Hull City Marketing Strategy





Hull City Marketing Strategy




Tutor’s Name

24rd, July, 2012

Executive summary


Throughout history, Thorntons PLC has been a remarkable trader and producer of chocolates. The company has successfully retain the strength of its brand that continues create opportunities of the future growth in over a 100 years experience in the business to offer huge variety of chocolates. The chocolates are known for their high quality standard of ingredients with natural taste that increase buying power. It has position its brand as elegant, classic, highly valuable, and trusted with exceptional potential to meet consumer’s needs. These attributes ideally communicate a longing spirit of Christmas to people living in the Kingston upon the Hill. Chocolates are commonly used in Christmas time which presents a good opportunity for Thornton to promote their products.

The company continues to adapt new strategies to meet consumer’s needs and be competitive during Christmas time in Hull. It has established various strategic plans for the business to create a competent organizational process, increase its sales and margins, incentives and measurability. These plans designed to alleviate company’s performance through delivering profit and sales growth and create a stout platform for the future growth. Different media channels will be used to promote the campaign slogan “Christmas time- Thornton’s time”. The slogan will strengthen the image of Christmas time as a great time to celebrate and have a relaxing moment using Thornton’s range of products such as variety of chocolates; wedding favors, corporate gifts, and hampers boxes. The case study of the Company will provide an opportunity to evaluate the whole aspect of planning for considerable growth during Christmas time.


Table of Contents























            Christmas time is an entertaining forum where the concept of gift exchange is much eulogized. This season raises the need to exchange gifts to the loved ones and as chocolate remains the best gift for someone special. In the British culture, chocolates augment love language and thought as romantic (Hull City, 1961). During Christmas time, women are given chocolates as presents as it enhances the feeling of being cared, pampered, and loved. Many people believe that there are creative ways of using chocolates in Christmas time besides eating them. For instance, Clayton (2009) believes that it can creatively used in bedroom for sensual treat and a key ingredient of feeling good. Thornton can utilize this to promote their products during Christmas season as a perfect way of showing appreciation to the loved ones and creating a relaxing moment.

To promote products, the marketing strategy plan will present a SWOT matrix, identify the marketing objectives along with target group, product/brand positioning, and product offering.  Eventually, the company will present the budget implementation and control of marketing planning. This will create a platform to understand the key strategies of being competent during Christmas seasons.  In doing this, we will highlight the major competitors of the company to highlight the possible strengths, opportunities, threats and weaknesses of the organization.



  • Offer different chocolate categories and consumers can choose from the variety.
  • Committed to refresh consumers with highest and flavoured chocolates.
  • Has a strong and unique brand image that augments customer trust and loyalty.
  • Chocolate image create a genuine urge of Christmas values of exchanging gifts.
  • High emphasis on creating a romantic appeal.
  • High committed with having the most committed and loyal staff that boost customer service relation.
  • Its core products have distinctive features that create competitive characteristics.
  • The best location choice such as shopping malls which are convenient to consumers.

  • Marketing appeal most to women and a time men do not respond effectively.
  • Health side effects of obesity take their toll.
  • The capital cost for enrobing chocolate plant is high.
  • To some extent, the difference of product’s taste is an effective barrier for it may eradicate potential buyers who may have used one product.

  • Use social networks and mobile marketing to reach to various target groups in the city.
  • Emphasize on the natural taste and romantic appeal of chocolate to increase buyer power.
  • Educate people on the benefits that emerge from using chocolates.
  • Create coordination between retail and production activities to meet different clients.

  • Many substitutes from the street retailers.
  • Strong competitors


11 Marketing Objectives

The main objective for Thorntons marketing its products during Christmas time in Hull, UK is to boost sales, profit margin, and brand’s name. To achieve this, the organization has various marketing objectives (Fernie, Sparks, & McKinnon, 2010).  First, it seeks to follow the concept of market penetration strategy and target the existing market with the existing products. The company continues to build its brand by highlighting the benefits that emerge from purchasing chocolates. Seeks to be loyal to their customers to retain potential buyers and transform first time buyers to frequent clients. With this in mind, the company aims to increase its brand awareness by 40% through the above mentioned strategies. The target groups are women who are overall drawn to chocolate that enhance a romantic feeling. Within Christmas time, the company aims to increase its overall profit and sales by 20%. Through social networks such as Face book, you tubes, and Google the organization will increase its consumer’s particularly young people.

111. Target markets

The target group will be young couples from 20s to 30s living near Hull, UK. The aim of this group is to meet the interesting demand of appreciation and love the key elements in a relationship. Chocolates are mostly used as presents by couples between the age 20-30 years and primary women associate chocolate with being loved and cared. Indeed, exchanging gifts is mostly appreciated in the Christmas season whereby most men recognize the need to appreciate their partners. In this regard, the most proposed group will be women mainly because they are relationship oriented (Fill, 2009). However, we will convince the men on the values and attributes that emerge from buying chocolates to their loved ones during Christmas season.

The generation between the ages 20-30 years are frequent users of the emerging technologies such as social networks, internet, and smart phones. This marketing plan will suit the needs and interests of this age group as many will acquire information from technology sites. Typically, the mentioned target group are less hesitant to spend money thus will result to an upward growth of sales and revenues. As mentioned, the geographic and demographic variables are young couple between 20-30 years living in Hull.  In Hull, this age group has active social life, willing to spend, and most of them are employed. Under the psychographic variables, the age group is equipped with technology information thus branching out into online marketing will indicate positive results. In behaviouristic variables concept, the age group regards the need of appreciating their loved ones through gifts such as chocolates. This presents the largest group of chocolates consumers and those who indulge into exchanging gifts during Christmas season.

IV Product Offering

Young generation consumers like trying different flavours that indicate the great opportunity of being loyal to them. From 2009 to 2010, the company has had a turnover growth of 10% and the standards of the products expected to grow during Christmas season as there is a strong buying power (Hull City Council, 2011). Following this, the company is in the growth stage due to its unique products and its innovative ways of online marketing whereby consumers can shop online. The marketing strategy will focus on different range of chocolates in different tastes.

The Company’s core product is to offer flavoured, sweet and convenience products in good packaging. The actual products are chocolates that give consumers a chance to express appreciation to their loved ones. Buyers build their knowledge on the 21st Century concept of love, care, and appreciation to build a long lasting relationship. Chocolate is the actual products whereby the Company offers packed chocolates with hampers that create a platform for clients to buy products as per their preferences. The amplified products are attributed by customers’ feedback and updates on social networks or when purchasing. As discussed by Kotler et al., (2009), the existing products will be the same but will be strengthened to enhance a unique appeal of the brand image that offers quality products and services.

 V. Brand/Product positioning

Thorntons’ objective is to offer quality products with a sweet and natural taste that create a relaxing mood during Christmas season. As mentioned, the Company has a strong brand that creates consumers’ trust and confidence to purchase more. For Christmas season, Thornton should focus on repositioning the brand image because often some people believe that chocolates have health side effects. For marketing strategies, the organization should highlight the benefits that emerge from buying chocolates particularly during Christmas season (Lowe, 2010). As mentioned earlier, young couples from age 20-30yrs are the target group borne in mind they are most driven by buying gifts to their loved ones. They regard the need of appreciating their partners as the key ingredient in their relationship. Therefore this presents a great opportunity for the Company to market its products during Christmas a month that many spend time with their loved ones. Christmas time is the time where couple spends time together and appreciate one another as the year comes to an end. Following this, Thornton should emphasize that chocolate is a good product to buy to a loved one since it augments romantic appeal (Marketing Minefield, 2011). Indeed, this will attract the target group as the product will address their social needs along with the need of improving their relationships. Bearing the target group is adventurous and are relationship driven promoting chocolates will attract them to purchase thus create a great opportunity for the Company’s growth.

VI Marketing Strategies     

  1. Consumer Behavior

Often, the target group spends time together with their partners and loved ones during Christmas time. Christmas chocolates along with the marketing campaign will attract the target group to purchase products as way of meeting their social needs. During this season, buying gifts is a general routine and appreciating the loved ones is a craving mood for the young couples. Usually, buying chocolates is a high involvement decision where many men show appreciations to their women. Chocolate is the brand preference for most women as it creates the aspect of being pampered, cared, and loved (Warnaby & Yip, 2005). This indicates a strong consumer behavior as couples crave to show appreciations to their loved ones particularly women who long for attention.

  1. Marketing mix for the marketing strategy

The advertising slogan is “Christmas time-chocolate heaven” that highlights the role of Thornton’s chocolates during Christmas as communicated in this campaign. In essence, the campaign seeks to remind the consumers on the benefits that emerge from purchasing chocolate during Christmas season. Heaven is one of the major places which most people long to be (, 2011). It’s assumed there are rest, appreciation, and a great opportunity to meet the loved ones who left before. The slogan will create a similar mood brought by chocolate as partners show appreciations through exchange of gifts. Christmas season gives couples a great opportunity to share their love as they relax and set ready to start off a new year. The image of the Christmas chocolates will bring couples and families together as it creates a nostalgic feeling of a comforting and relaxing moment in Hull.


Various products will be marketed as special Christmas flavors that add a pleasant feeling during Christmas season. The major products will be milk chocolates, yummy chocolates that can be personalized with free special message. Others include dark chocolates with recipes such as ginger, ganache, and chili, chocolate drinks to warm during winter nights, and no added sugar chocolates perfect for those reducing their sugar intake.  There will be impressive packaging gifts that will take some inspiration of the best selling company. As indicated in the appendix 1 below, whoever receives the gift will feel appreciated and overall delight the dearest.

The packaging tin will contain 130g with an appealing design that augments a classic, romantic, and suggestive feeling during Christmas season. It will meet the expectations of the target group who regard innovative things and perfectly show appreciation to their loved ones. The packaging will perfectly blend with Christmassy decoration making it more pleasant to add value and benefit of purchasing the product. This will increase the willingness to buy the product as many will be attracted by the packaging that enhances a pleasant feeling.


Thornton chocolates will be available in all major UK supermarkets, malls, and retailers. Online shopping will be appropriate for the target markets that are equipped with information technology (Thornstons, 2009). Still, the company will utilize the direct retail channel and retailers to the market coverage in the city centre and apartments. Products will be distributed effectively to ensure accessibility among people living in Hull.


To attract many customers the chocolates will be sold at an affordable price that range from $10 to $15. As mentioned, chocolate tea will be available during winter nights and on estimation one cup of tea will cost $20. This highlights the statement that the campaign would mainly appeal the target group that buy chocolates probably because it’s cheaper compared to tea. This means that they will buy most chocolates packages as per their own preferences, packaging, intense of different ingredients, and individual tastes. As the packaging recognizes the social needs of the target group it will add the benefit of willing to spend money for the chocolate products.


To be rank higher than other competitors, the Company will utilize various advertizing campaigns that will attract and increase clients. First, the Company will take advantage of internet that is an easy way of attracting the target market. In nature, internet is an essential component that attracts prospective customers of age group 20-30 years (Attention to Internet Advertising, 2003). In UK, technology has been effective in meeting the target group in a convenient way. Internet provides effective communication where buyers can give their feedbacks and suggestions regarding the products and services given. Using internet will provide a trustworthy image and increase clients regardless the challenging times of the year. In this case, innovation of internet marketing will enable the Company stay ahead of other competitors as there will be accessibility of the products information. Online shopping will enhance growth as many consumers will prefer shopping online to buying from other outlets.

In facts, young people are the frequent users’ of social networking websites such as Twitter and Face book (Zhang & Daugherty, 2009). Bearing Thornton has an active profile on their websites as shown in appendix 2 and thereafter displays their websites on the social networking sites. The Company will display various products on the websites and request viewers to follow them in Face book and Twitter to air their views and thoughts.

To attract many to buy products, promotion will be utilized whereby there will be 4 free chocolates bags for every 30 chocolate bag packages. This will motivate clients to buy more to maximize the benefit of getting free chocolate bags. Still, posters will be utilized to reflect the key messages of the products sold. Billboards will be displayed on the popular street of Hull resembling the below Appendix 3.

Lastly, Thornton will utilize mobile marketing to communicate with the target group on the need to purchase chocolates. According to Wagner (2011) and Jenkins (2006), mobile marketing is an effective way of promotion as many people carry their phones wherever they go. Using mobile messages will promote the products on celebrating 2012 together with 20.12% discount as indicated in appendix 4.Combining the above tools will increase customers of the target group thus boost the Company’s growth.

Vii Implementation and control

Sales increase objectives

As discussed earlier, the main objective of the marketing strategies is to increase sales and profit margin. As the control, the total sales of all Thornton chocolates will be documented and ne compared to the respective sales of the past 2 years (Kim & Lee, 2011).

Increased product/brand awareness objectives

The websites will be updated once per month to ensure the target group comprehends various innovations taking place. Existing billboards will be used and additional boards will be located in different housing apartments and various locations selling Thornton Chocolates. Weekly, the Company will send an MMS or SMS on the clients’ mobile numbers to increase the brand awareness. The success of the mobile marketing will be evaluated by evaluating the number of people that passed near the billboards, the count of read messages, and number of people visiting the sites. The number of followers and likes in social network websites will determine whether the purpose is met (Tan & Chua, 2004).


Viii Budget

The Company has experienced an average growth rate of 4.18% in 2010 (Financial Times LTD, 2012). To lift the 2010 turnover, about &330, 000 will be allocated to the promotion In Hull. The detailed budget is listed in the Appendix 5.



Appendix 1

Christmas Chocolate packaging



Milk Chocolates


Bags of chocolates


No added sugar chocalates



White chocolates


Hot chocolate drinks


Spiced chocolates


Appendix 2

Thornton’s website


The website displays different products of Thornton.


Appendix 3


The billboard highlight on celebrating with Thornton products that is special all together.

Appendix 4

Mobile marketing

Intended message


Pictures of different chocolates are submitted enhancing a beautiful appeal why clients should shop there. The possible SMS or MMS  is indicate in the above diagram “Sprint to our Scrummy Best of British Range and be a Winner”

Appendix 5


Expenses Total in $
Paying staffs 70, 000
Billboard Advertising 40, 000
Mobile marketing 10, 000
Production cost 200, 000
Logistics 10, 000
Total 330, 000



Work cited

Attention to Internet Advertising. (2003), Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking,

            Vol.14, No.5, pp.323-325.

Clayton, D. (2009), The Hull City miscellany, Stroud, History.

Fernie, J., Sparks, L., McKinnon, A. C. (2010), Retail logistics in the UK: Past, present and

future, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol.38, No.11/12,



Fill, C. (2009), Marketing Communications: Interactivity, Communities and Content, Fifth

Edition, Essex, Pearson Education Limited.

Financial Times LTD. (2012). Thorntons PLC Markets data,  Available:


Hull City Council. (2011), Social Grade, [online] Available:,178872&_dad=portal&_schema=PORT


Hull (City). (1961), The City & County of Kingston upon Hull, Hull (York) City Council    Development Committee.

Jenkins, F. (2006), Mobile Marketing, Young Consumers, Quarter 1, pp.60-63.

Kim, G., Lee, J.-H. (2011), The Effect of Search Condition and Advertising Type on Visual

Attention to Internet Advertising, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking,

Vol.14, No.5, pp.323-325.

Kotler, P, Keller, K. L., Brady, M., Goodman, and M., Hansen T. (2009), Marketing

                 Management, Essex, Pearson Education Limited.


Lowe, B. (2010), Consumer perceptions of extra free product promotions and discounts: The

moderating role of perceived performance risk, Journal of Product & Brand Management,

Vol. 19, No.7, pp.496-503


Marketing Minefield. (2011), Billboard Advertising Buying Process and Expected Costs,

[online] Available:

[Accessed 12.12.2011]

Mintel. (2008), Christmas Foods – UK – April 2008, [online] Available: [Accessed 02.12.2011].


Tan, S.-J., Chua, S. H. (2004), “While stocks last!”- Impact of framing on consumers’

perception of sales promotions, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol.21, No.5, pp.343-355.

Thornstons. (2009), Thorntons website, (online), Available:

Thorntons. (2009). Thorntons  chocolates and sweets, (online), Available:



Wagner, J. (2011), Anytime/Anywhere – Playing catch up with the mind of the smartphone

consumer, International Journal of Mobile Marketing, Vol.6, No.1, pp.28-53.

Warnaby, G., Yip, K. M. (2005), Promotional planning in UK regional shopping centres: An

exploratory study, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, Vol.23, No.1, pp.43-57. (2011), Hull Weather, When to Go and Climate Information (Kingston

Upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK), [online] Available:

Zhang, J., & Daugherty, T. (2009), Third-Person Effect and Social Networking: Implications

for Online Marketing and Word-of-Mouth Communication, American Journal of Business,

Vol.24, No.2, pp.53-63.

Use the order calculator below and get started! Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.