Tag Archives: health care

Designer Toothpaste, Anyone?

Some products have become so ubiquitous in our lives that we seldom consider how they might be updated to reflect current trends. Consider products such as hand soap, detergent, and toothpaste. After all, when was the last time you truly examined your toothpaste and thought about design and innovation? And what exactly are the ingredients in toothpaste? Go ahead, read the ingredient list and you are likely to uncover it contains components such as triclosan and saccharin. (The FDA has banned triclosan for hand soap, but it is ok to put those ingredients in our mouths? Huh?)

Given how nearly every product seems to be undergoing a make-over, it just seems logical for toothpaste to get an update for today’s consumers. Packaging and ingredients can both be updated, as well as how and where consumers buy it. Today’s newer toothpastes take lessons from the beauty product world, where design and price points vary and make the products more appealing as well.

Of course, revisions may not come cheaply. French company Buly 1803 sells $29 toothpaste in artfully designed packaging and in flavors including orange-clove-cinnamon. Sephora carries a coconut oil dental floss ($8) and a Lush sells a charcoal, kaolin clay, and gunpowder tea tablet that is chewed before brushing. Twice, a brand from musician/artist Lenny Kravitz, has a two-pack of toothpaste (one for morning, another for evening) that sells at $17 for the pair with proceeds going to help Bahama communities.

Go ahead. Read the labels and make your choice.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  2. Show examples of new toothpaste:

Hello: https://www.hello-products.com/

Revolve: https://www.revolve.com/marvis/br/2677a2/?srcType=dp_des2

Sephora: https://www.sephora.com/product/cocofloss-P421244

Lush: https://www.lushusa.com/face/teeth/boom%21/04342.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1-6V-LP33wIVA4vICh1cJAaeEAQYBSABEgIiFvD_BwE

Twice: https://www.smiletwice.com/

APA Beauty: https://apabeauty.com/apa-white-toothpaste.html

  1. Review toothpaste products. What other products are competitors?
  2. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for one of the new companies.
  3. Have each team draw their map on the board.
  4. Debrief exercise.

Source: Shapiro, B. (4 April 2019). Is that chic toothpaste worth the price? New York Times.

 

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Meet Zora, the Robotic Caregiver

Aging is a fact of life. No matter how hard we try to fight it, the years keep adding up and our bodies keep aging. According to MIT’s Age Lab, the world is currently at a historical high of more than 600 million people over the age of 65! By the year 2030, there will be an estimated one billion people over 65, growing to 1.6 billion by 2050.

This growth, while affecting the entire globe, is of primary importance in wealthy countries where spending by and for this age group is in the trillions of dollars. The aging population will also require more caregivers than ever before. But there is a shortage of such people. Creative solutions are needed to address the gap. What can be done?

Meet Zora, the caregiver robot, now a resident of a number of care facilities in France and Australia. Zora can join with care facility residents for activities such as aerobics, singing, playing games, and reading. Although Zora is small in stature, she speaks an impressive 19 languages. And, Zora cares for children as well as adults. Patients develop an emotional attachment to Zora, holding, kissing, and cuddling the robot. More than 1,000 Zora robots have been sold to hospitals and care facilities; pricing is $18,000 per unit.

Of course, Zora is not a substitute for a trained human caregiver or health care worker, but she sure makes people smile!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the business of robotics. Where is it going? Who will benefit?
  2. Show Zora the robot: http://zorarobotics.be/index.php/en/
  3. Videos can be found at Zora’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbT8GS9L_IdYvpCeNRd2gVg
  4. Discuss the buying process for organizations. Who would influence the decision-making?
  5. 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?

Source: Satariano, A., Peltier, E., & Kostyukov, D. (23 November 2018). Meet Zora, the robot caregiver. New York Times.

 

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Grandkids On-Demand

Even though it’s a fact of life, aging can be lonely. Friends and family members may have passed on, moved away, or moved into care facilities. And, caregiving for someone who is older can be hard when the caregivers also have other responsibilities such as families and full-time jobs. This was the need behind a new service called ‘Papa’ which helps provide senior citizens with a little extra attention through what it calls ‘Grandkids On-Demand’.

Papa has a simple premise – to provide college students to help senior citizens. It connects students with the seniors for tasks such as driving, shopping, reading, laundry, pet help, technology help, or even just companionship. It emphasizes a fun was for two generations to connect and frees senior citizens from being confined or left on the margins of life.

Members (the senior citizens) pay a monthly fee of $15 to $30 to belong, plus $15 per hour for visits from the Papa Pals (the college students). The Pals must be enrolled in college or working on a masters degree, social work degree, or nursing or medical degree. Pals must also have a four-door car and pass a background check. Pals are given the company’s personality test which look for people with empathy, patience, and the ability to draw people into conversation. The biggest focus is on curing loneliness; being with a younger person stimulates the seniors – relationships form to help both parties understand the world.

Become a Pal and help Papa.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Do they have family members or friends that fall into this category? How do these people get assistance?
  2. Review Papa: https://www.joinpapa.com/
  3. Make sure to show some of the videos available on the Web site to illustrate how the service works: https://www.joinpapa.com/video-gallery/
  4. Discuss the components of a situation analysis: company, general industry, trends, key competitors, technology, legal, etc.
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team use laptops to do general research to analyze the market for Papa. (Ex: overview of industry, size, growth, new technologies, environmental impact, etc.)
  6. Debrief the exercise by compiling information on the white board.

Source: Bahrampour, T. (20 June 2018). These college kids moonlight as ‘grandkids’ for hire. Washington Post.

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