Tag Archives: public relations

When is it Necessary to Rebrand?

Everyone is likely to be familiar with the pizza brand Papa John’s. And, many people likely also recognize the image of the head of the company, founder John Schnatter. After all, it’s his face and name on the company and the product. Schnatter’s entrepreneurial story has been a big part of the company’s brand image and his visage has prominently been featured in its marketing and promotion activities.

However, Schnatter’s name and face have been in hot water after he recently made a racial slur on a conference call with its ad agency. (Note: The agency dropped Papa John’s as a client after the call.) This comes on top of Schnatter’s controversial NFL statements a year ago, criticizing football players who knelt (instead of standing) for the national anthem, and blaming them for lower pizza sales.

Eventually, the NFL ended the Papa John’s relationship and signed with Pizza Hut as the official pizza partner of the NFL. Also breaking ties with Papa John’s is Major League Baseball, eliminating its co-branded marketing efforts.

The big question: Should Papa John’s rebrand?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: When should a company rebrand? What is the impact of a visible company leader who crosses a line in society?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team research and discuss what happened with Papa John’s in regards to negative press.
  3. Poll teams: Should the company rebrand?
  4. Have teams list what would be involved in order to rebrand. What should the new brand look like?
  5. View the response from Papa John’s to its customers: https://www.papajohns.com/open-letter/
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source: CNN Money,  USA Today, Brandchannel.com, and other news sources

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Autonomous Luggage Cart Helps in Airports

Ah, the glamor of travel! Jetting off to exciting places, carrying pounds of luggage and goods… Oh wait, that luggage part isn’t very exciting, in fact, it is downright annoying. How many times have you looked forward to a trip, only to be exhausted and sore from lugging around a bunch of suitcases and bags? Unfortunately, that’s the reality of travel, and it is not glamorous.

But now you can relax a little and enjoy the airport experience more. To help out its weary travelers, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is launching an autonomous, self-driving luggage trolley to guide passengers through the airport and carry their bags. The blue cart (named Care-E) greets passengers once they are past security. The passenger will be prompted to scan a boarding pass and will be guided by Care-E to any location in the airport. And, of course Care-E carries all of the bulky and heavy luggage (up to 85 pounds).

Care-E moves at a human walking pace of 3 miles/hour and uses familiar, nonverbal sounds to interact with passengers. The bright blue self-driving trolley can take passengers directly to their gates, even if the gate has changed.

Air travel is so much better when someone else totes the bags!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What has been their experience travelling with luggage in airports? How could airlines improve this?
  2. Show the Care-E video: https://youtu.be/_Hio_YN77EE
  3. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  4. For air travel, who are KLM’s competitors?
  5. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for airlines.
  6. How can KLM use Care-E to position itself against competing airlines?
  7. Have each team draw their map on the board.
  8. Debrief exercise.

Source: Brandchannel.com, CNN, other news sources

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Paper, Not Plastic

Plastics and trash are quickly mounting and are endangering the beauty and health of our environment. All acts – large and small – are important to protect the environment. As consumers, we recycle, repurpose, or try to reuse. And, for corporations, the stakes are even higher as they look at their responsibility to people and the planet.

Many corporations have committed to reducing waste in their operations. For example, McDonald’s committed to having 100% of its packing globally come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025. And, beginning in September 2018, McDonald’s in the UK will be replacing plastic straws with paper ones. McDonald’s has 1,361 outlets in the UK and it uses around 1.8 million straws per day in the UK alone. While it may seem like a small item, plastic straws are the sixth most common type of trash on a global scale. Because of the plastic’s composition, it is difficult to recycle plastic straws.

McDonald’s is implementing the program in response to petitions calling for the switch from plastic, warning that plastic straws pollute the oceans, harm seabirds and marine life. An estimated 1 million birds, and more than 100,000 sea mammals die each year as a result of eating or getting tangled in plastic waste.

Let’s skip the straws.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of social responsibility.
  2. What is the triple bottom-line for social responsibility?
  3. View video on the McDonald’s change: https://youtu.be/wH61dYMieJo
  4. View Blue Planet video clip about plastic waste: https://youtu.be/I4QNolP7Khc
  5. Divide students into teams. Each team should identify a simple environmental problem and a solution.
  6. How should the solution be marketed?

Source: The Guardian, New York Times, Brandchannel.com, other news sources

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