The Brief Life of Quibi

Did you ever use Quibi? Do you even know what service Quibi provides? If your answer is “no” to either of these questions, then you are likely among one of the many reasons the video service shut down after only six months.

Quibi was developed as a streaming video app from Hollywood studio executives and offered entertainment and news in 5-10 minute lengths. It launched in April 2020 with the intent on challenging the streaming players. Quibi (which stands for “quick bites”) was designed for short viewing times in the “in-between moments” of life.

While the pandemic caused a number of issues for the company (since we were all now at home with devices, instead of on the move), it was only one of a series of missteps. Viewers couldn’t connect Quibi to their at-home TV, could not share programming, and had limited videos from which to choose. Quibi also had a lot of competition, including free services from YouTube and other platforms. Advertisers were also underwhelmed and experienced difficulties.

Although the app was downloaded an estimated 9.6 million times, and an estimated 90% of viewers left after the free trial period. The monthly service cost $4.99/month with included ads, or $7.99/month without ads. That’s not a bad price, but viewers saw it as one more monthly service to add on top of current streaming services from Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Disney+, and more.

Bye, Quibi.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who knows what Quibi did? Who used the service? Who subscribed beyond the free trial?
  2. Show Quibi’s site (it may not last long): https://quibi.com/
  3. News video of Quibi’s demise: https://youtu.be/tEfx_MxEXq4
  4. Discuss the components of an environmental scan: technology, social, competition, regulatory, and economic factors.
  5. Divide students into team. Have each team do a brief analysis of Quibi and the environment and develop a SWOT analysis.
  6. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle.
  7. Draw a product life cycle on the board and discuss the stages and marketing objective. What did Quibi’s PLC look like?

Source: AdWeek; New York Times; The Verge; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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2020 Top Global Brands

The year 2020 has been rough on businesses as they pivot to account for the pandemic. Yet, strong brands seem to have become even stronger during this time. Consumers view their purchasing choices as a vote for a brand’s value and impact.

But, what is a brand? Does a brand have a financial value? These are critical questions that drive the strategic marketing decisions of corporations around the world. In general, marketers define brand as the position that a company/product holds in the minds of the consumers. It follows then that if the brand holds a position in consumers’ minds, then it would definitely translate into a financial value for companies.

Each year, Interbrand does a financial analysis that seeks to define, in dollars, the value of a company’s brand – the result is the annual Best Global Brands ranking. In order to be included in the report:

  • The brand must be global – it must have successfully crossed geographic and cultural boundaries.
  • At least 30% of revenue must come from outside the brand’s home region.
  • The brand must have a significant presence in at Asia, Europe, and North America, as well as geographic coverage in emerging markets.
  • There must be sufficient publicly available data on the brand’s financial performance.
  • Economic profit must be expected to be positive over the longer term, delivering a return above the brand’s cost of capital.
  • The brand must have a public profile and awareness above and beyond its own marketplace.

Interbrand’s brand valuation methodology seeks to determine, in customer and financial terms, the contribution of the brand to the company’s business results. There are three key components in the methodology for the valuations: analyses of the financial performance of the branded products or services, of the role the brand plays in the purchase decision, and of the competitive strength of the brand.

Brands in the top five include Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Samsung.

Did you guess these correctly?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students to define “brand.” What is it? Does it have value to a company?
  2. Have students take out a piece of paper. Ask them to choose what they thing are the top 10 most valuable brands in the world.
  3. Then show the top 10 list from the Global Brand report: https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/
  4. How many did they get correct? What surprised them?
  5. Show the video explaining the report: https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/methodology/
  6. Show students several of the sections within the site and view some of the videos as a class.
  7. Divide students into teams and assign each team an industry category to examine: automotive, apparel, beverage, electronics, energy, etc.
  8. Have each team present key findings from the industry sector they examined.
  9. How can these findings be applied in marketing strategies?

Source: Brandchannel.com, Interbrand.com

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Spot, the Robotic Dog, Now Prowls the Floor at Ford

Spot, the robotic dog from Boston Dynamics, is now prowling manufacturing plants for Ford Motor Co. Ford calls the dog “Fluffy” and it doesn’t act as barking security guard, but rather is helping to map and update engineering plans at several manufacturing facilities. Fluffy wanders the 2-million-squar-foot transmission plan floor with its digital engineering handler, using laser scanning and imaging to produce detailed and accurate maps that Ford engineers can use to revamp the facility.

You may have heard of Spot previously as one of Boston Dynamics intriguing robotic lines. Boston Dynamics now sells Spot for $74,500 (for commercial purposes only). Since September, Boston Dynamics has sold or leased more than 250 Spot robots. Spot is typically used in construction or the electric utility industry, but was also recently used at a hospital’s emergency department to help assess patients with Covid-19.

Spot weighs 70 pounds and is equipped with five cameras that give it 360-degree vision to avoid obstacles and travels at 3 mph for several hours, constantly gathering data (without needing dog treats or a place to pee). The nimble robot is able to navigate tight spaces that the average-sized person can’t reach. It can climb stairs, cross metal grates, and keep its balance on slippery surfaces.

At Ford, Fluffy scans the plant in half of the time as needed by humans, and significantly reduces costs while maintaining accuracy.

But can it fetch the newspaper?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the concepts of products, product line, and product mix.
  2. Bring up Boston Dynamics’s Web site: http://www.bostondynamics.com
  3. More videos can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7vVhkEfw4nOGp8TyDk7RcQ.
  4. Show a video of Fluffy at Ford: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-robot-revolution-is-happeninglike-it-or-not/33C97F82-2E8B-4371-B635-C3DE3E375671.html
  5. Have students develop a marketing campaign to sell Spot to businesses.
  6. Finally, make sure to watch Spot dancing to Uptown Funk! https://youtu.be/kHBcVlqpvZ8

Source:  Boston Dynamics; Engadget; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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