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Bumper Buddy

Essay by   •  January 23, 2016  •  Business Plan  •  4,672 Words (19 Pages)  •  1,256 Views

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I. PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

        Our new product is called the Bumper Buddy.”  This is a bumper protection device for the front of an automobile, made out of high-density foam rubber.  The Bumper Buddy is about ten inches long and about two inches deep, and is designed to affix to the top of your license plate via the pair of screws that hold the plate to the front of the car.  This simple, yet effective device eliminates the worry over minor damage done to your car (and others!) while parallel parking or in low-speed rear-end collisions.  Because of its positioning, it is the first object that would touch another car while parking.          

        This product fills a very necessary gap in existing automotive part technology.  Current similar devices include products such as the Bumper Bully,which are large flaps that hang off of ones trunk.  While these require the driver to put them into place each time he/she parks, the Bumper Buddy may remain on the car at all times.  In addition, instead of an unsightly rubber mat that covers your entire back bumper, the Bumper Buddy is a small, sleek product that one hardly notices.  Our product also has the advantage of utilizing an industry-standard width of license plate holders, requiring customization to be minimal.  The fact that Bumper Buddy is small and requires little in terms of material means it can be offered at a price point that is considerably less than its competitors.          

        The challenges that we foresee with making the Bumper Buddy include determining the best way to sell our product.  One option would be to set up an online store that would be the exclusive venue for purchasing Bumper Buddy.  Alternatively, a potential wider customer base could be introduced to the product if it were sold in national auto parts stores such as Auto Zone or Pep Boys.  The other challenge that would need to be considered is how the product can be marketed in different communities, as this product would be more useful in urban areas where tight spaces and parallel parking are more common.

        The corporate headquarters for Bumper Buddy is located in York, Pennsylvania.  This location was selected due to its proximity to our larger eastern US target markets, i.e. New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC, to name a few, and it is also along major shipping routes.  In addition, York offers relatively cheap warehousing space when compared to sites on the East Coast.

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Design Concept

II. SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths

  • High quality materials used in production
  • No similar products currently on the market
  • Relative small size of product compared with competitor products (storage/shipping costs)
  • Product uniformity (one size fits all)
  • Lower consumer price point than existing competitor products
  • Strong supply chain to obtain materials from suppliers (limited number of materials)
  •  Innovative culture to find unique products in the market to meet the consumer needs

Weaknesses

  • New to the retail business world and limited experience in the automotive parts industry
  • Entering markets where street parking is not common (suburbs and rural areas)
  • No brand recognition in the auto industry
  • Only provides protection for front bumper (not effective for rear bumper)
  • License plate gauge not standard worldwide
  • Unproven and untested in high-speed collisions

Opportunities

  • Products uniqueness allows for price control
  • Minimal overhead for storage and shipping
  • Able to undersell existing options for bumper protection
  • New technology could allow for flexibility of material and improved products
  • New markets to expand businesses (European market)
  • Online market to expand business without the need of a physical location

Threats

  • A change in focus of a larger competitor could challenge any market position we achieve
  • Acquisition and maintenance of patent
  • Unforeseen changes in car technology
  • Fluctuation in product material market (price/availability of rubber, etc.)
  • Laws pertaining to license plate display
  • Legal liability for on-road performance  

III.  TARGET MARKET

        The target market for “Bumper Buddy” would primarily be located in sizable urban areas (population 500,000+).  My segmentation variables for the product would be: ages 25-59, skewing male, income of $50k-$200k/year, with small children, middle class to lower upper class, automobile enthusiasts, economy-oriented, and unaware or informed interested.

        The rationale for selecting the above segmentation variables began with geodemographics.  Our product would be marketed almost exclusively (at least at first) in larger, urban areas over 500,000 people.  The rationale for such a marketing strategy is that these locations require more instances of hazardous driving exercises, such as parallel parking, small bumps in traffic, etc.  Urban consumers would also be included in the income segment of mid-career professionals (see below), where they would be highly-concentrated.

        The next segmentation demographic deals with age group.  I thought that 25-49 would be an appropriate age range for Bumper Buddy, because that is the prime age for status associated with professional achievement, which is often mirrored by one’s automobile.  Earlier than age 25, consumers have typically not hi0t their professional stride, and would be less likely to be concerned with the image that scratched bumpers would send.  Likewise, after age 59, consumers would be nearing the tail end of their professional careers, and their priorities would shift away from professional status symbols such as a pristine car.  

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