The Trap-Ease Mousetrap
If a man [can]… make a better mousetrap than his neighbor…the world will make a beaten path to his door.
True, but only if the world perceives more value in it than the next door neighbor’s.
Statement of the Problem
Despite the publicity and the proven uniqueness of Trap-Ease mousetrap, both demand and sales fall radically short of expectations. The purpose of this analysis is to identify the root of the problem and how it can possibly be solved.
It was stated in the article that the Trap-Ease was approximately five to ten times more expensive than the standard traps already present in the market. This is largely due to the innovative concept of trapping mice in a mess-free method, and not as a consequence of more expensive raw materials. Trap-Ease utilizes plastic that is generally less costly than wood, thin steel metals and springs which compose the traditional mousetrap. No matter how much more expensive the cost of a new product is, it must not cost higher than the existing unless it possessed mechanics incredibly special, inevitably making customers feel that they are getting the value for their money. Since the innovative plastic mousetrap aims to reach the market with its new concept (something abstract), it will take much more than a low price for buyers to realize its value. Decreasing the introductory price, among other factors, will help increase sales by attracting new shoppers or diverting them from the traditional product. Once Trap-Ease has firmly established its name in the market by gradually increasing market share, prices may be increased eventually, but not as of the moment. This does not imply that prices must be lowered in a hasty manner. Management needs to price the products that would at least break even all the costs incurred for the first year or so.
“…customers appeared to offer little initial price resistance.” This only pertains to buyers who have already bought the product. The statement in the first sentence automatically limits the already small target market that Martha has pursued by disregarding those who did not buy the product for reasons that may or may not have included the price factor. Furthermore, there had not been enough repeat buying in the part of the customers for reasons we have yet to learn. We can without a doubt say, however, that prices are influential in the process of decision-making.
According to research, Martha has discovered that Trap-Ease has generally been used as a display material or treated as a novelty item rather than a weapon against mice. The target market does not seem to be comfortable using such an expensive tool for everyday mice control. Furthermore, the product has been introduced as something disposable. If customers had to buy these mousetraps and use them only for a brief period of time, they would certainly not pay five times as much if a cheaper one is available.
Though change is constant, most...