Project Google Glass was initiated in April 2013 and is aimed at integrating a head mounted display into an Android Smartphone (BUSINESS INSIDER, 2013, p. 54). Such a venture needs a comprehensive marketing plan and Google INC has ensured this by developing a marketing plan that entails pricing details of the product, launch criteria and preliminary budget calculations. This essay seeks to identify these key elements and provide an understanding of how the company will implement the plan. The Google Glass project entails the sale of wearable technologies therefore this essay will discuss the market potential of these technologies as well.
Google is a multinational company that develops internet related products and services and avails them to its consumers. The firm was incorporated as a private company in 1998 (STUDYMODE WEBSITE, 2010, p. 43) and over the years, Google has managed to live to its customer expectations. The firm has developed high-end consumer products such as cloud computing and ADWords which are among its main sources of income. These online softwares and technologies have gone a long way to make necessary information readily available to its customer as stated in its mission statement. The Google glass plan involves an Eyewear that has an embedded camera, microphone GPS locator and an induction amplifier (STUDYMODE WEBSITE, 2010, p. 34). All these features sum up into a technological device that makes audible sounds to the user. The user can operate the Google glass using voice control. It is with no doubt that such a revolutionary gadget requires a sound marketing plan that will propel the company and product to greater heights. Marketing the gadget is a separate task of developing it. Poor marketing and pricing mechanisms could render the efforts of the company useless as was evident with the Bluetooth technology.
Announced in 2012, Google INC seeks to launch Google glass in late this year or early 2014 although a consumer sample of the product is set to be launched by the end of 2013 (MARKETING LAND WEBSITE, 2013, p.34). Google INC has maintained an open and transparent strategy to launch the Google glass. This is contrary to many technology based firms such as Apple INC (a major rival) which maintains secrecy throughout its product launches (MARKETING LAND WEBSITE, 2013, p. 52). The objective of maintaining a transparent strategy is to ensure they grasp market needs. Despite the transparency, Google INC maintains secrecy as regards date and location of launching the product. The device is limited to a small audience to build up and develops its ecosystem. Consequently, Google glass remains an experiment and research based project without an official date of release.
Google INC has developed an all-inclusive plan to back the launch of the product. Market segmentation is one way the company seeks to make the glass a success. The company has an initial recruitment plan whereby it has selected as few as 8000 consumers who will be the first official users of the device (KNOWLEDGE @ WHARTON, 2013,p. 47). This way, Google can get responses on how effective the glass is from the most appropriate applicants. The 8000 applicant will be spread out to enhance branding and awareness of the device. In addition to market segmentation, the company aims to design a product that is user friendly and does not reflect a geeky face. Being a wearable gadget, it is imperative for the company to design the product so as to meet consumer expectations. This move will ensure that the glass does not fail like the Bluetooth device (MARKETING STRATEGY, 2013,p .57). The company has also invited suggestions from the public on what they expected of the Google glass via social media sites like Twitter. In so doing, the firm aims to trim the project so as to satisfy and meet market demands. Google is a renowned company certainly capable of delivering a satisfactory end product given its level of technology and expertise in the marketing arena. Pricing of the glass remains unclear but a range of $ 250- $600 is estimated so as to make the gadget affordable. The preliminary budget for the launch of the device will be met by revenues generated from sale of the device. Another most likely way to monetize the project is through targeted advertising (ROB EDMONDS, 2012, p. 73).
The business Insider (2013) presents the Google glass market as a lucrative venture with significant potential of growth. In only 5 years, an estimated $ 11 billion industry is predicted. Google glass is expected to become a mainstream product by 2018 with sharp sales of close to 21 million units being projected. This will in turn translate to respectable profitability. Going by a figure of $500 per glass, a 10.5 billion annual market opportunity is realistic (Business Insider, 2013). This is of course dependent of various factors such as safety, developers’ interests and cultural barriers among others. Despite the negativity, the Google glass market presents a world of opportunities for users to interact with technology (CASSIDY, A., 2013, p.43). The company will be capable of generating profits through availing information easily to consumers. Moreover, Google is not the first company to come up with Eyewear technology. Most other companies for example, Epson, NEC and Vuzix have developed the concept before thus this is not a new trend in the eyeglass-display market.
The marketing plan aims at exploring the attractive market composed of international business travelers between the ages of 24-36 years and technology enthusiasts between the ages of 21-40 (MARK RITSON, 2013, p. 68). This category comprises of the most of Google glass users. Teenagers who embrace technology are also a target group. The company seeks to place distributors in all potential markets and establish strategic relationships with key players in the mobile technology industry. Modern tactics such as mobile marketing, use of social networks and guerilla marketing are among the strategies the company has included in its plan. In addition, traditional forms of advertising such as billboards and commercials will certainly be used. Market segmentation will ensure the device does not face the same fate as the Bluetooth device. Contrary to what Bluetooth developers used, Google seeks to segment the market by targeting business professionals so as to give the device a more useful perception.
The company is certainly capable of pushing its Google glass plan forward and executing it as it has a solid marketing experience in the technology industry. The market also provides a number of possibilities for the industry’s growth. With this in mind, it is moderately accurate to conclude that the glass venture is capable of taking over the mobile industry and transforming it by bridging the gap on what is considered appropriate by the market and what is appropriate technology wise.