Monthly Archives: September 2017

Driverless Cars Deliver Pizza

Are you hungry? Want fast delivery of pizza, but don’t want to talk to anyone? There’s a solution for that.

Domino’s and Ford have formed a partnership to use self-driving Ford Fusions equipped with sensors, electronics and software, to deliver pizza to Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor, Mich. In the next few weeks, the companies will be able to see first-hand how customers respond to the new driverless delivery technology. What happens in the final 50 feet? Do people want to go outside to take delivery? Is it taking delivery simple to understand?

The cars will have safety engineers and researchers inside to monitor activities and customers’ reactions. Customers can track the delivery car through GPS, and when the car arrives, a text message will be sent to customers about how to retrieve their pizza.

Testing automated deliveries to homes and businesses goes far beyond just pizza. Deliveries from online shopping already total in the billions of dollars, and there is even more application in the future. Need roofing materials or building supplies? What about cooked meals, or ingredients for dinner?

One big advantage of the autonomous deliveries – no tipping required!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What do they have delivered to their homes now? What would they like to see delivered in the future?
  2. Show video:
  3. Ask for reactions. What would be their behavior for this type of delivery?
  4. What are the advantages, and disadvantages of driverless delivery?
  5. Form students into teams. Have each team develop a list of possible research questions that Ford and Domino’s would use to evaluate and revise the service.

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


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Logos with Meaning

Logos and branding surround us. Without even realizing it, consumers see an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 ads per day. Yes, that sounds like a lot, but start counting how many ads you see and hear starting when the alarm clock goes off – bet you get tired of counting by time you get to breakfast!

Logos are a big part of how brands penetrate the consciousness of consumers. A strong logo should be simple, singular, recognizable, and represent the brand attributes. Many logos have deeply rooted meanings that portray the brand’s history and values. Consider the following examples:

  • Beats by Dre: Represents a human head wearing earphones.
  • Amazon: A yellow line links A to Z.
  • Tour de France: A cyclist as the letter R, and the yellow wheel representing racing during the day.
  • BMW: The colors of the Bavarian flag are in the logo.
  • Tostitos: See the people represented by the middle Ts share a bowl of salsa.

How many different logos do you see right now?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students – how many logos do they see in a day?
  2. Now, have each student count the number of logos that they are carting around today. Include backpacks, clothing, electronics, etc. Add the number from each student and see how big the count is at.
  3. Discuss the importance of logos in branding efforts.
  4. Do a Web search for articles that discuss logos. One such article:
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team design a new logo for a product of their choice.
  6. Debrief by having each team show its logo. Have a class vote on a favorite.

Source:  CBS News, New York Times, other news sources

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Careful What You Name Your Company

Names and labels are critical in consumer goods. Consumers demand transparency and authenticity – we want to know that companies are telling the truth and fulfilling their brand promises.  One brand currently under fire is Nestlé’s Waters’ Poland Spring Bottled Water.

A class action lawsuit for $5 million has been filed against Poland Spring for false advertising, deceptive labeling, breach of conflict, and other claims. The lawsuit argues that the company has misled consumers by labeling the product as “100% spring water,” thus suggesting that the water is high quality. It claims that “not one drop” of the water complies with the FDA’s definition of what constitutes spring water, and is instead considered “ground water.”

The FDA says spring water “shall be collected only at the spring or through a bore hole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring.” Consumers claim that the Poland Spring in Poland Spring, Maine went dry decades ago. Nestle said the “claims made in the lawsuit are without merit” and that they meet the FDA regulations, as well as all federal and state regulations.

What’s in your water?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Bring a few bottles of Poland Spring Water to class.
  2. Pass them around to students and see what conclusions the students have about the product.
  3. Next, have students look up the FDA definition of spring water. (
  4. Does it comply with how the product is packaged and advertised?
  5. Show video:
  6. Have students review the company’s Web site for information:
  7. What course of action should the company take to reassure consumers and regain trust?

Source:  Fortune

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