Designer Inc. is a family owned, midsize corporation that is in its third year of transition from second – generation to third generation leadership. The corporation is in the business of selling custom made electronics and program items to about 300 different businesses and has its headquarters in Houston, Texas. The electronic items that Designer Inc. sells have ‘smart chips’ that allows pens and watches to have LCD screens that can be used as a mini computer. This small computer can be used for numerous applications. This case deals with creating a comprehensive marketing plan for Designer Inc’s new product called SMARTY pen.
SMARTY is a pen with a difference. It is a pen that has a unique and innovative ability to correct any misspellings in writing and improve the writing skills of students and teachers. It is a kind of a proofreading pen! What makes SMARTY special is its LCD screen that starts vibrating when its user misspells, and it shows the corrected word on its LCD screen. In short, the pen does the work of a computer, in an easy and convenient way. SMARTY comes in two different modes of functioning. One is the vibrate mode and another is a flashing light mode. These modes are designed based on the convenience factor of its users. If a student is writing an assignment in his class, he or she can use a vibrating mode. If someone is writing an article or an essay in a noisy environment, he or she can use the flash light mode to detect any grammatical errors. Moreover, it also records everything that a person hears during a meeting or a class. It acts as a voice recorder too.
What is the unique selling proposition of SMARTY and what problem does it solve?
Today, it has become extremely important that children improve their writing skills. In an age of cut- throat competition, a student who writes better than the other has a competitive edge. There is a lot of difference between typing on keyboard and writing on a piece of paper. While typing, there are lot of in-built applications and software’s that correct the grammatical mistakes which students make. But while writing on paper, there is no such facility which is currently available. This is where SMARTY helps. It is a one of its kind product in the market that would assist writers (especially young students) in correcting their mistakes and learning from them. This is the biggest USPs and of SMARTY. Create better and an improved generation of young writers.
Mission and Goal for Designers Inc
The company’s mission during the next five years is to achieve its financial goals and increase its revenues by at least 50% each passing year, increase its distribution and introduced pens with more features and languages.
Competitive advantage with SMARTY
Competitive advantage is one or more unique selling propositions of an organization that compels the consumers to patronize a particular company rather than its competitors. In case of its new product SMARTY, the biggest competitive advantage of Designers Inc. is that it has no competition! It is a new and innovative product that is being introduced in the market for the very first time. There are some products in the market such as Livescribe smart pen, but it does not have an autocorrect function. SMARTY is probably the biggest launch for Designer Inc., and it can change the way people write with their pens. It is one of the most exciting products to have launched in the field of academics. It can create better writers and improve their chances of doing well in their careers and overall productivity.
Target markets and potential challenges for SMARTY
The target market for the first year for SMARTY would be the children in United States, as it has two languages English and Spanish. Once, the product is launched in the U.S., the next target must be those markets where there are no computers being provided to the students. These target markets include countries such as India, Mexico, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma, Thailand and Brazil. These countries have millions of aspiring young students who would benefit greatly from SMARTY.
Although the idea of targeting looks very attractive, there are some potential challenges that the company will face, some of these challenges would be:
- Pricing of the product: SMARTY pen starts with a price of $85. For a pen, it is pretty expensive.
- Affordability in the developing markets: In countries such as India and China, $85 is a pretty substantial amount. It will be a challenge to market this product in such countries.
- Language compatibility: Currently, SMARTY is compatible with two languages, English and Spanish. It needs to be compatible with other local languages such as Hindi, Chinese, etc. if the company wants to sell it overseas.
- Shipping and distribution costs for international markets: Since Designers Inc. is located in U.S., the added costs of shipping and distribution might increase the overall cost of SMARTY in the international markets.
SWOT analysis of SMARTY
The overall evaluation of a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is called a SWOT analysis. It is a method of evaluating the company’s external and internal environment. Let us conduct a SWOT analysis of SMARTY pen with reference to its internal and external environment.
- Strengths: The biggest strength for SMARTY is that it is a completely new and innovative product that is being introduced for the very first time with an aim of creating better writers.
- Weakness: The market price of SMARTY is its biggest weakness. Also, it is only compatible with two languages. It requires better compatibility.
- Opportunities: Designers Inc. has a tremendous opportunity to tap the student market, which requires such a pen for improving their writing skills. Developing countries are another opportunity.
- Threats: SMARTY might face opposition from certain section of society who will accuse Designers Inc. of promoting the students to cheat and get undue advantage from the pen.
With this new product, Designers Inc has a chance to capture a huge untapped market. The company needs to focus its efforts in developing a comprehensive marketing strategy for SMARTY. It is a smart pen with a great market potential!