You may complete this project by yourself or with a partner. There is not a length requirement for this project document, but you must be sure to include all of the project requirements, clearly labelled and complete as assigned.
You will choose a product (good, service, combination, event, place, etc.) which is currently offered for sale in the market today by a specific company. You need to choose a product for which you will be able to find an advertisement; you may use an ad from the Internet, be sure that it has the elements of an advertisement and is not just a picture.
Research the current consumers/target market for this product. After learning about the consumers who buy this product, create the concept of a product extension. This new product must be something that is not currently marketed by that particular company, that you think would interest the same customers who are now buying the original product.
EXAMPLE: if you chose Gatorade with their green (and other colors) drink which is marketed to young sporty people, particularly males, your product line extension might be a line of Gatorade sports clothing, or (to borrow from a hilarious example provided by a student) a soft drink named Slammin’ Prune, which you are going to attempt to sell to the same young sports-oriented crowd (good luck on that one! but you should get the idea).
Writing the Project Document
Point of View
When writing the project, put yourself in the role of a marketing consultant to the producer of the product you have selected. Write it like a business report – clear and concise.
Project Requirement 1
This is an executive summary of the project components. It provides a clear summary that will engage your product producer in your idea(s).
In short, concise point form on no more than 1 page, do six things (number them):
|State the brand name and product class of a specific product currently existing (this is your original product), for which it would be possible to create a new product within the product line* (this is your product extension). The brand name is the specific brand name of the product currently marketed. Add to this a few words to tell me what this thing is, if it is not immediately obvious from its name. For example, if you have the product class soft drinks and you tell me that your current product is Pepsi Diet Cola, you don’t need to tell me that that’s a cola. But if you’ve got time keepers as a product class and you tell me that you’re researching the Bagnasty’s Absquatulator, tell me what it is.|
|2. State the target market for the current product; then, using 6 words or less for each characteristic, state the 3 most important characteristics of the current target market for this product. On a separate line, state in not more than 12 words the most important customer need that your product meets (don’t analyze it; just state it). Try as much as you can to be sure that this most important need relates directly to the eventual product extension you will choose.|
|3. In not more than 12 words, state where the current product is presently sold, both geographically and in terms of its type of distribution.|
|4. State in U.S. dollars the price range at which the current product is usually sold.|
|5. State the single most important environmental variable that affects your current product, out of the basic seven environments (demographic, geographic, economic, natural, technological, political/legal, socio/cultural); then in not more than 3 lines explain why it is the most important environment.|
|6. State your best idea at this time for a proposed product extension to be sold to this same target market and describe it in not more than 3 lines.|
While preparing Requirement 1, read the instructions for the other parts and be sure that you can do what is required in the rest of the assignment with what you propose in Requirement 1.
Project Requirement 2
Choose one print ad for your company’s current product and attach a copy of it to this report. Identify the customers for your current product and describe them in ways specifically relevant to the course material.
Project Requirement 3
Do some informal research for this part – interviews or survey of a small group of current users of the product or a product similar to yours, and use the information in the first part of this Part, which is done the same way as Part 2. Try to gather some simple information on demographics and psychographics that might be helpful to you when you introduce your product extension. You’re looking for some early clues to whether or not your extension would be popular with your current target market. Describe your findings.
Remember the basic rules of ethical research with human participants, even informal research for a school project as this is: you must identify yourself and tell them what you are doing and why, you must assure them of confidentiality, and you must tell them that they are free at any time to stop the interview. The sample need not be large enough to be statistically significant – I’m more interested in how you use your results than that those results be statistically significant, I do not need to see your questions or summaries of data.
Although you are writing about your current product and its consumers, you are already beginning here to think about your new product: what you’re doing here is playing amateur consumer psychologist, and trying to wrap your mind around the learning processes and motivation that drives these people to buy this product, for the express purpose of selling them something similar. Your main focus here is on the current product, but use this opportunity to ask them briefly about their reaction to your proposed new product – Would they be interested? How much would they expect to pay? Where would they expect to find the product?
Project Requirement 4
Develop and describe further the concept for the line extension of the product that you identified in Part I. Explain why this product would be appropriate for your target market and why you expect them to buy the new product.
Project Requirement 5
Using what you learned overall, describe how you expect your current customers to go through the process involved in moving from being loyal users of the original product to being loyal users of your product line extension, including attempts you make to change their attitude toward a new product. Include the messaging you will use. Be specific.
Project Requirement 6
Cite your sources.
Consumer Behavior Project Three Example
1. Original Brand Name of Product: PopSockets
Product Class: Cell phone accessory
Description: removable grip for smartphones to make holding them easier
2. Current Target Market: Smart phone users
- Children, teens, young adults
- Spend significant time using smartphones
- Gamers and users of social media
Need: to make smartphones easier to hold while using them
3. Currently Sold: online/retail stores across U.S., Canada, Asia Pacific (Central/South America soon)
4. Price Range: $10-$60
5. Major Environmental Factor: technological because this product is designed to help people using smartphones
6. Product Extension: PopFingers – adaptor to assist smart phone use in cold weather, especially while wearing gloves.
The customers for PopSockets are typically younger people who are avid smartphone users. They are interested in social media and gaming, as well as texting. PopSockets can help these consumers express their own self-images because of their ample design options. Consumers can even design their very own PopSockets. Because the customers are very familiar with technology and smartphones, they already possess brand awareness and brand recall.
Six people were interviewed for this project. Five are between the ages of 25-35 and one is between 55-65. Two of the people interviewed are highly satisfied with PopSockets. Two people were highly dissatisfied and stopped using PopSockets. Two people saw some ways in which PopSockets could be improved and complained mostly that they are too bulky and make putting the phones into pockets difficult. When asked about potential finger adaptors to make smartphone use in the winter easier, everyone was interested. Each person expressed a complaint about “texting gloves” and the most popular complaint was that those gloves do not work effectively and do not fit properly. The general consensus was that people would be willing to pay $20-$30 for a set of two adaptors, and they would look for this product online and in retail stores.
For people who use smartphones frequently and also live in an area where temperatures drop, there are currently gloves on the market which advertise that the user can wear the gloves and use the touch screen devices. Typically, these gloves have a patch on the index finger and thumb which is supposed to grip the touch screen and allow the wearer to sent text messages, check emails, play games, and use social media without removing the gloves. However, the people surveyed for this project report that these gloves do not work effectively. Sometimes the gloves do not fit properly, and if the fingers of the gloves are too long the wearer can not use the designated patch. Other times, the patch lines up properly but does not grip the smartphone screen in the same way that a bare finger does. Also, texting gloves have the patches set on specific fingers (usually the thumb and index finger) which some users may find limiting.
With PopFingers, smartphone users can wear their favorite gloves and simply place the finger adaptor over whichever finger(s) they wish. There is no need to remove the glove because the adaptor is a grip compatible with smartphone screens. The adaptors come in varying sizes and are reusable. The PopSocket target market is appropriate for the proposed PopFingers because these are already avid smartphone users year-round and are already overall dissatisfied with most texting gloves. At a reasonable price sold both in-store and online, PopFingers would be easily accessible to the target market.
The customers who are currently satisfied with PopSockets should have no trouble trying PopFingers. Because the new product being introduced is an extension of a product they are already satisfied with, they would be more willing to try it especially if they are currently dissatisfied with traditional texting gloves. Advertisements for PopFingers would directly compare this new product to texting gloves. These advertisements would also help to get customers currently not using or dissatisfied with PopSockets to try PopFingers because anybody who uses a smartphone in colder weather can see a need for improvement.
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