Market Research

9 04 2009

the-apprentice-home-gymWatching the candidates of The Apprentice talk about themselves misleads one into feeling that not only are they the best, but that they are the best of the best of the best when it comes to running a business and that Sir Alan Sugar should feel lucky that they are willing to work for him. Yet, when it comes to doing a task, they forget the most basic of business concepts.

As seems to be the norm these days, the task involved designing a portable piece of fitness equipment for, surprise surprise, the cash strapped consumer. It was clear from the beginning that the whole task was about the product. It is no surprise then that team Empire, which came up with a Gym-in-a-box idea failed to sell even one unit to two of the three retailers they pitched to. The candidates failed to realise that the perfect product isn’t one that tickles their own fancy, or one which their family would like to buy, but one which addresses the needs of the consumer, hence filling a possible gap in the market.

Both teams failed to conduct even basic market research to help them develop their product. Team Empire should have realised that creativity wasn’t their strongest bit and rather than sit around the table bouncing useless ideas of each other, they should have sent two people to the local gym to talk to the members there about the kinds of products they would like to buy and what price they were willing to pay for it. Another team of around two people could have scoured the internet looking at the products that their competitors were selling at that price level. After all, the task was about designing a product for consumers who were finding the gym membership too expensive and were looking for low cost alternatives. Who better to ask about the product than those who are going to buy it in the end.

All your BBC Favourites from the BBC Shop.com

Their lack of research was also evident in their pricing strategy. It felt as if they had just closed their eyes and picked the figure of £29.99 randomly for their product. At that price, there are numerous alternatives in the market which are certainly better looking if not better value for money. Even the promotional material, including the pictures, looked like something that came out of a secondary school student’s Media Studies project.

Although team Ingnite failed to do any market research either, they still won the task and were offered a deal of exclusivity by John Lewis. One of the reasons why their product succeeded was perhaps because it was simple. Their opponents product was a case of “Jack of all Trades, Master of None”, like a new mobile phone which offers to make you a cup of tea and take your dog for a walk. Ignite’s product was also more pleasing to look at and truly portable.

Two days to come up with a concept, build a prototype and pitch a product is indeed a tall order and both the teams did that with a lot of patience and commitment. Was firing Majid the right decision? Its not for us to decide. After all, this isn’t a talent show, its a long job interview and Sir Alan should keep those whom he feels would be right for his organisation.

The Apprentice on BBC iPlayer

Business Easy





Food prices rise by 8.3%

6 09 2008

It was reported this week by the BBC that food prices have risen by 8.3% since January this year. This is based on the figures from a survey carried out by Verdict Research specifically for the BBC.

A packet of ham, a pack of four croissants and a medium sized chicken were among the seven products whose individual prices had risen by more then 40%. Among the 13 categories into which all the products were classified, Meat and Fish rose the highest, by 22.9%, followed by Store-cupboard items and Fresh Fruits and Vegetables which rose by 15% & 14.7% respectively.

Inflation is also affecting the sales of organic produce which fell by 8.1% as compared to last year according to the analysts TNS. Families with low income are unable to afford the high price of organic produce and more people are increasingly switching to buying supermarket own-brand products.

Supermarket Sainsbury’s believes that most people no longer perceive supermarket own-brand products in a negative manner nor are they embarrassed of buying them and are beginning shift to buying own-brand products to help cuts their costs. According to Marketing Week, Sainsbury’s research showed that a minority of the people believed that the brand they bought reflected on them as a person. To make the most of the current situation, Sainsbury’s launched an ad campaign on the 5th of September called “Switch & Save” to encourage their customers to buy the supermarket’s own-brand products. The link to watch the new Sainsbury’s advertisement is given below.

http://business-easy.blogspot.com/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7597703.stm

http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=62302&d=254&h=5&f=3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6u-P9C2obec





Primark launches website to promote its ethical practices

27 06 2008


In a bid to improve its reputation and brand image, Primark has launched a website to promote its ethical practices. The Panorama programme, aired on the BBC, alleged that the garments sold by Primark were made in sweatshops employing child labour in India. Primarklater announced that it had terminated contracts with suppliers shown in the programme and is since trying to build up confidence amongst its customers. In a time where consumers are cutting their spending, the last thing that Primark needs is bad reputation.

Thomson Holidays - Click Here!

http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=61259&d=254&h=5&f=3

Ethical Primark: http://ethicalprimark.co.uk/

http://business-easy.blogspot.com/

Add to Technorati Favorites





Primark on the Rack-Link

24 06 2008

Here is the link to watch the show again on the BBC iPlayer.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/page/item/b00cf06z.shtml?src=ip_potpw





Primark: On the Rack-Panorama

23 06 2008

Panorama, on BBC One, have made a very good and compelling documentary showing the true cost of cheapfashion on the high street. Clothes which are sold for around a fiver are made by people who are paid a pittance. It takes an unbiased view on what causes or makes the suppliers to employ children. Is it because profit is their only aim or is it because consumers want cheap fashion. Panorama focuses only on Primark, but other fashion labels may be involved in the same thing. It raises serious moral and ethical questions. Well worth watching. 

A link to the programme will be provided as soon as it is put on the iPlayer.