Dana Mattioli authored High Hopes at Miracle-Gro in Medical Marijuana Field in a published WSJ.com article of June 14, 2011. The article describes a new exploration venue undertaken by Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., to expand its market into the medical marijuana field. The company aims to increase its revenues by diversifying its target market as a result of the recent legalization of medical marijuana in several states.
The main characters in this article include Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. who is venturing into the medical marijuana field with Miracle-Gro products. Centennial Seed Co. and General Cannabis Inc. are also mentioned as companies that support the medical marijuana field. These new niche marketing strategies are supported with data by See Change Strategy LLC’s and Rollitup.org.
According to Jim Hagedorn, Scotts Chief Executive, the company is exploring medical marijuana as a potential market “to help boost sales” (Mattioli, 2011). Scotts’ products are primarily sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s Co., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Due to the recent economic downturn, these three retailers have stalled opening new stores due to sluggish sales. As such, Scotts’ sales and resulting revenues have declined, and the company has been investigating new target markets to build up their sales. Scotts hopes that their entry into the medical marijuana market, along with other niche markets, will promote growth.
To ensure successful marketing of Scotts’ products in the new target market, the company should complete a SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunity, threat) analysis. The analysis’ results will determine the company’s marketing strategy, specifically its way of differentiating itself in this market by focusing on niche segmentation. Since Scotts’ brand equity already has brand knowledge with consumers, Scotts needs to use it as a strategic “bridge” with its new market’s offerings. It needs to provide consumers with a brand promise which will detail the company’s vision for its future market activities. Scotts needs to leverage its brand reputation to achieve competitive advantage in the medical marijuana market by differentiating its product. The product itself does not necessarily need to be changed as its purpose will be identical in the new market. However, the product’s packaging, advertising, image, and distribution channels will need to be redesigned and managed differently. Mostly, Scotts will need to be able to convince its new target market of its product’s benefits and value, to generate sales.
Scotts is entering an extremely controversial market of semi-legal marijuana. According to the article, only sixteen states approved laws to legalize marijuana for medical reasons. 68% of the U.S. states have not legalized marijuana and still disapprove of its use. Scotts will need to pursue...