Tag Archives: ethics

Microchips Under My Skin

Have you ever misplaced a key card that is needed to enter work? Or maybe can’t find your rail pass? Or as an employer, can you truly track access and secure a facility in this age of technology? But, what are you willing to trade for that security and access?

Some companies and people are now taking the step of embedding access into bodies through technology. They insert a microchip under the skin; with an embedded chip, there is no risk of losing access passes, or of being robbed of an important access pass.

It might sound a little like fiction (think, ‘James Bond’), but it is now a reality for thousands of people in Sweden. The microchips are designed by the Swedish company Biohax to make life easier and more secure. Those in favor of the microchips say they are safe, but others raise concerns about privacy, health, and hacking.

The chips are the size of a grain of rice and cost an estimated $180 per chip. Using a syringe, the chips are placed into the skin between the thumb and forefinger and have the capability of transmitters. For example, the chip can enable users to open doors, start cars, contain critical medical data, transfer personal data, and more. In Sweden, the largest train company has started allowing commuters to replace tickets with the chips. There is also talk that the chips could be used to make payments in stores and restaurants.

What do you think? Want a chip under your skin?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the buying process for organizations. Who would influence the decision-making?
  2. Show the Biohax site: https://www.biohax.tech/
  3. Show video of the product: https://youtu.be/eX1KNlI40V8
  4. What are the characteristics of the target market for this product?
  5. For Biohax microchips, have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
    1. Problem recognition?
    2. Information search?
    3. Evaluative criteria?
    4. Purchase decision?
    5. Post-purchase behavior?
  6. What are key considerations in each step?
  7. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Savage, M. (22 October 2018). Thousands of Swedes are inserting microchips under their skin. All Things Considered – National Public Radio

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

When is it Necessary to Rebrand?

Everyone is likely to be familiar with the pizza brand Papa John’s. And, many people likely also recognize the image of the head of the company, founder John Schnatter. After all, it’s his face and name on the company and the product. Schnatter’s entrepreneurial story has been a big part of the company’s brand image and his visage has prominently been featured in its marketing and promotion activities.

However, Schnatter’s name and face have been in hot water after he recently made a racial slur on a conference call with its ad agency. (Note: The agency dropped Papa John’s as a client after the call.) This comes on top of Schnatter’s controversial NFL statements a year ago, criticizing football players who knelt (instead of standing) for the national anthem, and blaming them for lower pizza sales.

Eventually, the NFL ended the Papa John’s relationship and signed with Pizza Hut as the official pizza partner of the NFL. Also breaking ties with Papa John’s is Major League Baseball, eliminating its co-branded marketing efforts.

The big question: Should Papa John’s rebrand?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: When should a company rebrand? What is the impact of a visible company leader who crosses a line in society?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team research and discuss what happened with Papa John’s in regards to negative press.
  3. Poll teams: Should the company rebrand?
  4. Have teams list what would be involved in order to rebrand. What should the new brand look like?
  5. View the response from Papa John’s to its customers: https://www.papajohns.com/open-letter/
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source: CNN Money,  USA Today, Brandchannel.com, and other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Paper, Not Plastic

Plastics and trash are quickly mounting and are endangering the beauty and health of our environment. All acts – large and small – are important to protect the environment. As consumers, we recycle, repurpose, or try to reuse. And, for corporations, the stakes are even higher as they look at their responsibility to people and the planet.

Many corporations have committed to reducing waste in their operations. For example, McDonald’s committed to having 100% of its packing globally come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025. And, beginning in September 2018, McDonald’s in the UK will be replacing plastic straws with paper ones. McDonald’s has 1,361 outlets in the UK and it uses around 1.8 million straws per day in the UK alone. While it may seem like a small item, plastic straws are the sixth most common type of trash on a global scale. Because of the plastic’s composition, it is difficult to recycle plastic straws.

McDonald’s is implementing the program in response to petitions calling for the switch from plastic, warning that plastic straws pollute the oceans, harm seabirds and marine life. An estimated 1 million birds, and more than 100,000 sea mammals die each year as a result of eating or getting tangled in plastic waste.

Let’s skip the straws.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of social responsibility.
  2. What is the triple bottom-line for social responsibility?
  3. View video on the McDonald’s change: https://youtu.be/wH61dYMieJo
  4. View Blue Planet video clip about plastic waste: https://youtu.be/I4QNolP7Khc
  5. Divide students into teams. Each team should identify a simple environmental problem and a solution.
  6. How should the solution be marketed?

Source: The Guardian, New York Times, Brandchannel.com, other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities