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Cowgirl Chocolates Essay

3724 words - 15 pages

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SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS

Cowgirl Chocolates is a very small business with a big heart. Owner Marilyn Lysohir, from a small town in Idaho, has big hopes for Cowgirl Chocolates but has a difficult time accomplishing her goal. Marilyn shows her great love for both chocolate and art in her product. She also gives it a boost by adding the spiciness of flavor and the creativity of her art expertise. If Cowgirl Chocolates has a desire to be successful and profitable, the company has to step up their marketing strategies to promote a bigger presence for their truffles and candy bars at a price that will draw new and repeat business.

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Chocolate lovers comprise a large demographic but a huge percentage of consumers are not impressed with spicy chocolate. Marilyn’s biggest task is to expand the market of spicy chocolate consumers who prefer and appreciate this product. Men are more likely to try the product quicker than a woman will as men prefer hot and spicy foods. The hot foods market can be risky for fear of being too hot and that was a complaint of Cowgirl Chocolates. Marilyn has a huge challenge of being successful in her distribution process.

Ideally, it would be outstanding if a retailer or a distributor would promote this product by carrying it in its stores or restaurants and be successful at it. Also a consideration would be if Cowgirl Chocolates had its own manufacturing or processing location with the benefit to also sell the chocolate and the art under the same roof. This would be such a cost saver if Cowgirl Chocolates could start cutting out the middle man, while offsetting the high cost of packaging. Reality is, Cowgirl Chocolates is depending on Seattle Chocolates to produce their product and the cost of chocolate is currently on the rise.

Advertising has not been as costly as packaging. While advertising and promoting the product, Marilyn has used a few distributors to market these chocolates but they haven’t been able to maintain any consistency. Consumers might not deem it a necessary product but rather a treat or a reward or a gift. Advertising has played a major role but after tasting the product, does it really make the consumer return for more?

Basically, Marilyn has used her talent as an artist to help promote her product by creating beautiful packaging in tins and muslins. This has drawn attention to the consumers with enticement to at least sample the product. The packaging is awesome but has some drawbacks. The packaging is very costly.

Organization

Cowgirl Chocolates was started by Marilyn Lysohir in 1997. This company sells a very unique product – chocolate with a kick! This hot and spicy chocolate is wrapped in beautifully designed packages which are Marilyn’s way of showing off her creative side; she views the chocolates as an extension of her art. The name Cowgirl Chocolates came after Marilyn started making the chocolates and someone stated that they were so hot they were cowboy chocolates. These chocolates come in three forms: chocolate bars, truffles and hot caramel sauce. Cowgirl Chocolates has won 19 product and 2 packaging awards, including Best New Product of 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2010 and second best in 2000, 2002 and 2004. The company has also been featured in numerous magazines including the New York Times as well as popular television shows on The Food Network. Although this sounds like a very successful business, Marilyn has had trouble turning a profit. Last year the company’s revenues totaled $30,000 but expenses totaled over $50,000 (Peter, 527).

Marketing Strategy

Through the years...

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