Market Analysis of Vacuum Cleaners Functional Jobs in Qatari Market


best-vacuum-cleaner-under-200

By:

Ameena Al-Emadi, Asia Rahmatullah Shafiqulruhman, Aysha Abduiaziz Khameeri, Maha Mohammed Ali, Muna Al-Ansari 

1.     Vacuum Cleaner Evolution

In early 19th century (January 1, 1801 – December 31, 1900), one of the most common methods used to keep carpets clean was “Drugget”, or sometimes called “Crumb Clothes”, a heavy woolen sheet spread under tables to protect carpets from spills (Burrows).

This method was used in dining, drawing rooms, during summer and major functions of wedding receptions. The main purpose of these sheets was, to protect the precious carpets from dirt and sunlight (Burrows). This was reflected in many of art works in 19th century, as illustrated in the appendix section.

However, this method didn’t remove stain (ink, oil and grease). In 1830’s creative housewives invented effective stain removal method, by using lemon juice and hot loaf of bread (JCS). Published articles revealed the necessity of sweeping carpets to prevent run-out and damages (JCS).

During 1860-1870s, carpet-cleaning industry emerged by invented first manual operated vacuum cleaner Ives W. McGaffey invented the “Whirlwind,” the first manual vacuum cleaner. (JCS)

In 1900-1901, the first electrical vacuum cleaner, invented by Hubert Cecil Booth, from England, who built a large device called “Puffy Billy”, drawn by horse and operated on petrol before switching to electric motor. (JCS)

In 1905, Walter Griffiths Manufacturer, from England, sold easy to store, portable manual vacuum cleaner, which was similar to the modern vacuum cleaner in design. (JCS)

James Spangler, who suffered from asthma attacks, built the first electrical vacuum cleaner in 1907. The device consisted from three parts a fan, pillowcase, and box. (JCS)

Spangler’s vacuum cleaner, also known as the “Model O,” cost about $60 on the retail market. In 1908, he patented his rotating brush design before selling it to a relative. (JCS)

Spangler gave one of the ‘Suction Sweepers’ to his cousin, Susan Hoover, who was so impressed with the device, she told her husband, William Henry Hoover, and son Herbert William Hoover, about it. (Wikipedia)

Hoover, were leather-goods manufacturers in North Canton. Hoover’s business was threatened by the introduction of the motorcar. He anticipated great market opportunity in Suction Sweeper. In 1908, Hoover bought the patent from Spangler. (Wikipedia)

In early and mid 20th century, The Hoover Company dominated the electronic vacuum cleaner industry. (Wikipedia)

Hoover brand become a recognized English word, listed in Oxford dictionary, meaning a vacuum cleaner.

Since that time several brands introduced into the market offering different features and technologies for vacuuming.

2.     CUSTOMER REQUIREMENT IDENTIFICATION APPROACH

To identify customer needs and in order to determine main functional requirements of the vacuum cleaner the following approaches were followed:

  • First individual interviews.
  • Second searching on the Internet about vacuum cleaners features available in the global market.
  • At the same time visits to the major vacuum cleaners sellers locally took place.

The main purpose of individual interviews was to hear from the customers what they are looking for specifically and identify their pain points while using vacuum cleaners.

Jointly, online search were accomplished to get better understanding for global markets offers, where customer reviews analysed.

In addition to above, interviews were conducted with sales persons at the major vacuum cleaners sellers in Qatari market. This allowed the team to realize current market offerings, and determine primary features that customers are looking for.

Analysing data collected from different sources, considerably long list of outcome statements were determined for the vacuum cleaners demanded by local market.

The list included either what customers would like to have or what they are not currently satisfied with.

Finally outcome statements were short-listed based on their criticality, where the five rules guideline was applied.

Generally, following this approach was very helpful to recognize most relevant features that customers would like to have in the vacuum cleaners in the Qatari market and to identify areas for improvements.

3.     Qatari Market Analysis

a.   Phase 1: Creating a functional job map

Starting from primary function of the vacuum cleaners “Cleaning carpets”, functional job map were developed after two rounds of review to ensure focusing on main functions and avoid ambiguity or misinterpretation by the end users.

As shown in below job map, 7 sub-functions were identified. Total number of determined desired outcomes for all functions were 18.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.43.38 PM

b.   Phase 2: Designing a statement based questionnaire to capture customer feedback

A bi-lingual questionnaire were designed using online survey tool, below is snapshot of the developed survey. The survey was constructed from the following sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Desired outcome importance rank (scale 1-10)
  3. Desired outcome satisfaction rank (scale 1-10)
  4. Competitors satisfaction rank (scale 1-10)
  5. General information: Gender, Employment, and Age group

The survey was distributed through “whatsapp” groups to housewives and actual vacuum cleaner users, in addition to twitter. Total number of responses was 71 responses, out of which 42 responses were valid, 29 responses were incomplete and were excluded. Please refer to Appendix (B) for snapshot of developed survey.

c. Phase 3: The Opportunity Algorithm for Opportunity Score calculation

 After gathering the results of the customer feedback regarding the importance and satisfaction for each identified statement, an opportunity algorithm calculation (Appendix C) was made by using the formula below:    

Opportunity = [Importance + (Importance – Satisfaction)]

 Where (Importance – Satisfaction) positive number     

The highest three scores as shown in the Opportunity Algorithm calculation table below is 11.40 for the statement No. 16 Minimize the amount of dust diffusion into air while evacuating the vacuum cleaner of dust, followed by score 11.36 for the statement No. 10 Maximize the ability of reaching narrow and high surfaces areas, then score 11.15 for the statement No.9 Minimize the level of noise of the vacuum cleaner engine.

d. Phase 4: Plotting the Opportunity Landscape

The values calculated from the Opportunity Algorithm calculation in table (1) is plotted on a scatter chart illustrated below. The chart reveal that majority of the values are in the range between 7 and 11.50, which is the range of appropriately served. Very few statements are greater than 10, whereas no statements shown in the area of underserved or greater than 15.

Chart (1) The opportunity algorithm 

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.41.35 PM

e. Phase 5: Is an opportunity worth pursuing?

After plotting the Opportunity Landscape the decision can be done by dropping, holding or pursuing an opportunity. The decision can be taken by looking at the opportunity scores and then by taking the appropriate action.

Based on the findings from the customer survey and after calculating the opportunity score for each outcome (Appendix D), it’s found that there is no “Extremely Attractive” opportunity greater than 15, which should not be ignored. Also, there is no “Low Hanging Fruit” opportunity from 12 to 15, which need to be giving a serious thought. However, there are “Worthy of Consideration” opportunities that are laying from 10 to 12, which need to keep on the back burner, such as:

  • Maximize the mobility of the vacuum cleaner over stairs or rough surfaces.
  • Maximize the flexibility of the power cord (i.e. Distance, and avoid movement disturbance).
  • Minimize the level of noise of the vacuum cleaner engine.
  • Maximize the ability of reaching narrow and high surfaces areas.
  • Maximize the ability of suction power (i.e. watts).
  • Maximize the ability of suction different materials (i.e. liquid and solid).
  • Maximize the level of Air Filtration (HEPA) to suits dust allergic users.
  • Maximize the ability to support different surface types (i.e. carpet, wooden floors and curtains).
  • Minimize the amount of dust diffusion into air while evacuating the vacuum cleaner of dust.

Below features are unattractive and they must be forgot (dropped), since their opportunity scores are less than 10:

  • Minimize the time required to setup/Disassemble the vacuum cleaner parts.
  • Minimize the weight of the vacuum cleaner.
  • Minimize the size of the vacuum cleaner.
  • Maximize the level of safety to avoid electrical shocks.
  • Minimize reliance on direct electrical power source.
  • Maximize the reachability of turn on/off button.
  • Minimize the amount of hair infiltration into cleaning brush.
  • Maximize the capacity of the dust and dirt container of the vacuum cleaner.
  • Maximize the ability to wash the dust and dirt container of the vacuum cleaner.

f. Phase 6: Competitor Analysis

The Qatari market offers the following brands, Panasonic, HITACHI, LG, Hoover and Samsung.

Based on the collected date 82% of the respondents are using Panasonic, whereas 45% of them are using HITACHI, and 32% are using LG vacuum cleaners. Hoover and Samsung users were at the level of 14% and 18% respectively.

Chart (2) Percentage of Vacuum Cleaners Spread in Qatari Market

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.28.10 PM

In terms of the functions offered, the vacuum cleaners available in the market are well developed and customers are considerably highly satisfied. Table (E-1) of Appendix (E) demonstrates comparative analysis outcome.

The opportunity scores of the vacuum cleaners functions are less than 12. To confirm determined opportunities in phase 4 and 5, satisfaction scores are plotted on a Satisfaction-based Competitor Analysis grids illustrated below for each desired outcome.

The charts revealed that generally, achieving higher customer satisfaction results for the determined functional statements of the vacuum cleaners in Qatari market is very challenging; it involves development of certain features at lower-prices than the existing competitors.

In phase 4 and 5 the following features were determined as “Worthy of consideration”, the charts illustrate the position of the company’s technology compare to the competitors available in local market. According to these charts, it’s found that not all identified features are confirmed for further investment.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.29.02 PM

Maintain this feature at it’s level, since the customers are almost satisfied from the competitor offer.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.29.09 PMThis feature is not appealing for significant investment since all competitors offer is at satisfying level.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.33.09 PM

This feature worth further investment to compete with Samsung, which is at higher satisfaction position than others.

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.33.16 PM

This an extreme worth of consideration feature which require more investment for enhancement, since the majority of the competitors are below the desired expectation of the customers.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.33.28 PM

This feature doesn’t worth further investment as the competitors offering this function at very high satisfactory level than customer needs.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.33.35 PMNo further improvement is required for this feature, since the market offering is higher than customer desire.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.33.56 PM

This feature worth slight improvement, since the majority of the competitor’s offer is below customer’s expectation.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.34.02 PM

No further improvement is required for this feature, since market offer is higher than customers expectations.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.34.09 PM

No more invesment to be performed for this feature, since almost all competitors offer is higher than customer needs.

 

For the unattractive features, determined in phases 4 and 5, the following features are confirmed to be unattractive, since either market offer is higher than customer expectations or they are offered at satisfactory levels.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.38.44 PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.39.02 PM

 

Although that the feature of time minimization for setup and disassemble the vacuum cleaner parts and minimization of the size are considered to be unattractive, its found that they are worth consideration, since competitors offers are below customer expectations.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.39.15 PM

g. Phase 7: The Future

Customer Needs Changes:

From the interviews that were conducted with a group of customers, several needs were identified which are not currently supported by the vacuum cleaners available in the Qatari Market. Using the customer discovery map, it has been found out that future customers of vacuum cleaners in the Qatari market fall under the “listening path” where they know what they want in the vacuum cleaners, but apparently firms don’t. Basically the identified needs are:

Chart (3) Customer Discovery Map-Vacuum Cleaners

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.26.57 PM

Multipurpose vacuum cleaners to clean roofs, walls, and different surfaces.

  • More functions related to automation and remote control.
  • Reaching high areas like roofs of cupboards and curtains.
  • Separate waste bags, such as metallic pieces (Jewelry) that might get in the vacuum cleaners’ dust bag.
  • Having vacuum cleaners that can be easily used by people with Disabilities.

Market Changes:

The Qatari market is changing, due to the fact that more and more housewives are working, which leads to increase dependency on housemaids, as well as home appliances. Since, cost of hiring housemaids is increasing. In addition to that, some countries are prohibiting their citizens to travel to occupy such difficult jobs in other countries.

Therefore, Housewives had to look for quick fixes, cost effective, and easy solutions to take care of housework. One solution is the use of advanced vacuum cleaners that can easily and effectively clean different surfaces. This will allow working women to spend more time with their family while being at home. 

Which mean that vacuum cleaner market segmentation changed from targeting housewives to workingwomen.

Vacuum Cleaners Changes:

As customers require more automated functions to be included in the vacuum cleaners, companies are gradually introducing the idea of a robotic vacuum cleaner. It includes functions such as, automated charging, scheduled cleaning, wall and hard objects sensor, etc. Such technology enables customers to get rid or at least save time in one of the house chores.

Also, the shape, size and design of the vacuum cleaners are evolving to become smaller, lighter, and more appealing to the customers.

Competition Changes:

Since the finding of vacuum cleaners, more and more companies are entering the market form different parts of the word, ranging from Europe to Asia. Each company tries to add more functions, introduce new design, enhance suction power, and more. They continuously try to come up with innovative ideas to be included in the vacuum cleaners to satisfy customers’ needs and at the same time make their products more attractive in every way possible. This turned the vacuum cleaner competition into Red Ocean, where all companies are competing on almost same features, and trying to grab the customers from each other.

Technological Changes:

Technology is evolving in every product available in the market; vacuum cleaners are not an exception. The following are some examples of using advanced technology in vacuum cleaners;

  1. Using solar energy for charging the vacuum cleaners.
  2. Compacting the waste or dust.
  3. Using mobile applications to control the vacuum cleaners over the Internet.
  4. Using sensors especially for robotic vacuum cleaners to avoid crashing into walls or hard objects, or even detect waste, dust, and garbage.
  5. Using wireless technologies to operate the device.
  6. Using the hydraulic system to enable the device to reach higher surfaces.

Globally, there is a trend of Smart Home solutions, where climate, lighting, security, communication, and energy within the houses are integrated and automatically controlled. 

4.     Conclusion 

Based on above findings, it can be concluded that the Vacuum Cleaners market is mature where most of the companies are competing on satisfying customers need for the same features, the market is turning into “Red Ocean”. Tapping into such market involves high levels of risk, even if determined “worthy of consideration” opportunities are pursued, chances of success is very low and of high risk.

With the identified changes, in customer needs, market, and technology, the company can create new market space, to attract new customers. Producing totally new vacuum cleaners, by giving enough hear to the customer needs, and get advantage of technological advancement. The production can be of two main phases:

  • Short Term (Robotic Vacuum Cleaners Era): Today – 2019, offering robotic vacuum cleaners is an integral proportion to the near future smart home trend. The main objective is to serve the demand of working women. This involves high opportunity with increasing number of women participation in labor forces, globally and locally.

The below chart illustrates the decline in unemployed women in Qatar during 2008, 2009, and 2011 according to the Statistics Authority, Qatar Social Trend Report 1998-2010. Whereas, in the U.S the rate reached 57%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor 2013.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.25.45 PM 

There is no doubt that a successful product is one developed around value creation for the target customers. In light of this, below is constructed Value Wedges for Robotic Vacuum Cleaners, considering the three main value dimensions, emotional, functional and financial.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.24.20 PM

Robotic vacuum cleaners are the future and many of them started to appear in the market. There prices range is $107 to $495, where the average rating is above 7 out of 10 scale rating[1]. It will be beneficial for the company to acquire one of these companies, since they have the technology and developed their expertise in this field.

  • Long Term (Robotic Housemaid): 2020-2030, this generation of robotic housemaids will be mass-produced during this period, and will go beyond vacuuming to perform other household works (Serving, Washing, Cleaning, Cooking, Laundering, Ironing). It’s been found that 5% of housewives in Qatar see significant need for housemaids. According to research conducted by Dr. Batool Khaleefa, Professor in Qatar University in 2008[2]. With the socio-economical and political factors consideration, there will be a demand for such invention at that time in the Qatari market.

5.     Appendix (A)

SwedishRunnersC

Scandinavian Room with drugget runners,
“Bibliotekarien Segersteen i sitt hem,” 1886, by Johan Fredrik Krouthen. Source: http://www.burrows.com/carpetcleaning/index.html

 

Young Trio

The Young Trio, by E.V. Rippingille, 1829  
Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery. Source: http://www.burrows.com/carpetcleaning/index.html

Carpet Sweeper Craigdarroch collection 

The manual vacuum cleaner, collection of Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, BC, Canada. Source: http://www.burrows.com/carpetcleaning/index.html

88f8bf22f59aba08c08cfdfc9890b3f1

“Puffing Billy” invention, first petrol-powered, horse-drawn vacuum cleaner. Source: http://www.burrows.com/carpetcleaning/index.html

6.     Appendix (B)

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.46.37 PM 

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.47.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.47.36 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.48.41 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.48.57 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.50.46 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.51.06 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.51.18 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.54.03 PM

7.     Appendix (C)

Table (C-1) The opportunity algorithm calculation

Statements

Importance

Satisfaction

Importance-Satisfaction

The Opportunity Algorithm

1) Minimize the time required to setup/Disassemble the vacuum cleaner parts

7.21

7.19

0.02

7.23

2) Minimize the weight of the vacuum cleaner

8.17

6.89

1.28

9.45

3) Maximize the mobility of the vacuum cleaner over stairs or rough surfaces

8.53

6.66

1.87

10.40

4) Minimize the size of the vacuum cleaner

7.70

6.64

1.06

8.77

5) Maximize the flexibility of the power cord (i.e. Distance, and avoid movement disturbance)

8.32

6.30

2.02

10.34

6) Maximize the level of safety to avoid electrical shocks

8.64

7.55

1.09

9.72

7) Minimize reliance on direct electrical power source

7.51

6.45

1.06

8.57

8) Maximize the reachability of turn on/off button

6.72

7.13

(0.40)

6.72

9) Minimize the level of noise of the vacuum cleaner engine

8.43

5.70

2.72

11.15

10) Maximize the ability of reaching narrow and high surfaces areas

8.64

5.91

2.72

11.36

11) Maximize the ability of suction power (i.e. watts)

8.64

6.79

1.85

10.49

12) Maximize the ability of suction different materials (i.e. liquid and solid)

8.19

6.09

2.11

10.30

13) Maximize the level of Air Filtration (HEPA) to suits dust allergic users

8.30

6.09

2.21

10.51

14) Maximize the ability to support different surface types (i.e. carpet, wooden floors and curtains)

8.32

6.51

1.81

10.13

15) Minimize the amount of hair infiltration into cleaning brush

7.89

6.11

1.79

9.68

16) Minimize the amount of dust diffusion into air while evacuating the vacuum cleaner of dust

8.64

5.87

2.77

11.40

17) Maximize the capacity of the dust and dirt container of the vacuum cleaner

7.87

6.62

1.26

9.13

18) Maximize the ability to wash the dust and dirt container of the vacuum cleaner

8.11

6.87

1.23

9.34

 

8.     Appendix (D)

Table (D-1) Nature of the opportunities and opportunity scores

 Desired Outcome

The opportunity score

Nature of the opportunity

1) Minimize the time required to setup/Disassemble the vacuum cleaner parts

7.23

Unattractive

2) Minimize the weight of the vacuum cleaner

9.45

Unattractive

3) Maximize the mobility of the vacuum cleaner over stairs or rough surfaces

10.40

Worthy of consideration

4) Minimize the size of the vacuum cleaner

8.77

Unattractive

5) Maximize the flexibility of the power cord (i.e. Distance, and avoid movement disturbance)

10.34

Worthy of consideration

6) Maximize the level of safety to avoid electrical shocks

9.72

Unattractive

7) Minimize reliance on direct electrical power source

8.57

Unattractive

8) Maximize the reachability of turn on/off button

6.32

Unattractive

9) Minimize the level of noise of the vacuum cleaner engine

11.15

Worthy of consideration

10) Maximize the ability of reaching narrow and high surfaces areas

11.36

Worthy of consideration

11) Maximize the ability of suction power (i.e. watts)

10.49

Worthy of consideration

12) Maximize the ability of suction different materials (i.e. liquid and solid)

10.30

Worthy of consideration

13) Maximize the level of Air Filtration (HEPA) to suits dust allergic users

10.51

Worthy of consideration

14) Maximize the ability to support different surface types (i.e. carpet, wooden floors and curtains)

10.13

Worthy of consideration

15) Minimize the amount of hair infiltration into cleaning brush

9.68

Unattractive

16) Minimize the amount of dust diffusion into air while evacuating the vacuum cleaner of dust

11.40

Worthy of consideration

17) Maximize the capacity of the dust and dirt container of the vacuum cleaner

9.13

Unattractive

18) Maximize the ability to wash the dust and dirt container of the vacuum cleaner

9.34

Unattractive

 


9.     Appendix (E)

Table (E-1) Comparative Satisfaction Analysis for the offered vacuum cleaners functions in Qatari Market

Statements 

Our Technology

Competitors Satisfaction

HITACHI

SAMSUNG

LG

Panasonic

1) Minimize the time required to setup/Disassemble the vacuum cleaner parts

7.19

8.10

6.75

6.57

6.78

2) Minimize the weight of the vacuum cleaner

6.89

7.80

7.00

6.71

5.78

3) Maximize the mobility of the vacuum cleaner over stairs or rough surfaces

6.66

7.00

5.50

4.57

6.00

4) Minimize the size of the vacuum cleaner

6.64

6.50

6.00

7.29

6.00

5) Maximize the flexibility of the power cord (i.e. Distance, and avoid movement disturbance)

6.30

7.40

6.75

6.43

5.89

6) Maximize the level of safety to avoid electrical shocks

7.55

7.80

8.00

7.57

8.11

7) Minimize reliance on direct electrical power source

6.45

7.30

7.75

5.57

5.50

8) Maximize the reachability of turn on/off button

7.13

7.60

7.25

6.71

7.33

9) Minimize the level of noise of the vacuum cleaner engine

5.70

5.10

6.50

5.57

5.56

10) Maximize the ability of reaching narrow and high surfaces areas

5.91

7.70

5.75

5.71

5.94

11) Maximize the ability of suction power (i.e. watts)

6.79

7.80

7.50

7.43

6.89

12) Maximize the ability of suction different materials (i.e. liquid and solid)

6.09

6.40

5.75

6.14

6.33

13) Maximize the level of Air Filtration (HEPA) to suits dust allergic users

6.09

5.50

7.00

5.57

6.06

14) Maximize the ability to support different surface types (i.e. carpet, wooden floors and curtains)

6.51

7.10

6.75

6.71

7.28

15) Minimize the amount of hair infiltration into cleaning brush

6.11

6.70

7.25

7.29

6.28

16) Minimize the amount of dust diffusion into air while evacuating the vacuum cleaner of dust

5.87

6.70

7.75

6.71

5.83

17) Maximize the capacity of the dust and dirt container of the vacuum cleaner

6.62

6.70

8.25

6.57

5.83

18) Maximize the ability to wash the dust and dirt container of the vacuum cleaner

6.87

8.30

7.25

6.86

6.78

 


10.  References

[1] http://robot-vacuum-review.toptenreviews.com

[2] http://www.lahaonline.com/articles/view/13825.htm

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About aemadi

Qatari Information Technology professional. Who witnessed technology revolution back in 1995. Master in Business Administration, from Qatar University. Perfectionist and passionate about my country. Hopefully will leave thumbnail to this live.
هذا المنشور نشر في بحوث و دراسات. حفظ الرابط الثابت.

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