Tag Archives: situation analysis

Dreaming of Flying

The dream of a flying car is alive and well in Silicon Valley. The latest version of flying comes from a company named Kitty Hawk. It doesn’t exactly look like a car though – it looks more like a jet ski with pontoons and propellers.

The vehicle is open and can carry one person. Powered by eight battery-powered propellers, the 220-pound vehicle takes off and lands on water and a platform. The Kitty Hawk Flyer is being promoted using a membership model – enthusiasts pay $100 to gain exclusive access to the Kitty Hawk and will get a $2,000 discount towards the yet-to-be-set price. There are barriers though for the new industry, including regulations. Plus, today’s batteries cannot yet support flights of the average daily commute, and where do you land if there is a problem?

This company is far from alone in its quest to create flying vehicles though. Challengers include more than a dozen other companies, including Terrafugia, Airbus Group, Volocopter, AeroMobil, and more.

Are you ready to fly away?

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 the Kitty Hawk Web site and video: https://kittyhawk.aero/
  3. For this product, 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?
  4. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  5. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source: New York Times, other news sources

 

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Drink Up!

water

Do you drink enough water during the day? Sure, you might intend to drink up regularly, but intentions don’t always match actions. The problem came to a head for an entrepreneur in Minnesota when she continued to experience headaches. The problem, not drinking enough water. And, as often is the case, a problem sends consumers in search of new solutions. Thus, the Hidrate Spark “smart” water bottle was developed.

This is no ordinary water bottle. It features an innovative design and technology that tracks how much water is consumed, lights up when it’s time for more water, and also connects to smartphones and wearable devices such as FitBit. The Bluetooth-connected app records the customer’s height, weight, and activity level. Using location, the app adjusts water goals based on temperature, humidity, and elevation.

The BPA free water bottle holds 24 fluid ounces, has a battery life of one year, and even includes a “don’t leave me behind” tracking – just in case you forgot it behind.

So, go ahead and drink up!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Look around the classroom at the various types of water bottles carried by students. Poll students about how many water bottles they have, and if they believe that they drink enough water.
  2. Show the Kickstarter campaign and videos: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/582920317/hidrateme-smart-water-bottle?ref=nav_search
  3. Show the Hidrate Spark Web site: http://hidratespark.com/
  4. Since water bottles are ubiquitous, this product can be used to illustrate the importance of product differentiation.
  5. Discuss environmental scan factors: social trends, economic trends, technology, competition, regulations.
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team complete an environmental scan for this product.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune  

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Organic Gatorade

gator

Without a doubt, Gatorade is the gorilla in the sports drink industry. However, even though the company controls roughly 70% of the sports drink market, it knows it cannot rest on its current success. There is constant pressure from new challengers in the sports and energy drink and market, particularly from healthier sports drinks such as organic drinks and coconut water.

In response to the growing consumer demand for organic foods, Gatorade spent two research of research to formulate the new product – G Organic. The product contains only seven ingredients: water, organic cane sugar, citric acid, organic natural flavor, sea salt, sodium citrate and potassium chloride. It’s worth noting the G Organic does contain more sugar (7 teaspoons) than the USDA recommended allowance (6 teaspoons).

While the product is currently in limited distribution, the company plans to grow the rollout into new markets. There are three flavors – strawberry, lemon, and mixed berry. Suggested retail price is $1.69 for a 16.9-ounce bottle. This is 50 cents over the nonorganic Gatorade Thirst Quencher drink.

While broad food sales gained only 3% growth last year, the organic food industry sales in the U.S. is up 11% to $43.3 billion in 2015. There is increasing demand from consumers, athletes, and nutritionist for healthier energy drinks. Getting an organic designation isn’t easy. The company had to eliminate all artificial ingredients and refine its manufacturing process in order to earn the USDA organic accreditation.

Ready for your workout?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. First, discuss the new Gatorade Organic products.
  2. View Gatorade’s products: http://www.gatorade.com/
  3. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  4. For Gatorade Organic product, 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:  Ad Age Daily, Bloomberg News, other news sources

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