As an employee of TAG Heur, I am writing the following report for the company, after the company gave me the responsibility of researching the market for their new android smartphones (RACER smart phones). The company needed to understand the needs of customers in the phone market. The paper consists of the six stages of the market research study that the company would undertake in order to discover the needs of its customers. Market research refers to the effort that a company puts in order to gather information regarding customers and the existing market.
According to PR (2012), Tag Heur is a Swiss company known for its production of sports watches, having been founded by Edouard Heur back in the year 1860 in Switzerland. Apart from the watches, TAG Heur recently embarked on the manufacturing of smart phones through the android platform (Tag Heur International 1999). The phone is created using shockproof material (rubber with titanium), and in order to enhance the phone’s strength and support, the company uses carbon fiber bridges.
The product targets those people who can afford expensive and sophisticated phone since it costs $3,700 per piece (PR 2012). The phone is called Racer, and the company cites the inspiration to have come from GT Racing cars and F1. Racer will be in competition with other sophisticated phones such as Samsung Galaxy, although the price of a single Racer smart phone will be more than six times of a Samsung Galaxy.
The opportunity or problem that drives the following research is the need to discover customer needs in the market. There are many mobile phones that are currently in the market, but with time, the companies usually realize that smart phones usually consist of more sophisticated and advanced computing and connectivity abilities as compared to the normal feature phones (Diaz 2005). Customer needs usually change depending on very many factors, and therefore, Tag Heur must also learn the customer’s current needs and expectations. In most cases, companies usually assume that they have all the information they need concerning customer needs, which is not necessarily true. Every company needs to be customer- focused by ensuring they can meet and exceed customer needs, and ensure that it maintains profitable business (Burroughs 2010). Through a market research, TAG Heur can understand whether, it has the ability to meet the customer needs, or whether it needs to change its tactics so as to meet the needs. This is more so weighty given the current technological advancements that have taken the globe by storm (Diaz 2005).
The overall objective in this market research is to examine the attitudes to the use of Racer smart phone among the customers. The main objective has been broke down to sub objectives as follows:
1. To examine how many people are willing to purchase the phone
2. To compare customers’ attitudes towards Racer smart phone and other smart phones
3. To identify the best marketing or promotional strategy that can be used to increase the sale of Racer smart phone.
Examining how many people are willing to purchase the smart phone
This objective seeks to determine the number of people in the market who are willing to leave their original phones for the new Racer smartphone. It will identify the number of people who are already using other phones and are willing to shift to Racer smart phone. It will also cover the people who are already using the Racer phone, while identifying whether they would still buy the phone in case they are given an opportunity to do so. These groups of customers will constitute the target audience.
Identifying Attitudes to Racer and Competing Smart phones
This objective will seek to identify the groups of customers who are more likely to purchase this smart phone. To measure the differences between Racer and other smartphones, the company must identify whether the potential customers are prepared to pay more for the new phone (Burroughs 2010). This will give this company a chance to understand which other types of smart phones are already known by the customers, through spontaneous and prompted awareness.
To determine Marketing strategies that can be used to increase sales among the customers
This objective will aim at identifying the appealing aspects of the brand so that the company can make advantage of it during the examination of the most appropriate promotional platforms.
Research Category & Methods
This step is the most encompassing and it takes a lot of effort in coming up with the best categories and methods to be used in the research (Onwuegbuzie et al. 2009). In order to refine the objectives, secondary sources will be used to gather information regarding the use of smart phones in the target audience. This will be helpful in identifying the market place that TAG Heur faces in the region. At this instance, the company must find out the brand names and pertinent information regarding all competing brands so as to aid the rest of the research.The questions will be directed to potential customers and manufacturers of other competitive android smart phones.
It aims at answering the following questions:
What phone brands are there in these households
What is the main purpose of purchasing a smart phone according to these customers?
How much did they purchase their smartphones?
What types of covers do these phones have?
What types of promotion-mix strategies are currently used?
Who should be the target audience?
It probes the following questions:
The types of smart phones that the persons are aware of
The advantages of smart phones over other phones
Which groups of people are likely to purchase a smart phone?
How prepared are people prepared to pay more for Racer smart phone
Can Racer brand name confused with other products?
Population and Sampling
Interviews need to be done in different areas so that the company can get a wide variety of responses and get an opportunity to identify differences in the responses. Samples are crucial when the survey involves a large population, considering that it is not possible to survey each and every user of a smart phone (Lee & BradLow 2011). The conclusions should be drawn from a small sample, representing the total population of the customer base. The sample needs to be representative so that the data collected can be accurate in regards to the larger population.
In this case, the sampling unit (target population) composes of people between the age of 15 and 55, both females and males and those who are above poverty lines. This is because most users of smart phones are between the stated ages, they can either be males or females, and they should be able to afford the high prices of the smart phones. The sample size will have 300 hundred people who will be surveyed so as to get reliable results. Considering that there are many people who use smart phones across the region, it would be vital to select a sample that can represent the total survey population in an appropriate manner. The appropriate sampling procedure is random method of selection so as to establish a valid cross section of the whole unit (Onwuegbuzie et al. 2009).
Collection of Data
The data was collected using several methods so as to ensure that the information was reliable. In this case, collection methods used are interviews, online surveys, and focus groups.
In order to gather as much information as possible from the customers, in- depth interviews were used. It was used for the situation where face to face interviews were inappropriate because of the complex nature of the questions (In-Depth Interview 2008). The in depth interviews were also conducted on certain experts and specialists in android technology that usually competes with the Racer smart phone. Manufacturers and other business influencers were in a position to offer detailed information regarding the competing brands of smart phones. Through in depth interviews, it was possible to understand the concepts of intelligence and data processing capabilities found in the competing smart phones. It was also used to understand certain concepts of smart phones such as QWERTY keyboard, operating systems (Such as Symbian, Palm OS, BlackBerry OS or Windows CE/Pocket PC, Android, Bada), web browsing, touchscreens, screen resolutions and Google applications (for android phones). The manufacturers were also able to provide information regarding the main promotional strategies that they used in launching their smart phones. Also, I was able to gather information from these experts concerning their main target audience.
Online surveys were also done so as to collect information from the sample population of the market research. Email and web based data collection methods were used since they have proved to be relatively cheap and they ensure that a company gets fast responses during a survey (Lee & BradLow 2011). This method was convenient because most of the people who had smart phones had the technological know how on how to use the internet and respond to the questions. Also, this method was highly appropriate in reaching people geographically dispersed, considering that smart phones are usually used in different areas. The online survey was successful in understanding the customers’ perspectives regarding the smart phones in the market especially the types of smart phones, purpose of the phones, their costs, cover designs and colors, age of the buyers, strength of the Racer brand name and the possibility of a customer buying a Racer phone regardless of its high price.
The data collection errors were minimized through proper selection, supervision and evaluation of the data collection methods.
Analysis Of data
The data analysis consisted of editing and verification of data that had been collected from the customers and the manufacturers. Every online survey form was inspected, edited and corrected as necessary during the analysis (Lee & BradLow 2011). The data from the survey form had to be input directly into a computer so as to derive meaning from the collected data. Right before embarking on the analysis, the data collected from the users of smart phones had to be transformed into the right format that could be analyzed electronically. Since the questions were divided into categories, the data analysis had to be done by establishing which samples were falling into which category. Ross tabulation was used to analyze the data and come up with a report. The Cross tabulations represents contingency tables and cross tabs for nominal and ordinal variables. The final report was determined by finding the mean of the total responses and coming up with the customers’ needs and expectations.
This can be summarized as shown in the table below:
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Average number of people
The main purpose of buying a smart phone
Slim feature and
Long battery life
4G data speeds and high resolution screen
Voice assistant, and its spectacular camera
Fast processor, Shockproof chassis, carbon fiber bridges and ultimate lightness
Color/design of smart phones
Black, normal design
Black, grey and normal design
Black, grey, white and normal design
Black, unique design
Men and women
The rich in the society
Report of the Findings
The objectives of the market research were met through the data collection and analysis as above described. Racer smart phone is a new product and market research will be beneficial for the company. The main objective for carrying out the study was to find out the needs of customers in the market. There have been many other smart phones introduced to the market, but TAG Heur has to be customer-focused with an aim of ensuring that customer needs are met and exceeded.
The objectives and sub objectives were met since the customers and manufacturers provided vital information concerning the Racer smart phone, together with the other competing brands. The methods used to collect this data were relatively cheap and, therefore, there were no constraints in the budget. This is because the research was conducted through interviews and online surveys. The in depth interviews were extremely appropriate for collecting data from the knowledgeable specialists and experts who deal with the manufacture of smart phones. This is because the information concerning the detailed specifications of the smart phones was needed in order to conduct comparisons between various phones, and it also aided in a better understanding of the phones that are in the market. Online surveys were also very valuable in identifying the attitudes of customers in the market. Online surveys are relatively cheap and the responses were received within no time, thus saving the company a lot of money, time and effort.
The data analysis was done through electronic methods of analyzing data. The resulting information was particularly crucial in ensuring that TAG Heur has a basis of operating in the competitive market. The following findings and conclusions were drawn regarding customer needs in the market:
Racer phone was the least used / known in the market while iPhone was the most popular-This was attributed to iPhones strong brand. Racer was new in the market, and it required more promotions in the market.
Racer was the most expensive. The high price was attributed to its unique features and design. By lowering the price a bit, Racer could become more popular
Racer phones come in the same colors as other smart phones while iPhone comes in more colors. Racer could be made more popular among women by using pink colors and blue colors.
Racer targeted the rich in the society who have money to spend on luxurious phones. To accommodate the middle class, it is vital for the company to review the prices by lowering the price to less than $2700.
By reducing the price, Racer could attract more customers from diverse ages, especially the young people who love fascinating phones.
The market research process has to be composed of the main six stages that must be followed by the company when doing research. In this case, the first step was the definition of the problems and opportunities expected in the process. TAG Heur can, therefore, understand what the customer needs are, and how well it can conduct promotions in the market. The main customer need for now is to get the Racer smart phone at an affordable price, since the current is too high and it seems to target only the rich in the society. This will give TAG Heur a competitive advantage over competing brands, thus increasing its sales in the region.
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