Tag Archives: target market

Direct-to-Consumer Air Conditioner

It’s summer (finally)! People are leaving their houses and enjoying the warmer weather. Well, not everyone enjoys summer heat – many older apartments and houses lack central air conditioning and depend either on fans or in-window air conditioners. While many home technology devices are sleek looking and high-tech, the lowly room air conditioner has remained unchanged for decades, retaining its distinct lack of style.

July air conditioners aims to change that. The new direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand takes a fresh look at the design of in-window units and is positioning itself as a design item in addition to being an effective appliance. It’s struck a nerve with consumers; within the first five days of announcing a wait list for the product, there were more than 3,000 people waiting in (virtual) line. Early ordering also lowers the cost of the units by 25% and guarantees a summer delivery.

There are two units of power: 6,000 BTUs (cools up to 250 sq. ft.) is $349 and 8,000 BTUs (cools up to 350 sq. ft.) is $399. The unit is square, sleek and uses a simple installation process. The customer first inserts a frame to lock in the window, then slides in the unit until it clicks into place. The front of the unit is a solid panel that comes in white, light blue, gray, and ash wood that consumers can switch out and customize to match their decor. July can be controlled via WiFi and scheduled to turn on at a desired time as well as controlled with voice commands.

Ready for summer?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Show July: https://july.ac/
  3. For the July Air Conditioner product, who is the target market?
  4. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for July. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  5. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
  6. July is a DTC brand – meaning it is not sold in stores. What are the considerations for this brand as it works to reach prospective customers?
  7. How is July positioning its products compared to the standard in-window air conditioners?

Source: Ad Week; Fast Company; Gear Patrol

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Working Out from Home

The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic is changing consumer behavior and the dynamics of many industries. We have seen shortages of essential items such as toilet paper, eggs, and flour. There has also been a steep rise in the sales and uses of technology as people have moved to working from home and dramatically reduced their social interactions. Virtually all aspects of our lives have been impacted in one way or another, including how we exercise and work out.

With gyms and fitness centers closed due to coronavirus concerns, people have moved to new ways to work out. New fitness routines include using old-fashioned home equipment, online Zoom workouts, and high-tech Internet-connected equipment. Many of the newer market entries also include artificial intelligence to help determine and guide workout plans.

The new equipment is decidedly interactive; some include motion-sensor cameras, 3-D modeling, A.I. generated coaching, automatic adjustments when the user is struggling, and mobile apps. These workout devices include stationary cycles, treadmills, weight-lifting equipment, and interactive mirrors. Most require a hefty initial investment plus a monthly subscription fee. Some even provide interaction during workouts with other people, and help build a community of patrons. However, if you want social interaction, you’ll have to wait for gyms to reopen.

Ready, set, go!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  2. Review various fitness products and services. What products are competitors?
  3. Show a variety of newer, high-tech fitness devices:

Carol: https://carolfitai.com/

Tempo Fit: https://tempo.fit/

Bowflex: https://www.bowflex.com/

Tonal: http://tonal.com/

Hyfitgear: https://www.hyfitgear.com/

Peloton: https://www.onepeloton.com/

Mirror: https://www.mirror.co/

  1. Have each team research one of the companies. What does each provide? Cost? Market? Subscription? Activities?
  2. Then, have each team provide a positioning map based on their research of the companies.

Source: New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

 

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Stressed? Try Legos!

Feeling stressed? Kids and adults need to be able to relax and play. One toy company ready to accommodate adults is a long-time favorite around the globe – Lego!

Lest we think that Legos are only for young kids, the company has set its sights on the adult market, promoting the colorful blocks as a way to escape stress and achieve a level of calm. Lego has new, more complicated and expensive kits that are targeted at Gen X members. New kits include the Central Perk café from “Friends,” a vintage Batmobile, Star Wars Millennium Falcon, Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle and many more. Lego has also revised instruction manuals to make kits foolproof and introduced new models that have soothing movements.

Adult Lego fans also have their own Facebook and Reddit groups, along with the acronym AFOLS (adult fans of Legos). Plus, in a master stroke of branding, Legos now has a prime-time TV show featuring teams competing to build Lego masterpieces. There are even books that focus on the joy of playing with Legos.

Ready to relax?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Review Lego. Company Web site: https://www.lego.com/en-us
  2. Search the site for adult Lego sets, prices are $100+: https://www.lego.com/en-us/categories/price-over-100-dollars
  3. View Lego Masters TV show: https://www.fox.com/lego-masters/
  4. Discuss the components of a situation analysis: company, general industry, trends, key competitors, technology, legal, etc.
  5. Ask students what data they would want in order to make a marketing decision for Lego products.
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team do general research to answer the questions above. (Ex: overview of industry, size, growth, new technologies, environmental impact, etc.)
  7. Debrief the exercise by compiling information. Does this give a good picture of the situation faced by Lego?

Source: Washington Post; other news sources

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