MKT621 Advertising & Promotion GDB 1 Solution Spring 2013

The concept

Perception refers to the understanding of what we take in through our senses .The way one person perceive surrounding environment is what makes him different from others. It is natural in humans that they differ in their perceptions. Human mind develops natural defenses against what it does not need or is not interested. Our experience plays an important role in our perception building process. The perception works as a filter through which we pass every reality. This is filter contains own needs, values, expectations, experiences and social learning.

The case

Research in Motion (RIM) revolutionized the mobile industry with BlackBerry solution in 1999. Since then, BlackBerry products and services are changing the way of millions of people around the globe. There was a strong perception about the Black Berry that it is a choice of professionals, business class, middle aged and serious peoples and it is not for the youngsters who can carry it for the fun and enjoyment. This associated perception is developed because of advertisements of Black Berry that were designed with full of sophistication for professionals and business class. Now Black Berry is seriously putting its efforts to change the perception of the people associated with Back Berry so they have brought a slogan “why so serious to use Black Berry”. To change this perception Black Berry has designed a TV commercial in which the suited people and lots of youngsters start singing the same song using the same mobile while wearing very colorful casual dresses.


Point of discussion

Keeping in mind the above mentioned case generate a discussion on the following question:

Is it possible for companies to change and redefine the related perceptions of consumers about a certain product/service to expand its target market?


Expand its target market.

  1. Choosing an Expansion Mode
  2. Expanding Geographically
  3. Expanding With New Target Customers
  4. Identify Potential Markets
  5. Do Your Research
  6. Niche Markets
  7. Begin With Limited Offerings
  8. Ramp Up to Full Offerings
  9. Expanding Promotions
  10. Monitoring Success
  11. Resources

. Choosing an Expansion Mode

Market expansion sounds wonderful, but it does not come risk-free. You may be successful in your current market, but that’s because you are already familiar with it: You have researched it, worked in it, and are comfortable in it. Once you move into different markets, it’s a whole new ball game. You’re the new kid on the block, having to prove yourself all over again. You’re also running your business on a much larger scale. You’ll have more employees to manage, new customers to service, and new competitors to fend off. Thus, when considering market expansion, it is generally a good idea to approach it enthusiastically, but also with caution.

That’s not to say that you don’t have a few aces up your sleeve. After all, you’ve already succeeded in a least one market, so you have a good idea of what it takes to win. Also, you already have a product or service line, and manufacturing and distribution channels in place, so you aren’t starting from scratch, which gives you a huge advantage. You will now have to figure out how to do more of the same, only on a much larger scale.

Think of yourself standing at a fork in the road. One route has a sign that reads “Geographic Expansion”; the other route has a sign that reads “New Target Market Expansion.” How do you know which road to go down? A good way to begin making your decision is to list the pros and cons of each. For instance, branching out geographically has many advantages. You have a leg up because you already understand your customers, even taking into account regional differences. Thus, you can continue to do business as you always have, just on a much greater level.

However, there are times, especially when you venture into new countries, when you may have to alter things a little in order to meet some very specific customer needs. Are you prepared to do this? If not, you may want to take the other route and expand by targeting new customers. In going down this road, you need to carefully examine your product and see if there is a group of customers out there that you have paid little attention to in the past. Then, list some different ways you could possibly attract them.

Once you have successfully targeted one market with your product or service, and you have the staff, processes and implementation strategies in place, it may be time to consider expanding your target market. Ask yourself if your service or product could be altered slightly to reach a different market without needing to change the entire operations of your business. For example, a health club provides high-impact aerobic classes to its high-energy clientele. But with so many insurance companies now reimbursing senior citizens for exercise programs, the health club could offer a low-impact seniors class that would attract an entirely new market without having to make major adjustments other than designing a new class and hiring a qualified instructor to reach the market.

Remember, in choosing which path to follow, there is no definitive right or wrong answer. It’s all about what works best for you.

I. Expanding Geographically

Perhaps the most common way to expand into new markets is geographically. Cape Cod Potato Chips is a perfect example. The company started in Massachusetts and expanded west — all the way to California. Today, this once-small business has its product in 42 states and five countries. How were its managers able to accomplish this? Simple. They had an overall understanding of what their product was and a clearly defined business strategy for geographic expansion.

While your goal may be to take your company immediately to a national level, it is important to exercise some restraint. Cape Cod Potato Chips didn’t take on the world overnight. Instead, they started slowly, venturing into their immediate backyard, which happened to be New England. Once successful in New England, the next obvious move for them — or so they thought — was Manhattan. If they could make it there, they could make it anywhere, right? Perhaps, but they suffered a setback. They couldn’t find a distributor in Manhattan and, for a while, they thought it was over. New England would be as far as they would go. It was then that they went back to their original marketing strategy.

Cape Cod Potato Chips had decided two important things up front. First, they weren’t going to try and be a chip that was all things to all people. They were a high-end potato chip, which cost more but tasted better. Second, their goal was to build a loyal customer base; to accomplish this, they knew they had to get their product into the hands of as many potential customers as they could. But how was this little mom-and-pop company going to do this? Well, they may not have had a lot of money, but they were extremely rich in creativity, and it paid off. They began to hand out samples — not just random samples, but calculated ones. For example, they got their product on airlines so that people all over the country would have the chance to try them. Thus, these potential customers would already be aware of the great-tasting chips when the company entered their geographic region. They also partnered with other businesses, such as beer companies, as an inexpensive way to get their product out to new regions. In states with beaches, they hired interns to pound the sand and hand out their product. In short, they created a buzz, and soon, they were on the shelves in Florida. From there they took off to other geographic regions, including their dream market: Manhattan.

As you attempt to expand geographically, think of Cape Cod Potato Chips, and don’t try to take on too much territory at once. It is better to expand slowly from region to region than to attempt too much at once. Also, when setbacks happen, don’t automatically give up. Just because one region says “no thanks” doesn’t mean other regions will do the same. If Cape Cod Potato Chips had stopped at the New York border, they would not be half the company they are today. While your goal may be to go national immediately, it is important to exercise some restraint.

When thinking in terms of geographic expansion, remember the world can be your oyster. While it is definitely easier to expand across America, don’t feel compelled to stop at the U.S. border if you truly believe there is a global need for your product or service. Depending on what you are offering, you may feel there is a greater need for it in a city like London vs. a city like Lincoln, Nebraska. For obvious reasons, expanding internationally can be a lot more complicated, but if done correctly, it can also be quite lucrative. For more information, see How to Expand Your Business Globally.