Monthly Archives: August 2017

10 Healthiest Brands in the U.S.

What makes a healthy brand? According to YouGov Brand Index, overall brand health takes into account “consumers’ perceptions of a brand’s quality, value, impression, satisfaction, reputation, and willingness to recommend the brand to others.”

Which brands are ranked the healthiest? There are few surprises in this year’s list. Here are the top brands across all categories:

      1. Band-Aid
      2. Amazon
      3. Google
      4. Craftsman
      5. Dawn
      6. YouTube
      7. Clorox
      8. M&M’s
      9. Lowe’s
      10. Quaker

The index also included ranks for various industries. For example, in airlines, Southwest ranked number one. Toyota topped the car category, and Dove topped the hair and skin care category.

Top brands with the best advertising awareness were also included. Leaders in this year’s list include Geico, McDonald’s, Verizon, AT&T, and Walmart. Brands that made the biggest awareness gains since 2016 include Uber, Blue Apron, Trivago, Dollar Shave Club, Lyft, Hulu, and Nintendo. Consumers value innovation and usefulness when evaluating brands. Each company on the list works hard to be the top in its category.

Which brands do you value and recommend to others?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Class discussion: What makes for a strong brand?
  2. What are favorite brands in the different industries such as automotive, appliances, cars, hotels, food, etc. (see the industry list on YouGov).
  3. Show the YouGov brand index: http://www.brandindex.com/ranking/us/2017-index
  4. Compare the students’ list with the rankings and discuss the findings.
  5. Now have students list brands that are weak or for which they have negative feelings.
  6. What could those brands do to improve their overall rankings?

Source:  YouGov Brand Index, Brandchannel.com

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Google Glass Evolves and Repositions

Remember Google Glass? Google Glass had a short life; it was pulled from the market in 2015 amidst complaints about technology, usefulness, price, and privacy. The original product was focused on consumers as wearable technology. The glasses had a smart heads-up display and camera, allowing users to connect to data and share information and images.

However, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has now relaunched the product as Glass Enterprise Edition (EE). The new Glass EE is being repositioned into the enterprise/industrial market as wearable tech for workers. Alphabet has been testing Glass EE at locations for companies including Boeing, General Electric, Volkswagen, Samsung, Sutter Health, and DHL.

The Glass EE looks similar to the original, but has a better camera, extended battery life, faster Wi-Fi and processor, and has a new red light that turns on when recording. The electronics are now modular in the shape of a pod which can be detached and reattached to any frame, including safety goggles.

How useful are they? GE reported a 46% decrease in time for certain activities, and 85% of the workers believe the system will help reduce mistakes. Glass EE is sold exclusively through Glass Partners. Prices vary depending on the software customization, customer support, and training.

It’s tough to reposition a failed product, but Glass EE seems ready for an entirely new market.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  2. Review Glass EE product: https://www.x.company/glass/
  3. What products are competitors (direct and indirect)?
  4. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for Glass. Start with the original Google Glass, and then reposition for the Glass EE product.
  5. Have each team draw their map on the board.
  6. Debrief exercise.

Source: Wired, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, other news sources

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Farewell to the iPod

The iPod is officially dead. Yes, you read this correctly. After 16 years, with more than 400 million units sold worldwide, Apple has pulled the plug on the iPod Nano and Shuffle, removing the product line from its online stores. To many people, the iPod was a revolutionary device. The portable device with its iconic white headphones enabled people to take their full music library anywhere, giving listeners control of playlists and music.

iPod launched in 2001 with a unit holding 5 GB of data for $399, quickly followed in 2002 with a 10 GB unit at $499. Things really changed when Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in 2003, setting off a landslide in music downloads as well as music piracy concerns. In 2007, Apple launched the iPhone, which included capabilities beyond just making phone calls, incorporating music capabilities in the phone.

How many iPods have you owned?

R.I.P. iPod. You changed the world of music.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Next, discuss the iPod and it’s journey through the product life cycle: http://www.macworld.com/article/1053499/home-tech/ipodtimeline.html
  4. Show Apple’s online store: https://www.apple.com/. What product line is missing from the store?
  5. Poll students: Who had an iPod? What do they use now for music?
  6. Show first iPod commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8
  7. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source:  Wired, other news sources

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