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Skisailer Marketing A Youn Investors Dream Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1106 1621 Words (5 Pages) Dominique Turpin, Kamran Kashani IMD : IMD042
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Skisailer is an innovative product in the consumer market which is based on the combined concept of skiing and windsurfing. The product was created from a connection bar that could be mounted on regular skis and these were able to direct skis with greater flexibility on the winds. The presence of wind was required for the skis to be driven over snow and if the right conditions were found, the product was very much fun to be used. The product required some level of practice for the user to get accustomed to the product, hence, the learning curve for the use of the product was medium. The product also contained a self-releasing mechanism which was considered very important for the user of the product. The safety of the product was also enhanced by wearing a helmet when using the product.

Skisailer was the unique product that could be used over flat surfaces, as well as, slopes. The surface which was most suitable for the use of this sports equipment was hard-snow. This factor was also a limiting feature of the product that it needed both snow and wind to be used properly by sports enthusiasts. The industry in which the company operated is the sports industry. To be more specific, the industry for the product comprised of the holiday sports industry in which users engaged in sports for fun rather than to compete against each other.

Case Analysis for Skisailer Marketing A Youn Investors Dream

According to the Promotion Discussion Model, the product appealed to those people who were used to windsurfing and skiing both. These users engaged in this sport as a fun activity and tended to engage in these sports continually. Apart from being engaged in sports, this group of people were also concerned about their image and tended to use the innovative product to associate themselves with futuristic products and technologies. The Promotion Discussion Model also entails that the product appealed to those individuals who have access to those regions which contained flat ice – either on a plain or on a hill – or snow-covered fields. According to the model, a significant degree of wind was also required for wind for it to be useful for sports-oriented people because it could be driven over snow only an external force which is the wind in this case.

The marketing plan for skisailer was a comprehensive one and contained all four fundamentals of marketing – product, price, place, and promotion. Each one of these variables is discussed individually:

Product – product proposition was strengthened by the organization by gaining insight through testing of product prototypes. It was learned from product prototypes that mounting blocks and connecting bars were subjected to a high degree of pressure, most importantly when the operating temperature is low. This aspect of the product is strengthened by making it resistant to both shocks and low wear at low temperatures.

A major weakness of this aspect of the marketing program was that insight was not gained into customer experience through marketing research and letting the potential customers to test the product. For new product innovations, this is one of the most essential aspects of a marketing program since a new product cannot be offered unless it is tested on consumer groups.  

Price – The price of the product was ascertained through market penetration strategy rather than market skimming strategy. Margins for wholesalers and retailers were maintained at 35% of the cost of the product each. The net outcome of this strategy was that the consumers were able to test the product and their inhibitions for trying a new product were reduced. This aspect of the marketing strategy of the product was a key advantage.  

Place – The product was available at three windsurf equipment stores and thirty skishops in the city of Laussanne. The distribution of the product was done through both wholesalers and independent retailers in the city. The use of this holistic placement strategy of the company was a major benefit for the organization since it was assured that maximum exposure was given to skisailer at point of sale.

Promotion – The weakest element of the marketing program of the product was promotion. No promotional material was developed for the product. For new product innovations, it is highly recommended to make pamphlets and other promotional material to be available to the consumers at the point of sale. No videos were created to let the potential customers gain an idea of the way the product is used. For the inhabitants of a city with 250,000 people, the marketing budget was only $15,000. This makes for a per person promotion expenditure of 6 cents, which is quite low for a new product introduction where a high degree of exposure is needed.

The secondary market of skisailer comprised of early adopters. Early adopters of skisailers are comparatively older. This secondary market is not much of a sports enthusiast, however, they are very much image-conscious and want to associate themselves with new and emerging technologies. For this reason, this group of people is more prone to purchase skisailer instead of regular skis. Therefore, it can be said that the secondary market for this product can be as important as the primary market for this product category. This secondary market is not price conscious, which is also a very positive aspect for the company.

Through the examination of 4P’s of marketing, several obstacles are found to the success of skisailer in consumer markets. The weakest element of the marketing mix of skisailer is the promotion of the product. The promotion budget allocated for this innovative product is kept at a low amount. New product categories require support from promotion material like brochures and videos. Even if the product is available at retail with high visibility, it is less likely that consumers would be willing to purchase a new product whose usage is not demonstrated to them.

The product aspect of the marketing mix is also an obstacle to growth because it was not tested with the buyers. There are a number of problems with the product during usage, such as exceptional twisting of legs during usage of the product, the difficulty of using the product in case of strong wind and knees were found to get stiff during skiing. Another obstacle for the growth of the product in consumer markets was the fact that the product was considered to be priced higher because consumers were taking a considerable risk when purchasing the product because the usage was unknown among consumers.

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