For our products we apply a promotional mix consisting of direct acquisition, catalogue and manual, and annually the local trade fair. All trade communication for Building Materials is account based in order to enhance business to business impact.
We apply a promotional mix consisting of consumer trade fair, allowance for in-store promotion to our distributors, and Radio and TV commercials, which dovetail into another for consistent brand building
For Unrefined Shea Butter we apply a promotional mix consisting of direct acquisition, catalogue and manual, and annually the local industrial trade fair. All trade communication for Unrefined Shea Butter is account based in order to enhance business-to-business impact.
For Shea Butter products, we apply a promotional mix consisting of consumer trade fair, allowance for in-store promotion to our distributors, and Radio and TV commercials, which dovetail into another for consistent brand building.
Our Shea Butter products are considered to be an A-brand in the consumer market, with 90% brand recognition with the consumers. For both segments we have developed a website with our product assortment and specifications and both consumer and industrial help desks.
The promotional budget for Unrefined Shea Butter is 3% on forecasted sales value per annum. The promotional budget for Shea Butter products is 9% on forecasted sales value per annum.
The industrial market: The developments in the industrial market can be characterized by an increasing attention on: cost control in the industry, forcing suppliers to improve their operational efficiency. Emerging suppliers from other West Africa countries and China enforce this trend. At the same time, technological developments force the suppliers of Unrefined Shea Butter to innovate and upgrade their products continuously. Moreover, industrial customers are narrowing down their suppliers base, applying stringent demands on quality management and environmental and social accountability. Suppliers to the industrial segments should be solution providers instead of product suppliers. Gassel Consult has anticipated this development by changing its focus. Instead of being product driven, Gassel Consult has adopted a market driven approach, incorporating an active R&D department, a laboratory and a marketing department.
The consumer market: The developments in the consumer market for Shea Butter products show a stronger growth in international markets, notably the U.S, than in our local market. The demand for Shea Butter products in U.S is characterized by product developments which are spurred by continuous new consumer applications, in particular in the field of convenience. Shea Butter products are becoming increasingly trend sensitive, helped by health developments for specific use. Hence, trend monitoring and product innovation become critical issues in order to penetrate such markets. In the meantime, the concentration force in the retail market had led to the growth of the Large Scale Retailers, claiming a growing and dominant market of local consumption (20% of the U.S supermarket chains cover 80% of U.S demand). They tend to do a large part of the sourcing directly.The most visible target group in the consumer market has become the age group of urban based 20-30 years old students and professionals, with limited time and a low-medium budget. Regulations in the international markets, especially the U.S market are more stringent than the regulations in our domestic market, but the spin-off of meeting U.S standards will also benefit the performance in the domestic market, enabling to compete with importing products. Therefore we consider reaching U.S level not as a Threat, but as a challenge.
Our government actively stimulates export promotion, and through the ongoing bilateral negotiations about trade liberalisation with the U.S, we expect an improved trade environment which will facilitate our internationalization endeavors. Already in the past few years, import and exports have become easier. Competition is expected to increase in both the domestic market and international market, especially from China at the lower end of the market, forcing us to concentrate on offering more added value products in other segments.