The new PowerBar GelBar combines two products from the growing market segment into one: the growing segment of energy drinks and the growing but rapidly maturing market for energy bars. At this stage of product development, it is necessary to focus on the stage of the bar product life cycle, the next stages and our contingency plan for each of them as we reach it, the actions of the marketing mix that can be taken to promote the product and touch briefly on the initial pricing strategy.
Stage of the product life cycle currently
Even though GelBar combines a growing product with a growing/mature product, I think GelBar is in its introduction phase. However, due to the nature of the ingredients, it is a non-disruptive product that will likely reflect a product with a low learning curve. This means that the introduction stage will be short and fast. Because of this, I expect competition for the GelBar quickly once the product is released.
There is some logic behind claiming that the product is, in fact, an extension of PowerBar’s growth stage and a way for the company to avoid decline in the maturity stage. From a macro perspective, this is true, but the product itself must start at the introduction stage. Because the company will see the product as a new growth product, GelBar will enjoy market exposure and a large potential advertising budget that will allow it to penetrate the market quickly and with high customer awareness.
Planning for future stages of the product life cycle
Introduction: launch the product with intensive marketing efforts and reduced prices. Pack the product in eye-catching packaging to entice customers to buy the product. Launch in limited markets to test customer reactions and fix product issues before mass market.
Growth – During this phase, I expect multiple competitors to enter the market. More GelBar flavors may be introduced and the promotion would focus on the differences between the GelBar and the competition. We will expand locations offering GelBar as we roll out the product launch in multiple markets.
Maturity – Continue to introduce new product variations until GelBar reaches a full product line. Stock the product at all stores with an impulse buy section, including gas stations, sporting goods stores, grocery stores, and others.
Decline: Slowly reduce bar production and offer alternative bars to encourage customers to switch while reducing the cost of switching (i.e., reducing the risk of losing based on prospector theory). Start replacing the GelBar with the next innovation at select outlets to try out the new products.
GelBar Promoting Using the Marketing Mix: Three Strategies to Boost the Product
Product – With multiple energy bars and drinks on the market, product packaging and ease of use are paramount. GelBar should be promoted with a product size similar to a Snickers to facilitate the idea of a snack on the go. The physical packaging of the bar should emphasize the combination of the ingredients inside. Possible combinations include two-tone packaging that focuses on 5 Hour Energy orange and PowerBar gold or black and white to visually emphasize the two distinct ingredients.
Product bundling is also important. The bar must be available in both individual and package formats. This package format would allow the serious athlete to purchase 6-10 bars at a time for a reduced price per bar. By increasing the number of bars available to purchase at one time, GelBar appeals to high-end athletes as well as member discount stores like Sam’s Club or Costco.
Promotion: Since GelBar’s initial market is high-end sports enthusiasts, advertising will be limited to clearly relevant sporting events. Potential end-user groups and events include community sporting events, high school sporting events, corporate sponsored sports, and professional sports athletes.
As the product matures in the product life cycle, general advertising will be used. By involving sports athletes at an early stage, natural promotion will occur as fans see athletes wearing the GelBar at sporting events. Additionally, GelBar may hire celebrity endorsements from these early professional sports adopters. This will increase GelBar’s visibility to the average consumer and help increase sales as GelBar’s placement also expands into the growth and maturity stages of the product lifecycle.
Placement: GelBar is designed for serious athletes, so placement will initially be in high-end sporting goods stores and venues such as professional or amateur league sporting events. These limited test markets will allow us to correct customer complaints with the new product before rolling it out to grocery stores and health food stores regionally. Because we believe that the GelBar can be both a planned purchase and an impulse purchase, the product should be stored in two locations within each location, both near the cash register for impulse purchases and near other energy bars for planned purchases.
Once the product matures, GelBar should be in every gas station, discount membership retailer, grocery store, workout facility, and sports equipment store. This high market penetration will provide the most value for customers as the GelBar will be easily accessible while exercising or at short notice.
Set the price of the GelBar to achieve these goals
GelBar is initially a high end product that becomes a mass consumer product as it matures. Because of this, a skim pricing strategy would work best at first. While the GelBar should be given away at sporting events to minimize prospector theory impacts on the end user initially, the product should eventually be priced above the market price for an energy bar when it launches in select markets. This high price will ensure that only the top athlete buys the bar and builds the GelBar as a status energy bar.
However, once the competition begins to enter the market, the price must be changed. By switching from a skimming to a penetration pricing plan, GelBar will be able to dominate the market and effectively compete with the new bars being launched by our rivals. Because we were a status symbol bar, GelBar should be widely accepted by the mass consumer as long as we have the association with high performance and elite athletes. This price reduction will make the product available to all types of athletes, not just elite. The ultimate goal of the pricing strategy is to become similar in mindset to Gatorade or Powerade, both brands that are synonymous with exercise food.
Careful analysis of the product life cycle and understanding what each stage looks like will be key to successfully launching and promoting GelBar. By using different marketing mix strategies at each stage of the product life cycle, GelBar can stay one step ahead of the competition and maintain its market share. Using each stage of the life cycle, including decline, as a way to promote GelBar will secure the primary customer – the elite athlete – while at the same time ensuring that the product is quickly accepted by the mass consumer when we see it. let’s throw the dough. market segment.