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2.3.1 Define technophile, technocautious and technophobe.

Technophile
Someone who immediately welcomes a technological change.
Technocautious
Someone who needs some convincing before embracing technological change.
Technophobe
Someone who resists all technological change.

2.3.2 Explain how people can be broadly classified according to their reactions to technological change.

People’s reactions to technological change vary depending on their values and personal circumstances. First-order effects and second order effects should be taken into account, for example, personal gain in owning a car versus social and environmental considerations.
  • So in other words owning car is convenient, maybe a fashion statement or is an expensive toy may hold more intrinsic value than the harmful affects on the environment.

2.3.3 Define corporate strategy.

Long-term aims and objectives of a company and ways of achieving them by allocation of resources.
Definition from BusinessDictionary.com: Approach to future that involves (1) examination of the current and anticipated factors associated with customers and competitors (external environment) and the firm itself (internal environment), (2) envisioning a new or effective role for the firm in a creative manner, and (3) aligning policies, practices, and resources to realize that vision.

2.3.4 Describe the corporate strategy referred to as “pioneering”.


Pioneering means being ahead of the competitors by introducing a new product first. It is the most risky (costly) strategy but one with the potential for the largest gains. A pioneering company requires a strong research and development (R&D) capability, which is expensive. A pioneering company needs to be financially secure and requires product champions to push new ideas. Consider the Sony or Apple companies and their various pioneering developments. Good market research can offset some risk, but is problematic for novel products.
  • Apple: In an interview the CEO was asked if he was concerned that so many companies produced very similar products after Apple's releases. His reply was, no as it shows that we are pioneering and ahead of the rest.
  • Pioneering, a corporate strategy, is the process of introducing new areas of thought or development in the design process. To be successful while using this type of corporate strategy, the firm must learn more about the consumer market by extensive market research. This is recommended because the pioneering strategy is very risky due to the fact the firm is introducing a totally new, unknown, and unexpected product or service to the market. The risk of failure is considerably high because this product or service has never entered the market, thus making it is impossible to determine that the product will be a success or failure since the product/service’s lack of experience in the market. Although pioneering is risky and costly, the profits that can be earned from this strategy balances with the risks.

Activity
Locate a company (other than Apple) that you consider to be 'pioneering' and describe why it is so.

2.3.5 Describe the corporate strategy referred to as “imitative”.

The imitative strategy aims to develop a product similar to the “pioneered” product as quickly as possible. It takes advantage of R&D invested by others, and is less risky, but is based on a strong development capability.
  • When the apple iPhone came out within months many of the other smartphone leaders adopted similar touch screen technology and aesthetic principles.
Year released ... 2007 Year released ... 2008 (???)

Activity
Describe a product that has been produced that was/is similar to an existing product (other than an Apple product) that was pioneering.

2.3.6 Explain the benefits for a company of using a hybrid strategy.

Companies that use a mixture of pioneering and imitative strategies in order to:

  • maximize profit and sales and
  • provides for a quick turn around
  • reduces R&D spending
  • reduces the risk of employing only a pioneering strategy.

2.3.7 Define market penetration.

Market penetration
Increasing sales to existing customers or finding new customers for an existing product.

''What Does Market Penetration Mean?

A measure of the amount of sales or adoption of a product or service compared to the total theoretical market for that product or service. The amount of sales or adoption can be an individual company’s sale or industry while the theoretical market can be the total population or an estimate of total potential consumers for the product.
For example, if there are 300 million people in a country and 65 million of those people have cell phones then the market penetration of cell phones would be approximately 22%. This would mean in theory there are still 235 million more potential customers for cell phones, which may be a good sign of growth for cell phone makers. In general, the older the offering or industry, the greater the market penetration.

2.3.8 Describe a strategy that a company would use to enhance market penetration.

Consider product promotion through marketing.

A strategy a company may consider to enhance market penetration is product promotion. Product promotion engages in propagating information about a product, product line, brand, or company. Information gathering and research is exceedingly essential in product promotion because a company must know how to appropriately promote its product or service to a specific desired market. Product promotion is commonly divided into two parts:

The following is just for interests sake:

  • Above the line promotion: Promotion by use of media sources such as television, radio, newspapers, Internet and cellular phones. The advertiser pays an advertising agency to place the ad onto these media broadcasting devices.
  • Below the line promotion: This type of promotion relates to all other ways possible for a company to promote its product or service. Generally, below the line promotion is deliberately planned to be cleverly understated so the customer would be unconscious that promotion is taking place. Examples of this type of promotion include sponsorship, product placement, endorsements, sales promotion, merchandising, direct mail, personal selling, public relations, and trade shows.
Interesting and somewhat related in terms of marketing strategies

2.3.9 Define market development.

Finding new applications for existing products, thereby opening up new markets.

2.3.10 Describe how a company would undertake market development.

The identification of new markets for products, for example, nylon was originally developed for parachutes.
  • Market development targets customers in a market segment who are not buying the companies products, for example Apple iPhone targeting Blackberry customers in the smartphone market segment.
  • Market development targets customers in other market segments such as Apple ipod customers being targeted by the iPhone.

Activity
: Locate a product that was or still is used in one market and that was later used in a different market or product.

2.3.11 Define product development.

The creation of new, modified or updated products aimed mainly at a company’s existing customers.

2.3.12 Describe one example of how a company undertakes product development.

Consider adding variations to a product to develop a range of products building on an established brand, for example, ice cream, snack food products, chocolate products (Kit Kat, Mars bars).

Product development, can be approached through many ways:

  • By enhancing the released product, adding new features i.e a camera on a phone, or video playback on an I-pod.
  • By increasing the products range, giving different designs and/or adding more options to certain ones.
  • The company may release many different types, of a certain general product, even if they are very different i.e different soda flavours under the same company name.

2.3.13 Define diversification.

Involves a company both in the development of new products and in selling those products to new companies.

2.3.14 Describe one example of diversification.

For example, a company manufacturing three-pin electrical plugs may consider producing them in a range of colours or from materials of different textures and/or material properties.
  • It is developing new products for new markets.

Ansoff Matrix

Activity
: Locate an example of a product that was a result of diversification.

2.3.15 Define market sector and market segmentation.

Market sector
A broad way of categorising the kinds of market the company is aiming for.
Market segmentation
Markets divide up into smaller segments where the purchasers have similar characteristics and tastes.

2.3.16 Outline two ways in which markets may be segmented.

Consider income, age, lifestyle, geographical location, and so on.

Activity
Look at the car industry and write how you think this market is segmented. Provide examples or brands of car that target each segment.

2.3.17 Define robust design and product family.

Robust design
Flexible designs that can be adapted to changing technical and market requirements.
Product family
A group of products having common classification criteria. Members normally have many common parts and assemblies.
  • Definition of product family from BusinessDictionary.com: Group of products derived from a common product platform.

2.3.18 Discuss an example of a robust design that evolved into a product family.

Robust product designs change a little over the years continue to sell well over many years different variations of the product have been produced which constitute a family of products

An example of a robust design is the Apple iPod. It is a flexible design that, in just the past few years, developed new features from the original product. It has been changed and has evolved to fit different needs in the market.

Furthermore, the iPod has evolved into a product family. There's the Nano, the Touch, the Classic and the Shuffle; all of these members of the iPod family fulfill the basic needs of being an iPod, they can all play music in the same manner, and all follow the same basic procedure and software. Yet they have little changes in between them that allow them to have robust design. These include:

iPods Storage solutions

References

Bulleted list and italicised paragraphs are excerpted from Design Technology: guide. Cardiff Wales, UK: International Baccalaureate Organization, 2007.

Images are clickable links to its location.


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Page last modified on November 27, 2012, at 12:24 AM