Some content is delivered much better in an audio format. Take sonic branding — the creation of a sound that becomes associated with a brand. Some of the more well-known examples are Intel, Netflix, and McDonalds (all of those examples came from a longer 11 minute video on sonic branding — which you could assign or show in class if you want). But I found this podcast case study on the development of HBO’s new sonic idea to be particularly interesting. The podcast goes into a lot of depth on the factors HBO thought about and some of the marketing research they conducted. It will be a nice supplement to a discussion of branding (Chapter 8) or maybe marketing research (Chapter 7).
You may have noticed fewer “diet” soft drinks on store shelves in the last few years. Apparently “younger people just don’t like the word ‘diet'” according to the CMO at PepsiCo. Responding to this, Pepsi, Coke, and other soft drink makers have switched product names to emphasize “Zero” or “Zero Sugar.” You can read more in “‘Diet’ soda is disappearing from store shelves.”
The changes in brand names are a reaction to changes in consumer attitudes and behavior. This provides a nice example of the marketing strategy process planning model at work — context (social cultural factors) and customers lead to changes in marketing strategy. This might be a good example to add to your lecture on consumer behavior (Chapter 5) or branding and product names (Chapter 8).
The last few editions of Essentials of Marketing have included examples of how companies are adding technology as customer service or a supplement to their core product. And of course, technology keeps evolving. I was impressed with the latest example of this from Lowe’s Home Improvement. The video below provides a brief overview that might be shown in your class when you cover Product (Chapter 8 is where we introduce this idea) or retailing (Chapter 12).
This article highlights a new report that highlights the brands that receive the most hate on Twitter. The findings of the study might be fun to show students when you cover either branding (Chapter 8) or maybe marketing research (Chapter 7). The findings are a mix of the expected culprits (Uber might not be a surprise) and mostly unexpected (LEGO, Sony, Netflix). The findings are based on the use of a sentiment analysis tool (which is why you might talk about this when covering marketing research) which focused on 100 of the largest brands and the percentage of Tweets that were positive vs. negative. The article also includes a map that points out the most hated brand in every state.
This article or perhaps simply the graphic with the findings, might be used to stimulate class discussion on the topic of consumer complaining behavior, how firms respond (customer service, Chapter 14), or on the usefulness of sentiment analysis. The design of the research also calls into question whether the research actually identifies the “most hated brands in America” or simply those most complained about on Twitter.
Simple story and example of Marketing for a Better World. Sometimes clever marketing aligns a brand while making for a better world. “While people can live perfectly normal lives with color blindness, it helps to be aware of the condition. That goes double for children, who can be put in a disadvantage at school, where color is frequently used to convey information.” (Trendwatching). This Trendwatching story showed me how Kellogg’s made some changes to its Froot Loops box, turning it into a color blindness test. Of course, an image of the cereal looks pretty similar to the traditional Ishihara test for color blindness (if you cannot see the 15 inside the circle, you might be color blind).
These images might be a nice image addition to your slide deck for Chapter 8 (packaging).