Trap-Ease America: the Big Cheese of Mousetraps

Trap-Ease America: The Big Cheese Of Mousetraps Presented To: Dr. Ziad Haddad Presented By: Shady Habboub Fall Semester 2009-2010 1- The Mission Statement of Trap-Ease America: “We want to free your homes from mice. Fathers: you can protect your families easily and safely. Trap-Ease America is your state of the art solution” 2- The opportunities that arise in the environment, if successfully captured by firms or entrepreneurs could become a success story.

But what if these “opportunities” were fake, or misinterpreted?? The story will have a totally different ending… Martha feels that she faces “once in the life opportunity”, is it true? Despite the excellent product, sales aren’t reflecting the notoriety the Trap-Ease had earned as mentioned in the text. Is sales the real problem, or is it the effect of a hidden cause, where poor demand is just the tip of the iceberg? For Martha to consider that she is facing a golden opportunity, her product has to fulfill a latent demand for the consumers.

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Is the value exploration has been well understood in all the spaces and most importantly in the customer’s cognitive space? On the other hand, when creating the value, had Martha identified the new benefits to communicate from the customer’s view? And concerning Value Delivery, can we consider that the company has reached the level of proficiency at customer relationship management, identifying who its customers are, who has the power, how they behave and what they need or want. In terms of internal resource management is the company well organized?

Finally has the company managed successfully its relation ships with its partners? Do customers need a better mouse trap or they need to simply get rid of the mice? The early research suggested that men are more willing to buy and use traditional trap, however women didn’t like traditional mouse trap. Martha built its strategy assuming that because women didn’t like traditional mouse trap, Trap-Ease will be their product of choice. Knowing that they often stay at home, so they need a way to deal with mice without the hassle of traditional mouse traps & poisons Is it true?

Or most probably women will ask their husbands to deal with this problem with whatever mean they want? Moreover, the research revealed that men “have the power” meaning that they are the one who buy the mouse trap, is it the traditional or Ease-Trap no matter. An important hint that Martha couldn’t interpret is that Trap-Ease has won the first prize in the National Hardware show; the attendees are mostly men… Finally can we assume that because men tend to buy the traditional mouse trap they are not the right segment?

Certainly no, the right segment is Men. Because they possess the power of both buying & using the mouse trap or poison… Martha failed in her pre work of segmentation of the market thus choosing the value. Had her successfully identified the right segment, the other components of the value creation and delivery sequence would have a real chance to succeed if properly dealt with. Unfortunately Martha built its strategic marketing based on an STP formula that doesn’t fit the market hus leading to the present situation. An important point that Matha failed to take into consideration, is despite the fact that traditional trap and poisons have many disadvantages, the product of choice might be a totally different & innovative product not necessarily Trap-Ease… Martha is following the Product Concept, assuming that having the better product with the best features will be reason for high demand. Ignoring the fact that customers might not need this product.

But, as Trap-Ease America is the sole product the company is selling thus the survival of the company relies on it, Martha had to built a comprehensive understanding of the market, scanning the opportunities and threats, then matching its strengths and dealing with its weaknesses to secure its position. A market opportunity analysis could helped Martha assess the attractiveness and probability of success of what it consider a once in a life opportunity. 3- After choosing the value Martha now has to position its product relative to the chosen segment.

She identified advantages that can be interesting to Women as she thinks that they are her most profitable segment. Trap-Ease America is: – Easy to use in comparison to traditional spring load traps. – Safe: No injuries for fingers and safe for children and pets (in comparison to both traditional traps and poisons). – No “clean up” problem. – Reused or thrown away. Although these advantages are interesting, but most probably they will not be attractive to women; as they will not use either Trap-Ease or its competitors.

And most probably the cleaning won’t be their responsibility, reusing the trap will be their least concern!!! They have to open the box and throw the mouse…what if it is still alive?! The safety of children is the most important issue for her, and might impact her decision if she was to buy it. Yet she might raise it with her husband, the one who BUYS , USES, MAY BE INJURED, CLEAN UP the mess and decides to USE it or THROW it. For hese reasons Martha should have studied the Buyer Behavior, in this case the man to better understand his preferences, where he shops, media pattern to know in later stages where to advertise and distribute the product, And how she has to deliver the value to the real buyer. 4- The marketing mix consists of the 4 P’s – Product – Price – Place – Promotion The first element of the marketing mix, the product, is been deeply treated. Is as features and improvements comparing to current choices or is it as to production under contract. Is Trap-Ease the answer to real needs of the customers?

It is not that obvious. The second element Price, Trap-Ease retail price is $2. 49 which is 5 to 10 times more expensive than traditional traps. Consumers as mentioned in the text appeared to offer initial price resistance. Yet it is not clear if these consumers are men or women. This information is crucial for the analysis, as if women are the one concerned by this information so pricing Trap-Ease at a premium price would be risky in the absence of a clear advantage for men to make the balance. On the other if the information describes men so there is no problem. We might consider a mix population, we have to observe the numbers of the two genders and make our decision appropriately). Other point to take into consideration is a fair price for retailers so they will accept the product on their shelves. A final point is to have a decent earning for the company. Place is an important element of the marketing mix. Putting the product is the right place for the right customers is essential to have an easy access for the product. By choosing to place the Trap-Ease in location such as national grocery, drug chains Martha is escalating its decision.

Placing the product away from the right segment: MEN. Yet if she decided to sell the product to middlemen & wholesalers Trap-Ease might have a chance to reach the right segment despite all odds. Promotion is the final element of the marketing mix. The first year of introduction carries normally the highest budget for promotion. Martha could have allocated a higher amount to promote Ease-Trap. Yet we don’t know if she had constraints and limitations. Moreover, she could wisely allocate this amount by hiring more sale people to help her in the field. 0% of the budget was for travel costs to visit trade shows and sales call on retailers. The choice of advertisement once again isn’t targeting the right segment. 5- As mentioned in the text, trap-Ease competitors are divided into two groups: – Traditional spring-loaded traps – Poisons Martha forecasted five million units as the first year sales. To formulate this goal, Martha had to first know the market of anti-mice volume of sales. Then, to know the market share of each competitor (or group of competitors as for sure there are many brands in each category).

After having a deep understanding of the market, knowing where to position her product, how to differentiate it from competition, then to reach the target segment. She will put a target to achieve accordingly. A SWOT analysis for each competitor is completed to know its strengths & weaknesses. Traditional spring load trap: |Strengths |cheaper |Efficacy |Availability |Experience | |Weaknesses |Safety |Inconvenience |Clean-up | |

Poisons: |Strengths |efficacy |cheaper |availability |convenience |No clean-up | |Weaknesses |Safety | | | | | Trap-Ease |Strengths |Convenience |no clean-up |Safe |No mess |No injury |Re use or thrown| |Weaknesses |Price |availability |No experience | | | |