Not all innovation requires high-tech. Sure, shiny robots, drones, talking home pods, and self-driving cars get a lot of coverage in the innovation spot light. But there is plenty of innovation around in even the simplest of household items. The key is to make sure the innovation meets the needs of the customers.
A very simple new product line innovated and launched by Target this fall is called ‘Smartly’. Smartly is a new, low-price brand with more than 70 items priced below $2.00. That’s right. Two dollars. The products include household cleaners, razors, hand soap, paper plates, and toilet paper.
And it’s not just a low price point. Most of the products are sold as single-items, or in small multi-packs. This is ideal for space- and budget-conscious consumers, such as students and young apartment dwellers starting their first jobs.
Going along with the reduced packaging, prices are roughly 70% lower than traditional brands such as Tide, Gillette, and Charmin. And, the Smartly line even undercuts Target’s own Up & Up brand by about 50%.
Simple innovation can equal smart innovation.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
- Explain the use of a product-market grid to determine market segments.
- Show Target’s new Smartly product line: https://www.target.com/c/smartly/-/N-r4rpp#?lnk=snav_rd_smartly
- Read Target’s announcement of the new line: https://corporate.target.com/article/2018/10/smartly
- Divide students into teams. Have each team build a market-product grid by identifying five market segments that shop at Target, and five categories of product groupings sold at Target.
- Where does Smartly fit in the product groupings? What market segment is the best one for Target to pursue with this new product line?
- Finally, how should the company promote the product line?
Source: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Target, other news sources