Mini Projects


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Mini Projects 1, 2 and 3 from Marketing Essentials.

Mini Project #4 to come.

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Mini Projects

  1. 1. Mini Project #1 – Parker McMullin, Set F. October 2009<br />Driven by their love and desire to feel good, Social Hedonists strive to self-improve by any means necessary. Taken from the word “hedonism”, defined as devotion to pleasure as a way of life, a Social Hedonist believes that above having a secure bank account, a satisfying amount of new and popular items as well as looking their best is what creates inner happiness. Upon completing the survey by The Environics Research Group, I was placed in this social category with relation to my answers. What, therefore, do marketers know about Social Hedonists and how does it reflect my behaviour as a consumer? <br />To marketers, Social Hedonists are a very important for prestigious companies who make expensive and luxurious products. Business marketers are aware that at no matter what price, Social Hedonists are ready to spend if it means feeling or looking better. Expensive cars, high-end clothing, and luxury beauty care would fit into the desires of this social group. Brand names such as Fred Perry or Lacoste would be marketable to those who would prefer spending $100.00 rather than $30.00 on a common American Eagle shirt. A $50.00 a haircut would be chosen rather than one for $20.00 if it guaranteed that their hair would look better. Marketers thus choose to create promotions that will draw the attention of these individuals with an overall message of “superiority”. A misconception of Social Hedonists is wealth, since these qualities do not always reflect the lifestyle of the rich. Social Hedonists may make a small income but choose to spend their money on quality items, even if it risks leaving them in debt. This has much to do with the psychographics of this group of consumers. All these traits I am aware of because of personal experience.<br />As a consumer, I see many of these qualities reflected in myself, but not all of them. I do contest to preferring higher quality items to the regular, and do put a lot of effort into appearance. It’s true that as a Social Hedonist, you care a great deal about what others think of you. A psychological addiction exists that makes you believe that being unique is of high importance, and your overall image needs to be maintained at all times. We are easily persuaded by attractive advertisements and often don’t inquire about the details before a purchase. The reasoning behind such behaviour could be the fact that we do not fully understand the value of money, relying on others such as parents for most expenses. We are quick to act, without much time spent in the evaluation of alternatives process, as we expect immediate gratification and don’t mind taking risks with the amount we spend. This is why the principle demographic of Social Hedonists is teenagers, and with age I believe my “tribe” will evolve into a more responsible one. Being categorized as a Social Hedonist, I do not agree with qualities suggesting I feel no need to give to others. The survey states that Social Hedonists tend not to care about others because they care too much about themselves, whereas I feel the need for others to feel the same satisfaction from products as I do. <br />It is safe to say that marketers view Social Hedonists higher than other tribes. They are careless with expenses, easy to persuade, and are the main market for most new products. Social Hedonists come and go with age, but as long as there are ruthless teens and brand loving socialists the tribe will exist forever, no matter what economic issues occur. <br />Mini Project #2 – Parker McMullin, Set F.<br />North America is infamous for the high rate of obesity that plagues the population. The problem is rising and the need for a product to help with severe weight problems is long overdue. Introducing the Super Sized Cycle, the first bike that is compatible for riders up to 550 pounds. <br />The Super Sized Cycle is aimed to help people who are overweight to get back to a healthy routine by means of exercising. Most bicycles maximum capacity is for children and regular sized adults up to 300 pounds. How are we to solve the problem of obesity if it’s clear that a healthy diet is only half of what is needed to lose weight? The new bicycle, which comes in 9 different designs, features an electrical assistance that gives the “first push” to those who find it difficult to get back to the routine. But what about the embarrassment that comes along with going into a bicycle shop to purchase a bike specifically for “fat people”? People have very weak self-esteem, which could be a marketing challenge when persuading people to physically go out and purchase this good, but this problem is solved. The creative minds behind Super Sized Cycles have thought about this and taken use of online shopping, so that the bike can be directly shipped to the consumer’s home without the embarrassment of purchasing the product in person.<br /> There are 1.6 billion overweight and 400 million obese people who face restrictions when it comes to exercise. This is a large market that is available to market to after careful segmenting. One major marketing challenge I foresee is finding the people who have the desire and motivation to lose weight, and those who actually will put forth the effort. A solution to this problem could therefore be marketing the new cycles in diet clinics, such as Jenny Craig because you know the individuals who are there are conscious and motivated to lose weight. Another marketing challenge is the location of the target market, which could be largely spread out through many regions and is difficult to communicate to. I believe the best medium is through television, because it requires no effort to reach those who are lazy at home. Another marketing problem I see occurring is offending potential consumers with advertisements, which could destroy the chances of individuals purchasing the bike. Also, I believe if the bike were actually purchased, there would be little to no use of it, because of the insecurity in leaving the house and risking mockery from others. <br /> The Super Sized Cycle is an excellent idea; a product that has been needed for years. Unfortunately, my best guess is that the marketing challenges as discussed will stunt the rise of such a risky, easily offensive, and potentially underused product. I believe the bike would have much better luck if it were an indoor exercise bike, to avoid the embarrassment of going in public. Making a general assumption that obese people are comfortable and would like to avoid working out as much as possible, the likelihood of this being successful is low. Therefore, I believe the product would not be worth investing into, and will have a short-lived product life cycle with a quick entrance into the decline pha<br />Mini Project #3 – Parker McMullin Set F November 2009<br />During my usual visit to London Drugs to purchase my preferred brand of facial cleanser, Spectro Gel, I happened to come across a deal that I had not seen before on prior visits. Attached to the nozzle of the bottle was a small 14 ml tube of Spectro Facial Moisturizer, a new product from Spectro’s skin care line. It was wrapped in plastic and read ‘BONUS’ while a full bottle of the moisturizer was placed directly beside the facial cleanser. Based on my knowledge of marketing promotions, it was clear that this bonus moisturizer attached to the face wash was an example of a premium. This free bonus was a way to reward consumers such as myself for buying their product. As generous as this premium is, the idea behind it was to get me and others to try the new product, and on my next visit to London Drugs purchase the full bottle of moisturizer conveniently placed directly next to the face wash. After visiting Spectro’s website, I saw there was no evidence of this premium to be found. As a second option, I went to the London Drugs website to find evidence and was surprised to find there was none there as well. <br />Why did both the London Drugs and Spectro websites not include any reference to the premium I received when buying face wash? At first I thought that Spectro would benefit from including this promotion on the website, but after further thought I saw the reasoning behind the decision. Firstly, informing website visitors that Spectro is offering a premium of their new product may give a perception to non-Spectro using potential consumers that the new moisturizer is poor quality, since it is free. Moisturizers are a product in which quality is the number one leading decision factor; therefore consumers may look past the point of offering a premium. Secondly, by not letting everyone know about the premium, current consumers will feel appreciated and happy, which is very important in business practices. Current consumers will benefit because they go shop regularly and would have bought the product without finding out about the premium online. This brings about a third reason as to their decision, which would be the risk of having consumers come to buy the product solely because they get something free out of it based on what they saw online. That means, once the premium ceased to be offered, sales would fall and Spectro may be forced to give away free products more often, affecting their revenues and overall numbers. <br />Spectro has managed to position itself as one of the highest quality skin care lines of our time, for an affordable price. Its sales are quite steady and the introduction to their new moisturizer line will only positively affect their growth. Offering a premium as a test sample at store locations such as London Drugs will prove to be highly effective even without advertising on the company website. Perhaps Spectro users have been looking for a moisturizer and the sample clears up any doubts that it is the best, before spending $14.00 on a full bottle. Customers will feel satisfied and appreciated both as a consumer and for their skin’s improvement. Offering premium’s, therefore, is an excellent promotional strategy but must be carefully managed, which I believe Spectro has done a great job of.<br />