Lighted Dog Leash

Pet products are a significant and growing market in the United States. According to American Pet Products Association, nearly $70 billion was spent on pet products in 2017, with $29-$30 billion on pet food and more than $15 billion spent on supplies and medicine. Pet owners love their animals and will continue to purchase premium products and services. And, while some pets may be low maintenance, dogs need to be walked outside every day no matter the time of day, which can be a problem in bad weather or in poor light.

This brings up a problem for dog owners who need to walk their pets early in the morning or late in the evening when the light is low – cars can’t easily see the walkers, leaving owners stressed and increasing the possibility of injury by cars. So, what’s an owner to do? Some solutions are light-reflection vests and collars, flashlights, and head lamps. But that isn’t enough to be visible from a distance. Enter: Nitey Leash.

Nitey Leash is a five-foot long leash that is illuminated from end-to-end using fiber optics and LED technology. The leash is battery operated, visible for a quarter mile, and can hold dogs up to 150 pounds. Dogs and walkers are clearly lit and can easily be seen by cars. The product was developed to solve a personal problem when a friend of the inventor was nearly hit by a car! The leash comes in three colors (blue, green, and pink) and either flashes or has a solid glow. Nitely Leash is priced at $24.95.

See you on the nightly walk!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. While the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process remains the same: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.
  2. Poll students: Who has a dog? What are their concerns when walking the dog at night?
  3. Show the Nitey Leash Web site and video of the product: https://www.niteyleash.com/
  4. For the Nitey Leash product, have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
  5. Consider assigning different student groups to work on different target markets. Then the process for the different target markets can be compared and contrasted.
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oprah Magazine, Real Simple Magazine

 

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What Women Want (from Cars)

It’s an age-old question: What do women want? While the answers to this question could fill a set of encyclopedias, let’s limit the question somewhat and just discuss what ‘cars’ women want. Last year, Edmunds.com researched this topic and came up with a list of cars that almost no women drive. Can you guess which car was at the top of the list? It’s a sports car, very pricey, very fast, and starts with “L” ….

Yep, you guessed it. Number one on the list was Lamborghini with male owners accounting for 93% of the buyers (tied with McLaren also at 93%), Ferrari at 92%, Maserati at 84%, and Tesla at 83%. Indeed, 90% of ALL sports car buyers are men. Although men seem to prefer loud, fast, impractical cars, this is a problem for automotive manufacturers as women play a significant role in roughly 85% of all car purchases.

So, what cars do women buy? Overwhelmingly, women prefer cars that are affordable with good fuel economy – and these tend to be mostly from Korean automakers such as Kia and Hyundai, along with Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi. These findings are based on automotive research company iSeeCars.com which analyzed 54 million car sales and more than 500,000 consumer inquires over a nearly three-year period.

The average price of the top 10 cars preferred by women is $14,870 compared to the average price of cars on the top 10 list preferred by men at $49,224. Let’s compare.

The top five cars women want:

Rank Car Ave. Price Inquiries by Women
1 Hyundai Tucson $16,722 66.2%
2 Nissan Versa $12,144 64.0%
3 VW Beetle $18,179 63.9%
4 Kia Forte $13,730 62.8%
5 Ford Fiesta $13,237 62.8%

 

The top five cars men want:

Rank Car Ave. Price Inquiries by Mean
1 Nissan GT-R *40,450 99.1%
2 BMW Me $35,763 92.2%
3 Porsche Cayman $43,303 91.9%
4 Porsche 911 $65,081 91.5%
5 Lexus GS 350 %33,004 91.3%

 

There are no overlaps on the top ten list. Lest we think this is an inconsequential difference, consider the size of the automotive industry. There isn’t any car company that wouldn’t like to increase the size, and diversity, of its customer base.

Think about it – what do women want?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students about their car preferences.
  2. Divide the class by gender. Ask women what cars they think the men will prefer, and what cars they prefer. Ask men what cars they think the women will prefer, and what cars they prefer. Why these choices.
  3. Ask the women to list the factors they look for when buying a car. Ask the men the same question. Compare the findings on the board.
  4. Still in gender-based teams, have the teams examine the marketing mix of the top companies, and adjust the mix to attract the opposite gender.
  5. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Ad Week, Edmunds.com, Market Watch, iSeeCars.com

 

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Amazon Expands in India Using Hindi Language

Amazon recently hit the one trillion dollar mark in valuation – quite an accomplishment and it puts the company in rarified air. The path to the valuation has not been easy, or fast. Expansion into different services and countries were essential.

Amazon now operates in more than a dozen different countries, including India. India presents a very specific challenge to all of the companies that are operating within its borders; roughly only 10 percent of the country’s 1.3 billion citizens understand English. In effect, this limits the access to online shopping to a majority of the Indian people.

Amazon aims to fix this situation in India. It recently stated that it will make mobile websites and apps available in Hindi – India’s most popular language. Similar to how U.S. citizens can select Spanish as their language of choice, users of the India app will be able to choose Hindi as their preferred language. Although Amazon is the second largest player in India’s multi-billion dollar e-commerce market, the English language is not sufficient to reach the country’s customers.

The task is a difficult one. Using a translation algorithm was insufficient and a far cry from the language and cultural translations that are needed to gain customers’ trust. Only 40% of Indian customers use ecommerce, and of those, roughly one-third only make a single purchase. Amazon also has 14,000 retail locations across India as part of its Amazon Easy program; this allows a local shopkeeper to help customers place orders, receive packages, and deliver them.

The push to Indian languages will be key to gaining new Internet users over the next few years. Research studies forecast that by 2021, 536 million Indians will use their native languages to access the Internet.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students about their experiences at Amazon. What works, doesn’t work?
  2. Poll students: What are some of the challenges and barriers Amazon faces as it expands into India?
  3. View Amazon’s India site: https://www.amazon.in
  4. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a SWOT for Amazon in India.
  6. What are the issues and risks?

Source:  New York Times, CNN, other news sources

 

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