Background of the Case
You have been hired
as a marketing strategy consultant for Nighthawk Motors’ new Plug-in Hybrid,
the Ecostar. Nighthawk Motors is preparing for the auto show season in the
United States and plans to showcase their latest model of the Ecostar at the
various auto shows around the U.S. You have been hired as a consultant to
develop Nighthawk’s marketing strategy to sell the hybrid to consumers in the
Below is a link about designing displays at auto shows.
Why auto show display
design is tricky: Marketing executive talks strategy
The Ecostar is a five
person compact hybrid automobile equipped with a 1.8L 4 cylinder engine. It has
a range of 80 miles on batteries alone and 500 miles on a tank of gas. Its EPA
rating is 60 miles per gallon for city driving and 55 miles per gallon for
highway driving. The Ecostar is available in white, silver, blue, green,
orange, and red. The Ecostar’s direct competitor is the Toyota Prius, but the
Ecostar’s base price is $3,000 less than the Prius. The Ecostar is also
produced mostly in the United States with over 75% of its components being
built in the U.S.
Below is a link
comparing the different models of hybrids.
Car Rankings: Hybrid
automobiles have been around for well over a decade, consumers are somewhat
wary of buying them because the technology is still evolving. They worry about
finding skilled mechanics to repair them. Many consumers have also heard that
it will be expensive to replace the batteries when they get old. As well they
are worried that they won’t be able to trade them in.
Your job is to develop a marketing strategy to overcome
their reluctance and make the Ecostar the first choice among all compact car
buyers and not just among customers predisposed to purchase hybrid cars.
Nighthawk Motors’ goal is for the Ecostar to go beyond being
a product just for “green” consumers and instead be the number one selling
vehicle in the world. Priced at $3,000 less than the current leader, the Toyota
Prius, Ecostar has potential to be competitive even in the tough U.S. market.
The success of your
marketing strategy will depend on your ability to design a marketing campaign
that will influence the consumer decision making process. Your first step will
be to research and understand the role that different steps of the consumer
decision making process has in enabling the consumer to make a high value
Read Consumer Behavior: How People Make Buying Decisions.
Prepare a case
analysis addressing the following issues:
Develop a detailed profile of the expected consumer for the
Ecostar. Include things such as age,
income, personality, profession, lifestyle, and any other characteristics you
think may be important. Provide
justification in support of your profile.
Analyze the consumer decision making process for automobiles
in the segment you have identified for the Ecostar. In this connection examine
how Figure 3.9 Stages in the Consumer’s Purchasing Process (refer Chapter 3 How
People Make Buying Decisions) may be helpful in persuading potential customers to
buy a high involvement product as Ecostar.
Auto shows are heavily attended by the purchasing agents for
major corporations (e.g., IBM, Xerox, etc. for use by their service reps and
sales force) as well as rental car companies (e.g., Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise).
What strategy would you adopt in order to make large volume sales (or fleet
sales) to these large businesses? Discuss how your Business-to-Business (B2B)
marketing strategy will be different from your marketing strategy vis-à-vis
individual customers. (Business Buying Behavior in Recommended readings will be
useful for this question)
The case analysis should include three main sections with
three main headings: Introduction, Analysis, Conclusions. In addition, in
Analysis, use subheadings for each case question as shown below.
Title Page – List
your name, class number, class name, Week 4 – Individual Assignment: Case Study
Analysis, date of submission.
Introduction – In one
or two paragraphs, discuss briefly the company background and case scenario.
Analysis – Answer
each of the three questions described above using subheadings for each
Summarize the main issues of the case and discuss implications to marketing
management and innovation.
Try to utilize the following five steps of good case
analysis i.e., a. Present case facts b. Identify key issues c. List alternative
courses of actions . d. Evaluate alternatives e. Recommend best course of
Do make extensive use of the library resources (apart from
the Required and Recommended readings for Week 4). Research Databases e.g.,
Hoover’s, Mergent Online will be particularly useful. You may also utilize
other resources listed under ‘Resources for Marketing Plan’. Please cite all
scholarly references adhering to the APA format.
Avoid lengthy repetition of the facts of the case in your
paper. Your responses should be focused and factual in style.
The paper should be about 8-10 pages long and follow the APA
format. This page count is exclusive of References. Executive Summary is not
required; a concise Introduction will
suffice. A brief conclusion at the end is recommended.