Disruptive Marketing Plan
Indent first sentence of each paragraph – tell the reader what this paper is
about…remember that you are provide a specific consumer brand offering / service. This is a
disruptive marketing plan for the United States only. Do not discuss global expansion in this
Disruptive Brand Plan
Identify a brand that you would like to change their approach to their marketing and/or
business practices. This must be a consumer tangible product OR a service company. Here are
some examples, a cruise line that would change the vacation experience for the customers. You
want everyone to talk about their experience and share with their friends and family (word of
mouth). Or it could be a company that changes to all ‘green’ and that drives more interest and
marketing coverage for this brand.
Discuss here the 4Ps that would have to be modified to make these changes. At this point
it is very high-level. Remember that these changes the mix must be affordable. You cannot say
for example that you are a car brand that is going to give a cruise to everyone that buys your
vehicle…that could bankrupt a company. But what would change below? The product itself?
Would the price have to change? Would you distribute this differently (place of purchase)? And
then how would you promote this ‘disrupted’ product differently?
Brief recap of the key attributes of this product identified above today and how it might
Today’s pricing is discussed here. Provide the exact price of your product and the source.
If it is sold in multiple locations, provide three examples of pricing found via your research. How
might this have to change?
Current distribution plan for this product. This is where consumers can buy your product.
If your product is sold at several online and brick & mortar locations – provide at least five
Promotion / Communications
How does this brand communicate their brand offering today? How would you improve
this? You may use this submission (based on feedback you receive) as the start of your week
Market Segments – Current Target Market
What are the target market(s) that this brand is now focusing on…
New Primary and New Secondary Target Market
Identify two new segments that you recommend your brand goes after.
New Primary Target Market
The new target market that this product should focus on is …..the overall size of this new
opportunity is…focus FIRST on demographics and then you can go into other specific
New Secondary Target Market
The second new target market that this product should focus on is …..the overall size of
this new opportunity is… focus FIRST on demographics and then you can go into other specific
Demographic & Economic Trends
Describe some supporting external trends that are making this change needed by your
Analyzing the Consumer Market
How are customer behaviors changing that would support this change.
What needs does this product satisfy today for consumers? What else could they do to
disrupt the marketplace and over achieve on delivering customer’s needs?
The new positioning statement for this brand is…
You must review competitors in this format
Price – MSRP Range
Placement – points of
Promotion – where /
how do they advertise
Other Items of
Your BRAND After
This New Disruptive
Idea is Launched
Competitor # 1 – name
Finally discuss what changes you would recommend to take to beat your competition.
Remember, APA does not allow first person – so your response should be statements like this –
‘Starbucks should start home delivery…’ or whatever your creative new ideas are and of course,
your instructor expect academic support for your new ideas!
Market Research Plans
Describe how you would conduct market research for this new idea. Base this on your
taking over the responsibility for this brand in the marketplace. What kind of market research
would you like to conduct and why? Where would you conduct this research in the United States
(one location or multiple locations)? Time of year for research event if that matters.
Based on your brand’s disruptive idea, what are your plans?
What does this brand do today to support social media marketing? What would you
recommend that they do that perhaps they are not doing today?
What plans would you have to get ‘free’ publicity? What are your key ideas to get
television and print exposure via non-paid media? What are the risks and benefits for you?
Advertising Plan for your customers – billboards, television, radio, and other traditional
Financial Viability of Plan
Based on your brand’s disruptive idea, how does this make financial sense? Think about
what you would tell the Financial Team at your company. This is not a finance class, but they are
NOT going to approve this unless you can convey clearly / crisply why this is a financially suited
idea. What could happen if this is NOT launched? Don’t forget you are ‘disrupting’ their
financial world – so ‘market’ this well to your numbers people!
Building relationships with your customer base is omnipotent in business. How does this
idea support closer relationships with your customer base?
Socially Responsible Marketing
In the marketing for this brand – in regards to societal marketing – what would you
recommend that your brand does to give back?
Student May Add New Topic Here
Use this template strictly. However, you may desire to cover new ground that is not listed
here. No problem, add your new sections in APA style between Socially Responsible
Marketing and Christian Integration for Brand.
Christian Integration for Brand
Describe what you would do to make this a Christian brand? Think about other companies
that live the Christian values like Chick-Fil-A which is closed on Sunday. What would you do to
deliver Christian values for your brand?
If you were named the brand manager for this product/service tomorrow – what key
actions would you recommend based on all you learned about this brand over the past few
In summary, xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx – should be no more than 6,500 words.
Page count is from Introduction to Conclusion only.
You need Marketing Journals to support your paper – read grading rubric. Use authored sources
primarily. You may use some of your readings from this semester, BUT you also need
TEN new scholarly sources for this paper. Validate that every reference listed here is
clearly cited within your paper. Your instructor will be checking this – so before you
submit, please perform your due diligence.
Disruptive Marketing Plan: Final Paper Assignment Instructions
Based on the approval granted for the Disruptive Marketing Plan: Brand Proposal Paper
Assignment, you will complete a 4,500–6,500 word paper on their ‘disruptive’ innovative new
idea for this brand using the template provided. Ten authored references are required. You may
use web sites as well, but they do not count towards the ten authored sources. Included in your
ten sources must be five (not previously used or assigned in this course) peer-reviewed
Marketing journal references that are NEW to this paper. You may use your assigned readings as
well, but they do not count towards your new ten academic sources.
Important…Written Assignment Requirements This Semester
For your papers this semester should adhere to current APA format…and that includes the
• Times New Roman 12 Font
• Double-Spacing with zero point line spacing (10 point line spacing not allowed).
• One Inch Margins
• Cover Page and Reference Page
• And more…using the current edition of the APA manual as our guide.
In addition, it is expected that the following in your writing style this semester:
• Use subject headers for all papers – your reader appreciates and expects that level or
organization to your work! You will lose points if you do not do so!
• No visuals in the paper – put in Appendix if absolutely needed. Do not put tables in
UNLESS you developed the table yourself.
• Avoid “I” statements – do not talk about yourself, present facts.
• Deliver at least the minimum word count requirement.
• No contractions
• Use the templates as provided strictly – do not change or delete subject headers.
• No PDF files accepted
• Each new paragraph – the first line of that new paragraph should be indented five spaces please adopt this practice this semester – a pet peeve of mine is to see papers that do not
meet this criteria.
• No extra blank lines between paragraphs – deliver a ‘tight’ paper! It is critical that all
students are graded based on the same writing approach.
• If you use an online source, please include in the reference page the exact web link as I
do verify all sources.
• Avoid using bullet points and numbered lists – write formally, in full paragraphs and
full sentences only.
• No abbreviations – if you are referring to the United States of America, write it out…no
‘US’ – this is not good academic writing.
• Always include a cover page and reference page – you all do this, just a friendly
• Reference page and in-text citations must match exactly.
• Authored articles must be used to meet your requirement. An authored source is
simply one that is associated with a person’s full name. No wikis, blogs, videos,
podcasts, dictionaries, encyclopedias qualify as a formal authored source. It is fine
Page 1 of 2
to use a web site like the United States Census Bureau – but there is no ‘human’s
name’ associated with that work. You may use it, but it will not count as one of the
required authored sources you must deliver (as outlined by each assignment’s
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the SafeAssign plagiarism tool. Make
sure you are under 25% SafeAssign score. There are unlimited attempts granted for this paper.
Page 2 of 2
SPOTLIGHT ON REINVENTION
BELOW Michel de Broin, Encircling, 2006
Asphalt, yellow paint, road sign, 14.8 x 21.9 m
Scape Biennale, Christchurch, New Zealand
Because companies can now interact directly with customers, they must
radically reorganize to put cultivating relationships ahead of building brands.
by Roland T. Rust, Christine Moorman, and Gaurav Bhalla
94 Harvard Business Review January–February 2010
1767 JanFeb10 Rust Layout.indd 94
12/8/09 9:47:11 AM
Roland T. Rust (rrust@
rhsmith.umd.edu) is a
Professor and the David
Bruce Smith Chair in
Marketing at the University
of Maryland’s Robert H.
Smith School of Business.
is the T. Austin Finch, Sr.,
Professor of Business
Administration at Duke
University’s Fuqua School
of Business in Durham,
Gaurav Bhalla (gaurav.
com) is the president of
Knowledge Kinetics, based
in Reston, Virginia.
1767 JanFeb10 Rust Layout.indd 95
12/8/09 9:47:27 AM
SPOTLIGHT ON REINVENTION
magine a brand manager sitting in his
office developing a marketing strategy
for his company’s new sports drink. He
identifies which broad market segments
to target, sets prices and promotions,
and plans mass media communications.
The brand’s performance will be measured by aggregate sales and profitability, and his pay and future prospects will
hinge on those numbers.
What’s wrong with this picture? This firm—like
too many—is still managed as if it were stuck in the
1960s, an era of mass markets, mass media, and impersonal transactions. Yet never before have companies had such powerful technologies for interacting
directly with customers, collecting and mining information about them, and tailoring their offerings
accordingly. And never before have customers expected to interact so deeply with companies, and
each other, to shape the products and services they
use. To be sure, most companies use customer re-
Many companies still depend on
product managers and one-way
mass marketing to push a product
to many customers.
What’s needed is customer managers
who engage individual customers
or narrow segments in two-way
communications, building long-term
relationships by promoting whichever
of the company’s products the
customer would value most at any
lationship management and other technologies to
get a handle on customers, but no amount of technology can really improve the situation as long as
companies are set up to market products rather than
cultivate customers. To compete in this aggressively
interactive environment, companies must shift their
focus from driving transactions to maximizing customer lifetime value. That means making products
and brands subservient to long-term customer relationships. And that means changing strategy and
structure across the organization—and reinventing
the marketing department altogether.
Not long ago, companies looking to get a message
out to a large population had only one real option:
blanket a huge swath of customers simultaneously,
mostly using one-way mass communication. Information about customers consisted primarily of
aggregate sales statistics augmented by marketing
research data. There was little, if any, direct communication between individual customers and the firm.
Today, companies have a host of options at their disposal, making such mass marketing far too crude.
The exhibit “Building Relationships” shows
where many companies are headed, and all must
inevitably go if they hope to remain competitive.
The key distinction between a traditional and a
customer-cultivating company is that one is organized to push products and brands whereas the
other is designed to serve customers and customer
segments. In the latter, communication is two-way
and individualized, or at least tightly targeted at
thinly sliced segments. This strategy may be more
challenging for firms whose distribution channels
own or control customer information—as is the case
for many packaged-goods companies. But more and
more firms now have access to the rich data they
need to make a customer-cultivating strategy work.
B2B companies, for instance, use key account
managers and global account directors to focus on
meeting customers’ evolving needs, rather than
selling specific products. IBM organizes according to customer needs, such as energy efficiency or
server consolidation, and coordinates its marketing efforts across products for a particular customer.
IBM’s Insurance Process Acceleration Framework is
one example of this service-oriented architecture.
Customer and industry specialists in IBM’s insurance practice work with lead customers to build fast
and flexible processes in areas like claims, new busi-
96 Harvard Business Review January–February 2010
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12/8/09 9:47:35 AM
RETHINKING MARKETING HBR.ORG
Idea in Brief
Companies have powerful technologies
for understanding and interacting
with customers, yet most still depend
on mass media marketing to drive
ness processing, and underwriting. Instead of focusing on short-term product sales, IBM measures the
practice’s performance according to long-term customer metrics.
Large B2B firms are often advanced in their customer orientation, and some B2C companies are
making notable progress. Increasingly, they view
their customer relationships as evolving over time,
and they may hand off customers to different parts
of the organization selling different brands as their
needs change. For instance, Tesco, a leading UK retailer, has recently made significant investments in
analytics that have improved customer retention.
Tesco uses its data-collecting loyalty card (the Clubcard) to track which stores customers visit, what they
buy, and how they pay. This information has helped
Tesco tailor merchandise to local tastes and customize offerings at the individual level across a variety
of store formats—from sprawling hypermarts to
neighborhood shops. Shoppers who buy diapers for
the first time at a Tesco store, for example, receive
coupons by mail not only for baby wipes and toys
but also for beer, according to a Wall Street Journal
report. Data analysis revealed that new fathers tend
to buy more beer because they can’t spend as much
time at the pub.
On the services side, American Express actively monitors customers’ behavior and responds
to changes by offering different products. The
firm uses consumer data analysis and algorithms
to determine customers’ “next best product” according to their changing profiles and to manage
risk across cardholders. For example, the first
purchase of a upper-class airline ticket on a Gold
Card may trigger an invitation to upgrade to a
Platinum Card. Or, because of changing circumstances a cardholder may want to give an additional card with a specified spending limit to a child
or a contractor. By offering this service, American Ex-
To compete, companies
must shift from pushing
to building long-term
be reinvented as a
that replaces the CMO
with a chief customer
oﬃcer, makes product
and brand managers
subservient to customer
managers, and oversees
functions including R&D,
customer service, market research, and CRM.
These changes shift
the ﬁrm’s focus from
product proﬁtability to
as measured by metrics
such as customer
lifetime value and
interests and so must
be driven from the top.
Large B2B ﬁrms are often advanced
in their customer orientation, and
some B2C companies are making
press extends existing customers’ spending ability to
a trusted circle of family members or partners while
introducing the brand to potential new customers.
American Express also leverages its strategic position between customers and merchants to create
long-term value across both relationships. For instance, the company might use demographic data,
customer purchase patterns, and credit information
to observe that a cardholder has moved into a new
home. AmEx capitalizes on that life event by offering special Membership Rewards on purchases from
merchants in its network in the home-furnishings
One insurance and financial services company
we know of also proved adept at tailoring products to
customers’ life events. Customers who lose a spouse,
for example, are flagged for special attention from a
team that offers them customized products. When a
checking account or credit-card customer gets married, she’s a good cross-selling prospect for an auto
or home insurance policy and a mortgage. Likewise,
the firm targets new empty nesters with home equity loans or investment products and offers renter’s
insurance to graduating seniors.
These shining examples aside, boards and C-suites
still mostly pay lip service to customer relationships
while focusing intently on selling goods and services. Directors and management need to spearhead
January–February 2010 Harvard Business Review 97
1767 JanFeb10 Rust Layout.indd 97
12/8/09 9:47:41 AM
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