Tag Archives: experiential marketing

The Cheetos Duster

And now for something completely different…. Not all new products need to involve high technology. Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that make us happy. Like Cheetos.

Has your food been tasting bland? Have you tried all types of spices and flavors but still crave something new and tangy? Well then, the Cheetos Duster might be just what the doctor ordered!

It’s simple. Just grind up some Cheetos in the Cheetos Duster and voila! Orange dust that can be used in all your foods. The Cheetos Duster grinder can be purchased on Amazon – well, it was available but it quickly sold out (no word on restock date). The device is bright orange and is priced at $19.95. (But if you can’t find the Duster, go ahead and use a food processor or knead a bag of Cheetos to smash them up for the dust.)

Put the orange dust on any food to liven up the taste. The dust is called “Cheetle” and can be used in a variety of ways. Check out the Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Farmers Market Gratin for a sample of using the dust in a dish. Or use it on Mac n Cheese. Or in cookies or ice cream. Thirsty? Try the Mountain Dew Mule with Cheetos dust. Special occasion? Put it into cakes or cupcakes.

Cheetos is often releasing new promotions. A few years ago there were pop-up Cheetos restaurants with recipes from L.A. chef Roy Choi.

How will you serve Cheetos dust?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:  

  1. Discuss how new products are developed and the product life cycle.
  2. Where is Cheetos in the PLC? How can Cheetos reinvent itself?
  3. Show Cheetos website: https://www.cheetos.com/
  4. View video: https://youtu.be/6fCfhSGhG8I
  5. Show Cheetos Duster and video on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Cheetos/CheetosDuster/page/51614514-9947-4428-83EB-24F5602D448F#/
  6. Recipes: https://www.cheetos.com/recipes
  7. Discuss how Cheetos is using the product to promote its snacks.
  8. Have students put together a marketing plan for the Duster.

Source:  Chin R. (21 December 2022). The etiquette of edibles. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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Nice nails. You get those from a robot?

We have written a number of articles about robots and the use of robotics in different aspects of business. One usually think of robots being used in factories, warehouses, and manufacturing. Big jobs and big tasks.

There are robots driving trucks, assembling cars, stocking warehouses, retrieving packages, vacuuming floors, cutting grass, and greeting guests at businesses. And let’s not forget Flippy the hamburger-making robot, and Spot the incredible wonder dog from Boston Robotics.

But here is one you probably have not heard of – a robot that provides manicures. Well, at least it provides the nail polish coats – a sort of mini-manicure.

The robot is from San Francisco startup “Clockwork” and paints nails in 10-minutes for $8 at several select Target stores in Chaska (Minn.), Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Francisco. Appointments can be booked online at Clockworks. With 24 colors in hues of neutrals, darks, brights, metallics, reds, and more, there is a color to fit any mood or fashion.

The box-like machine is located in the beauty department and is staffed by Target employees. The nail robot uses both AI and 3D technology for careful application. According to Clockwork, the average woman spends 3,120 minutes per year on nails and hundreds of dollars. Why not shorten the time and lower the cost?

What color would you like?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about manicures. How much do they spend? How much time does it take?
  2. Show video: https://youtu.be/oQjLg3brTH8
  3. Show website: https://www.likeclockwork.com/
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a marketing program for robotic manicures.
  5. How could experiential marketing be used in the promotion?

Sources:  Hutton, R. (31 August 2022). Chaska Target pilots $10 robot manicures. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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Kellogg Splits into Three Companies

Organizations never sit still for very long. Before you know it, there is a new product/service rival, or new company, or change in supply chain, or change in consumer demands. Since we know change is inevitable, the challenge for marketers is to be aware of the environment and know where their company is strong and weak. Where are the opportunities? What are the threats? What companies want to take their market share?

Often these environmental changes, combined with revised corporate strategies, cause an old, established company to split into separate entities in order to better serve the market and shareholders. For example, last year, Johnson & Johnson announced it will break into two companies serving (1) consumer health products and (2) pharmaceuticals. General Electric will split into three companies to serve (1) healthcare, (2) power, and (3) aviation. 

The most recent example of a large conglomerate breaking into separate companies is Kellogg. Kellogg is the latest large company to announce it is splitting businesses into separate entities. The North America cereal business will be around $2.4 billion in sales; the plant-based foods business at $340 million in sales; the global snacks business is the largest at $11.4 billion (and was 80% of Kellogg’s sales last year).

Each of these businesses faces different environmental factors, and of course markets its products to different segments. In this case, cereal is stable, plant-based is growing but with increasing competition, leaving snacks as a large and growing segment.

Breaking Kellogg into independent companies will help it focus on distinct strategic priorities and opportunities in each of the three markets. Snacking is a higher-growth market than is cereal. Plant-based foods are growing overall, but need attention. And all three companies face increasing competition not only from established companies such as General Mills and Mondelez, but also new companies building more plant-based and natural food products.

What would you do?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show WSJ video on why companies split up: https://www.wsj.com/video/series/news-explainers/why-conglomerates-split-up/F7EF3E9D-2D5D-4732-AA79-F41889C7D039
  2. Discuss when breaking up a conglomerate makes good business sense.
  3. Review Kellogg’s products and overall company: https://www.kelloggs.com/en_US/home.html
  4. Show the company announcement of the split: https://investor.kelloggs.com/news-and-events/press-releases/news-details/2022/KELLOGG-COMPANY-ANNOUNCES-SEPARATION-OF-TWO-BUSINESSES-AS-BOLD-NEXT-STEPS-IN-PORTFOLIO-TRANSFORMATION/default.aspx
  5. Discuss the components of a situation analysis: company, general industry, trends, key competitors, technology, legal, etc.
  6. Ask students what data they would want in order to make a marketing decision for dividing Kellogg into separate companies.
  7. 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, etc.)
  8. Debrief the exercise by compiling information on the white board. Does this give a good picture of the situation faced by Kellogg?

Sources:  Gasparro, A. (21 June 2022). Kellogg splitting into three companies as it shifts focus to global snacks. Wall Street Journal.  

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