October 22, 2010 ENTR 6200 Section 3 Northeastern University 3M’s Greptile Grip Technology Case Introduction: 3M’s Sports and Leisure Products business unit took an existing technology, 3M’s “micro-replication” and applied it to a golf glove. 3M has enjoyed great success from combining the “micro-replication” with high quality Cabretta sheep leather to create a high quality golfing glove that is second to none being offered on the market. Since the introduction of the 3M Greptile Grip golf glove there has been a large influx of competitors who offer a similar technology in the golf market.
Although the global market for golf gloves is estimated at $300 million with 60 percent or $180 million in the United States. The problem is mass merchandisers have increased their share of the market over the past year. With companies such as Nike, Titleist, and FootJoy offering product’s that focus on technology and comfort that differentiate their golfing gloves from competitor’s gloves on the market. 3M has a reputation for innovation; the Greptile Grip Technology is in the growth stage of the product life cycle.
So 3M must find ways to promote future growth of this technology, this leaves two questions for 3M: (1) what other applications do I envision for the Greptile technology within the sports and leisure market? (2) What new market applications (outside of sports and leisure) do you envision for the Greptile grip technology? Analysis: Since the Greptile technology is such a new technology 3M needs to find ways to apply this technology within the sports and leisure market.
The easiest use for this technology within the sports and leisure market would be using this technology in baseball gloves. The use of Greptile technology within a premium leather glove would provide an upgrade over what is available on the market. Baseball players play almost every day often using the same glove daily, by upgrading the leather and using the Greptile technology this may create a better baseball glove that does not wear down as easily. The Greptile technology would make it easier for players to catch the ball and grip the ball in their gloves.
This would be the easiest way for 3M to use the Greptile Technology; 3M has made a name for themselves by being innovative using their technology to create out of box products. So my suggestion for using the Greptile Technology within the Sports and Leisure market would be to create a new and lighter running shoe that is used on indoor and outdoor tracks for track competitions. As a former track athlete one of the biggest concerns of track athletes is the traction that we have on the bottom of our shoes on outdoor tracks especially during the summer track season.
The Greptile Technology if modified correctly could provide a superior traction when running on the track and would not wear down as easily as track shoes that are on the market. Using the technology in a modified state would allow 3M to enter into another submarket of the Sports and Leisure market and still keep in tack their record of diversified technology and innovation. I am sure if there were to use the technology for a lighter track shoe with superior traction would be able to enter into the running shoe market which is estimated to be a $13 billion-per-year industry.
In my estimation 3M would be able to at least capture a minimum 10% market share if the technology is superior to what is being offered in the market. It would be not consist with 3M’s business practice to just use this technology in 3M’s Sports and Leisure Products business unit, so I have come up with a way 3M can apply this technology in out of Sports and Leisure Products. The Greptile Grip technology can be used on the bottom of bathtub mats and can be placed under area carpets to stay in place. The use of the technology in the tow mentioned ways can provide entry for 3M into the Home and Decoration market.
The baby boomer population is continuing to get older; as they continue to age some of them will struggle with standing on a very slick surface such as bath tub. Baby boomers depend on their independence to be able to do simple things on their own such as bathing themselves in a shower. Often they injure themselves by falling in the shower if 3M can create a mat that u can put down in the bathtub with the Greptile Grip technology on the bottom of it; this would reduce the number of baby boomers injured in the shower because they slipped and fell down.
This mat would also help those who wash their young children in the bath tub, I have a 15 month old son who I often wash up in the bath tub and a mat like this would help him from falling in the tub. If a child is use to using this product at a young age when they become of age and purchase a bath tub mat they would probably use a mat created by 3M, this would create brand loyalty for generations to come. The second use I suggested was using the Greptile Grip Technology as a device to be placed underneath area rugs so they will stay in place and not become bunched up.
My mother always complained to me while I was younger that “I need to pick up my feet and stop kicking up her rug”. Using the Greptile Grip Technology on the edges of the area rug would prevent people from kicking up rugs; the “micro-replication” technology attached to the floor with another piece attached to the back of the rug would prevent people from kicking and messing up area rugs and cause them from bunching up. The use of the Greptile Grip Technology would allow 3M to enter into new markets and would also allow for greater safety in households that use these products.