Monthly Archives: January 2014

Coffee Goes to College



College students and alumni are notoriously loyal to their alma mater schools. In any college town there are labels, logos, mascots, decals, flags, and clothing that all promotes the hometown favorite. And for far-flung alumni, newsletters and emails help keep attention focused on the college and promote logo-bearing products. And there is no better way for a sleep-deprived college student (and alumni) to show their school pride than with a coffee machine labeled with their alma mater’s logo.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is now selling a version of its Keurig K-Cup Mini Plus brewers decorated with the logos of 10 different Division 1 colleges. The new coffee brewers are also available in multiple colors for those whose college decals are not yet available. And, if a customer already has a brewer and wants just a logo, they can be purchased separately.

It’s a great way to promote school pride along with solidifying the coffee-drinking habits of students and alumni alike.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. View the Web site and video:
  3. For this product, what is the target market?
  4. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile for the target market. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, and attitudes.
  5. Based on the profile, what makes this product unique for these customers.
  6. Debrief the exercise and discuss how the elements could apply to additional target markets.

Source:, 12/13

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Beats Focuses on Athletes


Beats by Dr. Dre has a very popular product line  for college students, athletes, and music aficionados. The company has successfully used both traditional marketing as well as guerrilla marketing to promote products. This time, Beats is taking the traditional approach of TV advertising to showcase how its headphones help professional athletes prepare for the big game and block out obnoxious fans from the rival teams.


The newest video features Kevin Garnett of the Brooklyn Nets and shows  rival fans

Screaming obscenities and waving derogatory signs as the bus drives onto to unnamed arena (that looks strangely like New York). The abuse continues as the players enter the tunnel and the game court. In the video, featuring a new song by R&B singer Aloe Blaac, Garnet uses the Beats headphones to block out noise and help prepare for the game. A similar ad has also been produced featuring San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.


While the main theme is sports, the message is expected to resonate with people who face challenges and distractions every day at home, work, and school. Music helps us block out the unwanted noise and focus on the positive.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Show the Beats web site:
  3. Show the TV ads:
  4. On the white board, have students list all the potential target market segments that might purchase Beats.
  5. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile for a different market segment. Include demographics, psychographics, attitudes, values, and behaviors.
  6. Debrief the exercise by comparing the target markets.

Source:  Ad Age Daily,, 12/13

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

1-Hour Delivery via Drones


Remember when it used to takes weeks to get products delivered? Or at least a few days? But even a few days is now too long for today’s consumers. We’re used to getting immediate response to questions and orders and expect delivery the next day or two.


First, Amazon trained us to expect 2-day delivery with its Amazon Prime service and partnerships with distribution companies. Then the company started testing same-day delivery in certain cities using established retail outlets and lockers. But why stop at same-day delivery? Today’s technology is capable of delivering packages to homes in under an hour. The delivery mechanism proposed is drones by Amazon. In a few years, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the ‘octocopter’ drones could be capable of operating and delivering five-pound packages in less than 30 minutes.


Of course, safety and regulations are an important issue and there is currently no precedent for this manner of delivery in the U.S. (The promotional video provided by Amazon could not even be recorded within U.S. borders due to regulations.) But still… drones for delivering packages could soon come to your neighborhood. Watch the video and imagine the possibilities.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss distribution channels and supply chain. What are the elements involved, costs, etc.?
  2. Show the Amazon drone video:
  3. Discuss the video: implications, risks, issues, benefits, etc.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product that might qualify for delivery via drone and draw a diagram of a possible distribution model both with and without drones.
  5. Debrief the exercise by having students share their models and discuss the pros/cons.

Source:  New York Times, Associated Press, other news agencies

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities