The following paper is about creating a new product using product positioning, and how to market the product. Product positioning is what the target market thinks about a product in comparison to the competitors (Kotler, & Keller, 2009). For example, when a customer looks at a Rolls Royce they think of luxury whereas when they look at a Nissan saloon car they think of economy. The makers of Rolls Royce have positioned their product as high end luxury and the manufacturers of Nissan as a family economy car. The two cars cannot be confused by customers and they cannot compete with each other due to this clear positioning. Marketing new products involves developing the product, pilot testing with samples on a small scale, modifying the product accordingly, consumer testing, finalizing the product specification and finally producing the product on a large scale. The launch of the new product is done through promotions and advertising.
The new product is the Supa Mop. This is a 2 in 1 mop with a detachable mop and brush for cleaning floors. The brush can be removed and a scrapper put in its place to clean floors for which the dirt cannot be removed with the mop or the brush. Product positioning was used to come up with the new product. Product positioning is important because it gives the market an opportunity to influence the customer’s perception of the product. A clear, concise and meaningful product positioning helps reduce the need for endless advertising and marketing. It gives the marketer’s message some context so that customers can hear them and accept them (Pride, 2011).
Product positioning ensures that customers always think of your product when they are making a purchase. The three important objectives of product positioning are differentiating the product from the competitor, addressing the important buying criteria for customers, and articulating key product characteristics. The product positioning for the Supa Mop is through understanding how the target market makes purchasing decisions, how the competition which is companies that make mops, positions its products and what the Supa Mop has to offer.
Product Positioning for the Supa Mop
Understanding the Target Market
The Positioning triangle analysis will assist in positioning the new product, Supa Mop. The first step is to understand the target market for the Supa Mop using a target audience profile. The target audience is mothers, single adults in demographic Class A, B, C. The positioning triangle analysis will be done through an analysis of the product features and benefits. The product features include the size or the speed of the product if applicable. The Supa Mop features include a handle that is hand held with a handle with a grip at the end. The bottom has two sides to it. One side has the sponge or mop and the other side has a brush. The side that has the brush is detachable where the brush can be removed and a scrapper inserted depending on the type of cleaning the customer want to do. The benefits of the Supa Mop are that it is convenient, easy to use and one does not have to have many tools to clean a floor. It is convenient because the customer can switch between the brush and the mop while cleaning the floor. A list of the target markets buying criteria is listed in order of priority and a weight assigned to each. The buying criteria with the highest weights are those that will be used to position the product (Pride, 2011).
Understanding the Competition
The second step in positioning the product is to understand the competition. Primary and secondary research will be carried out to understand the competitors and how they position simple products. The research should also include the strategies that the competitors use and how successful they are. There are many companies that produce all sorts of mops. Two in one mops are not common as most customers will buy a single mop. There are some three in one mops in the market that would compare to the Supa Mop. The research will include information on the manufacturers of other types of mops. The competitor analysis would include the features and benefits of the mops, the strengths and weaknesses of the competitor, the marketing strategies and whether they were successful or not. This information will provide the competitors positioning.
The third step in product positioning is to map the buying criteria of the Supa Mop against those of the competition. The mapping will help in identifying which buying criteria do not have any strong competition. This should be compared with Supa Mop’s relative strengths. Customers can provide this information on the strengths of the product. If this is not available then tone can use their best judgment based on the research information. This will complete the positioning triangle and enable one to identify any gaps in the market. For example, most of the mops that are three in one mops are electric and once they get spoiled it is difficult to repair them. A three in one mop that does not use electricity will have no issue with service and repairs as they are manual. Product positioning helps the marketer to understand the market and the competition before introducing a new product. Once the product is positioned then it is time to market the new product. The product positioning must be single minded, meaningful, different from the competitor, important, sustainable, believable and credible. For the new product Supa Mop the positioning strategy will focus on the benefits, product attributes and unique characteristics (Kotler, & Keller, 2009).
Marketing a New Product
Marketing involves the product, price, distribution, and advertising. The first step in marketing the new product is to perform a small testing of the product to the target market. The objective is to assess the manufacturing practicality, cost viability and how the product compares with the competitors products. Modification of the product will be made depending on the results of the small testing. The next stage after the small test is a pilot test where the product is manufactured on a larger scale and distributed to select outlets. This allows the company to test the technical viability of the product and to conduct market research on a larger scale. After the pilot test, the final product specifications are done and approval made for large scale. The product specification is very important as it will be used for the final production to ensure consistency. Regular tests will also be done to analyze the quality of the product in line with the product specification.
After all the tests are complete the product is ready to be launched. Pricing is an important part of the marketing strategy of the new product. Pricing decision must be made based on the various costs such as handling, packaging, distribution, transport and storage so that the product is profitable. Distribution is a key aspect of marketing to ensure that the product is available to the target market. The product can be distributed in certain areas to measure the performance before embarking on a national scale.
Marketing the new product will involve advertising, price discounts, sales promotions and consumer competitions. Advertising will be done through television, radio and print advertisements. The advertising campaign can include testimonials. Testimonials are a good way of showing that the product works. Distribution will involve developing a sales strategy with a sales plan. The sales plan will include sales goals, sales activities, target sales outlets and timelines.
Before a new product is introduced into a market it is important to understand the target market and the competition. This can be done using various methods such as product positioning. Other methods include market segmentation, target marketing and SWOT Analysis. Product positioning was used for the new product called Supa Mop. Product positioning will ensure that one better understands the market and the competition so that the new product can adapt to the market place. It is important to test the new product before embarking on a large scale production. This provides information on what the target market thinks about the product and any modification can be made. Marketing the new product involves pricing, promotions, distribution and advertising. For the new product to succeed the marketer has to routinely assess the product’s positioning.