Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mac & Cheese Ice Cream

The location of a product on the product life cycle is an important indicator of how the product should be marketed. After all, there is no reason for a Super Bowl ad for a product in the declining stage. But how do marketers bring new life and positioning to mature products. Well, Kraft has done a good job with this summer’s new ice cream flavor.

It’s the time of year when the demand for ice cream is at a peak. Favorite flavors include, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, rocky road, mac and cheese, chocolate chip… Wait, what? Mac & Cheese flavored ice cream?

Yes, you read that correctly. In a new food mashup that takes advantage of its reputation as a traditional comfort food, Kraft Mac & Cheese Ice Cream was (briefly) available to help quench our summer desire for cool treats. Kraft worked with Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwen ice cream for a co-branded product that looks suspiciously yellow and supposedly tastes like mac and cheese.

The new flavor was only available online and at 23 Van Leeuwen shops in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. Unfortunately for fans, the gluten-free ice cream quickly sold out.

This isn’t Kraft’s only mashup. Last year Kraft teamed with Cheetos for Cheetos Mac & Cheese in three spicy flavors: Bold & Cheesy, Flamin’ Hot, and Cheesy Jalapeno. These types of food combinations – mashups – bring renewed interest to old, familiar foods and flavors. It’s also a perfect blend for social media postings to involve old and new consumers.

What else could use a mashup?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are their favorite ice cream flavors? Has anyone had a uniquely produced ice cream?
  2. Discuss the marketing appeal of unusual product mashups.
  3. Show the ice cream Website: https://vanleeuwenicecream.com/product/kraft-mac-and-cheese/
  4. Show video about the product: https://youtu.be/x12V_AyLA2w
  5. Where is ice cream on the product life cycle? How about Mac & Cheese?
  6. Where is the new product on the PLC? What is the expected length of the cycle?
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team choose two brands for a mashup product.
  8. How should these new products be marketed?
  9. What are the potential results?

Source:  Ad Week; NPR; other news sources

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Consumer Report’s Annual Car Reliability Rankings

cars

Other than homes (and education), probably the most expensive purchase the average household makes is for a car. Since it is so large a part of our lives, automotive reliability is a key issue for Americans. Cars that are not reliable cost consumers’ time and money, and most notably, affects overall satisfaction and willingness to buy the brand again.

Research company Consumer Reports publishes an annual reliability survey based on data gathered from its subscribers. The report is based on those who have owned or leased more than a half a million vehicles, from years 2000 to 2016, covering more than 300 models of automobiles. This year’s survey includes the ranking of 29 brands, with eight brands listed as “more reliable,” 10 brands ranked as “reliable,” and 11 brands ranked as “less reliable.”

In the top eight more reliable brands were Lexus, Toyota, Buick, Audi, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, and Infiniti. The next 10 reliable brands included BMW, Honda, Subaru, Acura, Nissan, Mini, Chevrolet, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford. Among the less reliable brands were Volvo, Lincoln, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Jeep, GMC, Tesla, Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram

Did your vehicle make the reliable list?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show Consumer Reports’ report on car reliability: http://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability/car-brands-reliability-how-they-stack-up/
  2. Show the video of car rankings: http://youtu.be/g_RkhbF2CVg
  3. An FAQ on the research methodology can be found at: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2011/10/consumer-reports-car-reliability-faq/index.htm
  4. Discuss how companies can use the report in their marketing.
  5. What should companies that didn’t make the top list do to promote their vehicles?
  6. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for a category of automobiles.

Source:  Consumer Reports

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YouTube Trends: Same for Females and Males in May 2015

Youtube

This month’s viral trends is a little unusual. In most months, there are distinct differences between the viewing habits between males and females. But, this month both genders (age 18-24) watched the same videos. Yes – this is right – the same music video of Wiz Khalifa for the movie “Furious 7” scored 96% of all female and male views. So, instead of asking what factors account for differences, we now have to ask what factors account for the same viewing habits.

YouTube posts a daily trends map based on demographics as reported by its account holders. Rankings are based on the number of views and can be separated by age, gender, and location. Through the aggregated data, YouTube Trends show us the most popular video in real time and gives ideas about trends that are developing within the YouTube viewing community. The map is a visual representation of the most viewed videos over the past 24 hours across the U.S.

P.S. – Happy 10th Birthday to YouTube! If you would like to see the first video ever posted, go to https://youtu.be/jNQXAC9IVRw. It’s come a long way in 10 years.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are the YouTube videos they watch the most?
  2. What videos do they think are more popular for men vs. women? By various age groups?
  3. Bring up the YouTube trends map: http://www.youtube.com/trendsmap
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a specific target market and geography and view the most popular videos in that area.
  5. Discuss how this information can be used by marketers.

Source: YouTube.com

 

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