Nanda Home: Preparing for Life after Clocky
Clocky was developed by Nanda Gauri, a student at MIT as a course project for industrial design (LLC, 2015). She did not intend the device to attract the attention it did, but we all know how powerful the internet is. She had no plans to publicize the invention but various blogs linked to the pictures of the alarm clock on the course’s website.
Henceforth, the world was in a frenzy regarding the device. It garnered a front page on a popular newspaper, the L.A. Times and even on a TV show (LLC, 2015). The innovation caught the world by storm, but the primary concern regarding the project was its lifespan in the market. This paper focusses on the Clocky’s competition or market trend, the product’s proliferation, buyer behaviour for the device and market segmentation for the device.
Market Trend/ Competition for Clocky
The business environment is getting competitive and fierce and it vital for firms to carry out market research before launching the product into the market. Dealing with a relatively new product that has just launched in the market is quite challenging. Assessment of the demographics together with an understanding of the current trends in the market regarding alarm clocks is essential for a new product such a Clocky. Since the alarm clock was introduced back in the 1900s, few inventions have been developed in this sector both regarding aesthetics and functionality. Additionally, hardly any firm has considered segmenting prospective alarm clock consumers according to identifiable lifestyle and sleeping characteristics.
Clocky was a reinvention of the alarm clock through the introduction of new technology coupled with a new level of interaction with the users. The alarm market is equally homogenous where users have roughly similar preferences, and the already existing products would be the same hence clustering around in the middle of the scale (Ofek, 2011). Research has shown that innovative devices are gaining more entrance into the market such as Clocky. People have chosen to go beyond alarm clocks into more smart devices. Touchscreen alarm clocks have also acquired a fair share of the market as most people have adopted a digital life (LLC, 2015). Customization of the products has also influenced popularity and acceptance of the product in the market. This customization feature enables a user to choose the alarm clock that suits them better.
The product has garnered a lot of attention through the various marketing strategies employed by Nanda Home such as social media advertising. Hence it is more concentrated in the outlets which can target a lot of people such as hypermarkets, supermarkets, malls and online shops. This leads to some areas having limited access to these smart clocks (LLC, 2015). This can be used as a competitive advantage by other companies to increase their stock in such areas. Due to the different number of entrants into the market, this has led to competition in the prices (Ofek, 2011). Customers will prefer a product firstly if it is affordable. Affordability plays a crucial role in the market as it attracts a broader demographic of clients.
Clocky does not have a specific demographic that it has targeted for its products. This has enabled it to gain a competitive edge over other alarm clock innovations (Nobel, 2011). Most of the people interested in purchasing the device were in the 25 to 34 years old who were estimated to hit the snooze button by 57% (Ofek, 2011). The others are compelled to but the clock as a gift hence there been a low number of switches leading to more purchases. Clocky is also being used by the higher aged people. Nanda home has focused more on customer satisfaction which is quite rewarding and gives the competitors a run for their money.
Clocky has various competitors in the market such as Gear4, Phillips wake-Up Light, Lark’s alarm clock flying alarm clock and Zeo (Ofek, 2011). These devices offer high tech competition to Clocky. They have added extra functionality such as mp3 playback capabilities instead of sounding alarms, playing your favourite songs or radio station, they have lights that gradually brighten to imitate a sunrise. They are also gentler in the morning than Clocky concerning the sounds produced. Some people consider Clocky as infuriating (Ofek, 2011). Others have cross-compatibility to modern devices such as smart wristbands and smartphones (Nobel, 2011). Majority of the population in the market have smartphones, and they may prefer alarm clocks they can link to their smart devices that use sensors to improve how a person wakes up.
Product Proliferation for Clocky
Nanda had recognized that products used in the household had a short product life cycle about three to five years. She feared that the product might be soon running out. Nanda had to devise some plans about the future of the company and the product. She was wondering whether it was imperative to continue with the line of alarm clocks and if so, whether to expand into other divisions and categories. Clocky had found its way into the popular culture through social media and the press (Ofek, 2011). Nanda had made prototypes for other products of which she had not decided. Since the product had garnered a lot of popularity, it needed to employ strategies to hold on to the market niche by diversifying the single product regarding colour, design, and size or even custom-tailored clocks.
Initially, the product had a shaggy appearance to enhance adorability and aesthetics. This made the clock have a cute presentation. This set apart Clocky from other alarm clocks. This shape and look made many people relate to this appearance and likeness. Even though they were not considered to be mutually exclusive, they had garnered enough attention to enable the product to have a share in the industry. Later, Clocky’s shaggy carpeting was reviewed and changed to a smooth plastic covering. This new look came in different colours namely aqua, mustard and mint colours. Later a chrome version was developed and introduced in 2008 (Ofek, 2011). Other colours were included such as almond and chrome colours. These different colours were used as an aesthetic marketing tactic to capture a sizable share of the market encouraging client diversity.
The product retained its anthropomorphic appeal: the display formed sort of a mouth, and the operation keys provided the eyes. This gave it a lifelike form. Using her prototype and support from the MIT’s media laboratory and her family she was able to realize this design (Ofek, 2011). Nanda in the promotion of her products she developed a limited-time only variant such as raspberry-coloured Clockys for Valentine’s Day (Nobel, 2011). The promotion strategy was quite useful as it sold well. The company also packaged products with free giveaways to attract more sales especially to members of the company’s mailing list. Clocky’s prototype laid the foundation for the formation of the Ticky and Tocky alarm clocks (Ofek, 2011). This was an improved version of the Clocky as it featured a touch screen, a microphone to record morning messages plus it had MP3 playback functionality (Nobel, 2011).
Buyer Behavior for Alarm Clocks
Buyers or users of alarm clocks vary. Some are open to acquiring new products from early adopters and innovators in the earlier on in the product’s lifecycle. This mostly relates to consumer electronics and gifts such as alarm clocks. They also tend to buy products that are scarce in the market. Firms can utilize this opportunity to increase more products in the target markets. Most user of alarm clocks usually have limited or no interest in interacting with their products. About 57% of the consumers hit the snooze button. Adults mostly hit the button about three times (Ofek, 2011).
Buyers who are a bit older tend to stick to more traditional products. They consider the new products not being user-friendly. They do not conform to new technologies as they find them complicated. Some buyers are usually on a limited hence ensure that they just buy a cheap product since it is only an alarm clock. Some of the buyers are in the early and late majority stages of adoption; hence do not understand much about the new innovative products but tend to stick to more old products (Ofek, 2011). Alarm clocks tend to fall in the miscellaneous goods categories which is usually not considered unless the occasion calls for it such as buying a gift.
Some regard the alarm clock as a necessity such people in Hong Kong’s service industry (Ofek, 2011). Most suffer from sleep deprivation and require to get to work on time hence the need for an alarm clock that will not let them down. Therefore these customers are willing to spend on alarm clocks that meet match their preferences. Most of the potential customers of alarm clocks visit malls more than they do smaller shops or store where most of these products are stocked. They choose these large stores as the range of products is diverse.
The younger demographic of buyers prefer their alarm clocks to be smart. In that, they can upload MP3 songs into their devices to wake them up instead of abstract sounds (Ofek, 2011). These young buyers also influence other people to buy the clocks through online platforms and social media presence. This can lead to impulse purchasing even if one does not require the device, just to share a common interest.
Negative reaction towards the clocks is also evident among some buyers. Some clocks have advanced features of which people who are not tech savvy have a difficult time using them. They can either abandon to use them or stick to the older versions of the alarm clocks. Some might have a preference towards on cheap counterfeits which does not put pressure on the wallet. A more affordable alternative serving the same or added functions is always a preference. Most buyers in this age exhibit the reliance on other people or online reviews to replace or buy new alarm clocks. This reliance on other people’s views on the products has both positive and negative implications. At times it might be marketing strategy especially online reviews on a product of which the product can be a fad (Ofek, 2011).
Market Segmentation for Clocky
Market segmentation is a crucial undertaking in today’s markets. It helps in identification of potential markets and consumers. This also enables the firm to develop products that suit the target markets.
Studies have shown that customers of a higher age are more inclined to getting Clocky as a gift for another person. Younger users are more interested in purchasing the device for themselves. The firm should focus more on individual age brackets such as the 25 to 35 age group (Ofek, 2011). Segmentation of the target market is essential. Using demographic and psychological methods of target segmentation are imperative. Gender marketing under demographics can also be implemented. Fun marketing can be used since the most interested people occupy a more significant percentage.
Can be based on necessity as many people suffer from narcolepsy hence should focus on them as the target consumers (Ofek, 2011). Clocky can help improve the consumer lifestyle since it provides an attractive solution for working adults to prevent sleep disorders hence reducing the perception as a fad product. They can employ the need strategy since students and professionals need to wake up and they will benefit from it. The most substantial market share is comprised of working adults and students. I recommend Nanda to use a foreign producer to reduce costs. It was initially positioned for people who had difficulty getting out of bed since it guaranteed one getting out of bed and searching for the clock. They presented consumers with a new method to keep them away from the snooze button. I recommend her to strategize against competitors as other brands offer little in comparison regarding interactivity. They can position Clocky as a fun product especially for the young people as it is entertaining yet at the same time annoy in the morning. It can also be used as a gift hence increased sales.
Clocky was introduced into the market through small boutiques and stores. They did not offer much publicity since most people especially high earners mainly visit the malls or mega stores hence more publicity. She had established partnerships with international distributors. The mailing list was also used for interested clients. Nanda encountered distribution challenges since she fore-go large-scale distribution (Ofek, 2011). Some of the retail outlets had to merchandise challenges as clients demanded an out of the box display of its appeal and functionality. Trying to make the product seem scarce in the market to create more demand. Distribution is done via both international and local retailer such as Walmart and Target. Gift shops are also potential distribution outlets as they attract diverse customers (LLC, 2015). Adequate pricing will also help reduce distribution channel costs while making profits.
Pricing and Promotion
The company should have kept the price high while the product was still popular. The high pricing was attributed to the cost of production. The sales flattened due to the high prices which were fixed. A new product line can be introduced to increase these sales. The smartphone evolution is a strong competitor in the industry. Initially, the promotion was through the press which helped increase sales, but later the flurry later died down. Incorporation of advanced technological innovations into the device will target the clients more. Promotions strategies included offering discounts, freebies and free shipping on the products.
Creation of personalized variants of Clock also helped in promoting the product. Online retailers also promoted the device. Promotion via free publicity such as social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter; in TV and radio shows (Ofek, 2011). Retailers have other promotional tools that will ensure Clocky maintains relevance such as merchandising. Promotion through her website and social media pages is also helpful. Development of interactive sites where users can post reviews and share experiences and ask questions. The company and retailers should focus on the target groups; people ranging from 24 to 40 years of age. The delay of the product’s launch also affected sales as the early adopters had waited for long.
LLC, R. (2015). “Clocky” on Revolvy.com. Retrieved November 29, 2017, from https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Clocky
Nobel, C. (2011, December 12). HBS Cases: Clocky, the Runaway Alarm Clock. Retrieved November 29, 2017, from https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/hbs-cases-clocky-the-runaway-alarm-clock
Ofek, E., & Avery, J. (2011). Nanda Home: Preparing for Life after Clocky.