Tag Archives: research

Sam’s Club Now Goes Cashier Free

Amazon isn’t the only company working on reinventing the retail experience. While the Amazon Go stores have captured consumers’ attention and shoppers at its cashier-less grocery stores, it’s not the only retailer interested in using technology to improve the customer shopping experience. Walmart recently announced that it is opening Sam’s Club Now, also cashier-less, in Dallas. The company describes its new store as a “technology lab that doubles as a live, retail club.” At 32,000 square feet it isn’t quite a compact store, but it is significantly smaller than the typical Sam’s Club store.

Similar to Amazon Go, in order to shop at Sam’s Club Now, members will need to use a Sam’s Club app that allows customers to scan UPC codes as they shop and check themselves out when done shopping. The app also includes smart shopping lists, in-store voice search and maps, augmented reality for new in-store experiences, and one-hour pickup.

Employees don’t go away – they instead shift to a new role called the Member Host. These associates are the face of the company and will use technology to help them serve Sam’s Club members better. Sam’s Club stated that the “future of retail is as much about people as it is about technology.”

If you’re in Dallas, check it out.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the use of innovation throughout retail.
  2. Review Sam’s Club Now announcement and video: https://corporate.samsclub.com/blog/2018/10/29/sams-club-now-reimagining-the-future-of-retail
  3. Compare this with Amazon Go: https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=16008589011
  4. What are the similarities, and differences, between the two services?
  5. How should the two companies position against each other?

Source:  Advertising Age, New York Times, other news sources

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Where Do YOU Want to Work?

Many students get confused when they are searching for jobs. They’re not confused about getting a job – they know this part. But, they get confused about selecting which company they would most like to work for. Some of their questions include:

  • Should I select based on the job offer?
  • Or, should I select based on the company?
  • Should it be a company I admire?
  • Or, is it ok to work for a company I don’t admire, but they will pay me the most?
  • What is the growth potential of the company?
  • How can I research about a company’s attributes?

These topics can stymie even long-time marketing professionals. It can be hard to evaluate a company when not much is known about it. Thus, this is where the network comes into play. Instead of basing decisions only on one’s own limited knowledge, use the power of the network to help research and evaluate choices.

Providing what could valuable information in the evaluation of companies is the power of the LinkedIn network. Based on data from its more than 546 million professionals (146+ million who are in the U.S.), LinkedIn has compiled a list of the companies where professionals would most like to work. The list is based on billions of actions taken by LinkedIn members in regards to four main pillars of engagement: (1) interest in the company, (2) engagement with the company’s employees, (3) job demand, and (4) employee retention.

Here are the top 10 finalists for the 50 companies most want to work at in the U.S.:

  1. Amazon
  2. Alphabet
  3. Facebook
  4. Salesforce
  5. Tesla
  6. Apple
  7. Comcast NBC Universal
  8. The Walt Disney Company
  9. Oracle
  10. Netflix

Where do you want to work?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Suggestion: For this discussion, invite someone from the campus career services center to attend class and moderate the discussion.
  2. Discuss what attributes students look for in an employer.
  3. What do they want most? What do they want least?
  4. Divide students into teams. Based on the attributes the team wants most, have each team list 10 different companies where they would like to work.
  5. Compare the results between teams.
  6. Show the LinkedIn article and list of top companies to work for in the U.S. : https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedin-top-companies-2018-where-us-wants-work-now-daniel-roth/
  7. How many of these companies are on (or not on) the students’ lists?

Source: Roth, D. (21 March, 2018). LinkedIn top companies 2018: Where the U.S. wants to work now. LinkedIn.com.

 

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Kitty Hawk’s Air Taxi

It seems that a number of companies are taking to the air and working on new transportation methods. A significant new entry vying for a place in the sky is Kitty Hawk, a company financed by Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO, Larry Page. (Kitty Hawk is run by Sebastian Thrun who started Google’s autonomous car unit as director of Google X.) The company has been working somewhat stealthily in New Zealand, testing a new type of fully electric, self-piloting flying taxis.

New Zealand’s prime minister recently announced that it will test Kitty Hawk’s autonomous planes as part of an official certification process. The goal is to have a commercial network of flying taxis in New Zealand in three years. Things will be somewhat different in the U.S. though; the FAA allows test flights of autonomous vehicles, but there is no path to commercialize at this point in time.

Kitty Hawk’s first plane is Cora, a personal air taxi for everyday use. The plane can take off and land like a helicopter, thus eliminating the need for a runway. It has the potential to land on spaces such as rooftops and parking lots. Cora combines self-flying software with expert human supervision. The all-electric vehicle is a pollution-free way to reduce commute time, and stress. Cora has a flight range of 100 kilometers and can fly 150 km/hour.

Look… up in the air… it’s a bird…. it’s a plan…. It’s Cora!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the future of transportation. Will it be on the ground?
  2. Show Kitty Hawk’s Web site: https://kittyhawk.aero/
  3. A video of the plane is available at: https://cora.aero/
  4. Discuss the components of an environmental scan: social, technology, economics, competition, and legal.
  5. Ask students what data they would want in order to make a marketing decision for Kitty Hawk.
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team use laptops to do general for one of the five components of the environmental scan.
  7. Debrief the exercise by compiling information on the white board. Does this give a good picture of the situation faced by Kitty Hawk?

Source:  Sorkin, A. (12 March, 2018). Larry Page’s flying taxis, now exiting stealth mode. New York Times.

 

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