Marketing Plan for a New Product

Current Market Situation

Baba Buddy is a toy for little children aged three years and below. The toy is an innovative idea that was developed by Arnold Amacha who has worked in the cartoon industry for 20 years. The combined efforts of Arnold and his wife Mary Amacha have brought forth the entrepreneurial activities witnessed in Baba Buddy Industries. The toy is new in the market but it faces stiff competition from brands such as Telletubies, Barbie Toys, Brown Babies and Bunny Rabbits.

The latest statistics indicate that there are 2 million babies born every year in America and the age group below three years includes about 5 million kids. Baba Buddy is a toy that is too interesting for kids to share and so each child requires a personal product. From the design and practical use of the product, it will be understood why the developers perceive that each child have his or her own Baba Buddy toy.

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The market is however proliferated by toys meant for young children. Telletubies holds majority of the customers with 35% market share while Barbie Toys holds 20%, Brown Babies 15% and Bunny Rabbits 12%. The remaining 22% is shared between dozens of small scale toy manufacturers who target low income consumers. It will be of great importance that Baba Buddy positions itself well in the market so as to appeal to its customer segments using the appropriate marketing strategies.

Market description

The market of Baba Buddy consists of the expectant mothers and parents of children aged three years and below. This market is very large because there are many people who become expectant every year whether through planned or unplanned pregnancies.

The aim of Baby Buddy is to provide young children with safe and educative toys which provide both entertainment and knowledge. The customer segments identified by Baba Buddy marketers include the following: high class customers who have a monthly income above 3000 USD, middle income earners earning between 1000-3000 USD and low income earners earning anything below 1000 USD.

The targeted customer segment will include children between 12 and 24 years. Children below one year are not targeted because they require colorful and noisy toys which they can grab but those between 1 and 2 years can play with toys with informative details such as numbers and the alphabet.

Product review

The Baba Buddy toy will be designed in the shape of a sheep. It will have a flurry covering which will be white in color. The sheep will be the size of a pillow and it will have letters of the alphabet spelt on one side and the numbers 0-10 written boldly on the other.

The Baba Buddy toy will have a tail which if twisted triggers a musical alarm which sings “Baba black sheep have you any wool, yes sir yes sir three black wool…” The neck of the sheep will also have a button which, if pressed, initiates the recitation of the alphabet and numbers 1 to 10. This musical theme will be intended on getting children to recite these syllables so as to assist them with pronunciation. This toy will be ideal for children aged between 12 and 24 months as they have the ability to comprehend their surroundings.

Competitor review

The toy market has been proliferated by competing products because children have always been there since the beginning of time. The toy industry began centuries ago since children have always had the need to play with items that are around them. In the US toy market, there are four major players who aggressively compete for market share.

Telletubies which are the market leaders have the advantage of a strong brand because of their famous cartoon series which was aired all over the world. The Telletubies Show captured children from all backgrounds and races and this was translated into sales through development of the Telletubies toys. Telletubies toys are highly priced because of their brand name and they are mostly bought by high class consumers.

Barbie Toys, on the other hand, are slightly cheaper than Telletubies but are more available in the market as the strategy adopted by the producing company is the market penetration strategy. Brown Babies are commonly bought by parents who have rough kids. They are made from tough materials which last long and are harder to tear. The Bunny Rabbit toys have the shape of a bunny which resembles the Bugs Bunny, a character from Walt Disney. The shape of the famous bunny is what provides competitive advantage to this competitor.

Channels and Logistics Review

Baba Buddy will be distributed in retail stores such as Babies Us R and Toys Us R. These retailers are ideal because they are already established and have a ready market for toys. Many parents are loyal customers of these stores and so Baba Buddy toys will get a ready audience if marketed in these stores.

Stores like Walmart will also be convenient for the distribution purposes because they stock a wide range of toys. This will give Baba Buddy toys competitive advantage since they are unique in design and will be attractively packaged. When displayed together with other toys, Baba Buddy toys will stand out because of their sheepish shape and pillow size. Some shopping parents may even buy it in place of a teddy bear or ordinary pillow for their children.

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT Analysis is a powerful analytical tool that is useful in the assessment of the environment in which Baba Buddy operates in. It is a summary of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats which exist in the internal and external business environments. These are assessed below.

Strengths

Baba Buddy toys have several advantages that prove to be strong points for their success in the market. With the price of $14 or between $13 and $15 depending on location, Baba Buddy toys are set to appeal to new parents and day care guardians who commonly go for cheap items. The strategy to use a low price so as to attract the greatest number of customers within a short time will enable the company to penetrate the market easily.

The low price will also catch the attention of shoppers who will want to try out the new product which is good looking and affordable. Other than the attractive price, the design of Baba Buddy will also greatly appeal to many customers. The pillow size and the shape of a sheep will be something that parents will want their children to have. The design can also make some parents kill many birds with one stone since they will not have to buy teddy bears if they get this toy.

Baba Buddy is developed by people who have been in the cartoon business for a long time. Arnold Amacha will be of much benefit to the team of professionals who manage the production and sale of the toy. His experience in the cartoon industry gives him great knowledge on how to handle and entertain children.

It is this experience and skill that led to the innovativeness seen in the Baba Buddy toy. The marketing strategy adopted by the company will also give competitors a hard time to outdo Baba Buddy because the market is perfectly competitive. They may have to forego some portion of profits if they want to compete against the affordable prices of Baba Buddy toys.

Weaknesses

The market for Baba Buddy toy will be a new market for the product which is also fresh. Entry into a new market is not an easy task and this will provide great challenges for the marketing team. Since the product is also new, it will require a lot of convincing before potential customers are turned into actual customers. The new product will also lack customer loyalty within the first few months since it will be unknown and untested in the market.

These factors will be disadvantageous to the marketing team who will have to come up with measures to overcome these barriers. Baba Buddy is a new brand and thus the market lacks brand awareness as far as the product is concerned. The Baba Buddy toy is also larger than the average toys in the market. Most toys are smaller in size as compared to Baba Buddy and so before customers get used to the large size, much time will have elapsed.

Opportunities

There are elements available in the toy market which Baba Buddy toys can benefit from. The toy market is getting larger since more and more parents are adopting technology and the modern ways of life. Toys were not traditionally bought by conservative parents. Conservatism is however decreasing as more parents are opening up to modern lifestyles and products. In this wave of change, Baba Buddy stands to gain from the increased openness and acceptability of toys.

As more parents become more modern, they will be more likely to buy toys and Baba Buddy can gain from this new set of customers. The global financial crisis has also made consumers weary of prices and budget conscious. They will in future not go after expensive luxury commodities such as toys. The competitors who sell at higher prices might suffer losses as customers go for cheaper toys such as Baba Buddy.

Threats

While opportunities increase the likelihood of prosperity for a product, threats are elements in the external environment which threaten the profitability of a product. Even though there are many competitors already in the toy market, this does not stop additional companies from entering the market. New products reach the store shelves everyday and children get more exposed to different types of toys. As the market continues to grow, so does the rate of proliferation of toys.

There is also increased importation of toys from China which offers cheap products. These toys will threaten the profitability of Baba Buddy since their prices will be as competitive as our product. Increased competition might force Baba Buddy to consider lowering the price further yet the set price is already very low and almost at the break-even level. Aggressive marketing will be required to overcome these set of challenges identified in the external environment.

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