Now’s your chance to play the role of a marketing specialist trying to convince a group of customers that your product concept is better than the competition’s. You’re going to wade into the industry battle over digital photo printing. Choose a side: either the photo printer manufacturers, who want consumers to buy printers to print their own digital photos (visit HP, at www .hp.com , for an overview of photo-quality printers), or the service providers, who claim their way is better (visit one of the many retailers that offer a service-based approach, such as www .cvs.com or www.walmart.com ). Prepare a short presentation on why the approach you’ve chosen is better for consumers. Feel free to segment the consumer market and choose a particular target segment if that bolsters your argument.
Building Your Team Skills
Select a high-profile product with which you and your teammates are familiar. Do some online research to learn more about that brand. Then answer these questions and prepare a short group presentation to your classmates summarizing your findings:
• Is the product a consumer product, an organizational product, or both?
• At what stage in its life cycle is this product?
• Is the product a national brand or a private brand?
• How do the product’s packaging and labeling help boost consumer appeal?
• How is this product promoted?
• Is the product mix to which this product belongs wide? Long? Deep?
• Is the product sold in international markets? If so, does the company use a standardized or a customized strategy?
• How is the product priced in relation to competing products?
Developing Your Research Skills
Scan recent business journals and newspapers (print or online editions) for an article related to one of the following:
• New product development
• The product life cycle
• Brand extensions
• Pricing strategies
1. Does this article report on a development in a particular company, several companies, or an entire industry? Which companies or industries are specifically mentioned?
2. If you were a marketing manager in this industry, what concerns would you have as a result of reading the article? What questions do you think companies in this industry (or related ones) should be asking? What would you want to know?
3. In what ways do you think this industry, other industries, or the public might be affected by this trend or development in the next five years? Why?