Picture yourself in an airport waiting for a late flight to wherever. You’re getting very tired but all the places for you to get a cup of coffee are closed. So you decide to walk around to get your blood pumping when all of a sudden, there it is: a coffee machine. You stand in front of it looking for the various buttons to push and while you’re looking, you begin to yawn. Suddenly, a cup drops down and begins filling the cup with – you guessed it – coffee. And…wait for it…wait for it…IT WAS FREE!
Does this concept sound like a dream? It’s actually a real, yawn-activated machine that gives consumers free coffee.
So how does this all happen? Where does the idea come from? Well, after creating the idea and before launching any product or service, marketing managers ask themselves several questions. For example…
- Is there a real need for this product or service?
- Who is the target market? Which group of consumers will make the purchase?
- What benefit can they expect from using the product?
- Who are, if any, my competitors?
- What differential advantage will my product have over my competitors? Differential advantage meaning, “How is my product different from my competitors?”
If a marketing manager can answer these questions honestly, then the product may have a chance. But there is a great deal of work left to do.
I’m getting sleepy now. Know where I can find a coffee machine?
About the author:
Bobby Dean is the department chair for the Marketing program. He has been with Sullivan University for a little over 17 years. He enjoys the marketing field a great deal, as well as teaching what he knows to eager students. Bobby has a Master of Arts in Marketing from Webster University. He lives in Louisville with his wife, Barbara, and their two beagles, Layla and Gracie. He is a singer/songwriter and performs in a band, and also enjoys playing golf.