CONNECTING TO THE KINECT
By Paul Shirar
The following is an analysis of the Microsoft Kinect as it ventures through the Product Lifecycle Stages. This analysis touches upon the current research being done into the possibilities of the Kinect’s medical uses and functionalities for the disabled and sedentary, as well as surgical uses. The “gaming” aspects of the Kinect are discussed, as well as other ventures unprecedented in the gaming industry. In this analysis, recommendations are given with consideration towards each of the four marketing mix strategies: product, place, price, and promotion, as they evolve from one stage of the lifecycle to the next. Two market segments are initially identified for which each is provided a specific marketing plan based on the current marketing mix strategies and lifecycle stages. To complete the analysis, recommendations and a conclusion are provided. Research incorporated into this analysis included a combination of text books, online journal websites and articles, peer-reviewed marketing journal articles, and consumer/retail websites. Product Lifecycle Management Plan
The following is a market segmentation summary and analysis for the Kinect that will take us through it’s product lifecycle and focus on the 4 P’s of Market Mix Strategy: Product, Place, Promotion, and Price. The Kinect is a motion detection technology currently in the introductory stage of its life cycle. Microsoft released the Kinect in the United States on November 4th, 2010 and throughout Europe on November 10th, 2010 (VGReleases, 2010). Taking a pioneering role by releasing motion sensing technology to consumers first, Microsoft has set a precedent on many of the marketing mix strategies. The first (or primary) of the two market segments identified is comprised of consumers with unmatched desire and enthusiasm towards the gaming industry (i.e. “Gamers”). These enthusiasts enjoy spending their free time playing video games both online and offline using the newest technology for the highest quality gaming experience possible. Typically 1st generation-technology consumers, the vast majority of gamers range in age from 15 to 50, an attractive demographic spanning several generations, races, and various socio economic backgrounds (Leggatt, 2009). The second market segment identified includes consumers who lead an idle or sedentary lifestyle due to physical or time constraints. These individuals – who include children, adults, and elderly – are unable to attain sufficient exercise during their day due to a variety of causes including loss of limb, age, weight, atrophy, etc. This particular segment relies on medical and physical therapy on a regular basis. By proxy, physical therapists and doctors may be considered a niche within this market segment. The demographic for this segment spans generations, races, and socio economic backgrounds. Introductory Life Cycle Stage
The motion sensing gaming industry is currently in the introductory stage of the product lifecycle. With an ever increasing number of consumers learning about this new technology, interest has grown profoundly since its release in November 2010. Projections first forecasted only 3 million units sold by the end of 2010. This initial figure was dwarfed by the actual 8 million units shipped by years end. Nathan Brown (January 6, 2011) states that this figure is only set to increase by spring 2011 as Kinect’s upcoming release will include additional features such as Avatar video chat, Netflix access, and Hulu Plus access. The number of units sold is expected to continue to rise well into 2013 as improvements are made on the motion sensing technology itself. Product
The Microsoft Kinect offers new levels of excitement and challenges to all consumers through its state-of-the-art motion sensing and voice recognition technologies. No other home gaming...
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