Personally, I would probably consider printer/copier paper to be a commodity product. Obviously you don’t want to think that if you are in this market. This interview with Double A paper’s Thirawit Leetavorn explains how (Australian firm?) Double A has developed a brand with awareness, differentiation and preference through advertising. You could follow up this video with a couple of ads — the “Girl on the Copier” doesn’t do much for differentiation, but it’s viral and buzz potential built awarness. Another add – “No Jam” develops one of its key points of differentiation. This video series could be used with our books chapter 2 (marketing strategy planning), chapter 4 (positioning), or with a discussion of the product life cycle (market maturity), in Promotion tied to promotion objectives or advertising to create differentiation, or even around pricing. It’s also nice to show students some international examples.
This article in the Wall Street Journal “The Path to Developing Successful New Products” (subscription required – or do an online search on the title to get back-door access to the article) reports on recent research on success factors in new product development. Also includes links to some articles in the Sloan Management Review. Some highlights…
We found—after surveying more than 300 employees at 28 companies across North America and Europe—that the businesses with the best product-development track records do three things better than their less-successful peers: They create a clear sense of project goals early on, they nurture a strong project culture in their workplace, and they maintain close contact with customers throughout a project’s duration.
Here’s another technology product that’s moving quickly from the market introduction to the market growth stage of the product life cycle. The first Kindle (Amazon’s popular e-book reader) was released on November 19, 2007. Until I read this article (“Attack of the Kindle Killers: The Boom in New E-Readers,” Time, October 11, 2009), I did not know there were so many competing e-readers – either on the market or due out shortly. The article includes a slide show with nine different readers. Only the Kindle and Sony seem to get significant publicity, but that may change if one of these other readers catches on. Might be fun to show the slide show to class and ask students to develop a marketing strategy for one of the less well-known readers.
This interview with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fis-Aime has a lot of “talking head” to it, but covers interesting ground (“More Gamers Wanted,” CNN.com, October 6, 2009). It deals with a company and industry of interest to many students – and it discusses how Nintendo is cutting prices for the Wii in an attempt to increase sales to casual players. Wii is the opening case for chapter 4 – so the video could be shown with chapter 4 to provide an update. Or it could be discussed with Product as part of managing products through the life cycle–or with pricing as Nintendo does cut prices.