Tag Archives: marketing

Technology Embedded in Daily Life

If consumers were asked what are the top companies embedded in their daily lives, most would quickly list the top five as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. These five companies are counted among the world’s most valuable companies, worth trillions of dollars collectively. (Apple, alone, has a market capitalization of $800 billion, plus is rolling in billions of cash.) Four of these five companies are all in the top 10 most valuable global brands, with the fifth company ranked as number 15 in the 100 list.

Think about it:  how do we shop, do research, write documents, and stay in touch with friends, family, and world events? What devices do we reach for and carry around continually? It would be difficult for today’s consumers to imagine a world without the technology from these companies. And it has all happened relatively quickly.

What do you use every day? And, can you do without it?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the role of technology and branding in today’s world.
  2. Poll students about the technologies they use the most. Tally the votes and see if their top companies matches the ones in this article.
  3. Break students into five teams: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Have each team research facts about one of the companies.
  4. Show the global brand value: http://interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2016/ranking/
  5. Have each team debrief the class as to the importance of its technology.
  6. Which company would students give up? Why?
  7. Which company would students keep the longest? Why?
  8. Finally, discuss factors that make these companies successful.

Source: New York Times

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The Randomness of Airfare Pricing

One of the most frustrating parts of traveling is booking an airline seat. The price shown to buyers in the morning is undoubtedly increased by the evening. And, the price you finally paid is probably not the same as the price paid by the person sitting next to you! Airfare prices seem to change by the minute, and it all feels random to frustrated buyers.

Maximizing the sales of seats, called ‘revenue management’ by the airline industry, is incredibly complicated. Airlines use complex algorithms and computer systems that are constantly calculating the perfect price. The computer programs must predict consumer behavior in order to determine what the market is willing to pay for the seat.

An empty airline seat is a perishable commodity; once the plane leaves the runway, the empty seat can never be sold. How would you price the seat?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Pricing is a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  2. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  3. Discuss how yield management (or revenue management) pricing works.
  4. Show the airfare pricing video: https://youtu.be/-oJlJ5oo5AM
  5. For a selected product, divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  6. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  7. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.

Source:  CNN

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Twinkies: Friend and Foe?

Admit it – sometimes we just like to eat foods that we know aren’t healthy for us. They taste so darn good that it makes us happy to eat – and share – treats. Opinion surveys from NPR, Boston Consulting, and IRI found that while the majority of people report eating healthy, indulgence was a top food trend.

And certain snacks are also nostalgic. One of the most enduring snacks is probably Twinkies. Twinkies disappeared from our lives a year ago. Luckily, they were resurrected when Hostess Brands Inc. was acquired by private equity firms, returning the light yellow sponge cake with creamy filling to the shelves.

They may not be healthy, but Twinkies do make us smile.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of developing a clear, concise message for marketing programs.
  2. Show the video “Eating Twinkies with God” (it will make everyone happy): https://youtu.be/y9N8OXkN0Rk
  3. Show the Hostess Web site: http://www.hostesscakes.com/
  4. What are the main messages on the site?
  5. Use a pyramid model to build the key messages: Top of pyramid – most important message that the customer wants to hear. Middle of pyramid – how the product achieves its value for the customer. Bottom of pyramid – proof points used to validate claims.
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a key message pyramid for an un-healthy snack food. (Make sure students select a target market first. Different target markets would have different message pyramids.)

Source: Bloomberg News    

 

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