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This sample marketing plan was created with Marketing Plan Pro software.

Colloquy Grog Shop has just begun business, and marketing is essential to its success and future profitability.  The bar offers a place for people to meet in a comfortable, person-meeting environment.  The basic market need is place where singles can meet new similar people.  Colloquy Grog Shop uses a sophisticated conversation system to enhance and facilitate singles meeting each other.

Market Summary

Colloquy Grog Shop possess good information about the market and knows a great deal about the common attributes of the prized and loyal customers.  Colloquy Grog Shop will leverage this information to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how the Grog Shop can better communicate with them.

Market Analysis

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Market Analysis
Potential CustomersGrowth     CAGR

Market Needs

Colloquy Grog Shop is a unique bar/coffee shop/tapas house that is organized to try to facilitate new friendships.  The Grog Shop will offer a changing menu of tapas, microbrews, and assorted coffee drinks in conjunction with a structured conversation system.  Colloquy Grog Shop seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to their customers.

  • Selection: a creative choice of food and drink and a well-constructed structured conversation system.
  • Accessibility: the patron will gain access to the Grog Shop with minimal waits and long business hours.
  • Customer service: the customer is ALWAYS right.
  • Competitive pricing: all products will be competitively priced relative to the competition.

The market trend is headed toward a more sophisticated customer.  The restaurant/bar patron today is more sophisticated in a number of different ways:

  • Food quality: the preference for higher-quality ingredients is being reinforced as customers are being subjected to an increasing number of options.
  • Quality conversation: patrons are recognizing intellectual conversations can be had in bar settings and would prefer this over normal bar talk.
  • Access to meeting people: people are tired of being single and are looking for ways to meet like-minded individuals.

Market Growth

In 1999, the global bar/restaurant  market reached $24 billion dollars.  Alcohol sales are estimated to grow by 9% for the next few years.  This growth can be attributed to several factors.  The first factor is American's reliance on alcohol for socialization.  This factor is intuitive as alcohol breaks down social inhibitions.

Another factor is the trend to eat and drink outside of the home.  This occurs as Americans work longer and longer hours during the week.  Eating and drinking out is a convenience that many are willing to pay for.  It also provides contact with more people.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures key strengths and weaknesses within the company and describes the opportunities and threats facing the Grog Shop.


  • Strong relationships with third party vendors.
  • Excellent staff who are highly trained and customer attentive.
  • The structured conversation system.


  • The Grog Shop's limited brand equity.
  • The struggle to continually have current and new conversation topics.
  • A limited marketing budget to develop brand awareness.


  • A growing market with a significant percentage of the of the target market still unaware of the Grog Shop.
  • Increasing sales opportunities as people become familiar with the advantages of the structured conversation system.
  • The ability to lower variable costs through efficiency gains.


  • Competition from taverns.
  • Competition from other sources of singles meeting events.
  • A slump in the economy which will decrease discretionary spending.


The competition comes from several different sources.

There are many different types of bars or taverns.  Some are better than others for meeting people, however, none of them have the business mission to bring together singles.

Coffee Shops
Coffee shops are typically an easy-going social setting that does lend itself for people to meet others.  Conversations occur in part because of the historical underpinning of coffee houses, in part by virtue of the fact that the background music is not blaring. Coffee shops rarely have any type of organized activities to bring singles together.

Other Events/Activities Aimed at Bringing Together Singles.
One activity/phenomenon that has started in New York City and moved to a few other larger cities (not including Portland) is an activity that has a long rectangular table that always has one seat opposing the other.  People sit down with females on one side and males on the other (this seating arrangement is for heterosexual gatherings) and will have a limited number of minutes (usually 10) to chat. Typically, conversations can be about anything, however you are not to reveal the job/profession that you are involved in, beyond that, anything is fair game.  The table rotates and you end up speaking with a lot of different people.  You then create a list of the top five that you would like to speak with again and if the matching person also has you on their list, phone numbers are released to the two people.  Another activity might be some sort of outdoor activity like hiking or rafting and it is organized as a singles event.  There are also other type of singles events, too numerous to mention.  Lastly, there are resources like personal sections in local papers where people can post or respond to personal advertisements.

Every person has their own method of meeting people, some more useful than others.  Colloquy Grog Shop predicts singles will abandon, or at least supplement, their current method of meeting people with the Grog Shop's activities as they are thoughtfully designed to achieve the goal of introducing like-minded individuals. 

Product Offering

Colloquy Grog Shop sells the following:

Eight Microbrews on Draft and Bottled
Alcohol, specifically beer, is served for two reasons.  One, alcohol reduces inhibition, making it easier for people to meet and interact with new people.  Two, and more importantly, beer, particularly draft beer generates wonderful profits.  Microbeers are chosen because microbrews are of higher quality than large production beers and our target segment prefers higher-quality beer.

Espresso, Cappuccino, Coffee, and other Coffee/Espresso drinks.
Coffee and coffee-related drinks are hugely popular, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.  Northwesterners expect good coffee/espresso at most food/drink establishments and it is often associated with good conversation.

An Assortment of Tapas
Tapas are chosen because they can be relatively easy to make, the offerings can be changed frequently, and tapas are more community orientated, meaning they are designed for a table/multiple people to share.  This reinforces Colloquy Grog Shop mission of bringing new people together.

The service offerings are based on a system for singles to meet new people.  This is accomplished through a structured conversation system.  The Grog Shop is divided into two sections, one smaller section of tables that is for people meeting people that they already know.  The other, larger section is the section of tables for singles to come and meet new people.  This section is composed of 4-top tables (table seating for four) where a customer will come and sit down at the table among other people.  The table will be marked with a topic of conversation in the center.  Throughout the evening as there is turnover of the table or the conversation is exhausted, the server will introduce a new topic. The topics of conversation are far reaching, some are recent news or sports, while others are intellectual, and some are philosophical.  The bulk of the topics will be of the latter varieties as people that are interested in meeting people through the conduit of conversation will typically prefer heavier stuff to provide more insight into that person.

If you ask a majority of single 25-45 year olds, most will say they have difficulty meeting new people.  Regular bars are not an ideal place to meet people because beyond their visual image, it is quite difficult to learn anything material about the person to determine if there are some commonalities. The typical bar has loud music and is not geared up for serious conversation.  Bars are also less than ideal to meet people because of the uncertainty or ambiguity when meeting new people at a bar.  Many people feel uncomfortable in situations where they are not sure how to act. The ideal situation to meet someone is during an activity that is mutually enjoyed, whether it is at an art museum or mountain biking in the Cascade Range.

Colloquy Grog Shop creates a setting in a bar/coffee shop that encourages thoughtful conversation, allowing patrons to gain insight into the other singles.  The key to the conversation system is structure.  The rules are clearly established.  Singles sit down at specific tables and discuss the assigned topic of conversation.  Everyone at these tables are single and looking to meet new people.  The conversation is used to elicit insight into the other person, their values and perspectives as well as implicit and sometimes explicit insight to their background and past. 

The structured conversation system is successful because it reduces ambiguity or uncertainty in the singles social scene allowing people to feel more comfortable in the setting and open up more to new people.  Additionally, for intellectually minded people, it allows them to find people with similar interests, whether the similarity is based in the topic of conversation or more generally in conversation itself.

Keys to Success

  • Attracting customers who find value in the Grog Shops offering and who will frequent the Shop regularly in order to meet like-minded single people.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Maintaining a cost of goods on foods at below 50%.

Critical Issues

The Grog Shop is still in the speculative stage as a retail operation.  Its critical issues are: to continue to take a moderate fiscal approach to business operations and to build brand awareness which will drive customers to the Grog Shop.

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