Tag Archives: product life cycle

Farewell to the iPod

The iPod is officially dead. Yes, you read this correctly. After 16 years, with more than 400 million units sold worldwide, Apple has pulled the plug on the iPod Nano and Shuffle, removing the product line from its online stores. To many people, the iPod was a revolutionary device. The portable device with its iconic white headphones enabled people to take their full music library anywhere, giving listeners control of playlists and music.

iPod launched in 2001 with a unit holding 5 GB of data for $399, quickly followed in 2002 with a 10 GB unit at $499. Things really changed when Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in 2003, setting off a landslide in music downloads as well as music piracy concerns. In 2007, Apple launched the iPhone, which included capabilities beyond just making phone calls, incorporating music capabilities in the phone.

How many iPods have you owned?

R.I.P. iPod. You changed the world of music.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Next, discuss the iPod and it’s journey through the product life cycle: http://www.macworld.com/article/1053499/home-tech/ipodtimeline.html
  4. Show Apple’s online store: https://www.apple.com/. What product line is missing from the store?
  5. Poll students: Who had an iPod? What do they use now for music?
  6. Show first iPod commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8
  7. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source:  Wired, other news sources

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Fender Teaches Guitar Online

While not everyone is a musician, many other people have longed to learn a musical instrument. Some people do learn, but many others stop learning and playing way too soon. According to research from Fender Guitars, 45% of guitar sales are generated by people who have never used one before – but 95% of people who try guitar give it up in the first year. That dramatically lowers overall industry sales, and gives Fender an opportunity.

Fender Guitar has a new plan to help people learn how to play classics such as The Star Spangled Banner and  other songs. The key is to get future guitarists engaged quickly. The Fender Play web site has a guided curriculum so that students can pick the style of music they want to learn, and then immediately get instruction on songs from that genre. Fender Play includes:

  • A guided learning path for your musical style
  • Hundreds of lessons
  • High quality, close-up videos
  • New songs and lessons added regularly
  • Artists such as Foo Fighters, Elvis, U2, The Lumineers, and more

The service starts with a free 30-day trial period, followed by a  fee of $19.99 per month. Fender Play is not limited to its own guitar players. Any guitar student can learn to play on their own instrument (but, of course Fender hopes to create future good will towards its company).

What are you waiting for? Pick up that six-string and go!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who plays guitar? Who used to play guitar? Who wants to play guitar? What keeps them from playing guitar?
  2. Show FenderPlay site: https://www.fender.com/play
  3. Optional: Additional videos to show:

https://youtu.be/h6ada1kvgEw

https://youtu.be/jnkppFj5Ri4

https://youtu.be/GSvQOodrEpA

https://youtu.be/T4lFt2JWrXk

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Which strategy is Fender using for this product? Why?
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market Fender guitars.
  4. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.

Source:  Brandchannel.com

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Harley-Davidson Takes Over Ryder, ND

The motorcycle season is upon us, and this season, motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, has a goal to take over an entire town and help every town resident get a motorcycle license. The town is Ryder, North Dakota, population 85. (Yes, that’s correct, 85 people.)

The company is partnering with Ryder, which has agreed to change its name to “Rider” for the 2017 motorcycle season. The town is the envy of other small towns as Harley-Davidson repainted the town’s water tower (which is a replica of the company’s water tower) and included the company name on one side. As the mayor stated, “The tower was in dire need of a paint job.” There has also been a street dance and party, along with stationary motorcycle for practice shifting gears. Harley-Davidson’s goal is to have Ryder become the first town in America where everyone has a motorcycle license.

Will this be enough to help the company though? Harley-Davidson is seeing slow sales, increased competition, an aging Baby Boomer consumer base, and an uninterested millennial market.

How about it – do you have a motorcycle license?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  2. Show Harley-Davidson Web site: http://www.harley-davidson.com
  3. Video of the promotion: https://youtu.be/Ds3HugeXjHs
  4. For Harley-Davidson motorcycles, break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
    1. Strengths: what is company good at?
    2. Weaknesses: what needs work?
    3. Opportunities: what is going on in marketplace?
    4. Threats: what should company be wary of?
  5. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  6. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Brandchannel.com, other news sources

 

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