Tag Archives: branding

Forever Ware to Cut Take-out Waste

Take-out containers and cups account for a large percentage of trash in the U.S. And according to the Energy Department, only 5% of plastic waste in the U.S. is recycled. During Covid, even more take-out containers were needed while restaurants were closed for in-person dining. More trash.

Although we would all like to use recyclable containers for our take-out orders, most of the time we don’t have that option. We don’t mean to cause excess trash, but it happens. Perhaps the solution to that problem is to encourage restaurants and cafes to place take-out orders into reusable containers that can be returned and used again, and again, and again.

This is the basis of Forever Wear – to provide recyclable containers to businesses for them to use with their customers. The restaurant is the point of contact and offers the containers to customers for a fully refundable deposit.

It works like this – restaurants and cafes pay a monthly fee to license Forever Ware software that in turn, allows the restaurant to checkout and track stainless steel containers and mugs. Customers pay a refundable fee to use containers that can be returned to the store, where they are then provided with clean, sanitized containers for their next order.

The restaurants benefit by saving thousands of dollars on disposable containers and decreasing landfill trash. The customer benefits from the clean healthy containers while also doing good and lowering their carbon footprint. 

Sign up and do some good for the environment!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How much do they think their takeout food containers contribute to a trash problem?
  2. How would use a different system if it reduced waste?
  3. Show Forever Wear website: https://foreverware.org/
  4. Videos are available at: https://www.youtube.com/@foreverware9208
  5. Discuss organizational buying compared to consumer buying.
  6. Divide students into teams.
  7. Have half of the teams develop a marketing program directed at getting restaurants to sign up for Forever Wear.
  8. Have half of the teams develop a promotional campaign to convince customers to use the containers.
  9. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Williams, N. (9 November 2022). Putting a lid on takeout waste. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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When Celebrity Endorsements Go Bad: Adidas and Kanye West

Brands and marketers love to use celebrities to help endorse companies’ brands and products. Consumers think that if a product is good enough for someone famous that they respect, then it’s good enough for us as well. Using a celebrity’s image in advertising campaigns helps to promote products and raise its awareness. Marketers hope that the positive response to a celebrity will be passed on to the products or brands. 

There are advantages to this approach. Celebrity endorsements help consumers remember advertisements and makes a brand more memorable than a brand that lacks a celebrity. But it doesn’t always work; it can backfire on both the brand and the celebrity when things go astray. Since by their very nature, celebrities are often in the news, and are monitored constantly, a celebrity who takes an unpopular stand risks damaging his or her image, as well as the brand. Scandals can immediately provoke a negative consumer perception and harm the brand.

Celebrity endorsements can be a great boon to brands, linking brands tightly to the fortunes of the celebrity. We can think of many great partnerships and athletes and celebrities, but there have also been some notable failures.

A recent celebrity endorsement upset is the dissolution of the partnership between rapper and designer Kanye West and Adidas a result of antisemitic remarks made by West (Adidas manufacturers West’s Yeezy shoe line). The two have been in business together since 2016. The Yeezy partnership is estimated to account for 8% of Adidas’ annual sales.

While there are many news reports available about what happened and the timeline of the Adidas decision, the entire case is really about power of celebrity endorsements.

What is your opinion?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the effects of celebrity endorsements on brands.
  2. In teams, have students list both positive and negative celebrity endorsement deals.
  3. Show the 2016 announcement of the Adidas/Kanye partnership: https://www.adidas-group.com/en/media/news-archive/press-releases/2016/adidas-and-kanye-west-make-history-transformative-new-partnershi/
  4. A GMA video about the recent breakup can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/MFUH_A3mApg
  5. Poll students about their opinions about the situation.
  6. What should Adidas do to recover from the situation?

Source: Safdar, K. and Pacheco, I. (27 November 2022). Adidas top executives discussed risk of staff’s ‘direct exposure’ to Kanye West years ago. Wall Street Journal.

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Holiday Shopping: Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2022

Black Friday has become almost another holiday for consumers – and a challenge for marketers.  After two years shopping online, people were ready to go back to the stores.

The day after Thanksgiving saw millions of American consumers hit the stores and malls. In pre-pandemic years it was wild with crowds of shoppers piled into big box stores and malls for doorbuster promotions. But fewer people were out shopping early this year. Probably because retailers were offering Black Friday (early) deals in October to entice earlier holiday purchases (and lighten excess inventory).

Sales at brick-and-mortar stores grew roughly 18%; online purchases were up nearly 4%. Cyber Monday was definitely the biggest shopping day online with sales of $11.3 billion, an increase of 5.8% from 2021.

According to the National Retail Federation shopping survey, top gift categories are clothing, gift cards, and toys. But the national economy has an impact on spending, with most households planning to buy fewer gifts this year.

Some additional shopping highlights:

  • Shoppers spent an average of $325.44 on holiday purchases.
  • Overall shopping increased 8% from 2021.
  • Roughly 197 million shoppers visited stores or bought online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
  • Traffic in physical stores increased 17% from 2021.
  • Online spending reached more than $9 billion on Black Friday.
  • Online shoppers increased only 2.3% from 2021.

Despite inflation fears, we still like to give gifts.

What did you buy?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the changes in U.S. consumers’ shopping habits now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
  2. Poll students: What new shopping habits have the students formed?
  3. Where do they shop? Why? Online and in person?
  4. Show WSJ’s photos/article about the changes in store for Black Friday shopping: https://www.wsj.com/story/black-friday-is-back-with-smaller-crowds-5e22045b?mod=Searchresults_pos7&page=1
  5. Poll students about their shopping over Thanksgiving Week – Cyber Monday.
  6. Divide students into teams.
  7. In teams, have students tally how much they spent, which products were sought after, etc. See which teams are the biggest spenders.
  8. Have each team design a holiday sales promotion for a company of their choosing.

Source: Nassauer, S. (29 November 2022). Black Friday weekend drew millions of shoppers back to stores. Wall Street Journal.: WSJ Staff (25 November 2022). Black Friday is back, with smaller crowds. Wall Street Journal.

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