POX’s value preposition stems from several positive attributes associated with the product. One such attribute is stealth playing. Stealth playing highlights the product’s flexibility because this feature stands out as the most important value additional feature that POX holds.
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Indeed, when asked to give their opinions regarding POX, a student focus group identified the product’s stealth playing feature as a special value-additional component (Godes & Ofek 67). The product’s flexibility stood out as a special feature because stealth playing provided an opportunity for participants to play the game anywhere and at any time.
Furthermore, the opportunity for players to use the product in a sneaky and surprising manner manifested as an exciting and surprising feature to game users. One user said, “You can sneak it where it is not supposed to be. You can play secretly and sneak up on your friends” (Godes & Ofek 67).
Another user said, “Parents and teachers will not even know we are playing… only we will know… that is awesome” (Godes & Ofek 67). The above assertions show that the stealth-playing feature was a notable value-addition feature of the product.
Albeit the stealth-playing feature appeared to be the most significant value-addition feature for the product, the ability of players to create their POX feature also stood out as an important value additional feature of the product. This feature gave the users a stronger feeling of empowerment and control.
After comparing POX with another game (Pokémon), one game user in New York said, “By making your POX, you can create what you want; you are in control. With Pokémon, there is no control… it is just what you catch” (Godes & Ofek 67). POX’s ability to create anything improved the positive features of the product.
Another value addition feature of the product stems from the name of the product itself. Most of the users believed the product’s name was edgy, new, and dangerous (Godes & Ofek 67). These attributes made the product more appealing to the users.
Barriers to Adoption
Competition: Competition is always a dominant barrier in the adoption of new products not only for POX but for other products as well. With the launch of POX, existing products such as Nintendo and other gaming products pose a threat to the full adoption of POX because they reduce the products market share (Godes & Ofek 62)
Season: The gaming industry is highly characterised by the seasonal demand of products. The seasonal demands for gaming products define the irregular and uneven nature of the toy market. Godes & Ofek (60) say that new products often sell highly during the first year of launch. Subsequent years show a low sales growth or even an uneven sales growth.
Therefore, the sales of subsequent years of market presence cannot surpass the initial year of launch. These uneven sales projections are highly evident in certain product categories, but the entire toy industry is also subject to the same patterns. Godes & Ofek say (60) the highest toy sales occur within the fourth quarter of the year. This quarter usually accounts for up to 70% of the total sales for the year.
Therefore, if the product fails to launch any time besides the last quarter or a holiday season, it is difficult to achieve high sale targets. The failure to realise high sales also implies that the adoption of the new product is low during non-peak seasons. This is a barrier to adoption.
Age Compression: The age compression phenomenon is also a strong barrier to the adoption of POX. Godes & Ofek (60) explain the age compression phenomenon as the quick adoption of sophisticated toys by young children. Therefore, instead of children using one toy during their early childhood, they quickly graduate to a different class of toy.
The age compression phenomenon therefore denotes the early maturity of children at a young age. Toy manufacturers of America refer to this phenomenon as the effect of “children getting older younger” (Godes & Ofek 60). In fact, the company’s Association president, David Miller, said
“What we see is a compression of the time that one is allowed to be a young child. Take the Barbie example. Children used to get their first Barbie at age five and play with it until they were nine. Today they probably get their first Barbie at three or four and play with it until they are six or seven, then go on to something more sophisticated” (Godes & Ofek 60).
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The age compression phenomenon therefore poses a barrier to the adoption of POX because it limits the target market of a new product and reduces the willingness of toy buyers to buy products that would be disposed off quickly for newer products.
Best Strategy to Chose
Television and print advertising would be the best strategy to choose for launching POX. This strategy is better than creating a buzz around Los Angeles and marketing the product as the new gaming product because of the nature of the target market.
The target market for POX is children below the age of ten years. This population group watches television (a lot) and marketers can therefore reach them through this strategy. Since parents buy the products, it is appropriate to complement the television strategy with the print media strategy.
Even though the print media may capture the interest of some children, the main target audience for print media advertising is adults. Therefore, the dual strategy of advertising POX through magazines and television is highly comprehensive because it reaches the children and their parents.
Advantages of television and print advertising
The main advantage associated with television and print advertising is the wide outreach of these mediums. Since many households have a television, it is easy to spread the message about a new product – POX. Even though the print media does not have a wider consumer outreach (than television), many people still have access to print media. Therefore, it is easier to reach a wide audience through this method as well.
Disadvantages of Television and Print Advertising
The relatively expensive nature of television and print advertising (compared to starting a campaign) is a setback to the adoption of this marketing strategy. Therefore, compared to generating a buzz around the launch of POX, it would cost an extra $0.4 million to adopt the television and print advertising strategy Godes & Ofek (68).
Advantages of Generating a Significant Buzz around the Product
One advantage of creating a buzz around the launch of POX is its ability to create brand loyalty for the product. Indeed, creating a buzz around the launch of POX enables the customers to have a better relationship with the product because they are able to understand its history, nature, story, and characteristics. Therefore, it is easier for customers to have a strong sense of ownership of the product, thereby creating a strong brand loyalty.
Disadvantages of Generating a Significant Buzz around the Product
The main disadvantage to campaign advertising is its ineffectiveness in reaching the target market. The toy industry is predominantly a “child affair” and children are unable to understand what the buzz is about, or how they can relate with the product.
Children are also unable to create brand loyalty because they do not have a high brand cognition adults do. Therefore, creating a buzz campaign around the launch of POX would only work if the product were for a mature audience.
The preferred retailer for POX would be Wal-Mart. One advantage of using this retailer is their expansive global market presence. Therefore, Wal-Mart’s global market presence provides a wide accessibility of the product throughout all the continents where it operates. Wal-Mart’s established distribution system is also a significant advantage of the distribution chain.
Therefore, instead of setting up a new distribution chain for the launch of a new product, Hasbro Games may easily use the already established distribution system for Wal-Mart. One disadvantage for using Wal-Mart is its lack of specialisation in toys and children products. Wal-Mart’s main speciality is the sale of groceries. Therefore, customers may fail to associate Wal-Mart with the sale and distribution of the new product (POX).
It is easy to reach a wider target market by adopting the television and print advertising strategy. However, it is equally important to ensure this advertising strategy has a high level of efficacy. Therefore, while introducing the television and print media strategy, it is crucial to highlight the importance of advertising POX in children television programs and print media.
This way, the advertisements reach the right audience and create the necessary demand needed to increase sales. If marketers advertise the product in adult television programs, it will be difficult to reach the intended audience (children). When the children are encouraged to try the product (through advertisements in children shows), they equally encourage their parents to buy the product. This strategy maximises the adoption of POX.
Godes, David, and E. Ofek. Hasbro Games—Pox, Massachusetts: Harvard College, 2005. Print.