developing a new product, it is critical for marketers to learn what products
are currently in the market, and what were the products that they replaced?
Over the past century millions of product launches have occurred, some by
accident and some by demand. This report will focus on four product launches
and two services including: Life Alert, Philip’s Lifeline, the cell phone,
aerosol spray cans, lights, and the first on cell phone camera.
Based on our group project product,
the Harm Alarm, these products and services are the building blocks to
developing our product in the most efficient, original, and practical way. The
report will focus on the product launches, inventors, new products developed
from the original design, a synthesis of all products, as well as a focus on
where the information was found and how it can be used for further reports.
Selection and Analysis
Alert Emergency Response
in 1987, Life Alert Emergency Response is a “wireless manually operated
emergency contact device for the home” (Mal, 2007). Their service was launched in response to a
demand in seniors seeking “independence and comfort, living their lives the way
they want to, with a feeling of safety and peace of mind” (Life Alert Emergency
The infamous trademark “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” was based on a
company called LifeCall’s trademarked slogan “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
whom went out of business in 1993 (United States Patent and
Trademark Office, 1992). Life Alert purchased the rights to the
slogan in 2002, using both versions of the slogan in highly successful
television ad campaigns (Melissa Bentivolio, 2014). The commercial containing
the slogan was “ranked #1 on USA Today’s List of Most Memorable Ad Campaigns” (PR WEB, 2007) in 2007, and “when
asked, many people can’t remember the name LifeCall, but everyone remembers the
commercial. Most people now associate it with the current trademark holder,
Life Alert” (Melissa Bentivolio, 2014). With commercials
featuring a dozen ways of getting injured, LifeAlert’s product launch utilized
fear as a way of stimulating demand.
Many scholarly articles criticize
the use of “on-body wearable units” as many seniors struggle with memory loss,
and remembering to wear the unit poses as a disadvantage to using the product. (Williams, Ganesan, &
However this does not stop many seniors from utilizing the service despite cost
of the unit, or wearing the unit itself.
Although not the first to patent
this kind of technology, Life Alert is one of the most popular emergency
response systems in America, employing over 600 people, and today receives over
2 million calls annually saving one life approximately every 10 minutes (Life Alert Emergency
Life Alert was chosen for this
report as its service is similar to the tentative group project product, the
“Harm Alarm”. Supporting literature was based on database search results and
the Life Alert Emergency Response official website.
2. Philip’s Lifeline
Lifeline, similar to Life Alert, is “an easy-to-use personal response service
that lets you summon help any time of the day or night- even if you can’t
speak” (Philip’s Lifeline, 2015). Unlike Life Alert,
Lifeline offers a variety of ways to use the service and can cost “little more
than a dollar a day” (Philip’s Lifeline, 2015) (Federal Communications
Lifeline was developed by
“psychologist and gerontologist Dr. Andrew S. Dibner” who patented the idea in
1974. Its product launch was marketed “primarily through hospitals and other
healthcare facilities as a community service” (Philips Lifeline, 2015). “In 2006, Philips acquired
Lifeline Systems, changed the name to Philip’s Lifeline, and added the company
to its respected line of home healthcare solutions” (Philips Lifeline, 2015).
Lifeline continues to offer some of
the best features in comparison to competitors according to a Consumer Report’s
article on medical alert systems (Byrne, 2014) including:
range (in feet) to use the product
minimum obligation or cancellation fee
the product does not offer GPS, which is a major feature in the Life Alert
service. Considering it was the first of its kind, Lifeline kick started the
personal response product industry when launching their product. Despite
growing competition, Lifeline “remains the #1 medical alert service in the
United States” (Philips Lifeline, 2015).
This product was chosen for this
report as one of the foundations of personal medical response devices, and
sources were found via Macewan databases, consumer reports, and the Phillip’s
Lifeline official website.
3. The First Cell Phone
is said that Martin Cooper “is the father of the mobile phone”, after creating
the first handheld mobile phone with Motorola on April 3, 1973 , (Shiels, 2003) later patenting the
system on October 17, 1973 (Cooper, et al., 1973).
product was launched because:
want to talk to other people –not a house, or an office, or a car. Given a
choice, people will demand the freedom to communicate wherever they are,
unfettered by the infamous copper wire. It is that freedom we sought to vividly
demonstrate in 1973” –Martin Cooper (About
The launch of the mobile phone
changed technology and wireless telecommunications, framing the groundwork for
the cell phones we use today, and contributing to what is now the 6 out of 7
billion people in the world who carry cell phones (Steve Robson, 2013).
The first mobile phone was chosen
for this report as its primary use at the time was solely wireless
communication with other people, relating to the wireless emergency service
provided by Life Alert and Lifeline. In order to communicate to the
authorities, Life Alert and Lifeline both utilize a version of the mobile phone
to make their services successful, so choosing this product shows the
foundation of how those two products are used. Sources were found primarily in
journal articles, Google scholar databases, and patent directories.
4. The Incandescent
incandescent lamp is one of the greatest inventions in the late 1800’s. Holding
multiple patents including the “Improvement in Electric Lights” and
“Electric Lamp”, Thomas Edison is often referred to as the inventor
of the light bulb (Edison, 1878) (Edison, 1879).
Electrical lighting was invented for
dozens of reasons, including the risk involved with owning and lighting
candles, health risks with burning oils and inhaling smoke, and the overall
desire to have a controlled system that is long lasting and sustainable, which was not a commodity in the
The first use of Edison`s light
occurred February 1880 when Henry Villard, president of the Oregon Railway and
Navigation Company became ‘enthused’ with Edison’s light, and ‘boldly decided
to purchase an Edison lighting system for a new steamship, the S.S
By January 1881 the lighting system had its first commercial installation,
purchased by printers: Hunds, Ketcham & Co. (Smithsonian ).
This invention then lead to electric distribution, motion
pictures, and millions of other products that use light today. It is used in
this report due to its numerous applications and further advancements over the
century. Sources were found based on patents and American history articles from
5. Aerosol Spray Cans
Aerosol spray cans were
patented November 23, 1927 by Norwegian engineer Erik Rotheim though the
concept “originated as early as 1790” (Bellis) (Rotheim, 1928) .One of the first commercial uses was
during World War II, when the American government sought out a way to carry
“malaria-carrying bugs”. The research lead to Lyle Goodhue and
William Sullivan, whom developed an aerosol can pressurized by liquid gas in
the 1940’s. (Bellis).
This portable spray
can lead to even more uses than military, including the common hair
spray, spray paint, or non-stick sprays purchased today. Spray paint was actually
patented later in 1950 by Edward Seymour as a ” Hermetically sealed
package for mixing and discharging paint” (Seymour,
Aerosol spray is one of the key
features in our group project product, so naturally the history of how and when
it was invented is critical knowledge in developing our product. Its use in the
military and protective forces as a way of developing the product fits
perfectly with our emergency response feature of the product. Sources were found
based on inventor websites and patents.
6. Cell Phone containing a Camera
J-SH04 was the world’s first mobile phone to fully integrate a camera with the
mobile’s telephone function, allowing the resulting picture to be sent over the
mobile network. This allowed a consumer to share what they were seeing with a friend”
of GSM, 2015)
Released in November 2000 the phone:
known to be the most
The product was launched because
people wanted to send and see their pictures instantaneously, not wait until
their digital camera (which was invented 25 years earlier) had developed the
The mobile phone and camera combo was one of many features that are now
integrated on almost all cell phones today.
Cell phones with camera technology
revolutionized the way in which we communicate. Not only could you hear
the person you were talking to, but you
could receive visuals within minutes. The audio/visual market expanded the into
the mobile phone market and has been incorporated ever since.
Given that our product takes photos
and live steams video, it is important to research what products all ready do
that, and how advanced is/was the technology they use? Sources were based off
of Google Scholar searches, and primary knowledge.
Similar Products at time during or after
Comparison to other Products
Lifeline, Alert 1,
Medical Alert, Mobile Help, Rescue Alert, cell phone
Same price range
Contains GPS mobile
1/2 the usage range
No automatic fall
protection like Lifeline
Fee and Cancellation Fee
Life Alert, Alert
1, Medical Alert, Mobile Help, Rescue Alert, cell phone
Highest usage range
No mobile 911
No Cancellation Fee
No cord like some
Did not originally
have games, camera, GPS, texting
Less risk of harm
Has since been
developed to last much longer, safer.
Aerosol Spray Can
“mist” to disburse liquids
Began to be used
commercially as hair spray and paint
Camera on Mobile
Became best of both
kick started the
integration of features on a cell phone
Critique and Recommendation
Product is currently one of the
most expensive on the market, but at comparable rates.
The high fees associated with
cancellation and activation deter potential customers
Marketing campaigns are easily the
most successful in the personal emergency response system market.
The GPS feature is the closest
similarity between Life Alert and our group’s product currently under
The learning obtained by
researching the Life Alert system is crucial in developing our product as to
avoid any trademark, copyright, or design infringements. Since our product is
designed for a much younger target market, we believe that we have enough
differentiation to compete with the Life Alert system.
Currently America’s #1 emergency
Not having a GPS mobile could be
the difference between customers choosing Life Alert over Lifeline
Not having activation or
cancellation fees will attracted more clients who are afraid to commit to long
Marketing needs improvement to
compete with the marketing team at Life Alert
Similar to Life Alert, Lifeline
will aid in group project reports as a similar product on the market that we
need to be aware of when developing and marketing it to our customers.
One of the best inventions of all
time, in personal opinion
Have come a long way in terms of
Although not the first type of
communication device, the cell phone makes global communication easier
Since our product incorporates
emergency services communication, learning about what options we have in terms
of mobile phone use will aid in our ability to make the product a success.
Has come a very long way since
Today’s light bulbs could be
further developed to have a better means of disposal
Longer lasting, enviro friendly
light bulbs are currently on trend
Although not directly related to
our product, light is used to signal the device is working, and thus knowing
about different light options can help with cost development and design.
Requires a more economical,
environmentally friendly design
Pressurized cans can cause damage
Our product directly utilizes
aerosol to dispense a “marking spray”, so knowledge of current spray
cans, capacity, strengths and weaknesses of the physical structure, are all
important pieces of information to obtain for product design.
Camera on Mobile Phone
Directly related to our new product
Since smart-phones contain GPS and
camera devices, we need to market our product in a way that makes the customer
think that just having those features on a cell phone is not enough.
About Money. (2003). Martin Cooper- History of Cell
Phone. Retrieved from About Money:
Bellis, M. (n.d.). The History of
Aerosol Spray Cans. Retrieved from About Money:
Byrne, S. (2014, July). What to look
for in a medical alert system. Retrieved from Consumer Report:
Cooper, M., Dronsuth, R. W., Leitich, A.
J., Lynk, J. C., Mikulski, J. J., Mitchell, J. F., . . . Sangster, J. H.
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Debjit. (2010, August 17). Sharp
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Edison, T. (1878). Patent No. US214636
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Edison, T. (1879). Patent No. US223898
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Federal Communications Commission. (n.d.).
Lifeline Program for Low-Income Consumers. Retrieved from FCC
Encyclopedia : http://www.fcc.gov/lifeline
History of GSM. (2015). Vintage Mobiles.
Retrieved from http://www.gsmhistory.com/vintage-mobiles/#sharp_sh04_2001
Life Alert Emergency Response. (2014). About
Life Alert. Retrieved February 2015, from Life Alert:
Mal, S. (2007). RFID-Enabled Wireless
Heart Monitoring. Retrieved from http://www.winmec.ucla.edu/rfid/course/2007f/RFID-Enabled%20Wireless%20Heart%20Monitoring.pdf
Melissa Bentivolio, N. O. (2014).
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Philips Lifeline. (2015). About Philips
Lifeline. Retrieved from http://www.lifelinesys.com/content/company-areas
Philip’s Lifeline. (2015). Philips
Lifeline is for Living. Retrieved from Lifeline:
PR WEB. (2007, August 6). Life Alert’s
Slogan ‘I’ve Fallen, And I Can’t Get Up!®’ Ranked Number One on USA TODAY’s List
of Most Memorable Ad Campaigns. Retrieved from PR Web:
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Shiels, M. (2003, April 21). A Chat
with the man behind mobiles. Retrieved from BBC News:
Smithsonian . (n.d.). Promoting
Edison’s Lamp. Retrieved from American History- Lighting a Revolution:
Steve Robson. (2013, March 22). Retrieved from Mail Online:
United States Patent and Trademark Office.
(1992, September 15). Trademark Status & Document Retrieval (TSDR).
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Williams, A., Ganesan, D., & Hanson,
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