Marketing

Marketing

Table of contents:
1. Introduction
2. Product
3. Target group customers and market segmentation
4. Competitors
5. Marketing strategy
6. Conclusion
7. References

Introduction
The contemporary business environment is characterized by an extremely high level of competition, which forces companies to introduce new products that can help them take a strategic advantage over their competitors. At the same time, it is necessary to take into consideration the fact that the introduction of a new product in the market may be accompanied by serious difficulties, such as the pressure from the part of competitors offering conventional products customers get used to, the lack of customer interest to a new product, and many others. In such a situation, it is extremely important to carefully prepare the introduction of the new product in order to minimize possible risks and maximize potential benefits.
At the same time, the product introduced in the market should have some competitive advantages which can contribute to the successful penetration of the product in the market. In this respect, the introduction of Rainbow bottle which can measure and show the temperature of the water in the bottle may have good prospects for the fast and effective market penetration. In fact, this product has a considerable advantage compared to its major competitors – the temperature indicator. On the other hand, in spite of the existing advantage of the product, it does not necessarily mean that it can easily gain a larger share of the market and replace other water bottles for baby. Obviously, the introduction of this new product needs to involve an effective marketing strategy, promotional campaign, and reliable distribution network in order to facilitate the process of entering the market. Otherwise, an unprepared introduction of the product can lead to its failure regardless of its potential benefits to customers and its competitive advantages.
Product
Rainbow bottle is a unique product which does not have any competing products which could have the same qualities at the moment. In fact, the main strength of the Rainbow bottle is its innovative character and difference from water bottles produced by other competitors. In this respect, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that this difference of the Rainbow bottle lays the foundation for its strategic competitive advantage over its main rivals.
On analyzing the main characteristics and essence of the new product, it should be said that, at first glance, the Rainbow bottle is a regular water bottle for baby. However, what makes the Rainbow bottle different from other water bottles for babies is the thermometer, which is built in the bottle. The thermometer measures the temperature of the water in the bottle and, by means of a special indicator which changes the colour, the temperature of the water is shown. It is important to underline the simplicity and comprehensibility of the indication. In fact, the colour switches from red to blue or green, depending on the temperature of the water in the bottle.
If the temperature of the water is too high, the temperature indicator is red. If the temperature of the water is too cold, the colour switches to blue. If the temperature of the water is perfect for a baby to drink, the colour switches to green. It is important to underline that the choice of colours is not occasional. In stark contrast, the choice of colours is determined by human psychology and social standards and traditions. What is meant here is the fact that the red colour is traditionally associated with some danger. Such a bright colour as red warns people about some danger, draws their attention and makes them aware of possible risks or threats they may face. In actuality, it is not only a conventional norm of the perception of the red colour, but people perceive this colour as warning about some danger instinctively. In this respect, humans are similar to other living beings who interpret bright colours, including red, as a warning and sign of a potential danger.
At the same time, the blue colour is traditionally associated with cold and this colour is probably more conventional than red since its meaning is determined not by natural instincts but mainly by cultural traditions and norms which associate the blue colour with cold. On the other hand, the blue colour is a cold colour which evokes natural associations with cold. Consequently, when a person sees a temperature indicator lit blue he or she is likely to interpret it as a warning that the temperature of the water in the bottle is too cold for a baby to drink, even if the person does not really know special instructions on how to interpret the bottle’s colours of the temperature indicator.
As for the green colour, this colour traditionally evokes positive associations. In fact, this colour is traditionally used to show safety of product, for instance. At the same time, the green colour often evokes strong associations with life since this colour is the colour of plants and nature. As a result, people perceive the green colour as a symbol of safety even on the subconscious level that makes the use of the Rainbow bottle easy and natural.
In fact, the use of thermometer and temperature indicator makes the Rainbow bottle very effective and useful for customers. Obviously, mothers, especially if they have their first child, will highly appreciate this innovation and they will likely to prefer the Rainbow bottle because they can rely on the temperature indicator and give the water to their babies without any apprehensions concerning its temperature. Consequently, the use of the thermometer and temperature indicator decreases the risk of health problems in babies which may be provoked by the use of too cold or too hot water. In such a way, mothers can give the water at the best temperature to their babies.
It proves beyond a doubt that the simplicity and usefulness of the Rainbow bottle can contribute to the high popularity of this product among customers (Blanchard & Bowles, 218). At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that the system, i.e. the thermometer and temperature indicator, functions perfectly well in order to avoid compliances from the part of parents.


Target customer groups and market segmentation
The Rainbow bottle is a new product and needs to focus on the specific customer group which are the most likely to use this product. In this respect, it is obvious that mothers are the target customer group of the Rainbow bottle. Obviously, in the contemporary society it is mothers that mainly take care of their children feeding them and giving them water while the role of father is traditionally secondary in feeding and drinking procedures. Even though, in recent years the gap between man and women in this regard has started to close, it is still hardly possible to speak about a substantial change of gender roles. Consequently, mothers remain the target customer group of the Rainbow bottle.
At the same time, it is also necessary to take into consideration the growing number of single mothers who bring up their children alone, without direct support of fathers. In such a situation, single mothers do need devices which can facilitate their care of their children and the Rainbow bottle is one of such devices. As it has been already mentioned above, this bottle can facilitate consistently the use of water bottles by mothers to give their babies water. In fact, the Rainbow bottle is a new type of water bottles which can save the time of mothers since they will not need to measure the temperature of the water in the bottle in any way but just having a look at the temperature indicator. In addition, they will be able to prevent their children from catching some illnesses, such as the cold in the result of the use of cold water. In such a way, mothers will be able to save not only their time but also their costs since, if a baby catches cold, mother will definitely be unable to work, while the treatment may increase their spending. In the case of single mothers, such a situation is a serious challenge to their social well-being and the Rainbow bottle can prevent them from such problems because it ensures that mothers are giving the water to their babies at the perfect temperature.
Furthermore, it is necessary to understand that the segment of the target market is quite limited since the water bottles are used only for a specific age categories of babies. As babies grow older they do not need water bottles, such as the Rainbow bottle anymore. Therefore, the Rainbow bottle can aim at mothers who have children till the age of three or four years old at most, while mothers of elder children are not likely to use the Rainbow bottle. Consequently, the company should take this niche of the market and, what is more important, it is important to promote the Rainbow bottle in such a way that mothers are aware of its usefulness even before they bear a child.
In such a way, it is obvious that the company producing the Rainbow bottle should focus on mother as the target customer group. In this respect, it is necessary to remember about the importance of the positive customer experience since it can increase the loyalty of customers to the Rainbow bottle. In fact, if mothers have a positive experience of using the Rainbow bottle, they are likely to use this bottle if they decide to have a second child. Alternatively, they can recommend the product to their friends that will naturally expand the number of customers using the Rainbow bottle. At the same time, the formation of customers loyalty through the positive customer experience can strengthen the marketing position of the product.
On analyzing possible target customer groups, it is necessary to take into consideration fathers as well. Today, they cannot be totally rejected as potential customers. Even though they are likely to use the Rainbow bottle less frequently than mothers to give water to their babies, it does not necessarily mean that fathers will not use this product at all. Consequently, this customer group should be also taken into consideration and the promotion of the product should aim not only at mothers but also fathers. In addition, it is worth mentioning the fact that the Rainbow bottle will be even more useful for fathers because, as a rule, they are less experienced than mothers in regard to feeding and giving drinks to children. As a result, the lack of experience can make the process of giving water to babies quite challengeable for fathers and they will apparently appreciate the temperature indicator which can facilitate the use of the water bottle consistently and ensure that they will cause no harm to their babies and their health.
In such a way, along with the focus on mothers as the target customer group, the company producing the Rainbow bottle should involve fathers as well. This means that, in terms of the promotional campaign of the product and its branding, it is necessary to focus on couples, i.e. both parents, which can use the Rainbow bottle. Even though the divorce rate grows, as well as the number of single mothers does, such a promotion can produce a positive impression on the target customer group, both mothers and fathers, because the focus on the couple in the promotion of the product will create positive feelings and, therefore, customers will be likely to buy the product.
Competitors
The introduction of the new product, such as the Rainbow bottle, should be preceded by the analysis of the competitive environment and the assessment of advantages of the new product and its possible flaws compared to its major rivals. In actuality, the market of water bottles for babies is characterized by a relatively high competition. In fact, it is even possible to speak about certain saturation of the market due to the growing offer, while the demand on water bottles can hardly catch up with the growing offer. In this respect, it is necessary to take into consideration the fact that the current situation in the market contributes to the growing competition between producers of water bottles.
It is possible to single out several factors that determine the high competition in the market. First of all, it is important to underline the significance of the process of globalization. In actuality, globalization influences practically all industries and all spheres of life of the contemporary society. Under the impact of globalization, the introduction of the Rainbow bottle can encounter a strong opposition from the part of competitors. It is worth mentioning the fact that globalization eliminates fiscal barriers and enhances free trade that stimulates both national and foreign companies as well as multinational corporations to enter the national market with their products, including water bottles for babies. Naturally, the growing number of companies operating in the market leads to the growing competition, while the latter increases the entering barriers for a new product, such as the Rainbow bottles. This means that the company introducing the Rainbow bottle will need to overcome the resistance of not only local companies, but also foreign companies as well.
In addition, the company can face the problem of the growing pressure from the part of foreign companies which can offer water bottles at lower prices since these competitors can save costs due to lower labour force costs, for instance (Denney, 109). In such a situation, the use of new technologies and innovations is crucial for a successful introduction of a new product, such as the Rainbow bottle. In this respect, the use of the thermometer and temperature indicator used in the Rainbow bottle can be a crucial innovation which can provide the product with a strategic advantage over its major competitors.
It proves beyond a doubt that the use of thermometer will make the Rainbow bottle technologically more complicated that may influence the price of the product. On the other hand, water bottles supplied from abroad, especially from countries with low labour force costs, do not have the thermometer and temperature indicator. As a result, the Rainbow bottle is more convenient to use and, therefore, customers are likely to prefer this product even though its price may be higher than an average price of a water bottle for babies.
Along with the thermometer and temperature indicator, which give the Rainbow bottle a competitive advantage, it is possible to mention another advantage of the new product compared to water bottles for babies imported from other countries. This advantage is the lower transportation costs of the Rainbow bottle compared to foreign water bottles for babies. In fact, the company producing the Rainbow bottle will be able to supply its product to customers with lower expanses on transportation and in shorter period of time compared to foreign competitors. Obviously, the transportation costs of the Rainbow bottle will be consistently lower compared to water bottles transported from the overseas, for instance. In addition, the time of the delivery may be also crucial since the company producing the Rainbow bottle can supply the product directly to local customers in shorter period of time compared to its foreign competitors. As a result, the amount of Rainbow bottles sold can be consistently higher compared to foreign products. In such a situation, the company can even annihilate the price difference or, to put it in simple words, decrease the price of the product if the sale rates are growing steadily and the amount of bottles sold is high enough to increase profits of the company producing the Rainbow bottle, even if its price decreases.
In addition, it is necessary to remember about the quality standards as well as safety of the product to the health of customers. In this respect, the company producing the Rainbow bottle can also have considerable advantages over its foreign competitors because, even though all the products imported into the country meet the national quality standards, there is still certain risk of importing water bottles which quality is lower, compared to local companies. In such a situation, the company producing the Rainbow bottle can have a competitive advantage due to the high quality standards of its product and, what is more, local customers are more confident in products produced by local companies than in products produced in other countries, especially in countries of the third world (Cooper, 210).
In such a situation, the company producing the Rainbow bottle is likely to face the strongest competition from the part of the local companies. Obviously, local companies have a large share of the local market and they definitely have more extensive experience of operating in the local market, while the company producing the Rainbow bottle is just entering the market and, therefore, its product is totally new for customers. Consequently, customers are not aware of the reliability of the company and quality of its product yet and gaining the confidence of customers may be crucial to eliminate the existing competitive advantage of local producers of water bottles for babies due to their more extensive experience.
Finally, the company should use the full potential of the new product and lay emphasis on its distinguishable advantage compared to its competitors in order to gain the customer’s attention and gain a larger share of the market. At the same time, it is obvious that the position of the Rainbow bottle will depend on the effectiveness of the marketing strategy applied.
Marketing strategy
On analyzing the marketing strategy that can be applied to the introduction of the Rainbow bottle into the market, it is necessary to start with the development of the clear plan of the introduction and promotion of the product as well as its development. In fact, the marketing strategy should be grounded on the current market situation, preferences and interests of customers and the potential of the company proper. The latter means that the company should not exaggerate its productive potential since if the company exaggerates its productive potential than it will be unable to maintain a stable and reliable supply of its product to customers and distributors. As a result, the lack of stable supply can undermine the confidence of customers as well as business partners of the company in its reliability. Moreover, this can provoke the formation of a negative customer experience that will ruin the positive brand image of the company and its product. In a situation, the company will have not prospects for the further development of its products and for a successful introduction and promotion of the Rainbow bottle.
Taking into account all the risks and threats mentioned above, it is necessary to start with the development of the product. In fact, the Rainbow bottle is an innovative product. At first glance, its innovative nature gives the product a competitive advantage over its main rivals. On the other hand, the use of new technology, namely the thermometer and temperature indicator, can raise certain challenges the company producing the Rainbow bottle will have to cope with. To put it more precisely, the company has to provide the reliable and effective work of the thermometer and temperature indicator. Otherwise, a poor functioning of these devices can lead to the misleading information on the temperature of the water. Consequently, the customer can be deceived by the temperature indicator that will definitely evoke very negative attitude to the Rainbow bottle and its reliability and effectiveness will be under a question.
This is why, before introducing the product, it is necessary to ensure that the Rainbow bottle and its thermometer and temperature indicator can function effectively in different environments. For instance, it is necessary to take into consideration the conditions of storage of the bottle, its transportation, peculiarities of the environment in which the bottle is used, etc. This means that the producer of the Rainbow bottle should conduct a series of tests to work out concrete and simple recommendations for customers to follow. In fact, the clarity of instructions is crucial and it is necessary to minimize the risk of any error or miscomprehension from the part of customers.
As soon as all the tests of the Rainbow bottle are accomplished and its reliability is proved, it is possible to introduce the product in the market. However, at this point, the company producing the Rainbow bottle should conduct a promotional campaign which precedes the introduction of the product. In this respect, it is necessary to focus the promotional campaign on the target customer group, mothers and couples who have children or who are about to have children. In fact, the company can use specialized media to inform the target customer group about the product, its advantages and benefits it can bring to customers. To put it more precisely, the promotional campaign can involve the use of specialised journals and other specialised print media which are destined specifically for mothers and parents. In addition, it is possible to use similar visual media as well as Internet. Obviously, specialised media are effective to use for the introduction of the Rainbow bottle because customers, as a rule, are very confident in these media and as they use these media they look for specific recommendations and advices concerning parenthood and child care. In such a situation, the company producing the Rainbow bottle can benefit from the use of specialised media in its promotional campaign because if customers see advertisements of the Rainbow bottle in such media they are likely to buy it. In order to insure the positive effect of the use of specialised media, it is possible to involve specialists, for instance, health care professionals working in the field of paediatric that will increase the interest of customer to the Rainbow bottle and their confidence in the reliability of this product.
At this stage, it is necessary to gain the confidence of customers and achieve the recognisability of the Rainbow bottle among the target customer group. As soon as these goals are achieved it is possible to introduce the Rainbow bottle en masse. In such a way, the product will be introduced to the customer group which is prepared for the reception of this product. In other words, customers are ready to buy this product. However, customers still do not have a positive experience of using the Rainbow bottle and they can buy this product simply to try it. This is why the company should make customer interested in buying this product because often, even though product is advertised, customers may be uncertain about buying an unfamiliar product. In order to increase their interest, it is possible to use some material stimulus to attract customer’s attention.
In this respect, it is possible to recommend making a special offer to customers at the beginning of sales of the Rainbow bottle. For instance, during the first month or a couple of months of sales of the product, it is possible to offer customers guidance on childcare, i.e. a book which contains the basic information on childcare, including proper feeding of children and recommendations on prevention of illnesses and other problems children may have. Alternatively, it is possible to offer a CD containing the same information but this information will be more detailed and it is likely that many parents will be interested in the acquisition of the Rainbow bottle if it is accompanied by the CD containing useful recommendations and advices to parents concerning the childcare.
At the same time, in spite of possible stimuli, the price of the Rainbow bottle can be an important factor defining the demand on this product in the market. It proves beyond a doubt that the price of the product cannot be exorbitant because this can lead to the failure of the introduction and further development and promotion of the product in the market. In actuality, the price of water bottles for baby varies consistently from three to twenty pounds. Obviously, the technological difference of the Rainbow bottle from other water bottles increases the costs of the production of the bottle and, therefore, increases its price. Nevertheless, the company should not position the Rainbow bottle at the top price because it is likely to limit the number of customers who are willing or able to buy this product.
In fact, the Rainbow bottle should target at the mass production and mass consumption of the bottle that means that the price of the bottle should be close to the average price in the national market. On the other hand, it is important that the price could cover the costs spent on the production of the bottle. In such a context, it is possible to recommend the price about twelve or fifteen pounds. The higher price is likely to be unaffordable for the mass consumption, while the lower price is unlikely to cover the costs of its production (Lintner, 21). At the same time such a price, improves the competitive position of the Rainbow bottle because it matches the average market price of similar products, but, unlike its rivals, the Rainbow bottle is more useful, safer and easy to use that will naturally determine the choice of customers in favour of this bottle.
Furthermore, an important part of the marketing strategy in the contemporary business environment is the distribution of the product. In this respect, the company producing the Rainbow bottles can have various ways of the distribution, but the most effective one is the distribution through the network of existing big shops and companies that stock baby products. For instance, it is possible to use Mothercare, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and other large stores where baby products are sold. It is necessary to underline the importance of the use of various distributors. What is meant here is the fact that the company producing the Rainbow bottle should not focus on one distributor only. Instead, it is necessary to use the existing networks and large shops in order to maintain the high sales rate of the Rainbow bottle because often customers get used to buy products in particular shops. As a result, if the company producing the Rainbow bottle will focus on Mothercare, for instance, and ignore other stores than it is likely to lose potential customers who buy at Tesco, or other large stores. In contrast, the use of multiple distributors will contribute to the larger volume of sales and, what is more, the product will become familiar to the larger number of customers.
Conclusion
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the introduction of the Rainbow bottle is a very complicated process. In this regard, it is necessary to take into consideration the current market situation, which is characterized by the high competition and the process of globalization will definitely contribute to the further strengthening of the competition in the national market. In such a situation, the most effective way to enter successfully the market and overcome existing entering barriers is the introduction of a new product which has some strategic competitive advantage over its major rivals. The Rainbow bottle does have such an advantage. This is the thermometer and temperature indicator which allow parents to define easily the perfect temperature of water which babies can drink safely.
At the same time, the technological advantage of the Rainbow bottle compared to its rivals can be overshadowed by the high price of the product which grows due to the use of the thermometer and temperature indicator. This is why the company introducing the Rainbow bottle should minimize the price of the bottle, even though it affects the profitability of the product. At the beginning, it is possible to get minimal profits in order to gain a larger share of the market, which may be achieved not only through decreasing price but also through the promotion of the product. In this regard, it is necessary to focus on specialised media which are destined to mother and couples having children. Such a combination of affordable price, high quality and reliability of the product and its effective promotion will allow the company to take the larger share of the market. As a result, the company will not need to increase the price of the product because the growing sale rates will increase the profitability of the company respectively.

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