Nick Ciffone, Franklin Kramer, Rose Osial, Christina Seiwert, Ryan Wahlheim
table of contents
PART 1: Situation Analysis
PART 3: Media Plan
PART 4: Creative Strategy
Recent Trends Facing the Industry
Seasonality & Timing
Consumers & the Decision Process
PART 2: Primary Research
Media Mix & Media Objectives
Primary Target Audience
Secondary Target Audience
Current Advertising (Lowes and Competitors)
Creative Requirements, Brainstorming, & Final Strategy
Print Advertisement #1
Print Advertisement #2
Print Advertisement #3
executivesummaryFounded in 1946 in North Carolina, Lowes hardware store started as a local establishment. Nearly 63 years later, it has grown into one of the largest home improvement corporations in the United States. It is currently the second largest hardware store in America, with Home Depot being first. They offer a variety of products within their 13 departments with their biggest sales in appliances, lumber, paint, and flooring. Lowes separates themselves from their competitors with their customer service and clean easy to find what you need store layout.
Although the current economic recession has created slow sales in every aspect of the consumer market, Lowes is still expanding; they will be opening 60-70 stores in the upcoming year. There are many economic, political, social, and cultural trends that affect this industry. Obama currently has a plan to stimulate the economy, and the initiative toward energy-efficient products has a large impact on the home improvement industry.
Lowes is trying to reach the consumers that are shopping with more convenient store locations and familiar advertising. While most stores are located in the East and Midwest portions of the United States, there are Lowes located amongst metropolitan centers farther west as well. This may suggest that media dollars should target consumers who are unaware of Lowes. In current campaigns, Lowes has been using celebrities like NASCAR Driver Jimmy Johnson, to show that do it yourself is possible. Lowes even offers step by step help on their website with instructional videos. They also present Lowes Creative Ideas to inspire hom-eowners to make their living space their own.
Currently there is a fairly even distribution of male and female Lowes shoppers. Many of the consumers are post-graduate degree
as well, and the biggest age demographic is the 25- to 34-year-olds. Based on this research and others, we have made our primary market the Early Squatters who are working, educated, new home-owners. Their age range is 25-34 and are best put in the middle to upper-middle class. They are comfortable with technol-ogy and reliant on the internet, so using digital media is a must. Our secondary target market is The Realized, who are Hispanic individuals in the upper-middle class with disposable income. Either they or their close relatives immigrated to the United States, and since then they have become successful. While fluent in both Spanish and English, they tend to speak Spanish in the home and are still very much submerged in the Hispanic world and culture.
Our objectives are to increase brand awareness and preference in both our markets, and change attitudes about Lowes, so that it becomes perceived as a helpful hardware store, instead of just an ordinary one. Lastly, we want to increase revenue. In order to accomplish these tasks, we will give the consumer promise, Your dad could fix anything, you cant. Well help you fix up your home, whether its tips, direction, or translation. Our campaign is going to have an honest, helpful, and welcoming tone implying that Lowes isnt just a store, but a community as well.
To accomplish this, we are going to use a wide variety of media, including non-traditional media, such as the internet, advertis-ing on bus shelters, and hosting Lowes classes to educate the consumer, as well as a forum on our website where people can discuss projects and ask questions with employees being there to help. And in addition to having traditional ads in Spanish for the Realized target market, we are also going to have Spanish to English and English to Spanish handbooks with hardware terms, showing that we care about the Hispanic community.
L owes was founded in 1946, in North Carolina. It began as a small local hardware store, and now it is one of the largest home improvement retailers in the United States. It was incorporated as Lowes North Wilkesboro Hardware in 1952. Lowes has always been a suc-cessful company, from the time it went public through today. The company went public in 1961 and was renamed Lowes Company. Within the first 20 years there was a great increase in sales, due to the active housing market at the time and Lowes presence as a main hardware store. During this period, Lowes main target was contractors and people involved in the construction industry. Lowes first billion-dollar year was in 1982 and profits were at a record high (lowes.com) (http://www.fundinguniverse.com).
Lowes didnt want to restrict business to those in the housing market, so they decided to expand to the everyday consumer that had basic hardware needs, or the do-it-yourself homeowners. To do this, Lowes needed to both change the style of their stores and build more of them in order to reach the everyday consumer. Their main focus was adding more basic products. This way they would no longer be seen as just a lumber yard. This idea led to major success for Lowes. The layout of the current Lowes started in 1994. The stores became enormous; most new stores are at least
85,000 square feet with some getting close to 120,000 square feet. During this period Lowes started using their slogan, everyday low prices, which supported their average do it yourself customers budget (lowes.com) (http://www.fundinguniverse.com).
During the late 1990s and early 2000s Lowes was doing so well that they were building a new store close to every week. While currently Lowes is not expanding at such a rapid rate, it is esti-mated to build around 60-70 new stores in 2009 (Lowes Annual Report). Lowes has also started to enter different markets outside of the United States, with several stores in Canada and plans for stores in Mexico as well. All of this success has allowed Lowes to become the second largest hardware store in the United States, only behind Home Depot.
Like all other industries, our countrys current economic state has taken a toll on home improvement. In recent years Lowes, along with its competitors, stock prices have been dropping. In 2005 shares were slightly above $33.00, but at the end of 2008 shares finished at $21.52. The biggest drop was from 2006 to 2009, when shares dropped nearly $9.00 (lowes.com). Despite this, however, according to the 2008 Lowes annual report, executives assured stockholders and employees that their needs will be taken care of in this time of difficulty.
Situation AnalysisPART 1
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Current Media SourcesLowes uses many different media sources in order to advertise. They use all the popular forms of media that you would expect, including TV, radio, internet, and billboards. One of their sponsors is NASCAR driver Jimmy Johnson. In commercials, he can be seen working on cars or helping construction workers using Lowes products. The ads make him appear as an everyday guy, making it look easy for those like him to accomplish all these home improvements with the help of Lowes.
They also use direct marketing, which depends on the area that you live in and that areas needs. Lowes website, Lowes.com, offers additional tips and other websites related to consumers projects. They have a Lowes Creative Ideas section which provides ideas on how to improve your home. There is also a portion with instructions on carrying out the improvements all with Lowes products. Another site is Lowes for Pros, which gives resources to professional contractors. Lowes includes a lot of instructional videos on most of their sites, which shows they are adapting to new media trends. Lowes also has an option to become a fan on Facebook. We also found that Lowes is not present in the mobile marketing, suggesting the need for creating mobile apps. They are also very involved in the communities where they are located. They donate millions of dollars each year to different charities, with their main charity being Lowes Charitable and Educational Foundation. For PR, Lowes will send repre-sentatives to help out in local areas to build or rebuild houses, etc. They also donate free tools to relief projects, schools and other groups that are in need of tools (lowes.com).
Official Website: Lowes.com Lowes.com has 13 different departments including: appliances, building sup-plies, floor