Tag Archives: environmental scan

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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Google Glass Evolves and Repositions

Remember Google Glass? Google Glass had a short life; it was pulled from the market in 2015 amidst complaints about technology, usefulness, price, and privacy. The original product was focused on consumers as wearable technology. The glasses had a smart heads-up display and camera, allowing users to connect to data and share information and images.

However, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has now relaunched the product as Glass Enterprise Edition (EE). The new Glass EE is being repositioned into the enterprise/industrial market as wearable tech for workers. Alphabet has been testing Glass EE at locations for companies including Boeing, General Electric, Volkswagen, Samsung, Sutter Health, and DHL.

The Glass EE looks similar to the original, but has a better camera, extended battery life, faster Wi-Fi and processor, and has a new red light that turns on when recording. The electronics are now modular in the shape of a pod which can be detached and reattached to any frame, including safety goggles.

How useful are they? GE reported a 46% decrease in time for certain activities, and 85% of the workers believe the system will help reduce mistakes. Glass EE is sold exclusively through Glass Partners. Prices vary depending on the software customization, customer support, and training.

It’s tough to reposition a failed product, but Glass EE seems ready for an entirely new market.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  2. Review Glass EE product: https://www.x.company/glass/
  3. What products are competitors (direct and indirect)?
  4. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for Glass. Start with the original Google Glass, and then reposition for the Glass EE product.
  5. Have each team draw their map on the board.
  6. Debrief exercise.

Source: Wired, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, other news sources

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Harley-Davidson Takes Over Ryder, ND

The motorcycle season is upon us, and this season, motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, has a goal to take over an entire town and help every town resident get a motorcycle license. The town is Ryder, North Dakota, population 85. (Yes, that’s correct, 85 people.)

The company is partnering with Ryder, which has agreed to change its name to “Rider” for the 2017 motorcycle season. The town is the envy of other small towns as Harley-Davidson repainted the town’s water tower (which is a replica of the company’s water tower) and included the company name on one side. As the mayor stated, “The tower was in dire need of a paint job.” There has also been a street dance and party, along with stationary motorcycle for practice shifting gears. Harley-Davidson’s goal is to have Ryder become the first town in America where everyone has a motorcycle license.

Will this be enough to help the company though? Harley-Davidson is seeing slow sales, increased competition, an aging Baby Boomer consumer base, and an uninterested millennial market.

How about it – do you have a motorcycle license?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  2. Show Harley-Davidson Web site: http://www.harley-davidson.com
  3. Video of the promotion: https://youtu.be/Ds3HugeXjHs
  4. For Harley-Davidson motorcycles, break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
    1. Strengths: what is company good at?
    2. Weaknesses: what needs work?
    3. Opportunities: what is going on in marketplace?
    4. Threats: what should company be wary of?
  5. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  6. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Brandchannel.com, other news sources

 

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