The Speedfit Treadmill Vehicle

Finally. I’ve spent years of my life wanting to run outside, but I never knew how to get my treadmill out of the house. My prayers have finally been answered by the Speedfit Treadmill Vehicle.

Product Benefits. When I first looked at this product all I could think of was “how am I supposed to market something that takes a free, easy, healthy habit and turns it into an embarrassing, expensive one?” But then I did a little more research on the product itself. The contraption is meant to bring you to higher speeds than you can get with just running (much like a bicycle), and it’s easier on the knees when encountering uneven terrain. So I guess there’s my market—people who are trying to get a good workout without putting a strain on their knees.

Demographics. Knee pain is a rising issue in the United States. It affects roughly 1/3 of the American population to some degree. Chronic knee pain affects about 20% of the population. One of the most recommended treatments to relieve chronic knee pain includes incorporating strength and mobility training into your everyday routine, without putting too much strain on your joints. Enter Speedfit.

Although chronic knee pain has a presence in almost every demographic, it mostly affects men and women over the age of 50. The 50+ market has incredible untapped potential, and would be a perfect fit for the Speedfit. The market is massive, with roughly 75 million people. Combined they have a total of $2.4 million annual income. The 50+ market accounts for half of consumer spending but are targeted by only 10% of the market. Speedfit needs to position itself as a personal care product for those people within the 50+ market that suffer from mild to chronic knee pain. If the budget allows, I would even recommend for them to do testing on those who have knee pain, and see if the pain begins to decrease after 1-2 months of using this product. If the research shows that it does (which it should), then perhaps a doctor’s recommendation or endorsement could catapult this product into the next level.

Or maybe the doctors will laugh and tell you to just take regular walks like a regular person. Time will tell.

Channels. As mentioned above, a doctor’s recommendation would be ideal. If the company could accomplish this, then they could go as far as to make pamphlets that could be given out at doctor’s offices around the country. I would also recommend creating television ads as well, and using a “pull” strategy to get consumers to inquire more about the product. “Ask your doctor about Speedfit.” If our consumers are able to keep a straight face while leafing through a Speedfit pamphlet, the product just may have a chance.

Marketing is fun for me, and generally speaking I enjoy getting challenges. This is an exception. My professional advice (disclaimer: I am not a professional nor should I be giving out advice) is that you should never spend money on something like this and you should just run outside on the ground like a regular goddamn person.

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The Wine Glass Holder Necklace

“Oh my god that’s awesome.”

“You would seriously buy this?”

“Are you kidding? It’s hilarious. I would bring that everywhere.”

This was the conversation my roommate and I had when I opened my laptop up to write this blog post. The topic: the Wine Glass Holder Necklace. I mean, it was about time, right? Nothing says sophistication like beverage containers that you can wear.

Product Benefits. The wine glass holder is essentially a little rubber nozzle that holds a standard wine glass that you can hang around your neck. Main benefits include: not having to hold your wine glass. Also looking like a total idiot in front of your wine enthusiast friends who probably already think you’re a total idiot. It’s a real thing, that someone thought was a good enough idea to mass-produce. It’s priced at $24.95.

Demographics. Before that little conversation I had with my roommate, I wasn’t even going to write this post because I couldn’t think of a viable target market. But then I realized that we tend to underestimate how much Gen Y is willing to pay just for the “sake of the joke”. Twenty-somethings will put aside money from their already minuscule disposable incomes so they can buy inflatable penis costumes and fake dog poop. We are literally willing to buy crap.

Target Market: College Students trying to be ironic.

Millennials are willing to pay to get a laugh out of people. They like attention, and they like being called “funny”. I would know…I am one. In a recent poll, 88% of millennials said that a sense of humor is vital to personal style. So that’s how we market this product. The funny accessory that you bring out at dinner parties—a conversation starter that makes them all go “oh Chrissy you’re so quirky and fun I’m so happy I’m friends with you!” Wonderful.

Channels. Obviously, the entire campaign for the Wine Glass Holder Necklace would have to be humor based. But it can’t be throw-it-in-your-face humor. All that would do is get people to chuckle and move on. Also, no one will think it’s funny when you bring it out at your fancy dinner party if they’ve all already seen a commercial for it a hundred times. That rules out TV.

Instead, we would have to approach fun, time-wasting websites that millennials spend hours scrolling through. Think Buzzfeed, or Funny or Die. To market this product, we would have to rely heavily on SEO (search engine optimization) and enrich each article with key words to direct traffic towards the product. First we would post the product in articles with titles like “Products for Beginner Wine Enthusiasts,” “10 gifts for your Wine-O friends,” or “Desperate products you can buy to make people think you’re funny.” We’ll embed several keywords in the description such as “funny,” “wine,” “wine enthusiast,” “wine-o,” “gift,” etc. When people google any of these terms (and they will), we’ll get a hit.

Chances are, 9 out of 10 people will laugh quietly and then keep scrolling. But then you’ll get that one person who finds it funny enough to buy it for themselves or a friend. And with the proper SEO techniques, we’ll expose the product to enough people that we could actually make a profit off of that one-in-every-ten people.

I like a good gag as much as the next ironic college student. $25 might be a little steep of a price, but if they knocked 10 dollars off of it I could even see myself buying this for my Wine-O friend from freshman year. All in all, there are worse products out there.

The Passenger Seat Office

That’s right folks. Remember those laws that we passed back in 2007 that banned texting and driving? Well SkyMall took those laws to mean “we challenge you to find an even more distracting way to drive”. And SkyMall did it. Shocker.

The Passenger Seat Office is a light weight desk designed to strap into your car with your already existing seat belt. It includes a non-skid table top, file holder, and even an area to store a portable fax machine (provided you are still living in 1998). It’s priced at $130.00.

Product Benefits.   This product finally finds a way to make sure that you are always, 100% of the time around your work—whether you love it or not. You have your work office, you have your home office, and now you have your car office. Wave goodbye to the mindless commute where you were guaranteed peace and quiet, and say hello to increasing profit margins and higher mortality rates.

Demographics. The only possible target market for this product would be traveling businessmen who literally have absolutely nowhere to work in between their meetings. But even within this target market I don’t think we could create enough demand. So I thought a little bigger.

Instead of targeting a type of person, why don’t we target a type of company? Say…rental car companies–Like a Hertz, or an Avis? Car rental places often have business people who are coming in for a brief period of time just to meet with a couple of clients. They rent a car for a couple of days, and then return to wherever their office is really located.  Rental places could include an option for these business people to add the Passenger Seat Office for, let’s say, $20. Even though the product is priced much higher than that, these companies will want to buy them in bulk, which could lead to significant discounts.

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26% of traveling business people are ages 45—54. 20% are ages 55—64. That means that almost 50% of our market is in the 50+ category, or the “baby boomers”. So the advertisements should be targeted towards older business people who need an easy place to get some work done in between meetings when they’re on the go.

Channels. Since we are first talking to businesses, not people, I think the best plan of attack would be to partner with the car rental companies themselves. First let’s look at the kinds of places we would start in: New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angles, and Dallas. The types of cities where you’re sure to find traditional office settings. Then we would look at their airports, since 33% of domestic business trips include air travel. JFK, Logan International, O’Hare International, LAX, Dallas/Fortworth International. We would start with the more successful Car Rental places here, such as Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise. Provided we could come to an agreement about a contract, we could then work with these companies to advertise the Passenger Seat Office at their businesses and on their websites.

Since our target market consists of successful business people, we will market it as the kind of product that helps keep yourself organized and on track. We could play with taglines like: “Your client doesn’t stop moving, why should you?” or “Where efficient meets convenient” or “Dear God Please Make Sure you’re in Park”. Ideally, there will be a poster that showcases the product within the car rental places, as well as a section about it on their websites. This way people will see it as they’re renting a car, ask about it, and hopefully will be enticed to include it with their car rental.

Please note that we will have a disclaimer that begs our consumers to KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD WE PROMISE THE EMAIL ISN’T THAT IMPORTANT.

I’m all for finding ways to improve yourself in your work place. And I’m sure having a desk in your passenger seat may be good for something more than holding your taco bell while you’re going 95 down the New Jersey Turnpike. But is it the best idea SkyMall has ever had? Who can say. (Please note that I can say and it is not the best idea). Maybe one day I’ll think that a Passenger Seat Office is a really great idea. But today is not that day.

The Solafeet Foot Tanner

What a time to be alive. I thought that after Dunkin’ Donuts came out with the glazed donut breakfast sandwich, and BIC released a pen exclusively for women, we had hit the innovation ceiling and could do no better as a species. But then, SkyMall shattered the glass ceiling when they issued the Solafeet Foot Tanner.

 

The Solafeet Foot Tanner is an apparatus that can comfortably fit under your desk, in front of your couch, or below your feet while driving (provided you don’t need to use the gas and break buy_photopedals). The product promises tanner feet if you use it 15 minutes a day for 7 to 14 days. It’s priced at $269.00 (plus shipping and tax).

 

 

Product Benefits: Tan your feet. Like, exclusively just your feet. Product can easily be used while doing other things (at work, watching TV, etc.).

 

Demographics: This is a puzzler. Who in their right mind is seeking a product that will exclusively tan their feet? No other part of your body…just your feet. Who needs tan feet?…Who has sock tan?….Tennis players! Anyone who’s played tennis (like myself) knows the struggle of having a perfectly tanned body everywhere, except your feet. Maybe they could use a product like this?

 

There are 5.48 million adult Tennis players in the US alone. I’m sure there’s enough of them who get annoyed at their sock tan enough to actually buy this thing…we officially have a market.

 

Also, Tennis is not a cheap game (or at least, not the cheapest). Usually avid tennis players have disposable income they can spend on ridiculous things like this.

 

Secondary Market: Croc lovers?

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Channels: The first thought that came into my mind was sponsorships. Tennis players often take endorsements from their favorite athletes more seriously than in other sports, most likely because the game requires more equipment than others. But then I realized that no self-respecting tennis athlete would endorse a product like this. So that’s a no.

 

Instead, I would suggest that Solafeet representatives travel to tennis tournaments and set up a booth to showcase their product. They could also leverage social media and live tweet at these tournaments to create awareness. I would also recommend creating a hashtag. Since the product is what it is (reminder, we’re talking about a foot tanner here), the campaign should be humorous. Relate to the tennis players with something like #SockTanStruggle, #SockTanNoMore, or #PleaseBuyThisItsARealThing.

 

Point of Purchase: Since most of my marketing methods revolve around product demonstrations and social media, I would recommend that they create an on-line store, and include a URL to this store in all of their social media posts. They could also put the foot tanner in already existing stores such as Sharper Image or Brookstone. Stores like these already sell unnecessary gadgets that people splurge on all the time. They could also include it at Sporting Goods stores such as Dick’s, Sports Authority, or Modell’s, in or around their tennis gear section.

 

 

Is sock tan annoying?   Sure. Is it so annoying that I’m about to drop $270 on a tanning apparatus. No. Dear God no. Why? Why would I do that? But hey, if it floats your goat then check it out and lemme know what you think.