Course Resource

ACME Meeting

Corporate logo for Maryland Creative Solutions. A lightbulb with colors of state flag inside.

Client Name: ACME

Industry: Appliances

Product Line: Automatic washing machines

Customers: Automatic washing machine buyers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany 

Competitors:     1. Whirlpool (including Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana,
                                Indesit, Bauknecht, Ignis; among others). Whirlpool is the leading producer of home                                 appliances worldwide.

                            2. Electrolux (including Frigidaire, Gibson, Philco, Kelvinator, Zanussi,
                               AEG, White Westinghouse; among many others) Electrolux is the second leading                                producer of home appliances worldwide.

                            3. Haier (including GE Appliances, Fischer, Aqua; among others).

"Thank you for meeting with us today," Tarek says. "Market intelligence has shown that our major competitors—Whirlpool, Electrolux, and Haier—are all developing new efficient automatic washing machines. These new machines have attractive designs, use less electricity and water, are durable, and are available in different colors. In addition, these washing machines are competitively priced for the features that they have."

Tarek looks to you: "As ACME is debating whether to enter this market, we need you to participate in a new cross-functional product development team that will research the buying habits of automatic washing machine customers in our three main markets: the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We also need to know if there's an unmet demand for such efficient washing machines in those markets," he says. Erik Knops, ACME's CEO, nods his head in agreement.

Tarek continues, "We need to take into consideration the different needs and preferences of automatic washing machine buyers in those markets; as well as the demographics of those buyers such age and gender. The customer requirements for each of those markets are quite different. For example, washing machines in Europe are usually 5 kg capacity front loaders that heat their own water, while Americans prefer larger top loaders that take hot water from the home's water heater."

Finally, Tarek remarks, "In addition, we need to know where those customers buy their automatic washing machines from and if there is any seasonal variation in sales."

Erik nods his head again, smiles, and adds, "Tarek and I want you to research the automatic washing machine buyers' needs and preferences for those three markets, and provide us with a customer buying behavior report in two weeks. Remember, the report should focus on the customers, and not on the companies!"

You know that to give Erik and Tarek the most in-depth report, you will need to conduct an analysis of the automatic washing machine buyers in those markets. Each market has to be discussed and analyzed separately under its own headings and subheadings (three different discussions and analyses). In addition, you have to create a value proposition for ACME's proposed product. The value proposition should be clear and specific to ACME's proposed new product. What value do customers see in the proposed product and what would compel them to buy it?