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Retractable Charging Cable

Allison Buehler
Haworth
MKT 3300.HON
18 April 2017
Marketing Plan Assignment
TABLE OF
CONTENTS

OVERVIEW ................................................................. 1

MARKETING OBJECTIVES ........................................... 1

ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN .............................................. 1

MARKETING RESEARCH FINDINGS ............................. 4

DESCRIPTION OF PRODUCT........................................ 9

PRELIMINARY PRICING STRATEGY .......................... 11

CHANNELS OF DISTRIBUTION .................................. 13

PROMOTION STRATEGY ............................................ 15


Overview
The product that I will be discussing in this marketing plan is a
retractable cell phone charging cable. This product is already available
in different forms on Amazon.com and other websites, but I believe
that it is possible to create a better version of this product and
successfully market it.

Marketing Objectives
After completing this marketing plan, the marketing objectives
regarding a new retractable charging cable are as follows:

• Earn a profit of at least $2,000 within the first month of being


available on Amazon.com.
• Receive an average rating on Amazon.com of four or more stars
within the first six months of being available on the website.
• Generate 75% awareness of the product among consumers aged
15-30 (measured by Amazon user accounts) within the first six
months of being available on Amazon.com.

Environmental Scan
An environmental scan involves continually acquiring information on
events to identify and interpret potential trends. An environmental
scan, also known as a CREST analysis, observes competitive,
regulatory, economic, social, and technological forces.

Competitive forces include alternative forms of competition and the


components of competition. Different forms of competition include
pure competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, or pure
monopoly. Components of competition include entry by other
companies, power of buyers and suppliers. The market for retractable
charging cables would be classified as pure competition. Many
companies currently manufacture and sell very similar cell phone
charging cables. It would only cost these companies a little extra
money to make their cell phone charging cables retractable.
Therefore, entry into the market for this product by other companies
would be fairly simple and not too costly. Consumers also have a
large amount of power in this market because the cost of switching to
another company’s cable is low. Since this product has the potential
to be manufactured by many companies, most consumers refer to
other consumers’ reviews and ratings on each company’s product. A
cable with a very positive rating will most likely be purchased more
than another company’s cable that is of better quality, but has a lower
rating by consumers. Ultimately, the market for retractable cell phone
charging cables would be highly competitive with the consumers
holding much of the power.

Regulatory forces include laws protecting competition, laws affecting


marketing mix actions, and self-regulation. Regulation exists to
protect both companies and consumers. There are many forms of
legislation that help to regulate, including product-, pricing-,
distribution-, advertising-, and promotion-related legislation. The laws
listed under each of these categories would not have too major of an
effect on the market for retractable charging cables.

Economic forces include macroeconomic conditions and consumer


income. Macroeconomic conditions can be measured based on
indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment, or
price changes (inflation or deflation). Consumer income, which
includes gross, disposable, and discretionary incomes, are also
important to marketers because consumers need income to purchase

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products or services. Consumer expectations about the economy
greatly affect the environmental scan because consumers spend their
income based on how they expect the future economy to unfold.
However, since the retractable charging cable is a relatively
inexpensive product, based on which company a consumer buys it
from, these economic forces should have a relatively low impact on the
market for this product.

Social forces include demographic shifts and cultural changes.


Demographics are referred to as describing a population according to
selected characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, income, and
occupation. Culture incorporates the set of values, ideas, and
attitudes that are learned and shared among the members of the
group. Demographics would most likely not affect the market for
retractable charging cables too much because so many different
consumers around the world own cell phones and thus need to charge
them. However, consumers in countries with cultures that constantly
search for more efficient ways to live, such as in the United States,
would probably purchase a retractable charging cable more than
consumers in countries with differing cultures.

Technological forces include technology’s impact on customer value.


Technology does not necessarily involve science or engineering; it can
mean finding ways to make something more effective and efficient as
well. Today, many consumers are looking for products that make their
lives easier or more convenient. A retractable phone charger allows
consumers to never have to choose between a short charging cable or
a longer charging cable. Sometimes a long cable is necessary when a
power outlet is further away. However, when a long cable is not
necessary, it can be bothersome to deal with the extra inches of cable.
Therefore, a retractable charging cable is technological because it can
make the lives of consumers easier and more efficient.

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Based on this environmental scan on a retractable cell phone charging
cable, I would recommend that a company that is interested in
manufacturing this product to focus mainly on making it stand out
among other companies’ cables. This market would appear to be
extremely competitive, so if the company’s retractable charging cable
is known among consumers to be of high quality at a reduced price, it
will thrive in this market.

Marketing Research Findings


My qualitative marketing research involved having small discussions
with a few small groups of people about a retractable cell phone
charging cable. One group included my family (my parents, my older
sister, and my two younger brothers). Another group included two of
my close friends in my sorority. A third group included my group for a
project in my managerial accounting class. The discussions that I had
with each group lasted no longer than 10 minutes each, but I was able
to receive some opinions about this product.

During the discussion with my family, both of my parents said that


they would not find any use in a retractable charging cable because
the only times they need to charge their phones are at work or at
home at the end of the day. In both places, they are able to charge
their phones close to them, so a retractable charging cable would be
unnecessary to them. However, all three of my siblings said they
would be pretty interested in buying one of these cables because
power outlets can be either close or far away, and it would be helpful
to be able to have the flexibility to use only one cable in these
situations.

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When I discussed this product with my two friends, they both agreed
that it seems like an interesting product, but they did not see
themselves purchasing one in the near future. They said that the part
of the product that would make the cable retractable would be too
bulky, making the product not as efficient as it first set out to be.

Finally, I briefly discussed the product with my group for my


accounting project. They all generally agreed that it seemed like
product they would purchase if it was at a reasonable price because it
seems like it would be helpful in situations where power outlets are
scarce. They also would only purchase the product if it would be
reliable; many reviews on different retractable charging cables stated
that these cables tend to break easily. They said that they might not
feel extremely comfortable purchasing products for their cell phones
unless they were official; for example, some consumers only buy
charging cables for their iPhones from Apple.

Based on my qualitative marketing research findings, I would focus on


marketing the retractable charging cable to students or people who
tend to find themselves at many different places very frequently.
Making the cable both compact and reliable would also make this
product successful among those consumers.

My quantitative marketing research involved creating a unique survey


about a retractable cell phone charging cable through Qualtrics. I
included five questions in my survey, which are listed below:

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1. What cell phone do you have? (responses: iPhone, Samsung,
other)
2. How often do you find yourself charging your phone in a typical
day? (responses: always, often, sometimes, rarely, never)
3. Do you prefer using shorter charging cables or longer charging
cables? (responses: shorter, longer, no preference)
4. How interested would you be in a retractable charging cable for
your cell phone, allowing you to have either a shorter cable or a
longer cable? (responses: extremely interested, very interested,
moderately interested, slightly interested, not interested at all)
5. How much would you be willing to pay for a retractable charging
cable? (responses: under $10, $10, $20, $30, over $30)

I made this survey available to as many people as possible by


providing the link to as many groups of people as possible. However,
after leaving the survey out for a week, I only received 46 responses.
The data I received from the 46 responses is shown below in five pie
charts:

WHAT CELL PHONE DO YOU


HAVE?
Samsung
26%

iPhone
74%

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HOW OFTEN DO YOU FIND
YOURSELF CHARGING YOUR
PHONE IN A TYPICAL DAY?
Never
11%
Always
30%
Rarely
20%

Sometimes
Often 15%
24%

DO YOU PREFER USING


SHORTER CHARGING CABLES
OR LONGER CHARGING
No
CABLES?
Shorter
preference 9%
24%

Longer
67%

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HOW INTERESTED WOULD
YOU BE IN A RETRACTABLE
CHARGING CABLE FOR YOUR
CELL PHONE? Not
Extremely interested
interested at all
13% 4%
Slightly
interested
9%

Moderately
Very interested
interested 13%
61%

HOW MUCH WOULD YOU BE


WILLING TO PAY FOR A
RETRACTABLE CHARGING
CABLE?
Over $30 Under $10
$30 2%
17% 13%

$10
35%
$20
33%

Based on my quantitative marketing research findings, I believe many


consumers have not thought of a retractable charging cable as a
potential purchase. Most of the responses on the fourth question
illustrated that these consumers would most likely be interested in
owning this product. However, based on the fifth question, the cable
would have to be between $10 and $20 in order for the product to be
successful. In addition, since 75% of people who took the survey
stated that they own iPhones. Based on this information, I would

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focus primarily on producing a retractable charging cable for the
iPhone before the Samsung.

Overall, both the qualitative and quantitative marketing research


findings provided some useful information regarding the design and
the pricing of this product. The retractable charging cable should be
both reliable in order to appeal to consumers who only want the best
products for their smartphones. It should also be as compact as
possible while still achieving its purpose of allowing consumers to
choose between a shorter cable or a longer cable. If the cable is too
bulky, some consumers might not see as much efficiency in the
product. In addition, the price of the cable should not exceed $20
because the majority of consumers who could potentially purchase this
product stated that they would pay between $10 and $20. These
marketing research findings will be helpful when designing and pricing
the retractable charging cable.

Description of Product
The retractable charging cable that I’m designing provides the
consumer with the flexibility to choose between either a shorter cable
or a longer cable while remaining as compact as possible in order to
reduce the inefficiency of carrying a bulky product. The cable itself will
be sturdy and able to withstand abrasion when pulling and releasing.
This product will also be certified by Apple, which will ensure charging
reliability and sync compatibility. A sketch of the product is shown
below:

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z

My retractable charging cable will be a lightning to USB cable, making


it compatible with Apple products such as the iPhone and the iPad. It
will be available in the colors white, black, silver, gold, and rose gold.
I chose these colors because white is the color of all of Apple’s cables,
and the other four colors are the main colors that Apple devices are
available in. The cable will extend to six feet, which is approximately
twice the length of the cable that is included with the iPhone when
purchased. The cable will be made with copper wires and nylon fiber
cloth. The copper wires increase signal quality and strength, while the
nylon fiber cloth promotes durability and flexibility. Either end of the
cable may be extended, depending on the consumers’ own
preferences. The product will be housed in a cylindrical structure,
measuring five centimeters in diameter and 2 centimeters in height.
On the top and the bottom of the cylinder are two indentations for
each side of the cable to rest when not in use in order to make the
product easier to transport. In addition, a button on one side of the
cylinder allows the cable to automatically be reeled in at a controlled
speed, to reduce the possibility of the product breaking, when pushed.

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Many retractable charging cables have the same cylindrical design that
the idea for my product has. However, none of those products use a
button to control the cable. The button increases efficiency because it
eliminates the time needed to manually roll up the cable. Other cables
also do not use nylon fiber cloth. The nylon fiber cloth is a more
superior alternative than the usual material that charging cables are
made out of. This material is much stronger and much more flexible,
allowing the overall product to last longer. In addition, I hope to get
my cable to be Apple MFi certified. Apple’s MFi Program is a licensing
program for developers of hardware and software that work with Apple
products such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod (“What is Apple MFI
Certification?”). This certification will allow consumers to feel
comfortable with buying this product because they know that it will be
reliable. Ultimately, I believe that my version of a retractable charging
cable for Apple products will be very successful in its market due to its
various advantages and features.

Preliminary Pricing Strategy


There are six major steps in determining the price for any product or
service:

1. Identify pricing objectives and constraints.


2. Estimate demand and revenue.
3. Determine cost, volume, and profit relationships.
4. Select an approximate price level.
5. Set list or quoted price.
6. Make special adjustments to list or quoted price.

Since this pricing strategy is only preliminary, this marketing plan will
not be discussing each of these steps in detail. However, step four,

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selecting an approximate price level, and step five, setting list or
quoted price, are the two most important steps in determining the final
price for my retractable charging cable.

When selecting an approximate price level, the manufacturer can


choose between demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, or
competition-oriented approaches. I believe the demand-oriented
approach of prestige pricing would be the best option for my product.
Prestige pricing involves setting a high price so that quality- or status-
conscious consumers will be attracted to the product and buy it.
Based on my marketing research findings, I know that potential buyers
are interested in a retractable charging cable that is reliable.
Therefore, setting the price for my specific product higher than
competing products to reflect that reliability will attract those
consumers who are looking for an overall superior retractable charging
cable.

Based on my marketing research findings and my decision on the


demand-oriented approach of prestige pricing for setting a price level,
my retractable charging cable will have a retail price of $19. My
marketing research illustrated that potential buyers would pay
between $10 and $20 for this product, and similar products are priced
on Amazon.com between $8 and $15. I chose $19 for my retail price
because it is within the $10-$20 range, and it is more expensive than
similar products, which show consumers that my specific cable is of
higher quality than others.

The cost of my retractable charging cable is difficult to measure


because the product consists of a variety of parts. However, there are
some parts of the product that can be costed based on the prices of
some of its components. A six-foot nylon fiber cloth cable costs $12

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on Amazon.com. Another retractable charging cable that costs $12
total has a cable that costs $10 by itself. Therefore, the cylindrical
center of this retractable charging costs approximately $2. For my
retractable charging cable, the cylindrical piece would cost about $3
because of the additional button and I want to use higher quality
materials compared to the competition. Therefore, the rough cost of
the materials of one unit of my retractable charging cable is $15 ($12
+ $3).

If my retail price is $19, and my rough cost of manufacturing each unit


of my retractable charging cable is $15, then for each unit that is sold,
I will make a profit of $4. However, if the cables are not being sold as
fast as they are being produced, then no profit will be made.
Therefore, focusing on promoting the cable will help increase the profit
from this product.

Channels of Distribution
A channel of distribution, also known as a marketing channel, consists
of individuals and firms involved in the process of making a product or
service available for use or consumption by consumers or industrial
users. Marketing channels make possible the flow of products and
services from producer, through intermediaries, to a buyer. Marketing
channels can be either direct or indirect. Direct channels occur when
the producer and the consumer deal directly with each other. Indirect
channels occur when intermediaries are inserted between the producer
and the consumers.

For my retractable charging cable, I believe the best channel of


distribution would be an indirect channel. Selling this product through
Amazon.com, which would be an intermediary in this case, would be

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the most efficient option. Countless users browse Amazon.com daily,
so using this channel of distribution would allow the cable to be
noticed by as many consumers as possible.

Logistics are those activities that focus on getting the right amount of
the right products to the right place at the right time at the lowest
possible cost. Two concepts of logistics management exist: the total
logistics cost concept and the customer service concept. The total
logistics cost is the expenses associated with transportation, materials
handling and warehousing, inventory, stockouts (being out of
inventory), order processing, and return products handling. Customer
service is the ability of logistics management to satisfy users in terms
of time, dependability, communication, and convenience.

As the producer for my retractable charging cable, I would personally


focus on the logistics between the supplier of my raw materials and
myself, the producer. Using the indirect marketing channel of selling
my product through Amazon.com, I do not have to focus too much on
the logistics between Amazon and the consumer. However, I would
have to be involved in the logistics between myself, the producer, and
Amazon.

The total logistics cost should also be taken into consideration when
determining the total cost of a product, which was discussed in the
previous section. This could ultimately affect the final price of the
cable as well. As the retailer, Amazon would have more control than
me, the producer, over the customer service aspect of this whole
process.

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By choosing the indirect channel of distribution of selling my
retractable charging cable through Amazon.com, I am giving my
product a strong opportunity to be seen by as many consumers as
possible. In addition, this marketing channel allows the logistics
management to be spread among more users, myself as the producer
and Amazon as the retailer. I believe that this method of distribution
will be the most successful for my specific product.

Promotion Strategy
Promoting a product can take a variety of forms, such as
advertisements, sales promotions, public relations, and social media.
Advertising is any paid form of nonpersonal communication about an
organization, product, service, or idea by an identified sponsor. Types
of advertisements include product and institutional advertisements.
Sales promotions can be either consumer-oriented or trade-oriented.
Consumer-oriented sales promotions include coupons, deals, or
premiums, while trade-oriented sales promotions include allowances or
discounts. Public relations is a form of communications that seeks to
influence the image of an organization and its products and services.
Social media is also a simple way to promote products or services
because a wide variety of consumers use social media every day.

To promote my retractable charging cable, product advertisements


and social media will be heavily utilized. Product advertisements will
work better than institutional advertisements for this product because
I want to focus on promoting the cable rather than promoting an
organization. Specifically, competitive product advertising, which is
used to persuade the target market to select a specific product rather
than that of a competitor. One way to do make a competitive
advertisement would be to include the ratings of similar products in
addition to rating for my cable, which should ideally be the highest.

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The ratings on this advertisement would be between one and five
stars.

Social media would also be a beneficial way to promote my retractable


charging cable. Social media is a simple and effective way to make a
product or service known among many consumers. Being familiar with
popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram gives the
product that is being promoted an advantage in the market because
many different people use social media sites daily. Posting on these
sites about the benefits and features of my cable against the
competition will help spread the word about this new product on the
market.

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Works Cited
Kerin, Roger A., Steven W. Hartley, and William Rudelius. Marketing.

12th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2015. Print.

“What is Apple MFI Certification?” Paracable. Paracable, n.d. Web.

10 Apr. 2017.

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