Assessing a Situation
As the company's product manager, your boss (the marketing manager) is concerned about the future success or viability of the product line you oversee. She wants to make sure that you understand the reasons that could cause a popular product to become an unpopular product.
She asked you to meet with her and discuss three products and/or services that seem to have declined in consumer demand, severely hurting these other firms. To keep this from happening in your own firm, your boss has asked you to describe some examples of this phenomenon and your opinion on why the popularity declined.
No doubt the items which have been discarded by the public due to their outdated technologies, uses or change in the fashion or harmful to health are unlikely to find a way back in their present form.
Besides these it is all the more important to know the customers' preferences, perspective. High gas price the reason behind the unpopularity of hummer. The manufacturers ought to have studied the life cycle of this vehicle and planned a new one before the decline in the popularity of their product.
The final and ultimate goal of marketing is to target products to customers who are ready and willing to buy. May be the product needs a bit of push but a creative idea will solve this problem. Selling is always a difficult job so long you do not understand your customer well rather than basing on your own intuition and experience.
There are so many different types of customers out there and your job is to identify them. It is very likely that you are targeting wrong kind of customers.
Remember: "We all know the saying about one man's trash being another man's treasure, and you just need to find the man who treasures your trash".
Reasons that could cause a popular product to become an un-popular product or vice-versa.
There could be any number of reasons for the decline in the popularity of a product. Some of these may be weak communications or marketing strategies, increase in the price, availability of a cheaper substitute, decline in consumer's (+)residual income, decline in the quality of the product, change in fashion and taste of consumers, consumers expectation from the manufacturer, loss of brand image, ++proper advertising - wrong kind of advertising, change in the population ratio - that is more younger people than elderly or vice-versa (change in demographic position), governmental policy (Taxation on cigarettes/ tobacco products), , economic situation prevailing in the country, and above all customer satisfaction - *a satisfied customer is the best advertisement'', Life cycle of the product.
+Residual income plays an important role in the case of companies selling non-necessities products.
++ Frank Perdue's advertisement slogan was "It takes tough man to make a ...
Companies pay more attention to making new customers rather than retaining the present customers. It costs five times more to make a new customer than retaining an existing one. *Your regular customers are your best advertisement. It is very important to understand clearly what does a customer needs. Let us take an example. A customer enters a hardware store and demands a sealant to affix glass to wooden frame. He is asking for a solution and not a need. A good salesman may suggest a better solution like using tape having nil curing time. In other words the sales man has helped the customer to meet his real need and not a stated need.
Three products - declined in consumer demand:
Consumer demands for Telephone, Cigarettes, and Typewriters have declined severely in the recent past.