Tag Archives: research

What’s trending?

Marketers are constantly scanning the environment to find new trends. They need to recognize how external forces shape organizations and marketplaces. The lifestyles of consumers are refreshed as consumers are exposed to new ideas and trends. As environmental forces impact organizations, they can also influence consumer behavior. The five environmental forces – social, economic, technology, competitive, and legal – are continually challenging companies, products, and services.

These forces are in play when consumers explore new ways to live, eat, communicate, work, play, learn, and much more. And, with the advent of a new hyper-connected lifestyle (thanks to social media) consumers are quickly exposed to the latest social trends and new ideas.

What are some of the recent trends? According to Mintel Trends, here are some of the recent top trends in the marketplace:

  • Consumers in transit: Adidas released 500 pairs of limited edition shoes that act as a valid annual ticket for BVG public transportation in Germany.
  • Home safety: Vivint has a new app called Streety that allows users to share footage from their outdoor cameras with neighbors.
  • Automotive: Luxury car manufacturer Infiniti teamed with Q & A Web site Zhihu to jointly host a 10-hour live streaming event where an entire car was dismantled so that consumers could learn about the different parts of the car and gain more knowledge about technology and performance.
  • Consumer goods: Coca-Cola launched Coca-Cola Coffee Plus in Australia, a beverage that has twice as much caffeine as regular Coke but has just 42 calories.

Look around. What new trends do you spot?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start by discussing how trends impact products and services.
  2. Bring up the Mintel top trends site: http://www.mintel.com/blog/new-market-trends/hotspots-january-2018s-top-trends-observations?utm_campaign=9103901_Mintel%20newsletter%20-%20NAM%2025%2F1%2F2018&utm_medium=email&utm_source=dotm&dm_i=2174,5F4M5,NVC5O0,KZ95H,1
  3. Information about the Adidas sneakers: https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/01/17/578598875/berlins-new-adidas-sneakers-feature-sewn-in-transit-tickets
  4. Vivint Streety information: https://www.vivint.com/resources/article/streety-new-neighborhood-watch-app
  5. Coca-Cola Coffee Plus: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/coca-cola-plus-coffee-no-sugar–a-blend-of-two-favourites
  6. Which of these trends do students think have staying power?
  7. Poll students: What trends have they observed lately?
  8. Ask students to utilize the Internet to research trends. What are their findings?

Source:   Mintel (25 January, 2018). Hotspots: January 2018’s top trend observations.

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Driverless Cars Deliver Pizza

Are you hungry? Want fast delivery of pizza, but don’t want to talk to anyone? There’s a solution for that.

Domino’s and Ford have formed a partnership to use self-driving Ford Fusions equipped with sensors, electronics and software, to deliver pizza to Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor, Mich. In the next few weeks, the companies will be able to see first-hand how customers respond to the new driverless delivery technology. What happens in the final 50 feet? Do people want to go outside to take delivery? Is it taking delivery simple to understand?

The cars will have safety engineers and researchers inside to monitor activities and customers’ reactions. Customers can track the delivery car through GPS, and when the car arrives, a text message will be sent to customers about how to retrieve their pizza.

Testing automated deliveries to homes and businesses goes far beyond just pizza. Deliveries from online shopping already total in the billions of dollars, and there is even more application in the future. Need roofing materials or building supplies? What about cooked meals, or ingredients for dinner?

One big advantage of the autonomous deliveries – no tipping required!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What do they have delivered to their homes now? What would they like to see delivered in the future?
  2. Show video: https://youtu.be/hANXIPxN1ME
  3. Ask for reactions. What would be their behavior for this type of delivery?
  4. What are the advantages, and disadvantages of driverless delivery?
  5. Form students into teams. Have each team develop a list of possible research questions that Ford and Domino’s would use to evaluate and revise the service.

Source:  New York Times, Associated Press, other news sources

 

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A Ken Doll for Today’s Kids

To tell a good story and engage with a wide range of audiences, it requires a diverse set of characters. They have to look and act different. It would be a boring story if everyone was the same.

That’s one reason why Mattel has added new dolls to its Barbie collection. The latest addition is a series of different Ken dolls, with different body types, skin colors, eye colors, and hair styles. Kids can now select Ken with a ‘man bun’, cornrows, and freckles. It might make us smile to see Ken with a man bun hair style, but Mattel now has a wider number of Barbie styles than ever before. In total:

  • 40 new dolls
  • 7 body types
  • 11 skin tones
  • 28 hairstyles
  • 100+ diverse looks

The “New Crew” has a large line-up of dolls in almost all shapes and styles. Last year’s more diverse Barbie collection helped increase the division’s worldwide sales by 7%. Mattel’s research also shows that for every six to eight Barbies a child has, there is one Ken doll. All the more reason to show a wider range of looks to keep kids of all shapes, colors, and sizes interested in playing with Barbie dolls.

One future Ken idea: facial hair!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss children’s toys as a market. How diverse are today’s toys for kids of all sizes, shapes, and colors?
  2. Show the new Ken and Barbie dolls: http://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/fashionistas.html
  3. Video: https://youtu.be/c3jbh1PMsOk
  4. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  5. Which strategy is Mattel using for this product? 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 the new Ken dolls.
  7. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.

Source:  Brandchannel.com, Ad Age Daily, other news sources   

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