Thorr Motors Simulation Heather Sanchez MKT/421 July 20, 2011 Theodore Framan Perceptual maps help to improve a company’s current product on the market by mapping consumer expectation of the product. The motorcycle company Thorr Motors perceptual maps were used to create a marketing plan to aid in maintaining a high brand image of their motorcycles. This paper is based on the three phases in the Thorr Motors simulation. The situation, recommended solutions, and result for each phase will be discussed. Lastly, the different marketing components addressed in the simulation will be summarized.
Phase I Sales of the Cruiser Thorr are decreasing. The decrease is because the Cruiser Thorr’s target consumers are aging and their tastes have begun to outgrow the lifestyle that Cruiser Thorr symbolizes. Another issue is that younger consumers are more interested in lower priced motorcycles because of their lower personal disposable incomes and they do not identify with Cruiser Thorr’s lifestyle image. This scenario wanted to determine the Cruiser Thor’s position in the market by choosing four relevant parameters that will reflect the highest potential.
For phase I the parameters chosen were lifestyle image, services offered, price, and quality engineering. Lifestyle image was chosen because the image for the Cruiser Thorr was becoming outgrown by the aging target audience and was not identifiable with younger consumers. The Cruiser Thorr’s lifestyle image is set very high so any vital information gathered will be highly useful to maintain that level of image that satisfies both an older and younger audience. Another parameter chosen was service. This parameter was chosen because compared to their competitors the services offered by the Cruiser Thorr are limited.
The more frills a product comes with, the more it may heighten the desire for it. Price was the third parameter that was chosen. Price was chosen because for many consumers price is one of the most important factors in making a buying decision. Finding the right balance between how much is too much and how low is too low is crucial in determining the appropriate price tag to entice consumer interest. The forth parameter chosen was quality engineering. Engineering was chosen because of the fact that the Cruiser Thorr will not be able to maintain a high brand image without this feature (University of Phoenix, 2011).
The decision to use lifestyle image, services offered, price, and quality engineering were the appropriate parameters to use. The parameters that were chosen were fundamental to the perceptual map and gave the best perspective as opposed to the other options. Phase II The position of the Cruiser Thorr is determined by the perceptual map. This position has not helped sales. This scenario calls for the marketing manager to create a marketing plan that will either reposition the Cruiser Thorr or launch a new motorcycle.
Upon researching threats and weaknesses of Thorr Motorcycles, the decision was made to launch a new motorcycle, the RRoth, which will grab the attention of younger consumers. With the new launch the marketing mix needed to be determined. The price for the new RRoth was set between $13,000 and $15,000. This price range was chosen because earlier surveys conducted showed that the younger consumers were more interested in lower priced motorcycles. The types of promotions chosen were sponsored events at Daytona, offering insurance and protection plans, free test rides, publicize through Hollywood films, and providing giveaway merchandise.
These were chosen because of the high amount of appeal these types of promotional methods would have on younger consumers. The places chosen to promote the RRoth were the Internet (Manufacturer’s Website), Dealers, and Distributors. These options were chosen because of the accessibility to younger consumers, especially the Internet. The services chosen were training to dealers, customization options, and financial services. Training to dealers was chosen so that the dealers can provide detailed and accurate information about the products sold.
Customization options were chosen because this would add to the cool and youthful image of the RRoth. Financial services were chosen because the younger consumers indicated an interest in financing options. Choosing to launch a new motorcycle turned out to be a good decision. The marketing mix options chosen were the most optimal for the formulation of a differentiation strategy. Phase III The marketing plan was implemented a year ago. It is time to determine if the plans have or have not been a success. Consumer perceptions of the Cruiser Thorr, and the RRoth have been surveyed.
A perceptual map will show whether or not the marketing activities have been a success. The marketing manager has to interpret market research to plot brand attributes of Cruiser Thorr. In addition, attributes relevant to the RRoth need to be chosen and interpreted to create RRoth’s perceptual map. The Cruiser Thorr was rated a nine in lifestyle image because initially this was rated very high. A nine is most appropriate. For price a rate of four was chosen because consumers saw this particular motorcycle as pricey compared to other brands.
A rating of four or five would be appropriate. Services offered are rated at a seven because services for the Cruiser Thorr is limited compared to competitors but were revamped because of consumer response. A rating of seven is most appropriate. Quality engineering was rated at eight because consumers think that Cruiser Thorr’s engine is the best. A rating of eight is very appropriate. The RRoth was rated at a seven for lifestyle image because like other Thorr motorcycles consumers are already considering it a status symbol. The rating chosen was the appropriate choice.
Price was rated at eight because the RRoth is cheaper than the Cruiser Thorr in order to target a younger consumer. An eight rating is appropriate. Cool were chosen for the RRoth because of the younger audience and a rating of eight was chosen. A rating of eight was most appropriate. Relationship between differentiation and positioning Differentiation of product is according to Investopedia “a marketing process that showcases the differences between products” (Investopedia, . n. d. , para. 1). Positioning of products is “the consumer perception of a product or service as compared to its competition” (Lake, n. . , para. 1). The relationship is that in order for a company to be a leader in that particular industry not only do they have to differentiate themselves from the competition, but also must secure a position in the market that when consumers needs need to be met, that company will be number one on the list in consumers’ minds. I had expected the repositioning of the product in the simulation. It was expected because one of the main issues was the changing perceptions of the consumers. There was nothing wrong with the physical product.
Tastes were changing, but the product was still of high quality. Like many companies they offered a fresh new product and for Thorr Motorcycles this attracted younger consumers. In spite of this, they did not totally scrap efforts on the Cruiser Thorr and worked on revamping the image. Product Life Cycle The impact the product life cycle has on marketing is that businesses need to plan their products around the product life cycle. Knowing where the product is on the cycle, marketing strategies can be adjusted to maintain profitability. A particular firm’s marketing mix usually must change during the product life cycle” (Perreault, 2009). In the simulation the Cruiser Thorr was in the decline stage of the life cycle as their sales were declining rapidly. The declining sales were because the older audience’s tastes were outgrowing the Cruiser Thorr and younger consumers were irritated by the high price. Cruiser Thorr was in decline stage, so a new motorcycle, the RRoth was introduced to the life cycle and aimed at a different target group to revamp sales and consumer perception. Conclusion
The perceptual map helped to determine consumer expectations for Thorr Motorcycles. Precise parameters were determined to hone in on exactly what they wanted and expected from the company. This ultimately is what enabled Thorr Motorcycles to reposition consumer perceptions back to where Thorr motors wanted. In this paper the three phases of the simulation, the situation, recommended solution, and results were discussed. In addition there was a discussion on relationship between differentiation and positioning of products or services and the impact of the product life cycle on marketing.
References: Differentiation. (n. d. ). Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://www. investopedia. com/terms/p/product_differentiation. asp Lake, L. (n. d. ). Product Positioning Definition. Retrieved July 20, 2011from http://marketing. about. com/od/marketingglossary/g/prodpostdef. htm Perreault, W. C. (2009). Basic Marketing: A marketing strategy planning approach (17th ed. . New York, NY: Mcgraw Hill. Simulation, MKT421-Marketing Website: https://mycampus. phoenix. edu/secure/resource/vendors/tata/UBAMsims/general_marketing/general_marketing_perceptual_maps_simulation. html