Who is your Customer?
When a new product or idea is to be introduced into the market, an organization must find out if the market is actually available and if it is viable for their product or service. Before the idea of a new product is pushed to the customers, marketing should be done through a plan that would research on what the customers want and deliver according to their expectations. This plan must also give details on dealing with competition. Considerations must be taken to establish whether there are other businesses offering the same product and service. Additionally, unsatisfied needs/demands in the market should be established conclusively. The idea must also establish who specifically is going to buy the product or service to be introduced and if there is the possibility of having a large number of people in the market interested in the product or service. The market at times may be selective as people have their own, different tastes and preferences.
Question 1: Segmentation
The most important element in the introduction of a product is discovering who your customers will be. To accomplish the task, a segmentation process will be undertaken on a group people with similar characteristics to rate their potential of buying (Tanner and Raymond, 2012). Marketing budget may be inadequate at times, and so, you need to get bigger customer response rates focusing on the prospective people who really want to buy. Before market segmentation of a product is established, the various segment bases must be taken into consideration. This will comprise segmentation based on behavior that seeks to establish the usability of the product and the benefits derived from it. It is asserted that knowing consumer behavior will allow for improved and better understanding and forecasting on the motives behind their buying (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2007).
Demographic segment will highlight the age, beliefs, and the ethnic background of potential customers that might affect their decisions to buy. Geographical considerations will establish the basis for strategy in reaching the customers from the different places where they live.
Brainstorming in business will ensure thorough evaluation and extensive analysis of an idea to provide an indication of success, so that management can commit resources on it. New products have the possibility of creating their own new markets or providing product improvements to existing products, thereby satisfying a need that was initially lacking (Tanner and Raymond, 2012). There are different techniques that can be used to achieve this, but the most important is customer research done in the field. This research will check, evaluate and establish the products provided by the competitors, and then compare with the new product idea with the aim of capitalizing on the weaknesses available in the market. It is asserted that with product segmentation there is a possibility of identifying your potential market from the general population (Tanner and Raymond, 2012).
There are two types of diapers; disposable, which are made from polyethylene film and absorb urine effectively, and cloth diapers that have the capability of being re-used mostly made from cotton. Diapers made of cloth can be used a number of times but the disadvantage is that they lead to the usage of a lot of water during washing than a typical regular flush of a toilet.
The proposed product idea is the Paper Disposable diapers that once used will decompose in the environment and hence create an environmentally friendly surrounding. The existing market opportunities for this product is that; customers want a diaper that is easy to use, has increased comforts to the person using, hygienically better, economically cheap and lastly one that is environmentally friendly. Though certain opportunities exist in the market there is no diaper that is made of paper, which will absorb moisture and then decompose once thrown to the environment. This industry is Diaper industry though there is presence of large companies of Walmart, Pampers, and Huggies Mum brands.
The tasks or activities conducted by the customers or potential customers are buying, using, and then disposing. The problems that are experienced are that the cloth diapers use a lot of water, while the disposable one does not decompose and pollutes the environment, leading to climate change that ultimately affect the living beings. Paper disposable diaper will therefore provide a solution as there will be no wastage of water in washing, Secondly the product will decompose in the environment and apart from that, the product will be affordable to most low-income families.
A research was conducted on the end user and the industry players where 24 disposal diapers were taken and placed on tests; the goal was to establish which diaper was best performing and their comparison in relation to one another. Once the test was complete 10 prospective customers were interviewed on which was the best diaper and the kind of weaknesses that were manifested by the top brands of the diaper companies. This was well documented, this interview was also sorting their views on the ratings based on performance of the competitors, the absorption and leaking of the diapers was also established and the emerging trends of the eco- friendliness of the environment and health considerations. One thing became clear from the interview that the customers were more considerate on what to buy, who to buy from and the environmental impact they were going to leave on the environment after using the diapers.
Separation of the market into portions or groups will fundamentally establish who will buy from your business. It will assist in enlarging the market for products, avoiding the head on competition from other companies, developing mechanisms of offering the product to the market, and knowing how to distribute the marketing efforts to only those customers that are profitable (Tanner and Raymond, 2012). Arguments have been put forward to assert that the benchhead market has the ability of positioning a business, acquire client base and make relationships in the industry stronger to signify success in the future. It will allow a product to comfortably blend into the system. After the research and much deliberation the diaper industry became the benchhead market and the diaper divided into three groups, whichinclude junior size, Midi and Mini Size. Once the Bench head market has been established it is now time to estimate the size of the benchhead market using the Total Addressable market size for the product.
Question 2: Total Addressable Market size
The most important aspect in running a business is being able to understand how your prospective or potential customers will behave. Apart from that not being able to identify the market appropriately is a disaster and such errors may make a business to fail. When identification of expected market is poorly done, it might affect the ability of the business to convince them later into the business.If prospective customers are well understood it will equally be easier to reach them and develop products that will meet their demands. This also assists the business prepare the best and above board marketing strategies to reach its clients. In addition, it will enable the accurate estimation of the financial revenue that a business is likely to achieve in bringing a product to the market. Total Addressable market size (TAM) is best used to elaborate on this aspect.
TAM estimates the projected revenue that will be expected from the venture based on the market segment. It is an estimation of what a business can single handedly achieve and attain in terms of results indicated by high profits. One dilemma that comes in mind is that the market for the product should be big enough to generate more returns based on sales but on the other hand, if the market becomes bigger it is likely to overstretch on the inadequate resources available.
As an initiator of product idea it is important to separate the whole market and your addressable section of the market. For example the diaper product, the whole market will be the entire town or city while the addressable market is that section of the population that will buy the product. To protect the business from failing a proper and good understanding of addressable market must be done conclusively. For this case, it is believed that all women have the ability to give birth to children. Based on the research, women are known to use the diapers regularly for their children. The contrasting perspective, arguing that all women will use the diapers, is wrong, as some sections would opt not to use them for their children. Establishing through finding and determining the behaviors of consumers will easily indicate who has the potential and possibility of buying your product.
According to Tanner and Raymond (2012) you will have to take into considerations certain issues when estimating the size of TAM. They will comprise market portion or section, shared segment amongst competitors, the share in comparison to competing businesses and fluctuations in the market.
To estimate or calculate Total Addressable Market we have to determine the number of the existing market that is likely to fit on our product; this is using the bottom up approach.
For this case;
We will start with a small city and then scale up nationally and globally
The average price of a packet of diaper is $2.7
This packet consists of 9 pieces
Average usage per day is 3 pieces; this means that 1 packet takes 3 days
Therefore, average purchases in a month is 30/3 which is 10
For a year (Annually) = 10*12= 120 Purchases
Therefore revenue = 120*2.7=$324
The population for the Small city 120,000
The prospective customers is 40% (Data from primary research)
40% of 120,000= 48,000 prospective customers
Therefore When Calculated = 324*48000= $15.552 Million
Total Addressable Market (TAM) = $15.552 Million
It is important to have in mind that there are other brands (Walmart, Pampers, and Huggies) in the markets, and hence, the TAM will be shared with competitors. This data is important as it will allow the company or business to prepare its scarce resources to reach the prospective customers.
In summary, there is need to first collect data and information from various agencies e.g. tax reports from the government and business informative journals. Approximations must in addition be collected from market opinion leaders and salespersons. There is also a need to compile sales data from competitors’ reports and publications and go through reports from market professional organizations.
Question 3: Persona Building
Identification of consumers for a given product will warrant the investigation of a character in fiction. In going through the process you have to start from brainstorming about who the persona should be. This will be through production of a list of the type of people who have connections to the product e.g. buyers, resellers, competitors, regulators etc. Thereafter writing detailed descriptions of these people highlighting on what they care about and how they are currently solving their problems. Lastly, the product team will gather to rank, sort and identify the best among the identified people, so that a single, deserving, and reliable person is chosen to be used for the study. Discussions will follow and once an individual has been decided on the records are finalized, printed and distributed for the project idea.
They will simulate the characteristics and actual behaviors of the customers pertaining to a product. They are vital in communicating information about behaviors and actions of the consumers, highlights their goals and objectives, their demands and frustrations they are experiencing in the market. Personas are found in almost every activity or field just like a soccer team coach simulating on how to deal with an opponent, marketing strategists will also have the pleasure of trying a product using simulation before actually taking to their target clients. It is important in the possibility of an issue with the product detection is done earlier formerly of damages and before the image of an organization is tarnished.
Developing a preferred persona for a product will lead to starting with a tentative one, this will provide the discovery of the tastes, experiences and the preferences that the users are likely to have when using a given product and if the product actually meets the criterion of what they want. To start on the selection of the persona data collection methods of interviewing and observation will be employed so that a view of the product is provided to the likely customers.
Therefore, it is equally beneficial to keep the personas concise, accurate and specific to the product that is when you can have a true and clear picture of how the product will fair in the market. Specificity will assist to establish exact responses to expect from the customers and identify if there are adjustments that should be made to the product before launching. In addition, choose a persona who you actually designed the product for as this will ensure the accuracy of insights and behaviors expected from the customers about the product.
Always make your personas believable, this is the belief in what they will say, comments, opinions and perceptions they are likely to bring forward and remember to know cases or instances when the persona may be inappropriate for the venture. Other considerations in building persona for a product will be identification of the problem that the product is likely to address, testing the personas, and connecting personas to user information and stories.
For this case, the persona will be called Christine. She uses 3 diapers in a day bought from the leading brands in the market. A close neighbor is environmentally savvy who is always questioning and warning Christine of environmental degradation that is caused by her dumping used diapers to the surrounding.
The demographic attributes of Christine is she is aged 32, has an income of 900 dollars per month. Because of employment and lack of time she has the behavior of buying disposable diapers that once are used are thrown to the dustbin. She is motivated that if only the diapers could decompose it would have reduced the effect of the environment and provided nutrientsand manure for her small garden she has.
The problems and need that the persona has is she needs diapers that are easy to use, thinner-the ones existing are very thick, provides great comfort to the child, hygienic when using and above all environmentally friendly. The ones available in the market do not meet the above demands and therefore the need for more customized and improved product. The other problem the diapers that she is using does not absorb moisture fully and so the need for the diaper that can effectively and efficiently absorb the urine to protect the child from skin rashes or disease. The price is also high compared to her low income, having in mind that she has to use a packet for three days.
The solution that the product will provide for Christine is the provision of thinner diapers, that which absorbs all the moisture, cheaper compared to the others in the market and disposable diaper; it decomposes to form manure for her small garden after use. The diaper product to be introduced to the market will cost about 1.8 dollars for a packet, slightly cheaper than the available products from the competitors.
Prospective customers like Christine can be found in environmental conventions where people discuss environment protection and the effects of plastics that do not decompose. They are also found in the social media where people exchange views and opinions e.g. facebook, twitter and environmental issue websites like Environment agency.
For every business willing to operate successfully; marketing promotions and awareness of the products should be adequately done. Marketing will target people who in this case will be the potential customers, it is therefore vital for a business to first identify the section of these people that will be part of the business through becoming customers. Therefore, it is appropriate to know the section of the market that is likely to buy, moreover, an estimate of the revenue expected must be done and this may be projected to more years to come. When all this is done professionally and accurately, there is no reason why a business venture or idea may not succeed having in mind that every business CEO would like to improve and promote sales for a company in the name of performance (Tanner and Raymond, 2012). This paper will therefore recommend the Paper diaper product to be introduced in the market since all indications are clear that it will succeed.
Schiffman and Kanuk, (2007). Consumer behavior. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
Tanner J. and Raymond M. (2012). Principles of Marketing Version 2.0. Flat World Knowledge