The purpose of this paper is to describe a practice that has implications for promoting new product innovations in a variety of industries. The ultimate objective of product promotion is to build an emotional bond to the customer. The product featured in the case can aid companies in building share of heart.
The case describes the development and targeting of a new software product, the gydget. It tracks the product from the internal development process to its promotion and use by customers. The company, Gydget.com, is a real organization based in California, USA. The author is indebted to several company representatives for insight into the firm's operations.
The case describes how the company fine‐tuned product benefits to exploit the communication potential of new personal webspaces. Specifically, the company designed its product to exploit the viral marketing strategic process and followed that strategy to introduce it. In addition, it demonstrates how gydgets can aid in the promotional phase of the new product development process as well as promotion in general. The product makes viral marketing possible and can help companies develop emotional bonds to their customers. The case also provides information and a solid action approach to increasing the effectiveness of product promotion.
As in all case studies, the specific conditions found in one organization may not be found more generally in others. Readers are cautioned that the conclusions drawn in the case may have limited applicability.
The case depicts a professional implementation of product development and market selection. Additionally, it describes the value of viral marketing strategies and shows how its product can be used in viral marketing.
The case is a unique implementation of product development and promotion. It offers lessons that may be applied to other companies faced with generating publicity in similarly competitive, consumer environments. Practitioners of one‐to‐one marketing know that mass customization is the cornerstone of building relationships with individual customers. In that context, mass customization takes the form of differentiating a product or service to fit a particular consumer's needs more effectively than the original product. Ultimately, the value of any product lies with the customer. The closer the product or service benefits match the needs of a specific individual, the higher the brand value for that person. The one‐to‐one approach sharpens the focus and simplifies perceiving what mix of benefits customers will value. In general, as products are developed, their benefits and the communication about those benefits are refined to meet the needs of the target audience. The development stage in a one‐to‐one approach matches those needs precisely. One implication of the “perfect product” for developers is high acceptance by the consumer. In some cases, the product or provider may gain some share of the consumer's heart, the highest level of value.
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