Tag Archives: Pets

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

 

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Sony’s New Litter of Aibo Robotic Puppies

In the very innovative electronics industry, Sony faces a slew of competitors such as Apple, Samsung, and others. While Sony was once the pinnacle of innovative devices such as the Sony Walkman and Discman, it has been overtaken by industry leaders Apple’s and Samsung’s products including smart phones and devices. Now, Sony is seeking to reestablish itself in the U.S. with its totally charming robotic dog – Aibo (Japanese word for a pal).

Aibo isn’t totally new; it was first released in 1999 and then discontinued in 2006 – to the dismay of many thousands of Aibo owners in Japan. The new litter of Aibo puppies combines robotics with a cloud-connected artificial intelligence (AI) engine and advanced imaging sensors. And, as Aibo interacts with its owners over time, it will develop a unique personality to make owners happy and form bonds with the family members.

Like many real-life puppies, Aibo doesn’t come cheap. It has a price tag of $2,899 which limits how many families can afford to adopt from the new litter. Sony’s goal does not appear to be market penetration, but is instead using the product to show the company’s innovation skills by combining software, hardware, and services, as well as rebuilding brand awareness.

Sony wants to connect with consumers on an emotional level with Aibo. The puppy has more than 400 parts and 22 points of movement, making it move more like a real animal. The eyes are displays so that its gaze can follow its owner around the room, and it can learn doggie tricks like fetch and shake hands by using the Aibo app. Aibo can also take photos and videos to share with the family.

How much is that doggie in the window? 

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss new product innovation and its importance to electronics companies.
  2. Show Aibo Web site: https://us.aibo.com/
  3. Show Video: https://youtu.be/oGo0TwNXXuo
  4. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  5. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  6. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  7. For Aibo, have each team select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.
  8. Debrief by putting together the entire suggested lists on the white board. As a final step, have the entire class vote on the top three tactics to use.

Source:  Tsukayama, H. (23 August 2018). The rebirth of Aibo is also a chance to revitalize Sony’s brand. Washington Post.

 

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No More Shedding Hair

If you have a dog, you are probably familiar with having pet hair pretty much everywhere. Floors, furniture, cars, and clothing – all of these attract pet hair! While it is certainly a nuisance, pet hair shedding can also be an irritant and cause allergic reactions. But unless you have a hairless dog (such as the American Hairless Terrier) home life with dogs requires constant dusting, vacuuming, and lint rollers. Or does it?

Enter the Shed Defender. The one-piece leotard keeps pet hair contained and protects furniture and clothing from shedding hair. The body suit keeps the hair inside until the owners wash it out. Available in different sizes and colors, the Shed Defender helps reduce the spread of canine dander and other allergens. Fido can even go visit friends who love dogs, but have allergies to them.

It’s not just for containing shedding hair. The product also helps keep pets calm by keeping them warm and wrapped. And, it can replace the dreaded “cone of shame” that many pets have to wear to keep them from biting and licking wounds.

It might be time to put the lint roller away.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of defining a target market.
  2. Show the Shed Defender Web site: https://sheddefender.com/
  3. Videos can be found at: https://youtu.be/gpDZK0Xouno
  4. For Shed Defender product, what is the target market?
  5. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for Shed Defender. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  6. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
  7. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Bender, K. (10, Jan. 2018). End dog shedding – and get great Instagrams – with this hilarious dog leotard. People.

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