1. What are the key marketing challenges facing Gauri Nanda ?? how would you prioritize them in terms of which are most crucial to effectively bring her new product to market ? Product Positioning: First challenge facing Nada would be the product positioning, already she has media/consumer interest,which will help her to bring the product to the market. Nanda has to decide which segment to target. According to the case there two segments described a) Need Segment, b) Fun segment. ) If clocky is positioned as a fun/cute product she needs to be careful to avoid turning the product into a fad, which happened with some other products which were lunched before such as Furby and Tickle-Me-Elmo.
b)If clock is positioned as a need product she may raise consumer expectations and would have to shift some of her limited resources by making sure clock was able to consistently deliver on its promise as a more effective alarm clock. a + b = It is also important that targeting either if the fun or need segment would not preclude her from selling to the other segment.
By ? rst deciding how to position the product in the market Nanda then can decide on the most appropriate way to distribute. Distribution: Retail channel and distribution plan is important for Nanda because it would determine how the product would be delivered to the market and could have the greatest effect on relieving her ? nancial pressure. I think that Clocky should not be sold from large scale departments because in this case it loses its individuality and intimacy, and Nanda wants to have the ? exibility of changing clocky’s design and functionality in the future.
So the best choice would be : Main retail channel is internet stores (including Nanda’s web site), secondary retail channel is small electronics shops. Time to Market: Nanda needs to focus on getting her product to market as soon as possible to take advantage of the positive PR, beat competitors to the punch and relieve her ? nancial burden. Otherwise she has lost out on the greatest advantage she currently has. Communications:Nanda must consider a means of effectively continuing the current buzz about Clocky and communicating product information to interested consumers through her website and media outlets.
She also needs to avoid having her product get too much exposure, which could lead to a backlash and “fad’ status. 2. How would you segment the potential market for Clocky ? which segments should Clocky target ? Outline a value proposition for each target segment. After Clocky’s and Nanda’s wide appearance in media and wining Ig Nobel Prize, a unique situation for marketing Clocky was created, that is signi? cant interest to the product, readiness to buy and some predictable demand (awareness about product and forming attitude to it even before its launch).
NEED Segment : The people who strive to change the life pattern. The main drivers for the person here are the perception of punctuality as an appealing trait; dissatisfaction oneself due to late awakening, considering it the sign of personal weakness, low self-esteem and self-satisfaction; the understanding of snooze button consequences for health and the way one feels during a day; The potential customers who vitally need to solve their problem for living (risk of being ? red or expelled from university for being late).
The customers who need to solve the problem due to family issues (need to wake up to cook for husband going to work, for kids going to school, for toddlers for whom food has to be cooked by certain time). People who have serious sleep disorders (e. g. narcolepsy). The customers who care about the needs of friends or family members (divided as above). People driven by necessity to gift something interesting (no matter what exactly). The importance of such segmentation is de? ned by the fact that the ? rst (a) segment could be in? enced by the need activation process. 18-25 years (the highest sleep de? ciency, the least length of sleep 6,8 hours, the most problems with awakening; 7% of mailing list); b. 26-45 years – working people, the main segment of self consumers (who’s buying for themselves), motivated both by needs and by fun (70% of mailing list). I consider that segment to be main of those who buy for own use. FUN Segment 46 years and more – people buying mainly for gift (21% of mailing list). That segment is main of those buying for others.
However, these customers rather wouldn’t buy through the Internet, require special distribution channel, and if it would be wide and intense it could in some way debilitate the positioning within other segments . Design option, robotic pet option, for gift without strong correlation to the real need of the gift recipient (potential for development of “fad” status). This segment would be less risky, since positioning Clocy as a product that would change buyers morning patterns for the better might raise consumer expoctations to a level that would be dif? ult the deliver on consistently. To integrate all described above I suggest that Nanda puts the main focus on people aged 18- 45 within the broad “Need” segment for the following reasons: Age segment. As studies show people aged 18-29 sleep the least of all age categories. Also, studies show that 57% of people aged 25-34 hit the snooze button daily, which means that snooze button alarm-clocks are not a very ef? cient wake up device for this age category. People aged 35-45 normally have a family and a job which means they have strong commitments to meet time deadlines.
Therefore, the category of people aged 18-45 should be regarded by Nanda as the main target category (76% of Nanda’s mailing list). Of these people only 23% said they would buy Clocky as a gift. This gives us a reasonably accurate approximation of the percentage of the fun segment, as customers who buy Clocky for themselves are most probably seeking to change their wake up process and therefore may be regarded as “need” segment. Focussing Clocky in Need Market would not stop Fun market buy it. As soon as it has the design and looks like a robotic pet options and still ful? lls the needs of Need Market. 3.
Which positioning options are the most feasible ones for Clocky ? Which ones are the most valuable to Nanda given her aspirations? do you see the positioning of Clocky changing over time ? 1. Positioning is the process of forming an image, identity of product and product’s own association row in the minds of their target customers. I’d outline the following positioning options for Clocky: 2. Cute household pet which HELPS you wake up at the time allowing you to achieve everything you have planned. 3. New technological alarm-clock that does get you out of bed. 4. New era alarm-clock (since snooze button alarm-clocks). . A fun wake up robot. 6. A toy which has useful functionality (can wake you up). And combinations of the above. I suggest that Clocky be positioned as a conceptually new device (not alarm-clock! ) that changes customers’ wake up process, which allows them have enough time to achieve everything they have planned. The following ideas are crucial for the positioning as I see it. 2. New era of wake up devices Conceptual novelty of Clocky should be announced in that it starts new era in wake up devices (innovative wake up devices chronology in this case: 1810-1877-1910-1956-2006).
With GE’s introduction of its snooze button in 1956 a new era in alarm-clocks had started. No significant innovation has taken place in the wake up process during the last 50 years. And now the device which fundamentally changes the wake up process – Clocky – is arriving to start the new era. Positioning of Clocky as a new era in wake up devices after the “snooze button 50-years era” helps Nanda smooth the potential negative perception of Clocky becoming commercially available only a year from 2005. Waiting for about a year for a device which starts a new 30-50-years era percepts much easier by customers.
They can sign up for the product a few months in advance through Nanda’s web-site. Today that is largely happening with iPhones, for example. The new era argument also goes well with perception of Clocky as a technologically advanced product, as nowadays starting a new era in something is normally directly linked to high-technology. Therefore, a desirable mix of humanity and technology is achieved. 3. Intimacy The emotional dimension of proper positioning of Clocky could be described through the specific associations (metaphors) connected with it.
I’d numerate the following: alive, friendly, capricious, close, persistent, irresistible, about entrepreneurship (Nanda), American Dream (Nanda). And also itis proximity, reflection, interaction, attractive design, my personal attitude to the product, efficiency, trust (I know he’ll wake me up!!!! ). The best word to aggregate the main out of these probably is intimacy. Anyway, just that very word I’d suggest as a single unique association for Clocky, that is differentiating it form other alarm clocks on the market.? Clocky- Alarm Clock= Intimacy 4.
Positioning relative to competitors. Key competitors are given in the table 1 below: Table 1 Main competitior s Clocky’s advantage / Competitior’s disadvantage 1. “Humanizing technology trying to give Clocky an appealing personality”; 2. Puzzle Alarm Clock (PAC) could be more irritating (in both cases you get Puzzle Alarm Clock up, but in case of PAC you need to seek for several pieces (balls), that is irritating, when you’re already on your feet) 1. SleepSmart could be less effective if you can’t wake up even during your “light” stage.
It doesn’t make you stand up and walk somewhere; SleepSmart 2. SleepSmart is less convenient in use (more complex) since you need to use headband; 3. SleepSmart is expensive. It is better to position Clocky in a less expensive segment Conventional alarm 1. CAC is not efficient (snooze button) 2. Clocky provides special design clock 5. Possible changing of positioning over time I consider the above positioning as broad enough for Clocky not to change in the mid-term. However, Clocky’s positioning may evolve over time to appeal to new market segments, e. g. dditional version of Clocky may appear which will stress Clocky’s hi-tech aspects over household pet perception. This may particularly appeal to younger (18-25 and 26-35 years old) male audience (of Nanda’s mailing list people aged 18-25 and 26-35 comprise 45%, and 55% of the list are male). Also, given the share of male potential customers Nanda should consider a “she” Clocky in addition to “he”. 4. Recommend the key components of a marketing launch program (product design/ features, pricing, retail channels, distribution and marketing communications) Marketing launch plan 1.
Marketing launch plan Before going to the formulating the marketing plan itself I’d built the matrix for SWOT analysis (table 2) of the Clocky’s and Nanda’s positions in the market. The main concern is not to be on time to leverage all the strengths and realize the opportunities. Nanda already has AWARENESS of the target customers and even their ATTITUDE in some extend. She needs to exploit it. Analysis shows also that it’s better for Nanda to continue to focus on end consumers and realize Pull but not Push strategy in distribution (since there is a huge interest to Clocky already). . Product design features. To create intimacy according to my understanding the product should be interesting, personalized and zoomorphic BUT it still has to be a CLOCK and look also like a CLOCK. Due to the fur it doesn’t look like a clock but like a toy. But we sell the tool NOT A TOY! Being considered a toy could mean for Clocky that: – a considerable part of customers falling into the “need” category (who takes the product seriously) may be pushed away – among the rest (fun) customers the product may fall into fad category.
Thus, I suggest either to reject fur, or to create several different models of Clocky with the basic model without fur. At the same time from my point of view it should be easily harmonized with the most common contemporary interior (e. g. IKEA)! So I suggest – high tech but personalized, bright in colour, looks like a clock, has buttons which resemble eyes, soft. May be like a cute little robot. 2. Production location. The cost is an issue. So I prefer to outsource production not to USA based plant. In the same time it shouldn’t undeveloped country, since we need to reduce risks.
Thus I’d offer to move production in Asia but to the relatively developed country where the legal recourse could be pursued (with the high extent of investors protection). I suggest Taiwan. 3. Pricing. The variable costs of production for Clocky is $15. Adding other costs (shipping of $1, warehousing and packaging of $1, credit card processing fees of $1 and return (15% of $18) of approximately 3$ we have total variables equal $21. Regular alarm-clock is priced at $10-15. Puzzle alarm clock is priced at $50. Therefore, Nanda should target the vacant market niche of $30-40.
As statistics shows, money spent by customers in the US on alarm-clocks grew from $42,5 mn in 1992 to $46,6 mn in 2002, while money spent on customers on all clocks went down from $843 mn in 1992 to $638 mn in 2002. This suggests that customers buying alarm-clocks tend to and are prepaired to pay more for an alarm-clock that meets their needs. Comparison with competitors in terms of products’ value for the customers (chart 3and table 3 in Appendix). 4. Retail channel and distribution plan I think that Wal-Mart and the similar stores doesn’t ? t the Clocky’s positioning.
It shouldn’t be the product which is being sold on a large scale in the department stores as in this case it loses its individuality, and intimacy. Besides, Nanda wants to have the ? exibility of changing Clocky’s design and functionality in the future. Selling Clocky via big retail chains will limit Nanda’s control over her product. I also don’t like the approach of selling Clocky through the Home Shopping Network, since the reputation of this channel is as of the place there not the best products are being sold (like those miracle pills) and there promotion sometimes could be unfair.
That is rather suitable for Push approach of selling products which require much for efforts to convince people that they need them than Clocky does. The most appropriate retail channels for Clocky: . . i) Main retail channel is internet stores (including Nanda’s web-site). ii) Secondary retail channel is small electronics shops. Main retail channel should be internet stores because: a) our main target audience is aged between 18 and 45 (76% of Nanda’s mailing list) and therefore is expected to be using Internet. ) Clocky is a standardized product, which does not necessarily require physical contact with customers in order to make purchase decision. Also, as the case of Sony’s AIBO showed even sales only via Internet represent a good business model for such products. Secondary retail channel is needed for target audience aged above 45. 5. Marketing communications (that is the same as promotion – the third “P” of the famous marketing mix). In terms of promotion I’d prefer to rely mostly on word of mouth, in particular in the Internet.
I would limit advertisement to the Net, and invest some efforts to maintain the interest to Clocky and Nanda personally in the media. It’s vital to receive the next wave of publicity of the theme just before the launch. Was it truth, all the rest is supplemental – the launch would be successful, and the main challenge would be to make the product presence on the market sustainable. I suppose that the suggested marketing plan is feasible under the Nanda’s budget constraints. Opportunities Threats 1. Free market niche 1. Inevitable appearance of knockoffs 2. Demand is unsatisfied 2. Possible fall into fad status 3.
High extent of potential 3. Potential due to time issues customers awareness due to media madness Strengths 1. Entrepreneurial approach of founder 2. Potential low cost, high quality 3. Break through status (product new and unique) Nanda needs to leverage the market awareness, including attitude towards herself personally as embodiment of American Dream, sympathy and interest to her. She needs to launch the product as soon as she can, without losing any moments. From my point of view, the period of sustainable interest to Clocky and eagerness to buy after big bustle will last approximately 3-6 month.
New competitors could appear with unlimited resources that could allow them to overinvest Nanda and squeeze her out of market. But wise strategy of exploiting the current market attitude to Clocky and its creator and the position of pioneer should allow to protect the future sustainable development. Using personalized approach, with accent on the evident benefits of Clocky but not only that it’s unique and fun , could allow to avoid falling into fad status. It shouldn’t become mass very cheap product being bought due to fashion even without any need.
To fight with knockoffs Nanda has to be ready to update product after launch the original version (launch of Clocky 2. 0). Weaknesses 1. Idea is not strongly protected; the technology could be duplicated 2. Lack of experience and resources (start up from scratch) 3. Timing (the product is underdeveloped, requires one year to complete its creation) The competitors could become the first with the launch of the product with the similar characteristics and for the same market segment, because the idea is spread widely but Nanda is not ready for the launch. Table 2. SWOT Analysis
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