In January 2014, a renowned Swiss company, Emmi, unveiled a novel addition to its product line consisting of milk-based offerings, namely the chai latte. This move marked the corporation's foray into the tea market, signaling a strategic focus on attracting a fresh cohort of potential consumers. Emmi enjoys a well-established status as a prominent local brand, holding the distinction of being Switzerland's largest milk processor. Its international significance is further underscored by the fact that processed milk goods accounted for a substantial 43.5% of its net sales in 2013. The introduction of the chai latte serves to bolster Emmi's reputation as an innovative enterprise, having been recognized as one of Switzerland's most forward-thinking ventures in a 2012 study. Building upon this commendable standing and their leading position within the industry, the company seeks to preserve and expand its market presence, a goal the new product is instrumental in achieving, alongside other strategic initiatives. The chai latte taps into an untapped market niche in Switzerland, representing both potential risks and opportunities for Emmi as it ventures into this unexplored segment.
Emmi's introduction of a refreshing cold beverage fills a gap in consumer preferences, specifically in the realm of tea and milk combinations, as well as during periods when individuals seek a caffeine alternative. Market niches, such as this one, can be identified through market mapping, which involves analyzing various factors that influence market conditions, specifically within the Swiss milk product market and its range of beverage offerings. This particular niche is characterized by a distinct customer segment that Emmi successfully targets, particularly benefiting larger companies like Emmi due to limited competition in the short term and the ability to cater to a specific audience. This focused approach to marketing allows for cost efficiency, as resources can be allocated in a specialized manner, addressing the specific needs and desires of a smaller but more receptive target group. Emmi's Chai latte, with its vibrant design and delightful flavor, is specifically marketed towards young, fashionable women, establishing a solid foundation within the target audience. The success and feedback garnered from this venture provide valuable insights and possibilities for future expansion in this direction, as evidenced by the recent addition of Emmi's "tea latte black" to their product lineup. However, a potential challenge faced by Emmi in pursuing this strategy is the limited size of the market and the number of potential consumers, thereby limiting their overall growth potential. This is a common concern when it comes to internal growth, particularly within niche markets in Switzerland, where market saturation can occur relatively quickly given the country's population size.
The implementation of chai latte marked a strategic expansion for the company, involving a resegmentation of the existing Swiss milk product market through niche marketing techniques. This growth was achieved by introducing the Chai latte as a new addition to the company's product portfolio. Unlike external growth strategies such as acquisitions or mergers, this internal expansion approach presented several long-term advantages. Expanding internally required investment from the company's internal financial resources, minimizing reliance on potentially unreliable external sources of funding. While external growth methods may offer quicker financial gains in the short term, internal growth proved to be more manageable for Emmi in the long run, as it provided a solid foundation for further development. This approach carried fewer risks compared to the uncertainties and potential liabilities associated with mergers or acquisitions, which can sometimes lead to a loss of strategic direction. Instead, Emmi's expansion through product development capitalized on their established brand image and expertise in milk-based beverages, allowing for a more controlled and sustainable growth trajectory.
Product development plays a crucial role in business growth, as evidenced by its inclusion in the Ansoff matrix, which helps assess a product's position in relation to the market. Emmi's introduction of the Chai Latte, a new product tailored for the existing Swiss milk market, exemplifies this strategic approach. By catering to customers' desires for a caffeine-free, spiced, milk-based, sweet tea, Emmi has the potential to boost sales and enhance their reputation as one of Switzerland's most innovative companies. Moreover, this new product offers opportunities to expand their product line and capitalize on their brand identity. However, venturing into a new market segment with a novel product entails certain risks, particularly if thorough research is lacking. The success of the Chai Latte depends heavily on meeting customer demands, underscoring the importance of market research and understanding consumer preferences. Another challenge is the possibility of cannibalization, whereby consumers may choose the Chai Latte over the Caffee Latte, resulting in the products competing with each other rather than complementing one another. Fortunately, operating within a smaller market provides advantages in terms of identifying and addressing such issues, mitigating their impact. The limited scale of the market allows for greater control and a focused approach to managing potential challenges, ultimately aiding Emmi in maintaining a strong market position.
The decision to introduce the product in the local market before considering exports may have served as a valuable testing period to assess its future potential in international markets. Test markets offer an opportunity to evaluate the product's performance, identify necessary modifications, and determine successful aspects. These test markets can be seen as miniature representations of larger markets, providing valuable insights. While the smaller local market may not yield immediate profitability comparable to larger markets, it can be argued that the business incurs an opportunity cost by initially launching the product in Switzerland, as it delays potential gains from international expansion.
Nevertheless, this approach minimizes the risk of potential product failure by providing valuable insights into customer reactions. By testing the Chai Latte in the domestic market first, any potential shortcomings or negative customer responses can be identified early on. This cautious approach prevents further losses that could have occurred if the product had been released in foreign markets without proper evaluation. Subsequently, the drink was introduced in Austria and Germany in February 2014, shortly after its release in Switzerland. Presumably, the success of the Chai Latte in Switzerland played a significant role in the decision to expand into neighboring countries. This expansion into new markets aligns with Emmi's external growth strategies, showcasing their ability to leverage successful products to drive business growth.
In terms of internal growth, the introduction of Emmi's chai latte has evidently had a favorable impact on the business. The corporation's latest half-year report highlights the effectiveness of their focus on domestic markets, which includes the successful launch of the chai latte. This product has not only continued to be sold, but it has also paved the way for the introduction of a new range of milk-based beverages that integrate tea into the established "Emmi caffee latte," thereby attracting potential new customers. It is worth noting, however, that the chai latte is just one among the many new products regularly released by the company to maintain their innovative and relevant presence in the market, catering to the demand for novel and diverse offerings. While the positive impact of the chai latte is undeniable, it represents only a fraction of the broader operations of the leading Swiss corporation, which continues to expand its international influence. Striving to further establish their presence in the local market not only serves as a prudent backup strategy in the event of external growth challenges, such as the planned conglomeration with Kaiku, but also contributes to the company's innovative brand image.
-"1.19. ICT R&D Personnel 2002 (full Time Equivalents)." (n.d.): n. pag. Emmi. Emmi, Mar. 2014. Web.18 Sept. 2015.
-"Advantages and Disadvantages of Market and Product Development Strategies." Small Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
-"Die Innovativsten Unternehmen Der Schweiz." Universität St.Gallen, Sept. 2012. Web.18 Sept. 2015.
-"Die OECD in Zahlen und Fakten 2014." Die OECD in Zahlen Und Fakten (2014): n. pag. Emmi, May 2015. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
-"Die Teuerste TV-Werbung Läuft Bei "Dr. House"" Wunschliste.de. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
-"GNTM 2014 - Emmi Chai Latte Werbespot (Jolina) - Werbeclips." Werbeclips. N.p., 13 Nov. 2014.
Web. 18 Sept. 2015. http://www.werbeclips.eu/gntm-2014-emmi-chai-latte-werbespot-jolina.
-"What Is Market Mapping? Definition and Meaning." BusinessDictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web.
18 Sept. 2015. www.businessdictionary.com/definition/market-mapping.html.
- "What Is Product Development? Definition and Meaning." BusinessDictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web.