Discuss this product in terms of its repositioned target market demographics using U.S. Census Data.
In regards to U.S. Census Data, the target market demographic show promise. The repositioned product will focus on high level and medium income level people. These individuals tend to be high lifestyle and business professionals. The product is full of applications and latest operating system that is helpful for professionals and other business persons to accomplish their tasks on the phones. This demographic is experiences positive change. For instance, consumer confidence for the past three months has risen in this segment. Discretionary income for individuals making $100,000 or more has risen 12% over the past decade. This positive trend allows consumers to spend more on RIM’s products and services. The smartphone industry overall is growing at an annual rate of 9% per year with adoption rates increasing at a corresponding amount.
Determine the types of research needed to reposition this product or service.
The type of research needed to reposition the product will consist of primary and secondary information. Secondary data and research will be needed to view key aspects of the overall microenvironment and product specifications. For instances, research consisting of discretionary income patterns, overall household income, consumer sentiments, and purchasing behavior will be needed. Incomes are of particular interest to RIM as it attempts to reposition its Blackberry product. Many emerging countries are now benefiting from a more robust middle class. This middle class will ultimately want to purchase luxury items such as a Blackberry. However, the research will be needed ascertain appropriate price points and overall consumer demand within a given country.
Macroeconomic considerations will also be needed within the research context. Each country is different in regards to their overall macroeconomic health. One economic issue prevailing in the United States is that of rapid fiscal and monetary stimulus and its inflation implications. Currently, due in part to prevailing market conditions, governments have embarked on a path to massive fiscal ease. Governments, including the United States, Japan, Europe, and China have all engaged in massive stimulus operations. These operations are designed to help build consumer confidence while also enhancing the overall appeal of risky asset classes. For instance, the United States has kept interest rates near 0% for the past two years with an expectation of low interest rates until 2015. This low interest rate environment makes alternative assets such as stock, bonds, and real estate more attractive on a relative basis. High dividend paying stocks for instance, offer a yield of roughly 3% which is nearly double that of the 10-year treasury. These massive stimulus efforts however, have yet to enhance economic activity as previously anticipated. As such, the massive asset purchases created by the government may result in rapid inflation as more currency is circulating in their respective economies. As governments continue to print money, the relative value of this money will continue to decline, ultimately harming the consumers it was intended to help. Furthermore, this low interest rate environment is harming those who depend on their savings to generate income. With interest rates at record lows, and savings accounts generating very little income, inflation will erode the purchasing power of these savings. As such, it is my contention that the government should reframe from massive amounts of stimulus as the threat to consumers is very large in regards to inflation (Robert, 1988). This has direct implications on RIM. For one, inflation may increase component parts needed to manufacture new, more innovative Blackberry’s. In addition the reduced incomes and purchasing power of Americans may lower the demand for RIM’s products. As such, it may be better to simply launch the product in another country altogether. Research will answer these pressing questions regarding the overall product.
Discuss the method(s) you would use to increase adoption rates.
To begin, RIM’s distribution network will be critical in regards to the marketing strategy effectiveness. The overall strategy will revolve around the markets in which the company is most familiar with. Fortunately, the company has market leading positions abroad in both Indonesia and India. The American and Asian market is very large in regards to overall volume which bodes well for the company as well. Wit this campaign, we will pursue a penetration strategy. We want to get as much of the product out as efficiently as possible to as many outlets as possible. This strategy will ultimately increase adoption rates as more individuals are apart of the RIM ecosystem of products and services.
Wholesaler, Retailers, Distributors, and Suppliers play an integral role within the overall framework of business. Suppliers, if chosen properly, can provide insight and a quality product that is difficult for competitors to duplicate within the midst of a competitive business landscape. RIM can utilize this knowledge to maintain its competitive advantage relative to peers. Furthermore, suppliers can provide much needed industry insight as to the next product innovation on the verge of development. This information will be quite important to RIM as the company can properly prepare for demand of a product that may be unknown to both competitors and potential customers (Susan, 2010).
In regards to involvement with the product or service development process, suppliers must always be incorporated within any business discussion regarding merchandise offerings for RIM. RIM will need to continually innovate its product offerings to appeal to consumers. Many of RIM’s products, primarily the Blackberry have become very antiquated. The company has not innovated in the manner in which its competitors have. As such, the company must now compete with a decline relevance to consumers and a diminished brand in the minds of consumers.
To improve adoption rates overall, suppliers must be incorporated into the overall marketing and decision making process. Through their insights, RIM can regain its relevance to consumers, thus increasing its adoption rates. There are numerous methods in which to accomplish this task in regards to relationships throughout the supply chain. Communication with all parties must be ensured to adequately address changing consumer sentiments. Omni-channel is a means of providing service through multiple channels of communication with the potential customer, the retailer, wholesaler and the vender. In essence, Omni-channel is a service that allows customers to demand and purchase products through various means including phone, internet, in store support, and more. E-commerce will be particularly important in this relationship as consumers are becoming more comfortable using internet-based products when making purchases. This multiple channel relationship provides a dialogue between RIMS its venders and the potential customer. As such, vendors will know what customers are demanding through the use of Omni-channel. Furthermore, the supplier can better align the shopping needs of customers with it product specifications. This insight is then relayed to RIM, who can they adjust their product offerings accordingly. In many instances customer may demand a product that RIM doesn’t produce. This will allow RIM to adjust its product specifications to meet those of the customer (John, 2012). These revised product specifications can serve two purposes in regards to adoption rates. First, consumer demand can be address quickly and efficiently. This allows adoption rates to increase as consumers are getting the products that are demanded in a timely fashion. Second, its allows the company to innovate in a more effective manner. Through comprehensive customer feedback, the company can begin addressing recurring issues that hinder the overall brand. Once the prevailing issues have been properly corrected, adoption rates will increase.
In addition, the company can create awareness of RIM using a penetration strategy within the U.S. market. This strategy, particularly in the U.S., will generate demand, desire, and purchase. The company, to improve adoption rates must have a strong emphasis on quality. Consumer surveys have revealed that consumers are willing to pay premium prices for higher quality products and services. This emphasis on quality will allow RIM to be easily recognized while also differentiating itself from competitors. In addition, the company can leverage the RIM online website as a virtual store for all electronic product offerings, items and promotions. This will separate RIM from the competition while also allowing a potential consumer to learn more about the company thus building a fan base. Build lasting relationships and experiences with ALL customers with also help improve both adoption and retention rates.
Determine if a new service component will provide new interest in this product or service.
The technological field often experiences rapid and dynamic growth. As such, innovation must be at the forefront of any new service component. As the mobile phone industry continues to expand, the overall customer desires a comprehensive suit of services. The phone is now becoming a mechanism by which consumers can perform a multitude of tasks with the convenience of one device. As such, the entire ecosystem in which the phone operates with is very important. Apple for instance, has a very complete and comprehensive operation ecosystem. This ecosystem provides a compelling value proposition for the consumer who is looking to do more with their device. The Apple ecosystem engages the consumer with over 500,000 different applications for its devices. The company now has cloud computing capabilities that allow for the seamless storage and transfer of information. Apple products are all compatible with one another which provide a comprehensive experience for the consumer. iTunes and Apple TV allow the consumer to customize their consumption behaviors and habits. The entire ecosystem provides the consumer with ability to conduct their activities as they see fit, while also providing a litany of services. These services often create a compelling value proposition as the consumer is willing to pay premium prices for access to the entire ecosystem.
Likewise, RIM, must also create a comprehensive suite of products and services to satisfy consumer needs. RIM, in particular has a competitive advantage with the business environment. Many business consumers prefer to use Blackberry and other RIM products for their daily business activities. As America becomes more of a service economy, RIM’s business orientation will provide the company with a sustainable competitive advantage relative to its peers. To capitalize on this trend, RIM should create a service component geared towards the overall business community. This ecosystem could provide seamless access to company reports, information, presentations, emails, and company alerts. The ecosystem should also provide the security needed to protect information that is often confidential and used for internal business purposes only. By offering this service component to already growing segment of the American economy, RIM will be well positioned to compete with Apple. This also has a direct correlation to overall adoption rates mentioned in the section above.
Anticipate the most likely distribution problems you would encounter and how you would address them.
The first distribution problem will likely occur due to international constraints. These constraints pertain mainly to the prevailing law in the country of operations. Technology is rapidly evolving. To compensate for this evolution, competitors often copy and mimic each others products offerings. The product offerings that are successful are often copied by those with less intellectual capital. These copies are then sold at a discount to the original thus undermining the original creator of the innovation. This concept corresponds directly with distribution on two fronts. First, the copied innovation is often cheaper than the original. Consumers, not realizing the difference often purchase the cheaper copy at the expense of the higher quality original. Retailers, looking mainly at sales volume will then stock more of the cheaper product. This ultimately leaves less shelf space for the original innovator. As consumers continue to flock to the cheap imitator, the original designer is quickly left out. This occurs frequently in the technological industry. Patent and intellectual property disputes often occur. This ultimately hinders distribution as lawsuits can hamper the availability of products for the retailer. Samsung for instance, is banned from selling many of its more popular products in the United States due to copyright infringement. This infringement will ultimately reduce the company’s ability to distribute its products within the United States. The same could occur to RIM with its Blackberry innovations.
To address these concerns, patent and intellectual property protection must be pursued on the part of RIM. This will allow its innovations to manifest themselves in the form of profits and return on investments. In addition, consumer adoption and retention rates will be very important to the company in regards to distribution. The more the product is demanded by consumers, the more retailers are willing to distribute the product on their shelves. The higher demand also makes commissioned selling associates more willing to sell the product within independent distribution networks. The enhance adoption rates however, the company must innovate. These innovations must in turn be protected by patent and intellectual property law to keep competitors a bay. With a monopoly on a particular innovation consumers will demand the product thus enhancing distribution. The diagram below depicts this concept in visual form.
1) Robert J. Gordon (1988), Macroeconomics: Theory and Policy, 2nd ed., Chapter 22.4, ‘Modern theories of inflation’. McGraw-Hill.
2) Susan Mallik (2010). Hossein Bidgoil. ed. The Handbook of Technology Management: Supply Chain Management, Marketing and Advertising, and Global Management, vol 2 (1 ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley @ Sons, Inc.. p. 100- 104. ISBN 978-0-470-24948-2.
3) John T. Phelan, Jr. P.E. “Guest Column: Knowing When a WMS or WCS Is Right for Your Company.” Supply & Demand Chain Executive. Enom, Inc. http://www.sdcexec.com/web/online/FulfillmentLogistics-Trends/Guest-Column — Knowing-When-a-WMS-or-WCS-Is-Right-for-Your-Company/15$10,982
Monopoly on innovation
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