Today, everyone is busy with their day-to-day life. People always lookout for a change from their mechanical life. The importance of leisure and recreation comes here. People treat recreation as a part of their busy life. Depending on the income level, people decide the types of recreation they should go for – indoor or outdoor. Indoor recreation means the premises for sporting or recreational activities.
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“Outdoor recreations activities have been defined as those activities that are undertaken outside the confines of buildings, and do not involve organized competition or formal rules and can be undertaken without the existence of any built facility or infrastructure and may require large areas of land water and air and may require outdoor areas of the predominantly unmodified natural landscape.” (What is outdoor recreation? 2009, para.1).
White water center is an outdoor recreation facility that is related to a river or creek. A new white water center is proposed to be opened shortly in Japan. Three canyons are regularly run, Suwakyo, Minakamikyo, and the infamous Momijikyo, the latter of the three being the most intense in Japan. The company should conduct market research to achieve the following objectives.
- To capture prominent market share by introducing unique products and adventures in the activities.
- Create the brand awareness of the prospects by adopting the latest promotional activities.
- The product should be offering new features and activities which could be offered to all age groups and all types of customers.
- As a beginner, they should aim a nominal revenue generation.
- They should set up a marketing mix that ensures the above factors.
Market segmentation simply means dividing the target market. It should be based on a strategy that aims to achieve sales from the target market. It should be based on the customer characteristics like geographic, demographic, psychographic, or behaviouristic.
Since the white water center is an outdoor recreational product, the demographic segmentation should be adopted in terms of age, gender, family size, family lifecycle, and generation.
Target customers of the white water center would be business class people, family, school children, college students, etc. People going for outdoor recreations may be of two types. Corporates will be opting for their executives to take decisions on critical problems with a relaxed mind. There will be people who want to be away from their hectic routine work schedule and be with their families. Academic institutions offer outings for their students to improve their mental as well as physical health. Young couples and corporate clients may be selected as the target market for white water centers because they will be having discretionary income to spend on recreations. The market segmentation can be based on the benefits that customers seek when they purchase the product. (Reid & Bojanic, 2005).
The product strategy deals with the vision of “where a company wants to go, how to attain that position and why it will be successful”. The product strategy might be usually focused on two areas, they are ‘cost-based and product differentiation based’. Product differentiation is the factor that is more important and taken care of because it is the easiest way to reach success. It always serves as a roadmap, provided the person in charge should be clear about the way through which they can reach their goals.
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The white water center or the hot spring has been a boom to the Japanese people. They were waiting for this recreation facility for more than 50 years. One of its unique features is that everyone can feel the warmth and family atmosphere there, which people always prefer. The water in the white water center is healing in its property due to the calcium content, which also proves to be a unique feature. The bay should be clean and clear enough for sea kayaking, resting on the seashore, etc. The presence of fresh fish makes the people satisfy their meals too.
“The sea arches and caves, islands farther out in the bay for a more adventurous crossing, hidden beaches where snorkeling can be interrupted by a troop of monkeys caught rummaging through the kayaks, etc are the beautiful scenes for the visitors.” (Ross, n.d., Obama and nuclear power plants, para.5).
There should be several different courses available before the travel begins, to suit the nervous beginners to experienced hands. Consistent high flows should be available at the white water center, to provide a thrill and adventurous feeling for the visitors. The place chosen for the white water location must have the sceneries like forests, caves, etc to provide the traveler’s thrill and interest. Then, beach clubs, accommodation, hotels, etc must also be provided to make the visitors comfortable and happy.
A brand is a name or trademark connected with a product or service offered for sale. It is something psychological factor that people go for the purchase of branded things. It is the expectations from the consumers regarding the products of a particular company. Brand experience and satisfaction make more demand for that brand. The brand is a logo or the words which give identification.
Positioning means creating an identity of products or services in the minds of the ultimate customers. The customer is the king in the market, he decides whether to buy a product or not. Positioning is consumer-oriented marketing, where there is a wide range of alternatives for the consumer. Today, competition has increased a lot, so the company has to provide the best to the consumers.
There can be mainly three types of positioning. They are functional positions, symbolic positions, and experiential positions. The functional positioning can be done by identifying the problems and solving them, thinking about the ways through which customers can be benefited and get a favorable perception from the investors. Under the symbolic positioning, enhancement of the self-image of the product can be done, identification of the belongingness and social meaningfulness of the product in the market can be done and make the product effective in the market. And finally, by the experiential positioning, marketing persons should provide cognitive and sensory stimulations in the market through their product. Thus the positioning of a brand can be done effectively. Brand positioning is an essential aspect as it is the action that differentiates one brand among the customers and in the market. The organizations should do brand positioning because the customers will have certain choices and if the company fails to identify them, they will be chucked out from the market. The current position of the product in the market and the customer’s mind should be analyzed. Then, determine the attributes expected by the target market and then accordingly position the new product in the market.
In the case of the white water center, the target people may be from all cadres of the society like business class people, family, school children, college students, etc. The unique attributes of white water centers like cleanliness, thrill giving locations, healing water, family atmosphere, etc will also have an impact in positioning it in the market. The management who introduces this idea should have the perceptions of the people, their expectations about the entertainer, etc in their hand, which will help in positioning them in the market. The positioning of the product should fit in the market and the people’s expectation level about the project. The location also plays an important role in brand positioning. The location should be very thrilling for the visitors so that they can have entertainment over there.
The opening of the white water center is a boon for Japanese people, as they can overcome the effects of the Hiroshima Nagasaki burst which still has its impact on them. The people can relax by having a ride through the white waters and calm down themselves. Hence, there is a huge booming market for white water centers in Japan.
- Reid, R D., & Bojanic, D C (2005). Hospitality marketing management. John Wiley and Sons.
- Ross, W. (n.d.). Exploring Wakasa bay: Obama and nuclear power plants. Outdoor Japan: The Way of Life.
- What is outdoor recreation?. (2009). Outdoors Queensland.