Tag Archives: branding

Walmart Launches Walmart+ Membership

Walmart has announced a new service called Walmart+, an annual membership service which will give shoppers free delivery of groceries and other products. Walmart+ will cost $98/year and offers free delivery of food and other items from nearby stores “as fast as same-day.” However, shipping is free only is orders are at least $35.

Walmart stores carry about 160,000 items which qualify for free shipping. And, when the online store is added, Walmart offers roughly 35 million products. Other Walmart+ perks are expected to expand to a gas discount at Walmart gas stations and the ability to skip checkout lines in stores by paying by mobile phones.

Will this be a significant rival to Amazon Prime? Amazon Prime has been around since 2005 and already has an estimated 150 million subscribers around the world. Prime is definitely an attraction for shoppers and Amazon offers not only free shipping, but free videos, original entertainment content, music, books, and more. It has certainly been a reason why Amazon has grown to a dominant ecommerce market position. Amazon carries more than 12 million products, and when that is expanded to its Amazon Marketplace sellers, reaches 350 million products.

Where will you shop?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who has Amazon Prime? Who shops online from Walmart?
  2. Show video: Video: https://youtu.be/U1p1RDxhvps
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team compare the attributes of Amazon Prime and Walmart+. (Can include: price, services, products, shipping, and more.)
  4. Next, have each team build a chart comparing the strengths and weaknesses of each company.
  5. Optional: Include Target in the analysis, even though it does not (yet) have a membership service.
  6. Should Target also offer a membership service similar to Prime and Walmart+?

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

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Cheetos Spices Up Mac and Cheese!

Cheetos have long been a favorite snack food in America, but it has a fairly limited menu application. Or so one might have thought. After all, it’s just a snack food, right? Wrong! Cheetos is one of many companies responding to changing consumer behavior patterns brought about the coronavirus pandemic. In this case, the product is in response to a rise in home cooking and the desire for comfort foods. PepsiCo’s new product combines these two desires into “Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese.” The new product is packaged in boxes and cups and is available in three powerful flavors: Bold & Cheesy, Flamin’ Hot, and Cheesy Jalapeno.

Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese was already in development prior to the pandemic and was scheduled to be released in 2020. However, the company moved at an accelerated pace once consumer patterns shifted due to the pandemic.

The branding even extends to the shape of the curling pasta noodle, which mimics the corkscrew-shaped tail of brand mascot Chester the cheetah. Currently, the new food is only available from Walmart, but a national retail roll-out is anticipated in 2021. PepsiCo plans to promote the new product using multiple marketing channels including shopper marketing (in store), and strong social media.

Anyone hungry for some spicy mac and cheese?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who eats Cheetos? Who eats Mac and Cheese? Which brands?
  2. Show the Web site: https://www.cheetos.com/products/cheetos-mac-n-cheese-bold-cheesy
  3. Show a video of the new product: https://youtu.be/tcYk6tZ3zeI
  4. Does this new food change the positioning of Cheetos in the product life cycle?
  5. How does Cheetos Mac and Cheese compare with other companies?
  1. Build a product positioning map for mac and cheese dinners and show the competition.
  2. How should Cheetos promote its new product?

Source:  Ad Week

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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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