Aqualisa Quartz: Simply a Better Shower
"Innovation is the process of turning ideas and know-ledge into products and services which create customer demand in the marketplace." London Innovation 2003
The term positioning refers to placing a brand in that part of the market where it will receive a favorable reception compared to competing products. As a matter of strategy, therefore, a product should be matched with that segment of the market in which it is most likely to succeed. The product should be positioned so that it stands apart from competing brands. Positioning tells what the product stands for, what it is, and how customers should evaluate it. Positioning is achieved by using marketing mix variables, especially design and communication. Differentiation can be achieved on the basis of tangible differences (e.g., product features).
Launched in 2001, the Quartz has challenged most people's common perception of showers and showering. Aqualisa took another huge step and launched its first Digital shower - a revolution in shower design. Quartz Digital proved to be way ahead of other UK showers in terms of ease of installation, ease of use and design. In September 2001, Harry Rawlinson, managing director of Aqualisa, is deciding how to handle the marketing of the Quartz shower, the first significant product innovation in the U.K. shower market in years. The Quartz shower provides significant improvements in terms of quality, cost, and ease of installation. In product testing, the Quartz shower received rave reviews. The vastly superior Quartz shower which took three years to develop is simply not selling, despite the fact that existing showers in the U.K. are plagues with problems and there is widespread consumer dissatisfaction with overall shower performance. The company is faced with some key issues about whether to change the channel strategy, promotional strategy, and the overall positioning of the product in the context of their existing product line. This case shows that despite the fact Aqualisa had a great product it doesn't necessarily mean that this is going to manifest in great sale.
In analyzing the company's landscape (Treat, Opportunity, Weakness and Strength), 4C Diamond Marketing Model is used. 1.
Change is driven by the demand from the customer to address the problems in low water pressure, fluctuation in temperature, unreliable, installation and design. People's lifestyle inspires the development of new technologies. As advancement in technology is very dynamic, the need to have a breakthrough product is necessary to anticipate the competitors catching up Aqualisa's product quality. 2.
Triton - Triton is the UK's leading shower manufacturer in terms of volume, who have strengthened their position in both the mixer and electric sectors of the market.
Mira - Established over 80 years ago and acquired by Kohler Co. in 2001, a leading American manufacturer of bathroom and kitchen products. Mira continue to lead the market in terms of value.
Masco - Masco specializes in the manufacture and retail of home improvement and building products. The company is the largest supplier of cabinets to the US residential construction market. Masco have recently enhanced their position through a series of acquisitions. 3.
The customers are categorized in three pricing segments: premium, standard and value (Appendix A), consist of plumbers, developers and distributors. 4.
Ongoing innovation process, holding regular company-wide design assessment meetings and encouraging creative-product development as an integral part of the business.
Embracing design-led innovation to help shape the future of their businesses, to identify the opportunities that exist within their core markets for long-term growth, and to develop the product ranges and families that will secure profits for years to come.
In analyzing the architecture of...
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