Tag Archives: consumer behavior

Vehicle Dependability Study

Cars are one of the most expensive and involved purchases that consumers make. They have an extended decision-making process, use multiple information sources, and include multiple evaluation criteria before making a final decision. The decisions that car buyers make impact not only their immediate budgets, but also their long-term budgets with respect to repairs and vehicle dependability (post-purchase behavior).

One source often used by consumers is the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. According to the most recent study, car buyers avoid models with poor reputations for dependability. The good news is that buyers do not have to spend a lot of money in order to get a dependable vehicle.

The study examines problems experienced over the past 12 months by original owners of 3-year cars. Eight categories are examined, including exterior, engine/transmission, audio/communication/entertainment/navigation, interior, features/controls/displays, the driving experience, heating/ventilation/air condition, and seats. The survey examined responses from 35,186 original owners of 2014 auto models.

Check out the report and see where your vehicle placed.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  2. Poll students: What are factors that influence consumer purchases of cars?
  3. Divide students into teams.
  4. Have each team select two criteria and draw a positioning map for automobiles using those criteria (Ex: price and reliability).
  5. Show the J.D. Power report and video:
  6. http://www.jdpower.com/cars/awards/Vehicle-Dependability-Study-%2528VDS%2529-by-Category/1882ENG
  7. Based on the J.D. Power ranking, how could different auto manufacturers use the rankings to reposition their products?

Source:  J.D. Power, Manufacturing Business Technology

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The Changing Face of Selling Furniture

Consumers are used to buying small items such as books, music, and household goods online thanks to Amazon and other ecommerce retailers. But what about shopping for larger and more expensive items such as furniture? Is there a market for online sales of furniture?

It turns out that the answer to that question is “yes.” Wayfair, Inc., a Boston-based retailer has no physical stores with very minimal inventory, but it has grown to be the largest online-only retailer in the United States with revenue more than $2.25 billion! The company advertises itself as selling “a zillion things home” and carries more than seven million products, from rugs to sofas. Utilizing a supply network of more than 7,000 different furnishings suppliers, the company ships large bulky items direct from suppliers to the consumers.

While it might initially seem that consumers would not be interested in buying furniture online, Wayfair uses a unique combination of Web site along with television shows to showcase its products and designs. The show “The Way Home” sponsored by Wayfair airs on Lifetime TV on Saturdays. Different episodes focus on design challenges including the latest trends, utilizing small spaces, and decorating on a budget.

Go ahead, see how to make over your least-favorite room on a budget!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. While the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process remains the same: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.
  2. For furniture buying, have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
  3. Next, show Wayfair’s Web site: https://www.wayfair.com/
  4. Show Wayfair’s TV show: https://www.wayfair.com/thewayhome/?&episode=10&clip=1
  5. How is the company using integrated marketing communications?
  6. For furniture, who is the target market?
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for Wayfair. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.

Source:  Wall Street Journal   

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Amazon’s Treasure Truck

truck

Amazon continues to move beyond its digital roots and into the physical world. This time, it’s the “Treasure Truck” – a delivery vehicle for daily deals that drives around  neighborhoods in Seattle. Amazon compares the Treasure Truck to the neighborhood ice cream truck, brining joy, fun, laughter, and deals to different neighborhoods. The truck – nicknamed Scout – is bedazzled with lights, signs, display cases, and music.

How does it work? First, you have to be located in Seattle as that is the only location currently in operation. Then, using the Amazon mobile app installed on your smartphone, you can see the products and deals on the truck, as well as get alerts about deals and locations. Next, buy the item using the app, and then drive to the listed pickup location. At the pickup location, Amazon employees are stationed in white tents next to the truck and they quickly deliver the order to you.

The deals are limited in quantity so buyers have to act fast!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What types of businesses are they used to seeing operating out of trucks?
  2. Bring up the Amazon Treasure Truck Web site: https://www.amazon.com/treasuretruck
  3. Show the video on the home page.
  4. This example can be used in multiple ways to determine marketing strategies, set SMART objectives, and more.
  5. Discuss setting SMART objectives (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound).
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop five SMART objectives for the Treasure Truck.
  7. Discuss the objectives. How would the objectives change if a different strategy was used?

Source:  GeekWire, CNET, New York Times

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