MKTG 764 Segway PT
The Segway Pt is a two wheeled, self-balancing, battery powered electric vehicle that was set to revolutionize modern transportation. PT is an abbreviation for personal transporter and the name, Segway, is derived from the word segue, meaning smooth transportation. The inventor Dan Kamen, an entrepreneur from New Hampshire, was backed by the multi-million dollar investor Jimi Heselden. If only the Segway could have made a smooth transition into U.S. markets, public transportation could look quite different than it is today, yet the Segway failed to penetrate any market and is barely seen in use today. The Segway in notorious for being one of the worst technological product flops in the past decade for several reasons; the design, price, target market and worst of all, the marketing strategy and public relations hype blew the expectations of the Segway’s functionality out of proportion.
The Segway was a much anticipated, clever, product with a significant amount of funding which had a lot of support from the media and business-world celebrities. When big corporate names like Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Inc., and Jeff Bezos, and investor and CEO of Amazon, signed off on the product, the hype for the Segway skyrocketed. These prominent endorsements from big business figure-heads made the product look very appealing to the public and media. The Segway was predicted to modernize transportation in daily life and change the way urban planning and development was structured but upon its launch, it fell short of everyone’s expectations.
One of the biggest downfalls of the Segway was the mismanagement of public relations. As the hype grew with endorsements from Jobs and Bezos, the media and public held on to this hysteria making the Segway a product that many people in the U.S. kept their eyes on. Before the Segway was officially introduced to the public, all the attraction from the public was just a mystery. As the public was waiting for a ground-breaking invention, they were disappointed once the Segway was finally revealed and couldn’t live up to its expectations.
The design of the Segway was much anticipated and did not live up to the expectations most had in mind. The product was patented and kept under tight watch, not allowing any feedback from consumers or users, which left the inventors surprised when the public criticized and ridiculed the design for being “dorky” rather than cool, new and innovative. Something to keep in mind when launching a new product is controlled testing and feedback from potential customers on design and quality. If these measures were taken into account, the product could have been re-modeled and designed to fit customers’ needs and wants, and possibly a more successful product launch.
Another major problem with the Segway was the absence of a target market. There was no clear market in need of a personal transportation system. The Segway was an appealing novelty product but there was no compelling need for it. Of course there are people who ride there bike, or take the subway, who would be interested in a product of this nature, but the pricing of the Segway was extremely high. The Segway i2, the smaller of the two models was prices at over $5,500, and the wider Segway x2 was priced at over $6,000. The pricing strategy did not meet the demand of the public nor could the