Marketing Study Set 1

Business

Quiz 11 :

Product Concepts

Quiz 11 :

Product Concepts

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A product has been referred to as a "psychological bundle of satisfaction." Is this a good definition of a product? Why or why not?
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A product is referred to as a psychological burden of satisfaction. Yes, this statement is true. A product should be something that can provide satisfaction to those who are using it. It is a bundle of satisfaction offered to the customers when they purchase it. It provides physical, service, symbolic and psychological benefits to the users.
The product offers psychological benefits in the form of status, expectation, enhancement of sense of worth, self-respect, and self-esteem. The product also offers tangible as well as intangible benefits in the form of style, quality, quantity, design, information, packaging, etc.

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Generally, buyers go through a product adoption process before becoming loyal customers. Describe your experience in adopting a product you now use consistently. Did you go through all the stages of the process?
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A product that one adopted firstly and then used it consistently is a cosmetic product offered by C. C offers variety of products and also deals in different product line like skin care cosmetics, fragrances, toiletries and uses unique formula to manufacture them.
C manufactures its Cosmetics by using unique ingredients like sesame oil, glyceryl stearate, mineral oil, tea - stearate, lanolin and alcohol. The products offered by them are for all types of skin from dry to normal to oily skin. This helps to prevent from allergies and skin problems.
No, one did not face all the stages of C because he had adopted the product when it was in its growing stage and now the product is into the stage of maturity. Still the features offered by C are best among the competition.

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How do convenience products and shopping products differ? What are the distinguishing characteristics of each type of product?
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Convenience products are different from shopping products in the following manner:
• A convenience product involves very less effort in shopping in comparison to shopping products.
• The buyer devotes very less time in planning for buying convenience products whereas the buyers of shopping products requires a lot time as they compare different brands, features and prices together.
• In cases of convenience products packaging is a very significant component and is available in many retail outlets whereas shopping products are available in few stores only.
The distinguishing characteristics of Convenience and shopping products are as follows
Convenience products: These products are purchased frequently and are comparatively very expensive.
Shopping products: These products require more efforts and planning in making comparison about the price, features price, durability of the product.

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List the tangible and intangible attributes of a pair of Nike athletic shoes. Compare its benefits with those of an intangible product, such as hairstyling in a salon.
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Artistry Meets Affordability with Blu Dot Furniture The phrase "not cheap, but affordable," summarizes the pricing strategy of Blu Dot, a Minneapolis-based furniture maker. Blu Dot prides itself on selling artistically modern, high-quality furniture at prices that it feels are more affordable for consumers. Blu Dot's pricing decisions stem from the personal experiences of co-founders John Christakos, Maurice Blanks, and Charles Lazor. When furnishing their first apartments, the three men quickly realized that the furniture they wanted was beyond their price range. They saw a market need for quality furniture that was affordable. With a background in architecture and art, the men felt they could use innovation, simple manufacturing processes, and off-the- shelf materials to fill this need. In 1997, Blu Dot was started using $50,000 of the founders' savings. Today, Blu Dot's products can be found in boutiques and independent retailers nationwide, with products available to order online as well. The founders of Blu Dot have designed their furniture using inspiration from the modernism art movement, which includes artists like Marcel Duchamp and Donald Judd. For consumer products, Blu Dot can be considered more of a shopping product than a specialty product. Blu Dot differentiates its products as quality and affordable furniture with more of a modern design appeal. In terms of its target market, Blu Dot sees consumers' desires for furniture as operating on a scale. On the one end of the scale are consumers who are looking for very basic, inexpensive furniture. On the other end are consumers who are looking for custom designed furniture and will spend great amounts to obtain it. Blu Dot targets those who are more in the middle: customers who do not want to spend large amounts on furniture but would like to have well-designed, artistic products. Blu Dot also offers trade discounts to store buyers, interior designers, architects, exporters, and corporate gift buyers. This market represents the business products that are usually purchased due to the functional aspects of the product more than fashion or psychological involvement. Business products are considered accessory equipment that does not become a part of the final product and assists with office activities. By having different product lines, Blu Dot is able to market a closely related group of product items because of marketing, end-use considerations. The company sells several product lines-tables, storage, accessories, desks, beds, seating, and shelving. Blu Dot has been highly successful, with sales doubling in recent years and a sustained growth rate of 40 to 60 percent since 1996. By having both consumer products and business products, Blu Dot has managed to serve two distinct markets. However, the challenges Blu Dot encounters have not diminished with its success. Blu Dot still struggles with keeping affordability at the lower end of the spectrum and craftsmanship at the high end. When pricing products, the designers add up their fixed and variable costs plus the markup needed to allow the business to function. Creative pricing strategies are often employed to make the appropriate margins. For example, when selling a set of coffee tables, one table may have a higher markup while another one has a slightly lower markup in order to appeal to the price-conscious consumer and create profit. Blu Dot recognizes that it has to think of the total product offering as having a combination of three interdependent elements: the core product itself, its supplemental features, and its symbolic or experiential value. While some customers focus on the artistic aspects of the product, other consumers are more concerned with value. Therefore, Blu Dot must synchronize its marketing mix to make product and price consistent. The designers have also found ways to keep costs lower through innovative and efficient uses of materials, processes, and distribution methods. For instance, Blu Dot contracts with suppliers that make industrial products due to the more efficient technologies and processes used. Blu Dot furniture is designed to be able to ship easily, cutting down on distribution costs. Additionally, the designers use simple manufacturing processes and straightforward materials to create what they term "a by-product of the process." Blu Dot also ensures that its products can ship efficiently and are easy for its customers to put together. Add aesthetics into the equation, and the designers have significant challenges indeed. Despite these difficulties, the designers thrive on their ability to blend manufacturing and art to create high-end furniture at more affordable prices than their competitors. For those with a flair for modern, affordable furnishings, Blu Dot offers a range of products to suit your artistic palate. Do you think that the product life cycle would be an important marketing concept in developing and managing Blu Dot products?
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Identifying the needs of consumer groups and developing products that satisfy those needs are essential when creating a marketing strategy. Successful product development begins with a clear understanding of fundamental product concepts. The product concept is the basis on which many of the marketing plan decisions are made. When relating the information in this chapter to the development of your marketing plan, consider the following: Using Figure 11.2 as a guide, create a matrix of the current product mix for your company. img The information obtained from these questions should assist you in developing various aspects of your marketing plan found in the "Interactive Marketing Plan" exercise at www.cengagebrain.com.
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Wyndham Hotels Portfolio of Brands Satisfies Diverse Customer Needs Wyndham Worldwide is a global provider of hotels and travel-related services. Its more than 7,200 franchised hotels include Wyndham Grand Collection, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Wingate at Wyndham, Super 8, Ramada, and Planet Hollywood. While the core product, a place to stay, is virtually the same no matter the hotel, the supplemental and experiential benefits of its hotel chains differ. Wyndham has worked to ensure that each hotel chain maintains its own unique feel to appeal to the appropriate target market. In many ways, Wyndham's wide range of hotels benefits the company by allowing it to target both budget-conscious consumers and vacationers willing to spend extra money for the resort experience. However, the company must always be careful to market these hotels consistently. For some time, people viewed Wyndham hotels as inconsistent in the quality of services and benefits. The Wyndham CEO believed that past marketing initiatives conflicted with one another to muddle the company's brand identity. To rectify the problem, Wyndham redesigned some of its hotels and sought to create a solid identity for each hotel chain that would capture the feel of the chain's history and purpose. For instance, the Howard Johnson hotel chain's longer history prompted Wyndham to create an "iconic" atmosphere for these hotels that target leisure travelers and families. The experiential benefits of the Howard Johnson chain therefore include a family-friendly environment and the ability to stay in a classic hotel at a reasonable price. On the other hand, Wyndham's more upscale hotel chains offer a completely different experience. Its Night Hotel in New York City claims to be "for the traveler who revels in all things after dark." The hotel tries to imbue a "sexy" feel with a chic eatery and bar as well as dark-colored furnishings. Wyndham's TRYP hotels are located in some of the world's biggest cities in Europe, South America, and North America. The hotels are designed to fi t in with the local environment and, thus, range from modernistic to historical designs. The hotels are meant to be an extension of the city in which they are located, enabling visitors to experience the excitement of the city even before leaving the hotel's doors. The hotel product is far from complete without the numerous supplemental benefits that accompany the core product. Travelers have their own expectations of supplemental items that hotels should offer, ranging from intangible items like friendly service to tangible products, such as ample towels and toiletries, pillows, and television. Hotels that do not meet these expectations tend to receive bad reviews and are often shunned by even budget-conscious families. Hotels that go above and beyond these expectations, however, manage to obtain an advantage over their competitors. Wyndham offers a range of supplemental goods and services to its guests, from discounted hotel packages to large meeting rooms for company conferences. Many Wyndham hotel chains offer their own unique supplemental benefits as well. Wyndham Gardens offers library lounges for customer comfort, while the more economical Knight's Inn provides a free continental breakfast. Wyndham also provides a reward program for customers that frequently stay at Wyndham hotels. Customers who receive enough points for staying at Wyndham hotels can receive extra days for free. Another program, Wyndham's By-Request, awards members with free Internet access, expedited check-in, and-after three nights-a snack and drink, extra items like pillows, and the option to have the room personalized to the customer's preferences. Wyndham also rewards female business travelers with its Women on Their Way program. The program's website offers advice and special packages for businesswomen planning their trips. Wyndham's hotel chains are at different levels of the life cycle. Its Night and TRYP hotel chains, for example, are in the introductory and growth stages, while its Howard Johnson hotel chains are likely in the maturity phase. As a result, Wyndham is more likely to engage in heavy marketing to spread awareness of its newer brands. However, the company is not neglecting its more mature brands. It has worked hard to portray Howard Johnson as an iconic brand and continues to offer benefits packages to encourage families to stay at the chain. The company makes sure to adjust its marketing strategies to suit both the product's benefits and its stage in the product life cycle. Wyndham has achieved great success in creating a successful product mix to meet the needs of different customers. The company's ability to adapt its marketing strategies to suit its various chains has provided it with unique advantages that make it a formidable competitor to rival hotel companies. How should Wyndham market its hotels according to their stages in the product life cycle?
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Is a personal computer sold at a retail store a consumer product or a business product? Defend your answer.
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Identify and describe a friend or family member who fits into each of the following adopter categories. How would you use this information if you were product manager for a fashion-oriented, medium-priced clothing retailer such as J.Crew or JCPenney? a. Innovator b. Early adopter c. Early majority d. Late majority e. Laggard
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Identifying the needs of consumer groups and developing products that satisfy those needs are essential when creating a marketing strategy. Successful product development begins with a clear understanding of fundamental product concepts. The product concept is the basis on which many of the marketing plan decisions are made. When relating the information in this chapter to the development of your marketing plan, consider the following: Create a brief profile of the type of consumer who is likely to represent each of the product adopter categories for your product. The information obtained from these questions should assist you in developing various aspects of your marketing plan found in the "Interactive Marketing Plan" exercise at www.cengagebrain.com.
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Goodyear Tire Rubber Company In addition to providing information about the company's products, Goodyear's website helps consumers find the exact products they want and will even direct them to the nearest Goodyear retailer. Visit the Goodyear site at www.goodyear.com. How does Goodyear's website demonstrate product design and features?
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Choose a familiar clothing store. Describe its product mix, including its depth and width. Evaluate the mix and make suggestions to the owner.
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Identifying the needs of consumer groups and developing products that satisfy those needs are essential when creating a marketing strategy. Successful product development begins with a clear understanding of fundamental product concepts. The product concept is the basis on which many of the marketing plan decisions are made. When relating the information in this chapter to the development of your marketing plan, consider the following: Discuss how the profitability of your product will change as it moves through each of the phases of the product life cycle. The information obtained from these questions should assist you in developing various aspects of your marketing plan found in the "Interactive Marketing Plan" exercise at www.cengagebrain.com.
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Wyndham Hotels Portfolio of Brands Satisfies Diverse Customer Needs Wyndham Worldwide is a global provider of hotels and travel-related services. Its more than 7,200 franchised hotels include Wyndham Grand Collection, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Wingate at Wyndham, Super 8, Ramada, and Planet Hollywood. While the core product, a place to stay, is virtually the same no matter the hotel, the supplemental and experiential benefits of its hotel chains differ. Wyndham has worked to ensure that each hotel chain maintains its own unique feel to appeal to the appropriate target market. In many ways, Wyndham's wide range of hotels benefits the company by allowing it to target both budget-conscious consumers and vacationers willing to spend extra money for the resort experience. However, the company must always be careful to market these hotels consistently. For some time, people viewed Wyndham hotels as inconsistent in the quality of services and benefits. The Wyndham CEO believed that past marketing initiatives conflicted with one another to muddle the company's brand identity. To rectify the problem, Wyndham redesigned some of its hotels and sought to create a solid identity for each hotel chain that would capture the feel of the chain's history and purpose. For instance, the Howard Johnson hotel chain's longer history prompted Wyndham to create an "iconic" atmosphere for these hotels that target leisure travelers and families. The experiential benefits of the Howard Johnson chain therefore include a family-friendly environment and the ability to stay in a classic hotel at a reasonable price. On the other hand, Wyndham's more upscale hotel chains offer a completely different experience. Its Night Hotel in New York City claims to be "for the traveler who revels in all things after dark." The hotel tries to imbue a "sexy" feel with a chic eatery and bar as well as dark-colored furnishings. Wyndham's TRYP hotels are located in some of the world's biggest cities in Europe, South America, and North America. The hotels are designed to fi t in with the local environment and, thus, range from modernistic to historical designs. The hotels are meant to be an extension of the city in which they are located, enabling visitors to experience the excitement of the city even before leaving the hotel's doors. The hotel product is far from complete without the numerous supplemental benefits that accompany the core product. Travelers have their own expectations of supplemental items that hotels should offer, ranging from intangible items like friendly service to tangible products, such as ample towels and toiletries, pillows, and television. Hotels that do not meet these expectations tend to receive bad reviews and are often shunned by even budget-conscious families. Hotels that go above and beyond these expectations, however, manage to obtain an advantage over their competitors. Wyndham offers a range of supplemental goods and services to its guests, from discounted hotel packages to large meeting rooms for company conferences. Many Wyndham hotel chains offer their own unique supplemental benefits as well. Wyndham Gardens offers library lounges for customer comfort, while the more economical Knight's Inn provides a free continental breakfast. Wyndham also provides a reward program for customers that frequently stay at Wyndham hotels. Customers who receive enough points for staying at Wyndham hotels can receive extra days for free. Another program, Wyndham's By-Request, awards members with free Internet access, expedited check-in, and-after three nights-a snack and drink, extra items like pillows, and the option to have the room personalized to the customer's preferences. Wyndham also rewards female business travelers with its Women on Their Way program. The program's website offers advice and special packages for businesswomen planning their trips. Wyndham's hotel chains are at different levels of the life cycle. Its Night and TRYP hotel chains, for example, are in the introductory and growth stages, while its Howard Johnson hotel chains are likely in the maturity phase. As a result, Wyndham is more likely to engage in heavy marketing to spread awareness of its newer brands. However, the company is not neglecting its more mature brands. It has worked hard to portray Howard Johnson as an iconic brand and continues to offer benefits packages to encourage families to stay at the chain. The company makes sure to adjust its marketing strategies to suit both the product's benefits and its stage in the product life cycle. Wyndham has achieved great success in creating a successful product mix to meet the needs of different customers. The company's ability to adapt its marketing strategies to suit its various chains has provided it with unique advantages that make it a formidable competitor to rival hotel companies. How is Wyndham using symbolic and experiential benefits to target its hotels to certain groups of travelers?
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Tabasco pepper sauce is a product that has entered the maturity stage of the product life cycle. Name products that would fi t into each of the four stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Describe each product and explain why it fits into that stage.
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Goodyear Tire Rubber Company In addition to providing information about the company's products, Goodyear's website helps consumers find the exact products they want and will even direct them to the nearest Goodyear retailer. Visit the Goodyear site at www.goodyear.com. Based on what you learned at the website, describe what Goodyear has done to position its tires.
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Wyndham Hotels Portfolio of Brands Satisfies Diverse Customer Needs Wyndham Worldwide is a global provider of hotels and travel-related services. Its more than 7,200 franchised hotels include Wyndham Grand Collection, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Wingate at Wyndham, Super 8, Ramada, and Planet Hollywood. While the core product, a place to stay, is virtually the same no matter the hotel, the supplemental and experiential benefits of its hotel chains differ. Wyndham has worked to ensure that each hotel chain maintains its own unique feel to appeal to the appropriate target market. In many ways, Wyndham's wide range of hotels benefits the company by allowing it to target both budget-conscious consumers and vacationers willing to spend extra money for the resort experience. However, the company must always be careful to market these hotels consistently. For some time, people viewed Wyndham hotels as inconsistent in the quality of services and benefits. The Wyndham CEO believed that past marketing initiatives conflicted with one another to muddle the company's brand identity. To rectify the problem, Wyndham redesigned some of its hotels and sought to create a solid identity for each hotel chain that would capture the feel of the chain's history and purpose. For instance, the Howard Johnson hotel chain's longer history prompted Wyndham to create an "iconic" atmosphere for these hotels that target leisure travelers and families. The experiential benefits of the Howard Johnson chain therefore include a family-friendly environment and the ability to stay in a classic hotel at a reasonable price. On the other hand, Wyndham's more upscale hotel chains offer a completely different experience. Its Night Hotel in New York City claims to be "for the traveler who revels in all things after dark." The hotel tries to imbue a "sexy" feel with a chic eatery and bar as well as dark-colored furnishings. Wyndham's TRYP hotels are located in some of the world's biggest cities in Europe, South America, and North America. The hotels are designed to fi t in with the local environment and, thus, range from modernistic to historical designs. The hotels are meant to be an extension of the city in which they are located, enabling visitors to experience the excitement of the city even before leaving the hotel's doors. The hotel product is far from complete without the numerous supplemental benefits that accompany the core product. Travelers have their own expectations of supplemental items that hotels should offer, ranging from intangible items like friendly service to tangible products, such as ample towels and toiletries, pillows, and television. Hotels that do not meet these expectations tend to receive bad reviews and are often shunned by even budget-conscious families. Hotels that go above and beyond these expectations, however, manage to obtain an advantage over their competitors. Wyndham offers a range of supplemental goods and services to its guests, from discounted hotel packages to large meeting rooms for company conferences. Many Wyndham hotel chains offer their own unique supplemental benefits as well. Wyndham Gardens offers library lounges for customer comfort, while the more economical Knight's Inn provides a free continental breakfast. Wyndham also provides a reward program for customers that frequently stay at Wyndham hotels. Customers who receive enough points for staying at Wyndham hotels can receive extra days for free. Another program, Wyndham's By-Request, awards members with free Internet access, expedited check-in, and-after three nights-a snack and drink, extra items like pillows, and the option to have the room personalized to the customer's preferences. Wyndham also rewards female business travelers with its Women on Their Way program. The program's website offers advice and special packages for businesswomen planning their trips. Wyndham's hotel chains are at different levels of the life cycle. Its Night and TRYP hotel chains, for example, are in the introductory and growth stages, while its Howard Johnson hotel chains are likely in the maturity phase. As a result, Wyndham is more likely to engage in heavy marketing to spread awareness of its newer brands. However, the company is not neglecting its more mature brands. It has worked hard to portray Howard Johnson as an iconic brand and continues to offer benefits packages to encourage families to stay at the chain. The company makes sure to adjust its marketing strategies to suit both the product's benefits and its stage in the product life cycle. Wyndham has achieved great success in creating a successful product mix to meet the needs of different customers. The company's ability to adapt its marketing strategies to suit its various chains has provided it with unique advantages that make it a formidable competitor to rival hotel companies. How is Wyndham using supplemental features at its hotels to create a competitive advantage?
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Artistry Meets Affordability with Blu Dot Furniture The phrase "not cheap, but affordable," summarizes the pricing strategy of Blu Dot, a Minneapolis-based furniture maker. Blu Dot prides itself on selling artistically modern, high-quality furniture at prices that it feels are more affordable for consumers. Blu Dot's pricing decisions stem from the personal experiences of co-founders John Christakos, Maurice Blanks, and Charles Lazor. When furnishing their first apartments, the three men quickly realized that the furniture they wanted was beyond their price range. They saw a market need for quality furniture that was affordable. With a background in architecture and art, the men felt they could use innovation, simple manufacturing processes, and off-the- shelf materials to fill this need. In 1997, Blu Dot was started using $50,000 of the founders' savings. Today, Blu Dot's products can be found in boutiques and independent retailers nationwide, with products available to order online as well. The founders of Blu Dot have designed their furniture using inspiration from the modernism art movement, which includes artists like Marcel Duchamp and Donald Judd. For consumer products, Blu Dot can be considered more of a shopping product than a specialty product. Blu Dot differentiates its products as quality and affordable furniture with more of a modern design appeal. In terms of its target market, Blu Dot sees consumers' desires for furniture as operating on a scale. On the one end of the scale are consumers who are looking for very basic, inexpensive furniture. On the other end are consumers who are looking for custom designed furniture and will spend great amounts to obtain it. Blu Dot targets those who are more in the middle: customers who do not want to spend large amounts on furniture but would like to have well-designed, artistic products. Blu Dot also offers trade discounts to store buyers, interior designers, architects, exporters, and corporate gift buyers. This market represents the business products that are usually purchased due to the functional aspects of the product more than fashion or psychological involvement. Business products are considered accessory equipment that does not become a part of the final product and assists with office activities. By having different product lines, Blu Dot is able to market a closely related group of product items because of marketing, end-use considerations. The company sells several product lines-tables, storage, accessories, desks, beds, seating, and shelving. Blu Dot has been highly successful, with sales doubling in recent years and a sustained growth rate of 40 to 60 percent since 1996. By having both consumer products and business products, Blu Dot has managed to serve two distinct markets. However, the challenges Blu Dot encounters have not diminished with its success. Blu Dot still struggles with keeping affordability at the lower end of the spectrum and craftsmanship at the high end. When pricing products, the designers add up their fixed and variable costs plus the markup needed to allow the business to function. Creative pricing strategies are often employed to make the appropriate margins. For example, when selling a set of coffee tables, one table may have a higher markup while another one has a slightly lower markup in order to appeal to the price-conscious consumer and create profit. Blu Dot recognizes that it has to think of the total product offering as having a combination of three interdependent elements: the core product itself, its supplemental features, and its symbolic or experiential value. While some customers focus on the artistic aspects of the product, other consumers are more concerned with value. Therefore, Blu Dot must synchronize its marketing mix to make product and price consistent. The designers have also found ways to keep costs lower through innovative and efficient uses of materials, processes, and distribution methods. For instance, Blu Dot contracts with suppliers that make industrial products due to the more efficient technologies and processes used. Blu Dot furniture is designed to be able to ship easily, cutting down on distribution costs. Additionally, the designers use simple manufacturing processes and straightforward materials to create what they term "a by-product of the process." Blu Dot also ensures that its products can ship efficiently and are easy for its customers to put together. Add aesthetics into the equation, and the designers have significant challenges indeed. Despite these difficulties, the designers thrive on their ability to blend manufacturing and art to create high-end furniture at more affordable prices than their competitors. For those with a flair for modern, affordable furnishings, Blu Dot offers a range of products to suit your artistic palate. Describe the product mix and the importance of different product lines in Blu Dot's marketing strategy.
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Artistry Meets Affordability with Blu Dot Furniture The phrase "not cheap, but affordable," summarizes the pricing strategy of Blu Dot, a Minneapolis-based furniture maker. Blu Dot prides itself on selling artistically modern, high-quality furniture at prices that it feels are more affordable for consumers. Blu Dot's pricing decisions stem from the personal experiences of co-founders John Christakos, Maurice Blanks, and Charles Lazor. When furnishing their first apartments, the three men quickly realized that the furniture they wanted was beyond their price range. They saw a market need for quality furniture that was affordable. With a background in architecture and art, the men felt they could use innovation, simple manufacturing processes, and off-the- shelf materials to fill this need. In 1997, Blu Dot was started using $50,000 of the founders' savings. Today, Blu Dot's products can be found in boutiques and independent retailers nationwide, with products available to order online as well. The founders of Blu Dot have designed their furniture using inspiration from the modernism art movement, which includes artists like Marcel Duchamp and Donald Judd. For consumer products, Blu Dot can be considered more of a shopping product than a specialty product. Blu Dot differentiates its products as quality and affordable furniture with more of a modern design appeal. In terms of its target market, Blu Dot sees consumers' desires for furniture as operating on a scale. On the one end of the scale are consumers who are looking for very basic, inexpensive furniture. On the other end are consumers who are looking for custom designed furniture and will spend great amounts to obtain it. Blu Dot targets those who are more in the middle: customers who do not want to spend large amounts on furniture but would like to have well-designed, artistic products. Blu Dot also offers trade discounts to store buyers, interior designers, architects, exporters, and corporate gift buyers. This market represents the business products that are usually purchased due to the functional aspects of the product more than fashion or psychological involvement. Business products are considered accessory equipment that does not become a part of the final product and assists with office activities. By having different product lines, Blu Dot is able to market a closely related group of product items because of marketing, end-use considerations. The company sells several product lines-tables, storage, accessories, desks, beds, seating, and shelving. Blu Dot has been highly successful, with sales doubling in recent years and a sustained growth rate of 40 to 60 percent since 1996. By having both consumer products and business products, Blu Dot has managed to serve two distinct markets. However, the challenges Blu Dot encounters have not diminished with its success. Blu Dot still struggles with keeping affordability at the lower end of the spectrum and craftsmanship at the high end. When pricing products, the designers add up their fixed and variable costs plus the markup needed to allow the business to function. Creative pricing strategies are often employed to make the appropriate margins. For example, when selling a set of coffee tables, one table may have a higher markup while another one has a slightly lower markup in order to appeal to the price-conscious consumer and create profit. Blu Dot recognizes that it has to think of the total product offering as having a combination of three interdependent elements: the core product itself, its supplemental features, and its symbolic or experiential value. While some customers focus on the artistic aspects of the product, other consumers are more concerned with value. Therefore, Blu Dot must synchronize its marketing mix to make product and price consistent. The designers have also found ways to keep costs lower through innovative and efficient uses of materials, processes, and distribution methods. For instance, Blu Dot contracts with suppliers that make industrial products due to the more efficient technologies and processes used. Blu Dot furniture is designed to be able to ship easily, cutting down on distribution costs. Additionally, the designers use simple manufacturing processes and straightforward materials to create what they term "a by-product of the process." Blu Dot also ensures that its products can ship efficiently and are easy for its customers to put together. Add aesthetics into the equation, and the designers have significant challenges indeed. Despite these difficulties, the designers thrive on their ability to blend manufacturing and art to create high-end furniture at more affordable prices than their competitors. For those with a flair for modern, affordable furnishings, Blu Dot offers a range of products to suit your artistic palate What are the different challenges for Blu Dot in selling consumer products versus business products?
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Goodyear Tire Rubber Company In addition to providing information about the company's products, Goodyear's website helps consumers find the exact products they want and will even direct them to the nearest Goodyear retailer. Visit the Goodyear site at www.goodyear.com. How does Goodyear use its website to communicate information about the quality of its tires?
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