Tag Archives: marketing mix

R.I.P.: iPod Comes to the End of its Life

Nothing lasts forever, even things that we love and use. At some point in time, we give up treasured things when we realize they are worn out or obsolete. No matter what it is, eventually it comes to an end. The product gets to the decline stage and it’s time to use those resources for a new product. Time for a burial.

In recent years some of the most popular product burials have included Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer (now being reinstated), multiple Ford car product lines, Bronco (now being manufactured again), BlackBerry phones, the Volkswagen Beetle, Segway, and more.

Today, another beloved product has been added to the gone-but-not-forgotten list, and it’s a sad one. Apple has now officially stopped all production of the iPod. Yes, after stopping the Nano and Shuffle a few years ago, Apple has now ceased manufacturing all iPods and is only selling until inventory runs out.

The iPod was introduced in 2001 when it held 1,000 songs, has 5-gigabytes of storage, and cost $399. The iPod Touch followed in 2007, and the most recent (and last) iPod Touch launched in 2019. Over the two decades of its productive and prolific life, there were more than two dozen iPod models. By April of 2007 Apple had sold 100 million iPods. Today, an estimated 450 million iPods have been sold worldwide! Without the iPod, there would have been no iPhone.

In my humble opinion, the iPod was one of the most revolutionary products of all times. It ushered us into the truly portable music category; we could take any music anywhere, anytime on a small device that fit into a pocket. Revolutionary.

Nice to have known you, iPod. R.I.P.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What was the first Apple product they got? When? How many Apple products do they have now?
    1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
    1. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
    1. 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.
    1. For fun, play the first iPod TV commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8

Sources:  Mickle, T. (10 May 2022). Farewell to the iPod. New York Times; Prang, A. and Stern, J. (10 May 2022). Apple is discontinuing the iPod after more than a two decade run. Wall Street Journal; other news sources.

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Puppy Love

Aww….. They are so cute!

We do love our pups and pets. And there are more pet-parents than ever before thanks to the pandemic. According to the American Society for Prevention to Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), more than 23 million U.S. families have adopted a pet during the pandemic. And while there is lots of love to go around, there is also a lot of money being spent on pampering and caring for our little animal buddies.

How much money? Well, according to Statista.com the U.S. pet industry accounts for $103.6 billion, including $44.1 billion for pet food. Doggy daycare centers and veterinarians are booked solid these days. Plus dog walkers such as Wag are certainly in high demand. Pets even get treated like one of the family – massages and acupuncture, along with dental care, are not uncommon.

The pet business is booming. Target Corp. has started its own line of pet-food, branded Kindfull. General Mills re-entered the pet food market in 2018 when it purchased Blue Buffalo Pet Products for $8 billion. The company also spent $1.2 billion for a line of pet treats from Tyson Foods last year. Nestle Purina holds the largest share in dry pet food sales at nearly $3.5 billion. In retail, PetSmart and PETCO account for 40% of the market. That’s a lot of puppy chow!

Ready for some puppy love?  

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who has a pet? How much did they spend last year on the pet?
  2. Bring up pet care sites such as Rover (https://www.rover.com/) and Wag (https://wagwalking.com/).
  3. Also show retail sites including Target (https://www.target.com/b/kindfull/-/N-q643le71aup?lnk=snav_rd_kindfull), PetSmart (https://www.petsmart.com/), and PETCO (https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore), and Chewy (https://www.chewy.com/).
  4. Have students do a search for pet health care and insurance rates.
  5. Compare rates at: https://quote.petinsurer.com/quote/ref=usnews?insurer=petsbest&subId1=other-products-in-table&subId2=https://www.usnews.com/insurance/pet-insurance&subId3=desktop&subID4=large
  6. Have students use their laptops to research different types of products and care for pets.
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for various types of pet owners.
  8. How should pet products be promoted to the target market?

Source:  Bogage, J. (Feb. 12, 2022). The high cost of puppy love. Washington Post.; Sitaramiah, G. (Feb. 10, 2022). Twin Cities businesses benefit as pet owners spend like parents. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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Experiential Marketing Keeps Evolving

In today’s fast-paced Instagram world, experiencing a product and brand is more important than ever to consumers. While experiential marketing is not a new tactic for marketers, it has certainly increased in the past few years due to social media usage, and the rise of selfie photos showing consumers interacting with brands and products.

In the past year there were thousands of pop-up experiences and stores around the country. Some of the more well-known ones are the Museum of Ice Cream, 29Rooms, and products such as Peleton bikes. Other pop-up experiences have come from retailers such as Birch Box, Tiffany, Adidas, Samsung, Amazon, Dior, Payless Shoes, and even HBO show ‘Game of Thrones’. In the past, we might have called these ‘kiosks’ but that doesn’t do justice to the full experience offered by the new world of pop-ups. In their new iteration, the pop-ups may offer a brick-and-mortar experience (such as Museum of Ice Cream) or include another form that offers a fully immersive experience.

For today’s Millennial shoppers, content is key. These shoppers not only check their phones continually, they also generate their own content at a high rate!

What experiences do you want?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the different forms that experiential marketing can take.
  2. Show several examples: 29 Rooms: http://www.29rooms.com/
  3. Museum of ice cream: https://www.museumoficecream.com/
  4. Rose’ Mansion: https://www.rosewinemansion.com/
  5. Poll students: What has been their experience with pop-ups and immersive experiences?
  6. Divide students into teams. Assign each team a product, or let the teams select their own products.
  7. Have each team develop an experience for that product.

Source: Ramirez, D. (12 March 2019). Creating experiential that stands out in a crowded industry. Ad Week.

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