You may recall that one of the new features of Essentials of Marketing 15e was our What’s Now? chapter element to give students a way to link a current issue with each chapter. The What’s Now? questions can be found on our Learn the 4 Ps blog for students — click here to see all of the latest posts (one for each chapter).
I have a soft spot in my heart for Fargreen. The startup that emerged from the Colorado State University Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program (full disclosure, Colorado State is my employer and I served for many years on the advisory board for this program). I also know Fargreen’s founder, Trang Tran. She developed a great idea to help Vietnamese farmers while also lowering carbon emissions. What is not to like? After winning several business plan competitions, Trang is now moving her business forward. This brandchannel article “Yale on Purpose-Driven Startups: Fargreen — Going Far By Going Green” (May 2, 2016) is one in a series with Yale MBA students.
Read the article about Fargreen. Explain how Fargreen ties into macromarketing, micromarketing, and innovative marketing planning — all major topics in chapter 19.
A research study at the Universität Bonn (Germany) found that consumers are willing to pay more for products that include the Fair Trade logo (see image of logo on left). The logo can be found on a range of products including bananas, coffee, chocolate, and wine. TheUniversität Bonn study found consumers were willing to pay 30% more when the product carried the Fair Trade logo.
In addition, they thought Fair Trade branded products tasted better. Another part of the study asked consumers to sample two pieces of chocolate and determine which tasted better. While the chocolates were identical, one included the Fair Trade logo. the logo alone caused consumers to report the chocolate tasted better. Read more at Science Daily, “Fair Trade Logo Boosts Consumer’s willingness to pay” (August 27, 2015).
The Fair Trade logo appears to reduce consumer’s price sensitivity. Review chapter 18’s discussion of price sensitivity and explain how the Fair Trade logo example influences price sensitivity.
In chapter 17 we discuss dynamic pricing — when prices change “according to the level of demand, the type of customer, or the state of the weather.” Uber is a company that connects people who need a ride with drivers who can give those rides (a competitor to the taxi cab).
A key part of Uber’s business model is “surge pricing.” Surge pricing is a form of dynamic pricing and prices increase as cabs become more scarce (due to fewer drivers or a significant increase in demand). So for example, when the weather is particularly cold or wet, many pedestrians seek out cabs. Surge pricing gives drivers more pay to encourage them to keep working at these times. Surge pricing is controversial — and some customers don’t like that prices change based on supply and demand.
A new Uber rival, Gett, does not use surge pricing and touts this point in an ad campaign — see more at “Gett Ad Campaign Takes Jab at Uber for Surge Pricing” (HybridCars.com, June 21, 2016).
Some consumers don’t like surge pricing and wonder if this is fair. In some countries, laws have been enacted to prevent this practice. Is it ethical for Uber to charge higher prices? Do you think Gett has a good strategy to counter Uber? Explain. How could it effect Gett’s driver availability and reliability? Will it have drivers when customers need them?
When we were researching and writing chapter 16, Snapchat was a somewhat distant 6th place finisher in the social media race. Just one year later — which shows how fast this space is changing — Snapchat is a real player, especially when targeting Generation Z (those born since 1995). More importantly for marketing managers, Snapchat appears to have figured out an advertising strategy — while Twitter and Instagram continue to struggle in that area. Hubspot’s Marketing blog identifies “10 of the Best Brands on Snapchat Right Now (And Why They’re So Great)” (April 27, 2016).
This article is long – so read the first section and then choose to review 2 of the 10 examples. Explain why you think each “works.” Consider what you learn in chapters 13 – 16 about promotion objectives, target markets, and message.