Tag Archives: market research

New Diet Coke Flavors and Package

Diet Coke is definitely a mature product. And, like many mature products, it needs to continue to fit into today’s consumer’s lifestyle in order to stay relevant. First introduced in 1982, Diet Coke was recently relaunched with four bold, new flavors and a new packaging look. (And, if you’re a fan of the traditional Diet Coke, don’t worry, it will still be available.)

Coca-Cola took two years to research and develop the new drinks, speaking to more than 10,000 people across the country to get ideas on flavors, packages, and more. Based on the results, the company tested more than 30 new flavors. The final results are now in and ready for drinking. The new flavors that had the most positive consumer response include Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange, and Twisted Mango. The new Diet Coke flavors are also packaged in slim 12-oz. cans (same can as DASANI sparkling drinks) and come singly and in eight-packs.

Coca-Cola is walking a fine line between maintaining an existing and still popular brand (Diet Coke) and building a new flavor profile and brand look for an iconic product.

What are you thirsty for today?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

    1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
    2. Where does Diet Coke fit on the product life cycle?
    3. Discuss how Coca-Cola worked to reposition Diet Coke.
    4. View the press release and story: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/diet-coke-flavors
    5. Show a video of the new product line: https://youtu.be/51QDzjEOBc4
    6. For information on packaging and design: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/diet-coke-design
    7. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
    8. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source: Brandchannel.com (10 January, 2018). Diet Coke relaunches in North America with new design and flavors.

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Tech’s Successes and Failures

Don’t get me wrong – success is great. It’s certainly a lot better than failing. Yet, not every new product meets with success. Sometimes, there are massive flame-outs as a hotly anticipated new product fails to achieve market success. It’s the wise marketer who examines the failures and identifies where it all went wrong.

Technology is one of the most visible industries for both success and failure. Consider the Apple Newton: Failure. Compared to the Apple iPhone: Success. And, technology that seems a sure bet to be quickly adopted takes years, even decades to reach fruition. Consider: Artificial Intelligence.

Some of this year’s failures were massive missteps. Probably one of the scariest and widest reaching failure has to do with cyber security. No one’s personal data seems safe from hackers, and companies that consumers depend on to keep their private information safe have failed. Consider: Equifax. Consumer information including social security numbers and driver’s license data for 145 million Americans was hacked and has caused headaches that could reoccur for years into the future.

On the product side, consider: Juicero. The start-up company raised $120 million from investors but closed its doors this fall. This one isn’t too hard to figure out – Juicero sold a juicer for $700 that could only press produce that came packaged in its own proprietary bags. And, the juicer took longer than someone squeezing the bags by hand.

But successes still abound. Consider these products that achieved market acceptance and gain rave reviews and sales: Apple Watch 3, Nintendo Switch, smart home products, and virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri.

The line between success and failure is slim, but it can be seen, and oftentimes can be fixed.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the factors that most impact success and failure for new products and services.
  2. Poll students: What products or services do they think were successes this year? Failures? Why these products?
  3. Show Juicero: https://youtu.be/5lutHF5HhVA
  4. Show the Apple Watch: https://www.apple.com/watch/
  5. Show Nintendo Switch: https://www.nintendo.com/switch/
  6. What is it that makes these products successful or not? What should marketers do?

Source:  Chen, B. (2017, Dec. 13). The biggest tech failures and successes of 2017. New York Time.

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Bomb Shelters are a Booming Business

If you have been reading the news recently, it seems that the world can certainly be described as a scary place. Today’s world is aware of the possibility of new nuclear activity by countries such as North Korea. While nuclear capabilities are not something anyone wants to consider, there are some industries that are getting a boost from it – including the bomb shelter industry. You may not have previously considered this industry as a growth market, but right now it is booming (no pun intended).

According to several U.S. companies, sales and inquiries are on the rise. One company, Atlas Shelters, expects a stellar year, selling a thousand shelters at an average price of $25,000 per shelter. In particular, there is increased demand in Japan as well as the U.S. Bomb shelter customers are often homeowners who are alarmed about the possibility of nuclear strike; they also include survivalists and “preppers” who are preparing for natural and man-made disasters.

There are a variety of different shelters, including a 500 square foot, steel-encased bunker for $120,000 that can be decked out with luxury accommodations. On the other side of the spectrum is Vivos, a company that sells shares in underground bunker complexes that include community spaces. It sells shares in its complex for $35,000 per person and claims that its 80-person complex in Indiana is completely sold out.

Do you have a plan?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the components of a situation analysis: company, general industry, trends, key competitors, technology, legal, etc.
  2. Who is the target market for bomb shelters?
  3. Show Web sites for companies producing shelters:

Atlas Shelters: http://atlassurvivalshelters.com/

Rising S Shelters:  http://risingsbunkers.com/

Vivos community shelters:  https://terravivos.com/

  1. Ask students what data they would want in order to make a marketing decisions for bomb shelter companies.
  2. 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, laws, etc.)
  3. Debrief the exercise by compiling information on the white board. Does this give a good picture of the situation faced by these companies?

Source:  McClatchy Washington Bureau

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