Tag Archives: product development

Funko Launches Cereal Brand

Successful brand extensions can be a tricky to accomplish. Brands usually have a strong identity, and are often associated with a single or unique product line. Extending the brand into a new area or industry can be difficult, expensive, and not always successful. The best brand extensions stay true to their original brand identity and market spaces. For example, Coca-Cola can take its strong global brand to include beverages other than sodas, but it would certainly struggle to extend its brand to a new industry such as entertainment.

A new brand extension is underway by Funko, known for its Pop! bobblehead toys and characters. The new entry by Funko is for a line of cereals – FunkO’s – that will have a retro flair and (of course) include a toy collectible in the boxes. The first line will have more than 40 characters and each cereal will have an exclusive U.S. retail partner (not at grocery stores).

The cereals arrive this summer with a suggested retail price of $7.99. The cereal product line will continue the Funko tradition of distributing collectible figures with fun designs. Each cereal box will include mini Pocket Pop! figures and the packaging will have activities, puzzles, and games.

The first releases are expected in July and August, and include:

  • Mega man FunkO’s (at GameStop)
  • Cuphead & Mugman FunkO’s (at Hot Topic)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger FunkO’s (at f.y.e.)
  • The Lord of the Ring’s Gollum FunkO’s (at Box Lunch)
  • Beetlejuice FunkO’s (and Box Lunch)
  • Huckleberry Hound FunkO’s (at Funko.com)

Let’s grab a box, munch, and watch cartoons!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who eats cereal? What type? Who buys Funko products?
  2. Show Funko’s Web site and the new product line: https://www.funko.com/blog/article/introducing-funko-s-putting-the-fun-back-in-breakfast
  3. Discuss competition: what are the direct competitors for this product? Indirect competitors?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team compare FunkO cereal product with a competitive product. What are the points of difference (what makes FunkO cereal different from competition)?
  5. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Guess who’s coming to breakfast? This summer, FunkO’s cereal. (2 July 2018). Brandchannel.com

 

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Mayo + Ketchup = Mayochup!

Who likes mayonnaise? Who likes ketchup? Who combines the two? If you are like millions of other consumers in the U.S., then you like combining the two products into a single sauce. And, now, Heinz wants to bring the combined taste to you in one convenient bottle!

Yes, a new condiment that combines the two sauces is being developed for the U.S. market. Heinz recently taunted consumers, asking people to vote using Twitter if they want to see a new product – ‘mayochup’ – in grocery stores. Millions of people voted yes for the mash-up, and Heinz has said it will produce a new sauce.

There is a controversy about mayochup though. Claims that Heinz has invented a new condiment has been disputed. Other countries have long used the combined condiment in their cultures and foods. A combination of mayo-ketchup is popular across Latin America and in the Caribbean. However, there is no similar product available in the wider U.S. market. (A close cousin might be Fry Sauce, very popular in parts of the U.S. and around the world, where it is considered a staple condiment on the table.)

If you don’t like the mayochup name, Heinz is taking suggestions for alternative names. Maybe ‘ketchannaise’ will catch on instead!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Show information about mayochup:
    1. Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeinzKetchup_US/status/984133260216332302
    2. Mayochup news video: https://youtu.be/C-ZYv-TDh3Y
  3. Which strategy is Heinz using for this product? Why?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market mayochup.
  5. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Schmidt, S. (13 April, 2018). Heinz promotes its new ‘mayochup’ and sparks an international controversy. 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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