Assignment 1: LASA 2—Afterschool Depot: Plan Development Issues
Janet Hains is an entrepreneur and former afterschool programmer administrator. She has been monitoring the education industry for potential trends that may provide an opportunity for her to utilize her experience in starting a new business. In response to an identified increase in childhood obesity rates within the United States, coupled with the increased governmental grant offerings for youth nutrition programs, Janet has started a new company, Afterschool Depot.
Afterschool Depot will produce and sell materials to assist afterschool programmers in implementing nutrition-based programs. Afterschool Depot has just finalized its initial product line and is now in the process of preparing to market its line for sale within the United States as well as several international locations.
Due to financial and human resource constraints, Janet has decided to produce and sell only one product from the proposed product line during the first year of operation. She has selected the Healthy Kitchen to be her first product launch.
The Healthy Kitchen is a mobile kitchen that can be wheeled out onto the playground or into the classroom. It includes an 8-week curriculum to assist afterschool programmers in conducting healthy cooking classes.
Although Afterschool Depot has spent considerable time researching and developing the initial product line, they have not spent much time on developing their overall marketing strategy to include its channel design and implementation plan.
For this assignment, you will again be working with the Afterschool Depot case study. Remember that you are the channel manager for Afterschool Depot and that Beth Nammons, Marketing Director, has assigned you to develop the channel design and implementation plan.
As part of the plan development process, Beth has asked that you help her and other members of the management team understand the issues related to and the answers to the following questions.
- What are the federal laws influencing channel management and how might they affect Afterschool Depot’s channel policies?
- Do strategic alliances outperform ordinary distribution channels? What is the evidence that they are successful? To what extent can strategic alliances strengthen sustainable competitive advantage? Should Afterschool Depot work to develop strategic alliances within their channels and why or why not?
- How can Afterschool Depot’s retail positioning strategy flow from both cost-side and demand-side factors?
- What are the typical conflicts that may develop between Afterschool Depot and its wholesalers or retailers and how should each of the conflict types be managed to bring about resolution?