Tag Archives: Communication

More Branding Needs to be Changed

All marketers know that branding is hard to do, and expensive to change. Thus, many brands are reluctant to revise their logos, names, and images. After all, if it’s worked for decades; why go through the trouble and expense to change it now?

The short answer to that question is that society and the world changes (sometimes drastically) and therefore companies have a responsibility to respond to and recognize those events and make changes in order to stay relevant in the marketplace.

A recent topic is that of the use of the name “Jeep Cherokee.” The Chief of the Cherokee Nation has strongly stated that it is wrong of the company to use the Cherokee name to sell cars, and has asked Jeep to discontinue the name.  The Cherokee name belongs to a nation of peoples and they contend that using it for peddling products diminishes it. Jeep has sold the Cherokee vehicle since 1974 and retired it in the early 2000s, then reviving it in 2014. It is a popular model and sold more than 200,000 units last year.

This topic brings to mind the issue of the (former) Washington Redskins NFL team. The team has agreed to drop the name and logo after years of protest, as have MLB team Cleveland Indians. Similar protests last year were made against brands including Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s. Land O’Lakes already dropped its image of a Native American woman from its packaging.

Brands matter.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. This is a tough topic, but discuss racism in business with students. Ask them their views.
  2. Poll students: What products, services, and brands use racist stereotypes?
  3. Discuss the issue of the Jeep Cherokee and show video: https://youtu.be/D6ZrRbS-yxs
  4. Show Jeep Cherokee site: https://www.jeep.com/cherokee.html
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team reimagine a new name and message for the company.
  6. How would they overhaul the image if they were in charge of marketing at the company?
  7. Show all the student solutions and debrief the exercise.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2020

Since we wrote about November 11 – Singles Day in China, it seemed only fitting to next cover U.S. shopping over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And, while the gross revenue sales in the U.S. fell well beneath the 2020 Singles Day record of more than $75 billion in purchases over an 11-day period, U.S. shopping still hit record levels of roughly $9.6 billion on Black Friday, an increase of 21.6% from 2019!

Black Friday shopping was followed by another strong shopping day tallying $10.6 billion on Cyber Monday. To many marketers, more interesting than the dollar amounts are the shifts in habit to online shopping. In particular, sales on mobile devices accounted for an estimated 40% of purchases for a total of $3.6 billion, an increase of 23% compared to last year. Mobile is where it’s at these days.

Some additional shopping highlights:

  • People spent an average of $312 on holiday purchases between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
  • Americans spent 116.6 million hours shopping online.
  • Consumers spent $6.3 million per minute online.
  • Average spending per consumer online was $27.50.
  • Biggest categories were electronics, clothing, and toys.
  • In-store shopping on Black Friday declined 37% .
  • Online shopping on Black Friday increased 8%.

Consumer shopping habits are certainly changing. Now marketers have to keep up!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the changes in U.S. consumers’ shopping habits.
  2. What new shopping habits have the students formed?
  3. Where do they shop? Why? Online and in person?
  4. Show video about the changes in store for Black Friday shopping: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-end-of-the-mad-rush-how-2020-is-reshaping-black-friday/FD19834F-9701-46E9-A6D5-14A1AE2F9601.html
  5. Poll students about their shopping over Thanksgiving Week – Cyber Monday. How much was spent, which products were sought after, etc.?
  6. Divide students into teams.
  7. Considering the increasing use of shopping on smart phones, have students develop a marketing campaign specifically for mobile devices.

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

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Singles Day 2020 Hits $75 Billion!

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 is on November 11, Singles Day, in China. The holiday was originally started in 1993 by college students as a celebration for people who are single, chosen because of the connection between singles and the number ‘1’. Eventually, Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba forged an online shopping event to take advantage of the interest, and the rest is history.

November 11 is now the globe’s largest shopping event. This year, sales (stated as Gross Merchandise Value – GMV) reached the astonishing amount of $75.1 billion over an 11-day period, including 11/11 as the finale event!

Singles’ Day has become an event on its own, including celebrities, fashion shows, TV galas, virtual reality, and augmented reality shopping. This year the shopping started with a November 1 evening event with a live-streamed, star-studded gala starring Katy Perry. There was also interactive entertainment and sport via Alibaba’s app to increase audience and shopper participation.

Highlights this year included:

  • 100 brands sold $15 million within two hours.
  • 60 million consumers used Tmall’s 3D shopping app.
  • S. brands accounted for more than $5 billion of the total spent.
  • Livestream technology included real-time translation into English, Russian, Spanish, and French.
  • At its peak, orders reached 583,000 orders per second.

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 8-12 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 worlds – economy.

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. Discuss how this holiday compares to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S.
  2. Video report on 2020: https://youtu.be/5OJePCHi0Gw
  3. WSJ video report: https://www.wsj.com/video/alibabas-singles-day-gets-boost-from-pandemic-spending-shift/868C7DAA-F76E-44EF-AFCE-BF000A185B2E.html
  4. How should U.S.-based companies participate in Singles Day?

Source: AdWeek; CNBC; Forbes; New York Time; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities