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).
In Essentials of Marketing, we try to highlight some of the positive things business does to make the world a better place. That said, marketing is a set of tools that can be used for good and bad. An example of bad is dark design (sometimes called dark patterns) – a sub-set of tools that a web designer might use to manipulate users into behaviors they might not otherwise do. Of course, this might also be called nudges or behavioral economics – which are usually thought of as nudging users to positive behaviors. Examples include the use of colors or patterns that make it much easier to “accept” cookies or click on an advertisement than to simply get around it.
This article, “How to spot the psychological manipulation behind ‘dark design’ online” (Fast Company, October 4, 2021) notes that “Dark design has proven to be an incredibly effective way of encouraging web users to part with their time, money, and privacy” – all scarce resources for many of us these days. If you want a deeper drive, the four-minute video shown below.
Earlier this month, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its latest report on the climate. It was not encouraging and clearly points to the need for the world to limit carbon emissions. Many cities and businesses are stepping already trying to do just that.
One opportunity for lowering emissions is the so-called “last mile” for online retail. This is the delivery to customers’ homes and businesses. This is seen as lower hanging fruit. So the city of Seattle is experimenting with some low-cost options, including cargo bikes, electric vehicles and pallets, and food trucks. This opportunity is leading to some innovation around delivery.
This Fast Company article describes “Seattle’s new zero-emissions delivery hub is an experiment in slashing e-commerce emissions.” This video (also shown below) describes some of that innovation. In Essentials of Marketing, we discuss innovation as a benefit of marketing (Chapter 1) and as part of new product development (Chapter 9). And of course this topic is relevant to distribution (see chapters 10, 11, and 12) Our textbook also covers sustainability in chapters 1 and 19.
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:
Many of our students love Apple products and the brand in general. It usually ranks in the top 2-3 most frequently mentioned when I survey my students to share their favorite brands. Our textbooks use an Apple case study to open chapter 5 (Consumer Behavior). Over the last 40 years, Apple has produced some truly memorable advertising. Some have called the Apple 1984 Super Bowl commercial the greatest ad ever. I personally like the “Think Different” campaign and enjoy using it to demonstrate differentiation and positioning. Over at The Next Web you can find “The 40-year evolution of Apple ads” (April 5, 2016). It offers some commentary sprinkled between 12 ads from over the years. Most of the ads are from the last decade.
These ads could be shown to demonstrate how Apple’s strategy has evolved over the years — or a few could be shown to introduce chapter 5 and foster a discussion of this chapter opener. The ads could also be used to show how the personal computer market evolved (product life cycle) or as examples of advertising when that is covered in class. The video below provides a look at Apple’s history in 40 seconds.