Product Launch Guide

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With an ever-expanding technology, it becomes important for companies and corporations to execute new products frequently to keep their consumer base content. Consumers have many places to purchase products from and for this reason alone, a continual marketing plan for fresh and modern items is the way for a company to be successful in whatever industry they are in. At AR, we continue to expand and enhance the various wearable computer device and hardware platform products that have propelled us into being one of the most well-known manufacturers of the latest and greatest in technology. Each AR product is carefully planned and executed with precision to ensure that it can perform well in the consumer marketplace.

Presently, our consumer marketplace is predominantly driven by individuals between the ages of 18 and up with respect to the product lines that we have. We pride ourselves on having the cutting edge in technology with our array of wearable computing devices such as our ARwatch, Dataaphone, SARi GPS device, MediaAR mp3/radio system, Speech 1000 and BetaComp 2000 computer. Our marketing team has consistently performed SWOT analyses to understand the needs of the consumer base in which we serve. In early 2005, our marketing team began working on a new creation known as KONTACK, augmented reality wearable contact lenses. Augmented reality is a “type of direct or indirect computer-generated sensory reality that can be modified by a computer” (Starner et.al 386).

With the advent of Google Glass, we wanted to be a step above our competitor with the mission of producing a ubiquitous computer that would appeal to all those who prefer contacts over glasses.  Our marketing team began analyzing consumer data and market research regarding not just our competitors’ wearable optical head-mounted display, but the aspects associated with wearable computers. 

Typically, a wearable computer is a fully functional and self-powered computer that can be worn on an individual’s body. The apparatus is battery powered with an eyeglass mounted screen and the appropriate visual optics in order to produce an amazing and stunning desktop-like computer experience within the individual's visual field. As the device is not wired, it essentially travels with the user thereby presenting a screen with images of video on them. Wearable computers are fully functioning computers that have the capability of recognizing voices (Starner et al. 386). Moreover, the miniature device has been considered to have had a significant and profound effect on society given the nature of the general public being ready for something creative, dynamic and new in the consumer marketplace.

Our marketing experts have studied the realm of augmented reality to ascertain the necessary elements to ensure that KONTACK will be a viable product within the technological environment. They have reasoned in the short term that sales for KONTACK will be significant due to the overwhelming population that wears glasses. While it is difficult to specifically know how many people wear either glasses or contact lenses, "the Vision Council of America [noted] that approximately 75% of adults use some sort of vision correction [with] about 64% of them wear[ing] eyeglasses, and about 11% wear[ing] contact lenses either exclusively or with glasses" ("What Percentage of the Population Wears Glasses?"). Therefore, we have forecasted that KONTACK will be successful both in the short and long term based on these statistics.

Per Gardiner (2013) there is reason to believe that wearable computers [and KONTACK] will heighten awareness and augment reality for them. "Wearing a computer instead of carrying one could eliminate the everyday tasks" (Gardiner) and with KONTACK, information such as "photos, emails and navigation cutes will be positioned in front of [the individual's eyes]" (Gardiner). We have been looking to what our other competitors have done in the past regarding these types of technology and what has been unearthed has been found is that they are more concerned with a person's behavior while utilizing wearable computers rather than ensuring that the protocols within the devices are functional first. It is as if they have rushed judgment on the average daily lives of the consumer base and believes they know all there is to know about the consumer base. At AR, our objective is to understand the motivation of the consumer marketplace, but before that can take place, we must ensure that all measures and parameters have been analyzed and examined with the advent of KONTACK coming into the consumer marketplace. 

AR is quite well known in the realm of avant-garde technology, hence, our market share and background has allowed us to capitalize on what our competitors have not been able to see. Our finance team has calculated the sales of our other products and tried to reason how well KONTACK will perform in the marketplace. Our largest selling products are our Speech 1000, which is voice recognition software that can be installed in one's home that will perform the necessary functions such as turning on their shower water, microwave, stove, etc. with the sound of their voice. This was several years in the making and back in early 2005, we began researching the dynamics of what it would take to invent contact lenses within the world of augmented reality and we have found it with KONTACK.

Product, Pricing, Distribution & Financial Strategy

At its core, KONTACK, is contact lenses that are capable of showing the Internet. It will be available for consumers and businesses, but the focus is on the consumer as are the other products that AR produces. In our understanding that implementing something such as contact lenses with the Internet to the 18+ population, we used psychographic segmentation. This allowed us to profile the types of personalities that would gravitate toward KONTACK and consider it as a viable product to purchase. KONTACK also aims to provide the ability to see better through the usage of augmented reality. 

We examined the communities of interest associated with contact lenses in general are were able to separate them into three groups: those that prefer contact lenses over glasses; those that preferred glasses over contact lenses and those that did not need either glasses or contact lenses but KONTACK could potentially appeal to. We also examined the safety concerns pertaining to products of this type as well.  Houssi et al. (2005) stated that "new products play an essential role in providing increased sales, profits and competitive strength for most organizations. A particular characteristic of new products is that their distinctive benefits generally lie in technologically innovative features. The challenge is to appeal to consumers and help them appreciate the benefits of the product" (pg.554). Therefore, when our marketing team discussed KONTACK and its overall presentation, we came to the conclusion that the three groups we segmented would be our primary consumer base, with the group that preferred contact lenses over glasses being the likely candidates to purchase KONTACK. Given the 11% of the population data that was derived by the Vision Council of America, we specifically did product development solely on that data to arrive at a key product with alluring qualities that will satisfy the visual aspect and the technological aspect. From there, our approach was to conceptualize the development of KONTACK as both a pair of glasses and an augmented reality device that would have the appeal to a technologically savvy consumer base. Below is a funnel of our approach in arriving at KONTACK’s viability in the consumer marketplace.

To determine the pricing for KONTACK, we analyzed much of the data pertaining to Google Glass. Google Glass incorporates hardware such as "the ability to take photos and record 720p HD video, a touchpad, 16GB [of] storage, [various technical specifications such as] Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth and bone conduction transducer" ("Glass"). An example of what Google Glass looks like, as well as the initial stage of KONTACK, can be found in Appendix 1.

This gave us a feel for both what the consumer base was looking for, how much we would charge them and how much capital we would have to utilize for KONTACK to be a success. Google has formulated a strategy where individuals will be able to apply for their Google Glass. Our approach will be different. KONTACK will be available to the consumer base through our company, online and in select eyeglass stores, in other words – direct and indirect channels of distribution. We are partnering with eyeglass retailers such as LensCrafters, Ray-Ban and Warby Parker in order to distribute KONTACK through them. The price of KONTACK will be $1000. This price was based on what our competitor will charge once Google Glass is unleashed which is “1500” (“Glass”) and the comfortable dynamics of the consumer marketplace in being able to afford a product of this nature. Our competition has decided to only offer a limited quantity; we will follow in like suit manner to see if the research we performed was correct before distributing it in mass quantities. The basis on this decision is that while the consumer base is technologically savvy and will more than likely warm to the idea of KONTACK, contact lenses that have Internet is still a relatively new concept. 

In our analysis for the promotional strategy for KONTACK, we looked at “Gort & Klepper (1982)'s standard product life cycle [which] consists of four stages: introduction, growth, maturity and decline” (Jovanic 322) and the function prospect of advertising in order to execute a formal strategic marketing plan. The purpose of analyzing Gort & Klepper (1982) was to understand the promotional mix for marketing KONTACK. 

Our first advertising prospect will be the use of television ads with jingles pertaining to KONTACK. The American Marketing Association states that marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers, [thus] by utilizing television to influence consumers" (Calvert 206). The television advertisements will serve to deliver on the customer relationships we have with consumers as far as our other products and to capitalize on the nuts and bolts of saturation in the marketplace. KONTACK marketing will be "viral and repetitive [in order] for there to be an attention grabbing style of information" (Calvert 208) to the consumer base. 

Our second advertising prospect will be the use of social media. We will employ the latest in brand awareness via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. As social media has become the method of communication that fosters awareness of brands, it is viable that we use this format of marketing to obtain the results we are projecting. 

Advertising will also be addressed in the formula of safety. Many people have taken issue with wearable computers especially as it relates to being so close to one's field of vision and in the case of KONTACK, in one's eye. Such concerns are viable and thus, we carried out the necessary measures to obtain permission to speak to the consumer base on just how KONTACK will affect them both visually and health-wise. Our feedback team has provided us with information statistics so the consumer base feels safe using KONTACK. Several individuals stated that we should liken the use of KONTACK to the cell phone in how we advertise it. That feedback was helpful as we have partnered with National Cancer Institute in order to provide consumers the needed information so they feel safe. The National Cancer Institute has stated that "studies thus far have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancer of the brain, nerves or other tissues of the head or neck" ("Cell Phones and Cancer Risk"). This will be vital information to use in our safety advertisements. Presently, the allotment costs for promotion are $500 million and advertising will run on an annual schedule. Below is a pie chart that shows how the finances will be divided up.

To measure advertising effectiveness, we will employ the use of data mining, ROI and analytical methodology to discover which approaches are working. Projections from our marketing team show that television (non-safety) advertising will be the most effective as well as the social media forces that AR has utilized for past product launches.

In our financial strategic assessment, we will employ end to end conversion metrics, revenue diversity metrics, and outcome profitability metrics. "End to end conversion metric measures the conversion ratio for the full revenue cycle as for each of the major stages [of what Gort & Klepper (1982) described]. Benchmarked over time this metric highlights leakages and inefficiencies" (Crandell). Revenue diversity metrics "measure the productivity of lead generation [such as] email, virtual events, direct mailings [noted as other in the promotion pie chart]; [and] outcome profitability metrics are applicable to companies that sell complex products. This metric measures profit attributable to each business problem" (Crandell). Our marketing and finance teams have reasoned that KONTACK is a complex product that needs to be analyzed on outcome profitability. On the basis of what we aim to use to determine the effectiveness of KONTACK, we plan to implement a set of sunglasses of a similar nature to KONTACK, known as KONTACKS. 

The continual evaluation will be performed to ensure that KONTACK is popular and performing well in the consumer marketplace. While projections detect that KONTACK will be quite profitable for AR, examining and knowing are two separate items. If for any reason KONTACK is not successful, we will go back and see what went wrong throughout the planning and execution stages to rectify any issues.

Works Cited

Calvert, Sandra L. "Children as Consumers: Advertising and Marketing." The Future of Children 18.1 (2008): 205-234. Print.

"Cell Phones and Cancer Risk." National Cancer Institute, 24 June 2013. Web. 25 July 2013. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones>.

Crandell, Christine. "Three Metrics to Measure Sales and Marketing Alignment." Forbes8 May 2011: Web. 25 July 2013. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecrandell/2011/05/08/three-metrics-to-measure-sales-and-marketing-alignment/>.

Gardiner, Bryan. "Wearable Computers Could Help Build A Better You." POPSCI 12 Mar. 2013: Web. 25 July 2013. <http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-02/wearable-head-displays-could-help-build-better-you>.

"Glass." Google, 2013. Web. 25 July 2013. <http://www.google.com/glass/start/>.

Houssi, Amina A., Kaj P. Morel, and Eric J. Hultink. "Effectively Communicating New Product Benefits to Consumers: The Use of Analogy versus Literal Similarity."Advances in Consumer Research 35 (2005): 554-559. Print.

Jovanovic, Boyan. "The Life Cycle of a Competitive Industry." Journal of Political Economy 102.2 (1994): 322-347. Print.

Parviz, Babak A. "BiomedicalBionicsFeature Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens." IEEE Spectrum, 1 Sept. 2009. Web. 25 July 2013. <http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/bionics/augmented-reality-in-a-contact-lens>.

Starner, T M., S Rhodes, B Levine, and A Pentland. "Augmented Reality through Wearable Computing." Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 6 (1997): 384-398. Print.

"What Percentage of the Population Wears Glasses?." Glasscrafter.com, 2013. Web. 25 July 2013. <http://glassescrafter.com/information/percentage-population-wears-glasses.html>.

(Appendix 1 omitted for preview. Available via download)