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Word Count: 1,093
1What are the problems Market leadership and technological innovation have marked Sealed Airs participation in the US protective packaging market Several small regional producers have introduced products which are less effective than Sealed Airs but similar in appearance and cheaper The company must determine its response to this new competition The company is faced with a difficult choice of choosing from a range of feasible options ranging from doing nothing to introducing a new product This has raised product line management issues particularly cannibalization and affords the opportunity for the development of a marketing plan for any new product introduction The timing of launch and any change in policies for Air Cap cushioning and Sealed Airs other products also needed to be communicated 2What has been happening in this market How is SA doing Segments The protective packaging market had three major use segments Positioning blocking and bracing - eg shipment of motors computer peripherals etc Flexible Wraps - could be used as void fill also eg glassware small spare parts light medical instruments etc Void Fill - to prevent movement during shipping did not generally qualify as flexible wraps Products Till 1970 heavy paper based products had dominated the market In the seventies companies began product development with an assessment of packagers needs In addition to coated and uncoated polyethylene air bubbles there were two major competitors in these markets paper based products and foams Users The proliferation of packaging products and the lack of easily demonstrable universal superiority caused confusion among the end users Users were a varied lot - some buying on priceperformance basis whereas the others with purchase department mentality considered price per square foot and delivery before any purchase decision Influencers Based on domain knowledge Hauser guessed that a packaging engineer influenced about 40 of the material purchase decisions The other group of course would be the purchase department as mentioned above Marketwise
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