Trap-Ease America Questions
1) Martha and the Trap-Ease America investors believe they face a once- in-a-
lifetime opportunity. What information do they need to evaluate this opportunity?
How do you think the group would write its mission statement? How would you
By saying they face a once- in-a-lifetime opportunity I assume that they are talking
about the potential for profit and growth. However, from this case it doesn’t seem that
Martha, the president of Trap-Ease had done enough research into her market to
realistically assess whether the demand for her product would be there. First she would
need to decide what customers want and need. Do they want or need the safety and extra
features that the Trap- Ease delivers? It seems that Martha and the investors were too
focused on how amazing their product was and not the actual needs or wants of the
customers that would be buying it. If Trap-Ease where to follow a Societal Marketing
Concept then they would probably more successful because they are marketing such a
new and innovative product which in the long run creates less waist because it is re-
usable and is more human because of the trap and release possibility. If they used the
Societal Marketing Concept it would augment their products strengths.
I think that the group would probably write its mission statement centered around their
innovative product because they are too concentrated on their product and concentrated
enough on their customer. They would probably write something like, “Making a better
mousetrap so that all those who trod down our beaten path will benefit.” They should
take the concentration off of their product and concentrate on their customer. A better
mission statement would go something like this and include text which satisfied
customers’ needs or wants; “Striving to better satisfy pest eliminating needs of our
customers through innovation and quality.” This applies to their current product and
gives them room to expand into other areas of vermin or rodent control.
2) Has Martha identified the best target market for Trap-Ease? What other market
segments might the firm target?
Martha has targeted women for her product. She feels that women are the best group to
target because they don’t like the mess or the risks created by traditional mouse traps.
This is a good marketing segment to start off with but there are a couple of things that
Martha could have improved on. First off, she should have probably segmented women
into a couple different groups. In today’s world all women don’t stay at home and take
care of kids. In fact the population of women that do that is rapidly shrinking and being
replaced by independent professionals. In effect, by targeting women that stay at home,
Martha is targeting a shrinking market. She could probably segment women into a
couple different categories. For example: working women, single women, house wives,
etc. There are also other markets which Martha could target.
Some other market segments that hold large potential for the Trap-Ease are
markets like environmentalists, animal lovers, corporate businesses and families. The
Trap-Ease mouse trap is re-useable and therefore is reusable and therefore creates less of
a strain on the environment which would make it a very attractive thing for
environmentalists and people who care about the earth. The environmentalist market is
also growing as people become more aware of global warming and other problems such
as deforestation. Animal lovers would love the Trap- Ease mouse trap because it doesn’t
require poison or pose the risk of snapping closed on a paw or tongue of a pet. Corporate
Businesses would probably like the Trap-Ease mouse trap because of its high quality
more futuristic image and the fact that it would create as much of a mess. They would
probably be less hesitant to have them sitting around the office. Families with kids
should be the primary market segment of Trap-Ease seeing as it will probably be their
largest. Mouse traps and poison pose a very large risk to infants and toddlers and caring
mothers and fathers would probably happily buy a product which would better protect
3) How has the company positioned the Trap-Ease for the chosen target market?
Could it position the product in other ways?
It seems that the Trap-Ease mouse trap has positioned itself in the market as being a very
innovative and well engineered product. It has done this by winning awards from trade
shows and magazines. If it is better able to connect these features of the mouse traps with
the needs and wants of their target consumers then they should be able to generate a
larger demand. They could also try to change it’s position a little bit.
Trap-Ease could also position the product as causing less waist because it is re-useable or
they could lower it’s cost and make it more affordable. By making it “the most
affordable, innovative mouse trap” on the market they could probably gain some more
demand. Another way in which they could position their product would be by having an
incredibly good customer service team that could deliver services to their customers that
were having problems using the product. By having a good customer service team they
could build better relationships with their customers and increase their customer equity.
4) Describe the current marketing mix for Trap- Ease. Do you see any problems with
The marketing mix of a company consists of the four P’s: Product, Price, Place and
Promotion. Currently Trap-Ease only has one product, their mouse trap. They probably
could create a couple different versions of their mouse trap in order to offer more variety.
The higher price of their mouse trap seems to be consistent with a quality differentiation
strategy but they probably could offer a wider range of prices on the different models of
their trap if they chose to widen their product range. Right now they are trying to
distribute their product through stores like Kmart and Safeway. A really good market to
hit would probably be the internet. People on in the internet are often times into quality,
ease of use, and innovativeness and don’t mind spending a little more money to get what
they want. It is also a high profit market because it reduces transportation costs and there
are no middle man costs. The promotion of the Trap-Ease mouse trap seems to be one of
their largest problems. They should promote over the internet for certain on sites that
they think their target market will be visiting and they should also think about putting out
ads on TV. In this changing high tech environment magazine ads aren’t enough
5) Who is Trap-Ease America’s competition?
Trap-Ease America’s competition is any company that creates mouse traps. They face a
market in which large volume of low quality low cost mouse traps are sold. There are
also poisons that are sold which are a danger to pets and animals as well as the mice they
are supposed to kill. There are also other versions of live catch mouse traps out there.
An example of one of Trap-Ease’s competition is d-CON who offers both baits and traps.
They actually also offer a version of a no touch mouse trap in which you don’t have to
touch the mouse after you have trapped it. They are selling this for $4.29 which is higher
then the suggested retail price for the Trap-Ease mouse trap which is $2.99. This would
suggest that Trap-Ease has priced lower then some of its competitors which will give it a
pricing advantage. Companies such as Havahart offer traps which humanely catch
everything from mice to voles and shrews and are competition for the humane factors of
the Trap-Ease trap. Other competitors include: Victor, JT Eaton and Riddex.
6) How would you change Trap-Ease’s marketing strategy? What kinds of control
procedures would you establish for this strategy?
The first thing I would do to change Trap-Ease’s marketing strategy would be to increase
the amount of people in their marketing team. Although Martha was probably trying to
keep down costs by not hiring anyone for her marketing team she made one important
mistake. One of the most important things when coming out with a new product is the
marketing because until you’ve communicated the benefits of your product to the
consumer there will not be sufficient demand for it. Her entry into the market was too
small scale and chances are that with such an innovative product that the company will
do better in the long run with a larger scale entry. She should have asked for a larger
budget and hired more people for the marketing team. She should have then put much
more work into the Analysis of her target markets and perhaps expanded her scope of
target markets while increasing the segmentation. This would allow her to better
differentiate her product.
I would put in operating controls and strategic controls in order to monitor the marketing
team’s progress and make sure that what they are doing is consistent with the company’s
goals and strategy. These controls would very important for gathering the information
that would form the strategies in the coming years. It would also probably help to do a
market audit at some point during the first year just to make sure that things are running
smoothly and it shouldn’t cost that much to do one at such an early stage in the
companies development because of the smaller volume of papers to audit.
Trap-Ease Mouse Traps
“Trapping the market”