Preliminary Market Research
- Use secondary research for data to keep up to date with article research, consumer trends, and note competition.
- Utilize primary research: To promote our product and introduce it to the market we could use commercialization at marathon, community, sport, music, and basically a number of big events within our consumer target market. By doing this, we are not only commercializing the product but we are also advertising it on an exclusive level. We will also do a promo- people can try our product at these events. The product could be given away as a freebee when people sign up to our email list and they can try the product for a 7-day trial. Once the trial is up, they can send it back with free shipping and fill out a review of the product (just a few questions) or they can buy the product for a 30% discounted price as a bonus. This not only promotes our goal for customer satisfaction, but it makes the customer more inclined to buy the product, and we make a profit.
- We can also look into trends using trendwatching.com, outlets, PR newswire ext.
- Another site we could use to make connections to our target market through media is melt water. Melt water is a database for contacts- including those who work for publications and miscellaneous industries. By utilizing this, we may be able to cross promote to editors and get them to feature us in a media outlet that is largely viewed by our target market.
- Use focus groups and article research to answer: How much should the product be? What colors would be most liked? How would the speaker not be affected by the cold? What fabric is the best choice? Where is the best place for the speaker to be placed in terms of sound quality, space, and convenience?
One of the first essential aspects we will be researching is the expectations from our target market. What will the consumers expect to see out of our product? When and where do they expect the product to be used? What problems do they hope The Tune Traveler will solve in the future? Our target market is buying our product for a reason. They have a problem in mind that they are hoping our product will solve. It is our goal to find out exactly what our target market is looking for in order to have our product solve their problem and want to buy more of our products for loved ones. Next, we will have to analyze the competition of our product.
Some underlying questions are:
- What other products in the marketplace would they consider instead of ours?
- What aspects of these competing products would cause them to buy a similar product over ours?
- What are the competing products lacking?
- Would our target market consider switching to our product if they are already using another?
- These question involving competition will help us to better understand what goes through the typical consumer’s mind before purchasing our product. There are always alternatives to problems. Just like there are always alternatives to products. What aspects are going to make our product stand out when it is sitting on the shelf? The research department will also be asking questions involving advertising and packaging. What mechanisms will best work for advertising this product? We have the product, but how will consumers become aware of the product?
Next, after deciding what types of information we need, we established a plan that described how we intend to physically gather this information.
- The first type of information we plan to gather is secondary data, which can be found at many different sources. For instance, when looking for information about our competitors, such as sales and behaviors, we can access the data in the U.S. Security and Exchange commission database. This database can provide us with financial information about possible competitors that is crucial to understanding them to the best of our ability.
- We can also use the online Patent Office and Trademark database to learn about patents that other companies have registered for products of a similar nature. In addition, we can also use secondary data to gain valuable insights about consumers and their purchasing behaviors.
- One specific online source, Experian Simmons, has conducted various studies on the American consumer and has published massive amounts of valuable information. With this information, we can grasp a better understanding of why consumers purchase certain products and why they act in a specific manner.
- Overall, secondary data is extremely accessible to companies, however, it is also some of the most crucial data we gather, meaning that we should interpret it carefully.
Target Market Segment
The market segment more applicable are the females, aged 21-28, who live in the suburbs of large cities, like New York City or Philadelphia or live in a beach town and enjoy their relaxed, down-to-earth lifestyle associated with beach towns.
She is a younger millennial, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from her university. She graduated with a degree in a creative field, and loves to continually try new things. Her obsession with social media causes her to always be exposed to new, fresh brands that are introducing something she has never seen before in the market. Or, she is constantly comparing products because she is trying to be savvy with her spending. In addition, she loves to follow her favorite on social media, so she is always surrounded by it. In addition, like other millennials, she wants brands that listen, are fun, engaging, tech savvy, and more. Most importantly, she searches for compatible products and voices her opinion to her friends if she loves it. This includes reaching out and commenting on posts, taking part in surveys, and more. Since she recently finished her degree, she is in an entry-level position with an entry-level salary at a creative company. As a result, she has a small discretionary income because she is paying student loans. This is also why she opted to live outside the city. This is because it can be cheaper to live outside and commute.
Her style is minimalistic with statement pieces from her favorite consignment shops. She loves sustainable products, and tries to be eco-friendly without stretching her budget. Her friends from school, the friends she has from home, and her boyfriend are very important to her. She always ensures that she puts aside time to spend time and grow these relationships. This could be just hanging out on her patio having drinks, or barbequing on her friend’s patio. So, she loves and needs a cooler that can easily travel with her wherever she needs to go. She has a deep love for music, and always shares her recent finds every time she hangs out with her friends. So, she is always the DJ.
In the buyer decision process, the first step, and one of the most important, is need recognition. The Tune Traveler satisfies the buyer’s need as a compact, affordable cooler with integrated technology to manipulate the temperature of the cooler. So, she does not have to buy bags of ice, and can easily store foods and drinks on the go with her busy lifestyle. If the buyer is inside or outside, the cooler is able to work wherever they are, and the can easily lock their valuables inside the cooler with a lock code.
The Tune Traveler is the perfect companion to your life outside no matter if it is at your house, or a friend’s. Since the rise in camping supplies within the past few years, most coolers are industrial, hard, and cost well over $100. With the Tune Traveler, you get many of the same features for a fraction of the price. So, it is a compact version of what every millennial need in their budget. It is a combination of place, price, and product that influence the buyers’ need for the product.
The Product: Tune Traveler Cooler
The Tune Traveler cooler makes enjoying a walk, a trip, a picnic, or just lifestyle more enjoyable. With the manual lock feature, the embedded quality speaker, and the accommodating cooling technology, going on an adventure just got a lot easier. This cooler allows for consumers to put all your favorite beverages, food, belongings and more in one container. No more boom box, luggage, ice bags or gym locks – it becomes a hassle and worry free experience. So, imagine how much free space you will have in you car, patio, or anywhere else when replacing the listed products with the compact Tune Traveler. With the Tune Traveler’s integrated battery, it has advanced technology to maintain a cool temperature without the hassle of buying bags of ice and lugging heavy cooler to your next picnic destination, or struggling with storage.
Our product is durable yet flexible, and can easily store foods and drinks on the go. The cooler is able to work anywhere and you can easily lock valuables inside the cooler with a lock code. The Tune Traveler is the perfect companion to your life outside, but also inside. In a case of a natural disaster such as a hurricane, power outage, tsunami, or earthquake, the cooler has a small flashlight and small first-aid kit set in a small compartment. All in all, with all the qualities and functions of a top cooler, it is a compact version of what every millennial desire, so it would influence their purchasing decision.
There are soft-sided coolers at sporting goods stores and other retailers, like Logo Coolers, although our compact all-in-one cooler differentiates the product. We foresee that once the Tune Traveler is released and goes to market, there will be start-ups who will try to reinvent the idea. However, the tune traveler is simple, adaptable and will have all the great qualities of a top cooler and top speaker with insurance of 1 year to guarantee customer satisfaction and to create value. In addition, the product will also be adaptable to future technological advancements due to its bluetooth adaptability.
The Tune Traveler, will originally be available in the Excursion model, which is a standard version with a detachable strap. Future models include: a Family Adventurer (large) with backpack straps and unzippable wheel compartment, the Happy Camper, the Excursion standard design size in backpack form with an additional space for storage (great for kids at school or campers/hikers), and a single size that can fit lunches for two people.
Our product is viewed as fairly priced with a balance of performance and luxury. In contrast, the ORCA is positioned on a high priced end. The Tune Traveler satisfies the customer’s need for convenience in having a cooler with additional and desirable features such as touchscreen, speaker, charger, and waterproof slot for an iPad or laptop.
One promotion would be to have consumers post photos online with different hashtags, and connect with other customers of the product to share their favorite activities done while bringing their Tune Traveler. So, it is beyond the specific product, but also the experiences have while using it. Also, with the focus groups we have conducted, the other forms of the Tune Travelers that we have looked into developing would create intrigue to consumers that already love the original Adventurer Tune Traveler.
The Tune Traveler will be priced at a $19.95 price point for the type of product and all its features. Based on our market research we believe this price is an appropriate price point considering our millennial target market and income level, and the competition.
There are some other soft-sided coolers that are flooded the market place with similar features but higher pricing. For instance, browsing outdoor company’s websites, a soft sided cooler from Igloo is $49.99, and does not have any additional features, like a speaker. So, our $19.95 pricing will allow the Tune Traveler to compete with other soft-sided coolers with other outdoor retailers, or online. If we consider the mark-up ratio, to make a profit, it is necessary to hit at least a keystone mark-up of 50%. Our goal is at least 52%. We would find an overseas producer for our product in order to keep the cost of goods sold in line with our mark-up ratio.
The Tune Traveler is a new product that will be out in the market and the strategy will change as the product moves through the adoption process. There are five stages that the customers will undergo when adopting a new product.
- The first stage is about creating awareness of the product. It is important that the company develops a successful avenue for the customers. Social media is a method aimed at our target market that can increase product awareness to enable customers to reach a large number at a low cost. Millennials are consistently online searching, and with the Tune Traveler accessible on Instagram, Facebook and other social sites, customers can interact directly with the product.
- The next stage is interest where customers are ready to learn more about the product in details. We can create a website describing the product, key features and benefits, and tutorial videos. Prior to purchasing, customers evaluate, examine, and compare the product. Customers will go online to find reviews and recommendations. In addition, on the website, it can outline the difference between the Tune Traveler and other similar products.
- Third, the product trial stage is where the customers actually tries the product to see if they like it or not. Possible trial strategies include a free return or exchange for the product after two weeks if they do not like it.
- The last stage is the product adoption. The payment process should be simple and fast with minimal clicks for consumers to easily purchase the product online. If not, they could purchase it through other outdoor retailers that have the product in stores. This way if they decided not to purchase it online, they can go touch and feel the product in stores. In addition, we could attach the product’s link to Instagram, Facebook, and more posts to direct customers straight to the website.
We will use two different distribution channels. First, we will sell the Tune Traveler in outdoors and sports shops. Retailers, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and other discounted retailers, that sell fishing, camping, and outdoor goods are the perfect distributor for the Tune Traveler especially because of the competitive price point. Consumers going into these stores know what they want, but also end up browsing when shopping. As a result, the Tune Traveler will have the ability to gain exposure to consumers that are shopping for similar products, but will be able to stand out to customers because of the variety of features.
The second channel will be selling directly through our own website. By selling through a website it eliminates having to deal with any other channel partners. It also allows us to make any pricing or product changes very easily without having to go through anybody else. In addition, customers can engage with the brand and product with selling points that we want to specifically highlight. Our competitors will not be sold alongside our product, so customers will be exposed to only the Tune Traveler through this channel. The biggest challenge we could face is with our high end store channel. If something changes with the product or product pricing it will be more difficult to implement that change because we do not have full control.
To promote our product and introduce it to the market we could use a variety of public relation strategies. This includes commercialization at a marathon, community, sport, music, and several other events that appeal to our consumer target market. This allows us to not only promote the product, but to also advertise it on an exclusive level. We will also do a promotion where people can try our product at these events. With these events, consumers can test out the product and hear directly from our team members to understand the key features of the product. This way, we utilize personal selling in order to ensure they understand exactly what we intend for them to hear. Once they try out the product, customers can fill out a review of the product (just a few questions) or they can buy the product for a 30% discounted price as a bonus. This not only promotes our goal for customer satisfaction, but it makes the customer more inclined to buy the product, and we make a profit. It also allows the product to gain exposure through a wide spread event.
Some major types of media include: television, radio, direct mails, newspapers, and most commonly used is social media, which is the new trend in the 21st century. We would want to utilize social media in order to maximize exposure and clicks, so more consumers are aware of the product. Digital media is the largest growing form of advertising, so we should definitely capitalize on this. The product peak is during the summer (seasonal advertising), so it is best to advertise during the spring and summer season. This is because our product is geared to outdoor activities, which mainly take place during these seasons.
Our hook for our product is: the Tune Traveler: bringing the best tunes, cool drinks and safe storage wherever you go. We wanted to ensure that our key features of the Tune Traveler were highlighted and demonstrated when a consumer is shopping. This is because when consumers are shopping at discount sporting goods stores, most of the time customer service is not important. So, consumers need the hook to be distinct and capturing.
Our brand name is the Tune Traveler. We wanted to use our brand name to promote the key and differentiating features of our product. Music is something that connects and brings people together, so we wanted to capitalize on that characteristics of our product. As a result, we wanted to ensure that the labeling had the key features on it.
The first thing a customer notices is the brand name and packaging. This is especially relevant with millennials, who constantly share content online to show their new purchases. Millennials want to directly engage with the products/brands they purchase. As a result, we will also promote a hashtag on our brand packaging. For example, we could use #tunetravelin, as seen on an example of our label, for customers to share videos, photos and more. This content could be used as customer-generated content for future marketing and advertisements. This is crucial because their peers and social media influence millennials.
Jimmy Rohampton for Forbes wrote: “47% of millennials say that their purchase decisions are influenced by social media. In sum, it would be critical to keep this in mind moving forward with marketing decisions. Our packaging would be similar to other coolers, and would have a strip of a cardboard-like material wrapping around the product with our logo in the middle. This way customers can easily remove and recycle the packaging to get on using the product. For the brand logo, we wanted to demonstrate the widespread use of the product because it can be taken anywhere if you want to. As mentioned before, it is important for customers to understand the product, so the first two stages of the adoption process are merged together.
The Tune Traveler may not be produced of sustainable materials when first launched, but throughout the brand’s development, that will be something that would be looked into. When the product is first launched, the company wants to minimize initial variable costs of the product. This may be difficult because the Tune Traveler is a soft-sided cooler. Hard-sided coolers could easily adopt recycled plastics as an alternative to other chemically based plastics.
The Tune Traveler will promote the use of reusable containers, glass/plastic water bottles and more. This is because in a cooler you could easily keep these belonging in there, safe and cool. In addition, consumers could use reusable ice packs, or adjust the temperature on the cooler to ensure that they do not just put ice cubes in plastic bags and throw that in the cooler. In sum, there would not be a use for plastic bags to store chips and more in if consumers are using the Tune Traveler. Lastly, because of the storage container build into to the cooler, it also provides a place for people to put their belongings. As a result, plastic bags and other non eco-friendly storage devices can be avoided.
Global Market Expansion
The Tune Traveler is a product that could easily be adopted in various global markets. The main characteristics of being transportable and a three-in-one tool allow it to be adopted into various markets regardless of the geographic location. The cooler market is saturated, but the specialization and variety of features set the product aside from possible competitors in a global market. It is possible that many competitors we face in the USA are similar to what we would see abroad. As a result, we previously anticipated how to target our desirable consumer. While our original target was millennials to use on their patio, the size of the product allows consumers to take it to the beach, the mountains, or anywhere they need to take food/drinks and play their favorite music. In sum, no matter where you are, someone is going to need a cooler to transport their belongings, feel safe about it, and have additional attributes that set it aside from competitors.
The one thing that we would need to consider if/when launching the product globally is the marketing tactics that we would use. Every country has various characteristics that separate it from each other when it comes to marketing. So, after we test out marketing techniques nationally in the USA, we will need to see how those results could be translated into global strategies. It would be beneficial at first to see if standardization works because that would decrease costs. In addition, it would be critical to launch it one country at a time to ensure that our techniques abroad are being responded to and we are receiving a profitable ROI. Lastly, it would be smart to partner with retailers abroad to launch the Tune Traveler. This way the brand would gain the necessary exposure.