Tag Archives: situation analysis

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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Harley-Davidson Takes Over Ryder, ND

The motorcycle season is upon us, and this season, motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, has a goal to take over an entire town and help every town resident get a motorcycle license. The town is Ryder, North Dakota, population 85. (Yes, that’s correct, 85 people.)

The company is partnering with Ryder, which has agreed to change its name to “Rider” for the 2017 motorcycle season. The town is the envy of other small towns as Harley-Davidson repainted the town’s water tower (which is a replica of the company’s water tower) and included the company name on one side. As the mayor stated, “The tower was in dire need of a paint job.” There has also been a street dance and party, along with stationary motorcycle for practice shifting gears. Harley-Davidson’s goal is to have Ryder become the first town in America where everyone has a motorcycle license.

Will this be enough to help the company though? Harley-Davidson is seeing slow sales, increased competition, an aging Baby Boomer consumer base, and an uninterested millennial market.

How about it – do you have a motorcycle license?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  2. Show Harley-Davidson Web site: http://www.harley-davidson.com
  3. Video of the promotion: https://youtu.be/Ds3HugeXjHs
  4. For Harley-Davidson motorcycles, break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
    1. Strengths: what is company good at?
    2. Weaknesses: what needs work?
    3. Opportunities: what is going on in marketplace?
    4. Threats: what should company be wary of?
  5. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  6. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Brandchannel.com, other news sources

 

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