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D-1: 3Ms Post-it Flag Highlighter: Extending the Concept!
D-2: Daktronics, Inc.: Global Displays in 68 Billion Colors
D-3: Jamba Juice: Scanning the Marketing Environment
D-4: BPs Deepwater Horizon: Ethics and Environmental Effects
D-5: The Jamisons Buy an Espresso Machine
D-6: Motetronix Technology: Marketing Smart Dust
D-7: Callaway Golf: The Global Challenge
D-8: HOM Furniture: Where Keen Observation Pays
D-9: Lawn Mowers: Segmentation Challenges
D-10: Medtronic in China: Where Simpler Serves Patients Better
D-11: Pampered Pooches Travel in Style
D-12: Philadelphia Phillies, Inc.: Sports Marketing 101
D-13: Health Cruises, Inc.: Estimating Cost, Volume, and Profit Relationships
D-14: Glitzz: Devising a Pricing Strategy
D-15: Shiseido: Channeling Cosmetics in China
D-16: Trader Joes: Upscale Value
D-17: Banyan Tree Holdings: Creating a Brand with IMC
D-18: Target Corporation: Award-Winning Advertising
D-19: AOI Marketing: Using Facebook to Launch Bitter Girls
D-20: Morgantown Furniture: Making Promotion Trade-Offs
D-21: Crate and Barrel: Multichannel Marketing
D-22: Naked Juice: Strategy for Growth

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case D-1


3Ms Post-it Flag Highlighter: Extending the Concept!

I didnt go out to students and ask, What are your

needs, or what are your wants? 3M inventor David
Windorski explains to a class of college students. And
even if I did ask, they probably wouldnt say, Put flags
inside a highlighter.
So Windorski turned the classic textbook approach to
marketing on its head.
That classic approachas you saw earlier in Chapter 1
says to start with needs and wants of potential customers
and then develop the product. But sometimes newproduct development runs in the opposite direction: Start
with a new product ideasuch as personal computers
and then see if there is a market. This is really what Windorski did, using a lot of marketing research along the
way after he developed the concept of the Post-it Flag


During this new-product development process, Windorski
and 3M did a lot of marketing research on students. For
example, students were asked to dump the contents of
their backpacks on the table and to explain what they carried around and then to react to some early highlighter
models. Also, several times six or seven students were interviewed together and observed by 3M researchers from
behind a one-way mirrorthe focus group technique
discussed in Chapter 8. Other students were interviewed
Windorskis early models were nonworking clay ones.
These nonworking models told him how the innovative
highlighters would feel to students eventually using the
real ones. When early working models of the Post-it
Flag Highlighter finally existed, several hundred were
produced and given to students to use for a month. Their
reactions were captured on a questionnaire.


After the initial marketing research and dozens of technical tests in 3M laboratories, David Windorskis new 3M
highlighter product was ready to be manufactured and
Heres a snapshot of the pre-launch issues that were
solved before the product could be introduced:

Technical issues. Can we generate a computer-aided

database for injection molded parts? What tolerances
do we need? The 3M highlighter is really a techno-

logical marvel. For the parts on the highlighter to

work, tolerances must be several thousandths of an
inchless than the thickness of a piece of paper.
Manufacturing issues. Where should the product be
manufactured? Because 3M chose a company outside
the United States, precise translations of critical technical specifications were needed. Windorski spent time in
the factory working with engineers and manufacturing
specialists there to ensure that 3Ms precise production
standards would be achieved.
Product issues. What should the brand name be for
the new highlighter product? Marketing research
and many meetings gave the answer: The Post-it
Flag Highlighter. How many to a package? What
color(s)? What should the packaging look like in
order to (1) display the product well at retail and
(2) communicate its points of difference effectively?
Price issues. With many competing highlighters, what
should the price be for 3Ms premium highlighter that
will provide 3M adequate profit? Should the suggested
retail price be the same in college bookstores, mass
merchandisers (Walmart, Target), and office supply
stores (Office Max, Office Depot)?
Promotion issues. How can 3M tell students the product exists? Might office workers want it and use it?
Should there be print ads, TV ads, and point-of-sale
displays explaining the product?
Place (distribution) issues. With the limited shelf
space in college bookstores and other outlets, how can
3M persuade retailers to stock its new product?


The highlighter turned out to be more popular than 3M
expected. The company often hears from end users how
much they like the product.
So what can 3M do for an encore to build on the products initial success? This involves taking great care to
introduce product extensions to attract new customers
while still retaining its solid foundation of loyal existing
customers. Also, 3Ms products have to appeal not only
to the ultimate consumers but also to retailers who want
new items to display in high-traffic areas.
Product and packaging decisions for the Post-it Flag
Highlighter reflect this innovative focus. In terms of
product extensions, David Windorski designed new Postit Flag Highlighters and Pens that are easier to hold and
that have the flags permanently accessible without twisting. As to packaging, its critical that it (1) communicates

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cally get the product to these markets in a timely and

cost-efficient manner?
David Windorski also invented another product for
students based on 3Ms adhesive technology: restickable
3- by 5-inch note cards. Their point of difference: They
stick to surfaces for brainstorming sessions or notebooks
when you want them to and slide across each other without sticking when you want them to do that. Asked by
students how its possible, Windorski just smiles.
1 (a) How did 3Ms David Windorski get ideas from
college students to help him in designing the final commercial version of the Post-it Flag Highlighter? (b) How
were these ideas important to the success of the product?
2 What (a) special advantages and (b) potential problems
did 3M have in introducing a new highlighter-with-flags
product for college students?
3 Visit your college bookstore before you answer.
(a) Where would you display the Post-it Flag Highlighter
in a college bookstore, and (b) how can the display increase student awareness of the product?
4 In what ways might 3M try to promote its Post-it Flag
Highlighter and make students more aware of the product?
5 What are the (a) special opportunities and (b) potential
challenges for 3M in taking its Post-it Flag Highlighter
into international markets? (c) On which countries should
3M focus its marketing efforts?

Alternate Cases

the flags-plus-highlighter idea, (2) is attractive, and

(3) achieves both goals with the fewest words.
Innovation at 3M never stops. An example is the recently introduced 3-in-1 combination that contains a
highlighter, a pen, and 3M Post-it Flags.
At 3M, promotion budgets are limited because it relies
heavily on its technology for a competitive advantage.
This also applies to the Post-it Flag Highlighter. So you
probably have never seen a print or TV ad for it. Yet potential student buyers, the products main target market,
must be made aware that it exists. So 3M searches continually for simple, effective promotions to alert students
about this product.
Great technology is meaningless unless the product is
available where potential buyers can purchase it. Unlike
college bookstores that exist largely to serve students,
mass merchandisers and office supply stores track, measure, and seek to maximize the profit of every square foot
of selling space. So 3M must convince these retail chains
that selling space devoted to its highlighter line will be
more profitable than stocking competing products. The
challenge for 3M: finding ways to make the Post-it Flag
Highlighter prominent on shelves of college bookstores
and retail chains.
If the Post-it Flag Highlighter is doing well in the
United States, why not try to sell it around the world? But
even here 3M faces critical questions: Which countries
will be the best markets? What highlighter colors and
packaging work best in each country? How do we physi-