Assignment #1

On Tuesday we introduced the course, and did a short lecture on Market Analysis and Segmentation. This course is focused on the practical and tactical execution of Customer Discovery and Validation strategies, so it’s valuable to take a look at how small companies are choosing an initial target market.

Please find a company you have never heard of in an industry that interests you. The Geekwire 200 list is a good source of small Seattle based start-ups, but if you have other sources you’d prefer to use, please feel free.

I’d like you to write a 1-2 sentence description of what the company does, and then a couple of paragraphs about who their target market appears to be. You can look at their web site, but also take a look at their social media channels and/or any press they have received. Try to take educational guesses and be as specific as you can. Things that you could explore include the following: Is the company reaching a B2C or B2B audience? What are the demographic, psychographic or geographic characteristics of the target market. Do they seem to have a very specific approach, or is it very generic? Are they developing a new market, or are they trying to steal existing customers from another product int hat market? You can keep your post short, but think about these things for our discussion Tuesday.

I’d *prefer* that the posts be turned in before 9:30pm Monday, but you officially have until Midnight for full credit.

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3 thoughts on “Assignment #1

  1. Her Interactive
    Twitter Followers: 11,000 (@HerInteractive)
    Facebook Followers: 181,000 (https://www.facebook.com/NancyDrewPCGames?ref=nf)
    LinkedIn Employees: 11 – 50
    LinkedIn Followers: 500
    External Links: 1,000

    Her Interactive is a software game developer based in Bellevue, WA reaching B2C audiences and more specifically targeting girls from ages 10 and up by developing rated E games, by the ESRB, based on the Nancy Drew character.

    Her Interactive’s Nancy Drew game series, is an acclaimed saga collecting 27 time gold award and 3 time silver award winner for the Parent’s Choice Best Software and have also received recognition for promoting female interest in video games (by PC Gamer “Games of the Year”, March 2010). The game develops around Nancy Drew and girl gamers collect clues and solve puzzles to finally solve the mystery crime

    Her Interactive approach sets them aside the other game developers and in the end segment and target their final audience and what I believe an unattended audience. I also believe Her Interactive success is based on developing a wide-varieties of themes for the character to keep their users (gamers) interested but also, and very important, all these themes are rated E by the ESRB in order for the parents to not worry what their daughters are playing.

    With this business plan, I consider Her Interactive are setting themselves apart in a quite old existing market by targeting a really specific audience and allowing them to exploit and develop this market and in the end steal this segment from other developers. In conclusion, I believe Her Interactive are not developing a new market but leveraging on an unattended segment of the gaming industry.

  2. Walk Score
    Business to consumer
    Webpage: http://www.walkscore.com
    Twitter: 8K
    Facebook: 12K
    LinkedIn: 208
    External links: 156K

    Walk Score is a company headquartered on Seattle Washington and bases its strategy on providing useful information to individuals and professionals regarding the quality of life of every neighborhood. Three different scores rate the quality of life: walkability, transit score and bike score of every neighborhood. Each of them is based primarily in how close are convenience stores and grocery shops from specific addresses also taking in to consideration recommendations about crime, safety, transit and infrastructure. All the above thanks to specialized software that uses information from different databases and summarizes it in to a final score.
    Although their approach is very general in their website by encouraging users to ”live where you love” they offer two different products. The first one directed to younger final consumer, which is 18 years old and over, mostly early adopters and looking for a convenient place to move (Cheap and with stores nearby).
    The second product is much more specialized and is offered to real state professionals probably on their late 20’s to 50 years old that use this tool in order to make better decisions and obtain the best deal in the combination between price and location. In order to make it more attractive for the users it is possible to advertise properties in the website and show the walk score in your own webpage leading to an amazing 156K external sites currently linked to the site.
    I think their approach on the website is great because by providing that information they are generating a huge amount of traffic in to their website and at the same time getting more information from the users and feedback that translates on reliability and familiarity with the scoring system. Also by giving this information to everyone they create a link of trust, which later can be translated in to a revenue source by posting an ad or by selling more specific information.
    I don’t think they are creating a new market, but they are transforming the real state market by providing tons of information that can help develop better neighborhoods, choosing the best alternative and therefore increase the quality of life of their residents.

  3. Company Pro.com.
    Of note, Pro.com was listed at 191 on the Geekwire 200 and fell off the October list. Thus, specific social media metrics are not available.

    Pro.com is an online platform designed to connect you with local service professionals to help complete your home projects. Their competitive advantage lies in bundling home projects into one request and also providing accurate estimates for your projects.

    Pro.com’s target market focuses on home owners who are looking for a quick and simple online/mobile platform to help price projects and find local professionals to complete those projects. Pro.com is a B2C company solely focused on the end consumer. The demographic is aligned toward middle to upper income singles or families that own homes (e.g, single family home, townhome or condo) who have discretionary funds, either through home equity loans or regular income, to spend on improvements.

    Pro.com is targeting middle to larger urban areas where either one or both of the owners are professionals working full-time with little extra time to spend on home projects. This is where the project “bundling” is convenient. Psychographically, these customers value their time, want it done correctly the first time with very little interaction with the professional and pay the contractor for their time. The target market are not Do-It-Yourselfers. They invest in their homes and want to get the most aesthetically and monetarily from them.

    Pro.com is tapping into an existing market space which includes Angie’s List, Porch.com and other sites that provide listings for local professionals. However, they are looking for a more sophisticated customer who knows what they want and will spend for it. Even though the site look and feel is generic, they are after a very specific piece of the local services market.

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