Tag Archives: situation analysis

Contagions Apply to Both Sickness and Health

Trends are contagious, both when they are growing as well as when they are declining. Think about it. We see new trends nearly every day, adopt them, but then just as often we quit those trends. This is not just a lone event of one person though. Social networks are strong components in helping us decide what to adopt.

According to research, many health behaviors are fundamentally contagious ideas. Basically, your social network can predict health, weight, and exercise (even stock prices). A timely case that illustrates this movement is Peloton, which reached a high during the pandemic, only to plummet a year later as the pandemic waned.

How do we get ‘infected’ with the contagion? Social networks lead consumers to catch the trend, live with it, and then move on to new trends. During the pandemic, it was all about fitness at home, online training, and connected exercise equipment. We couldn’t go to the gym and many sports were suspended, leading to more investment in home-based fitness. However, now that pandemic restrictions have been removed, we’ve gone back to the gym and sports teams.

Research conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine shows us how trends move in cycles: Pilates, Zumba, Cross Fit, spinning, and boot camps are all examples. Even exercises with staying power, such as yoga and running, move into new variants and practices to survive. Some of the top fitness trends for 2022 include:

  • Wearable technology
  • Home exercise gyms
  • Outdoor activities
  • Strength training with free weights

What trends do you think will stick around?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Divide students into teams. Have each team list past fitness trends they have tried?
  2. What helps a trend stick around?
  3. What leads trends to quickly fade out?
  4. Using Peloton as an example of trends, show video about Peloton’s life cycle: https://www.wsj.com/video/series/wsj-explains/why-peloton-spun-out-what-happened-to-the-bike-and-treadmill-firm/30FEB49E-85EE-4719-9B6D-F7E44D195CE5
  5. View ACSM report on fitness trends: https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2022/01000/Worldwide_Survey_of_Fitness_Trends_for_2022.6.aspx
  6. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various fitness and health trends into each stage.
  8. 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.
  9. Have teams draw a product life cycle. Place different fitness and health trends on the PLC.

Source: American College of Sports Medicine (30 December 2021). Wearable tech named top fitness trend for 2022.; Zumbrun, J. (9 September 2022). Both sickness and health, it turns out, are contagious. Wall Street Journal.

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More Electric Vehicles Make it to Market

There is no doubt that electric vehicles (EV) are seeing an increase in inventory and sales. Globally, electric vehicle sales doubled in 2021 and sales are still strong in 2022. In the second quarter of 2022, EV sales were 5.6% of the total auto market, up 2.7% from the same time a year ago. Consumers are embracing the EV market for its clean energy and solid performing vehicles.

Pricing remains a sticking point with consumers though as many EVs are priced in the range of $50,000 – $100,000 and up. Sure, consumers want to help the environment, but they also face a very real limitation on spending for EVs.

To help position it as a more general option, General Motors plans to release an EV Chevy Equinox in fall 2023 at the lower price point of $30,000. Today, there are few models of any type of EV below $35,000. Complicating the pricing, the costs of battery materials (such as lithium and nickel) have risen significantly. On average, U.S. buyers paid $66,000 for an EV, an increase of 28% from a year ago according to J.D. Power research.

The Inflation Reduction Act is one option to help consumers lower the costs. It offers up to $7,500 in federal EV tax credits, but only for models that meet certain domestic-production requirements. While both new and used cars qualify, there are other restrictions that can limit how much tax credit a consumer receives including income limits and vehicle list prices.

Are you ready to make the leap to an EV vehicle?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is their perception of pricing for EVs in today’s market?
  2. Have students research prices for EV automobiles and SUVs. Build a spreadsheet with information about select vehicles such as Volkswagen, Tesla, Kia, and Toyota.
  3. Have students research the Inflation Reduction Act for federal EV tax credits. What are the caveats?
  4. Show video from WSJ about the EV discounts: https://www.wsj.com/video/series/george-downs/the-climate-bill-unlocks-new-ev-discounts-but-not-everyones-a-winner/26F2FC57-3150-4311-AE3E-705E554AB4D6
  5. Another classroom discussion can focus on how the Inflation Reduction Act fits into an environmental scan for the EV market.

Sources:  Colias, M. (8 September 2022). GM courts mainstream buyers with $30,000 electric Chevy Equinox. Wall Street Journal.; Forbes growth sector: Electric vehicle sales and the new electric economy have arrived (24 September 2022). Forbes.

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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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