Tag Archives: product positioning

Is Print Dead? Not According to These Magazines

With the proliferation of online information, Web sites, blogs, and ecommerce, it can be easy to underestimate the still powerful impact of the written word on paper. Far from being dead, print is re-emerging in new ways, new industries, and reaching select target markets. Some of the new magazines may surprise you. Companies that do business online are now using print publications to reach customers and explain their businesses, as well as entice customers to continue to buy from the online companies.

The companies producing these new magazines cover a number of area that may surprise you; lifestyle, pet care, travel, food, and more. Brands that have introduced new magazines include Bumble, Dollar Shave Club, Casper, and Airbnb. The publications are a way to expand the brand’s reach and retain customers’ interest. After all, when reading online, there are continual interruptions with pop-up ads, videos, and other digital noise. Compared to that, a print magazine seems like a soothing way to relax and explore new topics at our leisure.

The approach is not always an easy one for companies. According to Pew Research, roughly 93% of Americans not get some level of news online. However, this hasn’t stopped companies – in 2017 there were 134 new print magazines launched. These magazines tend to be focused on specific niches and target markets where consumers have focused queries and interests. Not everyone wants to read about puppies, or international travel, or music. But for the customers who do want that depth, magazines provide information and escape.

What do you want to read?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who reads magazines? Which ones, and why?
  2. Show some of the new magazines available:

Bumble mag: https://bumble.com/the-buzz/introducing-bumble-mag

Away: https://www.awaytravel.com/here-magazine

Casper: https://casper.com/woolly-magazine/

DSC: https://www.dollarshaveclub.com/content/story/author/melmag

Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/magazine

  1. Divide students into teams. Have each team examine a publication (online).
  2. Who is the target market?
  3. When do magazines make sense?
  4. Each team should next select a brand/company that might use a print magazine. For this company, have teams develop a magazine concept: Target market, editorial focus, possible articles, advertisers, etc.

Source: Jerde, S. (6 May 2019). Who said print was dead? What’s behind the proliferation of new titles. Advertising Age.

 

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PepsiCo Buys SodaStream

The beverage market is in a fight to maintain – and grow – market share of soft drinks. And, as sales of soft drinks slow, the beverage industry has been looking for new paths. One recent deal concluded by Coca-Cola was to buy U.K.-based coffee company Costa, giving it entry into the hot drink market. And now PepsiCo has announced that it is buying do-it-yourself carbonation company SodaStream International.

Unlike sugary soft drinks, SodaStream has taken advantage of the growing market for seltzer beverages. Consumers like that seltzers do not have sugar and are calorie-free. This gives consumers drinks that are healthier than the traditional soda drinks. Plus, the do-it-yourself carbonated drinks can be tailored for individual tastes with different fruits and flavors added to the drinks.

According to Beverage Marketing Company, sales of seltzer has increased nearly 42% in the past five years, while soda consumption is at a 31-year low (according to Beverage Digest). SodaStream now has 12.5 million customers, up from 4.5 million in 2012, and sales have increased 31% this year. The product appeals to consumers who are looking for healthier, more environmentally friendly types of drinks.

The beverage war continues. What will happen next?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Show a brief video about the purchase: https://youtu.be/Idmv5onpbSs
  3. Have students view PepsiCo’s product assortment: https://www.pepsi.com
  4. Show SodaStream web site: https://sodastream.com/
  5. Which strategy is PepsiCo using by purchasing SodaStream?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market SodaStream.
  7. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
  8. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Washington Post, New York Times, Fortune, CNBC, TIME, and other news outlets

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Cold and Hot: Coca-Cola and Coffee

While we in the U.S. might not be familiar with U.K.-based coffee company Costa, it has almost 4,000 stores, including several hundred in China, and is the third largest coffee brand in the industry (behind Starbucks and McDonalds). Costa was recently acquired by Coca-Cola for $5.1 billion. Why? Simply stated: because purchases of soft drinks are down, and coffee consumption is up. Coca-Cola’s earnings have gone from $14 billion in 2013 to under $9 billion in 2017. According to Euromonitor, coffee sales are forecast to grow 15.6% by 2022.

To date, Coca-Cola’s products have included soft drinks and water products including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola Life, Dasani, Minute Maid, Ciel, PowerAde, Simply juice beverages, Coca-Cola Light, Fresca, Smart Water, Fuze, Honest Tea, and more, including several alcohol products in Asia. However, the company has not had a hot-drink in its product mix, nor has it had a significant retail footprint.

Competition will be fierce. In addition to Starbucks, McDonalds, and others, there is Nestle which owns Nescafe instant coffee and Blue Bottle (which has exclusive rights to Starbucks packaged coffee and tea. Another competitor is JAB (European conglomerate) which owns Peet’s Coffee and Keurig. For Costa, the deal will help strengthen the brand and expand into new geographies.

The coffee battle has begun.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Have students view Coca-Cola’s products: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/brands/product-description
  3. Show video about purchase: http://fortune.com/2018/08/31/coca-cola-costa-coffee-whitbread-hot-drinks/
  4. Show Costa Coffee Web site: https://www.costa.co.uk/
  5. Which strategy is Coca-Cola using for Costa Coffee? Why?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market Costa Coffee.
  7. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
  8. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  New York Times, Fortune, CNN, Telegraph, and other news outlets

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