In 2005 Gauri Nanda, supported by neuroscience research that demonstrated the depth of the average American’s sleep deficiency problem, created significant media buzz with the prototype of her revolutionary alarm clock “Clocky”. Unsure of how to position a product that had a growing following but was still over a year away from production, Nanda was faced with a number of difficult decisions as she attempted to devise a marketing plan to bring her Clocky project to fruition. The following is our analysis of her situation, and suggestions on how she should proceed. Question 1
Using a SWOT analysis we are able to define the success factors that will influence Clocky’s future launch on the market by identifying the potential threats that Nanda is facing as well as weaknesses inherent in her business model thus far.
Placing these weaknesses and threats in the context of her current situation (considering all financial and time constraints as well as the considerable media exposure she has received), we would prioritize her marketing challenges as follows, in order of cruciality: 1)
Slow time to market: Nanda must address the time frame of her launch immediately, in order to ensure that she is able to exploit the potential of holiday sales to the fullest, especially considering Clocky has a high potential as a gift item. 2)
Difficulty communicating product attributes/image: this challenge relates directly to Nanda’s choice of distribution channels, as the channels she chooses will impact the way in which the Clocky brand is perceived immensely. If she addresses this communication properly, the “fad” threat will be diminished significantly as well 3)
Need to recoup start-up costs: this challenge will be addressed by careful pricing and distribution choices, to ensure that she is able to get the volume of sales she needs, as well as the profit margin per unit 4)
Short product life-cycle: the nature of her technological product dictates that Nanda must already be considering the positioning and timing of the next generation of Clockys, even as this first incarnation goes to market.
Another way to look at the challenges facing Nanda is to frame them in the context of the 5 C’s of Marketing : Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors and Climate. Using this approach, we would conclude that Nanda’s priorities in addressing her challenges must lie in the following areas: 1)
Customers: Nanda must accurately segment and size her potential market and ensure that she is delivering the product they want when they want it 2)
Company: Nanda must ensure that the image she is crafting for Clocky and for her new company is consistent with the products she will introduce in the future 3)
Collaborators: as mentioned, Nanda’s distribution partners will be crucial is helping her address this issue of image
Since the introduction of the alarm clock in the early 1900s, few innovations (both functional and aesthetic) have been brought to this product sector. Moreover, hardly any company has seriously considered segmenting potential alarm clock users according to similar, identifiable sleep and lifestyle characteristics. With Clocky, Gauri Nanda reinvented the alarm clock concept by introducing new technology and a new level of interaction with the end users. Although the alarm market is fairly homogenous, wherein consumers have roughly the same preferences and the existing brands would be similar and cluster around the middle of the scale , each of these consumers may actually react differently to marketing strategies: therefore it is important to identify possible segments and decide which ones to target, in order to better define the marketing mix suitable for the target market and to be successful. Generally speaking, the more a company is consumer/marketing oriented and adopts a differentiation strategy with a customized and relatively high priced product, the higher is the importance of segmentation...
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