. Product Management
Possible report elements (these are NOT compulsory – use what works for you):
1. Introduction (brief – what is this report about, which company, which market sector – <150 words?)
2. The current situation (c.<1,000 words):
a) Product mix (outline and justify your chosen product mix, analyse its structure & place in the company’s wider product portfolio)
b) Target audience(s) (who uses these products, what needs are being satisfied)
c) Main competitor(s) (what are the main competing product mixes (direct competitors), what indirect competition is there?)
d) Market environment (market shares, change in the market, any particular influences on this market place)
3. New market opportunity (outline the opportunity identified/need to be satisfied, provide evidence of the need, describe the likely customers for this product, all supported by evidence from credible sources – c.1,000+ words)
4. New product proposal (describe the new product, what is it? What benefits does it offer to satisfy the need(s) identified above? How does this fit into the existing product mix? What are the main competing products? What makes your product distinctive? – c.1,300+ words)
6. Appendices (if needed)
• You must make extensive use of relevant models, concepts and theories from the teaching and from your reading. Do not describe them, APPLY them to analyse evidence and justify your decisions/choices. See below for suggestions.
• Do not give general descriptions of the company and its history or general descriptions of its marketing activity – this will not gain marks.
• Focus on current product activity and ensure everything makes key points that add to your arguments about what is happening now. Discussion of the current product mix should make up less than one-third of the report.
• Identification and justification of the new opportunity and the outlining of the new product to exploit that opportunity are the two main parts of this report. They should make up at least two-thirds of the report.
• A discussion of the launch of your new product is NOT required.
• Read this along with the assessment details in the module handbook.
• You must not ‘recycle’ previous assignments into this one.
The list below outlines some models, concepts and theories that might be applicable to each part of the report. These are drawn from every session on the module. Be warned:
• Not all of these will be relevant to every product mix and every new product idea
• Consider carefully what to use and what not to use
• Do not limit yourself only to what is listed below
• The appropriate use of ideas, models, concepts and theories found through your own reading and research will attract good marks
Discussion of the current situation
Chosen product mix
• Justification of this mix as a distinctive grouping of products that makes sense
• Fit of this mix within the organisation’s overall product portfolio (if it is larger)
• Generic portfolio strategy used?
• Analysis of the mix (width, length, depth, consistency, distinctiveness)
• What type(s) of products are in the product mix?
• Discussion of brand name structures (if relevant)
• Brand portfolio model (if relevant)
• What are the benefits being offered by the products in the mix (features, attributes and benefits)?
• What is/are the value proposition(s) being made by these products?
• An outline of the main customer groups, perhaps using segmentation theory
• Who is/are the customer(s)/consumer(s) for this mix?
• A brief discussion of what needs are being met – need-states
• Discuss why these products offer distinctive solutions to these customers
• Briefly outline the main competitors. Use concepts such as the competitive set and models to show the different levels of competition.
• Use key market data –how big is/are the market(s)? Is it growing? How does the market break down by share? What are the main influences on these markets?
New market opportunity
• Use key market data on changes, forecasts, trends, potential market size
• Define the target (customer/consumer). How large is this market?
• Need state(s) – Identify the key need(s) to be met
• Competitor product analysis – competitive set?
New product proposal
• Outline the product (total product/product onion model; features, benefits)
• ‘Better branding’ model to help show why the key benefits offered are important
• What is the value proposition being offered?
• Is this product a ‘stretch’ or an ‘extension’?
• How innovative and/or risky is this product?
• Brand structure – changes needed?
• Brand portfolio model?
• Estimate of market potential for this product?
• Competitor analysis for new product (competitive set)