Stretch 'r Wings will target aircraft operators and hospital flight programs in both the United States and international markets. Currently, these two segments have the highest market potential (the chart and table below summarize demand in units). Stretch 'r Wings will reach these segments in several ways, including direct mailings, brochures, through a website and e-commerce, advertisements in trade publications, and a demo unit.
4.1 Target Market Segment Strategy
Stretch 'r Wings' market strategy will be to approach all potential customers outlined in section 4.1. The transportation of medical patients is a global need. With a well-designed medical unit, sales literature, and informed sales staff, we can meet our customers' needs to have a medical unit installed in their aircraft.
4.1.1 Market Needs
Customer needs in aircraft medical units are uniform across different countries and geographical areas. Customers seek lightweight, dependable, and easy-to-store medical units that are convenient to both clients and the medical personnel that may accompany clients to stationary medical facilities. Air ambulance services run by hospitals require fast patient delivery, especially from areas with limited medical facilities. Similarly, such medical units are required by various civil and military services that are involved in rescuing people during avalanches, earthquakes, flooding, forest fires, or from combat areas.
4.2 Main Competitors
Company A, located in Metro, CA. Company A, Inc. is a leader in the aircraft and helicopter medical units industry. This company attends many trade shows. They advertise in all trade publications and do an excellent job of marketing their product. A typical unit to compare with other competitors is priced between $34,000 and $36,000. They are known to be a high-priced company; this is due to a large overhead.
Company B, located in Metro, IN. This company has been in business the longest. Their product does not compare in quality to competitors, but they have sold many units. A typical unit to compare to the competitors is approximately $30,000.
Company C, located in Metro, LA. Today, they have ten part-time employees and advertise in many trade publications. A typical unit to compare to the competitors is between $27,000 and $30,000.
Company D, located in Metro, NY. Company D, Inc. has been in business since 1987. This company has a good product, but is limited in growth because of capital. Funds are not available to hire new employees or promote the product. At the present time, this company has one full-time employee and one part-time employee. A typical unit to compare to the competitors is $23,995.
4.2.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
The market for aircraft medical units is fragmented, with several incumbent firms offering products in different niches. As outlined in Section 4.3, all the products offered by current suppliers are high-end specialty items. Each of the suppliers has certain features. The market access barriers are high because of the required FAA approvals. However, Stretch 'r Wings staff has had many years of experience working in this field and do not anticipate trouble gaining the required approval.
As with many other specialty items, a key approach in targeting future customers is advertising in trade publications and trade shows. This allows the customer to compare the quality and price of the products available, including delivery times, ease of installation, and weight of the unit. The customer collects all his data and often takes one week to six months buy a unit.
4.3 Market Segmentation
The markets for the medical unit are summarized into the following groups:
Fixed Base Operator (FBO): Typically, the aircraft owner is operating a charter business for hire and is looking for ways to increase utilization of his aircraft. He will set up an air ambulance business with a local hospital.
Local hospital with an Air Medical Program: This existing program is starting their own aircraft program, or adding additional aircraft to their fleet.
Aircraft Broker: They are selling an aircraft to a customer wishing to have a medical unit installed. This generally happens with international sales.
Aircraft Owners and Operators: They are looking for ways to increase the usage of their aircraft.
Government Run Programs: Aircraft owners are contacted to run an air ambulance business for the local government.
Military: Countries such as those in South America and the Middle East are very interested in the aircraft medical unit in order to meet the needs of their militaries.