Tag Archives: situation analysis

Bomb Shelters are a Booming Business

If you have been reading the news recently, it seems that the world can certainly be described as a scary place. Today’s world is aware of the possibility of new nuclear activity by countries such as North Korea. While nuclear capabilities are not something anyone wants to consider, there are some industries that are getting a boost from it – including the bomb shelter industry. You may not have previously considered this industry as a growth market, but right now it is booming (no pun intended).

According to several U.S. companies, sales and inquiries are on the rise. One company, Atlas Shelters, expects a stellar year, selling a thousand shelters at an average price of $25,000 per shelter. In particular, there is increased demand in Japan as well as the U.S. Bomb shelter customers are often homeowners who are alarmed about the possibility of nuclear strike; they also include survivalists and “preppers” who are preparing for natural and man-made disasters.

There are a variety of different shelters, including a 500 square foot, steel-encased bunker for $120,000 that can be decked out with luxury accommodations. On the other side of the spectrum is Vivos, a company that sells shares in underground bunker complexes that include community spaces. It sells shares in its complex for $35,000 per person and claims that its 80-person complex in Indiana is completely sold out.

Do you have a plan?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the components of a situation analysis: company, general industry, trends, key competitors, technology, legal, etc.
  2. Who is the target market for bomb shelters?
  3. Show Web sites for companies producing shelters:

Atlas Shelters: http://atlassurvivalshelters.com/

Rising S Shelters:  http://risingsbunkers.com/

Vivos community shelters:  https://terravivos.com/

  1. Ask students what data they would want in order to make a marketing decisions for bomb shelter companies.
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team use laptops to do general research to answer the questions above (Ex: overview of industry, size, growth, new technologies, environmental impact, laws, etc.)
  3. Debrief the exercise by compiling information on the white board. Does this give a good picture of the situation faced by these companies?

Source:  McClatchy Washington Bureau

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Farewell to the iPod

The iPod is officially dead. Yes, you read this correctly. After 16 years, with more than 400 million units sold worldwide, Apple has pulled the plug on the iPod Nano and Shuffle, removing the product line from its online stores. To many people, the iPod was a revolutionary device. The portable device with its iconic white headphones enabled people to take their full music library anywhere, giving listeners control of playlists and music.

iPod launched in 2001 with a unit holding 5 GB of data for $399, quickly followed in 2002 with a 10 GB unit at $499. Things really changed when Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in 2003, setting off a landslide in music downloads as well as music piracy concerns. In 2007, Apple launched the iPhone, which included capabilities beyond just making phone calls, incorporating music capabilities in the phone.

How many iPods have you owned?

R.I.P. iPod. You changed the world of music.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Next, discuss the iPod and it’s journey through the product life cycle: http://www.macworld.com/article/1053499/home-tech/ipodtimeline.html
  4. Show Apple’s online store: https://www.apple.com/. What product line is missing from the store?
  5. Poll students: Who had an iPod? What do they use now for music?
  6. Show first iPod commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8
  7. 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.

Source:  Wired, other news sources

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2017 Corporate Reputation Survey

Reputation and brand management are extremely important to companies. Managing a corporation’s reputation is an increasingly fraught task in today’s divisive political and business climates. A company’s values and mission play a large role in its reputation among consumers.

A recently released Harris Poll report analyzes the “Reputation of America’s 100 Most Visible Companies.” The poll measures a company’s reputation based on the perception of 23,000 Americans. Six categories are used: Social Responsibility, Emotional Appeal, Product and Service, Vision and Leadership, Financial Performance, and Workplace Environment. The Reputation Quotient (RQ) for this year has 17 of the 100 most visible companies earning an “excellent reputation” and 34 companies received “very good.”

The top 10 highest-ranking companies are:

  1. Amazon
  2. Wegmans
  3. Publix
  4. Johnson & Johnson
  5. Apple
  6. UPS
  7. Walt Disney
  8. Google
  9. Tesla
  10. 3M Company

According to the study, the biggest risks are intentional wrongdoing or illegal actions, lying or misinterpreting the facts about a product, and intentional misuse of financial information for financial gain.

Big losers this year included a significant drop for Wells Fargo by 20 points, and the lowest ranking company is air bag manufacturer Takata.

What companies do you admire (or not)?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of corporate reputation in marketing and branding.
  2. Poll students: Which companies do they thing would be ranked as high, and which as low?
  3. View and discuss the Harris Poll report: http://www.theharrispoll.com/reputation-quotient/
  4. Divide students into team. Have each team select a low ranked company and devise a program to help improve their reputation.
  5. Or, have students analyze why the top companies were ranked at those levels.

Source:  Harris Poll

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