Marketing Plan for Google Glass
Technology is continually revolutionizing human life and it is imperative for each corporation to embrace technology that can give it an advantage in the industry it operates in. Google Inc. places the customers’ needs first, and has come up with a revolutionary product that is bound to transform the ordinary human course of life, Google glass. The product is a modern technology eyeglass that has an optical head mounted display. As compared to similar devices, Google glass is characteristically slimmer and smaller. The product looks like an ordinary eyeglass, but it is differentiated by a head up display instead of a lens. Essentially, it resembles a smartphone that is mounted on the head and users can utilize it to pass information over the internet by issuing voice commands (Missfeldt, 2013). The prototype of the product was released in 2013 but has not been widely accessed by many. In January 2015, Google Inc. announced that the production of the actual product will commence, thereby creating a need for a proper marketing plan that can ensure the product is able to penetrate the market effectively.
A marketing plan is a strategic analysis of the factors in the market that can be utilized in a bid to ensure the product can penetrate a market successfully. Google glass is an ideal product that needs to be embraced by everyone but like any other product, it needs to be placed well and thoroughly promoted to meet the market share that is expected of it. In Saudi Arabia, the product has been found to be useful in medicine, sports, and GPS locations. This usefulness can be replicated globally and the marketing plan clearly identifies and analyzes various factors that the corporation has to consider to ensure there is a successful introduction of the product into the market.
a) Company Overview
Google Inc. was founded by Larry page and Sergey Brin in 1995 when the two were studying at Stanford. They created a search engine known as BackRub, which later came to be known as Google. The company was registered under the Google.com domain in 1997 and has been successful since then. The corporation has been able to develop into a huge multinational due to its constant creativity and superb innovation strategies. Among the key innovations that have been introduced into the market are Google Newsletters in 1998 and Google images in 2001. Google Inc. was able to establish itself as a credible search engine that was renowned all over the world, but was criticized for not offering tangible products like its competitors (Google Inc., 2013).
In 2002, Google Inc. began to offer products to the society, its first product being the Google Search Appliance. This was a yellow box that businesses could plug into their computer networks that would enable users to search documents within their networks. From then, products have been launched by the company that are meant to ensure that individuals can utilize the internet effectively in meeting their objectives. Some of the products launched by the company are Google maps, Google Mobile Web Search, Google AdSense, Gmail, Google Print, Google Grants, and google Chrome (Google Inc., 2013). The company has also launched its android platforms in mobile phone companies like the T-Mobile.
The main strength of Google Inc. is that it has developed the product past the prototype stage as compared to other companies, and it has the finances to successfully launch the product. The company has an opportunity to take advantage of the timing of the product and release it into the market while competitors develop their own. The weakness that is posed to the company is the pricing mechanism where Google Glasses are quite expensive and could discourage consumers from purchasing them. The biggest threat to the business is political and legal issues that might arise due to the safety features of the product essentially those that relate to driving while wearing the products.
b) Customer Analysis
Google’s products and services satisfy the needs of their customers that often vary in preferences and needs. For instance, Gmail is meant to serve the needs of users who need to keep in contact with other people and prefer to have a larger storage for the electronic information they use. Google Glass is meant to serve the needs of those people who demand technological devices with the same features as their smart phones, but translated into a simple pair of eyeglasses. The company serves a generation that is interested in technological innovations, and has a thorough understanding of technological dynamics and broader spectrums (Hayley, 2014).
c) Competitor Analysis
Google Inc. Corporation has been able to develop into a business that serves several aspects of the technological industry and offers unique products and services. Due to the availability of many products and services, the company has amerced much competition from other businesses that offer the same commodities. Google’s first competing firms are Yahoo and Bing that is owned by Microsoft (Matt, 2015). Physical products that are offered by Google also face massive competition, for instance, the main competitor for Google Glass would be Apple.
The market share of Yahoo Inc. can be compared to that of Google where Yahoo is currently priced at $25.6 billion while Google is priced at $339.4 billion. Apple Company has a significant market share and its shares and profitability is currently stated at $520.56 billion (Statista, 2013). The products that are offered by Yahoo are email, Tumblr, and Flickr. The company has also partnered with CBS, NBC, and ABC News.
Apple Company on the other hand offers products, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the iMac. No prices, sales, and locations of sale can be analyzed for Yahoo since it only offers a search engine to its customers. Revenues are raised from commercials and partnerships, which have reduced significantly over time. Yahoo has notably less strengths and many weaknesses. A major weakness for Yahoo is that it has become less popular with customers who now prefer Gmail accounts due to the storage capacity that it offers. The strengths of Yahoo resonate around weather forecasts and news updates on real time basis that motivate individuals to utilize it more. On the other hand, Apple Company has set prices for technological products that are offered. Their prices range from $99 to $1500 depending on the type of product that is offered and the market segmentation that is targeted. Apple targets tech savvy individuals aged between 17 and 40. The company promotes its products through billboards, websites, commercials, and advertisements. The strengths of Apple lie in the fact that it can reach a large number of individuals who are able to purchase its products. Its weakness is that its products might be overpriced and their technological advancement might discourage the older generation from utilizing them (Statista, 2013).
There are external factors that affect the business climate that Google Glass is going to operate in. Among the factors that are dominant in the external environment and bound to affect the product is technology. Google Glass has been developed for a couple of years, and the concept of wearable technology is currently being researched on by most companies. The high level of technology that is needed in the development of the product is costly. This gives an advantage to Google Inc. since it can utilize its financial muscle to successfully penetrate the market. This essentially limits competition and is a major factor when it comes to pricing decisions. Even though there are technology enthusiasts who are happy with the technological advancements taking place, there are those who are sceptic about it and might tend to discourage its use. They might demand an assessment of the technological risks of the product and discourage its use.
Legal issues are bound to arise with the use of a smartphone that is directly located in the customer’s face. Safety problems might arise, especially as regards to driving since the product would offer distractions that are bound to cause accidents (Warman, 2013). The individuals who have purchased Google Glasses so far have been pulled over and ticketed for driving while using the device. The large risks posed by the utilization of the device while driving might create a need for the amendment of laws regarding the use of cell phones. There are privacy issues that might arise too since the product can record conversations, which might not be appropriate especially if the other individual is not aware of what is being done (Williams, 2013). Furthermore, it can identify strangers in public, thus violating the secrecy paradigm privacy right and causing security problems.
Google Glass is a project by Google Inc. that is purposed towards bringing hands-free display technology to the public. The product utilizes voice commands as a means of interface between the user and the gadget. The gadget allows users to access information from their phones, utilize Google + and hangouts, and actively get information from the internet. The gadget has a wireless data connection set up and adds an augmented-reality overlay to whatever a person is looking at, thereby capturing relevant information about their surroundings from Google sources (Google Inc., 2013).
Google Glass provides users with the augmented reality experience by superimposing images over what users actually see in real life. These images are general icons that provide the user with directions, and alert them if there are any messages or even give them weather updates. The technological advancement of this product makes it futuristic as a hands free computing tool. Some of its key features are a touchpad on the side that allows the user to swipe through timelines. It has a camera that enables the user to take photos and record quality videos. The gadget has an LED illuminated display and is carefully synchronized to ensure the user is able to get relevant information about the contents of the immediate environment (Missfeldt, 2013).
Google glass is an innovative product that embraces high technology and quality that will be able to evoke a revolution in the market for electronic devices. Its combination with Google+ will ensure that the product can provide its users with joyful experiences by provision of similar services like those of smart phones but with hands-free technology. The idea behind popularizing the product is changing it from a prototype that is held by a few to an actual product that can be utilized by everyone in the public. Because of its unique physical features and functionality, the product is bound to draw the attention of many personalities specifically that of the youth who will relate to it. The brand equity of the product will only stand out if it can sustain an advantage of being a multifunctional high-tech glass with a distinct look that suits the needs of its clientele.
There is a fierce competition from the electronic service market and this is why the product should be viewed as a high-tech innovative product that is meant to revolutionize communication for individuals. Social media has been able to revolutionize the means to communication to an online platform where people can post personal comments and comment on activities that are taking place. Google Glass can take communication revolution to the next step by ensuring that people no longer have to check their phones regularly to read text messages or emails. They can spend time engaging in face-to-face communication with others while still being able to check and reply to their messages using the device.
Google Glass target market consists of smart phone users who are segmented according to their ages and interests (Reed, 2013). Essentially, the product will be sold to those who are 16 years and above since it requires some sense of maturity to be utilized effectively. Even though Google Glass is not a luxury product, its current prices are not affordable to many people. Those who are below sixteen years old are discouraged from using the product since some relative amount of self-control is required to use the product. If a person does not have self-control, he/she will easily get distracted and this might cause a lot of harm.
Google Glass aims to capture 70% of the market, as it is the first product of that kind that has been launched into the market. The price that is going to be set is higher than average quality and it will be significant for the glasses to be of a high quality. Google Glass is going to free people’s hands and liberate their eyes from constantly looking down to check on messages on their phones. People will be safer because they will concentrate more on their environment than get distracted with their phones.
The first target of Google Glasses should be narrow niched and can focus on upper income and upper middle tourists. These are persons who travel from one place to another admiring nature and the archeological features of different locations all over the world. The product will give the tourists an upper hand in capturing images and navigation through google Maps. This segment is highly educated and has a high social status coupled with high disposable incomes. They are of an average age and are concerned about the equipment they utilize in documenting their trips. Google Inc. can initially sell the product to this niche basing it on the value the customers place on it due to is efficiency in capturing memories and ease in its navigation. Due to social networks, the product could be widely acclaimed and this would serve the product well since it will offer a ground for positive publicity. Additional development of the product would be necessitated to ensure that the product is strong enough and not culpable to any damage during their escapades. A security feature is also necessitated to ensure that only the person who purchased the product can utilize it to prevent any theft that might arise during the client’s adventures. Success in the tourist market segmentation is highly possible and the same could be replicated to the physically disabled and gaming niche markets. The marketing segmentation takes on many vertical niche markets, which aggregates to the success in horizontal market adoption.
Google Glasses has a competitive advantage as compared to similar products that could be introduced from other corporations. The glasses are developed by a pre-established and well known corporation that has supportive applications for the glasses. These supportive applications are Google+, Gmail, and Google Maps and they provide a competitive advantage to this product. It is due to these applications that google Glass was developed. The glasses work effectively and more efficiently due to these applications and any other company that would want to manufacture a replica of the product would have a hard time designing and introducing the same applications. In deed, individuals will choose google glass because they are regular users of products that are developed by google and have had higher rating for them over the years.
The product needs to be branded effectively and packaged sufficiently to attract customers. Currently, the product has been offered to 8,000 innovators at a price of $1500 who can access the product and recommend any changes that need to be made in a bid to make it easier for the community to use it in their daily lives. Resource deployments should be considered at this stage where the company needs to invest heavily in product designs and provide a superb customer experience. This can ensure that the company is able to acquire customers and stimulate the demand of the product for more production. There is a need to customize the product so that it can meet the specific needs of various segments that it targets. The product is novice and should consistently go through a system that facilitates continuous product improvements. Additional human resources need to be allocated towards retail stores and call centers to ensure the product attracts the necessary attention that is needed to boost sales. Warranty for the product should also be issued that is not anything less than a year to create confidence in the durability of the product.
A value based pricing technique should be utilized in setting the most appropriate price for Google glasses. People will view the product as a very valuable product that is needed to engage with the environment on a daily basis. The estimated price for the product once it gets into the market is stated at $200 to around $600. The value-based strategy should establish the price at $400. There is a need to provide discounts to boost sales, especially when it is sold together with phones. At Google headquarters in San Francisco, the product needs to be offered at a discount to boost performance within the community as it strives to penetrate the global market.
To advertise and effectively promote the product, the corporation will rely heavily on word of mouth marketing. They can do this by generating a buzz in their website and integrating the product into renowned events like Diane von Furstenberg New York Design show (Sowray, 2012). This would ensure that people start talking about the product through avenues like Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. A credible organization should be hired to perform analysis on the traffic that is generated on social media by the product and enumerate on the customers’ views of the product. The company should avoid any activity that would bring about negative word of mouth, as this could be quite detrimental to promotion strategy.
Google Glass is an innovative product that is the first of its kind ever developed by an established corporation. Its uniqueness in design and voice activated functionality will make it of great value to consumers. The target market that comprises smart phone users who are 16 years and above is going to embrace this technology and sales are expected to improve annually as the product goes global. The social stigma of constantly looking down at a phone is bound to change since this revolutionary product will negate the need to do so. Competition will be kept at bay since the company is launching the product before any other corporation launches the same. The popularity of recent technologies and how quickly they penetrate the market raises the prospects for Google Glasses to achieve the same.
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