This short “film” — it is so beautiful and elaborately portrayed that “video” doesn’t seem to be the correct term — brilliantly conveys Cartier’s positioning and branding. The French jeweler and watchmaker’s heritage is on display. Worth a showing when you cover positioning, retailing, branding, or promotion.
This article, “Philly Cream Cheese’s Spreading Appeal” (Bloomberg Businessweek, December 12, 2011) is a great example that has many classroom uses. Sometimes I like to describe an extended case study — to help students integrate the marketing strategy planning process — this article is that type of example. Sales of Philadephia brand cream cheese were pretty much flat (mature or decline stage of the product life cycle) for most of the last decade. Then Kraft researchers (market research) noticed that heavy users of the product were using cream cheese as an ingredient in their cooking — not simply as a spread for bagels. Starting in Europe back in 2008, Kraft’s brand managers tapped into social media and the Internet to gather and share recipes using Philadephia brand cream cheese, they promoted it on cooking shows and with contests (Promotion). In the U.K. the share of customers using cream cheese as an ingredient (effective repositioning) has almost doubled to 37% — and sales are up 20% in Europe (data – it is nice to show case studies in class with real results). All of this in a mature product category. What a great example of how to revitalize a brand. Check out the article for more details on the strategy. Also posted at Learn the 4 Ps.
I love this recent story that David Meerman Scott tells over at his Web Ink Now blog. The post, “Persona based content marketing at the Nobis Hotel,” describes how this Stockholm hotel uses a deep understanding of its target customers (Scott calls them “buyer personas” — we call them target customers) to create a unique travel experience. I love how the marketing manager uses customer reviews at TripAdvisor to understand how customers talk about the hotel — and then reflects those same words back in its advertising and search engine optimization. Scott tells the story well — so jump over to his blog and read more. For marketing instructors, I think it provides an excellent example of customer behavior, market research, positioning, and social media.
Harley-Davidson’s sales of premium motorcycles have suffered in the recession — falling more than 40% from its 2006 peak. Harley cut costs with more efficient manufacturing and labor cuts. It has also carefully adapted its marketing strategy. For one, the company is trying to broaden its target market — trying to lure women, minorities, young adults and people outside the U.S. It must target these new markets with caution; Harley doesn’t want to dilute its carefully crafted macho image. Harley’s marketing chief notes, “We’re not trying to be everything to everyone, we’re trying to be our thing to more people.” So Harley has adapted its promotion and products to appeal to new segments. This is not an easy task — and your macho image might be lost when riders look around and see a growing number of women riding Harleys. The article provides a nice example to use with marketing strategy planning for product or promotion. You could ask students for other ideas about how to adapt the company’s strategy for these new target markets.
You can read more about Harley’s efforts in this Wall Street Journal article, “Harley, With Macho Intact, Tries to Court More Women” (October 31, 2011, non-subscribers may need to click here). Also posted at Learn the 4 Ps.
There are plenty of articles (even a whole issue of BusinessWeek) paying tribute to Steve Jobs this week. As much as we respect Jobs, we weren’t going to join the chorus because we didn’t have anything new or specific to marketing to say. Then we found this 1997 video of Steve Jobs talking to Apple staff. Jobs had recently returned to the company he founded (he was booted in 1985).
In the video Jobs explains what he thinks “marketing” is — actually explaining positioning — and introduces the new “Think Different” campaign (for a higher quality version of the ad click click here).
“To me, marketing is about values,” he said. “This is a very complicated world, a very noisy world and we’re not going to get the chance to get people to remember us. No company is. So we have to be very clear about what we want people to know about us.”
You might want to provide some context for your students — most of them being only 5 or 6 at that time. Our students know the successful Apple of today — but Jobs returned to a company crippled by years of losses and record low stock prices. Apple’s market share in computers was less than 5% (it now may be over 15% based on recent numbers), there were no iPods, iPads, or iPhones.
This might be a nice addition when you cover positioning or advertising. It might be interesting to ask if this type of positioning works best for certain types of products, and if so, for what type of product. We also posted this at Learn the 4 Ps.