Hansen Bathrooms is a producer of baths, washbasins, toilets and bidets. The company has been in the bathroom market for over 50 years and while sales have never been spectacular the company has managed to withstand the impact of several economic recessions by prudent cash flow management. Experts in the industry describe Hansen as a traditional, reliable producer that tends to follow market trends rather than lead.
As a response to changing times Hansen recruited a 30-year-old marketing director
Rob Vincent and a 25-year-old assistant Susan Clements. Rob's responsibilities include suggestions for new bathroom designs, advertising and promotion and formulating pricing strategies. The final decisions (except for day-to-day issues) are taken by the board of directors, which is headed by Karl Hansen, the son of the founder of the company.
Rob Vincent and Susan Clements have been in post for nearly two years and, at times, have found the work frustrating because of the board's tendency towards conservatism. However, an exciting development rekindled their enthusiasm. A technologist at the company had developed a special coating that could be applied to all bathroom items
(baths, toilets, washbasins and tiles). The coating contained an agent that dispersed the usual grime and grease that accumulated in baths and washbasins, etc. Susan Clements commissioned a market research study that showed that people cleaned their bathroom fittings on average once every week and that it was one of the most unpopular household chores. The new coating made this unnecessary. Product trials with a prototype bathroom incorporating the new coating showed that cleaning could easily be extended to once every three months. Respondents in the test were delighted with the reduction in workload.
Hansen sought and obtained a patent on the new coating.
Rob felt sure that the board would approve the launch of a new bathroom range using the new