Tag Archives: retail

Nike: “Play New” and “Toughest Athletes”

Most of the time marketers target a specific group of consumers for their products and services. Marketers can target a consumer group using a number of factors including geography, demographics, lifestyle, attitudes, and behaviors. The key is to understand the consumer group for which the products are intended. The products have to show value and benefits; the company’s advertising has to show that the company understands the needs and desires of the consumer group.

Athletics is a very large consumer group. It can have professionals, amateurs, youth, mature, various sports, and more. Nike recently launched a new campaign to appeal to people who want to try new sports but fail at them, encouraging new athletes to not give up after a few fails. For this market, there are many existing products to sell, but the mindset is different. The “Play New” campaign showcases elite athletes and professionals trying a new sport that they don’t excel at – and shows them failing at it! The campaign will be paired with a full-body Snapchat augmented reality lens customized for yoga, dancing, surfing, and boxing. All are encouraging consumers to attempt something new and uncomfortable initially.

In addition to “Play New,” Nike also launched a new campaign (along with full athletic wear apparel) geared to pregnant women and new moms. New moms are of course cast as the “Toughest Athletes” and the commercial shows international moms-to-be and moms who are flexing their athletic and maternal abilities. Additionally, the campaign will contain four guided, motherhood workouts that will be part of the Nike Run Club app.

Nike seems to identify new markets and approaches at a high rate. What other approaches could it take?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are the target markets for Nike? (Did anyone mention pregnant women and new moms?)
  2. Show the Nike video for pregnant women: https://youtu.be/_-5MGkUwe6w
  3. Show the website for Nike Maternity wear: https://www.nike.com/maternity
  4. Video for “Play new” campaign: https://youtu.be/BUvEEVq4woU
  5. Why these two target markets?
  6. What else can Nike do to encourage buying from these consumers?
  7. What other new target markets could Nike sell to?

Source: Ad Week; other news sources

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No More Cash or Credit Cards. Instead: “Do you take palms?”

When you shop, how do you pay? Do you use cash, credit/debit card, check, or mobile? And, when you enter campus buildings or work, do you use an access card or code? Ever wish there was an easier way to do these things so you don’t have to worry about carrying a wallet or cards?

Well, if Amazon One gets adopted in the marketplace, then you can pay for items and access buildings using just your palm. Yep, that’s right. Put your hand right there and access is granted.

Amazon is now using its palm-scanning payment system in a Seattle (Wash.) Whole Foods store. This expand the testing of Amazon One beyond Amazon Go and Amazon Book stores, and the company says thousands of customers have signed up to use the new service.

How does it work? The palm-scanning device analyzes “the minute characteristics of your palm – both surface-area details like lines and ridges as well as subcutaneous features such as vein patterns” to identify customers and use palms to pay. But first, customers must register their palms at a kiosk in the Whole Foods store and link a credit/debit card to the payment. Easy. Since palm prints are unique, and your hands are attached to your body, only you can unlock the payments. And, in the times of contagious diseases such as Covid-19, the payment is truly contactless – you don’t touch a thing at checkout.

Amazon is also exploring selling the technology to other companies, so perhaps you will see this at a store (or office) near you next year. However, there are concerns about security and privacy as the data is stored on a cloud.

Raise your hand if you’re willing to use palm recognition systems.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How do they pay for most of their shopping? Cash, check, credit/debit card?
  2. How would they feel about using palm prints as payment/recognition systems?
  3. Show the Amazon One website and video: https://one.amazon.com/
  4. Show news video: https://youtu.be/rf7por-57yI
  5. Discuss the importance of developing a clear, concise message for launching new products.
  6. Use a pyramid model to build the key messages: Top of pyramid – most important message that the customer wants to hear. Middle of pyramid – how the product achieves its value for the customer. Bottom of pyramid – proof points used to validate claims.
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a key message pyramid for Amazon One Palm Payment service.
  8. When debriefing the exercise, make sure to emphasize to students the difference between what a company wants to tell the market, and what a customer wants to hear about the product.

Source: Reuters; The Verge; other news sources

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Why Can’t Ketchup, well… Catchup?

It’s happened again – one minute consumers are buying in a predictable way, at the usual times, and in the usual patterns. Then, boom! Everything changes.

But this time, instead of earlier toilet paper shortages, the product causing big problems is ketchup! Especially those small packets that are loved by fast-food customers everywhere.

The culprit, once again, causing this supply chain saga is Covid-19. Yes, the pandemic appears to have influenced every facet of consumer behavior. The main shift was caused by closed restaurants that drove consumers to the fast-food drive-in restaurants and home cooking, rather than dine-in restaurant options. It also turned many former dine-in restaurants into takeout places, making ketchup a commodity included in more food orders.

Ketchup packet prices have risen 13% since last January and the market share of packets (sachets) has eclipsed that of tabletop bottles. Ketchup is the most consumed sauce at U.S. restaurants, and even more is eaten at home. The pandemic has increased overall retail ketchup sales in the U.S. by 15% to more than $1 billion. Kraft Heinz leads the market with nearly 70% of the total U.S. market.

Kraft is responding to the shortage and plans to open two new manufacturing lines and increase production by about 25%. It has also innovated a no-touch ketchup dispenser to use at restaurants to help meet safety concerns caused by Covid.

Pass the ketchup please.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the elements in the supply chain and marketing channel.
  2. Diagram the supply chain and marketing channel for toilet paper.
  3. Show a news video about the shortage: https://youtu.be/4A7ObtFfYrE
  4. Where are the stress points in the supply chain and marketing channel?
  5.  What can be done to better produce and manage products?
  6. Poll students: What are their predictions for the next shortage?

Source: New York Times; Reuters News; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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