Tag Archives: product life cycle

Segway: Innovation and Re-Innovation

Perhaps you have ridden a Segway at some point in time, but it is much more likely you have not. First introduced in 2001, Segway was promoted as the world’s first self-balancing human transport vehicle. The product hype was enormous. People around the world clamored for the product that was supposed to revolutionize transportation, particularly in the last mile. But the hype never came to fruition. What happened?

Industry analysts had originally predicted that the innovative Segway would quickly reach $1 billion in sales. However, by 2007, it had reached only a fraction of that amount and growth appeared to stall out. Why? One key reason was the hefty price tag of $4,950, placing it outside the reach of most consumers. Another reason was that, well, people looked like geeks when riding it. It wasn’t cool, nor was it especially safe. Even then-President Bush was filmed on it while falling. And later, the company owner died while operating a Segway near his home.

This pushed the vehicle into the area of mall cops and tourists. However, in 2015, Chinese company Ninebot bought the company to use in developing other markets and products. Ninebot is a leading manufacturer of today’s electric scooters which are seeing strong acceptance in the marketplace, even as they too face safety issues.

But still, there are problems in the last mile. How do you navigate?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle.
  2. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  3. Poll students: Who knows anything about Segway?
  4. Where is Segway on the PLC? Where are electric scooters?
  5. Show Segway’s Web site: http://www.segway.com/
  6. Show Ninebot’s Segway site: http://uk-en.segway.com/
  7. Ask students what happened to Segway? Why wasn’t the product a hit?
  8. Show video story of Segway: https://youtu.be/U-l4Kf9NUJo
  9. What is the company doing now to re-invent itself? Can it succeed

Source: CNN Business

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Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Pop-Up Restaurant

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!

In a new promotional campaign this fall, Cheetos is launching a Flamin’ Hot pop-up restaurant in Hollywood for three-days in September, featuring meals developed by celebrity chef Roy Choi. The restaurant is named The Flamin’ Hot Spot and all the dishes are inspired by Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. (The concept is similar to one that Cheetos did a year ago with a pop-up restaurant in New York City with a menu developed by Chef Anne Burrell.)

According to Cheetos, they noticed a trend among customers and restaurants with Cheetos finding its way into creative menus including bagels, sushi, and burritos. The Flamin’ Hot Spot will have appetizers, main courses, and desserts.

Some of the menu highlights include:

  • Hot Ap-Paw-Tizers
  • Flamin’ Hot Elotes
  • Flamin’ Hot Chipotle Ranch Wings
  • Flamin’ Eats
  • Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Rice Bowl
  • Hot Cheetos Burrito
  • Cheetos Sweetos Hot Cakes
  • Chester Cheetah’s Churros

Unfortunately, if you want to dine there, the three-day event is already sold-out and has a long wait list! But don’t worry – all of the recipes will be available for free in a digital cookbook on the Cheetos Web site. Ingredients are also available on Amazon Fresh.

Are you hungry for something flamin’ hot now?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who eats Cheetos?
  2. View video: https://youtu.be/-RWb_8G6Eyo
  3. Show Web site: https://www.cheetosflaminhotspot.com/#menu
  4. How does the restaurant fit into a promotion plan for Cheetos?
  5. Does this new restaurant change the positioning of Cheetos in the product life cycle?

Source:  Ad Week

 

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Is Owning Music at an End?

When was the last time you purchased music? Not music streaming, but actually bought a physical product for money?

If you are like most consumers, it has probably been a long time since you purchased a CD. In the last decade, CD sales have fallen 80% – from 450 million units to 89 million units! Consider the lasting impact of the declining sales, not only on the record industry, but also in manufacturing. Many of today’s car companies (e.g., Tesla, Ford, Toyota) no longer even include a CD player in the car dashboard, and portable CD players are hard to find.

Even downloads of music have taken a big hit, decreasing 58% since the peak in 2012. Artists have also noted the trends; Bruce Springsteen released his latest box set exclusively on vinyl – no CD options. CDs are doing well in some markets though – in Japan, where streaming has not yet taken off, 72% of music sales were physical CDs. But look around U.S. retail stores – where are the CDs even stocked?

It’s not just streaming that has killed off the CD. Vinyl records have grown from less than a million units in 2007 to more than 14 million in 2017. Vinyl sales even hit a 25-year high last year and new vinyl record manufacturing is popping up to replace CD manufacturing.

Here are some numbers to note about music sales:

  • CD sales: 712 million units in 2001, to 88.6 million units in 2017.
  • Track downloads: 1.3 billion sold per year from 2011 – 2013; 555 million sold in 2017
  • Song streams: 118.1 billion in 2013; 618 billion in 2017
  • Vinyl: 990,000 units in 2007; 14.3 million units in 2017

How do you buy your music?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Poll students: When did they last purchase music? What form was it in?
  3. Where did they last see CDs or vinyl music? What was the inventory level?
  4. Who has a CD player in their car?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  6. 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: Knopper, S. (14 June, 2018). The end of owning music. Rolling Stone.

 

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