Planned Spontaneity and Innovation Communication

Planned Spontaneity and Innovation Communication 1. Choose one of the “11 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2011” (http://trendwatching. com/briefing/) Relate this week’s readings to the new innovation trend. Focus on a particular/single company that is given as an example in the trend list.

Do you predict customers will flock to it or avoid it? Justify your answer based on your understanding of products, consumers, and the economy from the readings. The 2011 trend of “Planned Spontaneity” absolutely fascinates me.And I think customers are absolutely flocking to this concept, especially in light of the combination of the mega trend “Urbanomics” with the continual innovations in smart phone technology. The question is, which location-based social networking app is going to reign Supreme in this category? I’m not knowledgeable enough about this industry to even dare to predict that, but I decided to focus on Foursquare (as a dedicated service) as opposed to the more well known Facebook or Twitter apps. The foursquare website is fun (http://foursquare. om/). They explain their product in a great, short video. The founder has a neat history.

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And the premise of their app is simple: have fun, find your friends, and explore your city. I used to think of social network “addicts” as people who sat behind a computer all day and all night, instant messaging, chatting, and e-mailing with other people, but rarely connecting with people face to face. But, the smart phone revolution has allowed people to connect online and in person, and all at the same time.And with a free download of Foursquare, people can economically (and instantly) find out where their friends, family, and coworkers are congregating. At the same time they are connecting with people, they can explore places and venues they never knew that existed right in their own geographic area.

Foursquare is the type of product / service that fits perfectly into the economic lean times that we are experiencing right now. It is low risk, low cost, and doesn’t take laborious planning ahead. And, it gives businesses that are frequented by dedicated users a targeted way to reward their oyalty with fun games and promos, and attract new consumers that weren’t previously being reached. Word of mouth and “word of smartphone” are lightening fast ways to get your product and service advocates to spread the word to everyone they know. Additionally, people during lean times tend to be skeptical.

Therefore, they put more faith in what their friends are saying about a product or service than what the billboard says to them. Any mobile web product that plays to this situation, and is easy to obtain and use, is bound to be adopted and revered until the next innovative social app comes along. . Another interesting event in innovation is Proctor & Gamble’s breakthrough Pampers Dry Max diapers (basically, the “iPod of baby care, according to AdAge). Pampers is P&G’s largest global brand and the company was preparing for the largest-ever marketing campaign in support of Dry Max technology. However, read this article from Advertising Age regarding the “mess” P&G found itself in (I couldn’t resist this potty humor): http://adage.

com/article? article_id=141552 [If you can’t access the article, I put a . df of the article in the Module 2 Document Library. ] Describe the innovation, the target market for P&G, and a brief summary of what transpired. Have these few consumers “spoiled” it for the rest of P&G’s loyal consumers? Do you think the average consumer knows about this issue and what can companies do to calm a subset of angry consumers? What DID P&G do (do a little internet digging! )? What should P&G have done? How can we apply this week’s readings to the P&G situation?Dry Max is a manufacturing innovation that decreases the amount of material needed to provide superior absorbency in P&G’s Swaddlers and Cruisers diaper brands. It allows a thinner, more flexible diaper, makes for a lower storage volume, less refuse, and lower distribution costs (marketed more like a lower carbon footprint, less resources used, etc).

Swaddlers targets moms of younger babies less than 22 pounds (up to ~ 1. 5 years of age). Cruisers targets moms of mobile toddlers from 16-40+ pounds (from ~2-5 years of age).Both diapers target moms with stable incomes who see superior wetness protection as an essential item that they are willing to pay a premium price for. P&G is additionally trying to capitalize on two subsets of this target market: environmentally conscious moms who are slightly concerned with the impact of manufacture and disposal of disposable diapers; and, super busy moms who don’t have room in their diaper bags for bulky diapers, and don’t have time to change a wet child every hour.

Because the innovation required a manufacturing overhaul, P&G was unable to coordinate a hard launch across the US with product, packaging, communication, and distribution occurring simultaneously. So, they took a calculated risk and released new product in old packaging in certain areas of the country while they were re-engineering some of their plants and gearing up their marketing campaign for the largest innovation in the category in 25 years. Some of the consumers in the early release markets felt betrayed by the uncommunicated change, and expressed their disdain virally across the country.Before the product was even seen by the vast majority of the target market, many moms already had the impression that Pampers was trying to save money in a recession by placing a cheaper product in the same packaging and charging the same price. Consequently, any diaper rash or leakage event was automatically blamed on the money hungry corporation with poor babies as the helpless victims.

Not exactly a win in the PR department for Pampers. I consider myself the average target consumer, and since I was not in an early release market, I didn’t’ know about the change.Many busy working moms don’t have the time to hop on the internet and casually read about what other moms have to say about the various products that are used on a daily basis. But, to do damage control and address those moms that do participate in blogs and online chat forums, P&G went viral themselves: http://www. Youtube.

com/watch? v=4e3TR8hL54o&feature=related. They also put an explanation on the landing page of their website: http://www. pampers. com/en_US/home/. And, they made specific FAQs to address many of the questions that parents were raising in the online arena: http://www.

pampers. om/en_US/dry-max-faqs. Perhaps what P&G should have prior to the soft launch was to place an informational sticker on the front of the old packaging in the early release areas stating, “New and Improved with Dry Max superior wetness protection. ” They could have posted their customer service number, and directed people to call with more questions. They could have more closely controlled information release and let certain customers know that they are in an exclusive early release area (so that they feel special), and could have used feedback to help guide their communications in the mass launch.For me, Quelch’s paper had the most direct relevancy to the marketing situation in P&G’s case study.

Pampers is not targeted for the lower income or slam-on-the-breaks consumer. For the pained-but-patient segment, emphasizing brand dependability (and improved performance) is key to keeping consumers viewing Swaddlers and Cruisers as essentials. The comfortably-well-off and live-for-today segments likely see these products as essential already. The key here is to keep these consumers informed and aware of the upcoming changes, so they feel confident that the product continues to be the best in the market.