Introduction eHarmony is an online personal site targeted marriage-minded individuals and offered a unique product, which combined an extensive relationship questionnaire, a patented matching system and a guided communication system. “eHarmony made its mark in the online dating landscape by establishing its brand as the site for the serious relationship seeker, particularly women”(Gabby). eHarmony is a well established company that “launched in August 2000 with $3 million in funding and grew into a rumored $100 Million, highly profitable company in less than 5 years”(Gabby). Harmony is one of the first dating sites to succeed in providing good matches. Situational Analysis eHarmony’s existing customers are online users are both men and women that range from the age groups of 18 all the way up to 87, but the fastest growing group right now is men and women ages 35-55. Another fact of Internet data is that regardless of gender, age, or race the majority of serious Internet daters earn at least 50K per year”(Profilehelper. com). eHarmony is a safe and easy way to date without having to go out. Harmony is an excellent way to explore ones options with an unlimited amount of choices. eHarmony’s competitors are the do yourself site which are, Yahoo! the personals and Match. com. Other competitors consist of Match. com, Chemistry, heterosexual sites, African American sites, faith-based sites and online social networks that are a threat to eHarmony such as Facebook, and MySpace. Consumers of eHarmony look for a site that bases upon personality rather than how an individual looks. eHarmony chooses the perfect match based upon personality traits, which is why consumers truly enjoy this site.
The economic conditions that eHarmony faces during these hard economic times is that consumers have to pay a fee to become a member. The fee makes it harder for consumers who are not doing very well during the recession. SWOT |Strengths: |Opportunities: | |Memberships |Gay and Lesbian market | |Patent ompatibility test |Divorce | |Advertising formulas |Casual daters | |Guided communications |Global Expansion | | | | | | | | | | |Weaknesses: |Threats: | |Doesn’t offer gay and lesbian services |Online social networks | |eHarmony only operates in the US |Competition | |Lengthy Questionnaire |Free dating services | | | | | | | Strengths Harmony has much strength in its business that are necessary for its success. eHarmony charges a fee to become a member because of their success rate of achieving long-term relationships. There has been an increase in the number of paying members, because eHarmony is confident in recommending matches that result in a high level of marital satisfaction. The compatibilities test, is used to match individuals, based on their personality types. The questionnaire has 250 questions, which takes about 45 minutes to complete. Even though the questionnaire is a lengthy process more than 14 million people have completed it in the first seven years of eHarmony’s existence. Harmony’s advertising formula was successful because eHarmony was one for the few companies that made off line marketing work and pay for itself. Guided communication is the questionnaire that is done before the matches can communicate directly. This is a strength because it determines if the individuals are a true match for one another. Weaknesses EHarmony’s weaknesses are that it does not offer its single matching services to women seeking women or men seeking men. Giving eHarmony limited resources and the small size of the same sex market the company did not believe it was necessary to enter the market place. Another weakness that eHarmony has is that it does not market in other countries but the US.
If eHarmony does not expand to new geographic areas, it could find that its competitors would already take its target segment. Lastly, the personality profile has been abbreviate from 450 to 250 questions, which takes about 45 minutes to complete. It has been stated in the case study, that men are less likely to complete the questionnaire after starting. This is a weakness because they are ultimately losing costumers from the time consuming questionnaire. Opportunities eHarmony's opportunities are that they have the ability to enter into the gay and lesbian market which is one of the largest niche markets. This market attracts about one tenth of the Internet traffic of the heterosexual personal sites.
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With the divorce rate being extremely high, this has led to the older individuals searching for a new soul mate. eHarmony makes it easier for singles to find dates, by saving time since eHarmony does the picking for the consumers. eHarmony could create a competitive advantage, by broaden their customer base, and including more casual daters. There are many people interested in casual dating who could benefit from eHarmony’s matching compatibilities. Even though global expansion has been stated as a weakness we also believe it is an opportunity. Threats Large online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter attract customers though the process of friends encouraging friends to join.
This website provide personal information, which persuaded other to talk to one another and potentially date. Online social networks are also attractive to people who are in a long term relationship, and could not join a dating site without jeopardizing their current relationships. With Match being its biggest competitor customer have, a difficult time differentiating between the two. Chemistry one of Match’s sister companies is another competitor that companies that it does not know why eHarmony rejects people. The free dating service has, become an enormous threat to eHarmony because consumers claim that making people pay to join a dating site served as a serious barrier that separates individuals.
Assumptions The missing information that we believe is not in the case is the following, 1. If the lesbian and gay market where in eHarmony would it affect its current customers. 2. What is the main reason why they don’t have same sex pairing 3. What is holding eHarmony back from expanding overseas. Statement of the Problem The main problem that eHarmony faces is that they only focus on matching men with women and do not focus on same sex paring. According to the Independent Gay Forum, “ A team at the Harvard school of public health reported that 6. 2 percent of men and 3. 6 percent of women reported same sex-partner in the pervious five years.
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