The target market of the PowerBar, and in fact all other energy bars, consists of busy women with little time on their hands. These are looking for taste and nutrition in the product. Health is a primary concern for these women, therefore they are mindful of the amount of calories present in each bar. In this regard, the greatest motivator for members of this particular market is health and nutrition. There is a need to include everyone else who wants to finish any particular task at hand in their market segmentation, including household members. However, penetrating the household market has been difficult, in which PowerBar commands under 20 percent currently.
Originally, the product started by targeting sports personalities and athletes. These engaged in tough activities, which required high amounts of energy, an issue that PowerBar intended to solve. So far, the motivators for purchasing the bar are distinct with each market segment. The women, for instance, want something with a low calorie value, but still energy-boosting. The sportsmen seek a product that can provide them with the necessary energy to overcome the physical strenuous tasks in which they are constantly involved. Market categories are not just divided into women, athletes and households; but also into age – seniors and kids, and health – dairy-free, and diabetic products. These needs have so far remained unmet. If a company’s target market is concerned with health and not much else, their products and marketing should be tailored to this need in order to full maximize on it (Sonsino, 2003).
The competitors in the energy bar industry are numerous. The Clif Bar, developed by a competitor in Berkeley was among the first competitors of the PowerBar. Due to the market research they discovered while conducting their research, they introduced the Luna Bar, which achieved relative success. Another competitor, who came up at about the same time as the one from Berkeley developed the Balance Bar. As a result of the latter’s huge success, its makers introduced a range of spinoff substitute products: Balance Gold, Balance Satisfaction and Oasis, as well as Balance Plus and Balance Outdoor (Aaker, 2014). Balance Gold was especially successful. These are the direct competitors of the PowerBar. Indirect competitors are the Atkins Advantage, which no longer commands the sizeable market share it did in introductory phases. Other brands in the market are Zone-Perfect, Met-Rx, GeniSoy, EAS, Carb Solutions, CarboLite and Gatorade (Aaker, 2014). The strategic groups are majorly the competitors in the field of energy bars, as well as the consumers, whose tastes the producers strive to satisfy through their products.
So far, the market segmentation is rather narrow, focusing on women and athletes. Dividing the demographic into age groups has contributed positively to diversifying the market segmentation. There are many ways through which to segment markets that do should not necessarily take the route of gender, as PowerBar seem to have done. Other ways include geographic segmentation, in which the company focuses on the needs of different people depending on their place of residence (McDonald & Dunbar, 2013). Additionally, behavioral segmentation can be an alternative (McDonald & Dunbar, 2013). In this case, the company focuses on factors that lead people to purchase certain products. For instance, some people indulge whenever they feel sad. Psychographic segmentation is another approach, in which the company considers the effect of different thought patterns and their impact on buying habits (McDonald & Dunbar, 2013). Considering all these alternatives would widen the scope of their focus.
- Aaker, David A. (2014) Strategic Market Management, 9th edition, Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (ISBN 9781118654217).
- McDonald, M., & Dunbar, I. (2013). Market segmentation: How to do it, how to profit from it. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
- Sonsino, S. (2003). The new renaissance of value propositions. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.