Tag Archives: product life cycle

The Brief Life of Quibi

Did you ever use Quibi? Do you even know what service Quibi provides? If your answer is “no” to either of these questions, then you are likely among one of the many reasons the video service shut down after only six months.

Quibi was developed as a streaming video app from Hollywood studio executives and offered entertainment and news in 5-10 minute lengths. It launched in April 2020 with the intent on challenging the streaming players. Quibi (which stands for “quick bites”) was designed for short viewing times in the “in-between moments” of life.

While the pandemic caused a number of issues for the company (since we were all now at home with devices, instead of on the move), it was only one of a series of missteps. Viewers couldn’t connect Quibi to their at-home TV, could not share programming, and had limited videos from which to choose. Quibi also had a lot of competition, including free services from YouTube and other platforms. Advertisers were also underwhelmed and experienced difficulties.

Although the app was downloaded an estimated 9.6 million times, and an estimated 90% of viewers left after the free trial period. The monthly service cost $4.99/month with included ads, or $7.99/month without ads. That’s not a bad price, but viewers saw it as one more monthly service to add on top of current streaming services from Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Disney+, and more.

Bye, Quibi.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who knows what Quibi did? Who used the service? Who subscribed beyond the free trial?
  2. Show Quibi’s site (it may not last long): https://quibi.com/
  3. News video of Quibi’s demise: https://youtu.be/tEfx_MxEXq4
  4. Discuss the components of an environmental scan: technology, social, competition, regulatory, and economic factors.
  5. Divide students into team. Have each team do a brief analysis of Quibi and the environment and develop a SWOT analysis.
  6. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle.
  7. Draw a product life cycle on the board and discuss the stages and marketing objective. What did Quibi’s PLC look like?

Source: AdWeek; New York Times; The Verge; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Cheetos Spices Up Mac and Cheese!

Cheetos have long been a favorite snack food in America, but it has a fairly limited menu application. Or so one might have thought. After all, it’s just a snack food, right? Wrong! Cheetos is one of many companies responding to changing consumer behavior patterns brought about the coronavirus pandemic. In this case, the product is in response to a rise in home cooking and the desire for comfort foods. PepsiCo’s new product combines these two desires into “Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese.” The new product is packaged in boxes and cups and is available in three powerful flavors: Bold & Cheesy, Flamin’ Hot, and Cheesy Jalapeno.

Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese was already in development prior to the pandemic and was scheduled to be released in 2020. However, the company moved at an accelerated pace once consumer patterns shifted due to the pandemic.

The branding even extends to the shape of the curling pasta noodle, which mimics the corkscrew-shaped tail of brand mascot Chester the cheetah. Currently, the new food is only available from Walmart, but a national retail roll-out is anticipated in 2021. PepsiCo plans to promote the new product using multiple marketing channels including shopper marketing (in store), and strong social media.

Anyone hungry for some spicy mac and cheese?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who eats Cheetos? Who eats Mac and Cheese? Which brands?
  2. Show the Web site: https://www.cheetos.com/products/cheetos-mac-n-cheese-bold-cheesy
  3. Show a video of the new product: https://youtu.be/tcYk6tZ3zeI
  4. Does this new food change the positioning of Cheetos in the product life cycle?
  5. How does Cheetos Mac and Cheese compare with other companies?
  1. Build a product positioning map for mac and cheese dinners and show the competition.
  2. How should Cheetos promote its new product?

Source:  Ad Week

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The Ford Bronco Returns to Action!

As we’ve written in previous articles, no product lives forever. There are always new innovations, trends, social forces, competition, and technologies that push products forward. Every product eventually reaches its final stage in the Product Life Cycle (PLC) – decline/harvest – when the product is put to sleep and resources are reallocated to up-and-coming new products.

But every now and then consumers grow nostalgic for products from the past. Perhaps the product brings back a happy emotion or a strong memory. Or maybe it’s a little bit of longing for days gone by. Or maybe it’s a desire for something different and cool-looking. Trends have a habit of cycling back as years go by.

New to the trend cycle is the resurrection of Ford’s iconic Bronco. The company has announced a new retro-looking Bronco that recalls the rugged, boxy looking original from the 1960s. (The Bronco was retired from production in 1996.)

Bronco has its work cut out for it as Jeep Wrangler holds the top position in the off-road automotive category. To compete with the leader, Ford has two Bronco models and pricing starts at $29,000 up to $60,000 for larger engines and more options and trim.

Welcome back, Bronco. It’s good to see you.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. How are cars moved through the PLC?
  3. Next, discuss the life cycle of the Ford Bronco.
  4. Show video introducing the new Bronco: https://youtu.be/-v1urLWR5zg
  5. How is Ford repositioning the car on the PLC?
  1. Show Bronco’s Web site: https://www.ford.com/bronco/
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. 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 or be reinvented for a new life.

Source:  Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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