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Eurocycles is one of the major distributors and importers of premium E-bikes and parts and accessories in Australia. With a limited marketing budget, Eurocycles is reported to spend around $5000, which focuses on AdWords, remarketing ads, SEO and social media. It operates an e-commerce store through which innovative cycling products are sold in the Australian market (Eurocycles 2016). The demographic target market segment for Eurocycles is male adults in the age group of 40-45 years who are financially stable, health and environment-conscious (Mintel 2016). The buying behaviour of the target segment is influenced by spouses, well-wishers and young professionals. Eurocycles banks on the desire for E-bikes that fulfils the personal transportation needs.
The PESTLE Analysis shows that the Australian government has enacted favourable regulations that support the E-bike market. This is further supported by the Australian Bicycle Council whose primary objective is to construct better infrastructure, educate and develop a cycling culture focusing on its health benefits. Further, the increasing popularity of E-bikes is highly likely to impact non-renewable fuel-driven vehicles. Social factors such as health consciousness and awareness about fitness products prevailing in Australia are favourable for Eurocycles' proposed market penetration strategy (BordBia 2015). Technological advancement has improved the quality and innovativeness of products offered at an affordable cost (Tucker 2011).
The growth of the E-bike segment is one of the fasted in the bicycle industry and is regarded as the future of urban transport in Australia (Jones 2016). According to Bicycle Industries Australia (BIA) it is estimated that 15,000 E-bikes were sold in Australia during 2015. E-bike is highly fragmented based on territories and states, and around 20 brands are present in the market. However, there is a lack of awareness about E-bikes among the target market segment (Dargie 2016). This scenario offers an opportunity for Eurocycles to update its marketing strategy to increase sales and capture significant market share in Australia.
In spite of its presence in the Australian market for around three years, Eurocycles is yet to penetrate the market due to the lack of awareness about E-bikes. In order to create product and brand awareness, Eurocycles has to devise a suitable marketing strategy. Beforehand, Eurocycles has to understand buyers purchase intentions. Hence, the primary objective of this project is to study the perception of potential buyers and users of E-bikes and identify measures to improve sales of Eurocycles.
To attain this objective, the researcher has to carry out market research to determine customer mindset. This is achieved through research objectives which help in answering questions arising from the issue identified for Eurocycles in the Australian market. The key research objectives are,
Marketing is the business function of an organization wherein long term values are created through its products that meet customer requirements and develop strategies to overcome internal and external environmental influences to conduct the business profitably in line with the objectives of the stakeholders involved (Chowdhury 2013). Eurocycles operates in a market where the customer has very less knowledge about the product – E-bikes, there is very low brand awareness and price sensitivity influencing customer’s buying decisions. Eurocycles' position in the Australian E-bike market depends entirely on its customers. The positioning of Eurocycles depends on consumer perception about the quality of E-bikes, its features, value for money, cost and brand image (Akpoyomare, Adeosun & Ganiyu 2013).
Eurocycles positions itself as a distributor of environment-friendly, energy-efficient and technologically advanced, premium-priced E-bikes and parts and accessories to ensure a smooth cycling experience for its customers as shown in the brand positioning bull's eye (Appendix A). Its brand association is categorized into points of parity and points of difference to offer competitive differentiation (Claudiu-Catalin 2014). The points of parity of Eurocycles are the high quality of its imported European E-bikes and the availability of different brands such as Bosch, Gitane, Peugeot, Gepida and Magura to choose from. The point of difference is the after-sales services offered to customers and the distribution of Bosch E-bike system. The substantiation that favour Eurocycles are its certified technicians and durability reliability and performance of E-bikes. The value/personality/ character of Eurocycles lie with its work ethics and in the belief that quality is prominent over quantity. The visual identity relies on the message delivered as a source of clean and green planet and providing a comfortable riding experience.
As brand name plays a vital role in influencing business outcomes, there arises the need to measure brand equity. A customer-based brand equity model of Eurocycles (Appendix B) reveals how brand is associated with customer memory (Keller 2009). Brand equity is based on the constructs of brand awareness, brand association, perceived quality and brand loyalty (Lee & Leh 2011). The salience of Eurocycles is its recognition as a market-leading importer and distributors of premium E-bikes whose target market are high-income male in the 40-45 years age group. Eurocycles is regarded as the supplier of E-bikes which are suitable for different terrains with less effort from the cycler. It rides on the image of promoting a healthy life of its customers and creating s sustainable green environment. Due to the county-of-origin and technologically advanced parts and accessories, E-bikes are perceived to be of higher quality. As it is a want-based product, it fails to meet the relevant customer's need as a viable transport option. An analysis of Eurocycles' brand reveals that there is a lack of brand resonance as customers fail to associate themselves with the brand (Keller 2009) due to negligible brand awareness. Hence, there arises a need to study the potential buyers' perception to boost sales of Eurocycles.