Tag Archives: competition

Food Trucks and the Pandemic

There is no doubt that the pandemic severely impacted restaurants and the food industry. Many restaurants shuttered their doors and thousands of employees were out of work. While some restaurants were able to pivot to providing take-out food rather than in-store dining, food trucks seemed designed to handle the pandemic.

Food trucks are rolling restaurants that can go where the demand is at and meet consumers where they live, work, and shop. They can follow the customers and move to a new location when demand at one location falls off. Food trucks are flexible, can be innovative with menus, and quickly became a sought after option for diners who missed restaurant food!

According to IBISWorld, there are 26,228 food truck businesses in the U.S. as of 2021. There has been a 6.8% growth in the number of trucks and 7.5% increase in business growth from 2016 to 2021. While food trucks are labor intensive, they are also flexible in operations and products, as well as cheaper to start than a fixed restaurant location. The food truck market size is now more than $1.2 billion in revenue annually.

However, even food trucks need promotion. Many trucks launched social media advertising campaigns, as well as added credit/debit card payment options. Uber Eats and Grub Hub also became delivery options for food truck diners. Trucks have also relocated from city centers and large festivals, to suburban locations and local street fairs. As food trucks move to better integrate social media and work to connect with customers, online menus and orders have become necessary.

Yum. Are you ready to order?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for promoting food trucks.
  2. There are videos available on YouTube about food trucks: https://youtu.be/gZgmmzw3-30
  3. As an example, show various websites for food trucks:
    1. Tacos el Jery: https://www.tacoseljerrywatsonville.com/
    1. Blue Sparrow: https://www.bluesparrowpgh.com/
    1. Shiso Crispy: https://www.shisocrispy.com/ 
  4. Show website a national listing of food trucks booking and ordering ahead – Best Food Trucks: https://www.bestfoodtrucks.com/
  5. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  6. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  7. For a food truck (their choice of food and geography), have each team select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.

Source:  IBISWorld; New York Times; other news sources

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Google Acquires Fitbit

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, it can be a tad trickier when combining technology companies. A key consideration is that companies find synergies that can be capitalized on when combining organizations.

A recent acquisition of interest is the purchase of fitness tracker pioneer Fitbit by search engine giant Google for an estimated $2.1 billion. The acquisition moves Google into a better position in the wearable technology market and gives Fitbit access to more resources, technology, and marketing. (However, there are still some outstanding issues with government regulators; use by Google of Fitbit data for advertising purposes is a concerns to regulators.)

Fitbit is a familiar company to most college students. Founded in 2007, the company makes watches and bracelets to track health information; it has an estimated 20 million active users. New Fitbit products include Fitbit Stress, featuring stress management tools and an ECG app to assess heart rhythm. Fitbit’s products are carried in 39,000 retail stores in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2009 was $1.4 billion.

Fitbit’s overall market share has decreased dramatically since the introduction of Apple Smartwatch. Its market share of 4.7% is significantly lower than the market leader Apple at 31.7%, followed by Xiaomi and Huawei.

How do you track your fitness?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four key marketing strategies: product development, market development, market penetration, and diversification.
  2. Discuss diversifications/acquisitions as a marketing strategy. When is this effective? When is it not effective?
  3. Show Fitbit’s Web site and products: https://www.fitbit.com/global/us/home
  4. Show Google’s products’ Web site: https://about.google/intl/en_us/products/
  5. Do these two companies complement each other? If so, now?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotional plan that the companies can use to promote their combined value to customers.

Source: Associated Press; CNN News; Wall Street Journal; other sources

 

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LG’s New Rollable TV costs $87,000

It’s finally here and it is incredible! Last year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LG Electronics showcased an innovative, rollable screen TV. Now, the TV is in production and will be available next year in South Korea for the price of…. (Insert drum roll)… $87,000!

Did that price surprise you? Yeah, we thought so.

The screen is 65-inches and is built around a flexible OLED panel that uses self-lighting pixel technology and dimming control to delivery an amazing picture. Since the screen is flexible, it can retract partially or fully into its base, adapting to different aspect ratios. When fully retracted, no screen shows.

The base does come in four different colors, plus the aluminum base can be inscribed with words of wisdom (such as “you paid what for this?!”). The base also includes a sound bar for premium listening.

Regardless of price, the rollable TV is truly revolutionary. Instead of owners setting up a large black screen that always is in place, even when off, LG’s unit liberates the TV from the wall.

Ready for a new TV?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Pricing is a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  2. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  3. Show a video of LG’s rollable $87,000 TV: https://www.impomag.com/home/video/21199409/lg-reveals-jawdropping-price-on-rollable-tv?lt.lid=5f90574cfed1277042925d3d&lt.ack=ryRUDA6PD&lt.usr=71617211&utm_source=IMPO_10212020&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=124311&utm_term=643230
  4. For specifications, view the news release from LG: http://www.lgnewsroom.com/2020/10/commercial-launch-of-lgs-long-awaited-rollable-oled-tv-marks-turning-point-in-tv-history/
  5. For LG’s rollable TV, divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  6. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  7. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.

Source: CNET, Engadget, IMPO Insider, The Verge, other news sources

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