The paper “ Marketing the New Toyota Prius - the Product Design and Benefits, the Key Requirements from the Target Group, Consumer Behaviour" is a wonderful example of an essay. The new Toyota Prius, being a full hybrid electric and mid-sized car, would appeal to people who intend to save on fuel, those who are interested in eco-friendly automobiles, and others would prefer it just because of the perceived dependability of the Toyota brand. Nevertheless, since there are many other models of mid-sized cars produced by both Toyota and its competitors, and because Toyota Prius is just one of the Toyota models, the eco-friendly aspect of the car would be the main selling point.
The target audience is, therefore, the population that is interested in eco-friendly products, and specifically eco-friendly cars. While being eco-friendly stands out as a key feature of the Toyota Prius, the aspect also oscillates well with the brand’ s dependability, which goes well with the target market. This type of market segmentation is termed behavioural segmentation because it is based on the buyers’ ‘ knowledge of, attitude towards, or response to a product’ (Chandrasekar 2010, p.
63). The key requirements from the target group for the Toyota Prius are eco-friendliness and fuel-efficiency of the car. According to Ferrell and Hartline (2010, p. 175), behavioural segmentation targets the benefits that consumers seek from a product such as quality, value, beauty, image enhancement, speed, sportiness, excitement, convenience and so on. Along with these, behavioural segmentation is based on product usage aspects such as heavy users, medium users, and light users; non-users, former users; and first-time users (Ferrell & Hartline, 2010, p.
175). A customer with interest in an eco-friendly car will undoubtedly also have an interest in quality. That is, the Toyota Prius has to offer other quality features found in a non-hybrid electric car and offer value for the customer’ s money. The customer, for instance, expects the Toyota Prius to have a sporty look, to offer the excitement expected of a hybrid car, to have adequate speed as a normal car and so forth. The target audience expects these features of the Toyota Prius to be superior compared with the model’ s key competitors such as Mazda 5 Sport, Nissan Cube and Mini Cooper Clubman S.
According to Ferrell and Hartline (2010, p. 176), the distinctions under behavioural market segmentation are tied to the reasons that customers buy and use products, making behavioural segmentation the most powerful approach to market segmentation because it uses actual consumer behaviour with respect to product usage to make distinctions among market segments. In particular, if the product benefits of the new Toyota Prius are regarded more superior to what competing brands have to offer, the car would attract various sections of the target audience such as non-users, former users, and first-time users.
More importantly, customers will be attracted more to the new Toyota Prius model if they are assured that the car will meet their objectives of reducing pollution and saving on fuel consumption. To understand how marketing can help meet the above requirements, it is important to understand the aspects of new products and consumer behaviour with reference to the new product. A new product can be described in three different ways. First is a product that is new to the organisation, in which case the organisation goes through the process of developing the product, testing it, and then introducing it to the market.
Second is a product that is new to consumers, in which case consumers are not already aware of the type of product before the organisation introduces it to them. The third is a product that is new to both consumers and the organisation (Petzer et al 2006, p. 175). The new Toyota Prius cannot be described as a new product in the market as such because the Prius model has been in the market for some time now and there exist other hybrid car models in the market such as the Honda Insight hybrid.
But the new Toyota Prius model has extra features such as a flashy solar-roof package that generates electricity to power the cabin-ventilation fans which pump hot air out of the car when it is parked. Such attributes can be regarded as product repositioning (Petzer et al 2006, p. 175) for the new Toyota Prius since it is a car that has been in existence but now being launched with new features.