Tag Archives: health care

Google Acquires Fitbit

Acquisitions can be tricky. Companies need to assess what markets to enter, and which products and services are needed for those markets. While it is common for food and beverage companies to use acquisitions to gain market share, it can be a tad trickier when combining technology companies. A key consideration is that companies find synergies that can be capitalized on when combining organizations.

A recent acquisition of interest is the purchase of fitness tracker pioneer Fitbit by search engine giant Google for an estimated $2.1 billion. The acquisition moves Google into a better position in the wearable technology market and gives Fitbit access to more resources, technology, and marketing. (However, there are still some outstanding issues with government regulators; use by Google of Fitbit data for advertising purposes is a concerns to regulators.)

Fitbit is a familiar company to most college students. Founded in 2007, the company makes watches and bracelets to track health information; it has an estimated 20 million active users. New Fitbit products include Fitbit Stress, featuring stress management tools and an ECG app to assess heart rhythm. Fitbit’s products are carried in 39,000 retail stores in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2009 was $1.4 billion.

Fitbit’s overall market share has decreased dramatically since the introduction of Apple Smartwatch. Its market share of 4.7% is significantly lower than the market leader Apple at 31.7%, followed by Xiaomi and Huawei.

How do you track your fitness?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four key marketing strategies: product development, market development, market penetration, and diversification.
  2. Discuss diversifications/acquisitions as a marketing strategy. When is this effective? When is it not effective?
  3. Show Fitbit’s Web site and products: https://www.fitbit.com/global/us/home
  4. Show Google’s products’ Web site: https://about.google/intl/en_us/products/
  5. Do these two companies complement each other? If so, now?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotional plan that the companies can use to promote their combined value to customers.

Source: Associated Press; CNN News; Wall Street Journal; other sources

 

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CES and New Products to Fight COVID-19

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest and most influential showcases in the United States for introducing innovative products from around the globe. This year’s CES show looked a little different though. Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, CES was held virtually in an all-digital format. Still, it included more than 300 speakers, 150 countries, 700 start-ups, and thousands of new products from around the globe. A diverse group of companies included the latest innovations in manufacturing, transportation, entertainment, robotics, automotive, consumer goods, and more.

This year CES hosted 150,000 digital attendees who viewed products from thousands of different exhibitors in categories such as 3D printing, gaming, robotics, sports, drones, fitness, health and wellness, retailing, wearables, and a variety of other product groupings. CES regularly helps to launch thousands of new products, including many that we all know and use today.

Of course, given the times we live in, a big draw this year was for products and services that could help us cope with COVID-19. The show also provided looks at products in the marketplace as well as products-yet-to-be-launched in categories including:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • 5G and mobile connectivity
  • Food and CPG companies
  • Health care technology
  • Smart cities
  • Home sensors and technology
  • Travel and tourism
  • Transportation and vehicle technology
  • And of course, lots of robots!

What’s your favorite innovation from CES?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the purpose of CES show and how innovation fits into it.
  2. Also discuss the use of trade shows and exhibits as part of a marketing plan.
  3. Show a summary video about COVID-19 products at CES from the Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/video/series/joanna-stern-personal-technology/ces-2021-smart-masks-smart-air-purifiers-and-more-covid-fighting-gadgets/5BED1C45-A45E-4CDA-9E4B-DC1195F807ED?mod=djem10point
  4. Additional summary videos can be found on YouTube, such as: https://youtu.be/ouiPPIH1uXc
  5. View the CES Web site: https://digital.ces.tech/home
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product featured at CES.
  7. Instruct students to research the products online, and define a target market for the product?
  8. Which ones do they think will be winners in the marketplace? What products miss the mark?

Source:  C/NET; TechRadar.com; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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A Retail Chain for Covid-19 Essential Products

Covid-19 has drastically impacted virtually every part of our lives from school to shopping. It has had a devastating impact on businesses, particularly retailers. The coronavirus outbreak caused the majority of retail businesses across the nation (and world) to temporarily close for several months. It has also caused the bankruptcy filings of 27 retailers so far in 2020, including big brands such as Lord & Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Lucky Brand, GNC, J. Crew, and J.C. Penney. Thousands of retail stores have already shut down, with many more to come later in 2020.

But for one new retail chain, the coronavirus caused them to open a new business – selling Covid-19 essential products in malls and downtowns. The store is actually called “Covid-19 Essentials” so there is no doubt as to its business focus and clientele. The chain has several locations in Denver, Miami, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, and has plans to open in smoke-thick California.

The stores sell face shields, personalized masks, portable UV lights, air purifiers, cellphone sterilizers, thermal facial recognition devices, and even a hygienic toilet seat. To enter the store, customers check their temperature with a digital forehead scanner. A sink near the entrance allows customers to wash their hands before handling products.

Now this sounds like a safe place to shop.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the impacts of Covid-19 on retail.
  2. Have students list all the businesses that have had to adapt in some way and businesses that closed.
  3. How have retail stores adjusted to Covid-19 in their midst?
  4. Show video of Covid-19 Essentials store: https://youtu.be/5idLkCNaB6o
  5. Show the web site for the New York store: https://www.cv19essential.com/
  6. Divide students into groups. Have each group review the website, products, and prices.
  7. Discuss the long-term viability of this store.

Source:  New York Times; Retail Dive

 

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