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Mkt 500 Week 4 Writing Assignment 2

In: Business and Management

Submitted By jmclau
Words 1385
Pages 6
Marketing Products
Student: Jennifer McLaughlin
Professor: Dr. Brett Gordon
Course Title: MKT 500
Date: April 29, 2012

SoMatic dispensers are a tangible good that were developed for people seeking to simplify and automate the cleaning process. It is a hands-free device that automatically dispenses cleaning products into the wash cycle for a more efficient and automated process. The SoMatic automatic dispenser will save customers both time and money. Built primarily of on the finest recycled materials, they are of high quality, built to be used with the highest standard washing machines on the market.
They are new and the only ones on the market so the initial, basic units will be a specialty purchase for the customer and will require research. The success of many products on the market depends on how customers learn to use them and the experience that they gain then provides the basis to build brand awareness and loyalty (Lakshmanan, A., & Krishnan, H., 2011). Until the brand gets established in the market the devices, although costing under $100, may be viewed as an additional cost to the laundry products so the purchase will require involvement from the customers. The products are also designed to be used with only the top brands of appliances so will have to be built to last, be high quality and will have a somewhat limited distribution.
The purchase of the refills and the option of having automatic shipments are more of a convenience because the customers will already be aware of the brand and function of the dispenser.
The SoMatic is a multi-chambered liquid soap dispenser designed to easily attach to a washing machine, dishwasher or shower. The dispenser is designed to function much like the washing wands used at a commercial car wash that cycle from wash to rinse while automatically having the chemicals dispensed along with the water for a truly hands-free process. There are several sizes to choose from depending on the intended application with a variety of mounting options but all styles offer both battery and A/C power supplies.
The main device is designed to use with washing machines and houses multiple chambers that can hold the customer’s choice of four products from soap, dry-clean only products, bleach, fabric softeners, shampoos and/or conditioners. Users have the option to keep it programmed according to the manufacturers recommended settings or there is an option to customize the settings. Adjustments can also be made to identify the load for heavy soil for example to override the standard settings for just a single use.
The core products in the product line include a basic dispenser with four different removable compartments, designed to be used with the top of the line washing machines on the market. The basic dispenser is white in color not much bigger than a shoe box, approximately 9”x12” and has a silhouette with very clean straight lines. The other core product in the line is the refill containers that are needed once the initial product is used up. The refill containers are also made of primarily recycled materials and are basic white in color. They are custom fit for the basic dispenser unit and are not visible once they are installed.
SoMatic has added various services that enhance the products value such as free home installation of the dispensers that helps elevate the customer experience and further sets it apart from the competition. Services are difficult for consumers to translate into the cost of an item but by elevating their purchasing experience they are willing to pay more (Bahl, A., Black, G. S., & Sherwood, S. (2011).
It will also offer a free cleaning guide that provides tips on various household cleaning chores including suggested mixes of products for certain types of stains or level of dirt in the laundry.
SoMatic has added an automatic delivery service option of their products on a schedule customized for customers so products are automatically delivered to their home and they never have to go without.
The Suds Club membership which is an elective, online fulfillment service that provides an online community where customers can discuss and exchange cleaning tips and helpful hints with other users.
The dispensers are designed to be web-based and the SoMatic Company will provide free apps which will be available through the company website that can re-program the dispensers to various fabric specific formulas for silks, cotton, and other things.
The company website also offers links to the appliances and products that can be used with the dispensers.
Product line can expand deeper within the existing segment with additional products for cleaning clothes such as a dispenser for the dryer using chemicals focused on the drying cycle of laundry such as wrinkle guard, starches, dry cleaning products as well as scented laundry chemicals.
The company can also offer variety of dispensers that are designed and calibrated for specific customers such as those that are interested in using organic products that are specifically environmentally friendly as well as those customers that are accustomed to using dry products which would require a different method of dispensing.
Designer models can be made available that offered in alternate colors and sizes. Instead of coming in the basic white color, for an up charge, the customers can have it in stainless steel, red or black. There can also be an economic version that holds only two products such as soap and a fabric softener, or an even larger version that holds up to 6 products. This will provide the needed alternatives to customers that hesitate due aesthetics, purchase price or function.
The product line can expand in breadth by reaching additional market segments such as food and other perishables. Automatic residential size dispensers for small quantities of dry or liquid products such as spices and flavorings that are pre-programmed according to a person’s favorite receipts and dispensers that handle larger quantities such as cups of dry product that can be attached to mixers. Much like the dispensers used for pigments of different of paint.
SoMatic can also add breadth to their product line by developing in-house branded appliances well as products designed for the B2B services such as laundry mats, hotels and the like.
The core business may change in response to industry and market changes in the similar products that are currently being offered in the market that deal with laundry cleaning products. The new Tide-Pods for example encapsulate a combination of similar products but are not dispensed on an automated basis but may be convenient enough for customers to not be able to see the value in the automated residential dispensers. Washing machines themselves keep evolving and already have the ability to hold products that are automatically dispensed during the wash cycle but currently only do it one cycle at a time. Newer models could easily be changed to hold bulk amounts of products, thus eliminating the market need for an add-on dispenser. The core business may then become the dispensers for food preparation, B2B products and the house brand appliances.
Any changes in the economy are known to have a profound effect on customer spending habits. Adjustments can be made with current the pricing strategy or product assortment as a result of reduced consumer spending (Fornell, C., Rust, R., & Dekimpe, M., 2010). Any further downturn in the economy will also reduce customers discretionary spending and they may view the products as a want not a need. Even though the products actually offer a cost savings when used in time over the conventional method of doing laundry, it will be important to continue to properly discuss and stress these benefits in order to overcome this obstacle.

References
Bahl, A., Black, G. S., & Sherwood, S. (2011). DIMENSIONS OF CONSUMER PRICE KNOWLEDGE: DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GOODS AND SERVICES. International Journal
Of Business & Social Science, 2(18), 14-23.
Fornell, C., Rust, R., & Dekimpe, M. (2010). The Effect of Customer Satisfaction on Consumer Spending Growth. Journal Of Marketing Research (JMR), 47(1), 28-35. doi:10.1509/jmkr.47.1.28 Lakshmanan, A., & Krishnan, H. (2011). The Aha! Experience: Insight and Discontinuous Learning in Product Usage. Journal Of Marketing, 75(6), 105-123.
doi:10.1509/jmkg.75.6.105

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