This week, you’ll assume the role of a Category Manager for the Beauty Products category at a national discount retail store.
WHAT IS A CATEGORY MANAGER?
Category Managers are responsible for related groups of products (for example, baseball equipment or laundry detergents) for a retail business. They use research, information and insights about the category to change shopper behavior and increase sales of the products in the category. They also work with the suppliers of the products in their category to ensure that good products and services are available to customers.
As a Category Manager, part of your role is to analyze data and information about how well a product is selling to help the maker of that product improve the product and consider introducing new products. Rochelle and her team at Alikay Naturals have asked you, the Beauty Products Category Manager, to review one of their products and determine where it lies in the product life cycle. Additionally, they have asked you to recommend ways to improve the product in order to increase sales.
Step 1: Product Life Cycle
Read the Product Report for Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo. The Product Report contains important information that will help you to identify where the product stands in the Product Life Cycle and give you clues about what changes customers might like to see. Respond to Rochelle and her team at Alikay Naturals based on the information in the Product Report.
- Identify where Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo is currently positioned in the product life cycle and describe the rationale for your position.
- Compose 3 questions that Rochelle should pose to her team to better understand the product’s positioning and potential at this particular stage in its life cycle. (E.g., if you have determined the product is in the Introduction Phase, you might suggest the question: How have competitors priced similar products?)
Step 2: Product Changes
Based on what you’ve learned:
- What recommendation(s) do you have for Alikay Naturals to improve or replace Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo?
Step 3: New Product Development
Read the New Product Proposal, which contains three examples of possible products that could be developed to replace Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo. Based on the information in this proposal and the customer feedback in the Product Report:
- If you had to recommend one product, which product would you recommend they create? Explain your decision.
- Determine which type of innovation this represents from among the four main types discussed this week. Briefly explain why you chose that type of innovation.
Note: You should complete Step 4 after reading the material in Week 3
Step 4: Production Methods
Based on your understanding of Alikay’s position in the product life cycle and expected sales volume:
- Which production method do you think Alikay is using for the Black Soap Shampoo? Explain your rationale.
- If Alikay chose to keep the Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo and launch your recommended product as a ͞limited time only͟ trial, what production method should Alikay use for the test market product? Why?
Step 5: Real-World Application
Choose a product at your company or one that you are familiar with that is in the mature stage of the product life cycle. Briefly describe the product, why you believe it is in this phase, and what improvements could be made to change its current path.
PRODUCT REPORT FOR ALIKAY NATURALS
MOISTURIZING BLACK SOAP SHAMPOO
Finally, a way to get your hair and scalp truly clean with natural ingredients. Traditional cleansers tend to strip your hair of its natural moisture, leaving your scalp dry and itchy. This sulfate free shampoo cleanses and moisturizes at the same time. Made from natural Raw Black Soap, it gets deep down into the scalp to remove product buildup. The tropically scented blend contains a natural mix of Coco Seed Powder, Plantain Skins, and Tea Tree Oil to protect and moisturize the hair from scalp to root. No artificial thickening agents have been added, but don’t be fooled by the watery texture. This shampoo gets the job done. This product is 100% natural and 100% organic.
The Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo product was launched in 2014, with the majority of sales coming from national retail stores. The product has not undergone any significant changes or improvements, with the exception of its packaging.
NEW PRODUCT PROPOSALS
Alikay Naturals Organic Bloom Shampoo
This custom product is designed to clean and moisturize hair while stimulating significant hair growth without residue buildup. This all-natural, organic blend includes 14 of the best essential oils and herbs that strengthen the hair at its foundation. Hair follicles absorb essential nutrients to promote growth and nurture fresh, new, shiny hair. Our product includes many botanicals, such as Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, and the rare Emu Oil, which regrows hair by increasing cellular activity at the scalp. This one-of-a-kind product helps customers’ hair bloom and flourish, leading to impressive and almost unbelievable results.Some testers have even seen up to four inches of hair growth within ten weeks.
Alikay Naturals Moist Black Soap Shampoo with Dandruff Control
Our original Moist Black Soap Shampoo is renewed and improved to promote a healthy scalp. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil prevents dandruff by reducing scalp infections, fungus and inflammation, and Horsetail Powder, a plant powder, reduces dandruff due to its silica content. These essentials break down undesirable residue at the roots to support a clean and moisturized scalp. This product may be ordered online with custom scents mixed
according to your preference. This new twist on a classic favorite is bound to revive hair and scalp.
Alikay Naturals Coconut Protein Shampoo and Conditioner
Indulge your senses with this exclusive blend of organic coconut milk to nourish your hair, hydrolyzed keratin to add strength and elasticity, and weightless coconut oils to add hydration and balance. This thick formula is fortified with Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, a natural protein that envelops the hair shaft to build strength and elasticity, add softness, reduce frizz, and revitalize incredible shine. This tropically-scented shampoo will make your hair look, feel and smell great.
Non-User Survey Summary:
An online survey was conducted asking consumers that 1) frequent any one of the national discount retail stores and 2) have never used the Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo about their shampoo preferences. 4,000 consumers responded.