Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has carved a niche for itself in the minds of the consumers in regions where it currently caters, either directly through outlet or through mail order business, as a Coffee maker with a difference and a social and environmental conscience. Being on the verge of facing increasingly stiff and focused competition, Green Mountain needs to get its marketing strategy right. Demographically Green Mountain shares the same segmentation as any other competitor like Starbucks, Coffee Bean etc.
However, Psycho graphically, the practices and the philosophy of Green Mountain appeals to a certain section of the people with shared beliefs and convictions. Fair practices and Environmental conservation have now become one of the most influential lobbies of government and have influenced the social segmentation by dividing people into pro- and against- heightened consciousness. Therefore Green Mountain needs to focus its marketing towards this segment, which, along with the simple pleasure of a coffee, is also looking for a high, generated out of environmental and social activities.
Patronizing Green Mountain can be marketed as being synonymous to giving vocal expression to their social beliefs. Green Mountain can also use the increased evangelism in the blogger community to equate and identify itself with environmental issues and start projecting their in-house efforts as not just corporate social responsibility, but a core value of the chain itself. Coffee drinking as a leisure time activity needs all the word of mouth (or net) publicity it can get to make it a cultural icon, along the lines of the big Mac.
The availability of likeminded groups on the web is a situation, which Green Mountain needs to make complete use of. Apart from the psychographic profiling and targeting, Green Mountain can start concentrating on customizing their offerings (which Starbucks has been stubbornly avoiding till now) depending on the location and start this on a big way to expand to developing markets of Asia, South America and Africa. The biggest success stories of franchisee model expansion in the coffee industry like Barista have been in the hither to third world countries.
This is a long term, but highly effective marketing strategy to expand its customer base beyond its traditional belt. The opportunities to define untapped markets are huge, as socializing over a cup of coffee is seen to be a high end leisure activity with a lot of aspiration tags attached to it. International and domestic events do have a bearing on the marketing and sales of Green Mountain because they affect 1. the consumer perception of the industry and 2. the consumer endorsement of a company’s philosophy.
For instance, in 2007, the global warming and environmental issues made Nobel laureates out of two disparate individual, one, a former presidential candidate of the United States and a life-long academician form India, a country, not entirely identified with environmental efforts. This is a validation of such issues occupying central position in the global conscience and the readiness of acceptance in the third world countries. Similarly the projection of Africa as the next growth area is a welcome development on the international scene.
Countries like Ethiopia, prominent growers of the rich Arabica coffee, are emerging as alternative procurement points. Expansion of even procurement base to such production zones ties well with the core philosophy of Green Mountain per environmental and fair practice guidelines. It is highly essential for Green Mountain to make use of such global opportunities and events to shape its marketing strategy to grow it s consumer base and brand identity.