Monthly Archives: March 2012

Jamba Juice mixes it up

Healthy drinks, and energy drinks, are the latest upward trend in the beverage industry. As a prime example of this push, California-based Jamba Juice is no longer content to be sold in stand-alone stores, grocery stores, and convenience stores, and is now expanding its presence into schools. The company is adding its smoothie machines and know-how to promote healthier options for students dining. The company is testing kiosks in 30+ elementary and secondary schools, and plans a major push into more U.S. schools by year-end.

Jamba Juice is also expanding beyond its traditional strengths in smoothies by adding oatmeal, flatbreads, and teas to its product offerings. Additionally, it has entered global markets including the Philippines and South Korea.

The company faces tough competition. Starbucks Company recently acquired Evolution Juices which it is selling in its coffee stores in addition to new, stand-alone Evolution stores. As the industry leader, Starbucks plans to expand new products offered both in the U.S. and in other countries. Starbucks will enter the Asian market in India later this summer.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show the CNBC video with Jamba Juice CEO James White and discuss key points.
  2. Have students discuss what is happening in the areas of energy and health drinks.
    • Starbucks, Red Bull, Jamba Juice, etc.
    • Can these brands expand their market share in the U.S.?
    • Can these brands expand globally?
  3. What are considerations for Jamba Juice to expand into new markets and cultures?
  4. Does the recent push into school systems make sense for Jamba Juice?
    • Can other companies mimic this new market push?
  5. Have students bring up the company Web sites for Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Evolution drinks, Jamba Juice.
    • Review the sites and marketing messages.
    • What strategies are these companies pursuing?
  6. Have students develop a marketing strategy matrix for the companies.
    • Build 4-square grid: Current and new products, current and new markets.
  7. Have students develop a SWOT analysis chart for the firms.
    • What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?

Source:  Brandchannel.com, CNBC, 3/29/12

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Mascots for brands keep growing

Celebrities have long been used to endorse products by portraying benefits and building an image for companies and products. Think of all the famous athletes and stars who endorse products – Jeremy Lin, Michael Phelps, Venus Williams, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and more illustrate this approach to marketing. But celebrities also carry risks – consider the fall-out from Tiger Woods’ fall from grace several years ago. How can companies avoid the risks of celebrities? By using mascots or “spokes characters” to portray a product’s brand values and attractiveness.

Brand mascots are regaining their allure with marketing campaigns. They can be portrayed as charming, sophisticated, caring, humorous, and even sexy. They are controllable and relatively risk-free. The mascots also have mass merchandising potential, lending their likenesses to t-shirts, lunch boxes, cartoons, ads, mugs, and other merchandise. A recent addition to the mascot list is Ms. Brown for M&Ms. The sexy chocolate drop has appeared in commercials and on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” as well as promoting her own music channel on Pandora.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. 1.     Discuss the use of endorsements for promoting products.
    1. How do companies use these characters?
    2. Why are mascots desirable for marketing?
    3. 2.     Have students name all the mascot characters they can think of in one minute.
      1. Hints: Mr. Peanut, M&Ms, Pillsbury Dough Boy, Michelin Man, Charlie the Tuna, Captain Morgan, etc.
      2. 3.     Show students the following videos to illustrate use of mascots:
        1. WSJ Video on characters: http://youtube/g7sh.4MvBX1U
        2. Stub Hub:  http://youtu.be/XwUlWpacmEA
        3. Planters: http://youtu.be/0YyznIxqXV8
        4. Kraft: http://youtu.be/JVeXN8PiVl0
        5. M & Ms: http://youtu.be/TREc_gXtZcw
        6. 4.     Have students develop a new mascot for a product.
          1. What is involved?
          2. What factors needs to be considered?
          3. How can the mascot be used in marketing and promotion?

 

Source:  Wall Street Journal, 3/26/12; Ad Age Daily, 3/26/12

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The New Vending Machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The humble vending machine might not need to be as humble any more. Although the traditional vending machine has had declining locations and sales over the past decade, it is far from dead. New businesses using the vending machine – such as Red Box – have been popping up all over. Machines are betting set up with new, touch-screen and high tech features, and loaded with products ranging from soft drinks, electronics, movies, and live bait.

There are even vending machines that dispense prescription medicine. InstyMeds Corp., based in Minnesota, places machines in health clinics and links them to a doctors’ computer system. To dispense the prescription, the system validates the patient’s identity and prescription using unique codes.

Live bait, soft drinks, medicine – new technologies are giving a new life to an old distribution method.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. View the video link for WSJ:
    1. http://online.wsj.com/video/the-vending-machine-evolves/107B03C4-E83F-450D-B8CB-378D7006F84F.html
    2. What are key points from the video about new products and start-ups?
    3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of vending machines for distribution and marketing?
    4. Poll students:
      1. What vending machines have you observed lately?
      2. What have you bought from a vending machine? Where? Why?
      3. Have students do a Google search for different types and uses of vending machines.
        1. Markets
        2. Products
        3. Locations
        4. Prices
        5. What products could be effectively marketed in a vending machine?
          1. Product groups?
          2. Target markets?
          3. Locations?
          4. Have students view Red Box’s Web site.
            1. http://www.redbox.com/
            2. Discuss how the site is used and its effectiveness level.
            3. How can other companies use this strategy?
            4. Have students view InstyMeds Web site.
              1. http://www.instymeds.com/
              2. What need is this solving?
              3. Video: http://www.instymeds.com/index.php?page=videos

 

Source:  Wall Street Journal, 3/22/12

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