Strategic and Innovative Marketing
Future Product Demands
The world around us is changing at a rapid pace, forcing us to change in order to keep up with it. Technologies evolve so rapidly that what was cutting edge five years ago is now a thing of the past. Consumers’ behaviour, demands and expectation also change, forcing manufacturers to adapt to the new requirements. In all, the micro and macroeconomic forces work together and generate mutations on most features, including the products we purchase on daily or yearly basis.
Convenience foods are both praised and blamed for their advantages along with their disadvantages. The factors that might influence the demand for this type of products include:
Increased concern for health and alarming rates of obesity could generate a decreased demand for convenience foods (15%). This type of products is blamed for high caloric content, generating heart diseases, diabetes and obesity
Reduced leisure time and increased stress which drive people away from the kitchen and force them to eat fast food products or frozen nutrients which are cheaper and easier to prepare. This factor could generate an increased demand (55%)
Increased current consumption, which could easily create addiction, therefore increasing the demand (10%)
Women’s working patterns and focus on careers in the detriment of family (20%)
Note: The percentages in brackets reveal the importance each factor has on influencing the future trend of the product demand b. Products purchased on the Internet
The online purchases have increased significantly during the past years and they are prone to follow their ascendant trend for the future too. “The Department of Commerce recently stated that the total eCommerce sales for 2005 were $86.3 billion and that is an increase of 24% over 2004.” According to the same source, out of the entire population that browses the World Wide Web for products, 63% decide in favour of online purchase and 37% actually complete the transaction, their numbers growing on yearly basis. Among the most relevant factors that generate increased demands for online product purchases, one could point out:
Increased focus on career and reduced time for shopping (20%)
Technological developments that ease the online purchase process and make it more accessible and more secure (30%)
Suppliers’ desire to adapt to consumers’ needs (20%)
Growing economies and individuals’ wages which allow better access to computers and the internet (5%)
Crowded commercial facilities due to increasing demographics. (25%) c. Fax machines
When they were first invented, fax machines were considered cutting edge technologies. However, today there is nothing special about them. Present in most all companies and sometimes even within individuals’ households, fax machines are used to send and receive information on paper. Opinions in regard to the future trend of fax machines vary. While some state that the demand will increase, others point out that the demand will take a downfall. “According to David Haueter, principal research analyst for Gartner in Stamford, Conn., the number of stand-alone fax units sold will drop 12% annually through 2009.”
Here are some factors that could affect the future trend in the demand for fax machines:
Developing web technologies could generate a decreased demand for faxes as information can easily be sent through an email; requires less effort and is cheaper (65%)
Increasing web piracy and the possibility of breaking companies’ codes and entering their databases make the internet less secure in the detriment of fax machines, and could therefore generate an increased demand for faxes (10%)
Increasing efforts to further develop and improve the quality of faxes could prove useful and generate an increased demand (20%)
The existence of conservative people who prefer more secure and hardware technologies in the detriment of internet transmitted information. (5%) d. Film and cameras
The photography industry has drastically changed during the past decade. With the introduction of the digital camera, the classic cameras with film seem to be following a never ending downfall. “By some tallies, 92% of all cameras sold are digital. Big-name camera companies are either exiting the film business (Kodak, Nikon) or exiting the camera business altogether (Konica Minolta).”
However it is stilled believed that the photographs made on film have superior quality and better resistance in time, the few consumers are insufficient to sustain the sector and the “film photography is rapidly becoming a special-interest niche.” Among the factors that would dictate the future trend of films and cameras, one could point out the following:
Developing technologies that deliver better and cheaper digital cameras, leading to a decreased demand for film cameras (59%)
Increased demand for hi-tech products in the detriment of classic ones (30%)
The existence of nostalgic individuals who prefer film cameras and the existence of collectors (11%). This can only insure a limited demand, getting lost in the overall declining trend.
e. Video rented from retail outlets
During the 1980s up to the mid 1990s, the renting and selling video cassettes business was an extremely successful one. However, the past decade has been confronted with a slow but steady decline of video rentals. Factors that might influence the future trend include:
Better access to cable television, improved quality of the films aired on cable and the existence of channels that air the latest movies (such as HBO) contribute to a decreasing demand for rental tapes (20%)
Increased incomes combined with the desire to own the videos might lead to an increase of video purchases in the detriment of rental (30%)
Increased web piracy which generates the theft of films from the internet, in the detriment of rental (35%)
Reduced time for leisure activities, including going to the cinema, could generate an increased demand for rentals (15%) f. Pay-per-view television programming
The pay-per-view system was introduced in the mid 1970s and its aim was to allow cable consumers to watch a recent film or special event and then only pay for what they watched. There are some factors that could generate both increase as well as decrease of the PPV demand.
The emergence of television channels which air new films and programs for cheaper monthly fees that those of the pay-per-view system (such as HBO) could lead to a decrease in the demand for PPV (33%)
The law on the matter could also contribute to a declining demand for PPV as it only allows television channels to air recent films after a period of 30 up to 90 days since the video was made available for renting (34%)
Further technological developments and improvements of the television programming system could increase the demand (33%) g. Crude oil
The future demand for crude oil could follow both a decreasing as well as an increasing trend, based on the factors we consider. As such:
The emergence of alternative combustibles and forms of energy could produce a decreased demand for crude oil (30%)
Macroeconomic forces that affect the international price of crude oil. The economic theory and practice has shown that an increase in price generates a decrease in demand, and vice versa, a decrease in price generates an increase in demand (10%)
An increase in the future demand for crude oil could be generated by the reduction of natural resources and the international hysteria (40%)
The increased consumption of crude oil adherent to the past years, and the continually growing trend are prone to generate an increase demand. (20%)
Source: The Macro Perspective on the Capital Markets, 2004 h. Computer memory chips
The it market has registered significant growth along the past years and the computer memory chip is no exception. Not only that the demand for these products is constantly increasing, it is increasing at such high rates that the producers are unable to complete all orders, leading to a shortage of memory chips. Here are some forces prone to affect the future demand for computer memory chips:
Technological developments that produce better and innovative it products (such as smart phones, iPods or laptops) which require enhanced memory would most definitely lead to an increased demand for chips in the years to come (40%)
Continuous investments in research and development and the need to store more data would also generate an increased demand for computer memory chips (25%)
The need to stay in trend and keep up with the technological developments will affect consumers’ behaviour, directing them to demand more computer memory (35%) i. Hotel rooms
The demand for hotel rooms is given by the combination of a series of forces, such as the consumers’ inclination towards travelling, the occurrence of business or family trips or the resources of the area where the hotel is located. The future demand for hotel rooms could be influenced in the following meaning:
The growing economy produces increased wages which offer people the possibility of travelling, generating as such an increased demand for hotel rooms (25%)
Business trips occur more frequently and generate an increased demand for hotel rooms (40%)
Developing countries place more emphasis on their natural and touristy resources, developing their touristy industry, attracting more foreigners and generating an increased demand for hotel rooms (20%) forth factor is of a demographic nature and it refers to the aging of the American and Canadian baby boomers. Since the generation with the highest birth-rate is reaching the retirement age, they are prone to travel more and lead to an increase demand for hotel rooms. (15%) j. Fast food outlets in emerging markets
The fast food industry is expected to register an increase during the following years, especially within emerging markets. Here are some factors that would generate the increase in demand for fast food products:
Increased interest from foreign investors which enter the emerging markets and strongly promote the products (45%)
Growing economies and wages, implying an increased focus on jobs, in the detriment of home cooking (35%)
Changing consumers needs (20%) k. Credit cards issued by financial institutions
Credit cards encompass products offered by banks or other financial institutions which allow their clients to use the bank’s money and then pay them back at a previously specified interest rate. Credit cards have always had great success among clients and even though the demand has not drastically reduced yet, this seems to be the trend. The future demand for credit cards could be influenced in the following meaning:
The maturation of the market could generate an increased demand for credit cards (25%)
People’s option towards savings, instead on investments and additional expenditures could as well lead to a decreased demand for credit cards (50%)
The increase of personal loans in the detriment of credit cards would also generate a reduced demand (25%) l. Laptop computers
The demand for laptop computers has increased drastically during the past years. So large is the demand for these it products, that chip producers are unable to keep up with it. “Right now demand is strong enough that I haven’t been able to build up inventory.” The future demand for laptop computers could be increased by the following factors:
The population’s desire to keep up with the technological changes and their purchasing of the latest it gadgets, currently the most popular one being the laptop (15%)
The Increasing number of business travels during which employees must be accompanied by a laptop (30%)
Increased wages that lead to more households affording personal computers and laptops (20%)
The profits realized in the it sector inspire the youth to study computers; therefore they need laptops (10%)
The population’s desire for more efficiently used space and the replacement of large personal computers with the small size laptops. (25%)
Diagrams showing the proportion each factor holds in influencing the future demand of products a. Convenience foods b. Products purchased on the Internet c. Fax machines d. Film and cameras e. Video rented from retail outlets f. Pay-per-view television programming g. Crude oil h. Computer memory chips i. Hotel rooms j. Fast food outlets in emerging markets k. Credit cards issued by financial institutions l. Laptop computers
Reilly, M.D., Working Wives and Convenience Consumption, the Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 8, Number 4, March 1982
Williams, J., New Online Shopping Trends, WebPro News, September 2006, http://www.webpronews.com/expertarticles/2006/09/18/new-online-shopping-trends, last accessed on November 16, 2007
Prema, K., Faxes are Evolving (Trends in the Usage of Fax Machines), High Beam Research, March 2006
The Death of Film? Digital cameras claim the future, Financial Express, February 2006, http://www.financialexpress.com/news/story/149140/,last accessed on November 16, 2007
Campbell, a., the Long Slow Decline of the Video Store, Small Business Trends, February 2004, http://www.smallbiztrends.com/2004/02/the-long-slow-decline-of-the-video-store.html, last accessed on November 16, 2007
Garay, R., Pay-Per-View, the Museum of Broadcast Communications, http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/P/htmlP/payperview/payperview.htm, last accessed on November 16, 2007
Global Crude Oil Demand and Gasoline, the Macro Perspective on the Capital Markets, 2004, http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2004/09/crude_oil_gasol.html, last accessed on November 16, 2007
Cho, Y.S., Around the Markets: Chip makers can’t keep up with demand, the International Herald Tribune, February 2006
Phillips, M., Demand for hotel rooms draws interest from local contractors, the Business Review, April 2004, http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/stories/2004/04/05/focus2.html, last accessed on November 16, 2007
New Credit Card Demand Slows After Record 3.75 Million Applications Last Financial Year, VEDA Advantage, July 2006, http://www.vedaadvantage.com/latest_news/new_credit_card_demand_slows_after_record.aspx, last accessed on November 16, 2007
Laptop Demand Lifts Intel Profit, BBC News, July 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4698535.stm, last accessed on November 16, 2007
Williams, J., New Online Shopping Trends, WebPro News, September 2006
Prema, K., Faxes are Evolving (Trends in the Usage of Fax Machines), High Beam Research, March 2006
The Death of Film? Digital cameras claim the future, Financial Express, February 2006
Garay, R., Pay-Per-View, the Museum of Broadcast Communications
Cho, Y.S., Around the Markets: Chip makers can’t keep up with demand, the International Herald Tribune, February 2006
Bryant, a., CFO at Intel, quoted by BBC News
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