This 6 page paper is based on a case study provided by the student. In 1996, Frigidaire introduced a new front-loading washing machine, the only real innovation in the industry in many years. Sales were more than 30 percent below projections. The essay provides a brief background, problem statement and analysis, key facts in the case, alternative solutions, recommended solution and implementation using the 4 Ps marketing mix. Bibliography lists 1 source.
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a horizontal axis while the top-loading machine operates with a vertical axis. This washing machine was the first real innovation in the product category in many years. There are numerous
benefits of the horizontal axis machine, including conservation of water and energy. Initial sales were dismal, between 30 and 40 percent below projections. The problem is: How can Frigidaire create
and sustain a growing market for the new top-loading horizontal axis washing machine? Inherent in this problem question is how the company can encourage the American consumer to accept the
new product? Top-loading, vertical axis washing machines hold a 95 percent market share in the United States. Despite periodic attempts to introduce horizontal axis machines in the U.S., the product
has been basically rejected by the American consumer. There could be a number of reasons for this rejection. First, early front-loading machines had numerous technical problems - they did not
clean the clothes, they tangled the clothes and they required frequent repair. Compounding these issues was the fact that they cost considerably more to purchase and once the warranty ended,
they were very expensive to repair. Europeans had adopted the technology because of high energy costs. The front-loading machines use a great deal less water and energy. Americans were not
willing to tolerate the problems of these early machines and by 1994, nearly all manufacturing of them in the U.S. stopped. The new machines did not have the same
problems, however. In fact, Bill Topper, vice-president and general manager of the Laundry Division, was convinced there was a market for the new machines Frigidaire had developed. He also believed
that this product would give the company product differentiation and a competitive advantage. Frigidaire is the fourth largest producer of household appliances in the U.S., they need product differentiation.