Monthly Archives: August 2017

Robots and Us

“May you live in interesting times.” Is it a Chinese curse, or a promise for the future? No matter which it is, we are certainly living in interesting times as technology progresses into robotics and artificial intelligence (or intelligence augmentation).

Today, there are robots in the warehouse, manufacturing plant, retail stores, health care, and more. Cars are now capable of autonomous driving. Digital assistants open doors, set temperatures, monitor security, and answer our daily queries for information. Drones deliver packages and pizzas. The smartphones in our pockets have greater computing capabilities than was ever dreamed of. What was once deemed science fiction, is now today’s reality.

Where did this all start, and more importantly, where is it going? Will robotics give us faster and safer solutions to humanities problems, or will it lead to a jobless future?

What’s your opinion?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. This is a different type of post. Instead of having students develop marketing solutions or new products, use this topic to generate critical thinking by students.
  2. There is a series of videos by Wired that discuss robots and technology: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLibNZv5Zd0dxEjUuwSuvNkAPmc_J4we6M
  3. Show any/all of the videos to generate class discussion about future technologies.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team view a video and summarize it for the class.
  5. What are the business and marketing implications from the video and discussion?

Source:  Wired   

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Who Needs Advertising? Not Tesla.

Tesla continues to defy common advertising and marketing conventions, yet still managed to become a valuable brand and hot product. The company does not advertise or promote its cars through traditional media. This lets the company save a great deal of money, and focus on its design and manufacturing.

Tesla’s Model 3 goes on sale for an estimated delivery in the fourth quarter of this year. To date, without any advertising other than word-of-mouth and free media coverage, customers have put down $1,000 deposits on nearly 500,000 cars! According to the company, it continues to average 1,800 net orders per day.

This is an enviable position for the automaker considering that Nissan spent $4.3 million in advertising on its electric Nissan Leaf car, and General Motors spent $3.7 million on the Chevy Bolt electric car. Tesla may not sell as many vehicles, but its cost per vehicle is virtually non-existant.

The top five and bottom five spenders based on 2016 advertising are:

  • Hyundai Genesis – $6,821/vehicle sold
  • Lincoln – $2,719/vehicle sold
  • Jaguar – $2,376/vehicle sold
  • Fiat – $2,350/vehicle sold
  • Cadillac – $1,493/vehicle sold
  • Toyota – $353/vehicle sold
  • Dodge – $348/vehicle sold
  • Honda – $322/vehicle sold
  • Porsche – $283/vehicle sold
  • Tesla – $0/vehicle sold

It shows that while advertising is an important marketing tool, it is far from the only way to gain customers.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  2. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  3. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  4. Show Tesla’s Web site: https://www.tesla.com/
  5. Videos are available on Tesla’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TeslaMotors
  6. For Tesla, have each team select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.
  7. Debrief by putting together the entire suggested lists on the white board. As a final step, have the entire class vote on the top three tactics to use.

Source:  Ad Age Daily, Kantor Media, Automotive News

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The Spotted Cheetah Restaurant

Cheetos have long been a favorite snack in America, but it has a fairly limited menu application. Or does it…?

In a new promotional campaign, Cheetos is launching a pop-up restaurant in New York City for three-days in August, with all meals developed by celebrity chef Anne Burrell of the Food Network. The restaurant, named The Spotted Cheetah, offers the “ultimate Cheetos dining experience” and features 11 signature Cheetos-inspired dishes in a three-course menu. The food ranges in price from $8 to $22.

Some of the highlights of the menu include:

  • Cheetos Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
  • Cheetos Meatballs
  • Spicy Cheese Nachos
  • Flamin’ Hot and White Cheddar Mac n’ Cheetos
  • Cheetos Mix-ups Crusted Chicken Milanese
  • Cheetos Sweetos Sweet and Salty Cookies
  • Cheetos Sweetos Crusted Cheesecake

Unfortunately, if you want to dine there, the three-day event is already sold-out on Open Table, and has a wait list of more than 1,000 diners! But don’t worry – all of the recipes will be available for free in a digital cookbook on the Cheetos Web site.

Are you hungry now?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who eats Cheetos?
  2. View video: https://youtu.be/yd94mGphQCs
  3. Show Cheetos Web site: http://www.thespottedcheetah.com/
  4. How does the restaurant fit into a promotion plan?
  5. Does this new restaurant, and cookbook, change the positioning of Cheetos in the product life cycle?

Source:  Brandchannel.com, New York Eat, Wall Street Journal, other news sources

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