Tag Archives: Brand extension

New Smart Glasses from Ray-Ban and Facebook

First there was Google Glass, then Snap entered the video glass frame market with Spectacles. Now, Facebook and Ray-Ban have partnered on new smart sunglasses called Ray-Ban Stories with a camera built into the glass frame.

The Wayfarer-looking glass frames have a 5-megapixel camera to record whatever you are looking at. All the user has to do is tap the side of the glasses to take a photo or 30-second video. The frames also hold micro-speakers, microphones, and a computer processing chip. The eyewear can also answer phone calls and play music or podcasts.

The vision (no pun intended) behind the new smart glasses is to enable people to capture the moment that they are in and then post it to Facebook. Unlike the weird-looking Google Glass, the project was focused first on fashion and design, and then on the technology.

Priced at $299, the glasses also come with a charging case. When fully charged, the glasses can be used for six hours. There is also voice activation available using Facebook Assistant and paired with your phone. A small light on the frame front goes on when the glasses are recording, but the small light is hard to see, thus there are privacy concerns when recording.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss smart glasses with students. What problems do they solve?
  2. Poll students: Who would be willing to buy smart glasses? Why or why not?
  3. Show the product on the Ray Ban website: https://www.ray-ban.com/usa/discover-ray-ban-stories/clp
  4. Show the WSJ video of the glasses in action: https://www.wsj.com/video/series/joanna-stern-personal-technology/ray-ban-and-facebooks-camera-equipped-sunglasses-cool-yes-creepy-yes/94A651AF-2320-43D7-AFEC-78C307FAAE00?mod=djemfoe
  5. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  6. For this product, who is the target market?
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  8. Based on the target market profile, what tactics should the marketing plan include?

Source:  CNN; New York Times; The Verge; Wall Street Journal; Washington Post; other news sources

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Amazon’s Newest Products

Ready for a robot in your home? Amazon thinks you might find it useful, along with several other new product updates to its Echo brand. The new products seem to focus in integration with other Amazon products. (For example, a new Ring Alarm Pro meshes with the Eero Wi-Fi router.)

Another of the products include:

  • Amazon’s Smart Thermostat. The thermostat links with Alexa for commands, and also adjust temperature when you are out of the house. Cost: $59.99
  • The new Echo Show 15 is a 15.6-inch smart frame that can be mounted on a wall or placed on a stand to show the family calendar, notes, and stream different content. It can also recognize your face and show content personalized for the viewer. Cost: $249.99.
  • Capitalizing on the home fitness trend, the new Halo View fitness band has a built-in display and can access studio workouts and meal planning tools. Cost: $3.99/month after the first year with purchase of the fitness band.
  • Other new products include Amazon Glow interactive projector for kids, Ring Alarm Pro, Disney virtual assistant, and Alexa Together remote care subscription service.

But our favorite might just be Astro, the home robot. Astro has a cute looking monitor as it rolls around the house and can be commanded by Alexa. Astro can have pre-set routine household patrols (on one floor only, no stairs) and uses a periscope with a 12-megapixel camera that can be raised to 42-inches. It can create a 3-D map of the house so it can be dispatched to various rooms on command. Sensors keep it from crashing into people and walls. But the best feature – a cargo bin so that small items (such as cans of beverages) can be transported to humans who are in another room. Cost: $999.99 to a limited number of invites.

Hmmm. I can see it now –  “Astro, bring me a drink during the football game.”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of product development and innovation.
  2. Amazon is usually considered only as a retailer. Why is it investing so much in new product development?
  3. Show video of Amazon’s latest product launch: https://youtu.be/nOYctKrANxQ
  4. The announcements can be accessed at: https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/devices/amazon-devices-services-news-september-2021
  5. A short video on Astro: https://youtu.be/h-2LXb-0Rfs
  6. Divide students into teams and assign each team one of the products. Have students determine the target market for the products. How should the product be promoted?

Source:  Amazon; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Harley-Davidson’ New Ebike Arrives

Have you tried riding an electric bicycle yet? If you have, you are part of a growing segment of bike riders who are enjoying the speed and fun of e-bikes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers turned away from indoor gyms and moved in droves to outdoor recreation. Sales of e-bikes hit a record high in the U.S., with many new companies entering and competing for market share.

A recent study by Transparency Market Research estimated the global market valuation  of e-bikes is expected to reach $95 billion by 2030. Consumers value e-bikes for their clean and energy-efficient transportation. Plus, e-bikes make commuting more fun, and far less sweaty than riding a traditional bicycle.

One of the latest entries into the e-bike market is from Harley-Davidson. Yes, you read this correctly – the famous HOG is powering a slower moving bike than its traditional motorcycles, but is bringing its reputation and engineering to the e-bike party. Serial 1 Cycles, powered by Harley-Davidson is a homage to its oldest-known motorcycle.

The product line consists of four models and ranges in price from $3,799 to $5,599. The maximum assist speed starts at 20 mph and increases to 28 mph for the top model. The special edition S1 MOSH/TRIBUTE is limited to 650 units worldwide. It features a removable battery integrated into the frame and has a mileage range up to 105 miles.

Let’s ride!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of competitive analysis. (Relate this to SWOT analysis research.)
  2. Review the rise of the e-bike market. Why is this a growing industry? What are the risks?
  3. Show Harley-Davidson Serial 1 website: https://www.serial1.com/
  4. Show video of Harley-Davidson’s new e-bike: https://youtu.be/GzP-fwPJNxs
  5. Discuss competition: Who are the direct competitors for this product? Indirect competitors?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team compare Harley-Davidson’s e-bike with a competitive product. What are the points of difference (what makes this product different from competition)?
  7. Have teams describe the target market for the Harley-Davidson e-bike.
  8. Does Harley-Davidson’s target market differ from other e-bike companies?

Source:  Forbes; The Verge; other news sources

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