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

Passion Soles is entering their first year of operation.  A comprehensive marketing plan is required to reach profitability and ensure future success. Passion Soles offers an unprecedented selection of current women's fashions.

Market Summary

Passion Soles has captured good information regarding their market and knows a great deal about the common attributes of the most prized customers. Passion Soles will leverage this information to better understand who should be served, their specific needs, and how Passion Soles can better communicate with them.

Market Analysis

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Market Analysis
Potential CustomersGrowth     CAGR

Market Demographics

The profile for Passion Soles' customer consists of the following geographic, demographic, and behavior factors:


  • The immediate geographic target is the city of Tacoma with a population of 254,000.
  • A 45 mile radius is in need of the products.
  • The total targeted population is estimated to be 27,000.


  • Age range 23 - 50.
  • 55% of the customers are housewives.
  • The housewives have a household income of $60,000-$150,000.
  • 45% of the customers are professionals.
  • The professionals earn over $45,000 themselves.

Behavior Factors

  • Fashion conscious.
  • Tend to eat out at least once a week, typically more.
  • Live the motto "fashion over function."
  • Are always aware of the different fashion trends.
  • Subscribe to, or at least read, several women's magazines that are fashion orientated.

Market Needs

Passion Soles is providing the market with a wide range of fashionable shoes with an unprecedented selection.  Currently, women must travel up to Seattle in order to come close to approximating Passion Soles' selection. Passion Soles seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to their customers.

  • Selection: The widest selection of fashionable shoes in the Tacoma area.
  • Accessibility: The central location and wide range of business hours designed to accommodate all customer's needs.
  • Customer service: The patron will be impressed with the degree of care that they receive.
  • Competitive pricing: All products will be priced competitive to the Tacoma/Seattle market.

The market trend for women's fashionable shoes is toward a wider selection of common design elements.  Over the last few years, there has been a proliferation of several design variations from a base design.  A base design is released and then there are many different spurs that have common elements but include a few distinctive characteristics.  While this is great for the customer because it allows them to be fashionable but distinctive, it is tough for most retailers because it increases their overhead in the form of inventory.  This trend is ideal for Passion Soles which has a business model that allows for stocking many different styles.

Market Growth

The market for women's shoes is a strong, steady growing market.  It is generally not affected by economic downturns.  Women seem to consume shoes regardless of the economic climate.  In a popular mini-series, a women's habit of buying shoes was described as a release when they are feeling bad, a way to make them feel better, similar to eating chocolate.  While this stereotype might not be entirely accurate, women love their shoes and cannot seem to get enough.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within the company, and describes the opportunities and threats facing Passion Soles.


  • Extremely strong relationships with distributors.
  • Excellent staff who are well trained and customer attentive.  They also get great discounts, increasing job satisfaction.
  • An efficient, stylish retail store.


  • The struggle to build brand equity.
  • The inability to provide instant gratification by having all sizes in stock.
  • Forecasting fashion is difficult but necessary to profitability.


  • A growing segment of the market that is increasingly bothered by having to travel to Seattle for nice shoes.
  • An industry that seems immune to recessions.
  • The ability to operate on lean overhead relative to competitors.


  • The introduction of a competitor to the Tacoma market with a similar business model.
  • Completely misjudging where fashion is headed.
  • Constant delays in the shipment of product or the unavailability of many of the advertised designs.

Competition and Buying Patterns

Passion Soles has three direct competitors in Tacoma:

  • (name omitted): This is a women's only clothing and shoe store. They have a nice selection of clothing but a poor selection of shoes. The shoe styles tend not to be cutting edge. The price point for the shoes is $30-$120.
  • (name omitted): This is a large, complete, department store. The store however, suffers from cluttered displays and a general sense of disorganization. Shoes here are $30-$120.
  • (name omitted): This is a national franchise that only sells shoes, for both men and women. This company will sell knock offs, shoes just like name brands, but with their name on it. While this store has a huge selection, the quality of the shoes leaves a lot to be desired. This is somewhat understandable as the shoes typically sell for $13-$50. While the shoes are often good copies of famous brand, the execution is sometimes off. Many of the shoes that are made out of pleather and look like they were dipped in wax, giving them a tacky appearance.

An indirect competitor is a shoe smith that will dye shoes. The shoes are typically dyed to match a specific dress. Not all colors can be dyed, and dying in general is not the ideal situation. Dying shoes creates a new shoe color that is acceptable only 20% of the time.

The two major competitors in Seattle are:

  • Nordstrom's: Mid- to high-end department store known for their outstanding customer service. The shoe price point is $60-$300.
  • Saks: This department store caters to the high class, older crowd. Shoes range from $75-$400.

The buying habits for fashion-conscious women consist of typically buying at least one pair of shoes per month.  Women generally purchase a pair of shoes to go with a specific dress. Once the woman purchases the dress she will then begin the long search for the perfect pair of shoes.

Product Offering

Passion Soles sells upscale women's shoes. The general categories of shoes that will be sold are:

  • Sandals.
  • Stylish work shoes.
  • Loafers.
  • Dress shoes.
  • Canvas athletic/stylish shoes.

Passion Soles strives to have the largest selection of shoes in Washington, barring the larger stores in Seattle. Passion Soles will accomplish this by having in stock one size per style as a demonstration model. Passion Soles will then order within two days (rush one day service is available) the style in the needed size. This will be accomplished through a special relationship with the wholesaler who is able to send out on demand the right size in the right style. Often a wholesaler will be unwilling to ship out individual shoes all the time. Passion Soles was able to secure an exclusive arrangement with a particular wholesaler to meet Passion's needs.

Women generally care more about style then fit. This is evidenced by the fact that there are so many high heeled, narrow mid-foot shoes that look incredibly uncomfortable. With this recognized, Passion Soles will meet the customer's needs by providing an unmatched selection of women's fashion shoes.  The customers will truly appreciate the selection that will allow them to find the perfect pair of shoes for any outfit.

Keys to Success

The keys to success is to meet the demand for an upscale women's shoe store with a wide selection and focused customer attention.

  • Fashionable designs.
  • Fast customer delivery.
  • Well-trained employees.
  • Selection.

Critical Issues

Passion Soles is still in the speculative stages as a retail store.  Its critical issues are to continue to take a modest fiscal approach; expand at a reasonable rate, not for the sake of expansion in itself, but because it is fiscally prudent to.

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