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Case studies are an important learning strategy in business classes as they provide an opportunity for you to critically analyze events that have taken place in real-life businesses. This develops your critical thinking and research skills as you research the competition and industry in which your business resides with an end goal of formulating a recommendation for the challenges faced by the company.

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Select one of the three case studies listed below, which can be found in your textbook. Evaluate the case of your choice, and respond to each of the questions below using both theory and practical managerial thinking as well as supporting research.

Option 1: Procter & Gamble (pp. 332–333)

  1. Using segmentation strategies, what are the target market(s) for P&G? How does this relate to the company’s brand management strategies?
  2. Who are the top three competitors of P&G, and what are their advantages/disadvantages with respect to their competitive product/service strategies?
  3. P&G’s impressive portfolio includes some of the strongest brand names in the world. What are some of the challenges associated with being the market leader in so many different categories?
  4. With social media becoming increasingly important and with fewer people watching traditional commercials on television, what does P&G need to do to maintain its strong brand images?
  5. What risks will P&G face in the future?

Option 2: Caterpillar (pp. 394–395)

  1. Using segmentation strategies, what are the target market(s) for Caterpillar? How does this relate to their brand management strategies?
  2. Who are the top three competitors of Caterpillar, and what are their advantages/disadvantages with respect to their competitive product/service strategies?
  3. What were some of the key steps that made Caterpillar the industry leader in earth-moving machinery? Explain how Caterpillar’s products differ from competitors.
  4. Discuss Caterpillar’s future. What should it do next with its product line? Where is the future growth for this company?

Option 3: The Ritz-Carlton (pp. 424–425)

  1. Using segmentation strategies, what are the target market(s) for The Ritz-Carlton? How does this relate to their brand management strategies?
  2. Who are the top three competitors of The Ritz-Carlton, and what are their advantages/disadvantages with respect to their competitive product/service strategies.
  3. How does The Ritz-Carlton match up to competing hotels? What are its key differences?
  4. Discuss the importance of the “wow stories” in maintaining top quality customer service for a luxury hotel like The Ritz-Carlton.

In formatting your case analysis, do not use the question-and-answer format; instead, use an essay format with subheadings. Your APA-formatted case study should be a minimum of 500 words in length (not counting the title and reference pages). You are required to use a minimum of three peer-reviewed, academic sources that are no more than 5 years old (one may be your textbook). All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased material must have accompanying in-text citations.

Textbook: Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2016). Marketing management (15th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

MBA 5501, Advanced Marketing 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit V Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

1. Explore the management of marketing implementation and control processes for organizations to predict business outcomes. 1.1 Examine a business’s next steps within the parameters of their industry.

3. Compare new product development and competitive product strategies. 3.1 Compare competitors within an industry. 3.2 Examine a company’s competitive advantage with respect to new product development and

brand equity.

5. Distinguish between market segmentation, market targeting, and brand equity in the market planning process. 5.1 Apply market segmentation to a company. 5.2 Explain the target market(s) of a company. 5.3 Connect how the identification of a target market relates to brand equity.

Course/Unit Learning Outcomes

Learning Activity

1 Case Study; Chapters 13, 14, and 15

1.1 Case Study; Chapters 13, 14, and 15

3 Case Study; Chapters 13, 14, and 15

3.1 Case Study; Chapters 13, 14, and 15

3.2 Case Study; Chapters 13, 14, and 15

5 Case Study; Chapters 13, 14, and 15

5.1 Case Study; Chapters 13, 14, and 15

5.2 Case Study; Chapters 13, 14, and 15

5.3 Case Study; Chapters 13, 14, and 15

Reading Assignment Chapter 13: Setting Product Strategy, pp. 367–392 Chapter 14: Designing and Managing Services, pp. 399–416 Chapter 15: Introducing New Market Offerings, pp. 429–437

Unit Lesson Chapter 13: Setting Product Strategy What do you think about when you hear product offering? Your first reaction is probably the physical product itself. While this is a part of the product offering, it goes beyond this to also include services, quality of the product, installation, warranty, delivery, packaging, and the brand. Within the product offering, differentiation is a key element in order to maintain a competitive advantage with respect to the product. Kotler and Keller (2016) discuss aspects of product differentiation on page 371 of the


Developing the Product Offerings

MBA 5501, Advanced Marketing 2

textbook. Companies absolutely need to maintain a differentiated product in order to provide consumers with the rationale for purchasing your product over the competitors’ product. As consumers review each of these differentiating elements within the product category, they determine whether these factors carry a higher value proposition than the product’s competitors. Packaging plays an important role in the product strategy. It not only protects the product but also enhances it. This is accomplished by sending a message with the end goal to influence the purchase. Additionally, packaging provides necessary information about the product to not only align with regulatory agencies’ rules about ingredients but also to expedite the buying process. This might be accomplished with the use of UPC codes that allow for fast scanning of multiple products and work as an accurate and timely system of inventory management. Click the link below to view a video on how Samsung has approached the issue of creative packaging. Kokusai2010. (2012, February 12). Out of the box Samsung.mp4 [Video file]. Retrieved from

https://youtu.be/cYfSKGjHBKg The target market is the older demographic who might struggle with putting together and operating a new cell phone. The packaging mimics the vitamin packages with which this elderly demographic is typically quite familiar. Product managers or brand managers within large corporations are involved with the oversight associated with the product system, which is defined as a group of related products that are somewhat compatible with each other. Conversely, the product mix or product assortment refer to all of the products the company offers. Decisions are executed on the width of the product mix, which equates to how many different product lines the company will offer. Another area of consideration is that of the length of the product line, which looks at the number of items in the product mix. The depth is also considered, which looks at how many different options are offered for each product. Finally, the consistency analyzes how related the products actually are to one another. Chapter 14: Designing and Managing Services As the world continues to be more competitive and society becomes more time poor, companies look to differentiate their product offerings based upon the services provided. This could be as simple as on-time delivery or a faster response time to inquiries. At the end of the day, it is all about providing the customer with services that the particular target market desires, which will build a long-lasting relationship with the company and brand. As discussed in Chapter 13 of the textbook, products can be 100% tangible physical goods such as a box of Kleenex or a loaf of bread. Alternatively, it can be 100% service such as hair styling or your athletic club membership. There is also a blend where a physical product is provided in conjunction with a service. An example of this might be a restaurant where you receive the actual food, and the service provided is the cooking and serving of the food. The United States has become an increasingly heavy service-based society. Government, nonprofit, business, and manufacturing sectors have all added to this situation. Each of these areas has seen an increase in the service side of their business. Worldwide, in 1995, service-related jobs represented 58% of the gross domestic product (GDP), and in 2014, it represented 68%. People are leaving their agricultural businesses and moving into service-based occupations. Learn more about strategies for service by clicking here. Click here to access the transcript for the presentation. Chapter 15: Introducing New Marketing Offerings What is your favorite new product that a company has offered lately? Do you remember the can cozies? They sometimes fit on your drink of choice and sometimes did not. They most certainly did not work on bottles. Click the following link to see a new product that serves a similar purpose (to keep drinks cool), but the product fits on any size of a contained, and the product is available in a plethora of unique designs: http://www.freakerusa.com/.

MBA 5501, Advanced Marketing 3

Besides being an innovative product, read the story of the aforementioned product, and review some of the video marketing techniques. A word of warning—the company may be “off-the-wall,” but their marketing is most certainly effective. New product development through innovation is key to the long-term sustainability of an organization. Click the link below to view a video on Home Depot’s innovative idea to develop a creative approach to a mature product category—utility buckets. Herbst, S. (2013, April 30). TheBigGripper (2.5 gallon utility bucket @ the Home Depot) [Video file]. Retrieved

from https://vimeo.com/65116497 In the case of this new product development, Home Depot understood that consumers might appreciate a more efficient way to accomplish tasks in which they use this utility bucket. Another example of a mature product offering is that of laundry detergent. Tide came up with the Tide Pods concept, which is a small, dissolvable, single-use package of detergent. While this product costs the consumers about 25% more per load, the question remains whether the value of convenience is worth the extra cost. Other products come about with respect to our need to be green and sustainable. An example of this would be Levis who produced a “waste less” jean, which uses about eight recycled plastic bottles per pair. Still, other innovative ideas are created through the need for continued medical advancements. After a new product is commercialized, it moves through what is called a product life cycle. This cycle describes the changes the new product goes through and how sales are impacted at each stage. With this in mind, the marketing efforts at each stage must also change. Take a look at the product life cycle and the characteristics associated with each stage.

  • Market introduction: This stage begins the cycle with very low brand identity and low sales.
  • Market growth: The second stage indicates additional growth and increasing sales.
  • Market maturity: This stage is represented by a flattening of sales.
  • Sales decline: Sales tend to dip at this stage when consumers are preferring other alternatives.

Each stage has unique characteristics, thus the wise marketer will exert different efforts at each stage. Within the market introduction area, the content of the marketing should be informational and intense as the consumer does not necessarily even know about the product offering. In the growth stage, the customer knows about the product but now has the option of choosing from your competitors. The marketing content at this stage should include facts that differentiate your product offering from the competitors. During the marketing maturity stage, the content should continue to influence and maintain a bit of goodwill in order to maintain past customers. Finally, during the sales decline, marketing content should include incentives for coming back to your product and possibly include price reductions such as buy-one, get-one-free deals. Before a product/service gets to the point of commercialization, the company moves through a new product development process to ensure that the idea is worth bringing to commercialization. This begins with idea generation where the product/service idea is formulated. These ideas come from a variety of different places beginning with market research, customers/users, competitors, other markets, employees, customers, suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, and even family members. The next step in the process is the screening which involves an evaluation process that might include a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis discussed earlier in this course. The idea here is to ascertain that this new product/service idea really fits with the company objectives and market trends. The third step is the idea evaluation where the sophisticated evaluation process begins. This might involve concept testing or even focus-group research of customers to understand their reactions to this new product/service idea. Additionally, rough estimates of costs, sales, and projected profits will be analyzed. The next stage is that of development where a prototype is put together if the product is a tangible product. It the new product is a service, the details of the training of staff and the sequencing of the process will be compiled for review. During this stage, research and development is critical as the product specifications are analyzed and the viability of the product/service is finalized. As expected, final edits on the return-on-investment numbers are also compiled. If the product has made it through all of these stages, the product is commercialized. Remember that the purpose of the new product development process is to remove or edit the new product/service as it moves through each stage. As the product/service moves from one stage to another, it costs the company money with respect to resources in the development. If the product is not a viable product, the company would prefer to stop the process before it makes it through the process and is commercialized.

MBA 5501, Advanced Marketing 4

At commercialization, the product is finalized and production begins. The marketing plan is implemented, and the final return-on-investment numbers are submitted. At this point, the product begins the product life cycle discussed earlier in this lesson.

Reference Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2016). Marketing management [VitalSource Bookshelf version] (15th ed.).

Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323591512

Suggested Reading In order to access the following resources, click on the links below: The article below provides you with insight on how the automakers are now doing with new product announcements. Chanchal, P. C. (2016, November 6). Riding the festive tide. Business Today. Retrieved from

http://search.proquest.com.libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/docview/1830259262?accountid= 33337

Timothy Prestero shares medical innovations and issues of these types of innovations in the video below. Prestero, T. (2012). Timothy Prestero: Design for people, not awards [Video file]. Retrieved from

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