Characteristic of the target market
Competent company executives always strive to provide leadership that enables the marketing staff to clearly identify the characteristic of the target market and enable them to provide tailor made products and services that are suitably aligned to the needs of the current and prospective buyers.
In Target Market’s (2004, p.2) argument, the case with 3M Greptile Grip golf glove is that the market is defined by a huge baby boomer population, which has matured with time to a prime earning potential.
According to Afuah’s (2003, p.356) business model, the market is defined by people with different demographic characteristics who belong to different age groups, ethnic backgrounds, and female golfers who account for 25% of the entire golfer population in the United Sates. The estimated value of the market which has been growing dynamically is valued at US $ 300 million.
The demographic characteristics which are defined by income levels, occupation, family lifecycle, and years of business, education, market trends, market size, geographic distributions, lifestyle, social classes, and consumer behavior are evident in the above case study.
The case study shows people with different income levels, a dynamic trend in market growth and size, and a number of new entrants into the market. The case shows new entrants into the market to include Bionic’s Classic brand designed with the educated class of orthopedic surgeons in mind.
Key points of difference when compared with competitors’
Company executives know very well how to differentiate the characteristics of rival firms to survive in a market with rivals who operate using creative techniques and competitive strategies in the innovation and production of company products and services. The company uses technology to create high quality products with unique attributes to meet the unique needs of the target market.
In context of studies by Afuah (2003, p.3), it is demonstrated in the case study that 3M Greptile Grip golf glove uses technology, innovation, pricing, and a creative and highly skilled product development team with a strong reputation and image for innovation and quality to produce tailor made products for the market.
The company has a sports unit managed by a highly skilled marketing staff with an innovative approach to doing business. Other firms in the case study do not demonstrate their reliance on an innovative and highly skilled marketing staff with the dynamics of innovation and creativity.
Another key difference with competing products includes gloves with improved gripping capabilities provided by the company. The case study provides one example of the Premium Greptile golf glove which is designed with the highest quality Gabretta leather in the market. When the product was produced in 2005, according to the case study, the suggested price varied between $ 16.95 and $19.95.
Here, quality and prices are combined to make the product competitive in the market. Another trend that crystallized other differences between 3M and competitors was the introduction of another Greptile Grip golf glove that was suitable for the European and Japanese markets. The Japanese and European markets took the second and third position after the US market for the gloves.
In comparison, a competitor, “marketer Bionic” introduced into the market gloves designed for orthopedic surgeons to compete with the 3 M firm’s early gloves for orthopedic surgeons. A significant difference in the he pricing strategy used by Bionic and footJoy is that the competitors’ product prices are significantly higher than the prices of 3M’s products.
In this case, Bionic produces Classic which goes at $ 24.95 $ and Pro which goes for $ 39.95. On the other hand, FootJoy’s Pure Touch Limited which goes for $ 28 as a precision fit product and SciFlex which goes for $ 18. In comparison, 3M products go for $16.95 and $ 19.95 respectively.
It is critical to note that that 3 M’s approach to product pricing is that of keeping the price as low as possible, below the competitors’ product prices. In addition, the competing firms attempt to produce products that are of high quality using artificial materials such as the SciFlex glove produced by FootJoy to ensure quality. Contrary, it is evident 3M uses leather to manufacture its high quality gloves for the market.
According to the case study, competing firms are quite sensitive to the market dynamics. The changes include a drop in income levels of many households because of recession which is the direct reason many people have reduced their purchasing capabilities.
It is important to note that existing firms or new entrants can introduce substitute products into the market in an attempt to clinch a market share.
The changes in price and income levels have been shown to have a direct impact on the demand of a product, making a shift in demand in one direction depending on the prevailing conditions. The specific needs of the users of gloves can certainly be satisfied with substitute products which are produced and offered in the market in 3 packs, 2 packs or in single packs at low prices.
3M’s Three Criteria for New Products
Greptile Grip golf glove strives to meet the 3 M’s three criteria for new products by setting prices for its products that are created with technology, durability, and comfort as the core elements in the production of the gloves. Here, the company takes a critical evaluation of the market to determine the global market demand for the products and the trend in the sports world that could stimulate demand for the gloves.
That is in addition to the quality of the gloves in terms of gripping capabilities. Here, the company focuses on a replication technology which incorporates different ideas from different organizational employees to give a try of new innovative ideas which are transformed into a new technology that enable the production of gloves of high quality and gripping capabilities (Afuah 2003, p.24).
A critical analysis and study of the case study shows that the problems associated with the promotion and distribution of its products include developing a sustainable and effective global supply chain system, conducting marketing campaigns in a multicultural environment that is characterized the differences in a global environment, ethical questions that arise because of the environment, personal selling problems, the ability to take a customer oriented approach, geographic concentration of customers, pricing because of substitute products, political problems because of marketing across different countries, and new competitors (Target Market 2004, p.3).
That brings about channel distribution problems, lost opportunities which include late deliveries, the need for a large investment capital, the reaction by the old players in the industry against the new entrant, and the economies of scale.
Afuah, A N 2003, Business Models: A Strategic Management Approach, McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York.
Target Market 2004. Web.