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Kaolin Calefactors is a start-up company located in Eugene, Ore. Marketing will be a critical component of the business to ensure success and profitability. The basic market need is a creative, unique, ceramic dish maker.
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Kaolin Calefactors possesses good information about the market and knows a great deal about the common attributes of the most prized and loyal customers. Kaolin Calefactors will leverage this information to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how Kaolin can better communicate with them.
The profile for Kaolin's typical customer consists of the following geographic, demographic, and behavior factors:
Kaolin Calefactors is providing its customers with a wide selection of handmade ceramic dishware. Kaolin seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to their customers:
The market trend for dishware is an increased demand for creative and artistic designs as well as custom design work. This trend can be explained in part by the fact that during the mid-nineties, the market was flooded with mass production artsy dishware. The market was soon overwhelmed with tons of similar dishware that tries to appear artsy, but because of the large scale of production, was just garish designs.
After the market was flooded with so many similar, common designs, demand was generated for custom artists to produce dishware and other ceramics that had unique artful designs and were not mass produced.
In 1999, the ceramic dishware market in the USA reached $765 million dollars in revenue. The mass market is forecasted to grow at an unexciting 4%, however, because of a recent increase in demand, the custom handmade niche is forecasted to grow at 7.5% for the next several years.
The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within the company, and describes the opportunities and threats facing Kaolin Calefactors.
The competition consists of different sources.
Kaolin Calefactors makes production and custom dishware. KC manufactures a line of 12 production styles of dishware, as well as offers the option of custom designs. The custom designs can be either based on a design KC has done in the past that is displayed in a portfolio or can be a creation of the customer.
Please note that the use of the term production is not the traditional usage. While Sue does have production designs, all this means is that she makes them for inventory regardless if there is an order for them. Production in this case does not take on the typical association of "mass production."
The pieces of dishware that are offered are serving platters, dinner plates, bowls, coffee cups, and saucers. Other pieces can be created at the request of the customer. The dishware comes in several different shapes and glazing options. Kaolin Calefactors products are expensive. KC is not trying to compete on price, KC will be making high-quality pieces that are all handmade. Some of the more elaborate designs adds significant amounts of time of construction as well as adds to the price. The price/positioning strategy will be the upper end of the market.
Kaolin Calefactors is still in the speculative stages as a start up company. Its critical issues are to continue to take a modest fiscal approach; expand at a reasonable rate, not for the sake of expansion in itself, but because it is economically wise to; and continue to build brand awareness and develop the customer base.
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