Strategic Marketing Management – 42BELOW


42BELOW is a precise example of companies that have strategic marketing tactics to the maximum. It only entered the vodka marketing in 1999 (42BELOW, 2014). However, it has now joined the ranks of the most famous companies in the industry. The secret has been to be more vigorous in marketing its products by selecting the best tools for that purpose. The company may not have had the resources for running its current marketing strategy at the beginning. It has however, utilized its innovativeness to ensure faster growth and a better image for its customers. This paper explores the various ways in which the company has create its current resource base, its size and the way it uses these resources to fuel a superior marketing strategy that has prompted its growth.

The Company

42BELOW was founded by Geoff Ross an entrepreneur from New Zealand. According to the 42BELOW website, the company Geoff Ross founded the company after reading an ad about vodka that came from a country in which the ad claimed to be pure. Upon reading the ad, he thought that New Zealand being as pure as it is was able to produce much better vodka. He then began a company based from home and started off by doing the production process and being assisted by the wife in the distribution. Back then, he used to sell about six cases of vodka per week. The company is currently listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and distributes its gin and vodka in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK (Morrish, Walker, & Gountas, 2009). The company has had a relatively fast growth. The company was motivated by the prospect of being a global brand and therefore adopted the ‘born global’ strategy. This strategy strives to create an international basis even before it is stable in the home country.

Marketing strategy

The company has adopted various strategies to spearhead its growth. Mainly, it has been unique in its marketing efforts and has been in the media spotlight most of the time. According to Morrish, Miles and Deacon (2010), the company has employed a variety of strategies to stay ahead of its consumers and build a strong customer base. Some of these strategies include creating new unique product spaces and consumer segments rather than joining the competition, and using targeted distribution and promotion.

New Product Spaces

The company has always striven to create products that were above the market expectation. While it is leads to higher taxes, the company has maintained the 42% purity for all its products. This has mostly been to complement its name but also so as to ensure that the product produced was far better compared to other products in the market.

The company has also been intent to creating products with flavors that have not been created below. A good example is the kiwi flavor. The kiwi flavor has not been used in alcoholic drinks before. For other products, the flavors are foreign to most of the consumers outside New Zealand. According to Morrish, most Americans have no idea what Manuka is. The introduction of such flavors has created new markets as people attempt them.

Consumer segments

The company chose to pursue the high end consumers who have a lot of disposable income. It however understood that this was going to be an uphill task and therefore undertook several measures to ease the task. First, the company started a vodka university. This is a place where bar employees are trained on how to mix alcoholic drinks as well as the superiority of the 42 BELOW brand over other brands (, 2006). The company targeted to market the products through bar employees. This they did by targeting those bars that were the meeting places of the targeted customer segment and training the employees about vodka. They also made these places the distribution points of their products.

Targeted distribution and marketing

One way the company has ensured that its products sold well is by the selection of one target market and sticking to it. To ensure that they did show their loyalty to this customer base, they have also only promoted their product to this market (, 2014). The company has mainly been intent on using promotions that promote to this market. Primarily, the company has used viral marketing since most of its customers are media savvy.


The company has always used premium prices for its products. According to Better by Design (2013), the company has always either given its products for free or sold it at higher prices. The use of premium prices is a method of marketing by itself. It also does not compromise the product quality. It is the best method for use by a company that produces superior products.

Resources and capabilities

The company has made a sizeable human resource base. These include sales people, trainers, manufacturing staff and transporters. It also has a motivated administration whose titles are as motivated as themselves (Sanfilippo, & Walstra, 2002).

These personnel have made it possible for the company to stay ahead of their competition. The training granted to the staff is also of superior quality and has contributed to the growth of the company. The company has also participated in trainings of those people who distribute its products so as to ensure that the company has higher capacity than would be possible without them.


The company has been able to grow fast. Its superior products have contributed to this growth. It also has had a sizeable exposure to its market through promotional activities. The company has also benefited from the unique and innovative products it produces. It also has a wonderful packaging that complements its quality.


The company has two main weaknesses. First, of its products are sold at comparably higher prices compared to those of its competitors. This implies that the company gets limited in the market it can target. Second, the company has had a series of negative media images. This has included issues with human rights, religion and politics. It has also has had issues with ethical standards and competitive standards (Biggadike, 1981). These have highly reduced its marketing capability. However, they might also have contributed to a bigger exposure of their products.


The company has the capacity to distribute in more countries. The company should attempt marketing in other countries like Germany, Russia and France. These are all countries which offer similar products but have a similarly high market for similar products the high income rates associated with these countries will also create good target market for its high price products (Anderson, & Vincze, 2004). The company may also opt to offer its training services to more companies within its countries of distribution to provide services to its products.


The company 42 beyond has had a tremendous growth since its inception in 1999. Its growth has been attributed to marketing strategies that have been primarily based on its superior products and the country of origin. The company has been innovative and has stuck to its target market hence strengthening its command in this market. 42BEYOND also has better products compared to those of its consumers. Its unique product range, superior packaging and promotional activities have contributed to its growth.


Anderson, C., & Vincze, J. (2004). Strategic marketing management (1st ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Biggadike, E. (1981). The contributions of marketing to strategic management. Academy Of Management Review, 6(4), 621–632.

Sanfilippo, J., & Walstra, J. (2002). Strategic Marketing Management. MBA Handbook For Healthcare Professionals, 51.

Better by Design,. (2013). 42 Below. Retrieved 1 September 2014, from,. (2014). Every Bastard Says No: The 42 Below Story – Fishhead. Retrieved 1 September 2014, from,. (2006). Extreme Word of Mouth Marketing with 42 Below | Simple and Loveable. Retrieved 1 September 2014, from

Morrish, S. C., Walker, O., & Gountas, J. (2009). 42Below: The story of a spirited vodka company. Marketing strategy and cases: A decision-focused approach (1st ed., pp. 370–375). Sydney: McGraw-Hill.

Morrish, S. C., Miles, M. P., & Deacon, J. H. (2010). Entrepreneurial marketing: acknowledging the entrepreneur and customer-centric interrelationship. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 18(4), 303-316.

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