Monthly Archives: December 2015

Package Delivery Right to Your Car


For on-line shoppers, waiting at home for the delivery can be boring and a waste of time. Volvo has a creative solution for the waiting problem: deliver packages directly to your car.

Yes, Volvo is delivering packages to personal cars in a new pilot project available at the company’s Swedish headquarter city of Gothenberg. The first of its kind service provides in-car delivery as an alternative to deliveries to home, apartments, or offices. Once the consumer places an online order with a retailer, the delivery person then locates the consumer’s Volvo car via GPS and is given a one-time use digital key to drop the package in the car trunk. The owner receives a digital notification on their smartphone once delivery is complete.

The service is only available today to Volvo owners in Gothenburg who subscribe to the Volvo On Call telematics service. But, this is just the beginning. Volvo has also mentioned that other potential deliveries in the future may include a fuel-delivery service for cars with nearly empty fuel tanks.

Deliveries will never be the same.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the supply chain from manufacturer, to middleman, to customers. Where are the opportunities for innovation?
  2. Show the Volvo in-car delivery video:
  3. Discuss the possible impact on the supply chain by using this service.
  4. Poll students: Would they like packages delivered to their cars? Why or why not? What are the concerns?

Source: CNBC, other news sources


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Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year


Awards are a significant factor in any company’s arsenal of marketing and promotion tactics. Every company would love to claim that its product is the “best” in its category. And, awards carry great weight with consumers as they look for independent validation of a company’s claims. For automotive manufacturers, one of the year’s most coveted awards is Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year.

This year, the Car of the Year and Truck of the Year awards both go to GM’s Chevrolet brand with the Colorado as this year’s top truck and the Camaro as this year’s top car. Other finalists for Car of the Year included the Audi TT, BMW 7 Series, Honda Civic, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Mercedes-Benz GT S, and Toyota Mirai. Top contenders in the truck category also included the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Canyon, GMC Sierra 1500, Nissan Titan XD, and Toyota Tacoma.

For the SUV of the Year award, the magazine choose the Volvo XC90. Other finalists in SUV category included the Honda Pilot, Lincoln MX, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, and Nissan Murano.

What are you driving?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of product awards.
  2. What is the PR value for awards?
  3. View Motor Trend’s Car of the Year:
  4. Discuss how GM can use the report in its marketing.
  5. What should companies that didn’t make the top list do to promote their vehicles?
  6. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for a category of automobiles.

Source: Motor Trend, Manufacturing Business Technology


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Personalized Packaging for Oreos


Still looking for a unique gift this holiday season? Well, everyone likes to have a gift that is personalized just for them, so it might be worthwhile to consider a package of Oreo cookies that are personalized just for that special someone in your life.

The holiday campaign invites Oreo fans to customize the packaging of the cookies, adding color, graphics, and the recipient’s name. The bright packs showcase exclusive illustrated designs from well-known graphic artists. The customer begins by choosing from a menu of different designs that includes snowmen, penguins, partridges, and more. Then, artist’s design colors can be selected, or the buyer can manually color each image with a digital paint brush. For a final touch, accessories such as scarves and antlers and custom messages complete each package.

While not as cheap as the Oreo cookies that can bought in the store, the custom packages are a way for the company to grow its e-commerce revenue and spread some special holiday cheer.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss a mass customization approach for manufacturing and marketing. Ask students for their examples of this strategy.
  2. Show the Oreo custom Web site:
  3. Poll students: What are other applications for personalization of products?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product and develop a custom package approach.
  5. How could this be deployed?


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