Unit 2 – Marketing and Brand Management
Nissan is currently considering expanding its product line to introduce a new product. This product will complement the current products offered to consumers. The company would like to provide consumers with a differentiated innovation that will increase both sales of current products as well as the new product line.
Nissan is involved in the transportation industry, namely the sale of various automobile models. The company earmarks 4% of sales to research and development, which is high for the industry. With the high prices of fuel, environment concerns throughout the world, the rising costs of automobile production as well as the rise of automobile insurance rates, the ability to provide a targeted group of consumers with an alternative to the automobile would be a benefit to the company and its shareholders.
I am recommending that Nissan research the feasibility of producing electric scooters to complement the current product line. This product would appeal to the millennium generation in that it would provide them with affordable transportation, a new mode of travel that is not saturated in the USA and Canada, as well as a product that alleviates parking problems, pollution, and high costs. Currently in Canada, new drivers are required to wait 12 months before they can be road tested in order to obtain a driver’s license. This means that new individuals out of school that do not have a driver’s license must find alternative ways of transportation both to and from work and for social outings. The proposed product would be designed so that it meets the regulations that do not need an automobile driver license. The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Canada, does not require driver licensing for electric scooters. The company could sell consumers additional features such as rain protection, winter tires and smartphone plug in radios, to name a few options.
In order to determine the feasibility of this new and innovative product line, Nissan would need to do the necessary market research in order to determine a number of important variables. In the next section of this report, I will recommend and discuss some different market research approaches that the company could proceed with, as well as a discussion on what these market research approaches should provide the company in making a decision to produce and sell this new product.
Market Research Approaches:
An important factor in the success of determining a new product is determining what the needs and wants of consumers are (Cooper & Kleinschmidt 1987). Consumer needs and input is especially important in the fuzzy front end (FFE) of a new product development (Gruner & Homburg 2000). In the fuzzy front end, activities such as product strategy formation, analysis of opportunity for the new product, idea generation and selection, and pre-screening (Khurana & Rosenthal 1998) are researched.
Market research can be done in a variety of ways. Organizations can decide to do market research in house, a combination of in house and external research, or the use of the full services of a marketing research agency. Before any actual research is performed, it is important that research planning be done with a formal research proposal being prepared outlining the purpose of the research, what information is necessary, a timeline for the gathering of the marketing research, and the cost associated with the project.
The following research methods have been chosen for Nissan in gathering information in regards to the production and distribution of the new product that has been suggested in this brief:
1. Survey research – Mail, Telephone, Personal Interviewing
Qualitative research aims to determine customer attitudes, values, behaviour and beliefs. It is geared towards seeking the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of consumer behaviour. Focus groups, in house group discussions, and online