Creating a solid marketing plan is pertinent to any organization, especially when introducing a new product or service to the consumer. The marketing team for Graco Baby introduces the marketing plan to the company by following the steps of the marketing plan outline along with providing additional information regarding the budgeting process, promotional strategies, advertising, channel management decision and the effect on marketing the Safety Seat Sensor, and elements to monitor the team’s process.
Graco Baby is proud to introduce the marketing plan for the newly developed Safety Seat Sensor providing peace of mind for parents and caregivers with the proper use of sensors to determine the child’s properly restrained in a well-fitted car seat with a wireless dashboard monitor.
Graco Baby The Graco Baby Company takes pride in manufacturing high quality affordable baby product lines such as swings, car seats, baby monitors, playpens, and highchairs. Graco’s mission statement provides the goals of the company along with the wide range of product lines the company manufactures.
According to the Graco Children’s Product Facebook website (2011), the mission statement is The Graco® brand of baby gear provides thoughtful, practical and dependable parenting solutions inspired by the instincts and best intentions of a loving parent. After carefully observing a parent’s natural instincts to protect, nurture, comfort, and soothe, Graco brings life in a broad range of innovative products, from strollers and car seats to high chairs, playards, monitors (Facebook, 2011).
Graco baby provides numerous product lines to enhance and improve daily activities of young children and easing the stress of the parents by providing high quality baby product lines for an affordable price.
New Product The Graco Baby Company wants to ensure that new products are to provide innovation and safety at the same time. This company understands the importance of quality and most important delivering products inspired by customers (Graco, 2011).
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With competition growing and technology increasing, The Graco Baby Company has created and developed a whole innovating experience for parents and care takers to be notified when a car seat has been installed inappropriately and when a child has met or exceeded car seat standards. The new product the Graco marketing team has designed is a new wireless dashboard sensor that attaches to a car seats currently manufactured by the company.
The sensor would allow the person in the front seat (typically the driver) of whether the child is properly secured in the car seat, if the child meets or exceeds weight standards for the specific car seat, and if the car seat is secured in the car properly. This would ensure the Childs’ safety and peace of mind for the caregiver and driver. Target market would be parents and caregivers of young children. Importance of Marketing at Graco Marketing is important to the organizational success of Graco. The marketing plan begins with researching the needs of the community.
For example, Graco decided to create the wireless sensor for car seat as quite often parents either do not secure the child properly or the child exceeds the weight limit, which is very dangerous for the child if there is a car accident. Without researching the needs of the community the organization could implement a product or service that does not have a high need, which could result in monetary loss as well as poor customer satisfaction. For example, a marketing plan at Graco would decrease the chance of the recalling the product as Graco would have taken all steps to ensure the product is safe and is manufacture products with quality.
When an organization has to recall a product, it shines a negative light on the organization that can cause the organization to lose money. Marketing also helps organizations effectively communicate the product or service to the potential clients. Without effective communication, the organization may have a good product or service, but the product or services will not sale as the potential clients are not aware of its availability. Marketing is also important as it helps organizations plan for maintaining the product or service, and the cost associated with maintenance.
Quite often organizations create products because the consumer identified a want for the product, but end the end, the product is not successful. Marketing will help organizations reach the target market, which will help increase sales. SWOTT Analysis Strengths The product would increase safety measures for infants and toddlers while riding in vehicles. Caregivers would feel more at ease that he or she has the child secured properly and can focus on road hazards. Automobile organizations would also benefit from a partnership plan. Graco could market their product so that the automobile would have to be compatible with the product.
This could increase sales for certain autos as well as for Graco. Weaknesses The weaknesses for this product vary from user error to faulty wiring. If a child is not harnessed correctly in the seat, the sensor is will alert the driver, but if there is a blown sensor or faulty wiring in the Automobile, the sensor may not go off. This would give the driver a false impression that the child is safe and in the event of an accident the child possibly causing injuries that may cause the company lawsuits. Extensive research and testing would have to go into this product to make it sellable. Opportunities
The opportunities for a product such as the one Graco is offering are vast. Car seat safety is important because of the high number of vehicle-related accidents, many causing fatalities. Most car accidents harm drivers and passengers following the rules of the road so the protection of the automobile is a major concern. This means seat belts, airbags, and car seats for young children. Additional safety measures with safety sensor will only put parent’s minds more at ease and secure the well being of the child. The sensor would increase Graco’s sales with the additional safety measures provided by the product.
Other opportunities include possible partnerships with automobile companies and partnering with other car seat manufacturers. Similar to the way Bose speakers have partnered with some companies so that their speakers are installed in vehicles, Graco could do the same with the safety sensor. This would create financial security for the company allowing Graco to explore more safety measures for future products. Threats Graco has recent experience with problems in some of their products. The company recently had to recall upwards to two million strollers and have received poor reviews in some of their car seats.
Graco needs to reassure buyers that products purchased will perform correctly. For the safety sensors success, the car seat needs to include current safety measures and provide a comfortable seat for the child. Graco has received low marks for in the past because of comfort issues. If these needs are not met, the consumer will most likely pick a car seat someone recommends. Many options are available on the market, which means staying on top of the latest safety codes and measures will be important to success. Trends A major trend in many car seats today is a reclining feature for infants and toddlers.
The way an infant and a toddler sit in a car seat vary for their safety and separate options for this is important and cost-effective for the buyer to use the seat for a longer period. Marketing Research Approach The marketing team has decided to approach and present the product by using the Integrative Quantitative and Qualitative method (Weinreich, 2006) for the purpose of developing the product a must for all safety car seats. The method would allow supporting data for the product to protect a child who has grown out of the car seat.
The research will also provide the number of lives that may have been saved if the seat had been weight appropriate through objective reliable results. With combining a more in-depth study through observation, interviews, and groups, the team will address the future where the device is in all car seats; not just Graco. The positive aspects of marketing this device in this way is that it shows with data the proof there is a need and a how to meet the need. The marketing team may require changing some of the target population perspectives; such as the additional cost on safety measures.
Additional education of the benefits of using the sensor with data found through the quantitative approach will bring out the numbers of children who have been hurt because of the less than effective car seats on the market today. The qualitative results will additionally add to the education for the target market and address an increase of awareness resulting in more of a demand for the product. With the above approach the team knows there is a time factor if this device is to become available before any other company can ollect data and present the results to an organization; the team is prepared to start today. Segmentation Criteria The marketing team will research as the necessary tool to identify the homogenous, heterogeneous, substantial, and competition segmentation criteria prior to focusing on the market mix (Perreault, Cannon, McCarthy, 2009). Investing time to understand the different needs of customers and understanding the behaviors and attitudes of the target market assists the team with ensuring the marking mix is successful.
What these four areas to consider look like are what are the similarities with the target market, if differences are present will the product still meet the needs, is the target market large enough to support the product, and discover if there is a competitive business (Market Segmentation, 2007). The product’s purpose is to assist adults transporting children in a vehicle; help the adult and allow the child to be safe. The team will research the laws in each state too better to understand each states law on restraints.
This is necessary as the marketing will approach the customers who have the same desire to keep their children safe, but may not have a law that forces them to recognize the possibility of the way to do that; education will them be part of the marketing mix. Marketing to very different groups of people will additionally be considered. A segment of individuals who normally have not considered the need to use a sensor for the car seats, but have the attitude that children need to be safe at all times will be part of the marketing mix.
For example, marketing the product to individuals who believe he or she is always aware of the weight of the child. This particular group may not understand the need for another device, which will be the marketing team responsibility to communicate the need. How many people use the car seats today will be an answer the marketing team will have to discover. If the market is so small that there is not a need for the device, the marketing team at Graco will have to decide to stop moving forward with the plans, even though it may be a good product idea.
Another criterion the marketing team will want to research is the competition, specifically the team must discover if another company is in the process of presenting a similar product. The team must realize the importance of finding this information because the marketing method the team will want to suggest, such as if another business has developed a similar product, what makes this device more efficient, affordable, and dependable. The team will also search the market for similar products claiming to offer similar results as seat sensor.
This product will need to stand out and offer more benefits to the consumer at a price each person can afford. Target Market Keeping young children safe is the Graco Company’s reason they create products, which the parents and caregivers can trust. The Safety Seat Sensor’s purpose is to focus on targeting parents and caregivers of young children. The product will notify parents if he or she mounts the car seat improperly, a child is over or under the weight recommendations, and alert for defects or problems with the car seat.
The Graco marketing teams will emphasize a plan and a safety product, which will attract parents and caregivers to buy the Safety Seat Sensor. The Graco Company understands that parents and caregivers rely on products made to keep young children safe. The Safety Seat Sensor will have features in which parents and caregivers will be notified when a child is not safe in the car seat. Targeting parents and caregivers to try the product and understand the importance of the Safety Seat Sensor will be part of the marketing plan.
According to Colvin English, (2009), “when a company targets customers, it is important to understand the reason a customer is the target” (Artisan Work). For the product to be successful the marketing team needs to realize the demands of the different types of customers and how the products will fit within this system. Before an organization introduces a new product, the marketing team must research the buyer and consumer needs, and develop a product, which will meet those needs (English, 2009). Buyers and Consumers
According to The Great Beginnings website (n. d. ), “Statistics reveal that over 80% of the car seats in use today are installed incorrectly” (Car seats- The Five Most Commonly Made Mistakes, para. 1). This number is quite alarming to most parents. Providing a product such as the Safe Seat Sensor will allow parents and caregivers of young children riding in car seats an additional safety feature to ensure the child is properly secure in the car seat. The consumers of the sensor will most likely be parents and caregivers of young children.
Giving the additional safety the sensor provides will allow parents and caregivers to ensure his or her child is safe while in the car seat or in the care of someone else. Should the car seat shift during traveling, the driver or caregiver will be alerted to the defect and ensure he or she pulls off the road at a safe place marketing mix to correct the defect, thus keeping the child safe. Should a child unbuckle his or herself, one of the sensors will alert the caregiver to the safety violation and can be correct it immediately.
Many parents of young children are unaware of the dangers of improper car seat installation; a child’s height and weight play an important factor in a seat’s safety and failure rating. Many parents do not weigh or measure children regularly, so the sensor would provide additional support to notify the parent when the child reaches the maximum height or weight requirements of any given Graco car seat. The sensor would add to a parent’s sense of safety because of the sensitivity and ability to detect even the smallest defect.
Keeping in mind the target audience for the sensor is parents and caregivers, the marketing strategy will focus on the affordability of the sensor to the majority of the population, availability in many big box retailers, and online. Parents want to keep children as safe as possible; the results of the strenuous testing and feedback from consumers will be the major selling point of the sensor. When caregivers can physically see and hear the additional benefits the sensor provides, the sensor should be easier to market to a larger variety of consumers.
People want to see results; therefore, the testing phase will be important to the marketing team along with discovering ways to keep the price down. The marketing team will keep the four P’s in mind when developing the product: price, product, place, and promotion. Current Competitors Graco is a company with many competitors. The child safety market has become very large, especially with companies knowing that if the products purpose is to meet the consumer’s expectations those products will be successful. Families will always need car seats, strollers, and other children’s products.
Graco can stay on top of this market by knowing their competitors. Companies such as Evenflo and Britax make similar products so one can safely say that once the safety sensor hits the market these companies will follow suit. Competition is not necessarily negative. Competitive markets essentially mean that there is high demand for a product. Graco’s competitors have made significant strides in the child safety market. Evenflo has recently come out with the Symphony seat that they have equipped with their own Sure LATCH technology.
Every vehicle manufactured after 2002 comes with LATCH technology to make the installation of child car seats easier and safer for the parent and child but Evenflo has taken this one step further to provide a simple two clicks, push, and go system. LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. This means that there are two permanent anchors at the base of a vehicles rear seats and one top anchor behind every seating position. The Sure LATCH automatically retracts the seat when the user pushes down or back which creates a tighter fit for the child, although this does not allow much for the comfort of the child.
The Symphony seeks to remedy the common issues parents have when installing car seats and to build their confidence level. Britax is another major competitor for Graco. Britax is currently the leader in car seat safety according to many of the consumer ratings. Britax seems to hit the marks concerning car seat manufacturing. Their seats are both comfortable and safe. Britax makes a wide variety of car seats to fit infants to toddlers and small children. Their seats offer what they are referring to as 360 degree protection.
This means that children sitting in this seat will experience safety with a five point harness system that aids in keeping a child away from direct contact zones while supporting the major areas of the body mainly the brain and spinal cord. Britax has built a strong name for their company that parents know and trust. Their seats have a higher price than others, but because of the quality many parents are willing to pay for the peace of mind. These two companies are Graco’s main competition with the safety sensor.
By keeping up with and building on not only what Graco has already accomplished but also with what these two other companies have done, the safety sensor has a higher chance of success. Attributes of the Safety Seat Sensor The Safety Seat Sensor provides much support in terms of the safety of the child in a car seat. The main features on the sensor will be the height and weight sensors, proper five-point harness placement, and the amount of slack in the buckling system. The sensor will attach to the car seat at various points and a wireless dashboard sensor will attach for the driver to see without resulting in a distraction.
The height and weight sensors will determine if the child meets or exceeds the limitations of the seat. If the child exceeds the height and weight requirements of the seat, a flashing light will appear on the wireless dashboard sensor to alert the driver of the issue. Different seats can protect children in various ways, the height and weight requirements are important because the car seat has been tested to specific standards and exceeding those standards may cause injury or death to the child should an accident or sudden break occur.
The weight sensor would provide the driver the knowledge of the limit once the child has met the maximum limit of the specific car seat the sensor is programmed for. Both height and weight sensors are an important attribute of the Safety Seat Sensor because the testing methods and stability of the car seat. Another important aspect of the sensor system will be on the five-point harness. This sensor will assist the parent or caregiver in determining if the car seat harness is properly adjusted to the child and will keep the child in place if a sudden breaking occurs or an accident.
This part of the sensor will allow the parents to determine if the chest buckle is at arm-pit level with the child to hold him or her into the seat. This will also ensure the harness is secure enough around the child to act as a barrier should an accident occur or the child become unsafe when the vehicle is in motion. This sensor allows the drive or caregiver to secure properly his or her child and use the car-seat as the manufacturer intends. These attributes ensure the complete safety of the child when the sensor is used properly and the simple set-up instructions are used for placement purposes.
Product Life Cycle As does all new products, the Safety Seat Sensor will go through the different stages of the product life cycle. As the product moves from stage to stage, the marketing team must adjust the marketing plan. For example, in the first stage of the product life cycle, market introduction stage, the Safety Seat Sensor will be an unknown product (Perreault, Cannon, & McCarthy, 2009). The marketing team must introduce the product to the target market. The target market is the parents and caregivers of young children.
The marketing team should also visit community doctor offices to introduce the Safety Seat Sensor; this could help take the product to the next phase in the life cycle. The next phase in the product life cycle is the market growth phase. During the market growth phase, the marketing team will continue building clientele by providing a sample of the Safety Seat Sensor to potential clients who will introduce the product to more clients. As the Safety Seat Sensor begins to increase sales, the marketing team will provide a random group of clients with a survey, which will identify areas that may require improvements.
In addition, the marketing team will conduct marketing research to identify changes in the needs and wants of the target market as well as the competition’s like products. By conducting marketing research on a continual basis, the marketing team increases the chances of moving to the next phase of the product life cycle while remaining competitive. Marketing maturity is the next phase that the Safety Seat Sensor must face. The marketing team of the Safety Seat Sensor will have to implement a plan that will help the product stand out from all of the competitors.
At this point, the Safety Seat Sensor has clients who will not venture away and clients who have a shift in his or her current needs. The marketing team should continue to reach out to physicians and caregivers to advertise and promote the product to potential new clients. Parents trust the family physician, so it is very important to build the relationship with this target mix during the introduction stage. During the maturity phase, the Safety Seat Sensor continues to have high sales, but continues with strategic plans as the product will eventually move toward a decline in sales.
The marketing team is certain the strategic marketing plan will help the Safety Car Seat Sensor maintain continual sales as generation after generation of parents and caregivers continue to trust the product. Positioning and Differentiation Strategies Careful product positioning is necessary to success when marketing a new product. Companies utilize these strategies see increased sales in their products and gain loyal customers who may be likely to buy other products made by the company. Graco intends on using product positioning when marketing the safety sensor car seat to future parents.
Parents are Graco’s target market. With the safety sensor Graco is hoping to improve the child car seat to ease parent’s minds to know whether or not their children are safe. Accidents happen daily, many of them fatal, and car seat safety is something that even with all of the innovations being made is still not taught to parents expecting newborns. Graco recognizes this and has come up with a solution, developing a system that alerts the driver whether or not the child is fastened correctly and meets weight requirements. Graco’s safety sensor car seat is the next step up in car seat safety.
This company understands how important allowing every parent the option to purchase the company’s unique brand of safety products is. Graco is offering this new product at an economical price that is competitive with other car seats on the market today. Customers will see the unique benefits of our new car seat enticing them to buy the seat not just because of the newness of the product, but because the benefits of our car seat are necessary safety measures. Drivers have enough to pay attention to on the road without having to turn around every time they are worried about their children’s safety.
This is why Graco has put their sensor on the dashboard of vehicles because this is where a driver’s eye line lies. Being able to focus on the road and potential hazards will increase safety for both drivers and passengers which is Graco’s ultimate goal. Graco has formulated this product by getting to know the target market. To do this Graco enlisted the help of informative surveys that our existing customers have so graciously filled out. Graco offered a discount on products for the exchange of filling out the surveys to ensure that they would be filled out.
Graco asked questions pertaining to how current customers thought about Graco as a trustworthy company and new products that they would like to see on the shelves. Graco also asked questions about parents’ safety concerns for their children and from this information the safety sensor grew. By using product positioning Graco hopes to present a message to their loyal customers that this new product is reliable, unique, and meets their needs completely. Price Strategy Loyalty and satisfaction is important for Graco Company, the company wants to nsure customers purchase quality products at reasonable prices. Graco has developed a whole new inexpensive car seat in which parents will be alerted if a child meets or exceeds the weight limit or if the car seat is not installed properly. Customer satisfaction is one of Graco Company focus, the marketing team has decided The Safety Seat Sensor will market for a price range of $50-$59. 99. The Safety Seat Sensor price range will be sold at an affordable price and for those loyal Graco customers, the company will offer a discount.
The marketing team will also implement a one-year warranty if the sensor no longer functions and after the year customers will have the option to purchase the extended warranty for an affordable price. The warranty will guarantee customers to a product replacement if needed but will provide customer trust to Graco products. Appropriate Place and Promotion Strategy To be successful the marketing team at Graco must identify the appropriate place and promotional strategy to develop the Safety Seat Sensor. The marketing team will research the communities of the target market to determine the young children in the population.
This information will become part of the strategic marketing plan to ensure adequate supply of the Safety Seat Sensor is readily available. The marketing team will reach out to the top local retailers to offer the product. In addition, Graco will make the Safety Seat Sensor available in Wal-Mart as the majority as the majority of parents shop at Wal-Mart on a regular basis. The Graco marketing team will also make the Safety Seat Sensor available via the Internet on the manufacturer’s website as well as health care websites.
Ordering the product direct from the manufacturers website will be a benefit to the consumers as the price will be significantly lower. In addition, ordering from the website will provide the consumer with an extended warranty for the product. The Graco marketing team will promote the Safety Seat Sensor by mailing discount coupons to the homes of the consumers with children. The Safety Seat Sensor initial promotion schedule will begin with introducing the product to the pediatric health care providers.
The marketing team will designate a certain amount of promotional items to leave in the offices of the pediatric health care providers. The promotional schedule will include a drawing to win a free Safety Seat Sensor. To be eligible for the drawing the consumer will have to spend a certain amount of money at a local retailer, such s Wal-Mart. The promotion schedule will also include ads in the parenting magazines. As the Safety Seat Sensor builds the trust of the pediatric healthcare providers, the marketing team will include honest feedback from the health care provides on the packaging.
Initial Sales Promotion Schedule The Safety Seat Sensor initial promotion schedule will begin with introducing the product to the pediatric health care providers. The marketing team will designate a certain amount of promotional items to leave in the offices of the pediatric health care providers. The promotional schedule will include a drawing to win a free Safety Seat Sensor. To be eligible for the drawing the consumer will have to spend a certain amount of money at a local retailer, such as Wal-Mart. The promotion schedule will also include ads in the parenting magazines.
As the Safety Seat Sensor builds the trust of the pediatric healthcare providers, the marketing team will include honest feedback from the health care provides on the packaging. Advertising Plan Advertising the new product, Safety Seat Sensor must focus on three activities; analyze the target market, plan communication of the product delivery, and a continued awareness of competitors. The first activity includes discovery following analysis data regarding the characteristics of the consumer the product will target, and