Design a Winning Business Based on Your Idea
 Email from Susan
 About this assignment
 What's involved in defining a target market?
 What does effective market research involve?
 What do the experts have to say about validating a target market?

About this assignment

What is your role?
Susan thought that your suggested refinements to the Petopia business concept made good sense. It’s now time for you and Susan to look at the dog grooming market in Empire City in much finer detail. In order to move forward with the plan for Petopia, you’ll need to determine exactly who might use Petopia for their grooming needs—and then learn everything you can about these potential customers.

Why is this assignment important?
You’ve already started to think about the kind of consumers that are likely to purchase dog-grooming services from Petopia. You’re now going to take some time to research and validate your assumptions, and to uncover additional information about this group of consumers.

Thoroughly researching and analyzing your target market helps you accomplish two things. First, by developing an understanding of your “typical” customer, you’ll be able to gear your product development and marketing strategy to such consumers. For example, imagine you intend to manufacture and sell cotton socks in specialty boutiques. If, through your market research, you discover that teenage girls are the biggest purchasers of socks, you might decide to design and sell colorful or trendy socks, or to advertise in Seventeen magazine.

Second, your market research will start to give you an idea of how many customers you might have, and how much money they might spend on your product. In order to estimate potential revenues for your business (and to convince someone that it’s likely to be profitable!), you must first understand the size of your market opportunity. We’ll look at market opportunity in more detail later in the course, but the analysis you’re doing now lays the foundation for that work.

Only by knowing who your customers are, how to best reach them, and what motivates them to buy, can you plan and run a successful business.

How will this assignment work?
In this assignment, you’ll use information you receive from Susan to help build a detailed picture of Petopia’s target market.

    • You’ll first need to complete a quantitative analysis of the local dog grooming market using an Excel workbook.
    • You’ll then work through some detailed information about your potential customers and summarize your findings for Susan by answering worksheet questions in the course.

Throughout the Petopia planning process, you’ll refer back to this information to help shape your product development and marketing plan, and to help you understand Petopia’s real opportunity.

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