Where Geographic Strategy

The company must decide whether to launch the new product in a single locality, a region, several regions, the national market, or the international market. Most will develop a planned market rollout over time. For instance, Coca-Cola launched its new soda, Citra, a caffeine-free, grapefruit-flavored drink, in about half the United States. The multistaged rollout, following test marketing in Phoenix, south Texas, and south Florida, began in January 1998 in Dallas, Denver, and Cincinnati.36 Company size is an important factor here. Small companies will select an attractive city and put on a blitz campaign. They will enter other cities one at a time. Large companies will introduce their product into a whole region and then move to the next region.

chapter 11

Developing New Market Offerings n

Companies with national distribution networks, such as auto companies, will launch their new models in the national market.

Most companies design new products to sell primarily in the domestic market. If the product does well, the company considers exporting to neighboring countries or the world market, redesigning if necessary. Cooper and Kleinschmidt, in their study of industrial products, found that domestic products designed solely for the domestic market tend to show a high failure rate, low market share, and low growth. In contrast, products designed for the world market—or at least to include neighboring countries—achieve significantly more profits, both at home and abroad. Yet only 17 percent of the products in Cooper and Kleinschmidt's study were designed with an international orientation.37 The implication is that companies should adopt an international focus in designing and developing new products.

In choosing rollout markets, the candidate markets can be listed as rows, and rollout attractiveness criteria can be listed as columns. The major rating criteria are market potential, company's local reputation, cost of filling the pipeline, cost of communication media, influence of area on other areas, and competitive penetration.

The presence of strong competitors will influence rollout strategy. Suppose McDonald's wants to launch a new chain of fast-food pizza parlors. Pizza Hut, a formidable competitor, is strongly entrenched on the East Coast. Another pizza chain is entrenched on the West Coast but is weak. The Midwest is the battleground between two other chains. The South is open, but Shakey's is planning to move in. McDonald's faces a complex decision in choosing a geographic rollout strategy.

With the World Wide Web connecting far-flung parts of the globe, competition is more likely to cross national borders. Companies are increasingly rolling out new products simultaneously across the globe, rather than nationally or even regionally. However, masterminding a global launch provides challenges. Autodesk, the world's leading supplier of PC design software and multimedia tools, has 3 million customers in more than 150 countries. Carol Bartz, chairman and CEO, says that the biggest obstacle to a global launch success is getting all the different marketers to agree with the positioning: "Then the issue is speed—getting the materials out fast enough. We get them to agree on the look (using one image), and then it's a matter of putting a local spin on it. It requires an immense amount of concentration."38 Coordinating an international launch also requires very deep pockets, as was the case with the launch of Iridium's "world phone."

I I . It's a phone the size of a brick with an antenna as thick as a stout breadstick. It costs $3,000, but this satellite-linked phone allows users to communicate from anywhere on earth. Iridium faced countless challenges in marketing this unwieldy, expensive device to a diverse, globe-trotting market. Brazil expected to presell 46,000 Iridium phones because of the country's creaky phone system. Iridium Mideast wanted the phone in hunting-supply shops, because it was the perfect toy for desert falconry. An executive from Iridium India planned exclusive parties for rich businessmen who might want the new status symbol. Eventually, the company relied on APL, a division of Interpublic Group, to craft a single campaign for what is, arguably, the most intensive effort ever to build a global brand overnight. The $140 million campaign is running in 45 countries. Direct-mail materials are being translated into 13 languages. TV ads are scheduled on 17 different airlines. Iridium booths, where travelers will be able to handle the phones in person, are being set up in executive lounges in airports around the world. Finally, in what is surely the ultimate symbol of a global launch, APL hired laser specialists to beam the company's Big Dipper logo onto the clouds.39

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