Moist Toilet Tissue Term Paper

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Marketing Plan for Moist Toilet Tissue Marketed by Sunbeam Toilet Tissue Company

Moist toilet tissue has been marketed in the United States since 1988 where it was initially positioned as a product that was suitable for so-called "problem" conditions (Antonides and Van Raaij 1999). Since that time, a number of comparable products have entered the marketplace. Such problem conditions targeted by this product can range from mothers with young children who are being potty trained to the elderly who may suffer from various age-related conditions that involve incontinence as well as to virtually anyone who is compelled to use a public restroom which may lack a supply of toilet tissue.

The new product developed by Sunbeam Toilet Tissue Company (hereinafter "Sunbeam" or alternatively, "the company") is also a moist toilet tissue, but with an important difference. While most moist toilet tissue brands use an alcohol and water mixture, the product developed by Sunbeam, named "Waterfall Moist Brand Toilet Tissue," uses an innovative proprietary process that does not rely on alcohol but rather uses an equally effective disinfectant ingredient that also provides a valuable deodorant quality as well. Taken together, the company believes that its product provides a superior alternative to existing brands on the market and will rapidly gain valuable market share among the targeted market segment which is described further below, followed by a proforma PowerPoint presentation at Appendix A that presents a brief history of toilet paper and its evolution to its modern form that is used by consumers in many Western nations.

Part II: Industry Analysis

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TOPIC: Term Paper on Moist Toilet Tissue Assignment

According to Cravens (2000), the general purpose of SWOT analysis is to help identify key issues that will allow an informed strategic approach. To this end, the SWOT analysis seeks to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the market environment in which the product is presented. In this regard, Cravens notes that the strengths segment of the SWOT analysis is comprised of positive aspects that are internal to the entity; weaknesses are those negative aspects that are internal to the entity; and opportunities are positive aspects that are external to the entity. Finally, threats are regarded as being negative aspects that are external to the entity. These variables are applied to the company in question below.

Strengths.

The Sunbeam product is considered to be highly competitive with existing market offerings, particularly in view of the fact that an alcohol-and-water mixture is not used but rather a proprietary ingredient that functions equally well while also providing a highly desirable deodorant quality. Moreover, toilet tissue is general is one utilitarian product that people will simply not do without and it is sufficiently inexpensive that even high-end products (so to speak) will be cost competitive. In this regard, one industry analyst emphasizes that, "You had better not come back from the store without it, or your roommates will be mad. Toilet paper is right there on the list along with the usual milk and bread. While you may be opting to pay for sandpaper instead of quilted softness, you might want to reconsider that dry toilet paper in your shopping cart" (Brewer 2001, p. 2). Indeed, rather than purchasing sandpaper-like dry toilet paper, moist toilet tissue is a superior alternative that is available for just a few cents more per roll and provides a number of advantages, including portability when purchased in the handy box version, a disinfectant quality as well as a highly desirable deodorizing quality that are simply not provided by dry paper alternatives.

Weaknesses.

The leadership team at Sunbeam does not have any prior experience in marketing toilet tissue products.

Opportunities.

Research has shown that a majority of consumers already use some type of moisture to facilitate the cleansing process besides using dry toilet paper, with many consumers resorting to inferior alternatives several times a day (Brewer 2001). Research has also shown a receptive market for moist toilet tissue (Brewer 2001). According to Tollefsrud (2002), "Obviously, toilet paper hasn't been around forever. We can be pretty sure that those living before the late 19th Century weren't able to drop by their local quickie mart mega stores to pick up a case of Charmin triple-ply, or Cottonelle flushable moist wipes. Rather, the innovation of the roll of toilet paper is a very modern product and convenience, in which today, has arguably become a household commodity" (p. 2).

Threats.

The Sunbeam brand is currently an unknown in a marketplace that already has several strong competitors with established brands, including Andrex and Hakle Moists in the United Kingdom (Antonides and Van Raaij 1999), as well as Kimberly-Clark's Cottonelle Rollwipes (Brewer 2001) in the United States which are shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. Kimberly-Clark's Cottonelle Rollwipes.

Source: Brewer at 3.

Porter's Five-Force Industry Analysis

In this regard, Kermally (2003) advises that by using Porter's five forces framework, an improved analysis and understanding of the competition in a particular industry can be achieved. This author notes that, "In order to construct a competitive strategy, an organization needs to know what is likely to happen in the markets in which the organization delivers its products and services. It also has to know who its competitors are in a particular industry structure" (Kermally 2003, p. 58). The five forces analysis developed by Porter is applied to the product being offered by Sunbeam in Table 1 below.

Table 1

Porter's Five Forces Analysis of Moist Toilet Tissue

Force

Overall Assessment

Analyses and Comments

Power of Buyers

The product is priced just slightly higher than its dry-paper counterparts making it an attractive alternative for almost all buyers.

Despite the shaky global economy, everyone will continue to purchase certain consumer items including food and utilitarian products such as toilet tissue (Strahilevitz 1999).

Power of Suppliers

The proprietary ingredient that substitutes for the alcohol-and-water mixture used by most competitors is readily available and is low in cost. Likewise, the paper component needed for the manufacture of the Waterfall brand are also competitively priced and readily available.

The ready availability of the proprietary ingredient diminishes the power of suppliers to command premium prices and will contribute to the ability of Sunbeam to market its product at a reasonable price.

Threat of Substitution

There are countless generic toilet tissue alternatives available that will indirectly compete with the moist version being offered by Sunbeam. Moreover, there are several established brands on the market that many consumers may prefer based on past experiences with them.

As Porter points out, "All five forces jointly determine the intensity of industry competition and profitability, and the strongest force or forces are governing and becoming crucial from the point-of-view of strategy formulation. For example, even a company with a very strong market position in an industry where potential entrants are no threat will earn low returns if it faces a superior, low-cost substitute" (quoted in Kermally, 2003 at p. 60).

Threat of Entry

The costs of entry are relatively high for this industry and the threats of entry will likely be limited to existing toilet paper manufacturers which do not currently have this option available.

Foreign manufacturers of moist toilet tissue such as Andrex and Hakle Moists may seek to gain market share in the United States in the future.

Internal Rivalry

None.

Not applicable

Overall Industry Assessment

Based on the rapidly aging segment of American society, this market segment in particular is viewed as poised for expansion in the future.

Consistent sales of toilet tissue indicate that this market will continue to enjoy healthy sales in the future.

Part 3: Product and Corresponding Target Market

Target Market Demographics.

Income levels. The Waterfall product will be affordable by most income levels except for consumers who are more concerned about price than comfort and cleanliness.

Living Environments. While virtually all living environments are suitable target markets, those involving parents with young children, schools and assisted living facilities for the elderly are considered especially suitable target markets.

Psychological Mindsets. It is reasonable to suggest that most people want to feel clean and non-odoriferous after using the toilet, and the Sunbeam Waterfall brand can promote these features among people who feel this way.

Family Situations. As noted above, families with small children or elderly members are particularly attractive target markets.

Age Ranges. All age ranges are suitable for marketing the Waterfall brand, but as also noted above, younger children and the elderly represents especially attractive market segments for this product.

Industry or Societal Trends that Affect the Company's Customers.

As more and more people elect to travel abroad, dine out, attend concerts, festivals or other events that use public restrooms, many of which may be of the portable variety, a moist toilet tissue alternative represents a product whose time has truly come of age, particularly one that is offered in both home-dispenser and portable versions such as the case with the Sunbeam Waterfall product (Kaiser 2000). In this regard, the editors of the Daily Record in Glasgow, Scotland (2007) emphasize in their review of Andrex moist… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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