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Your House Is a Good Place, Inc. Marketing Analysis

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R. Newell

MGMT 9160 Marketing Management- 57

Case Analysis: Your Home Is a Good Place, Inc.

Background and Key Facts

Your Home is a Good Place, Inc. (YHGP), was a unique business established in 2006 by entrepreneur Bill Norwalk and designed to provide one-stop home improvement shopping to the upper class in Mishawaka, Indiana, and the surrounding seven counties.  His model matched consumers looking to complete a major home renovation with contractors who could help fulfill expectations and dreams.  Norwalk built a pavilion where contractors could display sample products such as luxurious bathrooms, golf putting greens, libraries, and designer kitchens.  He convinced contractors, landscapers, designers, architects, appliance suppliers and others to donate their wares to his showcase pavilion while utilizing the talents of electricians, masons, welders, sound system engineers, and a host of other tradespeople who would be contracted with to complete projects.  Competing against the typical home store, such as Lowes and Home Depot, and do-it-yourself projects, YHGP matched consumers with architects, financers, and contractors, while monitoring and coordinating the project from start to finish.  

Norwalk’s model allowed contractors to find new customers without having to go out and solicit business while also helping to improve the contractors’ productivity. Targeting customers with large amounts of disposable income, YHGP intended to market to individuals whose household income exceeded $100,000, and whose project averaged $10,000.  The company received revenue through collecting a percentage of the customer’s total bill at roughly ten percent.  Norwalk had a staff of six who arranged all of the details with both buyers and suppliers.  Since he relied on contractors to donate to the pavilion in exchange for publicity and advertising, not much cash was needed up front.  By having such a small staff, laying people off in lean times should not be necessary.  The company was free to expand through partnering with additional contractors.  

Main Problem Statement

Despite having such a unique focus, numerous challenges were present that Your Home is a Good Place, Inc., would need to have overcome in order to remain in business.  An innovative concept such as this model requires having an innovative staff who could buy in to the mission and sell the idea to both the customers and the service providers who would be contracted with.  The target audience for YHGP, households making over $100,000, is limited in this market per the census data provided.  Brand identity is of utmost importance and getting the word out through an aggressive marketing campaign utilizing modern technology could help foster sustainability.  The brand is both fresh and relevant, but needs to be so in the minds of the  consumer base.  Opportunities for future growth will need careful study of pertinent facts such census data, trends, locations, and consumer satisfaction.

Problem Solutions and Options

Your Home is a Good Place, Inc., needs some serious work in order to survive.  While offering a solid business model with already established partnerships, a customer base needs to be built that will expand significantly upon the target initially selected by Bill Norwalk.  The population is not present in the Michiana to support targeting only total high-end clientele.  By targeting members of the middle class as well and building customer satisfaction, this should lead to additional referrals and repeat business.  

Staffing patterns need to be looked at and addressed.  Given the high level of dysfunctional behavior, the business will not survive if these patterns are ignored.  Management needs to either figure out how to build upon each individual employee’s strength but in some cases, termination may be necessary.  Developing a mission statement for the company would offer some sense of direction and vision for the future.

Marketing opportunities must be addressed to build brand recognition.  An effective website needs to be built.  Direct marketing such as print, radio, and television ads would foster familiarity.  Modern technologies, such as Facebook and Instagram, could reach potential clients through showing attractive pictures and telling the story of what the customer needs and how YHGP can meet that.

Recommended Solutions and Analysis

Effective companies start with effective personal who can problem solve and work as part of a team.  The staff of Your Home is a Good Place, Inc., display a number of dysfunctional behaviors.  David is a business manager who stifles initiative.  Rory is a supervisor who remains complacent can not discipline workers.  Pricilla works in sales and is aggressive.  Rowdy has no initiative while Johanna, the bookkeeper, can not prioritize tasks by importance.  These behaviors need to be addressed first and foremost.  With such a small staff, the right people need to be in the right position if the company is to survive.  Coaching is certainly warranted.  It may be necessary to switch positions up building upon strengths or terminate some and rehire if the behaviors can not be changed.  

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