Tag Archives: brand management

The Ford Bronco Returns to Action!

As we’ve written in previous articles, no product lives forever. There are always new innovations, trends, social forces, competition, and technologies that push products forward. Every product eventually reaches its final stage in the Product Life Cycle (PLC) – decline/harvest – when the product is put to sleep and resources are reallocated to up-and-coming new products.

But every now and then consumers grow nostalgic for products from the past. Perhaps the product brings back a happy emotion or a strong memory. Or maybe it’s a little bit of longing for days gone by. Or maybe it’s a desire for something different and cool-looking. Trends have a habit of cycling back as years go by.

New to the trend cycle is the resurrection of Ford’s iconic Bronco. The company has announced a new retro-looking Bronco that recalls the rugged, boxy looking original from the 1960s. (The Bronco was retired from production in 1996.)

Bronco has its work cut out for it as Jeep Wrangler holds the top position in the off-road automotive category. To compete with the leader, Ford has two Bronco models and pricing starts at $29,000 up to $60,000 for larger engines and more options and trim.

Welcome back, Bronco. It’s good to see you.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. How are cars moved through the PLC?
  3. Next, discuss the life cycle of the Ford Bronco.
  4. Show video introducing the new Bronco: https://youtu.be/-v1urLWR5zg
  5. How is Ford repositioning the car on the PLC?
  1. Show Bronco’s Web site: https://www.ford.com/bronco/
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle or be reinvented for a new life.

Source:  Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Wear Lululemon Gear While Working Out on Mirror

Acquisitions can be tricky. Companies need to assess what markets to enter, and which products and services are needed for those markets. While it is common for food and beverage companies to use acquisitions to gain market share (consider Pepsi’s recent purchase of Rock Star beverages), it can be a tad trickier when combining other companies. A key consideration is that companies find synergies that can be capitalized on when combining organizations. Recently, Lululemon may have found a good acquisition as it expands beyond athletic apparel to acquire fitness equipment manufacturer Mirror.

Mirror is a high-tech, interactive mirror that streams workout classes, offers live classes and on-demand classes, plus more intensive one-on-one personal training session. Mirror launched in 2018 (and received an investment from Lululemon in 2019). The Mirror equipment is a low-profile mirror – yes, a mirror – priced at $1,495 purchase plus a $42 monthly membership fee. Personalized training is $40 per session. Lululemon has a strong brand and loyal customer following. In addition to its trendy athletic gear, it offers fitness classes in stores and online.

The acquisition is happening at a time when Americans have been impacted by Covid-19 and are working out at home instead of going to the gym. Even with new safety measures, many people are opting out of gym memberships in favor of home workouts.

Shall we work out inside today?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four key marketing strategies: product development, market development, market penetration, and diversification.
  2. Discuss acquisitions as a marketing strategy. When is this effective? When is it not effective?
  3. Show Lulemon’s web site: https://shop.lululemon.com/
  4. Show Mirror’s web site: https://www.mirror.co/
  5. How do these two companies complement each other?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotional plan that the companies can use to promote their union.

Source: Associated Press; CNN News; New York Times; other sources

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What does Gen Z Want from Brands Right Now?

“May you live in interesting times.” Is this a blessing or a curse? On the one hand, “interesting times” are full of action and movement (fun!), and of course some drama (not fun). On the other hand, “interesting times” means that we are not bored with a daily routine and our eyes are opened to different situations (fun and not fun).

This year is certainly a year of interesting times with the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc in the world. Businesses closed, schools closed, no graduations, proms, or commencement ceremonies, and the daily worry about contracting Covid-19. Now add the social upheaval about policing, riots, and confronting racism, and our stress levels ratchets up to a very high level!

What do consumers want to hear from companies and brands right now? And, specifically, what does Generation Z want to hear? A recent survey of younger consumers aged 13 – 25 revealed that these young people want to see brands make a difference and explain how they are protecting employees, as well as protecting consumers. Here are some of the findings about the type of communications and contents that Gen Z wants:

  • 88% – Brands should be communicating about Covid-19.
  • 59% – Want information about how brands are keeping employees safe and financially protected.
  • 47% – Want positive and uplifting stories.
  • 55% – Want information about how brands are helping local communities.
  • 48% – Want resources to help consumers like accessing mental and health support.
  • 59% – Brands should donate profits from consumer purchases to relief efforts.

Basically, Gen Z wants to see authentic and sincere statements. Gen Z wants to see that the brands they buy are working to give back to local communities.

What messages are important to you?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is their opinion about a brand’s responsibility to the consumers in today’s environment?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team identify three messages that they would like to see from a brand. Consider giving each team a different brand to focus on for the messages.
  3. Put the messages together and compare the results of each group.
  4. Show the research infographic: https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/infographic-what-gen-z-wants-to-see-from-brands-during-a-pandemic/?utm_content=adoftheday&utm_source=postup&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FirstThingsFirst_Newsletter_200615054639&lyt_id=194931
  5. How closely does this match the students’ concerns?

Source: Ad Week

 

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