Forestsecret

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Forestsecret

Category : Articles

1.0 INTRODUCTION

2.0 BACKGROUND

Forest??™secret is a local herbal brand that was born from the Government??™s initiative under the Glokal Entrepreneur Programme, graced by The Honourable Dato??™ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak on 27 March 2007. Under the Glokal Entrepreneur Programme, Forest??™secret business concept of marketing Malaysian cosmetics and toiletries products abroad is aimed at producing entrepreneurs with a global outlook, which would make them more competitive to produce high-quality products and create strong product branding in order to capture the local market and eventually to compete globally. Forest??™secret set to become a Herbal Hub in the country, with a mission to become the Asia??™s most innovative leader in the herbal-based wellness and beauty brand, Forest??™secret is entrusted with the responsibility to develop and grow the industry for the wealth and wellbeing of stakeholders and the nation at large, governed by the following objectives:

a. To promote and market our very own local herbal-based products under Forest??™secret brand to local and international market

b. To serve as a platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to market their herbal-based products locally and abroad

c. To educate the public on the nutritional value and health benefits from using local herbal products

Forest??™secret seeks to champion the Malaysian herbal industry through a dynamic process of fostering, developing and marketing of national herbal-based products that will enable and empower its stakeholders. The first prototype of Forest??™secret outlet was opened on 6 April 2007 at The Curve Mutiara Damansara that includes four herbal-based product ranges from Body and Skin Care, Aromatherapy and Spa, Health Food and Drinks and Colour Cosmetics. Forest??™secret developed and managed by Forest??™Secret Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia International Franchise Sdn Bhd (MyFranchise), a franchise investment holding company and the investment arm of Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PNS).
Unlike a typical health, beauty and wellness product, Forest??™secret provides a unique positioning through its offering as innovative herbal solutions, and thus an opportunity for Forest??™secret success exists because:

a. 80% of the world??™s population depends on herbal medicine as their basic healthcare needs and growing at the rate of 7% per annum (WHO, 2004)

b. Local Cosmetics &Toiletries (C&T) industry is growing about 12% annually (US Dept of Commerce, 2006)

c. The local market has no provider who solely specialize in herbal-based product – ???One-Stop Herbal Centre??? of beauty and wellness

The C&T market reported in National Geography that the worldwide annual expenditure is estimated at USD18 billion (source: Business for Sale, Jul/Aug 2008):

a. C&T in China is valued at USD6.3 billion (20% – 25% average growth over the past 5 years)

b. C&T in Middle East to increase by more than AED11 billion by 2010 (growing at a rate of 12% annually)

c. C&T in Malaysia is valued at RM3.6 billion (healthy annual projected growth rate of 13%). Malaysians annually spend an estimated USD500 million on C&T

The Forest??™secret SWOT Analysis is as follows:

STRENGTHS

a) Government Project
Forest??™secret was born under the Government initiative of Glokal Entrepreneur Programme. Thus, Forest??™secret have the Government??™s endorsement, support and good access to related grants.

b) Brand Name
Forest??™secret brand name is an international name, well accepted, catchy and represents the core business of the brand i.e. herbal.

c) Herbal-based Product
Herbal-based products are Forest??™secret core business. Natural and herbal products are very popular nowadays. Many customers are increasing awareness of the benefits of these products and look from credible source. Forest??™secret believes that the popularity will continue to grow.

d) Competitive Pricing and Quality Products
Forest??™secret products come from the best of Indo-Malay herbal traditions; an innovative product from the forests to suit the modern needs. Forest??™secret offers the good quality products at competitive price and with value added.

e) Halal products
Consumers are increasing awareness of safe, halal and ???green??? products that are both environmentally and socially responsible.

f) Malaysian products
Forest??™secret champions the local herbal products and pioneer the use of Asian herbal products in modern lives. It is uniquely Malaysian brand and products.

g) Business Concept
Forest??™secret offers tremendous breadth and depth in herbal products as ???One-Stop Herbal Centre???. Forest??™secret offers various attractive business concepts that include franchising and dealership.

a. WEAKNESSES

a) Direction
Forest??™secret has adopted no blueprint thus far, therefore no strategic focus based on long-term profitability and growth prospects. This has also contributed to lack of clarity in translation of the vision (implementation strategy).

b) Brand and Product Awareness
Forest??™secret is a new brand and a start-up business. With limited promotion activities, Forest??™secret secured no awareness and recognition. It will take some time to build credibility and strategically market Forest??™secret brand positioning to create brand awareness and induce sales.

c) Accessibility and Location
Not all Forest??™secret outlets are located at strategic location. The number is still low, and thus lack of accessibility to customers.

d) Outlet Presentation/Identity
The ambiance of Forest??™secret outlet is still lacking of identity and character.

e) Human Capital
Forest??™secret has limited resources, thus not able to fully serve the brand. Staff are micromanaged and overstretched to deliver well. Staff also lack of focus training and work values.

f) Market Intelligence
Forest??™secret is lack of business research and development (R&D) and market intelligence for better understanding the market and customers.

g) Financing
Forest??™secret has no sufficient start up funds and financing. Forest??™secret poor sales performance has threatened cash position. Limited budget for long term investment will quickly ???kill??™ the brand growth.

h) Product Offerings
Forest??™secret has a limited product, and yet to have the ???killer??™ or best-selling products.

i) System and Operations
Forest??™secret is a new business, thus no proven or steady system. It is based on trial and error. Also has limited system operations procedure and manual.

b. OPPORTUNITY

a) Government Policies
Forest??™secret follows the Government efforts to establish the Herbal Hub and Halal Hub.

b) Financing Options
Forest??™secret is a national project. Thus the financing and grants are available by various Ministries and agencies. Forest??™secret is also backed by the Government.

c) Market Trend
It is now a market trend both local and global to increase awareness and conscious on beauty and health. The national C&T market is growing at least 10% annually.

d) Marketing Agents for SMEs
Forest??™secret is established with the objective to serve as a platform for SMEs to market their products local and abroad. Forest??™secret has the pool of local herbal manufacturers to supply the best R&D herbal products. Forest??™secret is the leading supporter of the local community trade.

e) Untapped Market for the Brand
Forest??™secret has much to offer to the market. With its unique philosophy and core business of herbal based, halal and green business, Forest??™secret will penetrate the untapped market and increasing demand of those products.

f) Infancy stage for the Brand
As a new comer with a new set up, Forest??™secret has a flexibility to venture into various related investment in herbal based business. These include the brand vertical integration of Forest??™secret spa, beauty centre, cafe, apparels, and many more.

c. THREATS

a) Competition
There are a growing number of players in herbal-based beauty and wellness industry that offer lower price in the local market.

b) Dependent on Government Grants
As Forest??™secret depends on the Government support to fund the business??™ initial stage for development, this might threaten Forest??™secret cash flow as the grants will depends very much on the Government policies.

c) Imitation of Product
There are no agencies and companies in Malaysia that specialize solely in marketing premium herbal products thus far. However, other ???big boys??™ may follow Forest??™secret??™s lead in the future.

1. Economic Slowdown
The strong domestic economy has been good for the C&T industry. Continued growth is anticipated. However, unforeseen or unanticipated economic recession would reduce disposable income and threaten Forest??™secret sales.

2. Changes in Government Policies
As Forest??™secret business are governed by various acts and regulations such as by Ministry of Health and Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism, there might be policies changes especially in product application and approval from time to time.

3. Inconsistent Commitment
Forest??™secret is currently managed by a government agency. Inconsistency commitment may occur when the management changes, unlike the entrepreneur-led business.

d) ACHIEVEMENTS AND STATUS

a. Since its operation in 2007, Forest??™secret??™s achievement and status are summarized as below:

STRATEGY
ACHIEVEMENT

Product Development
??? From 68 to 244 products
??? From 3 to 4 product ranges
??? Spa services – in progress (Forest??™secret Spa & Wellness)

Brand Development

??? New herbal brand + concept store with modern concept and international outlook
??? Brand Mission, Essence, Values, Attributes, Promise

Marketing Channel Development
??? Corporate Outlet: 5 outlets
??? Franchisee Outlet: 4 outlet
??? Dealership Programme – Single Level Direct Selling (April 2009) : 30 Master Dealers + 1,440 Dealers
??? Corporate Accounts: 2 hotels & spas
??? In progress of identifying of potential locations at international markets

Supply Chain Development
??? From 8 to 22 Bumiputera herbal manfacturers
??? From 3 to 15 Bumiputera service providers

Franchise Development
??? Herbal Academy Malaysia – a training centre to all staff, franchisees and dealers
??? Forest??™secret Spa & Wellness – in progress

e) GOALS & STRATEGIES

a. FS to constantly apply the Blue Ocean Strategy to stop trying to beat the competition but to:
a. create uncontested market space;
b. make the competition irrelevant;
c. create and capture new demand;
d. break the value-cost trade-off; and
e. align the whole system of the company??™s activities in pursuit of differentiation and value-for-money

b. The Blue Ocean Strategy is to create a new standard in the market where only Forest??™secret products and services can live up to. Forest??™secret needs to create a new market and stand above our competitors. It is the ???consumer age???, and Forest??™secret to effectively apply its marketing and communication strategy.

c. Marketing will play a crucial role in the success of Forest??™secret. Emphasis will be given to building the right brand positioning, creating the brand awareness, attracting potential customers, keeping customers and building brand loyalty. Innovation and ability to adapt to changing circumstances are also critical to Forest??™secret.

d. Forest??™secret marketing challenge is to position the brand, product and service offerings as the high-quality, high value-add alternative to box pushing in a vacuum.

e. Forest??™secret to change its focus to differentiate itself from box pushers and improve the business by filling the real need of mid-end target customers for innovative and reliable herbal products including body and skincare, aromatherapy and spa, health food and drinks, colour cosmetics, perfumery and fragrances and all wellness and beauty related services.

f. The Forest??™secret keys to success are:

a. Uncompromising Commitment to the Quality Products & Services
Value innovation, great choice of product variance, educative and beneficial herbal consultations, quality of end result.

b. Successful Niche Marketing
Focus on the quality-conscious customer in the right and multiple marketing channels: retail (licensing), dealership (single-level direct selling), corporate sales, and international business.

c. Unique Brand Positioning
Forest??™secret to effectively communicate its unique selling proposition by using the approach of entrepreneurial marketing – to lead the customers and makes them feel in need and better about the products. Forest??™secret have to be sufficiently strong to win customers and defeat competitors.

g. TARGET MARKET

i. Forest??™secret targets Middle to High End market. The demographics and psychographics of the target market are as follows:

TARGET DEMOGRAPHICS PSYCHOGRAPHICS
Primary Women
??? 25-45 year olds
??? Urban
??? Income group of RM40K and above
??? Professional, Managers, Executive, Businessmen ??? Lead a Modern Contemporary Lifestyle
??? Health Conscious
??? Beauty Conscious
??? Thinks Green/Buys Green
Secondary Women
??? 15-25 year olds
??? Teenagers/Students
??? Urban Residents

Men
??? 25-50 year olds
??? Professional, Managers, Executive, Businessmen ??? Lead a Modern Contemporary Lifestyle
??? Health Conscious
??? Beauty Conscious
??? Thinks Green/Buys Green

ii. Forest??™secret positions itself above Avon and slightly lower than BodyShop in terms of pricing strategy.

h. MARKETING ??“ PLACE

i. Forest??™secret has categorized its marketing place into 4 distribution channels:
A. Retail (Licensing)
B. Dealership (Single-Level Direct Selling)
C. Corporate Business
D. International Business

A. Retail (Licensing)

a. Corporate Outlets (refer Assumptions on FSSB Cash Flow Statement FY 2009)
??? 5 existing shops : Curve, Central Market, Tesco Ampang, Tesco Melaka, Plaza Angsana Johor Bahru (closed One Utama, sold Sunway Pyramid, converted Jonker Street to Master Dealer)
??? 3 new outlets proposed : 1 shop + 2 kiosks
??? The 6th outlet (kiosk) : Wangsa Walk (12 Sept 2009)
??? The 7th outlet (shop) : target to be opened in Nov 2009
??? The 8th outlet (kiosk) : target to be opened in Dec 2009

b. The potential local market places are identified as follows: Bukit Raja Klang, The Ampang, 1 Shamelin, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Suria KLCC Phase 2, Putrajaya, Higher Education Institutions : UUM, USIM, UiTM, IIUM

c. Forest??™secret targets the Corporate Outlets to contribute about 59% of the revenue, by using the Dealership Programme as its marketing channel and recruitment centre. The Dealership Programme has been kicked off in May 2009.

d. Licensee Outlets (refer Assumptions on FSSB Cash Flow Statement FY2009). Forest??™secret targets to have at least 6 licensee outlets that will also act as the ???recruitment centre??? for Dealership Programme as follows:
??? 1shop
??? 5 kiosks

e. 4 licensees have been secured todate : Kuala Terengganu; Kota Kinabalu International Airport ??“ Terminal 1 and LCCT; and Sunway Pyramid.

f. Potential locations: Penang, Miri, Ipoh, Alor Setar, Kota Bharu, Kuantan, Kemaman, Johor Bahru.

g. Forest??™secret targets Licensee will contribute about 13% of the Forest??™secret revenue.

B. Dealership (Single-Level Direct Selling)

a. Forest??™secret perceives the Dealership Programme as an active channel to reach the sub-urban, rural and targeted area such as universities and colleges, and to rapidly create brand presence and awareness.

b. Women of young adults such as single mothers, students or even working women are among the potential Forest??™secret Master Dealer and Dealer.

c. Forest??™secret targets to have at least 50 Master Dealers, and 1,000 active Dealers by end of 2009, which estimation of 59% contribution to the Forest??™secret revenue. The Dealership Programme has started the recruitment in May 2009.

C. Corporate Business

a. Forest??™secret to actively enter the corporate business to supply amenities and salon packs for hotels, resorts, spas, salons, flights, and other related corporate business, as well as corporate gift sets.

b. FS is currently supplies to Ancasa Hotels & Resorts Kuala Lumpur Port and Dickson. Other potentials are MAS, government-owned hotels and resorts, government-owned beauty institutions/centres.

c. Forest??™secret targets Corporate Sales to contribute about 28% of the revenue.
D. International Business

a. Forest??™secret to thoroughly study the market acceptance on the products and brand. R&D and business networking to be aggressively conducted prior to market entry and to have a good brand strategy to enter the selected market.

b. Forest??™secret to get the right local partner to market and distribute the products. Among potential markets are Middle East (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Kuwait, Qatar), and Far East (Hong Kong, Beijing, China mainland). These are among the countries that are looking for halal products and based on their Muslim population.

c. Forest??™secret targets to selectively conduct the market development, and to kick off the business by year end 2010. However, Forest??™secret opens its distributorship to international market.

i. MARKETING ??“ PRODUCTS

i. Forest??™secret will have a tremendous breath and depth in product in line with its vision to become the herbal hub as well as to actively support the community trade (SME herbal manufacturers). To date, Forest??™secret has 190 SKUs on shelf and 54 for salon pack, totaling 244.

ii. Forest??™secret product strategy will include new products, new product line extensions, product improvement, improve weaker product lines or even product elimination. This product strategy will be complemented by naming strategy and packaging strategy.

iii. Forest??™secret to collaborate with research institutes such as MARDI, SIRIM, FRIM, TPM, MBC, MHC or even universities such as UPM, UM, UTM for product development (R&D) to achieve the gold standard in product technology and formulation.

iv. The Forest??™secret product line comprises of 5 categories as below.
1. Forest Care – Body & Skin Care
2. Forest Spa – Aromatherapy & Spa
3. Forest Food – Health Food & Drinks
4. Forest Colour – Colour Cosmetics (newly introduced Mid Dec 2008)
5. Forest Fresh – Perfumery and Fragrances (end 2009)
v. Forest??™secret targets to introduce another 100 SKUs by end of 2009. Priority on local condition and skincare, multifunctional products, product for man, skin whitening product, sliming product and natural products. Refer paper on Forest??™secret product development.

j. MARKETING – PRICE

i. Since Forest??™secret is still a new brand in the market, Forest??™secret sets a lower price compared to its competitor of mid-high end market, by applying the ???penetration price strategy???. That yields a low unit margin but creates a high incentive for the target market to purchase and allows Forest??™secret to penetrate the market quickly.

ii. Looking at the market scenario in 2009, it is important for Forest??™secret to consider the perceived value, incentive to buy and cost price. As the larger the incentive, the more likely the customer to buy especially for a new brand with no credibility, testimonial yet.

iii. Forest??™secret remains its margin between 20% – 90%, or above:

??? Body & Skin care : 50% – 90%
??? Aromatherapy & Spa : 60% – 90%
??? Health Food & Drinks : 20% – 80%
??? Colour Cosmetics : 80% and above

Forest??™secret is revisiting its pricing as to standardize the margin, in line with the re-packaging exercise to follow suit the brand identity.

k. MARKETING ??“ PROMOTIONS

i. It is important for a new brand like Forest??™secret to create brand awareness and establish its presence. A good branding strategy is deemed crucial for Forest??™secret positioning for effective marketing and communication.

ii. Forest??™secret targets to implement the marketing and communication as follows:

1. Advertising : to create awareness + post-purchase
2. PR, CSR + Publicity : to create awareness + post-purchase
3. Sales Promotion (LSM) : to create conviction + purchase
4. Personal Selling (CS + LSM) : to create conviction + purchase
5. Internet Marketing : to create awareness + conviction + post-purchase

iii. Forest??™secret plans to aggressively kick-off the advertising and marketing in the media starting from September 2009 onwards with the objective to create more impact and consistently generate brand awareness and finally brand conviction as below. As at July, Forest??™secret has invested a total of RM892,763 in advertising, marketing and promotion activities.

MEDIA DETAILS TOTAL
Television
– TV3 RM75,000 per month RM225,000
Radio
– Hot FM RM50,000 per month RM150,000
Newspaper
– Berita Harian, Metro
– Utusan Malaysia, Kosmo RM150,000 per month RM450,000
Magazine
– BM (Adult ie Wanita, Nona)
– BM (Teen ie Glam, Eh!)
– ENG (Adult ie Cosmopolitan)
– CHINESE (Adult) RM25,000 X 4 magazines RM100,00
Marketing Event
– Launch of Contest
– Launch of New Product:
Men Series & Fragrances
RM100,000 X 3 events RM300,000
TOTAL RM1,225,000

f) FINANCIAL IMPLICATION

a. CAPEX

Allocation for capital expenditure includes office furniture and office equipment for new HQ staff and new outlet renovation.

CAPEX Budget 2009
Store Capex 360,000

Head Office Capex
– Office Furniture 13 pax 65,000
– Office Equipment 13 pax 65,000
– POS System 100,000

TOTAL CAPEX 590,000

b. DEVELOPMENT COST

Details allocation for Development Cost as below:

Product, Brand and Market Development

– New Products & Packaging : 100 SKUs 500,000

– R&D, Quality Control, Halal, BPFK 120,000

– International Market Development 75,000

– Brand Development : Audit, Platform, Identity
200,000

TOTAL DEVELOPMENT 895,000

c. OPERATION EXPENDITURE

Details for operation expenditure as below:

– Marketing, Event, A&P 2,117,763

– Roadshow, Exhibition 574,091

– Sponsorship, PR, CSR, Charity,Publication 161,516

– Dealership Campaign, Incentives, Kit 374,360

– Dealership Commission (20%-30%) 233,238

– Selling, Distribution & Purchases 1,940,278

– General Administration 1,823,457

– Staff Cost
1,323,185

TOTAL OPERATION EXPENDITURE 8,547,888

d. SALES REVENUE

The turnover based on FSSB operating 8 outlets, 50 Master Dealers, 1,000 active Dealers, Corporate Sales, 8 Licensee Outlets sales is as follows:

– Retail/Dealership Sales ??“ Corporate Outlets 1,021,609
– Master Dealer Sales 260,163
– Corporate Sales 621,529
– Licensee Sales (Replenishment) 117,000

TOTAL SALES REVENUE 2,020,301

e. NON OPERATING INCOME

Details for allocation for Non Operating Income as below:

Other Income – Royalty 19,500

Other Income – Fee 150,000

TOTAL 169,500

In 2008, FSSB recorded a revenue amounting to RM540,458, a 141.5% increase in comparison to RM223,760 in 2007. For FY2009, FSSB targets to generate a revenue totaling RM2,189,801 an increase of about 245%. FSSB targets to break even by end of 2011 (see attached Projected Cash Flow Statement Year 2010 and 2011).

g) CONCLUSION

a. We seek the Board??™s direction and approval on the following:

i. To proceed with Forest??™secret Plan and Strategies based on the 5 Strategic Thrusts:
1. Development of Products
2. Development of Brand
3. Development of Market
4. Development of Supply Chain
5. Development of Franchise

ii. To approve the budget for FY2009 for Operating Cost RM8,547,888; Developmental Cost RM895,000; and Capex Cost RM590,000 to generate a revenue of RM2,189,801.