Tag Archives: experiential marketing

Airbnb: Agility in Services

Companies and marketers are facing unusual times. Since the coronavirus has impacted global businesses, nearly all companies have had to make pivots in strategy to accommodate the rapidly changing environmental conditions.

One of the industries hardest hit by the coronavirus is travel and tourism. Airplanes are nearly empty as states implement stay-at-home policies. Hotels have empty rooms. Restaurants are restricted to curb-side delivery only. Honestly, it’s a mess and every marketer has to be up for the challenge and demonstrate agility.

Case in point: Airbnb has had to halt its ‘Experiences’ business where local residents provide unique experiences to travelers. It hosts 40,000 events in more than 1,000 cities around the globe. But, due to coronavirus, the in-person experiences are closed until stay-at-home restrictions lift.

Pivoting with the changing environment, Experiences offers online events in more than 30 countries. Experiences include tango lessons with a Latin Grammy nominee, guided meditation with sleepy sheep in United Kingdom, meditation with a Japanese Buddhist monk in Japan, and my favorite – a day in the life of an Olympic bobsledder!

Airbnb provides free experiences for isolated senior, giving them an opportunity to meet new people, but also travel anywhere in the world to learn something new.

Search out new experiences.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the differences between marketing products and marketing services.
  2. What has been the impact of the coronavirus on the travel and tourism industry?
  3. What are ways that this industry can stay relevant and responsive to a changing marketplace?
  4. View the Airbnb Web site: https://www.airbnb.com/s/experiences/online
  5. A video about the service can also be found at: https://youtu.be/XhaTCzKrEtE
  6. Discuss the Airbnb experiences. Which ones would student try?

Source: Ad Week; Associated Press; other news sources

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for Mustard Ice Cream?

It is summer and we crave ice cream. Perhaps you are an ice cream addict. Perhaps you have tried virtually hundreds of flavors over the years. But, have you ever tried ‘mustard ice cream’? How have we lived without this flavor?

It’s not as strange as one might think. After all, there have been other crazy flavors of ice cream over the years: goat cheese ice cream, cilantro lime ice cream, curry and mint ice cream, sweet corn ice cream, lavender honey, and many more! And before you ask, yes, there is a ketchup-flavored ice cream which was created in honor of musician Ed Sheeran (who sports a ketchup tattoo), but it appears to only be available in Ireland.

The mustard ice cream was created by French’s and Coolhaus Ice Cream to celebrate National Mustard Day on August 3rd.  Unfortunately for all the mustard fans, the ice cream had a limited run of only a few days in New York and California locations. But, there is still good news – the recipe is available online for home chefs. The tart concoction is best served with a pretzel cookie to compliment the flavor.

Race you to the freezer!

P.S. Look at the fine print at the bottom of the container!

 

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss brand extension products (ex: Cheerios, Tide, etc.).
  2. What makes a brand extension successful? A failure?
  3. Divide students into team and have each team name five brand extensions.
  4. Show French’s Mustard Ice Cream site and video: https://www.mccormick.com/frenchs/mustard-ice-cream
  5. What are the students’ response to the product?
  6. In teams, have each team develop an idea for another unusual food product that is based on popular flavors.
  7. Since the ice cream is not widely available, ask for a volunteer to make the ice cream – perhaps for extra credit? https://www.mccormick.com/frenchs/recipes/dessert/no-churn-frenchs-yellow-mustard-ice-cream?utm_source=ice-cream&utm_medium=landing-page&utm_campaign=recipe-link

Source: Ad Week, CNN, USA Today, other news sources

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Taco Bell’s New Hotel (for a limited time)

Taco Bell has very loyal customers. In fact, some customers love Taco Bell so much that they never want to leave! Unfortunately, there are store hours to maintain. But fear not Taco Bell loyalists – if you really want to live at Taco Bell, try its new boutique hotel called (appropriately) The Bell.

Yes, the Taco Bell Hotel and Resort opens this summer in Palm Springs! The resort is open for a limited time only, but promises a “destination inspired by tacos and fueled by fans.” According to the company, this will be the flavor getaway of the year as everything from the rooms, food, and cocktails will have a Taco Bell twist.

Feeling a little stressed? Then this is the place for Taco Bell lovers to relax. The on-site salon will offer nail art, fades, and a braid bar all inspired by the Taco Bell theme. Few details have been announced so far, but reservations open in June for the adult-only (18 and older) hotel.

This isn’t the only unique hotel in the new era of experiential marketing. There is also a Trivial Pursuit Hotel in Russia where guests get rooms, food, and more by correctly answering trivia questions!

Where do you want to stay?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are their hotel experiences?
  2. Discuss travel, hotels, resorts and what today’s young travelers are looking for in their hotels.
  3. Show the Taco Bell Hotel Web site: https://www.tacobell.com/the-bell-hotel
  4. Also show video for the Trivial Pursuit Hotel: https://youtu.be/TPLORyhEBGQ
  5. Divide students into teams: If they could design a new, experiential hotel, what would it be like?
  6. Have teams identify the target market and the marketing mix for their new hotel idea.
  7. Debrief the exercise and vote on which resort the class will visit!

Source: Griner, D. (16 May 2019). Taco Bell is opening a boutique branded hotel called the Bell. Ad Week.

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