Tag Archives: product differentiation

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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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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