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NOVEMBER 30, 2005




Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc, hereinafter, will be referred to as

Bridgestone. Bridgestone is a well-established corporation in the business of selling

varied tire and rubber products to markets all over the world. In this marketing plan, we

are focusing on mostly the tire part of the business, which accounts for the majority of

Bridgestones sales revenues and the effect of customer service centers.

In this marketing plan, we have outlined specific financial, as well as non-

financial goals and ways to help implement these goals and reach projected quotas. We

feel that because Bridgestone is such a large corporation, with a large amount of capital,

as well as being well- established in the tire industry, it has more freedom to take

marketing risks. These risks involve spreading out and adding more outlets all over the

world and taking advantage of opportunities of countries with rising economies.

Bridgestone also has the ability to be more environmentally safe and to give back to the

community, through recycling of tire products, such as in playgrounds and in underwater

reefs, as well as reusing rubber products for construction purposes. Bridgestone also has

the ability to help with environmental relief efforts, by contributing to help with world


As far as product development, Bridgestone is constantly increasing its product

line, by introducing new types of tires, and adding improvements to those that have been

in the market for a while. It is one of the leading tire producers in the world, but there is

still competition, and the way to get ahead is to offer consumers new products that are

more cost-efficient, safe, and durable, with good warranties and convenient and available

help provided by service centers when needed.

Bridgestone needs to expand its number of company-based stores that are located

within America. It also needs to establish new markets every year, both geographic ones

throughout the world, but also with new demographics, such as younger generations.

Bridgestone offers quality tires, while remaining at low, competitive prices and

that is what has attracted its customers for years. It has a wide consumer base as it is, and

revenue is in the millions, but there are always way to improve and make its products

available to more people worldwide.


Bridgestone is a leader in world tire technology. Its roots begin in 1900 when

Harvey S. Firestone established The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in Ohio. A few

years later, in 1931, a man named Shojiro Ishibashi created Bridgestone Tire Company

Ltd. in Japan. In 1990, these two companies merged to form Bridgestone Americas. This

company is an international manufacturer and contains 38 production facilities scattered

all across the United States.

Tires are the largest part of Bridgestones business. Bridgestone develops,

manufactures, and markets tires designed for almost any type of vehicle. There are more

than 8,000 different varieties currently offered by Bridgestone. Along with tires, air

springs, building materials, synthetic and natural rubbers, and industrial fibers and

textiles are manufactured and sold across America and internationally.

Tires are sold through outlets all across America. There are currently more than

12,000 different outlets where tires are available and these include independent dealers,

discount retailers, warehouse clubs, and company-owned stores. Tires range from 13-

foot-tall giant radial tires for earthmoving equipment all the way down to kart tires as

small as 10 inches with passenger, light truck, truck, bus, construction, mining,

agricultural, and motorcycle tires in between.

Bridgestone prides itself in offering tires to the world that are the most

technologically advanced, as well as being safe and effective. It continually invests in

research, experimentation, and testing to better its products. Bridgestone wants its name

to be known in every household and across America and to boast a prestigious reputation

in high- quality. This marketing plan outlines how Bridgestone Americas will widen its

coverage, grow their market, and improve their reputation.


This section of the Marketing Plan covers three aspects of corporate strategy that

influence the marketing plan: (1) the mission/ vision, (2) goals, and (3) core competence/

sustainable competitive advantage of Bridgestone.

Mission/ Vision

The mission and vision of Bridgestone can be best summed by the mottos of the

original founders. Ishibashi of Bridgestones philosophy on how to influence the

corporate world of tire technology as well as affecting the community in a positive way

was Serve Society with Superior Quality. Harvey of Firestones mission was to be the

Best Today- Still Better Tomorrow, which showed his motivation in trying to constantly

improve his products to offer the highest degree of excellence. The combined values of

these two innovators are representative of the current passion that Bridgestone Firestone

has today in trying to offer the highest quality products to the largest consumer base

possible, while providing excellent customer service as well as satisfaction.

The current
slogan of
Bridgestone is
Passion for


Bridgestone hopes to achieve the following goals within the next five years.

Non-financial Goals:

1. Focus on giving back to the community and staying involved in relief efforts.

2. Actively participate in recycling in order to protect the environment. For

example, initiating projects such as tire use in playgrounds and in artificial reefs.

3. Take advantage of opportunities in Latin America. There is renewed growth in

the sales and profits in this geographic area and Bridgestone needs to act on those.

4. Improving within every company-owned store the service offered, such as

having vehicles ready when promised and to have problems with vehicles that are

brought in fixed right the first time.

Financial Goals:

1. To minimize loss claims on vehicles by customers by improving service and


2. Increase sales by promoting the fighting tire.

3. Increase dividend payouts to attract stockholders. This will increase

Bridgestones capital in the long run.

Core Competency and Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Bridgestone seeks to provide high quality tires that are dependable to the

consumer, because safety is the number one priority to the company. Bridgestone wants

its customers to be able to rely on its products and focuses its efforts on continually

technologically improving its tires. These competencies can be translated into a

sustainable competitive advantage by Bridgestone broadening its market base to include

not only new geographic areas, but also new consumers within areas, such as appealing to

younger customers through new marketing programs. Bridgestone aims to work on

satisfying all the needs of its consumers.


The situation analysis begins with a SWOT analysis. After this, the levels of

the tire industry, competitors, the company, and its consumers are described and


SWOT Analysis

Internal Factors Strengths Weaknesses

Management Continuing to hire new highly East Africa Firestone is
skills management teams claiming to sever all ties with
Offerings Rebates on tires, to make them Rebates cut profits; tend to
more attractive to buyers attract bargain hunters, doesnt
gain customer loyalty
Marketing New marketing campaign New campaign costs
designed to attract a younger significantly more money
Personnel Hiring large number of new Large number of employees
employees need to be trained well, and
know our services
Finance Money entering the Paid out $240 Million to Ford
corporation, through sales due to settle dispute about tires
to rebates on tires

Manufacturing Becoming more efficient in New technological advances
manufacturing can be expensive to implement
R&D Experimenting with new Longer lasting tires cuts into
rubber to make tires last profits

External Factors Opportunities Threats

Consumer/ Social Partnership with General Hard to please todays ever
Motors. Bridgestone tires will changing market, customers
be factory-equipped on certain have more information readily
vehicles available to them
Competitive Established brand, draws New low price tires, while not
customers in, and our quality quality, steal our market share
product keeps them coming
Technological New technology in run flat Competitors with new
tires, could help our industry technologies that reduce their
total costs
Economic Highly competitive in foreign Foreign markets raise costs of
markets doing business
Legal/ Regulatory Pollution laws in foreign Pollution in a River in East
markets make production Africa could have legal
easier, and cheaper repercussions
Industry Analysis

According to AutoBusiness, the tire industry has been constant for the past

century. There have been no new great contributions. Despite mergers, material

improvements, and design changes, which have made tires cheaper, long-lasting, and

effective, it is still a commodity product. The industry has potential for change through

factors such as the growth of global brands, new design of tires (such as the development

of run-flat tires by Michelin) which may affect the design of vehicles, new manufacturing

techniques which will alter the economics of the industry, and national and regional

legislation, which is in part because of the Firestone recall, which is changing product

specification and the whole life cost of the tire. The current total industry revenue is

$60,071 million dollars.

Competitors in the Tire Market

Bridgestones main competitors in the tire market include Continental, AG,

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, BFGoodrich Tires, Cooper Tire and Rubber, and

Bandag, Inc.

Company Analysis

Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. has such an extensive background, with

strengths coming from both sides of the merger in 1990 between Japans Bridgestone

company and Americas Firestone company. The merger created a huge advantage for

Bridgestone in the international market. They were automatically global. Bridgestone

also has an advantage because they have been in the tire industry for a very long time.

Currently, Bridgestones revenue is $20,678 million dollars. Bridgestone is in control of

34% of the total tire industry. (Appendix B,

Customer Analysis

May through September is the busiest time of year for Firestone because all the

children of customers are out of school. College kids are coming home and need work

done on their cars. Families are also going on vacation and need their cars to be

maintained when driving long distances. In August and September College students are

going back to school and need maintenance done before returning and parents have less

time because of younger kids being back in school. Therefore they need their car

maintenance up to date. The percentage of men versus women that purchase from

Firestone is becoming more even as time passes. Women are becoming increasingly more

prevalent in the business as the primary purchasers.


This section describes the five-year marketing and product objectives for

Bridgestone Tires and the target markets, points of difference, and positioning of its lines

of tires.

Marketing and Product Objectives

Bridgestone Firestones marketing intent is to broaden its market and make its

brand name known worldwide.

Current Markets. Current Markets will be grown by expanding product lines and

increasing the technology of tires, new tires will be designed. Also, Bridgestone will

improve customer loyalty. This will be done by creating customers that will buy from

Bridgestone for life, by improving the service of tire stores and promoting repeat

purchasers and advantages for Bridgestones consumers.

New Markets. Bridgestone is currently undergoing a new campaign to attract the

younger generation markets. It is also gearing advertisements towards women.

Bridgestone also hopes to take advantage of opportunities in foreign countries where

the market is improving, such as in Latin America and Costa Rica, and to widen the

market base in these geographic areas.

Global Markets. Bridgestone caters to 20 countries all over the world. Bridgestone

should increase this number, as well as make sure it increases its number of outlets in

each country, to internally increase the specific markets of individual countries.

Tire Sales. Bridgestone hopes to improve tire sales by creating more company-owned

stores, to expand its market. The goal is to add 500 more outlets, which may be

company-owned or otherwise. One of Bridgestones major competitors is Goodyear,

which is publicly traded, which produced $3 billion in revenue for 2004. Bridgestone

hopes to be more competitive with this industry competitor and increase sales within

the next five years to reach this mark.

New products. Through technological advances, Bridgestone will design new tires

that will be more effective, safe, and cost-efficient, not only for its consumers, but in

the production of these tires. New product screening has been taking place, and there

are continually new products that are brought into Bridgestones line and introduced

into the market. Within the five year plan, Bridgestones goal is to create at least 10

new products, and to have successfully introduced these products to the market, as

well as improving the production and efficiency of products and services that are

already available.

Target Markets

The target markets for Bridgestone tires are as varied as their products are. The

different categories of tires are performance, specialty, winter, touring, passenger, and

light/ medium truck. Performance tires are marketed to customers who have high-

performance vehicles and prefer higher end tires. Specialty tires are marketed to law

enforcement and high-speed emergency use. Winter tires, which are good for adverse

winter conditions, are geared, specifically in America, towards northern states and in

mountainous regions. Touring tires are for comfort and smooth rides, are geared toward

owners of luxury vehicles, and are more expensively priced. Passenger tires are for all-

weather conditions, come with a reliable warranty and are the most popular tire bought.

These tires have the widest market, and are geared to the everyday consumer. Light/

medium truck tires are designed for durability and are offered to truck owners. Other

tires include heavy-duty machinery tires which can be sold wholesale to separate

businesses, especially construction and mining companies. Smaller kart wheels are sold

to race car owners and are advertised through races and sometimes through sponsorship.

Points of Difference

The points of difference, which which makes Bridgestone unique in relation to its

competitors, fall into these categories:

Tires for Law Enforcement Vehicles: Tires are very good traction and handling

capabilities, and have passed the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department and

California Highway Patrol high-speed wear tests.

Passenger tires: Tires are available for Soccer Moms as well as people who

travel often. They have good handling in both wet and dry conditions and boast a

very smooth ride for children and comfortable ones for those on long journeys.

The Brand: Bridgestone Firestone is a very well-known name. It has been in the

industry for a long time, 1900 for Firestone, 1931 for Bridgestone, and 1990 since

the merger, which not only gives this company plenty of experience, but they

have a serious global advantage because the merger between Bridgestone and

Firestone united the hemispheres.

Tire Service: Service stores pride themselves in setting their service centers apart

from competitors because of the steps taken in cleanliness, and the amenities

offered to its customers. Waiting rooms are comfortable and clean, providing air-

conditioning and a nice atmosphere to relax and wait for the car service to be

completed. Entertainment is provided such as newspapers, magazines, television,

as well as nice decorations that are pleasing and attractive to the eye.

Refreshments are also offered such as coffee and water.


Bridgestone makes buying tires easy and convenient. Information is offered as to

what is the best type of tire for specific cars and what is most cost-efficient for the

customer. Service centers are convenient and are open seven days a week. Warranties

also provide the customer with a guarantee that they, and their tires, will be taken care of

in case of a problem. Bridgestone reassures customers that buying tires for their vehicles

is painless, easy, fast, and that Bridgestone is making a commitment when a consumer

purchases a tire.

Personal Selling

A large part of involvement with each firestone store is personal selling. Tires are

an expensive item and customers want to be able to rely on someone who knows what

they are talking about and can sell them a safe and high quality product at a reasonable

price. The managers are given a certain quota of how many tires need to be sold in a

month, as well as for the whole year, and they are expected to meet those quotas. The

managers must establish a relationship with between their regular customers and come up

with strategies to boost their tire sales for any given month. With tire sales, a manager has

to think about the basics. The manager needs to have a well-rounded knowledge of the

tires that are sold in their store in order to determine the customers needs. A manager

needs to probe the customer by asking questions about the vehicle that the tires will be

used for. Managers need to ask questions such as Who drives the car? How long do they

plan on keeping the car? And how is the car used? For example, if it is the child of the

customer who will be driving the car then they would probably want a higher quality tire

rather than the cheaper one to ensure the childs safety. However, if the customer just

drives it to and from work they might not need as expensive of a tire. If a customer drives

a luxury car such as a Lincoln, he or she is probably going to be looking for a smoother

ride and the manager would need to select a tire based on that necessity.

Another part of personal selling is advising the customer of the needs of their

vehicle to continue to run smoothly (such as oil changes) as well as any preventative

maintenance (brake fluid flushes, transmission fluid flushes, etc). This is in order to

extend the life of the car.

Robert Williford, a Bridgestone store manager in Yorktown, Virginia, stated that it

is important to, Never pre- judge a customer based on their appearance. A manager

should always approach each customer the same, and never assume that a customer is not

willing to spend the money needed to maintain their car. (Williford, Robert, 2005).


Introduction Growth Maturity Decline

Competition Several Must Many Reduced
Product Multiple Many Types/Styles Full Product Line Best Producing
Price Penetration Gain Market Share Defend profit Make Profit, but

keep low prices

Promotion Inform People Stress Points of Commercials with Small Promotion

Difference Reminders
Place (distribution) Limited Carry product more Carry Product still Sale of Old product

places more places to make room for


Product Strategy:

Bridgestone has a very wide and varied product line. There are many different

categories, as well as many different sizes and options within each category. The tires

that are best producing of profits are kept in the product line, and those that are not are

faded out of production. Bridgestone introduces many types of tires to test out how well

they are received by the public. If they are a popular, then more capital is invested in

improving the quality and trying to make it better. Currently, there are more than 8,000

different tire types.

Price Strategy:

On the whole, Bridgestone prices at the same level or below that of competitors,

but the price of specialty tires or high-performance varies depending on the type and

design. An example of pricing against competitors is a tire for the 1996 Jeep Cherokee


4 X 4 SUV. BFGoodrich sells its Radial Long Trail tire for $81.00 and Goodyear sells its

Fortera HL tire for $101.00. Bridgestone sells its tire, the Destination LE for $71.00. All

three tires are of the same size, have similar tread patterns, and fairly close wear

warranties. Bridgestone is trying to attract customers by pricing below its competitors.

The overall objective in pricing is to make a profit, while providing a quality tire. Certain

constraints Bridgestone encounters are the demand for quality tires at a price, the cost of

introducing a new tire, the cost of manufacturing a high mileage tire, and the cost of

technology. Although Bridgestone is well-established in the industry, the market is still

highly competitive throughout. It must remain on its feet with regards to technology, so

as not to fall behind and be taken over by other major industry leaders.

Promotion Strategy:

The key promotion strategies used by Bridgestone are ads for their sales in the

local newspaper (placed in the sports section every week), banners out at the front of the

store, stack all covers (cover stack of tires with questions like when was the last time

you had your oil changed?, or tire sales that the store is currently offering), Advo cards

(mailer cards to zip codes that purchase the most or ones that are closest to the store), and

Bridgestone credit cards (make you a preferred customer which gives special discounts

with statement or coupons). Another promotion is that if a customer has not been in the

store in the past six months they will receive a coupon to get the customer to come back

in the store. The most advertised discount is on oil changes. It is the most needed service

on cars. When coupons are mailed out the most common one is for an oil change. One

example of a discount Robert Williford is giving for his Yorktown, Virginia store is

placing coupons for buy 3 get 1 free for tires in a letter from the Hampton Irrigation

Services. He is personal friends with the owner of the company and they made a deal to

put these coupons in the letters because it benefits Robert Williford by giving him

businesses and it benefits the owner of HIS by making it seem as if he is giving his

customers a gift for the holidays.

Place Strategy:

Bridgestone Tires are available through outlets all over America. Consumers can

buy them through company-owned stores, independent dealers, discount retailers,

warehouse clubs. There are currently over 12,000 outlets nationwide.


Bridgestone is constantly experimenting with new products. Currently it is

working with tire rubber to make it last longer. Bridgestones goal is to create at least 10

new products within five years. It has copyrighted many products that are used not just by

its own company but by many within the industry. Included in these is a form of pitch

noise reduction. Tread block elements are arranged to produce noise-canceling sound

waves when the tire is in motion. Another element of its research and development is

what is known as the Ultimate Network of Intelligent Tire Technology or UNI-T.

This is a combination of technologies that work together to create the most advanced tires



Past Sales Revenue

Bridgestone. has steadily increased its sales revenue every year for the past five

years. Sales continue to rise at a steady, constant rate.

Year (millions)
2000: $17,171.4
2001: $18,257.3
2002: $19,232.2
2003: $19,712.7
2004: $20,677.5


Five-Year Projections

Financial Element Actual: Year 1: Year 2: Year 3: Year 4: Year 5:
(in millions) 2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Total Revenue 20,194 21,756 22,612 23,468 24,324 25,180
Gross Profit 7,382 8,020 8,339 8,658 8,977 9,296
Total Operating Expense 18,542 20,104 20,885 21,666 22,447 23,228
Net Income 956.4 1,550 1,847 2,144 2,441 2,738

Year 2005 is almost to a close, but information is not released until December 31,
2005 for the annual amount. We have estimated the financial as follows (in millions):
total revenue: $20, 900; gross profit: $7,701; total operating expense: $19,323; and net
income: $1,253. The projections were based off past financial elements as well as the
approximated 2005 financial elements.


Organization Structure provides a skeleton as to the outline of a company. The

Board of Directors is above the Presidentand
CEO. Bridgestone organization structure is

shown below from the President and CEO down to the Sales Regions and


Vice Vice Vice
Vice President Vice
President President President
President Research & President
Manu- Accounting Human
Information Develop- Marketing
facturing and Finance Resources
Systems ment Department
Department Department Department

Manager Manager
Manager Advertising
Marketing Product
Sales and
Research Planning

Regions and
Representa- 23

To reach the specific financials goals set up in the projections for the next five

years, Bridgestone needs to keep at its rate of expansion. For every year, at least two new

markets needed to be added to the current market base. These may be geographic

markets such as developments in certain areas or they may be demographic markets, with

newly added consumers from markets such as different generations, to bridge the gaps.

Bridgestone should make use of its newly formed alliance with GM Motors and gain

revenues through that source as well. It needs to also plan on having a 15-20% increase

in tire sales per year and can do this through the expansion of markets, as well as by

increasing its customer loyalty and rate of customer return.

Bridgestone needs to also take advantage of the economies of developing

countries. If Bridgestone is pro-active about setting up centers and outlets in countries

whose economies are on the rise, then they will be the first to establish itself within that

country. These are countries such as Latin America and Costa Rica. Their need for

commodity products is on the rise because their communities and markets are on the rise.

The demand for tires will eventually increase in these countries and Bridgestone should

be there to provide the tires to the consumers. Bridgestone should also work on

expanding outlets and adding company-owned stores in Europe and Asia.


A goal has been set to have two new markets added to the current market base. In

order to make sure this happens marketing teams will need to stay focused and if it is not

met then for the next year it will have to be more than two to make up for the previous

year. In order to continue setting up in progressing countries Bridgestone may need to

outsource some of the labor. Contractors will probably need to be hired for some of the

work. A big focus needs to be made on the alliance with General Motors to make sure

that all resources are being used there. To be sure that the 15-20% tire sale increase per

year occurs, they will need to push this every month with the managers reminding them

of this goal. If it is not reached in a particular year they will need to compensate with

extra sales for the following year or two to catch up.


Harvey S. Firestone was born December 20, 1868 in Columbiana, Ohio. He

worked for the Columbus Buggy Company until he founded Firestone Tire and Rubber

Company in 1900 at the age of 31. He started out his company with a mere 12 employees

and today Firestone employs people all over the world. Harveys plan for his company

was to be the best today- still better tomorrow. Firestone was close friends with Henry

Ford, and for years after their companies did business closely together.

Shojiro Ishibashi was born in the Japanese city of Kurume, as the son of a tailor.

At the age of 17 he succeeded his father as a tailor. He then proceeded to make great

changes with the company. Instead of a tailor company, he changed it to a sock

manufacturer. He also abolished the apprentice system, changing it to a wage system. In

1931, he created Bridgestone Tire Company Ltd. He made the company name by

reversing the English translation of his own name, "Ishibashi," which literally means

"stone bridge" in Japanese. In 1990 Bridestone bought out Firestone and merged the two

companies together.



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