Tag Archives: situation analysis

Harley-Davidson’ New Ebike Arrives

Have you tried riding an electric bicycle yet? If you have, you are part of a growing segment of bike riders who are enjoying the speed and fun of e-bikes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers turned away from indoor gyms and moved in droves to outdoor recreation. Sales of e-bikes hit a record high in the U.S., with many new companies entering and competing for market share.

A recent study by Transparency Market Research estimated the global market valuation  of e-bikes is expected to reach $95 billion by 2030. Consumers value e-bikes for their clean and energy-efficient transportation. Plus, e-bikes make commuting more fun, and far less sweaty than riding a traditional bicycle.

One of the latest entries into the e-bike market is from Harley-Davidson. Yes, you read this correctly – the famous HOG is powering a slower moving bike than its traditional motorcycles, but is bringing its reputation and engineering to the e-bike party. Serial 1 Cycles, powered by Harley-Davidson is a homage to its oldest-known motorcycle.

The product line consists of four models and ranges in price from $3,799 to $5,599. The maximum assist speed starts at 20 mph and increases to 28 mph for the top model. The special edition S1 MOSH/TRIBUTE is limited to 650 units worldwide. It features a removable battery integrated into the frame and has a mileage range up to 105 miles.

Let’s ride!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of competitive analysis. (Relate this to SWOT analysis research.)
  2. Review the rise of the e-bike market. Why is this a growing industry? What are the risks?
  3. Show Harley-Davidson Serial 1 website: https://www.serial1.com/
  4. Show video of Harley-Davidson’s new e-bike: https://youtu.be/GzP-fwPJNxs
  5. Discuss competition: Who are the direct competitors for this product? Indirect competitors?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team compare Harley-Davidson’s e-bike with a competitive product. What are the points of difference (what makes this product different from competition)?
  7. Have teams describe the target market for the Harley-Davidson e-bike.
  8. Does Harley-Davidson’s target market differ from other e-bike companies?

Source:  Forbes; The Verge; other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

The Changing Face of America

Demographic information is very important to marketers. Demographics are descriptors; data that can be somewhat easily described such as age, gender, education, occupation, ethnicity, household size, and more. With this information, marketers can best target campaigns to the correct target market.

The recent census results highlight the changing American demographics from 2010 to 2020. Population has significantly changed in many ways since the 2010 Census results.

  • U.S. metro areas grew 9%, resulting in 86% of the population in metro areas compared to 85% in 2020.
  • The largest cities in the country are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix.
  • The fastest growing U.S. metro area was The Villages, Fla., which grew 39% to about 130,000 people.
  • People who reported being more than one race spiked.
  • Multiracial population is now 33.8 million people, a 276% increase since 2010 (Note that the census tool has been revised since 2010 to give a more accurate racial report.)
  • White population declined by 8.6%.
  • African-American population grew 5.6%
  • Asian population grew by 35%.
  • Hispanic population grew by 23%.
  • The overall U.S. population growth has slowed to 7.4%, the slowest rate in a century.
  • More than 77.9% of the population were age 18 and over.
  • Housing units increased 6.7% to more than 140 million units.

No one expects the country to stay the same. What surprised you about the results?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of demographics as part of environmental scanning and marketing plans.
  2. Show the recent Census results: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2021/population-changes-nations-diversity.html
  3. The 2020 Census map viewer can be found at: https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2021/geo/demographicmapviewer.html
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team review the results. What surprised them? How can the data be used?
  5. Class discussion: What are some of the broad implications of the changing U.S. demographics?

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau; New York Time; other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities