Monthly Archives: March 2019

Experiential Marketing Keeps Evolving

In today’s fast-paced Instagram world, experiencing a product and brand is more important than ever to consumers. While experiential marketing is not a new tactic for marketers, it has certainly increased in the past few years due to social media usage, and the rise of selfie photos showing consumers interacting with brands and products.

In the past year there were thousands of pop-up experiences and stores around the country. Some of the more well-known ones are the Museum of Ice Cream, 29Rooms, and products such as Peleton bikes. Other pop-up experiences have come from retailers such as Birch Box, Tiffany, Adidas, Samsung, Amazon, Dior, Payless Shoes, and even HBO show ‘Game of Thrones’. In the past, we might have called these ‘kiosks’ but that doesn’t do justice to the full experience offered by the new world of pop-ups. In their new iteration, the pop-ups may offer a brick-and-mortar experience (such as Museum of Ice Cream) or include another form that offers a fully immersive experience.

For today’s Millennial shoppers, content is key. These shoppers not only check their phones continually, they also generate their own content at a high rate!

What experiences do you want?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the different forms that experiential marketing can take.
  2. Show several examples: 29 Rooms: http://www.29rooms.com/
  3. Museum of ice cream: https://www.museumoficecream.com/
  4. Rose’ Mansion: https://www.rosewinemansion.com/
  5. Poll students: What has been their experience with pop-ups and immersive experiences?
  6. Divide students into teams. Assign each team a product, or let the teams select their own products.
  7. Have each team develop an experience for that product.

Source: Ramirez, D. (12 March 2019). Creating experiential that stands out in a crowded industry. Ad Week.

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Tesla Shifts Retail Strategy, Then Shifts Again

Tesla, Tesla, Tesla… It’s so much fun to track this company. Not only are the products innovative and exciting to follow, it is also a marketing case study in nearly constant motion.

Case in point: At the end of February the company announced it would be closing its retail stores in order to cut costs and lower the pricing of the Model 3 to make it more affordable (at a starting price of $35,000). Tesla believes that car buyers will increasingly rely on on-line ordering instead of physical stores. Tesla stated that in North America, a customer can buy a Tesla on their phone in approximately a minute. Which begs the question, just because customers can do this, will they do it?

However, two weeks later, Tesla reversed its strategy and stated it would instead keep most of its 378 retail stores and would instead raise prices of cars by 3%, excluding the Model 3 cars. Tesla hoped to cut costs by closing stores, but landlords, customers, car dealers, and lawmakers protested the closings. The stores will still function as a showroom and location for test-drives, but sales will still be done online.

Where do you want to stop for your next car?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the distribution model used by Tesla and compare it to the distribution model used by other automotive manufacturers.
  2. Here is an interesting video on why Tesla cars cost so much: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-secret-to-why-a-tesla-costs-so-much-hint-batteries/65F3A21D-0837-4DA6-B739-612124815603.html (Hint – it’s the batteries.)
  3. Poll students: How many would buy a car online instead of at a dealer/store?
  4. What are advantages and disadvantages of buying cars online only?
  5. Why has Tesla disrupted the traditional automotive sales model?
  6. Will other automotive companies follow the Tesla model?

Source: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Assoc. Press, other news sources

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Snack Robots are Invading Campuses

Robots are invading! Ok, maybe they aren’t exactly invading the entire nation, but they do seem to be infiltrating some college campuses. Rest easy though – these robots seek not to dominate, but instead to satisfy students’ craving for delivered snacks.

The self-driving robots are being tested for “last mile delivery” courtesy of PepsiCo, and have been deployed to serve students at the University of the Pacific’s campus in Stockton, Calif. The robots, developed by robotic company Robby Technologies, carry a variety of healthy snacks and drinks from Pepsi’s ‘Hello Goodness’ product line. Ordering and delivery on campus is easy using an app that is available to all students with a University of the Pacific email address. With a single charge, the robot can travel 20 miles to find a multitude of consumers eager for a quick snack.

The robots do have a normal work hour shift of 9-5 (sorry, no late night munchies) and deliver products to 50 areas around the campus. The robots are equipped with cameras and headlights so that they can navigate in rain and darkness. And, with six-wheels and all-wheel drive, curbs, rough paths, and steep hills can be handled with ease.

Students – are you hungry now?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the impact of robots and drones on marketing.
  2. Show a video of the Pepsi SnackBots: https://youtu.be/skUbYVmRogI
  3. More information can be found at Pepsi’s Website: https://www.pepsico.com/news/press-release/pepsicos-hello-goodness-snackbot-is-off-to-college01032019
  4. Information on the robots from Robby: https://robby.io
  5. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  6. Break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
  7. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  8. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source: Ad Week, other news sources

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