Assignment 3 Reflection

After reading the course outline and looking into the marketing assignments we were to complete as a group, I was excited to see that there’s a video component because I have experience in that field already, and can say I actually enjoy it.  I’ve skied almost my whole life—more recently taking up an interest in the freestyle aspect of the sport—and have had a few opportunities to make short videos/pictures of friends and myself, hence the experience in the field.

Looking back on our video project, I’m very proud not only of how hard my group and I worked, but more importantly how well we got along together. Up until this assignment we were definitely friends, but for the most part we got along because we didn’t really have much of a choice. Now however, I feel like my group members and I no longer have to put effort into our interactions both in and out of class—I can talk to them like they’re both my teammates and my friends.

 

In terms of the project itself, I never would’ve thought that my team and I would have more footage than we could ever use, which was the case for us. At one point, we had 14 minutes of footage that was edited and pieced together. I guess you could say we got a little carried away. On that note, what I think I’m most proud of about this project is how my team members and I were able to band together, and trim the video down to just less than 7 minutes.

I found the peer evaluation to be helpful, but not quite as much for me because I thought that all of my team members were great to work with–because we didn’t have any problems I didn’t need to mark anyone down and/or let Elaine know the work wasn’t distributed equally. In terms of the peer video review, I found it very hard because I was constantly comparing other groups’ videos to mine. It was helpful to see other videos though and give myself constructive feedback as to how my group’s video could’ve been better.

In conclusion, I think this project was a success.

 

Turkenomics: why turkeys are cheapest at thanksgiving

While Canadian Thanksgiving is behind us, Americans still have their turkey dinner to look forward to. In Catherine Rampell’s blog with the New York Times, she discusses the uniqueness of the pricing of turkey. Furthermore, she compares the prices of frozen turkeys across the whole year, looking into why exactly frozen turkeys are the cheapest around both Canadian and American Thanksgiving—when there’s the highest demand for turkey.

Rampell briefly touches on the pricing of fresh (not frozen) turkeys, but because they don’t have nearly as long of a shelf/storage life as frozen turkeys, pricing is nearly inelastic. For that matter, she mainly discusses the pricing of frozen turkeys.

In determining pricing of a product, we’ve learned in class that it essentially boils down to 5 main components: company objectives, customers, competition, costs, and channel members. Using what I’ve learned through marketing, I believe the competition and customer aspects of the 5 Cs of pricing are what create a dip in frozen turkey prices during Thanksgiving.

 

Due to the lack of differentiation between frozen turkeys from different suppliers, competition is high. Due to this high competition, prices are driven down as each firm attempts to capture the most of the turkey market. At Thanksgiving in particular, demand for turkey is substantially higher than the rest of the year, but prices still remain low.

With lower margins, suppliers of frozen turkeys then must become sales oriented: they want to maximize volume of sales. This increase in volume of sales helps to make up for the lack of profit in frozen turkeys around thanksgiving.

When looked at from a marketing perspective, the drop in prices of frozen turkeys can be explained using some of the 5 Cs of Pricing.

 

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/turkey-economics-annotated/#more-170237

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vlfp32yhdg0/UKv-pPaynlI/AAAAAAAABog/eLFCVXe-xy8/s400/thanksgiving-jokes.jpg

Twin-tip Skis: switching up the market

Until the late seventies, the sport of skiing was only performed facing forward—obviously so that you can see where you’re going. It wasn’t until the mid seventies however that Olin Mark introduced the first twin-tip ski: the Comp IV. This ski separated itself from the competition because you could now ski forwards and backwards down the hill. While Olin Mark introduced twin-tip skis, this new product didn’t catch on until 1997 when Salomon introduced its first twin-tip ski: the 1080.

Once snowboarding started to catch on around the world, skiing began to lose popularity, especially in younger generations. Consumers were turning to snowboarding because of its unique ability to ‘surf on snow’, and to do freestyle tricks—something that skiing at the time could barely offer. In order to combat this snowboarding revolution, Salomon took the existing market of skiing and introduced a new product that had failed in the past—the twin-tip ski. With this new product, adrenaline-seeking consumers at ski hills could now choose between skiing and snowboarding to get their fix.

 

Introducing this new product helped to maximize customers in this market because freestyle skiing did not cannibalize the sales of Salomon’s snowboards. If consumers already loved skiing and wanted to try a new product, they’d try the 1080. Not a snowboard.

Under the trusted Salomon name, this product did not fail as it had with Olin Mark. Brand loyalty kept the product afloat, and allowed the small market share this product created to snowball into an entire industry. In today’s market, there are countless brands entering the freestyle skiing market, all of which are in debt to the original Salomon 1080.

http://www.salomon.com/caus/activity/alpine-skiing.html

http://www.b2i.us/profiles/investor/fullpage.asp?BzID=1548&to=cp&Nav=0&LangID=1&s=0&ID=6661

http://cdn.freeskier.com/wp-content/gallery/223262/120410_abbott_italy_323.jpg

http://www.tahoetopia.com/sites/all/files/news/images/100108_waynewongski.jpg

 

 

Ron Burgundy Presents: The Dodge Durango

In short, my fellow marketing chum Christopher Hunter wrote an intriguing article about the new partnership between Chrysler (more specifically Dodge’s Durango SUV), and Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell). He discussed the exclusive mutually beneficial relationship between both parties, and in turn how effective the ads are. To take this analysis further, I’m applying the marketing mix to this ingenious relationship, more specifically looking at how the combination of product and promotion for the Dodge Durango can produce such effective advertisements.

 

 

Product:

Dodge’s advertisements for the Durango combine the comedy and popularity associated with Will Ferrell with a product to back it up. While the commercials do focus on the humorous aspect of the partnership, noteworthy elements of the SUV are focused on, bringing to light features in a vehicle rarely or never mentioned in car commercials. Ron Burgundy exemplifies this in the ad, mentioning the Dodge Durango’s “0.1 cubic feet of storage, 12 volt light bulb, all in beautiful injection molded thermoplastic olefin,” even though that may not be much to brag about. Burgundy also mentions more common aspects of a vehicle commercial bringing light to the Durangos’s available “Hemi V8 engine and 360 horsepower.”

Promotion:

While this advertisement campaign does focus slightly on the product itself, the bulk of its effectiveness and appeal to the market is in the promotion. Ron Burgundy already is a popular social figure, so putting him in Dodge’s advertisements automatically associates the SUV with popularity and the hottest social trend. On top of just having Will Ferrell/Ron Burgundy in the commercials, they’re actually funny. This whole advertising premise is based on Ron Burgundy’s character, so if the writers for the ads couldn’t duplicate the character everyone knows and loves, this marketing campaign would be a total flop.


In summary, Chrysler took advantage of the popularity of Ron Burgundy and faith in their product (the Dodge Durango) to create a string of very effective ads.

 

http://stwot.motortrend.com/files/2013/10/ron-burgundy-2014-dodge-durango-horse-796×528.jpg

https://pictures.dealer.com/jdpower/ae486cbf0a0a00640147164d997224f0.jpg

 

American Politics: The Democratic and Republican Brand

In the past week, news about the American government shutting down has been plastered all over the Internet, radio, and television. For those living under a rock—or simply don’t understand what happened—the two major American parties could not come to an agreement to raise the country’s budget constraint. Why does this matter? The country is legally obliged to meet this constraint, and could now only do so by cutting costs. In order to cut costs, part of the government has been shutdown.

While this is a very interesting topic—one which hasn’t come up for 17 years—you might be asking yourself “But Logan, how does this relate to marketing?!” Technically it doesn’t. But at the same time, it kind of does.

Both American parties (the Republicans and Democrats) are major brands. Within these brands, there are brand supporters. Within these supporters—or what we’re used to calling customers—there are 4 types: new supporters, regular supporters, loyal supporters, and advocates. Once part of the government shutdown, what separates these groups became significantly more distinguishable.

At one end, there are the advocates, who support their respective party through thick and thin—even if that means they’re supporting a party who shut down the government.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the new supporters (new customers) who have little personal affiliation with the party they support. These are the supporters most affected by the shutdown, because they’ll change their voting preferences depending on how they interpreted the situation.

While the American government is shut down, both parties are assessing the impact their decisions are having on future elections. So what’s the bottom line? American parties are trying to cling on to supporters (customers), while still following their respective (yet risky) strategy of pursuing the best interest of America.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/news-video/video-ap-gfk-poll-gop-gets-the-blame-in-shutdown/article14765817/

http://swampland.time.com/2013/10/08/in-new-poll-americans-blame-everyone-for-government-shutdown/

 

Richard Branson’s ‘Ballsy’ Stunt– Ethical?

 

Virgin Atlantic—a division of Virgin Group working in the airline industry—announced that it would be expanding its services into Scotland earlier this year. After suffering losses of up to £135 last year, Virgin Atlantic has taken advantage of the closing of former airline British Midlands to expand its borders and reach further into the airline market in order to directly compete with its top opponent: British Airways.

As the president of Virgin Atlantic, it’s only fitting that Sir Richard Branson would be involved in the first flight from Great Britain to Scotland aboard a Virgin plane. What may or may not be fitting, is what the president of Virgin Atlantic did after arriving. Sir Richard Branson dressed up for the event in more ways than one—he wore a bright red kilt, and under it underwear. Why is Branson’s underwear so important? Because of the message printed on it: “Stiff Competition.”

Sir Richard Branson is known for his extravagant PR stunts, so to say the public was expecting something out of the norm would be appropriate, but does this cross the line? Does Branson have no ethics when it comes to his role in Virgin Atlantic’s marketing and publicity stunts?

In order to answer these questions, one more question must be asked: would a university student be writing a blog about Branson’s flight from Great Britain to Scotland if it weren’t for this underwear affair? Not this student. President Branson saw an opportunity to catch the attention of the media and penetrate Virgin Atlantic’s market deeper than a catchy jingle on the radio or flashy ad on TV ever would.

While there are boundaries in the business world that should not be crossed, this is not one of those cases as Branson brought attention to Virgin Atlantic while still maintaining a respectable grasp on business ethics.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2305921/Is-tackiest-PR-stunt-Richard-Branson-lifts-kilt-promote-Virgin-s-expansion-Scotland.html

 

 

 

Ten Tree Apparel– saving the planet ten trees at a time

Ten Tree Apparel is a clothing company based out of Saskatchewan with a unique promise to its customers. While other social entrepreneurs such as Toms send a pair of shoes to those in need for every pair of shoes purchased, this company plants “Ten Tree[s]” for every item sold. Trees are planted through a company founded by the same entrepreneurs in Ten Tree, as well as through WeForest—a company that plants trees in developing countries. In order to prove how motivated this business is to make a difference, Ten Tree Apparel has set a goal to plant 1 million trees in the next year. This unique business model harnesses the power of sustainability and global citizenship in selling fashionable products.

Unlike certain trends, sustainability and the environmental will never go out of style—it is not a fad. By addressing this global issue through purchasing clothes (something that consumers do regardless of the state of the environment) a customer buying a shirt from Ten Tree Apparel gains happiness not only from his or her purchase, but from the positive impact they’re having on the earth. Essentially, this unique business is able to empower consumers through the purchase of their clothes, giving more incentive to continue buying their products.

In conclusion, Ten Tree Apparel has combined fashionable clothes with an increasingly important global issue of saving the environment. This company is continuing to benefit from the positive relationship between business and an environmentally sustainable future.

 

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/10/15/dragons-see-the-seeds-of-a-good-company-in-ten-tree-international/

http://tentree.org

https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/2580819707/986ifa92813apmn9xhtz.jpeg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-J8oZq0YHjms/UHROiw59J7I/AAAAAAAAAIE/BeoMEv6M66E/s1600/10tree-300×300.jpg

Passion in the Workplace

To what extent would I be willing to follow a dream, regardless of how uncertain my future might be? After reading and analyzing Sean Lister’s blog regarding the opportunity cost of Janice Cheam and Wade Larson’s time in developing their products and companies, I found myself asking this very same question. If I can invest my time in a safer job with an almost certain outcome, why risk everything to chase a dream that may or may not be successful?

After some critical and in-depth thinking about this question, I have been able to answer this question with one word: passion.

I do not believe that Ms. Cheam worked as hard as she did for Energy Aware solely based on the expectation that the company will be successful one day, thus making her rich. I believe the reason for working so hard, both in the case of Ms. Cheam and Mr. Larson, is that they were passionate about what they were doing—they continue to work hard so they can make a difference in their lives, and change the world.

My analysis of Mr. Lister’s blog has lead me to the conclusion that there is absolutely no opportunity cost in the case of Janice Cheam and Wade Larsen because if they aren’t working on what they’re passionate about, then the next best alternative to their job has no value to them.

Corn: Food or Fuel?

Concept of Opportunity Cost

Opportunity cost is defined as the value of the next-best alternative, and is almost always considered in decision-making. This is an important concept because it essentially gives relativity of value to the allocation of resources. In choosing what to do with a certain resource, the opportunity cost can demonstrate just how much a given product is worth by comparing its value to the alternative value you could get from another product. This sounds confusing in theory, but in order to understand take corn as an example.

 

“The Environmental Protection Agency declined on Friday to relax its requirement on the use of corn ethanol in gasoline” (Wald, 2012). 

Currently, corn has two main uses: for ethanol and human consumption. Traditionally, corn has only been used as a source of food, but as the demand for more environmental fuels (such as ethanol) increases, more and more corn is being allocated to the fuel industry. The reason for this is because the opportunity cost of corn has changed. Prior the high demand for ethanol, corn had a lower opportunity while producing it for food. Now however, the opportunity cost for corn has significantly increased for using it as a fuel, which is why roughly half of the corn produced in the United States is designated for ethanol production.

The significance of opportunity cost is demonstrated through the change in use of corn from food to fuel.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/business/energy-environment/epa-upholds-ethanol-standard-on-use-in-gasoline.html?ref=business

What Do Flying Drones and Wine Have in Common? More Than You’d Think

As technology continues to reinvent the definition of efficiency, it is no surprise that the traditional wine industry is keeping up with the rest of the world. While technology currently plays a significant role in the creation of wine, it is about to become even more significant. How? Through a process called precision viticulture.

 

What is Precision Viticulture?

Precision viticulture is the use of numerous types of data (such as thermal maps, soil samples, etc.) in producing wine. By using data collected through technological devices, the correct type and amount of grapes are planted in the correct area in order to ensure maximum efficiency and quality of these fruits. Flying drones controlled simply by an iPad are used to capture most of this data.

 

Why embrace Precision Viticulture?

While some view the production of wine as an art or hobby, precision viticulture industrializes this business, and is able to increase the total quality and quantity of wine produced by minimizing losses—spoiled grapes due to imperfect growing conditions. By maximizing quantity and quality, wine manufacturers are therefore able to increase profits. The use of this technology also enables producers to gain critical information that they may not have had prior to the use of precision viticulture. Through the use of this new technology, wine producers know more about their product than ever before so they can make more accurate and appropriate decisions in planting grapes.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20200856

http://traveltonovascotia.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Merlot_Vineyard_Napa_Valley.jpg

http://www.csu.edu.au/research/nwgic/images/info.jpg