Tag Archives: transportation

Wienermobiles Drive Across America!

Have you ever seen the Wienermobile in person? It’s like seeing a famous celebrity – everyone stops and looks, takes a selfie, and smiles at the giant hot dog mobile. It’s a great rolling billboard that gets attention and promotes products.

The Wienermobile first began 80 years ago during the Depression as a way to promote product and make people smile. It’s gone through a number of style changes, but continues today with six vehicles and 12 official “Hotdoggers” who drive it and pass out dogs and smiles around the country. (More than 1,000 people applied last year for the 12 Hotdogger spots!)

This summer, the Wienermobiles are touring the country to spread the word about the reformulated hot dogs, now without any added nitrates, nitrites, artificial preservatives, or by-products. In addition to updating the products, Oscar Mayer is also using social media to engage consumers and help determine locations for the tour. Already visited was Whittier, Alaska, population 220, accessible via a 2.5 mile tunnel and icy roads

No word on the miles per gallon though (or does it run on mustard?).

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. Discuss hot dogs and where they are in the product life cycle.
  4. Show the Wienermobile Web site: http://www.oscarmayer.com/wienermobile
  5. Show a video of the Wienermobile in Alaska: https://youtu.be/3e_1Z_oxt5g
  6. Now, 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:  Advertising Age

 

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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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The Randomness of Airfare Pricing

One of the most frustrating parts of traveling is booking an airline seat. The price shown to buyers in the morning is undoubtedly increased by the evening. And, the price you finally paid is probably not the same as the price paid by the person sitting next to you! Airfare prices seem to change by the minute, and it all feels random to frustrated buyers.

Maximizing the sales of seats, called ‘revenue management’ by the airline industry, is incredibly complicated. Airlines use complex algorithms and computer systems that are constantly calculating the perfect price. The computer programs must predict consumer behavior in order to determine what the market is willing to pay for the seat.

An empty airline seat is a perishable commodity; once the plane leaves the runway, the empty seat can never be sold. How would you price the seat?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Pricing is a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  2. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  3. Discuss how yield management (or revenue management) pricing works.
  4. Show the airfare pricing video: https://youtu.be/-oJlJ5oo5AM
  5. For a selected product, divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  6. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  7. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.

Source:  CNN

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