The following is the second part to the iNKtopia product launch plan. The second part of the marketing plan consists of a detailed target market profile, including buying behaviors, decision motivators, and organizational target markets. The plan also includes steps to manage each stage of the product life cycle and tactical plans for the Four P’s. Finally, the second part of the marketing plan expands on the product offering expressed in part one and a new position statement to drive iNKtopia’s positioning strategy.
The defined target market profile of the consumer group that the company needs to market to is easily defined in the region but covers many different business groups. The target market for iNKtopia’s will be concentrated at first in the region centrally located geographically to the main facility of iNKtopia. This will allow easy access by potential customers to iNKtopia for convenience of use. Being located in the business district also allows iNKtopia to offer pickup and delivery of larger orders directly to the customer.
The availability of an established customer base already using the product that iNKtopia has to offer has advantages and disadvantages. Most small businesses in the area use printers in everything from cash registers to small desk computers in the business work place. Most ink purchases are acquired by making a trip to the local office supply where house taking away valuable time from work that could be used for other more important tasks than driving to the store and purchasing ink.
The availability of iNKtopia’s on sire delivery can be used an appealing time and cost saver when presented to the business owners.
Larger businesses usually have a local contract with a local supply where house that delivers directly to the business. Selling the local angle at lower rates with a personal touch would help make inroads into larger businesses (gunter, 2013). Product Life Cycle The first phase of iNKtopia’s product life cycle is the introduction phase. The introduction phase “…is a period of slow sales growth as the product is introduced in the market. Profits are nonexistent because of the heavy expenses of product introduction” (Kotler & Keller, 2012, p. 310).
iNKtopia will provide ink refilling services to consumers at a more reasonable price and providing quality service with a degree of options to meet customer needs. In this phase iNKtopia will focus on providing a quality product that is cheap to manufacture to help offset startup cost. During this phase, iNKtopia will go with a pricing strategy that will keep the product price low to attract many new customers to the products and services. This is contrary to a pricing strategy that will price the products higher to help recoup start-up cost.
INKtopia is focused on providing high quality low cost products and services to its customers. This phase will be critical to the success of iNKtopia because the ink refilling service is a brick and mortar establishment that enables customers to walk-in and refill ink cartridges of all different types at a reasonable price. The products and services that iNKtopia will provide will only be available in iNKtopia stores which will create a greater need to use great promotions, print ads, and television ads to spread the word about the next big thing in ink.
Growth Phase The growth phase is “a period of rapid market acceptance and substantial profit improvement” (Kotler & Keller, 2012, p. 310). In the growth phase the sales and profits of iNKtopia products will start to rise. During this phase iNKtopia will keep the product price the same to capitalize on earnings made from the new product while ensuring product quality preserved. During this Phase iNKtopia must expand the products distribution during the growth stage. To achieve product distribution the company can start to deliver services to local business.
This will create an option for consumers to avoid the hassle of going out to get ink by having iNKtopia bring the ink to the business. During this Phase iNKtopia will increase advertising on television, print ads, and provide discounts and incentives to customers that want the ink delivered. The increase of advertising will continue to help the company grow, expand, and build a larger consumer base. Maturity Phase The maturity Phase will create “a slowdown in sales growth because the product has achieved acceptance by most potential buyers” (Kotler & Keller, 2012, p. 310).
As iNKtopia’s profits become stable or deteriorate because of an increase in competition the company must look to diversify. If the company is successful up to this point the product will unavoidably lead to more competition. Competitors will eventually start introducing similar products, or larger ink companies may simply lower the price of their ink. Therefore iNKtopia will need to diversify or develop new products, services, or lower costs to distinguish iNKtopia’s products from the competitors. Ideally, iNKtopia can enhance customer services and its image to become a leader in the ink industry.
This could also be coupled with a change in the pricing strategy by slightly lowering the cost of iNKtopia products. However, iNKtopia will strive to create superior customer service and innovation of the ink business to hopefully create additional sales and attract even more customers. Another promotional idea would be to focus on the environmental aspects of refilling cartages with iNKtopia ink instead of buying a new cartage each time a printer runs out of ink. The company can then focus advertisements on superior customer service and environmental benefits of purchasing product from the iNKtopia.
Decline Phase The decline phase is “when sales show a downward drift and profits erode” (Kotler & Keller, 2012, p. 310). Demand for iNKtopia products will in the long run diminish as newer technologies change how documents are viewed. From this time, iNKtopia is limited on options because ink may no longer be the primary source for document printing. INKtopia will have the choice to keep the product and sell it at greatly lower price or to terminate the product and transition to the new printing source.
In this specific industry if ink is phased out there is really no way to continue increasing sales because finding a new use for ink is unlikely. It would be ideal to focus on the innovation that technology brings and ultimately move away from ink. The company can focus promotion on other products and services that the company may offer. Product Mix The iNKtopia product mix consists of several different products and services. Figure 1 below shows the width and length of the iNKtopia poduct mix. Figure 1. Product Mix Width and Length for iNKtopia. Cartridge Refills
Features: High quality ink for the top 10 printer companies in the world. iNKtopia can refill the existing cartridge within 24 hours of drop-off. In most cases, a replacement cartridge will be given as a complimentary service to customers. Benefits: Fast and convenient service. The complimentary cartridge swap assists customers with minimal down-time. Recycled Cartridge Sales Features: The sale of recycled and refilled ink cartridges for the top 10 printer companies. The cartridges will look brand new and perform at the same level as a new cartridge.
Benefits: By reselling recycled ink cartridges, iNKtopia is decreasing the footprint of wasted materials and lowering the cost of goods on to the customer. Customers will rest assured knowing they have a quality product that has saved waste and decreased costs. Contract Ink Service Features: Convenient and on-time ink refilling services. iNKtopia will come to the business location, remove ink cartridges, refill them, and reinstall them in the printers. Quantity of refills per month will depend on the contract service signed. Benefits: This service takes the worry out of running out of ink.
Once a cartridge is out of ink a simple phone call or email will dispatch an ink specialist within 4 business hours. The contract service enables companies to plan for ink costs and not worry about the hassle of ordering and replacing ink cartridges. This service is also cheaper than a traditional ink cartridge replacement and is better for the environment. Contract Printer Service Features: Convenient and on-time printer maintenance and repair services. Every service plan includes preventative maintenance service to help reduce future downtime for printing equipment.
Depending on the contract service, a specified amount of time for repair will be available each month. Benefits: By purchasing a printer service plan, companies can save money per hour of labor. These plans also take the worry from broken equipment because a printer technician will be onsite within 4 business hours of a service call or email. Branding The branding of iNKtopia begins with the company’s name. The name is a combination of the major service “ink” and “topia” which means place. It also reminds consumers of the concept of a utopia; which many people associated as an ideal or perfect place.
The name is catchy and identifies the business. The branded name is also used as a symbol on packaging for ink cartridges and shipped boxes. The company graphic is shown below in Figure 2. Figure 2. iNKtopia Logo. Differentiating Characteristics Unlike most ink refilling services, iNKtopia provides a one for one swap of cartridges to minimize customer downtime. Packaging and Labeling Every refilled cartridge will be shrink-wrapped to maintain cleanliness standards. The packaging will consist of iNKtopia graphics and information.
Most refilling companies refill cartridges and give them back to the customer. This causes the business to miss a marketing opportunity. By shrink-wrapping the cartridge iNKtopia is able to label the product. The label can serve several purposes, including identifying, grading, describing, and promoting the product (Kotler & Keller, 2011). Warranties and Guarantees iNKtopia provides a limited warranty on cartridge refills. Each refill also has an expressed guarantee written on the shrink-wrap around the cartridge. This guarantees a clean, refilled, and operable ink cartridge.
If a customer has any concern over the quality or condition of the cartridge it can be returned for no additional charge. In the case of a return due to error, a hardship discount will be applied to the customer’s next purchase. Conclusion The second part of iNKtopia’s marketing plan described the target market, buying behaviors, decision motivators, and organizational target markets. Second, the plan examined methods for managing the stages of the product life cycle, including tactical plans for the Four P’s at each stage. Finally, the plan expanded on the product offering from part one and provided a new positioning statement.