Mouse Trap: Woodstream Corporation The company that has been chosen for this case study is Woodstream Corporation. This company was founded in 1832 and was formerly known as Animal Trap Company of America. It manufactures and markets a variety of pest control products including rodent control, caring control for pets and different types of mouse traps. It has been around for more than 150 years and marketed over 2500 unique products. Woodstream works to bring innovation to consumers by combining category leading products with technology and it services to solve the business needs of the retailer.
The business strategy of Woodstream Corporation, in its own words is: “Our ‘go to market’ strategies are structured to help you optimize inventory levels, maximize sales and grow profitability” (1). The company is striving to give its retailers the maximum sell through innovative products and grow profitably. The president of the company, Harry Whaley, came up with a new and innovative plastic mouse trap also known as live mouse trap, which is more effective and easy to use than the traditional wood mouse trap.
However, sales haven’t increased and in this case study we are going to look at the marketing strategy used for two different mouse traps and how it affects the buyer decision process. In order to design a customer-driven marketing strategy, a company must first understand the marketplace as well as the customer’s needs and wants. Seeing a mouse inside the house triggers an individual the need to look for a solution to take care of the problem. That individual is now going to look for a solution that they want in order to satisfy their need.
In this case they probably want to get rid of the mouse permanently. In the market place there are two mouse traps available for them with Woodstream Corporation. The traditional wooden mouse trap and the innovative plastic mouse trap which are made by the same company. The traditional wooden mouse trap is known to work fifty percent of the time and it costs 15 cents for a pack of two. The new plastic mouse trap on the other hand is known to be forty percent more effective than the traditional wooden trap but costs a little more with the price of 25 cents per mouse trap.
Despite the great effectiveness of the new innovative plastic mouse traps, people still tend to buy more of the wooden traps. It could be because the customer-perceived value of the traditional wooden trap is very high that people still choose to buy the old snap trap. It could also be that the company’s president Harry Whaley was too, focused on innovation and maximizing sales and profitability when creating the new mouse trap that he lost sight of the underlying customer need and value. This is when marketing myopia comes into play.
The traditional wooden mouse trap is cheap, good quality and effective in getting rid of the mouse problem permanently. The way it works is the snap bar comes down violently on the head or neck of a mouse killing them instantly. The problem is being solved right then and there because the mouse died. The old traditional wooden trap satisfies the customer need by doing the entire job on its own. The new and innovative plastic mouse trap on the other hand does not complete the job entirely. It is effective in capturing the mouse; in fact it is more effective than the traditional wooden trap however, it only captures the mouse.
It doesn’t get rid of the mouse by killing it. Now the consumers are left in a serious dilemma with a live mouse in their trap. Most of them do not want to kill the mouse on their own and they also don’t want to release it near their homes because they are afraid that it will come straight back into the home. In this case the customers are left with a product that solved half of their problem and don’t know what to do afterward. They are not willing to pay a higher price for a product like that despite its effectiveness and innovation.
They are more willing to pay less for a traditional wooden mouse trap that satisfies their needs to its entirety. Woodstream might have failed to understand what the customers really want when building this new mouse trap. The company also does not have a well constructed marketing program that promotes the new plastic mousetrap. The more innovative product design does have a little advantage over the old one however; the pricing doesn’t create a real value for the customers. The distribution channel is great because it is being distributed from the same company.
Promotion on the other hand needs a lot of improvement. The old traditional mouse trap has been around for many years. A great deal of promotion and advertising was done for this product. The wooden mouse trap also gained a lot of exposure through cartoon television shows for kids like Tom and Jerry, and other media advertising. The new plastic mouse trap on the other hand has not been promoted well in today’s media. Not a lot of consumers know about it and for those who haven’t had a mouse problem in the past, the new plastic mousetrap is nonexistent to them. They are unaware of the new and innovated mouse trap.
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