Tag Archives: global marketing

The Ultimate Vending Machine Contains Cars

What was the last item you purchased from a vending machine? Most consumers purchase convenience items such as drinks and snacks at the ubiquitous machines. Maybe in an airport or mall there might be a vending machine for electronics such as headphones and chargers, movies, or prepared meals for people on the go. And, speaking of “on the go”……..

Alibaba’s Tmall recently unveiled what is possibly the world’s largest vending machine, for the world’s largest car market. The product sold in the machines? Cars!

The automobile vending machine, located in Guangzhou, China, is a partnership between Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba and American car manufacturer Ford Motor. The program offers a three-day test-drive to potential customers shopping for a new car. The giant vending machine contains more than 100 vehicles, including small cars, family cars, sports cars, and SUVs. Cars include those made in China as well as imported from the U.S. The goal for the new program is to improve the car buying process for consumers.

The process starts with a mobile app (of course) called the “Super Test-Drive” app. Consumers use the app to research, browse available models, and select a car and pick-up time. Snapping a selfie picture provides facial recognition that is used to confirm the booking and borrow the car from the vending machine. And, if the customer’s credit score is good enough, then the three-day test-drive is free.

This sounds a lot more fun than just getting a snack from the local vending machine!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Where are vending machines? What do they buy form vending machines? Why buy from vending machines?
  2. View video of the process: https://youtu.be/zFDDcTOFkEA
  3. While the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process remains the same: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.
  4. Does this vending machine fit the model? Or does the model need to change?
  5. Consider assigning different student groups to work on different target markets. Then the process for the different target markets can be compared and contrasted.

Source: Brandchannel.com (26 March, 2018). Alibaba and Ford launch China’s first Tmall car vending machine.

 

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Diversity: Brands Embrace Hijabs

Macy’s recently made history (or is it herstory?) as the first U.S. department store to sell hijabs for Muslim women. Fashion designer Lisa Vogl developed the modest active wear line for the store. The Verona Collection includes a selection of ready-to-wear items including tops, dresses, pants, cardigans, and hijabs in a variety of fabrics and colors. Items are priced between $12.95 and $84.95.

And, Macy’s is not the only company to carry modest clothing for Muslim women; designer Hana Tajima has several collections carried by international brand Uniqlo. Fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana has also debuted hijabs on the runway.

Nike has also gotten in the game. The company designed and sells a performance hijab for Muslim female athletes. American Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made history by wearing a hijab at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Nike Pro Hijab will be available soon and is priced at $35.00.

And, let’s not forget Mattel, a classic American brand that now has its first hijab-clad Barbie doll. It also honors Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad. The doll is part of Barbie’s “Shero” line of toys that celebrate women breaking boundaries in sports and science. Also in the Shero line are athletes including Gabby Douglas and Chloe Kim, pioneers Amelia Earhart and Katherine Johnson, and artist Frida Kahlo.

It’s time for inclusivity.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Are there market segments that are marginalized? How can these segments be included by brands to expand their reach and encourage diversity?
  2. Video of Macy’s: https://youtu.be/aWVB_bi8RQ0
  3. Video of Nike ad: https://youtu.be/T1Qyg8l-l8U
  4. Nike Pro Hijab Web site: https://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/women/nike-pro-hijab
  5. Video Uniqlo: https://youtu.be/5xbLFJulZNo
  6. Mattel Sheroes Web site: https://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/role-models.html
  7. What other market segments could be represented with new lines of products?
  8. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a product for a different market segment.

Source:  Brandchannel.com. (7 February, 2018). Diversity watch: Brands making strides, slowly, on hijabs.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Will Get Rid of Foam Cups by 2020

We know Planet Earth is in trouble with changing weather patterns, and a significant problem with plastics polluting and harming the oceans. The planet deserves the respect, and need the help, of all citizens and corporations.

One significant problem faced around the globe is the increased use of foam packaging, which has often been cited as a source of many environmental problems. A number of environmentally-focused organizations have challenged global companies to reduce or eliminate their use of polystyrene.

One company heeding the call is Dunkin’ Donuts. The company recently announced its plan to eliminate all polystyrene foam cups throughout its global supply chain by 2020. The coffee giant will replace foam coffee cups with double-walled paper cups. The majority of the company’s international operations have already begun using paper cups; New York City and California will be adopting the new cups this year.

The move to eliminate foam cups is a significant change in the company’s supply and distribution chains. This is no small matter – there are more than 9,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the U.S. alone – that’s a lot of coffee cups!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss setting SMART objectives (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound).
  2. Show video about Dunkin’ Donuts switch: https://youtu.be/3kAP01BeRo4
  3. What are the SMART objectives set by Dunkin’ Donuts?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop five SMART objectives for a product of their choosing. Have the goals reflect various strategies including growth, sustainability, profitability, etc.
  5. Discuss the objectives. How would the objectives change if a different strategy was used?
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Sustainable Brands (9 February, 2018). Dunkin’ Donuts to eliminate foam cups by 2020.

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