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CHAPTER 9: RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT

9.1 Marketplace Research For marketplace research, I went to several retail stores, convenience stores and pharmacies to gather more information and to observe how it is sold in the market. 9.1.1 Convenience Stores Almost all of the convenience stores like 7Eleven, myNEWS.com, and Speedmart99 that I visited have Spritzer +Fibre in stock. It was placed both in the fridge and also on the shelves in the stores.

Figure 9.1.1a 7-Eleven Mutiara Damansara and 7-Eleven Cyberjaya

Figure 9.1.1b myNEWS.com Rapid KL Kelana Jaya and myNEWS.com in Tesco Mutiara Damansara

Figure 9.1.1c Mesra at Petronas Cyberjaya 9.1.2 Pharmacies Unfortunately Spritzer +Fibre can only be found in Watsons and not in other pharmacies such as Guardian and Caring.

Figure 9.1.2 Watsons Equine Park and Watsons One Utama

9.1.3 Retail Stores In retail stores, Spritzer +Fibre are mostly being placed together with the whole range of Spritzer products.

Figure 9.1.3a Tesco Mutiara Damansara and Jusco Equine Park

Figure 9.1.3b Cold Storage The Curve and Cold Storage Alamanda Putrajaya

Figure 9.1.3c Carrefour Alamanda Putrajaya

9.2 Market Observation From my observation, the product is mostly bought at convenience stores such as 7-Eleven, and pharmacies compared to huge retail stores because there is lesser choice of drinks on the shelf and it could easily catch the consumers attention. This product is also are bought in a single or double instead of in a bulk as they are usually consumed on the same day plus the size of the bottle are small in size and it could be consumed within a day. For example at Cold Storage Alamanda, there are around 11 bottles of Spritzer +Fibre on 5th of November and 3 weeks later, only 6 bottles are left on the shelf.

Figure 9.2 Cold Storage Alamanda on 5th Nov 2011 (left) and Cold Storage Alamanda on 26th Nov 2011 (right) 9.3 Online Survey The survey was conducted from 15th of November to 22nd of November 2011 and approximately 70 people have participated in the survey. The first 3 questions basically cover the demographic information of the participants.

Question 4 to 8 is focusing on consumers generic perspective on their preference on drinks and also mineral water brands.

The purpose behind Question 4 is to identify participants beverages preference. Based on the result, 52% of the participants prefer Juice drink over other types of drinks. This shows that Spritzer +Fibre might have a chance to gain popularity in the future. The other 38% prefer coffee or tea and 5% prefer carbonated while other 5% likes energy drinks.

This question allows participants to tick more than one answer. Participants had chosen that flavor is the most important thing that they consider when buying a drink and the second is brand followed by the price of the product. It seems that most of the participant put nutritional content as a not so important factor when considering on buying a drink.

Question 6 investigates participants opinion if their choice of beverage does reflect on their lifestyle. 35% of the participants agreed, 11% strongly agree while 39% are neutral about it.

Question 7 is about consumers perception on different mineral water brands. Based on the graphs, Spritzer and Evian scored the most percentage. Even though Evian is a well known brand and it is imported premium mineral water brand, Spritzer is able to compete with an international brand. This shows that Spritzer is accepted as one of the best mineral water brand in Malaysia.

This question investigates the participants basic knowledge on fibre. 74% of them know that fibre offers many other health benefits besides from keeping their digestive system healthy.

Question 9 to 20 is mainly about participants perception on Spritzer +Fibre. *Question 10, 12 to 14 only applies to those who have purchased Spritzer +Fibre in the past.

Question 8 measures participants awareness of the existence of the product. The result has shown that 74% of the participants have not heard of the brand Spritzer +Fibre before even though this product can be easily accessible from the stores. This has proven how ineffective is their current promotional strategy.

Question 10 focuses on where did the knowledge of Spritzer +Fibre came from. From the results, majority of them knew the existing of this product because they have seen it at the stores while 6% out of the 17 answers have seen it at Spritzer roadshow while they are having the promotional activities. Another 6% have seen the product from digital media most probably on Facebook.

Question 11 investigates participants awareness of the benefits of the product. 87% of the participants dont know what the benefit of the product is. This might be the reason why this drink is not popular among the consumers as they dont have any idea what type of drink it is.

Question 12 investigates the place that would be best place to have this product. 63% which are 10 out 16 participants who has answered this question chose Retail Store as their preferred place to get their supply for Spritzer +Fibre while another 31% had chosen Convenience store as their preferred place. One of the reasons is the product are sold cheaper at retail store compared to convenience store.

Question 13 investigates how often the current user would purchase Spritzer +Fibre. Based on the result, it has shown that all of the participants will only buy Spritzer +Fibre a few times in a month. This is due to the price and a participant had voiced out that the price is not worth the size of the drink even though she likes it so much.

This question is to identify what time is the best time the participants to drink Spritzer +Fibre. Most of the answers given are after gym session or after sports and one participant answered after meals.

Question 15 investigates the participants level of awareness of the promotional activity. Based on the pie chart, 91% of the participants are not aware of the promotional activities that have been done by Spritzer +Fibre even though some of it was recent.

Question 16 investigates the participants opinion on the price of the product. Based on the results, 40% of them neither agree nor disagree that the price is reasonable and affordable to all. 36% agreed and 6% are strongly agreed that the price is affordable while 11% disagree and 7% of them are strongly disagreed.

Question 17 investigates the participants opinion on the product packaging. 51% agreed and 6% strongly agreed that the packaging is attractive to their eyes while 36% dont have any opinion about it. This shows that packaging is not the main issue of this product since only 4% disagreed and 3% of them strongly disagreed.

Question 18 investigates the possibility if the participants would want to replace soft drinks with Spritzer +Fibre. Based on the graph, 46% are indecisive while 29% agreed and 6% strongly agreed that they might choose to drink Spritzer +Fibre instead of soft drink.

Question 19 investigates the participants interest level and the possibility that they will buy the product again. It shows that majority of them which are 56% agreed and 7% strongly agreed that they would like to try this product and will buy it again.

The last question is for participants to contribute their thoughts and ideas on how to they want this product to be so that it will be more appealing to all the consumers. Some has suggested that they should promote this product by having a promotion in a shopping mall. Another one suggested having popular lifestyle bloggers to promote the product as they have some influence in the internet world. Some also had suggested that they should widen their target audience and give the public the chance to sample the product because some might not dare to buy the product before they tried it. A participant suggested that they should highlight the fact that Spritzer +Fibre is a healthy drink compared to its competitors, in the advertising campaign because people these days are looking for healthier alternatives of beverage.

9.4 Interview Initially I got in contact with Mr Lee Wei Chee (a representative for Spritzer) via Facebook, and email as I have no idea who should I talk to, until he directed me to get in contact directly with Spritzers Assistant Brand Manager which is Ms Elaine Ho. I emailed and she finally gave me a reply after I gave her a phone call. It was a brief interview as most of the information regarding the company can be obtained through their annual report which is released annually to the public.

Figure 9.4.1 Inquiries via Facebook and Gmail

Figure 9.4.2 An informal interview conducted via Gmail

9.5 Others I visited Fitness First at Menara Axis in Petaling Jaya where they had a sampling activity going on for Spritzer +Fibre. Its a one day event where each day, Spritzer will go to different Fitness First or Celebrity Fitness gym location to promote Spritzer +Fibre. It was rather a small-scaled activity where they had a promoter to distribute free Spritzer +Fibre drinks to the gym members who visited the gym on that particular day. I interviewed the promoter and she shared a brief information about the product. Only 2 boxes of Spritzer +Fibre were brought to the place and it was pretty much sold out by the time I reached the place which was around 7.15 p.m. The sampling activity starts around 5p.m and ended at 8.30 p.m.

Figure 9.5 Sampling activity at Fitness First, Menara Axis on 23rd of November 2011