Innovation has become a hot topic in the current society. Bessant and Tidd (2007) define innovation as the process of translating new ideas into useful practice and apply them, like new products, processes, and services. There are different types of innovation, but traditional research on innovation focused on product or process innovation. Today, the definition of innovation is summarized into five types: product innovation, process innovation, marketing innovation, resource allocation innovation and organization innovation (Xi, 2005). The other type of innovation is marketing innovation, which refers to a new way in which companies can market themselves to potential or existing customers (Tidd and Bessant, 2009). Marketing innovation aims at identifying new potential markets and new ways to serve target markets. In marketing innovation, the most important thing to consider is to identify the potential markets through market segmentation. The other purpose of marketing innovation is concerned with serving chosen markets better, which requires the analysis of consumer preferences.

When conducted in an appropriate manner, marketing innovation means developing of new business and safeguarding the existing business. According to Halpern (2010) marketing innovation represents new ways which companies can market themselves to potential or existing customers. Therefore, it is concerned with activities such as enter into a new market. Furthermore, marketing innovation focuses on developing new ways which a company can use to market itself better to existing customers. Marketing innovation involves the implementation of new marketing strategies with significant changes in product design, placement, promotion and pricing. This type of innovation is intended to address the needs of clients, open up new markets. This study explores the marketing and innovation strategies of Smarbage by incorporating a new marketing strategy, which forms part of the new marketing concept that represents a significant transition from the existing marketing methods used by the company. It will examine customer involvement and how such involvement relates to new product development with new empirical evidence.

Customer trend or behavior to leverage with innovation

Companies who are high leverage innovators integrate customers and users deeply in all stages of the innovation process. Therefore, adapting quickly to the customers evolving needs by developing new products requires the involvement of the clients right from the very beginning of the R&D process. Customers should be incorporated in all stages of innovation because the products are often designed with understanding of consumer needs; hence consumers should be given what they want. Therefore, users should be participating in the innovation process because they understand their tastes and preferences. In addition, customers lead the design and development of new products.  The main intention of the company is to increase marketing through innovation (Berkowitz, 1987). The only distinguishing feature of marketing innovation compared to changes in a company’s marketing instruments is the implementation of a marketing method that had not been previously implemented by the firm.

In the market place, there are a number of ways in which a company’s product design influences the behavior of clients (Bloch, 1995). The design of a product substantially determines consumer’s impression or attitudes. In addition, product design generates consumer perceptions or inferences regarding the design of the product (Berkowitz, 1987). However, since the evaluation of product design by consumers is a complex process, it is necessary to understand what exactly constitutes the value of a product design, by involving the consumers in all phases of product design.

The company needs to establish a user group which will compose of representatives from the company. Other participants will be derived from a cross-section of the target customers. The process will involve various activities to encourage the participants to discuss and exchange their views concerning the “Smarbage”. This will enable the firm to obtain important feedback to identify the issues or problems, related to the Smarbage and any other additional function that may be required by the clients. Consumer participation in product development assists in ensuring that client needs and preferences are met through the new product development.

It is important to understand the behavior of consumers that may lead to changes in the marketing and sales processes. It is very important to recognize the industry players’ standpoint, their roles, mindsets, and general personas. With waste reduction becoming a necessity in the UK, waste management has been a critical issue for many households, and businesses (Telegraph, (2010). In addition, much of waste in the average dustbin be composted, and thrown in the environment in bags as long as humanly possible hoping that it is a responsibility of others to do it. However, the adoption of Green consumerism among people, with an increasing number of consumers looking forward to minimizing damage caused to the environment, has altered the way people manage their wastes.

Innovation strategy

Management and innovation are the only way that can be used by companies to manage their competitive advantage. Marketing innovation is equally valuable and often outweighs technological innovation. The company should begin innovation efforts that details clear targets as well as tactics, to assist internal innovators to understand what is required by consumers. A good innovation strategy involves the creation of growth strategies, new product categories that aim at generating significant new value for consumers. Smarbage is developed to improve its market indifferent laces.  The company aims at selling the products at the following areas, Selfridges, John Lewis and Waitrose. The particular market segments are chosen because Smarbage is an up market product. The products are high tech and are kept cost effective through a combination of manual elements of usage which are also priced moderately to cater for other market segments, by combining the other manual elements of usage, and moderately prices compared to other similar brands, which are   expensive (Bloch, 1995). The most crucial factor in product development is the understanding of customer preference and incorporating them into the new product design (Zirger and Maidique, 1990). Therefore, client participation improves with product newness to some degree, but may decrease as a result of the introduction of new brands (Callahan, 2002). The role of customers is not limited to providing information and feedback, but also provides the opportunity for testing the new product. Thus, it involves a passive acquisition of user inputs, collection of important information and feedback on specific issues, and a full representation of consumers within the new service development team.  Consumers are involved in order to investigate their effectiveness in acquiring the user knowledge. By listening to the client’s views, the company can improve the product design to make it more user-friendly and make sure that the company provides the functions that customers exactly need. This is important since it will enable the firm to make adjustments to the product design and launch the products within the shortest time possible.

Product design

Smarbage is created by a technology that includes compactor and odor absorber which is activated charcoal. The design package includes a biodegradable plastic polythene bag with a cut reinforced handle. This is important in enhancing environmental sustainability. The bins have special compression features to reduce the amount of waste by two thirds. Is use applies pressure, which is used to compact the rubbish, hence, creating additional spaces. The product also has inbuilt  compression feature making it to utilize less time used to  empty the bin on a regular basis.  Based on its design, Smarbage will boost cleanliness and improve the hygiene of the environment. In addition, Smarbage is easy to handle when taking out the rubbish. With its odor free seal, the bad smell is kept away for a longer duration hence preventing unpleasant odor. The Smarbage is designed in an environmentally friendly manner by using biodegradable bin liners. These features are ideal for landfill disposal to minimize environmental impacts when buried (Recycling Guide, 2012). Below is the new look of a Smarbage bin.

Assessment of product characters

purchase

delivery

use

supplements

maintenance

disposal

consumer productivity

price of Smarbage bin is slightly higher than normal garbage bin 

Need to buy the plastic bags that specialize for the bin

simplicity

buyers may feel more difficult to assess the value

a lot of automatic process, save users time

plastic bags are changed automatically

have batteries that need to be recycled

convenience

will be sold in additional dealer channels such as supermarkets, online booking also available

heavier that normal garbage bin door to door delivery available for online booking

Replace the plastic bags frequently because it can store more garbage. More convenient to people to pick up rubbish bag

can purchase the plastic bags in the supermarket for set up a regular refill plan online

similar normal garbage

risk

may have higher risk of failures as it embodies more technologies

fun and image

buyers feels they are making effort to protect the environment

Feel relieved and clean, connotes image of environmental responsibility

Environmental friendliness

Buyers feel they are helping manage the waste

reduce the volume of rubbish

requires less use of plastic bags

Product price range

The company wants the product to be adopted by the market quickly, so there is a need to attract some of the price sensitive customers. The plastic bag, since its reinforcement, has become strong and degradable with specific design. It can be differentiated from the normal rubbish bags and make a profit. However, the price range of Smarbage ranges from several pounds to 300 pounds. The product’s high end market includes; upper middle class family, and professional couples, who are willing to buy the product. Smarbage targets a high disposable income group who will have the willing to pay for the product.

The company targets a market segment that constitutes of consumers who are moving into a new accommodation, or individuals who have just renovated their accommodation because they value the design and decoration of their accommodation. The other market segment comprises of individuals who are not moving to a new accommodation or renovating their accommodation, as well (Callahan, 2002). The company also targets couples who have just married, and have just moved into a new home. It also targets families who need hygienic places because they have need new born babies, and big families who generate more rubbish than small families. The other target group includes professionals, open minded people, and the tech savvy individuals, who appreciate new technology and have the will to experiment with something new.

Time of entry

The company decided to be the first mover in the area of producing an electronic bin that is to be used by an individual can be used by a family. This timing of entry has been very beneficial, in enhancing the competitive edge of the company by being the leader in this innovative domain. Gaining an early market access to the distribution channel along with the relationship with suppliers. Moderate switching cost, since the company charges higher cost on the products at a higher cost whereas the cost of learning s extremely very low. Moderate switching cost, the company charges high cost on the products, but the cost learning the innovation is very low. The company has a low R & D cost since it uses a combination of mature enabling technology and a modest research needed. The company uses a supply chain, and a distribution channel, which is well developed, and the direction are very clear for the company. Adoption of developed innovation strategies in response to wee-understood consumer need (Schilling, 2010), and to gain competitive advantage over the rival firms.

Future growth

In order to ensure future growth, it is important to expand product lines. This will ensure that more products are produced with different sizes and functions. The company target hotels and companies which would like to reduce the volume of waste and making an effort to enhance environmental conservation. Other potential markets include non-governmental organizations, which will purchase the new product and offer as donations to improve waste management. This is possible through corporate social responsibility. The company also needs to tailor different products and waste management to find solutions for different organizations. The company should implement adverting strategies at the initial stage of product launching, to boost awareness about the product existence. The commercial and advertisement should be business oriented and informative.

The main aim of product advertisement is to inform consumers about the product. The other approach is to give away the product to opinion leader. When deciding to make sales to the B2B, the company should make efforts to incorporate with Real Estate developers who construct their premises for long-term and short term rental; they may be in the business of constructing commercial houses to sell. Through innovation, the company can improve its products through establishing a relationship with designers who can incorporate the product in their client’s houses. Other potential consumers are the furniture and kitchen ware retailers who may also distribute the product. This will increase the sales at this specific store rather than the department store (Suarez and Lanzolla, 2005). The company can also improve profit making through positioning itself as a prestige product with hi-tech and luxury design. The presence of complimentary products is very important since it ensures that clients have various avenues to obtain the product. This may include, online purchase, offline, or through subscription (Gordon, 1996).

Conclusion

The most important implication is for firm managers to make emphasis on learning consumer preferences and needs. Therefore, firms should closely examine their commitment to innovation strategies. Based on product development and innovation marketing on “Smarbage”, the methods discussed the potential for understanding consumer wants as well as, needs in great detail. Thus, to utilize the values, of the information, organizations must be able to deal with any barriers to communication (Zirger and Maidique, 1990).

The other vital method to create quality consumer products and services is to involve the consumers in all stages of product development. It is a fact that consumer participation in any design stage distinguishes between successful and unsuccessful products. In the current market place, consumer product designers tend to involve the consumers after developing the product first. However, such experiences influence the consumer busing process and can be very crucial in identifying any problems or barriers as well as, any difficulties before they cause any harm to the new product prospects. Thus, in the daily operation of a company, consumer information, which is generated by involving consumers in all stages of product development are very important in helping understand the consumers better.

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