Tag Archives: situation analysis

World Population Grows to 8 Billion in 2022

Marketers understand the importance of doing research and analyzing demographic factors such as population, gender, education, age, economics and geography. This is why they continually track environmental factors – these factors are important in an organization’s strategy and growth.

Recently, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs estimates that the global population, while growing slowly at under 1%, will still reach 8 billion people by mid-November, 2022; 8.5 billion by 2030; 9.7 billion by 2050; and 10.4 billion in 2100. This equates to a 31% increase in Earth’s population by the end of the century.

Half of the world’s population lives in seven countries: China (1.426 billion), India (1.417 billion), United States (338 million), Indonesia (276 million), Pakistan (236 million), Nigeria (219 million), and Brazil (215 million). And, next year (2023), India will exceeds China’s population and become the most world’s most populous country.

Population growth is very unequal though; just eight countries will account for more than half of the global population growth before 2050: Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania.

While some countries will experience economic growth per capita, the increasing number of older citizens will pose problems with health care and senior care. By 2050, people ages 65 and older will account for 16% of the global population, up from 10% in 2022.

And let’s not forget the importance of social factors on population. The coronavirus pandemic plays an important part of the slow population growth as well as economic impacts.

The world keeps spinning!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of environmental scanning.
  2. Show the World Population Clock: https://www.census.gov/popclock/
  3. In class, have teams of students examine different topics within the site.
  4. Video of U.N. Population Report: analysis: https://youtu.be/bZZ9gFnCzCM
  5. The U.N. World Population report can be accessed at https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/sites/www.un.org.development.desa.pd/files/wpp2022_summary_of_results.pdf
  6. Optional: Assign students to read the report and report on critical information. The report may be divided into sections for different teams.
  7. Based on their analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur for organizations?
  8. What should organizations do to prepare?

Sources:  Hackett, C. (21 July 2022). Global population projected to exceed 8 billion in 2022; half live in just seven countries. Pew Research Center; Tsui, K. (11 July 2022). World’s population to hit 8 billion before year’s end. Washington Post.; other news sources.

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“Shrinkflation” Takes Hold in Product Sizing

The small things matter. Small in this case meaning the quantity in a package. In case you haven’t noticed lately, prices are going up and contents are going down.

If you’re not sure about this, consider the new sizes of common household products such as toothpaste and toilet paper. Example: A Crest toothpaste once contained 4.1 ounces of teeth-whitening product, but now contains 3.8 ounces. Gatorade was 32-ounces, but not it is down to 28 ounces. And (in case you are counting sheets) a roll of Cottonelle toilet paper has shrunk to 312 sheets, compared to its former count of 340 sheets.

Meal portions at restaurants have also been impacted. At Subway restaurants, the chicken wraps and sandwiches have less meat now. Domino’s Pizza reduced the order size of boneless wings to 8 pieces from the usual 10 pieces. Burger King is also downsizing its nugget meals from 10 to 8 pieces. What is going on?

At first glance none of this seems too alarming, but this movement is called “shrinkflation” and tends to not retreat once implemented. Shrinkflation is when manufacturers cut down on the product size or volume in a package, rather than raising the price on the customary size. This happens during times of increasing raw materials and supply chain cost increases. It’s not illegal, but it does seem a little sneaky. And, once the new sizes and prices have been accepted, new standards are in place for consumers and their wallets.

Are your foods shrinking?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What have they observed in their purchases? Are the sizes or prices the same?
  2. Show video about shrinkflation: https://youtu.be/q13_06F4_HI
  3. Discuss why manufacturers are making these changes. What are the reasons?
  4. How is shrinkflation accounted for in pricing?
  5. Discuss various pricing models: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  6. Which pricing model is being used with shrinkflation?
  7. Offer an outside assignment for teams of students. Have them visit a local store and examine products that illustrate shrinkflation.

Sources:  Patton, L. (12 May 2022). Fewer nuggets, smaller salads: Shr9inkflation hits U.S. Restaurant Diners. Bloomberg.; Skores, A. (16 May 2022). Inflation up, product size down. Dallas Morning News.; other news sources.

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R.I.P.: iPod Comes to the End of its Life

Nothing lasts forever, even things that we love and use. At some point in time, we give up treasured things when we realize they are worn out or obsolete. No matter what it is, eventually it comes to an end. The product gets to the decline stage and it’s time to use those resources for a new product. Time for a burial.

In recent years some of the most popular product burials have included Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer (now being reinstated), multiple Ford car product lines, Bronco (now being manufactured again), BlackBerry phones, the Volkswagen Beetle, Segway, and more.

Today, another beloved product has been added to the gone-but-not-forgotten list, and it’s a sad one. Apple has now officially stopped all production of the iPod. Yes, after stopping the Nano and Shuffle a few years ago, Apple has now ceased manufacturing all iPods and is only selling until inventory runs out.

The iPod was introduced in 2001 when it held 1,000 songs, has 5-gigabytes of storage, and cost $399. The iPod Touch followed in 2007, and the most recent (and last) iPod Touch launched in 2019. Over the two decades of its productive and prolific life, there were more than two dozen iPod models. By April of 2007 Apple had sold 100 million iPods. Today, an estimated 450 million iPods have been sold worldwide! Without the iPod, there would have been no iPhone.

In my humble opinion, the iPod was one of the most revolutionary products of all times. It ushered us into the truly portable music category; we could take any music anywhere, anytime on a small device that fit into a pocket. Revolutionary.

Nice to have known you, iPod. R.I.P.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What was the first Apple product they got? When? How many Apple products do they have now?
    1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
    1. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
    1. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.
    1. For fun, play the first iPod TV commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8

Sources:  Mickle, T. (10 May 2022). Farewell to the iPod. New York Times; Prang, A. and Stern, J. (10 May 2022). Apple is discontinuing the iPod after more than a two decade run. Wall Street Journal; other news sources.

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