Design Rangers: A Marketing Plan for New Jersey Community Design Centers MKT 500: Marketing Strategies Paul Glassman Southern New Hampshire University December 2, 2012
Design Rangers: A Marketing Plan for New Jersey Community Design Centers Executive Summary This plan supports the creation of community design centers, to be housed in three New Jersey community colleges and staffed by their architecture faculty and students. Although community design centers have existed since the 1970, there are currently none in New Jersey.
The Design Rangers' mission is to build strong communities through human-centered design for clients in need. Situated in the second year of operation, the measurable goal for the Design Rangers is ambitious yet realistic. Although only fifteen commissioned design projects are needed to break even (five per community design center), the goal is to complete thirty client projects each year, which would generate $74,500 in excess revenue for early-year cash flow needs. The scale of the projects may vary from modest refurbishing or space planning and reconfiguration to more substantial renovation. Centering on the values of human-centered design, which enrolls the users in the process, and environmentally friendly results, which minimize negative impact, the Design Rangers have the overarching goal of solving two related problems: 1. For reasons both economic and cultural, many small, nonprofit, or otherwise lean organizations do not seek professional design services, resulting in building and spaces for their clients that lack desirable environmental, organizational, and aesthetic conditions. 2. Human-centered design empowers users at all levels to participate in design decisions that affect them directly. These are the highlights of the nine sections in the plan: 1. Service description. The Design Rangers are a triad of community design centers to be housed in three New Jersey community colleges and staffed by their architecture faculty and students. Since the Design Rangers will work with clients who otherwise would not seek professional design services, the
Design Rangers: A Marketing Plan for New Jersey Community Design Centers educational setting and emphasis on mission will nurture in clients a culture that values design thinking and creative problem solving. 2. SWOT analysis. Key strength: A synergistic core, with architecture students gaining the essential experience of solving real design problems and working with actual clients. Key weakness: Limited number of antecedents for community service partnerships in New Jersey colleges. Key opportunity: With declining budgets,
promising potential for reaching an appreciative client base. Key threat: Absence of an existing architectural consciousness and culture in lean, underfunded organizations. 3. Target markets. The business-to-business markets are dual and progressive, starting with endorsement from the New Jersey Presidents' Council and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, and moving to geographic segmentation by the three host counties. 4. Competitive analysis. Of the two chief competitive forces, a do-it-yourself culture and architecture firms specializing in educational facilities, the former is the greater threat within the Design Rangers' nonprofit client base. 5. Financial analysis. With partial support from IDEO.org in the form of a bridge loan, projected income ($312,500) over expenses ($238,000) in the second and third years will yield an annual cash-flow reserve of $74,500. This financial cushion will sustain the Design Rangers and allow it to avoid the cash-flow shortage that plagues many nonprofit startups. 6. Pricing strategy. As a nonprofit organization itself with fees well below those of architectural firms, the Design Rangers will create a new market from clients who formerly did it themselves (DIY). 7. Channels strategy. As a...