Tag Archives: marketing

Flippy the Robot Works the Kitchen

It can hard to find restaurant workers lately, particularly for fast-food chains where the jobs can be long, hot, and greasy. One of the more thankless jobs is probably flipping burgers and fries. It’s boring, repetitive, and carries an everyday risk of burns from hot oils. But now, CaliBurger (California) has deployed a robotic assistant to flip burgers and fries. The robotic arm, aptly named “Flippy,” is the product of Miso Robotics in Pasadena.

Flippy is billed as the world’s first autonomous robotic kitchen assistant that can learn from its surroundings. It can work a grill or fryer, cooks perfectly and consistently every time, collaborates with kitchen staff, and is OSHA safety-compliant. Now ‘employed’ by CaliBurger, the company plans to launch 50 more Flippys at additional locations. Flippy can make 300 burgers a day, all without burns or complaints for additional break times!

Flippy’s role hasn’t been an easy one. Similar to many human workers, Flippy was ‘fired’ in the spring and had to be retrained to work better with humans. Flippy has been a popular draw for the restaurant though; they have been overwhelmed by the response by customers who want to see Flippy in action. The robotic arm isn’t cheap though. Flippy costs between $60,000 – $100,000.

But then again, Flippy never asks for a day off!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who was worked at a fast-food restaurant? What was the experience like for them?
  2. View videos at Miso Robotics: https://misorobotics.com/
  3. View CaliBurger: https://caliburger.com/in-the-news
  4. Review the buying process for organizations.
  5. For Miso Robotics have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
  6. Consider assigning different student groups to work on different target markets. Then the process for the different target markets can be compared and contrasted.
  7. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, other sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Lighted Dog Leash

Pet products are a significant and growing market in the United States. According to American Pet Products Association, nearly $70 billion was spent on pet products in 2017, with $29-$30 billion on pet food and more than $15 billion spent on supplies and medicine. Pet owners love their animals and will continue to purchase premium products and services. And, while some pets may be low maintenance, dogs need to be walked outside every day no matter the time of day, which can be a problem in bad weather or in poor light.

This brings up a problem for dog owners who need to walk their pets early in the morning or late in the evening when the light is low – cars can’t easily see the walkers, leaving owners stressed and increasing the possibility of injury by cars. So, what’s an owner to do? Some solutions are light-reflection vests and collars, flashlights, and head lamps. But that isn’t enough to be visible from a distance. Enter: Nitey Leash.

Nitey Leash is a five-foot long leash that is illuminated from end-to-end using fiber optics and LED technology. The leash is battery operated, visible for a quarter mile, and can hold dogs up to 150 pounds. Dogs and walkers are clearly lit and can easily be seen by cars. The product was developed to solve a personal problem when a friend of the inventor was nearly hit by a car! The leash comes in three colors (blue, green, and pink) and either flashes or has a solid glow. Nitely Leash is priced at $24.95.

See you on the nightly walk!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. While the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process remains the same: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.
  2. Poll students: Who has a dog? What are their concerns when walking the dog at night?
  3. Show the Nitey Leash Web site and video of the product: https://www.niteyleash.com/
  4. For the Nitey Leash product, have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
  5. Consider assigning different student groups to work on different target markets. Then the process for the different target markets can be compared and contrasted.
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oprah Magazine, Real Simple Magazine

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Consumers’ Favorite Brands

Brand reputation is critical to organizations. And, while brand value and reputation can be measured in various ways, The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ) has evaluated the public’s perception of companies’ reputations since 1999. The study starts by surveying the consumers’ top of mind awareness of companies that have excelled, or failed. Then, the most visible companies are evaluated on six dimensions of attributes to determine a ranking. The six dimensions of corporate ranking are:

  1. Social responsibility
  2. Product and services
  3. Vision and leadership
  4. Emotional appeal
  5. Financial performance
  6. Workplace environment

The annual study began with a nomination phase where 4,244 U.S. adults were asked:

  1. Of all the companies that you’re familiar with or that you might have heard about, which TWO – in your opinion – stand out as having the BEST reputations overall?
  2. Of all the companies that you’re familiar with or that you might have heard about, which TWO – in your opinion – stand out as having the WORST reputations overall?

In the ratings phase, an online survey asked 25,800 U.S. adults to rate two of the companies with which they were “very” or “somewhat” familiar. Approximately 300 ratings were collected per company.

The results are interesting.

Top 10 – BEST Bottom 10 – WORST
1.      Amazon

2.      Wegmans

3.      Tesla Motors

4.      Chick-fil-A

5.      Walt Disney Company

6.      HEB Grocery

7.      UPS

8.      Publix Super Markets

9.      Patagonia

10.  Aldi

90. United Airlines

91. Halliburton

92. Goldman Sachs

93. Experian

94. BP

95. Monsanto

96. The Trump Organization

97. Wells Fargo & Company

98. Weinstein Company

100. Takata

What is your opinion?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of branding.
  2. Poll students with the same two questions that Harris used: What two companies have the BEST reputation, and what two companies have the WORST reputation.
  3. Tally the results on the board and ask students to rate the top best and worst on the six attributes, using just their opinions and current knowledge.
  4. What are the results?
  5. Show the Harris Poll report: https://theharrispoll.com/reputation-quotient/#rq
  6. A video is available: https://tdameritradenetwork.com/video/77694950-7dfc-4ae3-bd25-86ab04d63406

Source:  The Harris Poll, USA Today, other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities