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Product Mix and Product Life Cycle

For the last twenty years, your firm has been producing a simple health drink called Nutri A. It is aimed at health-conscious adults aged between twenty-one and forty-four years. Nutri A is in the mature stage of the category’s life cycle; as a result, industry sales are flat. Your marketing manager decides that it is time to expand the depth of the product line and increase market share. He wants you to come up with a new health drink aimed at a younger market, the fifteen- to twenty-one-year-olds.

Create a 300- to 400-word that addresses the following:

  • Describe the new product.
  • Would you keep that same brand name or use a new one? Why?
  • Would it be similar to or different from the existing drink? Why? If it would be different, explain how.

Be sure to properly cite your sources using APA; include your references and in-text citations. Comment on the postings of your classmates. Do you agree with their position? Why or why not? As you respond to your classmates, make sure you use the course concepts that you have studied so far.

Product Planning and Development

A product is the foundation of the marketing mix and the beginning of an organization’s marketing strategy. It is
the need-based offering of an organization. In economic terms, it creates either form or task utility. Form utility is
applied when raw materials are combined with labor to create a physical good of value. Company X uses raw
rubber combined with steel to form steel-belted tires. Therefore, it represents form utility. On the other hand,
task utility is applied when labor is used to provide a service. Company Y provides spa services, which involve
physical labor. Therefore, it represents task utility. It is important for organizations to be aware of these utility
types. Too often, organizations develop products they are interested in producing rather than conducting
research to see what the consumers’ needs actually are. To make a product successful, an organization requires a
good product plan. Good product planning and development starts with conducting research on the target
market to determine its needs and wants. There are three research methods of determining consumer needs and
wants. These methods are focus groups, consumer panels, and ladder interviews.

Consumer panel : is a long-term advisory group comprising consumers who match the demographics and
psychographics of the target market. An organization usually sends its consumer panel test products for
feedback.

Focus group : is one of the most common methods of conducting consumer research. In this method, marketing
managers gather consumers to get their views on product ideas or to explore what they are looking for in a new
product.

Ladder Interview : is a personal interview in which individuals are asked a series of questions about a product and
how they use it.

A product strategy is a response to the marketing objective formulated after performing a strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, threats, and trends (SWOTT) analysis and a market growth strategy analysis. Regardless of
whether the organization pursues a new product growth strategy or an existing one, tactical decisions need to be
made concerning the following key issues:

Features and design: Features are what differentiate a product from its competitors in the market. Design
can be a crucial element in differentiating and positioning the product in the market. Design includes the
physical and functional aspects of the product.

Variety and quality: Variety in a product refers to slight differences in the attributes of the product. The
quality of a product refers to its ability to ful�ll its role and deliver the bene�ts it is supposed to offer.

Branding, packaging, and labeling: A brand can be a symbol, a name, or a design that identi�es an
organization and its products. Therefore, one of the key roles of a marketer is to develop, enhance, and
preserve the brand. As the package is the customers’ �rst contact with the product, it is essential that the
product be packaged well. A well-designed package and labeling may be required to emphasize the bene�ts
or features of a product.

Support services: Support services supplement the actual product offering. Although some organizations
may not offer these services, the ones that do easily gain an advantage over their competitors.

Additional Materials

View a Pdf Transcript of Product Planning and Development
(media/transcripts/Week_1/SUO_MKT3010%20W3%20L1.pdf?
_&d2lSessionVal=c5XpM4qciRJZShXpP1mm48ljV&ou=83096)

Stages of the New Product Development Process

The product planning and development process is a systematic approach that the �rm must undertake while
designing, developing, and launching new products. Once marketing managers have used marketing research to
understand the needs of their target market, they need to create a new product development process based on
the research. The new product development process consists of �ve stages:

1. The �rst stage is to generate ideas. This is where research plays a critical role since the needs identi�ed in
the target market provide the inspiration for new product ideas.

2. The next stage is to screen the ideas. Here, the consumer panel plays a key role in providing feedback on the
ideas.

3. The next stage is the actual development and testing of the product. Again, the consumer panel plays a key
role in �eld-testing the product and providing feedback to improve the product.

4. The next stage is to test-market the product before its commercial launch. In this stage, marketing
managers often use focus groups to get feedback on the product in the test market.

5. Finally, the product is launched, and the process starts all over again for a new product.

The product mix is the width and depth of a �rm’s product line. The combination of the width and depth of a �rm’s
product line constitutes its offering to the marketplace. A �rm increases the width and depth of its product line so
as to serve new market segments and better serve existing customers, respectively. Both width and depth are
critical to the success of a �rm. For example, in addition to motorcycles, Harley-Davidson offers its customers
leather jackets, boots, and other related products favored by Harley-Davidson riders.

Supplemental/Transitional/Introductory Text:

Managing Products

The product life cycle is one of the most powerful tools available to marketing managers. Every product category
goes through �ve stages—development, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline—and the product strategy
changes with each stage.

Development: This stage marks the development of an idea into a product. During this stage, sales are zero and
the company costs keep building up.

Introduction: The product is introduced in the market, and the focus is on increasing sales. The heavy expenses at
this stage rarely result in pro�ts.

Growth: During this stage, the product sees growing market acceptance and pro�ts.

Maturity: The product is accepted by most of its potential buyers and faces rising competition in the market. The
sales growth begins to slow down, along with the leveling off or decline of pro�ts.

Decline: This is the stage when the product is said to be “dying” and its sales start to decline.

Additional Materials

View a Pdf Transcript of Stages in the New Product Development Process
(media/transcripts/Week_1/SUO_MKT3010%20W3%20L2.pdf?
_&d2lSessionVal=c5XpM4qciRJZShXpP1mm48ljV&ou=83096)

Branding Strategies

Firms create a brand identity by developing an easily recognized brand name. The brand name is then associated
with desirable attributes and product bene�ts. The association of these attributes with the brand name results in
a successful branding strategy. Brand positioning is an essential element of a winning branding strategy. “Brand
positioning” is the term used to describe how a �rm’s brands are located relative to competitive products in the
minds of the consumers. A brand’s position is based on the consumer’s perception of that brand and of competing
brands. Companies determine this position by measuring consumer attitudes and plotting them relative to
competing brands.

An example is Starbucks. Starbucks has marketed its coffee as a premium coffee; hence consumers are willing to
pay more to get that perceived superior taste.

Marketing managers start the process of positioning a �rm’s brand by identifying the current position of the
brand and then locating it relative to the competitors’ brands with regard to desired attributes such as price,
quality, and other features. The managers generally use a perceptual map—a graph with a vertical and a horizontal
scale, one for each desired attribute. Once the �rm determines the current market position of its brand relative to
the desired position, it then needs to move the brand to the desired position. To do this, the �rm develops an
integrated marketing communication campaign with the goal of changing the consumer’s attitudes toward the
brand. This campaign should serve to alter the consumer’s image of the product to the one the �rm chooses.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) de�nes a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a
combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to
differentiate them from those of other sellers” (Brand, 2007, para. 118)

Therefore, it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over
the competition. It is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their
problem.

To succeed in branding, you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects by
integrating your brand strategies at every point of public contact in your company.

Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum total of their
experiences and perceptions, some of which you can in�uence and some that you cannot.

A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensi�es day by day. It’s important to spend time
investing in researching, de�ning, and building your brand. After all, your brand is the source of a promise of
quality products and services to your consumer. It’s a foundational piece in your marketing communication and
one you do not want to be without.

Reference:

Brand (2007).American Marketing Association (https://www.ama.org/resources/Pages/Dictionary.aspx)

Additional Materials

View a Pdf Transcript of Branding Strategies (media/transcripts/Week_1/SUO_MKT3010%20W3%20L3.pdf?
_&d2lSessionVal=c5XpM4qciRJZShXpP1mm48ljV&ou=83096)

Branding Strategies

© 2016 South University

Page 2 of 2

Marketing Management

©2016 South University

2
Branding Strategies

Week 3 Lecture 3

Firms create a brand identity by developing an easily recognized
brand name. The brand name is then associated with desirable
attributes and product benefits. The association of these attributes
with the brand name results in a successful branding strategy.
Brand positioning is an essential element of a winning branding
strategy.

“Brand positioning” is the term used to describe how a firm’s
brands are located relative to competitive products in the minds of
the consumers. A brand’s position is based on the consumer’s
perception of that brand and of competing brands. Companies
determine this position by measuring consumer attitudes and
plotting them relative to competing brands. Since Starbucks has
marketed its coffee as a premium coffee, consumers are willing to
pay more to get that superior taste.

Developing a brand position

Marketing managers start the process of positioning a firm’s brand
by identifying the position of the brand and then locating it relative
to the competitors’ brands with regard to desired attributes such as
price, quality, and other features. The managers generally use a
perceptual map—a graph with a vertical and a horizontal scale,
one for each desired attribute. Once the firm determines the
current market position of its brand relative to the desired position,
it then needs to move the brand to the desired position. To do this,
the firm develops an integrated marketing communication
campaign with the goal of changing the consumer’s attitudes
toward the brand. This campaign should serve to alter the
consumer’s image of the product to the one the firm chooses.

Product Planning and Development

© 2016 South University

Page 2 of 2

Marketing Management

©2016 South University

2
Product Planning and Development

Week 3 Lecture 1

Utility Types and Research Methods

A product is the foundation of the marketing mix and the beginning
of an organization’s marketing strategy. It is the need-based
offering of an organization. In economic terms, it creates either
form or task utility.

Form utility is applied when raw materials are combined with labor
to create a physical good of value. Company X uses raw rubber
combined with steel to form steel-belted tires. Therefore, it
represents form utility. On the other hand, task utility is applied
when labor is used to provide a service. Company Y provides spa
services, which involve physical labor. Therefore, it represents task
utility. It is important for organizations to be aware of these utility
types. Too often, organizations develop products they are
interested in producing rather than conducting research to see
what the consumers’ needs actually are.

To make a product successful, an organization requires a good
product plan. Good product planning and development starts with
conducting research on the target market to determine its needs
and wants. There are three research methods of determining
consumer needs and wants. These methods are focus groups,
consumer panels, and ladder interviews.

demographics and psychographics of the target market. An
organization usually sends its consumer panel test products for
feedback. A focus group is one of the most common methods of
conducting consumer research. In this method, marketing
managers gather consumers to get their views on product ideas or

Page 3 of 2

Marketing Management

©2016 South University

3
Product Planning and Development

Week 3 Lecture 1

to explore what they are looking for in a new product. A ladder
interview is a personal interview in which individuals are asked a
series of questions about a product and how they use it. Together,
these three research methods provide an organization with input
on the needs of the target market and how the organization can
fulfill those needs with its product.

Stages of the New Product Development
Process

© 2016 South University

Page 2 of 2

Marketing Management

©2016 South University

2
Stages of the New Product Development Process

Week 3 Lecture 2

The product planning and development process is a systematic
approach that the firm must undertake while designing, developing,
and launching new products. Once marketing managers have used
marketing research to understand the needs of their target market,
they need to create a new product development process based on
the research.

The new product development process consists of five stages:

1. The first stage is to generate ideas. This is where research plays
a critical role since the needs identified in the target market provide
the inspiration for new product ideas.

2. The next stage is to screen the ideas. Here, the consumer panel
plays a key role in providing feedback on the ideas.

3. The next stage is the actual development and testing of the
product. Again, the consumer panel plays a key role in field-testing
the product and providing feedback to improve the product.

4. The next stage is to test-market the product before its
commercial launch. In this stage, marketing managers often use
focus groups to get feedback on the product in the test market.

5. Finally, the product is launched, and the process starts all over
again for a new product.

The product mix is the width and depth of a firm’s product line. In
the two scenarios provided, select the width of the product line.

Page 3 of 2

Marketing Management

©2016 South University

3
Stages of the New Product Development Process

Week 3 Lecture 2

The width of a product line means the variety of similar products a
firm offers. For example, Ford Motor Company offers a width of
products, from small economical cars to large trucks. On the other
hand, the depth of a product line means the number of variations of
a product offered by a firm. Ford Motor Company also offers
several different pickup truck models, from the small Ranger to the
large Ford 350. The combination of the width and depth of a firm’s
product line constitutes its offering to the marketplace. A firm
increases the width and depth of its product line so as to serve new
market segments and better serve existing customers,
respectively. Both width and depth are critical to the success of a
firm. For example, in addition to motorcycles, Harley-Davidson
offers its customers leather jackets, boots, and other related
products favored by Harley-Davidson riders.

The combination of the width and depth of a firm’s product line
constitutes its offering to the marketplace. : A firm increases the
width and depth of its product line so as to serve new market
segments and better serve existing customers, respectively. Both
width and depth are critical to the success of a firm. For example,
in addition to motorcycles, Harley-Davidson offers its customers
leather jackets, boots, and other related products favored by
Harley-Davidson riders.

At other times, increasing the width of the product line involves
developing flanking brands. A firm develops flanking brands to
serve the needs of different segments of the markets it is serving.
Coca-Cola is a good example of this type of branding strategy. The
Coca-Cola Company offers a variety of soft drinks. Its flagship
brand, Coca-Cola, has variants such as Coca-Cola, Cherry Coke,

Page 4 of 2

Marketing Management

©2016 South University

4
Stages of the New Product Development Process

Week 3 Lecture 2

and Diet Coke. The company also offers flanking brands, such as
Sprite, Orange Sunkist, Mr. Pibb, and Fanta, to increase the width
of its product line.

Definitions of Marketing

https://www.ama.org/the

definition

of

marketing

what

is

marketing/

Definitions of Marketing

MKT3010 Week 3 Project Rubric
Course: MKT3010-Marketing Management SU01

Criteria
No Submission
0 points

Emerging (F through
D range) (1–6)
6 points

Satisfactory (C
range) (7)
7 points

Proficient (B range)
(8)
8 points

Exemplary (A range)
(9–10)
10 points

Criterion Score

Summarized key

details about the

selected scenario

including details

about the firm

and/or product

line.

/ 10Did not identify
scenario or details

about firm or

product line.

Unsupported with

research.

Identified scenario,

firm, and product

line.

Lacked credible

research support.

Outlined scenario,

firm, and product

line.

Weakly supported

with research.

Summarized

scenario, firm, and

product line.

Sufficiently

supported with

research

Summary of key

details about

scenario, firm, and

product line was

compelling, with

well-developed

logical progression.

Well supported by

research.

Criteria
No Submission
0 points

Emerging (F through
D range) (1–20)
20 points

Satisfactory (C
range) (21–23)
23 points

Proficient (B range)
(24–26)
26 points

Exemplary (A range)
(27–30)
30 points

Criterion Score

Assessed which of

Michael Porter’s

basic strategies

will be used to

market this

product and why.

/ 30Did not identify
stages in the

consumer decision

making process.

Unsupported with

research.

Identified strategies.

Lacked credible

research support.

Described strategies.

Weakly supported

with research.

Assessed strategies.

Sufficiently

supported with

research

Assessment of

strategies was

compelling, with

well-developed

logical progression.

Well supported by

research.

Criteria
No Submission
0 points

Emerging (F through
D range) (1–27)
27 points

Satisfactory (C
range) (28–31)
31 points

Proficient (B range)
(32–35)
35 points

Exemplary (A range)
(36–40)
40 points

Criterion Score

Defended

selection of target

markets.

/ 40Did not identify
improvements to the

product line or

estimated cost.

Unsupported with

research.

Identified target

markets.

Lacked credible

research support.

Described target

markets.

Weakly supported

with research.

Defended target

markets.

Sufficiently

supported with

research

Defense of target

markets was

compelling and

showed well-

developed logical

progression.

Well supported by

research.

Criteria
No Submission
0 points

Emerging (F through
D range) (1–27)
27 points

Satisfactory (C
range) (28–31)
31 points

Proficient (B range)
(32–35)
35 points

Exemplary (A range)
(36–40)
40 points

Criterion Score

Justified the

stages in the

consumer

decision making

process for

selected product.

/ 40Submission
contained no

discernible overall

intent in author’s

selection of

ideas.

Identified stages in

the consumer

decision making

process.

Lacked credible

research support.

Outlined stages in

the consumer

decision making

process.

Weakly supported

with research.

Justified stages in

the consumer

decision making

process for selected

product.

Sufficiently

supported with

research.

Justification of

stages in the

consumer decision

making process for

selected product was

compelling and

actionable, with

well-developed

logical progression.

Well supported by

research.

Criteria
No Submission
0 points

Emerging (F through
D range) (1–27)
27 points

Satisfactory (C
range) (28–31)
31 points

Proficient (B range)
(32–35)
35 points

Exemplary (A range)
(36–40)
40 points

Criterion ScoreCriteria
No Submission
0 points

Emerging (F through
D range) (1–27)
27 points

Satisfactory (C
range) (28–31)
31 points

Proficient (B range)
(32–35)
35 points

Exemplary (A range)
(36–40)
40 points

Criterion Score

Justified where

improvements

should be made to

the product line

and estimated

cost.

/ 40Errors in basic
writing conventions

were sufficiently

numerous to prevent

reader

comprehension.

Identified

improvements to the

product line and

estimated cost.

Lacked credible

research support.

Described

improvements to the

product line and

estimated cost.

Weakly supported

with research.

Justified

improvements to the

product line and

estimated cost.

Sufficiently

supported with

research

Justification of

improvements to the

product line and

estimated costs were

compelling and

actionable, with

well-developed

logical progression.

Well supported by

research.

Criteria
No Submission
0 points

Emerging (F through
D range) (1–6)
6 points

Satisfactory (C
range) (7)
7 points

Proficient (B range)
(8)
8 points

Exemplary (A range)
(9–10)
10 points

Criterion Score

Communication:

Use of tone, word

choice, audience,

transitions, and

progression of

ideas

/ 10Did not identify
strategies.

Unsupported with

research.

Submission

contained random

presentation of

ideas, which

prevents

understanding the

majority of author’s

overall intent.

Ideas were

presented in a way

that forced the

reader to make

repeated inferences

in order to identify

and follow the

author’s overall

intent.

The reader could

follow the author’s

overall intent as

stated.

The writer’s overall

argument and

language were clear

and tightly focused,

leaving the reader

with no room for

confusion about

author’s intent.

Criteria
No Submission
0 points

Emerging (F through
D range) (1–6)
6 points

Satisfactory (C
range) (7)
7 points

Proficient (B range)
(8)
8 points

Exemplary (A range)
(9–10)
10 points

Criterion Score

Criteria
No Submission
0 points

Emerging (F through
D range) (1–6)
6 points

Satisfactory (C
range) (7)
7 points

Proficient (B range)
(8)
8 points

Exemplary (A range)
(9–10)
10 points

Criterion Score

Mechanics: Use of

grammar,

sentence

structure, and

spelling.

/ 10Did not identify
target markets.

Unsupported with

research.

Errors in basic

writing conventions

were sufficiently

numerous to prevent

reader

comprehension of

majority of the work.

Errors in basic

writing conventions

interfered with, but

did not prevent,

reader

comprehension.

The reader noticed a

few errors in basic

writing conventions

but these few errors

did not interfere with

reader

comprehension.

Text was basically

error free, so that a

reader had to

purposely search to

find any errors that

may be present.

Criteria
No Submission
0 points

Emerging (F through
D range) (1–13)
13 points

Satisfactory (C
range) (14–15)
15 points

Proficient (B range)
(16–17)
17 points

Exemplary (A range)
(18–20)
20 points

Criterion Score

Academic/APA

Formatting: Use

of citations,

references, and

structural

formatting

including such

elements as title

page, running

head, page

numbers,

introduction,

headings (as

appropriate), and

conclusion.

/ 20No attempt at
Academic/APA

formatting in

presentation.

Academic/APA

format attempted,

but errors were

significant.

Academic/APA

format attempted

but errors were

distracting.

Used Academic/APA

format, accurately.

Errors were

noticeable but minor.

Used Academic/APA

format proficiently.

Text was basically

error free.

Total / 200

Overall Score

No Submission
0 points minimum

Emerging (F through D range)
1 point minimum

Satisfactory (C range)
140 points minimum

Proficient (B range)
160 points minimum

Exemplary (A range)
180 points minimum

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