World is becoming complex though the technology has been keeping its effort continuously to make the life easier. People are now living in such an environment where everybody is busy to run the life in a higher status then the existing. In these busy days, the people have no time left to care about their health and personal care. Specially, in case of hair, the health of hair cannot draw attention of busy people. The eventful people may feel that they should take care of their health, but they have no time to do that. In past time, people usually happy with using oil in hair. Later on shampoo has started to get awareness and take care of the hair is not only limited upon shampooing but many other products like conditioner, hair dryer, hair massager etc have widely marketed and accepted by the customers. On the other hand, using hair dryer, hair massager, and shampooer would take more time and effort for the consumers, which shaped taking care of hair as a significant issue of modern life. This paper would argue for a plan to produce a new product that would help the busy people to take care of their hair. In other words, the paper would present a product development planning which is introducing a new hair treatment product named “3 in one E-shampooer”.
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The 3-in-one-E-shampooer is totally an innovative product. There is huge brand of shampooers’ in market, which mainly used for removing dandruff from hair and increases the brightness of the hair. Again, there are many brands of hair drying machines, which has ability to dry the hair. Some people also have attention for hair massaging. Thus, to take care of hair people need to use these three different types of products, which is not cost effective. The e-shampooer is an innovative product in a sense that, it is providing all these facilities in single equipment. People concerned with about hair can get the shampooing, drying and massaging facilities in only one product. This innovative product will reduce the hassle of going to parlours or saloons for get their head massaged. This product is actually a hamlet type product, which uses battery as a power supplier, and do not need continuous electricity supply. It is light to handling so consumers can carry it with them in the time of travelling. It needs supply of water, so consumers may use it in shower or taking bath. However, this innovative product will give the facility of hair drying and massaging in any time.
Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson (2001, p.81) argued that to create plan for the selected product, it is necessary to identify the potential competitors at first. The main competitors can be the shampoo brands, the electronic hair dryers, the beauty parlours, and the saloons that provide the head massaging.
There are huge established and world class shampoo brands in the world like Head & Shoulders, All Clear, Sun silk and many more. Besides electronic hair dryers like Hai, Sedu Xti, Amika, Conair infiniti, Super solano, bio ionic, and many others have good brand awareness among the customers. Beauty parlours like Clapton beauty parlour, the little beauty parlour & saloon and petal beauty parlour can also be treated as potential competitors.
Identify Customer Needs
Identifying customer’s needs is one of the most important tasks of product development. The route cause of this is that customers are the ultimate strength or resource for the success of a product. A product must reflect the customer need properly, otherwise customer will not accept it, and as a result, the producer will have to face loss. To identify the customer needs there are different techniques and tools available. Most effective and mostly used technique is to research among the potential customers. This research comes into execution by many techniques like survey or interview. In this paper, the survey technique has used. A well-designed questionnaire containing four related questions have used as survey tool.
To identify the customer needs fifty people has communicated with the questionnaire and the results selected by the highest response from them. The questions have designed to find out the acceptability of the new product among the customers where the fifty respondents have taken as sample.
The first question of the questionnaire was to find out whether the respondent has enough time to take care of his/her hair. Most of the respondents (About 75%) argued that they have no time to do that regularly. From this, it can conclude that the new product has expected to get acceptance of the customer. Then the question asked to the respondents about their preferences among shampooing, hair drying and massaging. Interestingly, these three activities are preferred in equal numbers among the customers. Then the respondents have asked to identify which product they use regularly to take care of their hair. The options were Shampoo, Hair dryer, Steam Iron, and Shampooer. Research found that most consumers used shampoo and a little number of people is using shampooer. Then the last question asked to the respondents about if they would accept a shampooer consisting of shampooing, hair drying, and massaging facility. The answers were favourable enough for introducing an innovative e-shampooer. Most respondents are ready to accept this product.
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Materials used in the product are an important part to satisfy the customer need. The shampooer will have to be consisting of a material to shampooing, materials to dry the hair and finally to have the materials to massage the head. As a shampooing tool, a tube consists of shampoo and can refill as needed. There must be used specific technology to pour the drop of shampoos in the hair. In the hair dryer, a ventilation system has engaged with the shampooer, which will be able to collect the air from the environment and remove the warm air. There must be embedded an air warming technology to make the air warm. To ensure water supply there will be a small tank to preserve water, which passes by pipes to the hair in time of shampooing.
These materials used in the shampooer have to have the ability to satisfy the customer needs. Customers will buy the product to get the three-hair treatment in almost same time. Therefore, coordination among the materials assembled in the machines will have to be sophisticated. The machine will have the ability to run by the battery. Thus, customers need not to have electricity supply. They have to just charge and re-charge the battery and use them. For continuous power supply, a well-designed circuit will have to be embedded which will ensure the replacement of battery. To make the use of the machine easier, the options to use available batteries have ensured.
The final product will have the specifications considering the customer needs. It has to use especially to do hair treatment. It will be portable and usable in time of shower, as it will need water supply. Users just have to be cautious about charging the batteries and fill the tank with water when they are going to use it.
In the development of new product like Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer, this can use for shampooing, hair drying and messaging in a time. There are three ideas of this product concept to develop it to the target market, given in below with proper justification.
- E-shampooer, which would need power supply: Technically, electronic goods obviously need power supply, which would reduce the costs of battery. In this concept, the e-shampooer has to have a power supply plug, which is need to be connected.
- Justification: The power supply is risky, when the product has used in water, as the main function of e-shampooer is to wash hair. In addition, every place, like in case of travelling, the connection of power supply would not be available.
- E-shampooer, which would need water supply, as the power supply is not justified, so another concept is to operate e-shampooer in market, which would need to add water with another source.
- Justification: This concept would increase the operation time of the product.
- Automatic E- shampooer: In Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer, the product has developed with the conditions of battery generation system and having an extra pipe to supply water in the time of washing hair. There must have a container to hold the bottle of shampoo, which could changed after it finished.
- Justification: As the product has every facility for the customers to use e-shampooer at any time without any hesitation and provide timesaving solution for the customers. Therefore, the last product concept would develop in the market.
The product will get the shape just like a helmet and users will put it on the head in the time of getting showered and shampooing. The outer body of the helmet has made by steel and at the inner part; there will be ventilators to pour water and steam. This inner level has some flexible little hands covered by foams to massage he head. Behind the lower level, the water tank and the tank where the vaporisation would occurred and stored. These two tanks have separated from each other. These tanks have insulated by such matters, which prevent the movement of the temperature. This system will help to maintain the water warm for more time. At the middle of the machine and the upper portion of the tanks there will be the shampoo holder, which has a hatch. The hatch can be open from the outer part of the machine. User will have to open the hatch and put shampoo in to it. From the lower part of the shampoo holder a pipe will be open in a small hole at the inner part, which will pour the shampoo.
The battery will be connected to the circuit, which has designed to supply necessary power to hit the water, make the water vapour, move the little massaging hands, control the drop of water to pour and removal of shampoo. In the outer part of the machine, there will be four switches. One will start the machine and will end the total program after use. The second one will pour shampoo and the user can off the switch after getting necessary amount of shampoo. The third switch will start the movement of the small hands to massage the head. The last will start hair-drying process.
Product Life Cycle: (The Product Life Cycle (PLC), 2000-2009)
PLC or Product life cycle is a development of biological life cycle of shampooer, from the development stage to die out or decline stage of this product. According to Marketing Teacher Ltd (2009, p.1) this life cycle has used to manage and measure sales in potential market and to minimise the costs of product with useful life. As it is assuming for all business that, a business can run as gong concern, but for any products, there are some conditions should be concerned, which are:
- Every product has a limited life
- The sales of product has to pass through different challenges, opportunities, and problems in the target market
- Profits must be uncertain with low or high volume
- The product needs marketing, financial, manufacturing, selling and HRM strategies in each of the life cycle.
In this marketing study, it is considering that, the life cycle of Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer has minimum 10-15 years life cycle with all stages. In below, the life cycle of Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer has shown with the help of figure:
- Introduction: For e- shampooer, the immediate profits are not essential for the organisation. In this stage, the promotional activities should used to create product awareness among potential customers. As this product has no direct competition in the target market, skimming pricing strategy could use as a market leader. Maximum number of channels of distribution should involve in this initial stage of the product. There are some other conditions are seen, which indicates the initial stage of the shampooer, which are:
- Capital and investment has needed with large amount, because the cost of initiating e-shampooer is high.
- As a new product, the customers would take time to accept the product, so sales volume would be low.
- With the competitive advantages of innovation, the e- shampooer has no direct competition in the target market.
- The market demand of e-shampooer has to create in the market, with lots of awareness to the customers.
- The customers have to be aware by the product development in the market, by different media and communications tools, like word of mouth, advertising, public relations etc.
- Growth: in this growth stage, the potential users of the e-shampooer with similar positioning are attracting the competitors of the market. E-shampooer would become more profit oriented in the market to beat the competitors very easily. In this stage, promotion costs are high to build a strong brand and to capture maximum market share. Some other indications of this stage are:
- The capital cost has reduced with the incremental of sales volume.
- The profit has increased with high sales and high brand awareness of e-shampooer.
- The competitors have established which can reduce the price of e-shampooer.
- Maturity: If the e-shampooer could survive in the initial stages, it can be spent longer maturity in the market. In this stage, the sale of the product has decreased at low volume. For this reason, the features of the product have differentiated with brand. High competition is concerned of the organisation. Therefore, product has developed with high promotion to promote market margins of sales. Some other factors are:
- The production level is so high in this stage, so costs are being minimised.
- Sales volume has reached at peak stage and price has lowered with competition in market.
- The profits have also decreased.
- Decline: This stage is the downturn stage of e-shampooer in the market, so product has to present in new dimensions with customers’ demand and price cut. Profits could generate by minimising costs of operations of the products. Other factors considered in this stage are:
- The volume of sales has decreased and price and profitability are being uncertain.
- Efficient development of production can only increase the profitability of –shampooer.
For new product development stages, like Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer, the product, market, and customer analysis are most important parts of the further process of the product marketing. Without product analysis in market considering internal and external factors, product cannot be commercialised so easily. For this reason, SWOT, PESTLE, and FMEA analysis are important to develop for this study of product development stages.
Chapman (2009, p.1) argued that PESTLE analysis is a framework, which has used to describe the macro environmental factors in marketing and developing new or existing product. It is a part of external analysis to consider market research in the development of shampooer to understand market position, business condition, and potentiality of both of them. The framework of PESTLE analysis shown with the help of following figure:
Kotler & Armstrong (2006, p.77) said that in PESTLE analysis, political factors are most important to start and operate new products in the market, which describes the political factors including government issues and rules of the market. The European Legislation is favourable to the shampooer, as it is helpful products for being public benefit. The organisation also should follow tax policies, employment laws, environmental regulations, trade restrictions, and political conditions of the market. For international trading of this shampooer also has to consider the trading policies according to different pressure groups in the market.
Economical factors are affecting the buying power of target market and the costs of capital to development and operation of the shampooer. Some other factors are also important to take into account, like economic growth, interest rates changes in banking and financial institutions, exchange rates of trading of new products, and inflation rates of market. International economic policies, like recession in USA are also important factors have considered for the organisation. The market conditions and trade cycles needed consider by the organisation to develop shampooer in market.
Socio- Cultural Factors
Kotler & Keller (2006, p.156) stated that socio- cultural factors have focused on the demographic and cultural aspects with the external environment of the organisation for new product development. These factors are depended on customers’ needs and size of target market, population and demographic variables and different customers’ behaviours. As potential customers are, busy with working, so they are emphasising on the safety of time and money to care their hair. Their preferences on the product as unbranded also considered in these factors.
For shampooer, the technological factors has analysed and focused with the minimisation of production level and maximising the outsourcing products, like raw materials and other technological components. Some other technological factors also considered for e- shampooer, like R&D activities, automation system, technological advancements, and continuous technological changes in the product. As it has seen before that, in today’s world, technology is moving faster than time, so it is important to capture and handle the technological uses for the product. The product should also develop in such way that, the competitors may find difficulties to copy the shampooer as their product.
In the legal factors for shampooer, it has focused on the discrimination, consumer, antitrust, employment, and safety law of products and other organisational and environmental stakeholders related with the product development process. These factors are important to control the effect of the product operations, costs, and demand of the product in the potential market.
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For shampooer, the considerable environmental factors would be weather, climate changes, which would effect on the product trading conditions and insurance insured for various uncertain conditions.
According to Chapman (2009, p.1), SWOT analysis is the development of strategic planning tools, which is evaluating strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats of the Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer, which is newly developed, with the consideration of PESTLE analysis. By SWOT analysis, the product is involved to identify and achieve the internal and external factors, which would help the product to achieve the objectives of the organisation. The figure of SWOT analysis has given in below:
Skinner & Ivancevich (2003, p.68) argued that strengths mainly focused on the internal favourable position of the new product according to competitors and markets. Some strengths of Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer are developed and given below:
- Advantages of Proposition of the Product: As the product has newly developed in the market, so it seems to be very interesting to the potential customers. As the proposition of the product, it is concerning about saving time and money of customers to care their health of hair.
- Advanced Capabilities: Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer is the new dimensions of technological advancement in 21st century. It has capabilities of shampooing, messaging, and drying hair within time and proper treatment of hair.
- Innovation as Competitive Advantages: As the product is completely new in the market, so the innovation of the technology like this product is competitive advantage in the highly competitive market.
- Unique Selling Proposition: Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer is itself a unique selling proposition in the market for them, who are concerning about their hair and time.
- Price and Quality: The quality of the product is obviously standard comparing as innovative in the market and direct competition is not sudden in the market now. The price is also reasonable comparing with other substitute’s products, like hair dryers, steam irons etc.
Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer also has to develop its weakness, which are those internal factors considered as unfavourable in the potential market. Some weaknesses of the product have given below:
- Trustworthiness of Customers: As a new product in the market, customers are not easily being impressed with it. The customers are being more concern about their health of hair. Therefore, customer’s trustworthiness is high in this product.
- Lack of Brand Reputation: Now days, the potential customers are being adopted by the branded products available in the market. As a new product, the brand reputation is less, so customers are not considering it as less branded products.
- Highly Competitive Market: The market of hair and care is highly competitive with many of substitute’s products, like shampoo, hair dryer, and lots of branded beauty parlour available in the market. Therefore, the customers have many choices not to choose this product.
Dobson, Starkey & Richards (2004, p. 131) said that opportunities are those external factors, which are helpful for the product to develop in the market and customers’ mind easily. Some opportunities of the product have given in below:
- Access in Market Development: The market development of this new shampooer is easy to access with technological advancement and innovation. As innovative product, the market development is in favourable position for the product.
- Lack of Direct Competition: Automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer is completely innovative and new as a hair care product. Therefore, the direct competition is totally absent from the market.
- Lifestyle Trends of Product: This shampooer is concerned about saving time and money of customers’ life in busy days. Therefore, it is a complete lifestyle trendy product to the potential customers.
- Economic and Fashion Excusive: To care hair properly is really expensive and time consuming for the life of people. Really, this shampooer is exclusive in fashion-concerned customers and guarantees the customers to save money with economic costs of the product.
According to Ulrich & Eppingher (2007, p. 177) threats are the vulnerable and external factors for the product, which can be arise from competitors or other external environmental factors. Some threats have focused in below for the shampooer:
- Competitors’ Intentions: In the development of new products, competitors are attempting to follow the product with various strategies. Therefore, the strengths of innovation will not work so longer.
- Continuous Technological Development: As electronic goods, this shampooer would need further development time to time, as technological advancement is moving so faster now. Continuous technological development would bring lots of financial crisis for the business.
- Market Demand of Shampooer: As a new product, the market demand is low, because the customers do not know about the benefits and proper uses of the shampooer. Therefore, there is lack of market demand for the product.
ReliaSoft Corporation (2009, p.1) published that FMEA1 are important methods, which has designed to identify the potential failure factors to be arising in shampooer and has various risks associating with issues to correct the failure modes of the product. For this analysis, some basic information’s need to identified, like:
- Items: In the items of shampooer, the raw materials, and other components, this already discussed before and considered to focus.
- Functions: The functions of a shampooer are shampooing, messaging, and drying hair with quickest possible time.
- Failure: If any component of this product has damaged, or not working properly, then the total product would be nothing, but being garbage.
- Effects of Failure: If the failure of shampooer were maximising, then customers’ satisfaction would be less. The other potential customers would also being concerned with word of mouth communications of the product.
- Causes of Failure: If the shampooer is controlled and used not in proper manner, or handled by children or unknown persons of that product, then the product could fail to operate.
- Current Controls: In the package of the shampooer, the cautions should recommend to handle the product properly.
- Recommended Actions: The customers should ensure about the after sales services of the shampooer with reasonable period.
- In FMEA, on of the most common method is Risk Priority Number (RPN), which is identified the potential problems, and analysis for further development to minimise the problems. There are three factors, which are:
- Severity rate of damage or failure of shampooer, which is assuming 20% for per 1000 products
- Potential customers’ attention rate in occurrence of failure of shampooer, which is assuming 10% for per 1000 products
- Organisation’s actions in detention of failure of the products, which is assuming 15% for per 1000 products
- Calculation of these three factors by following formula:
- RPN= Severity × Occurrence × Detention
- =0.3% (Per 1000 products)
So, this RPN method has used to take corrective actions for the failure of shampooer, according to FMEA analysis.
Final Product Summary
As automatic 3 in 1 E-Shampooer is favourable in the potential market with greatest innovation advantages comparing with competitors, it could easily develop the market and get customers attention. The product is not only innovative, but also it concerns about the time and money of customers. It also helps the customers to use in easy manner without any hesitation at any time. The organisation of e-shampooer is also offering after sales services within possible length of time. Therefore, this shampooer would be great opportunities to develop in the potential market.
Chapman, A., 2009. Pest Market Analysis Tool: PEST Analysis Method and Examples, With Free PEST Template. Web.
Chapman, A., 2009. Swot Analysis: SWOT Analysis Method and Examples, With Free SWOT Template.
Dobson, P., Starkey K., & Richards J., 2004. Strategic management, 2nd ed. United Kingdom: Blackwell publishing.
Hitt, M. A., Ireland, R. D., & Hoskisson, R. E., 2001. Strategic Management. 4th ed. Singapore: South-Western Thomson Learning.
Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. 2006. Principles of Marketing, 11th ed. Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited.
Kotler, P. & Keller, K. L., 2006. Marketing management. 12th Ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Marketing Teacher Ltd. 2009. The Product Life Cycle (PLC). Web.
ReliaSoft Corporation, 2009. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA).
Skinner, S. J., & Ivancevich, J. M. 2003. Business for the 21st Century. Boston: Homewood.
Ulrich, K., & Eppingher, S. 2007. Product Design and Development. 4th ed. McGraw Hill.
Appendix (Questionnaire for Survey)
- Do you have enough time to take care of your hair within your busy days?
- What is most important to you considering health of your hair?
- Dandruff free
- Instant drying
- What product do you use for taking care of your hair?
- Hair dryer
- Steam Iron
- If a product (e-shampooer) consisting the benefits of shampooing, hair drying and massaging integrated, would it be preferable to you?
- Failure Mode and Effects Analysis.