Tag Archives: innovation

The Future of Parking Garages

When is the last time you left your car in a public parking garage? It may sound a little crazy to ask this, but what was your experience? Most likely, it just was parking and nothing else. Nothing special. Boring. Repetitive. Unattractive. Expensive. Time consuming.

Now, think of the potential business opportunity to give those car owners something else to enjoy – and spend money on – in addition to keeping their cars safely tended. The parking garage could actually become a ‘mobility hub’ or a ‘silo’ that could provide restful parking for delivery drivers who might need restrooms and food. After all, those large concrete buildings are usually in valuable real estate located next to destinations such as entertainment, shopping, and events venues.

Innovation is now coming to parking garages. In Chicago, an underground parking garage downtown is being converted to an e-commerce delivery center. Los Angeles parking garages house shared commercial kitchens. Denver and Seattle parking garage roofs are being used as urban greenhouses and farms. San Francisco is redeveloping a garage into a mixed-use complex with affordable housing. Other garages are using parking spots for autonomous vehicles and EV charging stations, adding integrated access controls, kiosks, valet parking, and more, all synced through mobile devices.

Technology plays a large role in the future of parking garages. High-tech cameras can read license plates, enabling drivers to buy passes online and bypass ticket taking and payments, reserving a parking spot in advance. Some garages work with car-sharing companies, bikes, food trucks, and scooters to help patrons quickly access transportation. Others are considering how to combine workspace, retail, fitness centers, and housing using pre-fabricated modules.

What would you like to see in a parking garage?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What has been their experiences with parking garages? What is negative? What could be done to improve parking garages?
  2. View FlashPark website: https://www.flashparking.com/products/
  3. Show video – why parking lots will disappear: https://youtu.be/XMt4zEEHxv4
  4. Discuss the impact of ride-sharing services and autonomous vehicles on parking garages.
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a parking garage in the area.
  6. Research the garage, number of spots, footprint, revenue, usage.
  7. Have each team redesign the garage to be more innovative and useful.
  8. Debrief the exercise and select a winning design.

Source:  Axios; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Mac & Cheese Ice Cream

The location of a product on the product life cycle is an important indicator of how the product should be marketed. After all, there is no reason for a Super Bowl ad for a product in the declining stage. But how do marketers bring new life and positioning to mature products. Well, Kraft has done a good job with this summer’s new ice cream flavor.

It’s the time of year when the demand for ice cream is at a peak. Favorite flavors include, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, rocky road, mac and cheese, chocolate chip… Wait, what? Mac & Cheese flavored ice cream?

Yes, you read that correctly. In a new food mashup that takes advantage of its reputation as a traditional comfort food, Kraft Mac & Cheese Ice Cream was (briefly) available to help quench our summer desire for cool treats. Kraft worked with Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwen ice cream for a co-branded product that looks suspiciously yellow and supposedly tastes like mac and cheese.

The new flavor was only available online and at 23 Van Leeuwen shops in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. Unfortunately for fans, the gluten-free ice cream quickly sold out.

This isn’t Kraft’s only mashup. Last year Kraft teamed with Cheetos for Cheetos Mac & Cheese in three spicy flavors: Bold & Cheesy, Flamin’ Hot, and Cheesy Jalapeno. These types of food combinations – mashups – bring renewed interest to old, familiar foods and flavors. It’s also a perfect blend for social media postings to involve old and new consumers.

What else could use a mashup?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are their favorite ice cream flavors? Has anyone had a uniquely produced ice cream?
  2. Discuss the marketing appeal of unusual product mashups.
  3. Show the ice cream Website: https://vanleeuwenicecream.com/product/kraft-mac-and-cheese/
  4. Show video about the product: https://youtu.be/x12V_AyLA2w
  5. Where is ice cream on the product life cycle? How about Mac & Cheese?
  6. Where is the new product on the PLC? What is the expected length of the cycle?
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team choose two brands for a mashup product.
  8. How should these new products be marketed?
  9. What are the potential results?

Source:  Ad Week; NPR; other news sources

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Apple Advertises its Privacy Strength

Data privacy is undoubtedly an important issue of the times. With the proliferation of mobile devices, website tracking, location enabling, and the pervasiveness of social media, one can be pretty sure that one way or another we are being tracked on our devices.

Apple states “Privacy is a fundamental human right. At Apple, it’s also one of our core values.” Hmm… Even with that statement, it makes one wonder just what is happening with our activities and data. Who know what about us? What do they do with this information?

Enter powerful new advertisements from Apple that illustrates how we are being tracked. The videos show how crowded it gets when companies are tracking our movements and purchases. Great ads.

Apple’s new advertisements, “Tracked,” highlight how its app tracking transparency tool lets users opt out of letting apps track interactions. The company also has the support of privacy watchdog groups such as Privacy International. Users should get to choose for themselves which companies they will share information with about their actions.

The new tool is part of iOS 14.5. It’s simple to choose. When an app wants to follow our activities to share information with third parties, a window shows up on our device to ask for permission. If the answer is “No” the sharing stops. Good for consumers. Not so good for companies (such as Facebook and Google) that rely on tracking to see what we are shopping for in order to target its ads.

Privacy. Simple, powerful, and needed.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the topic of privacy and data tracking with students.
  2. What is their opinion? What is their level of concern?
  3. Show Apple’s website statements about privacy: https://www.apple.com/privacy/
  4. Show advertisements: https://youtu.be/8w4qPUSG17Y
  5. Another ad: https://youtu.be/rEWeA7qDV4k
  6. Divide students into teams. Have teams research competing phone manufacturers to see what those privacy policies state.

Source: Advertising Age; Apple; New York Times; other news sources

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