1 AbrahamShannon AbrahamArt of Balance Technology04/17/2012Research Plan: Skate Shield
2 AbrahamExecutive Summary:Skate Shield will be the leading inline skate accessory manufacturer for the inline skate industry. Art ofBalance has developed two innovative and practical skate accessories. Art of Balance is able to produceproducts because the company is composed of skaters making products for skaters. Art of Balance willquickly gain market penetration and establish them as an innovative inline skating product producer. Artof Balance is located in Detroit, MI.The Products:Art of Balance currently has two unique products soon to be released. The first is Skate Sheild (ground) astand and bar mechanism that allows skaters to learn the art of skating without all the worries ofinjuries and falls. Art of Balance second product is Skate Shield (ice), an innovative product just like itsfirst one but can work on ice. Not only has Art of Balance plan to release this innovative product, butthey are supporting and growing the sport of inline skating.The Market:Art of Balance will supply the rapidly growing inline skating market with useful accessories. Art ofBalance market can be broken down into five segments: recreational, fitness, speed, hockey, andextreme skaters.Management Team:Key to Art of Balance success is the fact that the entire basis of the company is skaters, not only are theproducts for skaters. Shannon Abraham, CEO, has 5 years of skating experience. He has been involved inmany science/design competitions over the past years. Smitha Abraham is the Web Master supportingArt of Balance. Smitha’s amazing computer skills will support Art ofObjectives:• To fulfil the after-market skate accessory demand with top quality products.• To develop and manufacture Skate Sheild.• To break even by the end of the first year in business.• To encourage our customers to try and stick with skating, resulting in more fun and convenient forthem.• To offer skaters support through our web page, such as visual instructional videos.• To develop a solid market and to maximize our profit margin.Mission:Art of Balance is planning on fulfilling the need for after-market products, a market we haveidentified, based on the large volume of skaters. Art of Balance will establish a service teachingschool for in-line skaters by providing pro skaters to help with understanding the product.
3 AbrahamOur goal:• Form a network of skating enthusiasts with an emphasis on health and fitness.• To encourage Skate Shield as a new international product.• To develop Skate Shield and other new products now on the drawing table.Keys to Success:• Developing quality in-line skating accessories through feedback from skaters.• Develop a market for our unique skating accessories.• Maximizing profits by selling through retailers and internet at full retail price.• Developing a network with other businesses and experts.
6 AbrahamProfessor FeeIntro to Marketing05 April 2012Marketing Plan: Attention SkatersMarketing Objectives:Art of Balance Technologies has identified its target market as children from ages 6 through 17, ofwhich showed 46% of skate owners being male and 54% being female. It also identified that 87% ofskate owners were Caucasian. With these data analysis, the market would either definitely orpossibly buy our product. Art of Balance is creating a one of a kind product which will enable peopletrying to learn roller skating or ice skating without the worries of injury. Our product is designed tohelp our consumers learn the art of skating, while worrying more about the art of balance andmovement, rather than falling. The organization aims on a ten year goal, reflecting the possibility ofother competitors trying to enter our market. At some point the organization would like to expandinto the international market.Situational Analysis:1.1 SWOT AnalysisArt of Balance is entering an industry as a sole producer of skate balance system. The keystrengths of our product are that it’s a self-teaching mechanism, easy to set up and use and theone product itself can be used on both ground and ice. Skate Shield is a sole licensee ofintellectual property/ technology and an environmentally conscious product. Skate Shield comewith a five year warranty on product. Art of Balance market can be broken down into fivesegments: recreational, fitness, speed, hockey, and extreme skaters which is always a plus. Thekey threats are getting in terms of building great relationships with retailers and direct customers.Skate Shield is reliant on perceived danger of injuries/ level of fear. Threats like competitorsentering out market after a few months of being in business. The huge threat would be of newermodels of our product coming out at cheaper prices.1.2 Industry AnalysisAs a wholesaler in the skating industry, the Art of Balance is being produced in an industry with 23million visits per year from kids in grades fifth through seventh and 18 million visits annually bykindergarteners through fourth graders for rollerblading. Reports revealed that over 2.5 millionindividuals participate in roller hockey. (Roller Skating Association, 2007)1.3 Company Brief
7 AbrahamThe structure of our company is a work in progress, due to the fact were still at the starting phase, allthe products are being built by hand in a garage. With the addition of a small workshop forproduction of the product and as investments come in the future, the company will hire workers formass-production.1.4 Customer AnalysisA study conducted by Sport/Recreation Equipment of 2010, showcased customers all over the UnitedStates to determine their demographics.• Gender – Male (46%) & Female (54%)• Age – 6-24• Race – Caucasian (87%), African American (5.4%), American Indian (1.7%), Asian (2.4%)and Other (5.6%)1.5 OpportunitiesOnce Art of Balance has grown in popularity, we can create the same product using differentmaterials like aluminum, steel, or plastic, which will lower price rates and allow the product to besold at a cheaper price. By decrease the price we will be attracting new customers who could notafford the product before. Also, as times goes on we can go overseas and market our product. Streetskating has being becoming more popular in Barcelona, Spain and Europe. Skating is becoming morepopular in Europe with 13,888 people joining Broad Station skating in 2012. (Board Station, 2012)Marketing Mix Strategy:2.1 Product LineArt of Balance has designed a product line that will create positive impressions in the market today.All of our products will be readily available for all our consumers. We will have various designs thatare both unique for both male and females and make sure there eye-catching. The key to our productline is having a product that is safe for everyone to use.2.2 PackagingArt of Balance will be selling its products in materials that are all recyclable. The package will beclassy but simple.2.3 PricingArt of Balance is basing its pricing strategy of cost-plus pricing strategy. The price to own ourproduct will be $75. The price came from a development price of $60 per unit and a mark-up of 25%.2.4 Place
8 AbrahamArt of Balance Technologies will be acting as a distribution marketer to retail stores, initially allover United States. These retail stores will consist of sporting shops which have been identifiedin our demographic research and these will be distribution points for a wider region of locations.Our intentions would be to expand distribution to every state within five years and overseas. Ourwebsite will also allow for direct sales. The placement of the main warehouse is in Detroit, MIwhich will allow distribution via land. The Skate Shield is relatively light and small thattransport will be easily contractible to either trailer truck or shipping branches like USPS, DHL,FedEx, or UPS.2.5 PromotionThe promotional plan by Art of Balance Technologies has two key objectives. Bring out a newproduct acceptance and increasing sales for the company. Promotion of the Skate Shield willmainly involve techniques like advertising in certain sport magazines, internet promotion andtelevision. Our focus on magazine advertisement reflects a growing of X-Games skating.Combining this with internet advertising will reflect the increase in skating popularity. Based onFacebook results from X-Games home page on Facebook “Fans:3021613 andPeople talking about:29374” (socialbakers.com)Implement and Control Plan:The company’s promotion will include the following –• Direct Mail to skating facilities to help spread our brand• Paid spots articles and advertisements (print/TV) to create sales and awareness• Placing ads on websites (ESPN, X-Games & NHL)• Placing classified ads in newspapers3.1 Quality ControlAs this ongoing process for Art of Balance, to ensure Total Quality Management (TQM) is metwithin the company. We will make sure to be in agreement with government regulations to meet allrequirements. Keep standards on our supplies, once a week trials of our product will be tested at ourworkshop by 2 to 3 employees, to see accuracy of design and function. We will have research teamsdocumenting progress in orders to see improvements in quality and production.