make it exceptionally high not only within the UAE but overseas as well. It is relatively easy to compete against an international company if the company in question also has a strong brand name and market presence.

Lastly, it should be noted that the UAE has a very high GDP per capita of $66,000 based on 2015 figures (John, 2016). With such a GDP, the UAE ranks 7th amongst the world's wealthiest nations by GDP per capita. GDP per capita represents the average income per person in a given country (John, 2016). Therefore, the mean earnings in the UAE are impressive, although it does not necessarily imply that everyone in the country is wealthy. The country's Gini coefficient was not readily available, but it is highly unlikely that all citizens of the UAE are equally rich.

These demographics affect Yemeni Coffee's pricing strategy. It will be reasonable to assume that the company could still get impressive sales volumes with higher prices but they would not be catering to the entire UAE population. The remaining middle and low-income markets would have to be left out thus not exploiting the full potential of the business in question. Yemeni Coffee will thus have to consider the middle and low-income brackets in their pricing strategies.

Social Factors

Globalization and religion are the most important social factors in the UAE. Globalization, in this case, refers to the openness that Emirati society enjoys in relation to interactions with the international community. Besides the easy exchange of information powered by the internet, the social setting in the UAE also comprises a multicultural population with people from all over the world. Easy interaction with the outside world has created a multicultural society in which the population of foreigners exceeds that of Emiratis (Euler Hermes, 2016).

While the native population has a rather religiously strict culture, the majority of the population is foreign with a cosmopolitan perspective on culture and tradition. For Yemeni Coffee, an ethnically diverse clientele implies taking a flexible view with regards to dealing with the customers. The business should be able to accommodate both the natives and foreigners in the country.

For example, a female Emirati employee may not feel comfortable attending to male customers, or a female Emirati customer might not feel comfortable ordering from a male employee. These considerations must be taken into account when designing and staffing retail coffee outlets. An effective gender balance must be employed so as to accommodate the unique needs of the locals.

Religion is also an imperative issue in the UAE. While not all of the country's population is Muslim, Islam is the official state religion and most of the rules apply to most aspects of daily social life. For example, there are certain ways that an Emirati woman must dress or interact with members of the opposite sex. Therefore, when hiring Emirati women to work at the Yemeni Coffee outlets, there must be a consideration for their dressing limitations and the fact that they are forbidden to interact with male customers freely. These aspects may not be relevant elsewhere, but in the UAE, a matter like a female employee's clothing could create problems for the business. It will thus be prudent to allow the employees to exercise their culture while finding creative ways to continue the growth and prosperity of the firm.

Technological Factors

The UAE has a significant middle-aged and wealthy population. The wealth of this nation enables the population to be at the forefront regarding access to technological products. It thus follows that the population is very tech-savvy, and companies often use technology to reach out to potential clients. Furthermore, like the rest of the world, the UAE is a prime location for online marketing and shopping. Yemeni Coffee can use internet platforms to gain more customers and also to make sales for consumers who are unable or unwilling to leave the comfort of their homes or offices to purchase a bag of coffee beans or instant coffee sachets. Using technology, in this case, will enable the company to compete fairly with other businesses that have online stores and can efficiently deliver goods to their consumers.

Legal Factors

There are no specific legal issues related to doing business in the UAE especially as related to a local enterprise like Yemeni Coffee. Other than the mandatory registration and taxation regulations, the business does not expect to face any challenges. With regards to importing the coffee from Yemen, the business will have to ensure that they import good quality coffee that passes national quality standards for the imports to be cleared and approved for sale in the UAE. Failure to comply with the quality regulations will put Yemeni Coffee at a risk for being closed down or even charged with health violations by selling bad coffee. The UAE government is strict on quality standards especially as it relates to the food and beverage industry.

Environmental Factors

The UAE has a rather particular environment. The climate is hot and dry for the most part, and this makes growing coffee domestically impossible. For Yemeni Coffee, the hot weather would pose a challenge considering that coffee is preferably served hot. It has however been reported that over 82% of the UAE populace drinks coffee at least once a day (UAE’s Tea and Coffee Trade, 2015). So far the weather has not been a hindrance to the booming coffee sales. Yemeni Coffee will, however, have to consider the relevance of climate change threats to the people of the UAE. Some scientific studies have indicated that if the global warming trends continue as they are the Gulf region may become uninhabitable in the not-too-distant future (Schwartz, 2015).

Besides, any corporate organization in the UAE should consider environmental conservation as part of their CSR on the subject of climate change is taken seriously in the country. Planting trees might not be as popular in the UAE as it is in the tropical countries that are favored by the climate, but CSR initiatives that seek to clean up the environment should help the company to score additional points with the consumers and the society as their salient stakeholders.

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Competitor Analysis

The coffee industry in the UAE is relatively new considering that most of the current companies are less than ten years old. However, the industry still has room for new entrants provided they have a good unique selling proposition like Yemeni Coffee. The most popular coffee vendors in the UAE currently include Seven Fortunes, Brass Coffee and Community, Raw Coffee Company, The Sum of Us, and Specialty Batch Coffee (Euromonitor International, 2016). These competitors will be analyzed based on their scores concerning the key success factors of the coffee industry which include product, customers, employees, social responsibility, and marketing.

Seven Fortunes

This company sources, roasts, and packs various kinds of coffee from around the world. It operates from a renovated warehouse in which most of the space is taken up by the roasting equipment. This company is known for the precision of its roasting methods that enables it to come up with some of the most exquisite coffee flavors in the world (Euromonitor International, 2016). It not only sells to cafes and restaurants but also to individuals though their orders are mostly made online. Only guests are allowed into the warehouse to sample the available flavors under the Seven Fortunes brand.

Brass Coffee and Community

This competitor is a high-end coffee house with four house blends that are so prized that it has been said that no alternatives currently exist in the market. Its coffee is infused with exciting flavors such as rosewater, chocolate, cardamom, and cloves to suit the spicy inclinations of the Arab world. This competitor is a part of the larger City Walk brand thus indicating a strong financial backing.

Raw Coffee Company

This company was started in 2007 and has grown exponentially to become one of the largest distributors of coffee in the Middle East (Euromonitor International, 2016). Its coffee is mostly sourced from Africa and South America and roasted at home. It specializes in single-origin Arabica coffee with the beans mostly being sold to cafes and restaurants across the region. Recently the company also opened a coffee food truck establishment which was the first of its kind.

The Sum of Us

This company is known for mixing three different types of beans; Guatemalan beans, Colombian and Ethiopian Sidamo. Their combination is rather unique, and the effect is felt in each cup of coffee. It also offers great food and a good ambiance at its café located in the Trade Center area. The company is also known for insisting on organically farmed coffee beans.

Specialty Batch Coffee

As the name suggests, this company focuses on specialty coffee from selected farms in Africa as well as South and Central America (Euromonitor International, 2016). It roasts its coffee in small orders with keen attention to the detail involved in each batch. This unique way of serving customers is the reason Specialty Batch Coffee is known for producing some of the most magnificent roasted coffee beans in the region. It also mainly sells its beans to cafes and restaurants.

Table 1. Competitor analysis

Each of these competitors is rather formidable within its particular context. They have all managed to build a strong local brand within a market that was previously dominated by international coffee brands. This makes them all fierce competitors. However, Yemeni Coffee is coming in from a different and unique angle. None of these companies has ventured into the Yemeni coffee market. Considering the uniqueness and richness of the Yemeni coffee market, coffee enthusiasts within the UAE and beyond will certainly be welcoming to the new addition to their list of options when it comes to coffee flavors from across the globe.

Yemeni Coffee will also seek to build on the critical success factors of the coffee industry to gain some of the market shares and manage to compete effectively in an industry that currently seems adequately populated. The strength of the competition will be a weakness at the beginning but eventually Yemeni Coffee should be able to carve out a market for itself.

 

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Quality – to make a name of itself in the UAE coffee industry, Yemeni Coffee will look to import only the highest quality coffee beans from coffee farmers in Yemen. As a business, Yemen Coffee will consult with coffee connoisseurs from across the region when purchasing the coffee beans. The type of Yemen coffee is known to vary based on the specific region within which it is farmed. Furthermore, this company will work with specified farmers from high-quality regions based on the richness and uniqueness of the coffee beans. The practice will enable the company to have a good reputation for stocking only the highest quality coffee. The quality of the product is one of the key success factors in the industry thus providing Yemeni Coffee with a major advantage in the market.

Ethics – Ethical operations, in this case, are not limited to the company's interactions with the consumers. Buying coffee directly from farmers ensures that the farmers are compensated adequately for their valuable produce. Also, the company will ensure that its employees work in a healthy environment and are compensated adequately as well. These practices may be expensive to the organization in the short term, but in the long term, they contribute significantly to building an excellent organizational reputation. Ethical operations will be the foundation of the organization's philosophy thus creating effective working relationships with all of the company's stakeholders.

Profitability – For a business to be relevant to the interested parties and thus to be feasible in a given market, it must be sustainable. Coffee prices are high in the international market, but when sourced directly the prices become lower. The fact that Yemeni Coffee will be selling their coffee at low prices does not mean that the company will be running at a loss. The coffee beans bought directly from Yemeni farmers will also be relatively cheaper than purchasing from international markets through coffee brokers and intermediaries. In addition, the trade relations between the UAE and Yemen as part of the Gulf region will translate to lower taxes in conducting business between the two countries. In addition, Yemen Coffee can then sell its coffee at lower prices than its competitors without compromising on their profitability.

Efficiency – By starting out small, Yemeni Coffee will be built to conform to quality management standards that will ensure the business is efficient in its operations. From sourcing the coffee beans to delivering the finished product to the restaurant or retail outlets, the company will be operating in a way that limits its expenses. The high-level efficiency ensures that customers get their orders on time while the company reaps higher profits from their input. However, this will not be allowed to limit the prospects of innovation within the organization.

Capital – As a growing company, Yemeni Coffee's profits will be reinvested into its operating capital to fund the company's growth and expansion. Initially, the organization will only operate between Yemen and the UAE, but with time, the strongly accumulated capital base will be used to venture into the international markets that present the company with greater opportunities. Yemeni coffee is held in such high regard, but it is not as readily available outside Yemen as it should be. Therefore, most coffee enthusiasts have heard of Yemeni coffee but they are unable to access it as much as they would like. Eventually, Yemeni Coffee will be able to solve this problem not only within the UAE but globally.

Employees – One of the operating philosophies that this company will employ involves empowering employees to satisfy the consumers. At first, Yemeni Coffee will not have many employees, as the enterprise will only operate the roasting plant and the limited retail outlets. During this phase, most of the functions like advertising, accounting, IT, and human resource management will be outsourced to specialized organizations within the UAE. As the business grows, the company will also expand its workforce with an emphasis on employee motivation and engagement as a way of reducing employee turnover while also improving the quality of products and services in the organization.

Social responsibility – Most stakeholders in the UAE are increasingly conscious about the corporate image of the companies that they are involved with. In this case, social responsibility is a pivotal part of the company's image. Yemeni Coffee will focus on environmental conservation by promoting environmentally friendly farming practices amongst the farmers with whom they will be conducting business. This practice may occur in Yemen, but it will add on to the company's popularity in the UAE. Locally, Yemeni Coffee will position itself as a green company with a limited greenhouse gas footprint in the ecosystem. The business’ environmentally friendly code of operation will be particularly important with regards to the packaging and the type of energy used at the roasting plants.

Cultural appeal – Few Arab-based companies have a history of coffee farming, and the fact that Yemeni Coffee will be buying from Yemen means that the customers will have something Arab-made to be proud of. The company will capitalize on the Arab pride to sell their coffee within the UAE.

Weaknesses

Stiff competition – The competitors in the industry have been there for a while, and they have each created a strong customer base. Each of the competitors has a unique selling proposition that makes them superior in a market that is full of coffee brands. Yemeni Coffee will thus have to find a way to compete effectively by creating a strong competitive advantage.

Weak brand – As a new company, the Yemeni Coffee brand is not in a very strong position. As such, Yemen Coffee will not be able to compete as fiercely within the UAE market unless they come up with a robust marketing plan to create market awareness and encourage the nation's coffee enthusiasts to try their products. Eventually, however, the company is expected to fully compete based on the uniqueness and high quality of Yemeni coffee.

Opportunities

International markets – Yemeni Coffee will start out in a local market, but the company will eventually have to consider the global markets especially in the face of globalization. Once the Yemeni Coffee brand is established in the UAE, the company can start shipping to customers overseas as well. This will widen the client base and increase the company's sales volumes thus eventually increasing their revenue and profits.

Franchising coffee shops – Unlike the competition that seems consolidated in unique locations or only on supplying to cafés and restaurants, Yemeni Coffee can consider opening its chain of coffee shops within the UAE and even internationally in due time. Companies like Starbucks have proven that the international coffee industry is lucrative and with a good strategy, the Yemeni Coffee brand could become the next big name in the global coffee industry.

Threats

Specified market – The coffee market is much specified in the sense that the company depends on the prominence of caffeine as a beverage. Any innovations that could replace caffeine will ultimately finish off the market and with it the Yemeni Coffee brand. Selling coffee is a total commitment in the sense that if anything goes wrong in the coffee market, the company is likely to record significant losses.

Table 2. SWOT analysis summary table

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Problem Statement

Yemeni Coffee is venturing into an industry that already has more than five established brands with an unyielding reputation and customer base. To be successful, the company will need to focus on building and strengthening its own brand name within the shortest time possible. The initial marketing plan will mainly focus on creating market awareness so as to make the Yemeni Coffee brand accessible or at least well known in the UAE market. All the marketing communications must involve introducing Yemeni Coffee and celebrating the fact that the coffee is from the Arab nation.

Strategic Objectives

This marketing plan is guided by one strategic goal which is to build brand awareness within the UAE. As a new venture in an established market, Yemeni Coffee needs to work towards getting market awareness so that consumers can recognize the company's presence by the time they become fully operational. For a new venture, brand awareness is built through a variety of activities included in the company's promotion and distribution strategies.

Consumer Segmentation/Target Consumers

Segmentation involves identifying and grouping buyers based on their definitive characteristics such as income, demography, geographic location, age, and gender among other things. Yemeni Coffee will be using demographic segmentation as a way of finding and targeting the right consumers within the larger UAE market. The overall targeted consumers are the coffee enthusiasts in the UAE who make up about 85% of the country’s population. Coffee is a major part of Emirati culture with recent trends showing the culture merging seamlessly with modern perspectives and practices to form a new enthusiasm for the beverage.

For the cafés and restaurants, the segmentation will be done by size. The corporate customers will in this case not be segmented but will instead be handled separately simply as corporate customers. For the end-user market, the segmentation variables include age and income.

Table 3. Segmentation matrix

Market Research

Out of the 9.3 million people in the UAE, 79.6% are within the targeted age brackets (United Arab Emirates Population, 2016). Yemeni Coffee’s potential customer base is 6.53 million. Considering that at least 85% of the nation’s population consumes at least one cup of coffee daily, the coffee shops in the country could sell up to 5.55 million cups of coffee daily (UAE’s Tea and Coffee Trade, 2015). It is however also noted that not all coffee enthusiasts get their coffee from a coffee shop or restaurant. A good number of the people in the UAE prefer to brew their coffee from home meaning that some of the sales volumes will go to the direct sales of the coffee beans to end-users.

The market share remains undefined mainly because most of the companies only sell to cafes and restaurants, and the customers are yet to exhibit loyalty towards a given brand. At the moment, all the high-end coffee brands in the UAE are catching the attention consumers probably because of their similarity and availability in the local coffee shops. With the right strategy, Yemeni Coffee should be able to change the current contexts of the UAE market by introducing a new and unique brand into a market that currently suffers monotony in coffee types with the only difference being the roasting preferences of the existing companies.

Recommended Strategies

Product Strategy

Design – The product at hand is a rich, earthy, and unique type of coffee from the best parts of Yemen’s coffee farming regions. The Yemeni Coffee will source only the best fresh coffee beans from Yemeni farmers and roasting them to suit the needs and expectations of the UAE market. Therefore, having a variety of roasts from deep to medium to suit the preferences of the market. In this case, the aspect of the product that will make it stand out is the rich, earthy, and pungent scent and flavor of the Yemeni coffee that is unlike any other variety in the world. Also, the fact that the coffee is from an Arab country will be an added advantage considering the shared cultural aspects that foster kinship between the two nations. The consumers will thus appreciate Yemeni coffee as if it were their own.

Features – To increase the benefit of the Yemeni Coffee brand, the company intends to add instant coffee sachets to make the product more affordable and reasonable for those who are low on funds or on time to brew coffee. These sachets are cheaper compared to the actual roasted beans that one would have to grind for themselves before brewing the coffee. The other companies in the industry only provide coffee beans and these two options will make the lives of the consumers easier and it will come at an inexpensive cost.

Quality – to ensure that the company meets the standards and expectations of the UAE consumers, the quality of the coffee beans will be consistently high. This will require working closely with the Yemeni farmers to monitor the quality of the coffee beans from the time they are planted all through to harvesting, drying, and shipping to the UAE. Also, the roasting and packaging processes will be carefully monitored to ensure that the end product is of the highest possible standards in the coffee market. A quality management strategy will have to be implemented within the organization to ensure that the quality is adhered to throughout the organization's operations with the aim of satisfying the needs and expectations of the consumers.

Branding – The Yemeni Coffee brand is still unknown thus, the company needs to create a lot of market awareness. To build a strong brand, Yemeni Coffee must invest in creating an effective market communication strategy while also building a brand image that is memorable and impressive. Branding is one of the most effective ways to create market awareness for a brand. Banners, vehicles, t-shirts, and other merchandise that carry the company brand name and logo will be effective in making the people living in UAE aware of Yemeni Coffee.

Positioning

The product will be marketed as the premium that is meant both for the high and middle-income brackets, with some product differentiation meant for the growing low-income bracket as well. To fully take advantage of the UAE market, the company looks to sell high-quality coffee in various measures to make it affordable. The larger packages will be expensive and thus meant for the high-end markets and corporate organizations while consumers can afford the smaller packages in the low and middle-income brackets. The product will retain its high quality and reputation without being out of reach for those who are interested regardless of financial constraints. For the cafés and restaurants, the coffee beans will also be priced at average rates in order to avoid cases in which the extra costs are transferred to the consumers thus limiting the competitive advantage in the face of stiff competition.

Pricing Strategy

As the company works towards gaining a market share for the Yemeni Coffee brand, the ideal pricing strategy will involve penetration pricing. Yemeni coffee is a premium product that is ideally priced higher than the other coffee brands in the market because of its uniqueness. While the other companies can source coffee from Africa and South America, Yemeni Coffee is uniquely dependent on Yemeni farmers for their coffee. Yemen is not among the traditional coffee farming countries, and this makes their products more valuable. However, Yemeni Coffee is a new brand and most coffee enthusiasts have yet to discover Yemeni coffee.

Indeed, most of them are unaware that there is even coffee in Yemen. The penetration pricing strategy will enable the targeted consumers to try out the Yemeni Coffee brand so that they can decide whether they enjoy Yemeni coffee or not. Based on the quality and uniqueness of this coffee, consumers will love Yemeni Coffee not only because of its rich and earthy taste but also because Yemen is part of the Arab world and for the longest time, coffee farming was thought of as a reserve for the tropical climates in Africa and the Americas.

Distribution Strategy

To capture a larger portion of the growing coffee market in the UAE, Yemeni Coffee will seek to open retail outlets that will enable the company to sell directly to the consumers. These stores will however also be used as pickup locations for other distributors like smaller stores in the region. Using stores as a pickup point will help the company to reach out to a larger market base than its competitors. In addition, as a start, the company will have to work with the existing cafés and restaurants to introduce the Yemeni blend to the consumers who enjoy coffee away from home. Most of the competitors sell to specific cafés, restaurants, and coffee shops but Yemeni Coffee will plan to use these outlets to gain a market share.

To wade off competition, the company seeks partnerships with any and all the willing cafés, restaurants, and coffee shops rather than waiting on these establishments to seek them out. It must be appreciated that at this stage, Yemeni Coffee is trying to create market awareness for the brand within the UAE and thus most of their focus will go to getting the right amount of exposure. Eventually, the company can consider opening its own coffee shops but during this initial phase, working with distributors will get the company more exposure especially if they can collaborate with the popular cafés and restaurants in the country.

Promotion Strategy

As a company that is mainly reaching out to the consumers, all the focus is on promotional strategies that can lead to more market awareness. There is a broad range of product promotion strategies that can be employed successfully within the UAE but three of these are the most reasonable within the contexts of a company that is starting out and thus has limited capital to invest in promotional strategies. The first strategy is social media marketing. The social media platform effectively connects a majority of the people in the UAE especially considering the technological factors discussed earlier under the macroeconomic analysis.

As a new entrant, Yemeni Coffee can effectively capitalize on social media to reach out to over 90% of the nation's population with information regarding the uniqueness of Yemeni coffee. The communications, in this case, must be crafted to make the consumers curious about this relatively new information so that they can seek out the coffee and try it themselves (Montague, Gazal, Wiedenbeck & Shepherd, 2016).

In addition to social media posts about Yemeni coffee, short videos featuring celebrities, and everyday Emirati people experiencing Yemeni coffee for the first time would be fascinating. The delicious flavors and unique earthy and pungent tastes should come as a pleasant surprise that is often visible in the participant's facial expressions. If captured, these facial expressions can sell the Yemeni coffee faster than any other promotional strategy can. Another way of promoting the brand is by taking the audience through the Yemeni coffee farms to give them a glimpse of what they will be buying. In this case, the company will be selling the idea of supporting Yemeni farmers and getting to experience Yemen’s rich culture and history in a cup.

Aside from social media, the company can also use product sampling at strategic locations such as malls and food markets. The idea is to have the residents of the UAE taste Yemeni coffee so that they will appreciate what Yemeni Coffee selling to them. When it comes to food products, most consumers prefer to stick with familiar brands thus locking new entrants out of a very lucrative market. If the consumers do sample the product, however, they may like it more than their usual brands. Giving them a chance to sample in small quantities without having to buy the product is a sure way of delivering the product to the market (Montague, Gazal, Wiedenbeck & Shepherd, 2016). Those who opt to purchase during the sampling period can buy the product at an introductory price before the company is fully settled into the market enough to roll out the premium pricing.

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Lastly, the company can use promotional gifts to popularize the brand. These promotional gifts can be released before the product is even ready for the market. Promotional gifts might include things like t-shirts, caps, pens, key rings, notebooks, coffee mugs, water bottles, and flasks among other things. The idea is to give away promotional gifts that represent the standards of the company especially as it relates to quality. It is thus important to note that high-quality promotional gifts will spread the information more than cheap promotional gifts that are disposed of shortly after acquiring them. A high-quality key ring, for example, would last long enough to be seen by all members of the individual's social circle while a low-quality one could break even before leaving the home or office. Such considerations should be made in order to ascertain that the expenses incurred in purchasing and branding promotional gifts can translate to the company's sales volumes once the product is on the market.

Internal Adjustment

Yemeni Coffee had initially planned to outsource the marketing and IT components until the company was stable enough within the UAE. Considering the need to capitalize on social media marketing as a way of creating market awareness and building the Yemeni Coffee brand, the company will have to reconsider taking charge of these functions on their own. Social media marketing is relatively cheap and less tasking compared to other forms of marketing and taking charge will keep costs to a minimum.

Conclusion

Yemeni Coffee is a new Emirati company that seeks to import coffee from Yemen, directly sourcing the coffee from Yemeni farmers for reasonable prices that will directly benefit the farmers instead of being swindled by middlemen and brokers in the international coffee market. As a new company, Yemeni Coffee will focus on creating market awareness for its products, with a penetration pricing as its ideal pricing strategy until the business earns a sustainable market share. The competition in the UAE coffee industry is relatively fierce but with the right USP, Yemeni Coffee will be able to carve out its own market with the fresh coffee beans imported from an Arab country.

Also, Yemeni coffee is globally known for the rich, earthy, and pungent taste that makes it not only stronger than most coffees in the world but also tastier and thus more valuable. The primary task for Yemeni Coffee is thus to introduce the coffee to the UAE and then ensure that when the demand grows the company is ready to increase its supply.

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