Patagonia lives by its strong environmentalist values. Now it has produced a new short (23 minutes) film, “that outlines the fight undertaken by the Communities for a Better Environment group as it lobbies city council and Mayor Eric Garcetti to establish a 2,500-foot distance between oil drilling operations and Wilmington’s schools, hospitals, and churches.” (Fast Company, February 27, 2020) The film differs from many of Patagonia’s typical outdoor images — as this one focuses on the challenge to a community in Los Angeles that is home to 479 oil wells. It might be interesting to watch or assign the film to your students and ask them why Patagonia does this? If you know Patagonia, and watched some of its previous promotional efforts, the answer is not immediately obvious. They really do it because they support the environment and they believe this is the right thing to do. It does burnish their brand and it is authentic, too.
I know, I know, we always seem to be using Amazon as an example. Well the company gets plenty of press–both good and bad. This probably falls better into the latter category. The article, “More brands are leaving Amazon, but the strategy could backfire,” (CNBC, January 11, 2010) describes how some bigger brands–including IKEA and Nike–have stopped selling through the online giant. These brands have become frustrated with Amazon’s failure to police counterfeit products or are concerned with competition from the retailer or its third-party sellers. The brands might leave, but because third-party sellers still offer the brands, their departure does little if anything to harm Amazon–and may do greater harm to the brand. A bit of a catch-22 for large brands.
This situation provides a good example of vertical conflict (between Amazon and the brands) and horizontal conflict where third-party sellers are competing with brands trying to sell direct through Amazon. It also offers an opportunity to discuss how a brand can lose control of its strategy when third-party sellers set their own pricing and messaging. Thus, it has relevance to Chapters 3 (competition and Amazon chapter-opening case), 8 (branding), 10 (channels of distribution and channel conflict), and 12 (retailing). With that much relevance I couldn’t hold back.
Earlier this week I posted a list of the “8 Best Brand Moments of 2019” from CMO by Adobe. Today, I have Adweek‘s “The 25 Best Ads of 2019” (I am not sure if you will have to sign up to get access — but you should not have to subscribe because I don’t but I do get 5 free articles per month). Once again, an expert identifying a bunch of great examples. Of course advertising examples can fit anywhere (the McDonalds ad below could add to our Place Chapters 10, 11, or 12), but work particularly well to demonstrate positioning (Chapter 4), segmentation (Chapter 4), branding (Chapter 8), Promotion (Chapters 13 and 15). Check out the full list.
I love this commercial for Jif Peanut Butter…
And of course McDonalds always has great advertising campaigns…
It’s that time of year when “best of” lists come around. I enjoy these lists because an expert (hopefully) pulls together some great marketing examples from the last year. The result is “brand storytelling [examples]… from the deadly serious to the seriously silly.” The list includes a bunch of examples that slipped past me–maybe I am not the target market, but it looks like our students often were. So check out “8 Best Brand Moments from 2019” (CMO by Adobe), where you can learn more about fascinating campaigns from Gillette, Taco Bell, Volvo, Nike, IKEA, P&G, Adobe, and Wendy’s — most of which have pretty cool videos you could show in class to stimulate laughter and/or discussion.
To whet your appetite, I am posting the Volvo video, “The EVA Initiative: Equal Vehicles for All” (#M4BW) below:
The Internet of Things (IOT), which we cover in one of our What’s Next? boxes (see Chapter 8) offers some promising consumer benefits. IOT connects devices (your sprinkler system, coffee pot, thermostat, and more) to the Internet. From there, the devices get smart — so for example, your sprinkler system sees there is a 90% chance of rain today and so it doesn’t water the lawn for the next three days. Yet there are tradeoffs as consumers lose privacy. This short (less than 3 minute) Bloomberg video can be assigned to students or shown in class to stimulate discussion. It might work well with Chapter 8 as you discuss Product or in Chapters 7 or 19 where we dig more deeply into privacy.