Entering 2015, the United States is seeing an increasing trend of extremization in the economy. While once the middle class was a dominant buying force, it has seen its purchasing power decrease over the past three decades (Davis, 1992). This has led to a shrinking number of businesses that can survive on the income generated by the middle class, which has been observed in the closure of multiple prominent stores. These include such notable names as Barnes & Noble, Red Lobster, JC Penney, Walgreens, and others. Consumers are increasingly buying on opposite ends of the spectrum. On the lower end of the income spectrum, consumers are buying in bulk through stores such as Costco or through purchasing bargain goods at stores such as Wal-Mart. However, when consumers are capable of doing so, they are choosing to spend far more than they have in the past for goods that they perceive to be of high quality. This has been seen in the decline of bargain food locations such as McDonald’s and the rise of what consumers believe to be higher quality choices, such as Chipotle (Jang, 2011).
The purpose of this campaign is to appeal to the high-quality seeking consumer. Target markets include millennials in business or technology with the disposable income to seek out high-end products and spend on them. This will be accomplished by positioning this shampoo as an all-natural, quality ingredient shampoo. This shampoo must be distinguished from the lower consumer goods such as Head & Shoulders, which can be purchased within the range of $4.00 to $8.00 per bottle and is already strongly positioned in stores such as Wal-Mart, alongside even cheaper store-brand items that these consumers tend to buy. At the exact opposite end of the spectrum are the world’s most expensive shampoos, which run for $140.00 a bottle and are often touted for their rejuvenating qualities. These qualities include a reduction of frizziness, a restoration of shine and luster to the hair, and an increased feeling of smoothness.
This shampoo will be target at the upper-middle income millennial market that is looking for a similar product that does not seem as extravagantly priced. This shampoo can position itself as the choice of this target audience by using similar key buzzwords and claims that the most expensive shampoos utilize. These brands highly tout their natural ingredients, including citrus, rosemary, honey, and truffle oil. They also discuss the increase of healthiness in hair using buzzwords such as nourishing and revitalizing. In combination with sophisticated pricing, this shampoo can be positioned as a product of the upper-middle income millennial. This also means reinvesting into online advertisements, where millennials are increasingly likely to make their purchases.
This is not a product that would be seen on shelves at Wal-Mart alongside products such as Head & Shoulders, which would only serve to decrease perception of the product’s value. For the purpose of this campaign, utility is considered the satisfaction a consumer receives as a result of buying a perceived high-end product. Focusing consumer demand at the upper scale of the income bracket will help elevate perceived value and drive demand, which can forecast a price increase in the product as long as value perception remains high. Product availability can be withheld to drive up increased perception of demand. Marketing can focus on the lesser availability of the product, due to the nature of its ingredients, and thus justify the higher price.