Tag Archives: brand management

Red Bull: Let’s Jump INTO a Moving Plane!

Everyone knows someone who has jumped (with a parachute, or perhaps a wingsuit) out of a flying plane. No big deal. Happens all the time. But have you ever considered someone parachuting INTO a flying plane? Probably not. It would be totally insane. Who would even think of such an insane stunt? Who would sponsor it?

To answer those questions, enter Red Bull energy drink teamed with Soul Flyers from France. The two Soul Flyer aerialists BASE jumped from the top of a 13,000-foot mountain in the Swiss Alps and guided their flying wingsuits into the cabin of a flying plane. Flying at about 80 miles per hour, the flyers maneuvered themselves successfully into a five-foot by four-foot cargo hold door! (However, it did take a number of attempts to complete the stunt.)

The video and stunt are so crazy that they beg to be shared – and considered for their value to marketing. Red Bull is hardly a new product. It is not the only energy drink in a crowded marketplace and it is in the mature stage of the product life cycle. So, how does Red Bull keep the attention of the consumer and promote its brand message? Stunts. Red Bull seems to specialize in crazy, high-energy, athletic stunts that capture the consumers’ attention.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Where are energy drinks in the product life cycle? Why?
  4. Discuss some of the stunts done by Red Bull to gain the consumer’s attention.
  5. Show the video: https://youtu.be/YL9sNrOlK-I
  6. The story of the jump can be found at: https://www.redbull.com/us-en/base-jumpers-fly-into-a-plane-in-the-sky
  7. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services so that they can either move into an earlier stage of the life cycle or prolong the stage they are currently in.

Source:  Red Bull

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Packaging Impacts Performance

Consumers buy with their eyes. When shopping, the appearance of a product’s packaging has a large influence on sales. A strong package helps cut through the noise and clutter generated by hundreds of thousands SKUs carried on the average grocery store shelves. Packaging needs to speak to consumers; it has to convey value and a lot more.

According to research from The Nielsen Company, 64% of consumers try a new product because of packaging! And it doesn’t stop there; 41% of repeat purchases are attributed to consumers liking the packaging as well. And although consumers use their eyes, they also use touch as a factor when buying. Touch leads to purchase roughly 61% of the time. If marketers can get a consumer to pick up the box, the odds are high that a purchase will be made.

There are number of elements to good package design:

  • Be visible
  • Stand out on the shelf
  • Elicit an emotional response
  • Be memorable
  • Be distinctive

Nielsen also undertook a study to evaluate and understand packaging design in an effort to calculate the return on investment for good design. The results were powerful:

  • Visibility lift: +34%
  • Increase in preference: +28%
  • Forecasted sales impact: +5.5%

Go ahead and look at the shelves next time you are shopping. What catches your eye – and what makes you pick up a new product?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of packaging with students. Ask them what factors lead them to pick a product off a shelf.
  2. What products have packages that are effective? Ineffective?
  3. Bring in a random sample of packaged goods that are in your pantry shelves, or make a trip to the store to find some good and bad examples.
  4. Divide students into teams.
  5. Have each team come up with a redesigned package for the product.
  6. Have the class vote on the best re-design.

Source: The Nielsen Company (2016). Perfecting packaging design.

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World’s Largest Online Retail Shopping Event: 11/11 Singles Day

Once again the world’s biggest shopping event has occurred. And, no, it’s not Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. By far, the biggest shopping day of the year was on November 11, Singles’ Day, in China. (The holiday originally began in 1993 as a celebration for people who are single, chosen because of the connection between singles and the number ‘1’. November 11 now serves as an occasion for single people to party – and shop!)

This year, sales reached more than $8.6 billion in the first hour and passed 2016’s total sales by noon! By the end of the day the gross merchandise value tally was more than $25.3 billion, an increase of 39% from 2016 sales! Even more impressive though is that a whopping 90% of sales were completed from mobile devices (compared to 82% in 2016). At its peak, Alipay processed 256,000 transactions per second.

Singles’ Day is by far the largest shopping and entertainment festival in the world. Consider that it is 18 times bigger than Amazon Prime Day, and 2.5 times bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. This year there were more than 15 million products from 140,000 top brands and companies. Top countries selling to China included Japan, U.S., Australia, Germany, and South Korea.

Singles’ Day has become an event on its own, including celebrities, fashion shows, TV galas, virtual reality, and augmented reality shopping. Companies engaged in a “Catch the Cat” augmented-reality game that engaged customers and offered discounts. There were other games as well, including an interactive trivia game on Tmall and Taobao apps. In addition, Alibaba offered viewers a televised gala that featured international stars including Pharrell Williams, Nicole Kidman, Jessie J, Maria Sharapova, LeBron James, and Zhang Ziyi.

Why is it so important for global brands to enter this shopping day? Consider that there are roughly 300 million middle-class shoppers in China, rising to an estimated 500 million in the next 10-15 years. While Singles Day may have originally started for lonely Chinese consumers, the shopping day now is seen as critical to driving China’s – and the world – economy.

If you are not familiar with Singles Day, there are a number of Web sources with information about the event and Alibaba, including the following:

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Most students will not have previously heard of China’s Single Day. Discuss the shopping holiday and its importance in China.
  2. This is likely the first time students have heard about Singles Day. There are a number of videos that can help explain the event:
    1. What is 11/11?  https://youtu.be/bRv9qG75x2c
    2. Singles Day: https://youtu.be/uDDy50RP67A
    3. An American at Alibaba: https://youtu.be/7ZxM_HaEWBI
    4. News reports: https://youtu.be/gwGGrLpUkdg
    5. What is Alibaba: https://youtu.be/gk69hV6LEgI
  1. Discuss how this holiday compares to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S.
  2. How should U.S.-based companies participate in Singles Day?

Source: Brandchannel.com (2017, Nov. 13). Alibaba’s 2017 11.11 global shopping festival passes $25B.

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