Tag Archives: services

The Future of Parking Garages

When is the last time you left your car in a public parking garage? It may sound a little crazy to ask this, but what was your experience? Most likely, it just was parking and nothing else. Nothing special. Boring. Repetitive. Unattractive. Expensive. Time consuming.

Now, think of the potential business opportunity to give those car owners something else to enjoy – and spend money on – in addition to keeping their cars safely tended. The parking garage could actually become a ‘mobility hub’ or a ‘silo’ that could provide restful parking for delivery drivers who might need restrooms and food. After all, those large concrete buildings are usually in valuable real estate located next to destinations such as entertainment, shopping, and events venues.

Innovation is now coming to parking garages. In Chicago, an underground parking garage downtown is being converted to an e-commerce delivery center. Los Angeles parking garages house shared commercial kitchens. Denver and Seattle parking garage roofs are being used as urban greenhouses and farms. San Francisco is redeveloping a garage into a mixed-use complex with affordable housing. Other garages are using parking spots for autonomous vehicles and EV charging stations, adding integrated access controls, kiosks, valet parking, and more, all synced through mobile devices.

Technology plays a large role in the future of parking garages. High-tech cameras can read license plates, enabling drivers to buy passes online and bypass ticket taking and payments, reserving a parking spot in advance. Some garages work with car-sharing companies, bikes, food trucks, and scooters to help patrons quickly access transportation. Others are considering how to combine workspace, retail, fitness centers, and housing using pre-fabricated modules.

What would you like to see in a parking garage?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What has been their experiences with parking garages? What is negative? What could be done to improve parking garages?
  2. View FlashPark website: https://www.flashparking.com/products/
  3. Show video – why parking lots will disappear: https://youtu.be/XMt4zEEHxv4
  4. Discuss the impact of ride-sharing services and autonomous vehicles on parking garages.
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a parking garage in the area.
  6. Research the garage, number of spots, footprint, revenue, usage.
  7. Have each team redesign the garage to be more innovative and useful.
  8. Debrief the exercise and select a winning design.

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

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The Brief Life of Quibi

Did you ever use Quibi? Do you even know what service Quibi provides? If your answer is “no” to either of these questions, then you are likely among one of the many reasons the video service shut down after only six months.

Quibi was developed as a streaming video app from Hollywood studio executives and offered entertainment and news in 5-10 minute lengths. It launched in April 2020 with the intent on challenging the streaming players. Quibi (which stands for “quick bites”) was designed for short viewing times in the “in-between moments” of life.

While the pandemic caused a number of issues for the company (since we were all now at home with devices, instead of on the move), it was only one of a series of missteps. Viewers couldn’t connect Quibi to their at-home TV, could not share programming, and had limited videos from which to choose. Quibi also had a lot of competition, including free services from YouTube and other platforms. Advertisers were also underwhelmed and experienced difficulties.

Although the app was downloaded an estimated 9.6 million times, and an estimated 90% of viewers left after the free trial period. The monthly service cost $4.99/month with included ads, or $7.99/month without ads. That’s not a bad price, but viewers saw it as one more monthly service to add on top of current streaming services from Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Disney+, and more.

Bye, Quibi.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who knows what Quibi did? Who used the service? Who subscribed beyond the free trial?
  2. Show Quibi’s site (it may not last long): https://quibi.com/
  3. News video of Quibi’s demise: https://youtu.be/tEfx_MxEXq4
  4. Discuss the components of an environmental scan: technology, social, competition, regulatory, and economic factors.
  5. Divide students into team. Have each team do a brief analysis of Quibi and the environment and develop a SWOT analysis.
  6. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle.
  7. Draw a product life cycle on the board and discuss the stages and marketing objective. What did Quibi’s PLC look like?

Source: AdWeek; New York Times; The Verge; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Meal Kits Rebound

Meal kits have been around for a number of years. When they first launched, the novelty and ease of use quickly drove the subscriptions up. But sales plateaued as competitors proliferated and differentiation between companies was missing. After all, how many meal subscriptions does a household need? The cost of the first sale was high, and competitors all seemed to be trying to reach the same target market. Growth stalled.

But, the coronavirus pandemic is changing the dynamics of the market once again. With more people staying at home, restaurants closed, and fear of the virus in crowded places such as supermarkets, meal kits are primed for a resurgence. According to Nielsen Research, consumer spending on meal kits in April of this year is nearly double the level from the same period a year ago.

Restaurants also are getting in on the action with Panera Break readying a launch of its own make-your-own salad and sandwich kits. It is being joined by other dining chains such as Denny’s, Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack, and others. Doing an Internet search for “meal subscription boxes” brings up dozens of options for meal and snack subscriptions!

Environmental conditions have a big impact.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of environmental scanning in marketing.
  2. What are the environmental factors that are impacting the meal kit industry?
  3. How can meal kit companies use this information to retain and grow their customer base?
  4. Divide students into team. Have each team research one of the following meal kit companies, or another of their choosing:

Hello Fresh: https://www.hellofresh.com/

Home Chef: https://www.homechef.com/

Sun Basket: https://sunbasket.com/

Blue Apron: https://www.blueapron.com/

Freshly: https://www.freshly.com/

  1. How are these companies different? How are they similar? What is the value offered by each company?
  2. Have students build a SWOT analysis chart for the company.

Source: Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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