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Marketing - Essay Example

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Products do not have differentiation and penetration into the customer base will be difficult. Growth in the market is slow, less than 1% in 2004, and without…
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The Viability of a Hair Straightening Product Industry Attractiveness: The product is a weak product with too manyestablished competitors in a mature market. Products do not have differentiation and penetration into the customer base will be difficult. Growth in the market is slow, less than 1% in 2004, and without increased demand in the overall market, new customers will be scarce (Caridad). Major outlets may be difficult to penetrate, and opportunity cost may make them too expensive to service. I would not recommend entering the hair straightening market at this time.
Porters Five Forces
Buyer Power: Buyers are in a position of weakness in the hair care market. Approximately 25% are sold through salons and the remainder through major retailers. Manufactures can open a chain of salons, which utilize and market their line exclusively, and the consumers are not a focused group.
Supplier Power: The supplier power is also weak. There is no cost to change products. It is a well standardized, and absent a real competitive edge, has no marketing advantage.
Barriers To Entry: There are few barriers to entry or exit for this product. An initial approval by the FDA is easily accomplished by using pre-approved materials in approved quantities. Exit from the market is not hindered, as assets would be reusable on another product line.
Threat of Substitutes: The product may be threatened by a fashion move away from straight hair. This is partially facilitated in a recessed economy as less money is spent on hair care products and the consumer is likely to accept curly hair.
Rivalry: There is an intense rivalry in the hair care sector. There are a large number of suppliers selling in a slow growth sector. Most of the products are very similar and are set off only by brand recognition. Customers are free to choose among many brands and the limited market for hair straighteners is not conducive to long term concentrated ad campaigns. There are also low risks involved with abandoning a product line. Production lines and equipment are generic to many products.
SWOT Analysis
Strengths: The major strength is that the product works in a matter of minutes, which is faster than our competitors. We also have an approved product and the experience to take it to market. At scale, it can be produced it at a competitive price.
Weaknesses: Our major weakness is a lack of brand recognition. This will make it difficult to penetrate the lucrative salon market. We are also faced with a situation that makes it necessary to ramp up sales quickly while having limited advertising opportunities. Exploiting the speed of the product may create an attraction for salons and customers.
Opportunities: There is the opportunity to exploit the unique speed at which the product works. This could develop recognition and increased demand for the product over time. Also, there may be a heightened fashion demand for straight hair that will increase overall sales in the market. If we can increase sales, we can lower our costs and be in a better position to compete.
Threats: We are currently threatened by an ongoing recessed economy. Also it will be imperative to move our sales into Big Box outlets to achieve our desired volume. This may damage our brand reputation, limit access to salons, and also force our product price below acceptable levels. We may be able to forego the salon market and concentrate on high volume retail.
Works Cited
Caridad, Ava. "Hair Care Market: Sales are Flat, but Consumers Favor Prestige-Like Products." Household & Personal Products Industry (2005). Read More
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