For this assignment, you are to presume that you work in a position where you have been asked to develop a new product or service. Specifically, your task is to gather market research on competing products/services that already exist, and then to make recommendations about how your company?s new entry into the field can fill a gap, meet a need, and/or excel above the already-available options.
Some things to keep in mind at the outset:
–What is the scope of your market? Is this a product you will be marketing nationally?and thus comparing to products available nationally?or are you considering a service that will be marketed in a smaller region (maybe a few states, a couple of cities, or a given neighborhood)?
–Choose a product or service that is of interest to you and that you have some knowledge of. Have some fun with this one! Some suggestions to get you thinking (though you may certainly choose something beyond this list, especially if you have a particular interest or expertise tied to your own work experience, your personal interests, or your major):
? A healthy low-cost restaurant lunch option
? An exercise and fitness program
? A hair coloring product to make middle-aged women feel younger
? A program that provides services to allow senior citizens to remain in their own homes rather than move to assisted living/nursing home settings
? A device or accessory item to help young parents keep their baby safe
? A food storage product
? A dating or social club where adults can meet
? A facility offering people a way to enjoy their favorite participation sports all year long (i.e., so they can play, not just watch, during the off-season for their sport)
? A specific feature for interior/exterior home design (e.g., garden water features/ponds; closet organization hardware systems; etc.)
? A way for elementary-aged children to carry a healthy meal/snack to school every day
? A productivity program/product for home and office computing (e.g., MS Word, an iPad calendar ?app,? etc.)
? A fun place for people in a given city/area to take their out-of-town visitors for entertainment
? Etc. ??
–The product/service you choose needs to have real-world, real-life competition that is currently available right now.
–Consider the impact of consumers? budgets on both the available options and the new market entry you are proposing.
Once you have chosen a product/service to work on:
–Identify at least THREE but no more than FIVE directly competing products/services. In other words, WHAT existing products/services currently exist and will be the direct competition for the product you?re proposing?
–Prepare a brief proposal in which you discuss each of the existing products/services. In that proposal, talk about the packaging/presentation; the actual product itself (Size? Color? Materials? Durability? Level of quality?economy/everyday/fancy/premium? And so on); pricing; reviews and/or endorsements, for EACH of the competing products/services.
–Based on all of this information, make recommendations to your company?s decision-makers, telling them WHY and HOW the product/service you are proposing is a valuable addition to the marketplace and how this product/service can excel and generate profits for your company.
About your research:
–Your research on this project could take several forms:
? Internet searches of the websites of the competing products/services
? Primary research that you do yourself, including visiting stores to gather information or going elsewhere to sample competing products/services
? Library searches of business information, including the College library?s database holdings of electronic versions of such information
? Information drawn from the press, such as product reviews, news stories, or other third-party commentary on competing products/services
–Take careful notes!
–Document borrowed material as required?be clear and precise as to the specific source location of all borrowed information (to avoid plagiarizing!)
–You may employ EITHER MLA or APA format?your choice?but BE CONSISTENT! (I know that, depending on your major/field, you may be more comfortable with one format than the other?so you choose.)
Your actual proposal:
Carefully review the information on pp. 610-21 to guide your development of this proposal.
Use 1-inch margins all around; DOUBLE space your text; use a standard professional font, 11-12 pitch.
The use of charts, graphs, tables, or other visuals is an option but NOT required; if you do use such materials, limit yourself to NO MORE than 1 FULL page-worth of such material.
Target length of your proposal text (including visuals): 4-6 FULL pages. The cover letter, cover page, and bibliography pages are all IN ADDITION TO this target length! So, for example, an acceptable paper having 5 full pages of text that you?ve created, plus the cover letter, cover page, and two pages of bibliographic citations, would actually amount to 9 sheets when printed.