PROFESSOR AMBER EPP
Students will work in groups of 3-4 for this assignment. To begin the project, choose a company and select a “new” product or service being introduced by this company. A good place to find product introductions is on a company’s website, either under a “products” heading or in the company’s press releases. You may also find some interesting new products/services in reviews of new innovations from various magazine and blogger sources:
Time magazine’s list of the “Best Inventions of the Year”; http://time.com/4572079/best-inventions-2016/
Marketplace that focuses on start ups and indie projects (best with Google Chrome browser); http://outgrow.me
Good Housekeeping Home Innovations; http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/a40109/home-innovations-2017/
Annual Edison Awards; http://www.edisonawards.com/winners2017.php
CES Innovation Awards; http://www.ces.tech/Events-Experiences/Innovation-Awards-Program/Honorees.aspx
The product or service you select may be entirely novel or simply a line extension of an existing product. Please provide me with the name of the product or service your team has selected (either via email or in class) by Thursday, September 21st. Next, imagine you are the marketing team in charge of the product/service you selected, and choose a relevant market segment to target. Your task is to convince company decision makers that this market segment makes sense, provide them with a detailed analysis of the segment, and offer recommendations for how to reach them.
Please submit a progress report (about 3-4 single-spaced pages) by Thursday, October 12th. This report should include the following components: (a) define your target market segment, (b) generate initial analysis of the target market segment [This could be a bulleted list summarizing what you know about your consumers’ behaviors.], (c) list any questions you have about the project, especially related to any information are you having trouble finding, and (d) provide a reference list of your secondary data sources. One purpose of this report is to keep you on track in completing the project on time. Another purpose is to determine whether you are on the right track in analyzing your market. We will meet in person to go over your progress.
Market Segment Analysis Paper (100 points)
Your Market Segment Analysis paper (about 20-25 double-spaced pages, including figures and references) should include the following sections and provide complete information regarding the features of your target market.
Please include the name of the product/service, type of project (market segment analysis), date submitted, and the names of your group members.
Table of Contents
List section titles in order, with corresponding page numbers.
This is a brief (less than one page) overview of the project that should convince readers of the importance of this document. You should outline the key elements of your paper.
At the beginning of this section, briefly identify your target market segment (e.g., men, ages 18-24) and offer a rationale or justification for selecting it. Once you have selected a target market segment, your customer profile should include a complete explanation of the following characteristics.
Size (How large is the market and what is its growth potential?)
Relevant demographic variables (age, income, etc.—focus on variables you did NOT use to segment the market initially)
Lifestyle Characteristics (What are their values, motivations, and/or attitudes? How do they spend their time—activities, hobbies, interests?)
Communication/media behavior (What do they listen to, watch, and read? How do they communicate with one another and with the company? What are their preferred technologies— e.g., email, twitter, facebook, texting? What types of behaviors do they engage in online?)
Purchasing behavior (Are consumers in your market brand loyal? Where do they shop for this type of product—specific retail outlets? online? How much are they willing to spend on this product category? Are they responsive to price incentives?)
Product/Service usage (How often do they buy this product? What benefits are they seeking? How do they use this product/service?)
Relevant cultural influences and industry trends (This section requires you to consider how cultural contexts shape consumer behavior. What cultural trends are relevant to your market? You may also wish to include industry trends related to the product/service you’ve selected that may impact the behavior of your market.)
Information outlined in the profile must be based on research obtained from relevant secondary data sources. Please remember to cite your sources in the body of the paper (parenthetically or using footnotes)! The purpose of this section is to build an argument for the attractiveness of this market segment and offer information that will be useful in reaching this market and developing a relevant positioning statement.
After developing your customer profile, generate a positioning statement for your product/service. What image will you attach to your product/service, based on what you know about your target market segment from the research in your customer profile? Provide a brief rationale for your positioning statement.
Marketing Mix Elements
In this section, provide a specific account of your proposed marketing mix strategy (including product/service, promotion, distribution and price) that is ready to implement. Your choices should be well-supported and refer to the research you presented in the customer profile.
This section should provide a description of the product/service and specify its features and benefits. That is, how will your product fit into or match your consumers’ lifestyles? This section also might include recommendations for packaging and/or service environment elements that should be incorporated.
This section should outline information about where consumers can purchase the product (e.g. specific retail outlets, online, etc.). You also may incorporate/propose potential partnerships here, if applicable.
This section should include your pricing strategy. Please give pricing information (including any special discounts or rates for your market segment), and justify based on your research.
This section should outline your choices related to promoting your product/service. Your plan should include general media (i.e. television, magazine, billboard, online, non-traditional, etc.) you recommend as well as specific outlets (e.g. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Men’s Health, Sports Illustrated, and online episodes of Dexter). These choices should make sense based on the research you conducted about your target market’s communication and media behavior.
Please cite your sources internally and provide a full list of references at the end, using either APA or MLA formatting.
Presentation (20 points)
A group presentation, limited to oral highlights and summary visuals, will be required during the final weeks of class (November 30th – December 12th). More presentation details will be given later in the semester. All group members should present and be prepared to answer questions. To facilitate the grading process, please bring hard copies of your presentation materials (for example, slides, handouts, etc.) to me on the day of your presentation.
Summary of Evaluation and Due Dates
In addition to the content of the paper/presentation as outlined above, performance on both the written report and presentation will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria: logic (are your marketing mix choices supported by your customer profile research?), quality of writing, thoroughness, clarity, creativity, and professional appearance.