The target market is the specific segment of the market that we are targeting with the launch of our new beverage (Ward, 2013). For this product, the target is boys aged 12-17 who live in middle-class or affluent areas. These consumers have ample spending money, and are a large demographic. In addition, these are formative years for their consumption patterns, so targeting this market will help build our market for the future as well. This group also does not have its purchasing patterns and brand loyalty set, so we are not competing as vigorously against established patterns. We are targeting boys in particular because the product tested better with boys than with girls.
This market has slow growth characteristics at this point, with most of the baby boom echo kids already being in this demo or older. However, there are still tens of millions of teenage boys, and we want them because they are impressionable. We can gain more new sales with them than with consumers who already have strongly-set brand preferences in this category. Thus, we are targeting middle-class teenage boys with this product, and our packaging needs will have to revolve around that idea.
Slide Two: To reach this market, it is suggested that graphics should be bold, and colors loud. This market responds to intense stimuli, so that will have to be matched. The colors can be cold blacks and blues, or hot red/orange hues, but they will need to be intense. Soft colors should specifically be avoided for this demographic because they are not masculine enough. In addition, graphics should be equally bold in design, and masculine. Sharp lines and edges -- rather than soft, rounded ones -- are ideal for appealing to this market. Some level of foreign imagery can be successful here as well. This target market responds well to things like Japanese manga comics for example.
The graphics should convey action and excitement, things that teenage boys value. Athletic endeavor is an acceptable proxy for action and excitement. At that age, the imagery should be quite specific to teenage boys, and have no overlap with teenage girls and certainly none with children. The conventional beverage container graphics are probably no good here -- start with the usual energy drink graphics and make them bolder, and more focused on action.
Slide Three: With respect to container size, the distribution and marketing team will want to make a contribution. They need to get the product into store fridges, so the package size should probably fit that functional need. Too big and it goes on the bottom shelf where nobody sees it. Thus, a single-serving size is the most appropriate. For this market, single serving can be fairly large. We should have a container that is at least as large as those of our competitors, so at least 16 oz. And probably closer to 22oz. The shape should be tall and more towards thinness. This shape is fits in the hand well, and it gives the impression of being a bigger container than it actually is.
As far as container materials, plastic or can are the best. Glass is too costly and too fragile. If we use plastic, we need to pay attention to the appearance of the beverage, so it might be best to use cans. Cans are used for just about every beverage category, they are cheap to make and to ship, they get very cold and consumers love them. Stores love them, too, because the standard shape fits nicely into their fridges. Cans are therefore ideal for this product, and they work well with this target market.
Slide Four: We want this product to appeal to the consumer opinion leader. This is critical because of the influence of social status on the purchasing habits of teenaged boys. If the peer leaders are buying something, most of the rest of the boys will buy it, too. If the product appeals mainly to social outcasts, the majority will avoid the product as well. It is important, therefore, to undertake testing that addresses this specific issue. The sample needs to be the opinion leaders among teenaged boys, as opposed to just a random sample of teenagers. We need to know very specifically if the opinion leaders will adopt the product, because without them the others are unlikely to follow.
We can conduct initial research with a broader sample in order to develop basic outlines of packaging samples. Once we have a short list of samples that we need to present for a final test assessment, we need the opinion leaders only. The designs that score well with the broader group will probably test well with the opinion leaders, but we do need to test a few different design ideas with the opinion leaders. Certainly, we want to understand what appeals, in general, to the target market in order to draw up the best trial packaging.
Slide Five: There are a number of other products that appeal to this group. We can take inspiration from the apparel that they wear, the sports they follow, the musicians they like, and the media they consume. In addition, we can take a look at what other products sell well to this age group. By doing this research, we can derive a basic color palette, some design themes and start from there.
Teenaged boys like video games, hip hop or metal music, and they like sports like basketball and skateboarding. In general, they are also attracted to things like science fiction themes, but we do not want to be thematically-specific with our packaging because we want to be as inclusive as possible. With this design, it helps to leave some leeway to the designers to come up with something that is not cliche, as that would be the temptation. We know a lot about the market, but results will be better if we are more creative in our approach.
Slide Six: This design will help the company in marketing the new beverage by definition -- if it did not we would have chosen a different design. When we examined the different design elements that we were going to need to appeal to this particular group, we realized that we could come up with something that incorporated all of those elements. The design tested well and therefore is the one that probably should be used to launch this new beverage.
The color scheme of the new design is eye-catching, with deep black offset with a multitude of red shades that almost bleed across the package. It looks little like anything on the beverage shelves today, but the appeal of this color scheme has actually been well-established for this market in products as diverse as chewing gum, video games and deodorant. These colors appeal primarily to teenage boys and young men, so there is little spillover and there is little doubt that the product is for this group
The packing is a 22 oz. can, a large size that fits the needs of this target audience for substantial consumption, and also allows the company to earn a generous markup on the product. This gives us a lot of space to work with, and as a result some additional designs have made their way on to the packaging. Both the size of the packaging and the loud colors help this product to stand out on the shelves. It is felt that standing out on the shelves is a critical success factor in this design. Additionally, the design looks "cool" and that is something we wanted to have, because we have to make this product widely accepted among the target audience in order to have the market penetration that we seek for the launch.
Slide Seven: The target market for the new beverage is…