Monthly Archives: October 2018

Flippy the Robot: Fast-Food Robotics

Many students (and professors when they were young) have likely worked in the fast-food industry in one capacity or another. Probably the most dreaded jobs there are in the hot and greasy areas of the fryer and grill. However, despite the grease and hours, the unemployment rate for restaurant workers today is the lowest on record (U.S. Labor Department). But, the industry also faces a lot of employee turnover and still requires more workers. So, why not get help in the more undesirable positions?

Give a warm welcome to Flippy the Robot! Engineered by Miso Robotics and now employed at 10 CaliBurger restaurants in California and Dodger Stadium in New York, Flippy is an autonomous robotic kitchen assistant that can learn from its surroundings and acquire new skills. Flippy can work at the grill or fryer, cooks perfectly and consistently, can automatically switch tools, cleans, and is OSHA safety compliant.

While some wonder if robotics will lessen the need for human employees, most restaurants need more employees to handle extended hours, increased demand, and provide better customer service. Robotics are intended to help employees, not replace them.

The best part? Flippy never complains about long hours and always shows up for work on time!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the use of robotics in businesses, including fast-food restaurants.
  2. Poll students: Who has worked in fast-food at fryers or grills? What was the experience like?
  3. Show Miso Robotics videos: https://misorobotics.com/
  4. CaliBurger restaurant: https://caliburger.com/
  5. Discuss the buying process for organizations. Who would influence the decision-making?
  6. For Flippy the robot food-preparation product, have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
    1. Problem recognition?
    2. Information search?
    3. Evaluative criteria?
    4. Purchase decision?
    5. Post-purchase behavior?
  7. What are key considerations in each step?
  8. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Jargon, J. & Morath, E. (24 June, 2018). Short of workers, fast-food restaurants turn to robots. Wall Street Journal

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Using Social Media in Job Search

Here’s the truth – absolutely no one likes looking for a new job. Nope. Not one single person on earth gets up and says “gee, can’t wait to look for a new job today!” So, you are in good company if you are (reluctantly) facing a job search. But, on the plus side, there are now more tools than ever to help you search out and find a great position and company. And, you can even do this using social media tools with which you are already familiar. Today, social media is part of how people get in touch not only with each other, but also with companies

Estimates are that more than 80% of Americans have social media accounts. Social media is a great way to connect with others, bring attention to your work, and develop new ideas. The top social media platforms to explore in a job search:

  1. LinkedIn – A professional social network with 500 million members. Focus on people you already know, and people you would like to know. LinkedIn has search features that let members know about job postings and companies.
  2. Twitter – Provides instant connections for sharing ideas with 328 million users. It is conversational, giving real-time information about areas of interest and connects users beyond people they already know. For job hunting, build lists of influencers to follow.
  3. Facebook – A powerful social network with more than two billion users worldwide. Facebook can help you connect with influencers, shape what others think of you, and share things that help show your interests and breadth. Use Facebook to follow companies and get ideas about job opportunities.
  4. Instagram – This platform revolves around illustrations and has grown to roughly 800 million users. These users love great photos and videos. Use this platform to interact graphically with companies and people who interest you.
  5. Snapchat – While this platform is changing, it has 250 million users and can provide insights into trends, people, and companies.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students to define how they currently use social media platforms.
  2. What limits their use of the platforms? Do they use these for job search?
  3. Review the New York Times ariicle: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/business/social-media-for-career-and-business?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ct_20171116&nl=technology&nl_art=0&nlid=65703977&ref=headline&te=1&redirect=true
  4. Students can explore various links within this article to learn more about the different platforms.
  5. Divide students into five teams. Have each team explore a different social media platform and provide guidelines about the platform for job search.
  6. Build a shared document with the information.

Source: Sreenivasan, S. (2017, November). How to use social media in your career. New York Times.

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Best Global Brands of 2018

What is a brand? Does a brand have a financial value? These are critical questions that drive the strategic marketing decisions of corporations around the world. In general, marketers define brand as the position that a company/product holds in the minds of the consumers. It follows then that if the brand holds a position in consumers’ minds, then it would definitely translate into a financial value for companies.

Each year, Interbrand does a financial analysis that seeks to define, in dollars, the value of a company’s brand – the result is the annual Best Global Brands ranking. In order to be included in the analysis the brand must be global – it must have successfully crossed geographic and cultural boundaries:

  • At least 30% of revenue must come from outside the brand’s home country.
  • It must have presence in at least three continents as well as broad geographic coverage in emerging markets.
  • There must be sufficient publicly available data on the brand’s financial performance.
  • Economic profit must be expected to be positive over the longer term, delivering a return above the brand’s operating and financing costs.
  • The brand must have a public profile and awareness above and beyond its own marketplace.

Interbrand’s brand valuation methodology seeks to determine, in customer and financial terms, the contribution of the brand to the company’s business results. There are three key components in the methodology for the valuations: analyses of the financial performance of the branded products or services, of the role the brand plays in the purchase decision, and of the competitive strength of the brand.

The results – well, see for yourself by viewing the interactive report at https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2018/ranking/.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students to define “brand.” What is it? Does it have value to a company?
  2. Have students take out a piece of paper (or write answer on laptops). Ask them to choose what they thing are the top 10 most valuable brands in the world. Then show the top 10 list from the Global Brand report.
  3. Bring up the Web site: https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2018/
  4. Show the video explaining the report: https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/methodology/
  5. Show students several of the sections within the site and view some of the videos as a class.
  6. Divide students into teams and assign each team an industry category to examine: automotive, apparel, beverage, electronics, energy, etc.
  7. Have each team present key findings from the industry sector they examined.
  8. How can these findings be applied in marketing strategies?

Source: Brandchannel.com, Interbrand.com

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