Aqualisa Case

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Aqualisa had launched the Quartz shower, significant product innovation in the UK shower market in terms of water pressure, ease of installation, use, and design. But this new product is not selling well enough. I will make some analysis in order to understand the situation and make some recommendation for Harry Rawlinson on marketing strategy and ways to generate sales for the Quartz products. 1. What is the Aqualisa Quartz value proposition to plumbers, to consumers? Quartz offers a technological change to enhanced value to consumers and plumbers. Aqualisa has been customer-focused, making efforts to understand what consumers want and upgrade its product accordingly. Aqualisa Quartz value proposition to plumbers is following: easy to install, more profitable, faster to install. It takes ½ day to install Quatrz so plumbers have an opportunity to install more showers and make more money. Aqualisa Quartz value proposition to consumers is following: efficient, reliable water pressure and temperature, easy to use (one touch control with red light indicator), easy to install for do-it-yourself segment. Thus, Quartz offers a breakthrough product that delivers superior value to plumbers and consumers. But Aqualisa has failed to have high sales volume since its launch. 2. Why is the Quartz shower not selling?

I believe there are two main reasons which are impeding Aqualisa’s ability to realize the expected sales volume from its Quartz shower. The first reason is the blockage in the channels. There were total sales of 1,800,000 (1,000,000 units of electronic showers+550,000 units of mixer shower+150,000 units of power showers) showers in the UK in 2000. Distribution through the trade shops is 840,000 showers (330,000+400,000+110,000) or 46,6 % of the total market (840,000/1,800,000). Distribution through showrooms is 145,000 showers (55,000+70,000+20,000) or 8 % of the total market (145,000/1,800,000). Distribution through Do-It-Yourself sheds is 650,000 showers (550,000+80,000+20,000) or 36,1 % of the total market (650,000/1,800,000). Distribution through the other channels is 9,3 % of the total market (100%-46,6%-8%-36,1%). As we can see from the above calculations, the distribution through the showrooms is too low but according to the case the demonstration in showrooms is impressive and results in good sales due to the allowing customers to see the benefits of the products by displaying it. So, the Aqualisha need to exploit showrooms in order to use these rooms to display the benefits of the shower. Besides, the very influential role of independent plumbers in distribution process, their stickiness with the brand they know, and their reluctance to switch to the Quartz play important role in Aqualisa’s new product success. The plumbers are the gatekeepers of the market; they influence 73 % (20%+28%+25% from Exhibit 4) of purchase decision. It is hard for Aqualisa to convince plumbers to switch to the unfamiliar product, especially to the innovative product due to the historic failure and unreliability of electronic control products. Aqualisa failed to convince plumbers to switch to the Quartz knowing their critical role in distribution and decision-making process. Another reason of insignificant sales I believe is the lack of sales and marketing focus. Aqualisa management was confused about the place that Quartz should occupy amongst its products and concern about cannibalization of its existing products. Besides, Aqualisa failed to generate brand and reputation value by emphasizing functional benefits to consumers and advantages to plumbers. I believe they were preoccupied with electronic, technical side of its products rather than focusing on its functional benefits to consumers. Aqualisa failed to emphasize Quartz’s real selling point to customers which is the offering a revolutionary shower. Also the sales staffs spend 90 % of their time on maintaining relationship with existing...
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