Bright Light Innovations: The Starlight StoveInstructions for Case Analysis1.Read the case.2.Review.
Bright Light Innovations: The Starlight StoveInstructions for Case Analysis1.Read the case.2.Review the case grading rubric found in your syllabus.3.Prepare your written analysis.Use the following headings to organize your case analysis:Critical IssuesEvaluation of AlternativesSupport of RecommendationsYour literature review should be included throughout your analysis. You should cite references tosubstantiate your evaluation of alternatives and support of recommendations. You may also citereferences which provide more depth in theory and knowledge regarding the case topic.4.Things to keep in mind..Use marketing concepts from your chapters and references to analyze the case. Dont spendtoo much time summarizing the case a few sentences will be sufficient since I have read thecase already.Your analysis should include a swot analysis which can be part of the critical issue section. Youralternatives and recommendation should link back to your critical issues and swot analysis.The body of your analysis should not exceed 6 pages, double spaced, 12 point font. You alsoshould include a title page and a reference page. Cite all of your references properly in APAformat (APA 6th edition or higher).Submit your case analyses in the appropriate dropbox. The document should be compatiblewith Microword 2007/2010/2013.You should use a minimum of 6 external resources, not including your textbook, to supportyour analysis. You may not use Wikipedia and other encyclopedias. At least 3 of yourreferences must be from referred journals.Case 22: Bright Light InnovationsBright Light Innovations is a real situation the names, dates, and plans were correct at the time the casewas written. The case is based on an award winning business plan created by a team of students (mostlyundergraduates) and faculty advisers all of whose names are mentioned in the case. An instructor shouldbe aware that students might do an online search of the company and product and discover its lateststrategy. As of this writing, such a search only yields information about how the business plan fared invarious competitions.The case allows a discussion of several important issues. At a broad level, the case deals with selling arelatively technical breakthrough that could have tremendous social value in a developing country. Itshows how marketing principles can be used to help a less-fortunate population.But marketing a product in a developing country can be a real challenge. Channels of distribution areoften limited. Consumer incomes are low and the Starlight Stove might cost one third of the averageper capita income. The selling price on the stove, which has not been set, might range from $80 – $100or more. This is a considerable expense in a country where the gross per capita national income is only$400. The case mentions microfinancing and a 20% interest rate is typical. Broken down to $.68 perweek, customers may better understand costs and benefits. The stove offers significant economic benefitby allowing owners to spend more time on education or income-generating activities.The case may work best later in the course because it offers an opportunity to discuss many elements ofthe marketing strategy planning process model. Lets briefly walk through some of these elements andpossible discussion points.External environment. An instructor might discuss the impact of cultural values on aid fordeveloping countries. Traditionally, most aid to impoverished nations was in the form of grants,government relief, and/or donations. But this approach has its pitfalls as each form dries upand tends not to motivate the recipients. More recently, many donor countries and philanthropistsemphasize aid that gives people a hand up instead of a hand out. Bright Light Innovationsreflects this approach.Competition. The case provides some information about competing technologies though noneare identical. The lack of a similar technology can make the job of selling the Starlight Stove botheasier and harder. While the product offers significant advantages to its target market, theseconsumers do not have a direct basis of comparison and may not understand how they willbenefit.Demographics. The customer market in Nepal should be discussed. An instructor might suggestthat students go to the Michigan State Universitys globalEdge (described in the Internet Exerciseon page 74 of the text) to gather more information about Nepal. Ask students to imagine howthese people might typically learn about new technology. The low literacy rate may be discussedsuggesting the need for radio advertising, demonstrations, or personal selling.Company resources. It can be surmised that the company does not have extensive resourcesand is motivated to make at least some profit. Students might rightly question the companysexperience which is very limited.Marketing strategy. The target market is pretty much defined by the case, but the marketing mixis left wide open.4Ps. There can be a strategic discussion about pricing, margins for distributors, and how topromote more rapid adoption of the product.Innovation. An instructor might use the case as an opportunity to expand on a topic only brieflytouched on in the text the diffusion of innovation. See the work of Everett Rogers (Diffusion ofInnovations, 4th edition, 1995). Some of these ideas and their relationship to marketing strategydecisions and the Bright Light Innovations case are discussed below.Rogers framework may help students to think about how to market the Starlight Stove in Nepal. Rogersnotes five characteristics of an innovation that influence its speed of adoption: 1) the relative advantage itoffers, 2) its compatibility with existing values and past experiences of adopters, 3) the complexity ordifficulty of understanding how a new product works or how the consumer will realize value, 4) triability orthe degree to which adopters can experiment with the product, and 5) observability or the extent to whichthe results of the innovation can be seen by others.An instructor could briefly introduce these five concepts and ask the class, How does the Starlight Stovescore on each of these factors? The product appears to offer a strong relative advantage as comparedto alternatives. Although the health benefits may be difficult for users to immediately appreciate, thepotential economic value generated by spending less time collecting fuel and having longer working daysshould be more apparent. The stoves features fit with existing values and experiences, but theproduction of electricity does not fit well. These closely correlate with complexity. How the productactually works and the benefits it offers may not be understood without further explanation. The productis not something that users can easily experiment with. Observability might be moderate possiblydepending upon the extent to which Nepalese invite others into their homes.Interestingly, using these same criteria, marketing managers may be able to make the product moreappealing. For example, they could provide a sample stove in the center of a village where peoplecould view and test it increasing its triability and observability. This experience may also reduceconfusion about how it could produce electricity. Perhaps guarantees could make it easier for people totry the product. Personal selling may be necessary to explain the benefits.Another way to stimulate discussion would be to remind students of the adoption process introduced inChapter 5. The six-step process involves:1) Awareness (Would demonstrations or a traveling road show help generate awareness and interest?)2) Interest (How could BLI or its distributors stimulate interest?)3) Evaluation (Where and how do consumers evaluate how the product might help them?)4) Trial (see paragraph above)5) Adoption (Would explaining microfinancing terms help overcome objections?)6) Confirmation (How would buyers be reminded about the value of the process?)Simply putting the steps of the adoption process on the board might help to stimulate discussion aboutspecific marketing activities that could help guide customers through these steps.