Monthly Archives: July 2012

No translation required

 

As one of the top brands in the world, McDonald’s has long been part of the consumer experience, no matter what country we live in.

Placed at the sixth most valuable brand in the world by Interbrand’s 2011 Best Global Brands Report, the company was a brand valuation of approximately $35.6 Billion. With 33,000 restaurants and 1.7 million employees in 119 countries around the globe, the company’s reach is staggering. Yet despite all this diversity, the core of the brand and company remains the same no matter where it is located.

The global reach of McDonald’s is illustrated in this recent Canadian TV commercial, which answers the question, “What is the one brand that can make strangers friends?” No need to speak multiple languages to find a hamburger in far-off lands. Just say “McDonalds?” and find your way to the global restaurant.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Divide students into groups. Have students list the brand attributes for McDonald’s
  2. Show the video: http://youtu.be/eldOBuYBqp4
  3. Discuss how the video portrays McDonald’s around the world.
  4. Teams: Have students view the company’s Web site: www.mcdonalds.com
  5. What are the differences in the company in other countries?
  6. What are the similarities of the company, no matter the country of operation?
  7. What other products or companies have this type of brand involvement and recognition?
  8. How do companies achieve this level of recognition?

Source:  Brandchannel.com, 6/8/12

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Café of Sharing

 

Panera Bread has taken corporate social responsibility to a new level. Although the $3 Billion company donates more than $150 Million in food products each year, it wasn’t personal enough. Co-CEO and founder Ron Shaich has recently made it personal by setting up four Panera restaurants as “pay what you can” cafes.

The concept of pay-what-you-can for food is not a new one, but Panera Bread is putting its corporate weight behind the new initiatives, helping to feed people who need a little extra assistance. The company has just opened its fourth “Panera Cares” restaurant in Chicago; the three restaurants already in operation in other states are even turning a profit, which the company gives to social service organizations that provide job training for at-risk youth. Taking it one step further, the company then hires the youths to work at its restaurants. (The Panera Cares stores work under a Panera Bread Foundation initiative, allowing them to not worry about profitability.)

Pay-what-you-can initiatives are quite simple. At the counter, the menu lists “suggested donation.” Customers can pay the suggested rate, pay more, or pay less – all without any judgment or pressure. There isn’t even a cash register – just a donation box.  In a presentation to Sustainable Brands, CEO Shaich said that about 20% of the customers leave more money than the suggested donation, 60% pay the suggested donation amount, and 20% pay less.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. There are several videos which can be used to illustrate this case.  http://youtu.be/XDhDeItnmlI (CEO presentation at Sustainable Brands, 20 min.) and http://youtu.be/Nr6ictr_ABs (CBS news video, 3 min.)
  2. Ask students who has ever served in a food pantry or soup kitchen. What was their experience?
  3. Slides about the Panera Cares project are available at http://www.sustainablebrands.com/digital_learning/slideshow/innovating-philanthropy-paneras-pay-what-you-can-stores
  4. Discuss the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with students. Ask what they think it means and how companies implement CSR.
  5. What should corporate responsibility be to society? Should they address societal problems? How can corporations address societal problems?
  6. Have students review the Panera Cares Web site: http://paneracares.org/
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a company to examine its CSR policies (check companies Web sites).
  8. Next, have each team select another company and design a CSR program for that company. What are the considerations to evaluate for the CSR programs?

Source:  Brandchannel.com, 6/22/12, CBS News

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Quirky Innovation

 

Do you have the next great product idea? Have you always wanted to be an inventor but didn’t know how to go about it? If so, then Quirky is the company for you to contact. Not only can you potentially get your product manufactured and marketed, you also have the opportunity to join a community of like-minded people to give your input on other product ideas. Each week Quirky produces at least two new products. It’s rapid innovation and community involvement!

The Quirky process starts when you submit an idea (it costs $10 to start the process). The next steps are community input (from the Quirky network) and product evaluation. If changes are recommended, no problem – in fact, it will make your final product even stronger as the idea gains depth and refinement from the review process. And, even if you are not an inventor, you can become an influencer in the Quirky process and also earn money and experience.

The two main steps to selecting a product idea are the community and staff evaluation. During the community evaluation, Quirky members (anyone can join for free) review, comment, and vote on the ideas. Ideas may be moved to an “under consideration” category and be placed on a list of promising ideas. Ideas are analyzed in design potential, marketing potential, and viability. Not all ideas move through into the development process, but all ideas receive valuable feedback.

Quirky products are sold on the Quirky Web site and in national stores including Target, Office Max, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and more.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start with a class discussion about innovation – importance, how accomplished, types of innovation, etc.
  2. Show the CNN video about inventors and Quirky’s process: http://cnn.com/video/?/video/tech/2012/05/07/next-list-quirky1.cnn
  3. Show the Quirky Web site and videos on the  home page – www.quirky.com (There are additional videos and tutorials on the “about” page also.)
  4. Divide students into teams. Have teams view the videos to understand the process.
  5. Next, have each team select a different product category to examine.
  6. What is the target market and marketing mix used for the products?
  7. Finally, have each team of students come up with ideas for new products in the category they are analyzing. What would it take to make the product real using the Quirky method?

Source:  CNN, Manufacturing Business Today, other news sources, 6/7/12

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