Tag Archives: design

Bomb Shelters are a Booming Business

If you have been reading the news recently, it seems that the world can certainly be described as a scary place. Today’s world is aware of the possibility of new nuclear activity by countries such as North Korea. While nuclear capabilities are not something anyone wants to consider, there are some industries that are getting a boost from it – including the bomb shelter industry. You may not have previously considered this industry as a growth market, but right now it is booming (no pun intended).

According to several U.S. companies, sales and inquiries are on the rise. One company, Atlas Shelters, expects a stellar year, selling a thousand shelters at an average price of $25,000 per shelter. In particular, there is increased demand in Japan as well as the U.S. Bomb shelter customers are often homeowners who are alarmed about the possibility of nuclear strike; they also include survivalists and “preppers” who are preparing for natural and man-made disasters.

There are a variety of different shelters, including a 500 square foot, steel-encased bunker for $120,000 that can be decked out with luxury accommodations. On the other side of the spectrum is Vivos, a company that sells shares in underground bunker complexes that include community spaces. It sells shares in its complex for $35,000 per person and claims that its 80-person complex in Indiana is completely sold out.

Do you have a plan?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the components of a situation analysis: company, general industry, trends, key competitors, technology, legal, etc.
  2. Who is the target market for bomb shelters?
  3. Show Web sites for companies producing shelters:

Atlas Shelters: http://atlassurvivalshelters.com/

Rising S Shelters:  http://risingsbunkers.com/

Vivos community shelters:  https://terravivos.com/

  1. Ask students what data they would want in order to make a marketing decisions for bomb shelter companies.
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team use laptops to do general research to answer the questions above (Ex: overview of industry, size, growth, new technologies, environmental impact, laws, etc.)
  3. Debrief the exercise by compiling information on the white board. Does this give a good picture of the situation faced by these companies?

Source:  McClatchy Washington Bureau

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Logos with Meaning

Logos and branding surround us. Without even realizing it, consumers see an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 ads per day. Yes, that sounds like a lot, but start counting how many ads you see and hear starting when the alarm clock goes off – bet you get tired of counting by time you get to breakfast!

Logos are a big part of how brands penetrate the consciousness of consumers. A strong logo should be simple, singular, recognizable, and represent the brand attributes. Many logos have deeply rooted meanings that portray the brand’s history and values. Consider the following examples:

  • Beats by Dre: Represents a human head wearing earphones.
  • Amazon: A yellow line links A to Z.
  • Tour de France: A cyclist as the letter R, and the yellow wheel representing racing during the day.
  • BMW: The colors of the Bavarian flag are in the logo.
  • Tostitos: See the people represented by the middle Ts share a bowl of salsa.

How many different logos do you see right now?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students – how many logos do they see in a day?
  2. Now, have each student count the number of logos that they are carting around today. Include backpacks, clothing, electronics, etc. Add the number from each student and see how big the count is at.
  3. Discuss the importance of logos in branding efforts.
  4. Do a Web search for articles that discuss logos. One such article: https://designschool.canva.com/blog/hidden-meanings-behind-50-worlds-recognizable-logos/
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team design a new logo for a product of their choice.
  6. Debrief by having each team show its logo. Have a class vote on a favorite.

Source:  CBS News, New York Times, other news sources

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Robots and Us

“May you live in interesting times.” Is it a Chinese curse, or a promise for the future? No matter which it is, we are certainly living in interesting times as technology progresses into robotics and artificial intelligence (or intelligence augmentation).

Today, there are robots in the warehouse, manufacturing plant, retail stores, health care, and more. Cars are now capable of autonomous driving. Digital assistants open doors, set temperatures, monitor security, and answer our daily queries for information. Drones deliver packages and pizzas. The smartphones in our pockets have greater computing capabilities than was ever dreamed of. What was once deemed science fiction, is now today’s reality.

Where did this all start, and more importantly, where is it going? Will robotics give us faster and safer solutions to humanities problems, or will it lead to a jobless future?

What’s your opinion?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. This is a different type of post. Instead of having students develop marketing solutions or new products, use this topic to generate critical thinking by students.
  2. There is a series of videos by Wired that discuss robots and technology: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLibNZv5Zd0dxEjUuwSuvNkAPmc_J4we6M
  3. Show any/all of the videos to generate class discussion about future technologies.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team view a video and summarize it for the class.
  5. What are the business and marketing implications from the video and discussion?

Source:  Wired   

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