Frozen food offer consumers convenience, but don’t have a reputation for great taste. The category’s sales have declined in nine of the last ten years. That trend has not stopped some of the players in “Big Food” (the giant companies like Kraft Heinz and B&G that dominate this market). These companies – and some upstarts like Amy’s Kitchen (which uses natural and organic ingredients with great success) are targeting millennials in an effort to revive sales. You can read more about this market in “ Frozen Food Comes in From the Cold ” (Bloomberg, October 27, 2016). Review the marketing strategy planning process model in chapter 2. Give [Continue Reading …]
I have a soft spot in my heart for Fargreen. The startup that emerged from the Colorado State University Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program (full disclosure, Colorado State is my employer and I served for many years on the advisory board for this program). I also know Fargreen’s founder, Trang Tran. She developed a great idea to help Vietnamese farmers while also lowering carbon emissions. What is not to like? After winning several business plan competitions, Trang is now moving her business forward. This brandchannel article “ Yale on Purpose-Driven Startups: Fargreen — Going Far By Going Green ” (May 2, 2016) is one in a series with Yale MBA students. Read the article about Fargreen. Explain how Fargreen ties [Continue Reading …]
The website brandchannel has launched a series of short case study articles. A team of Yale MBA students evaluate a purpose-driven startup and offer some marketing strategy recommendations. We used a different case from this series in chapter 1. In this case (see “ Hungry Harvest – No Food Waste, No Hunger , brandchannel, April 25, 2016), Hungry Harvest tries to tackle two seemingly dichotomous problems – food waste and hunger. It tries to put some of the 40% of produced grown in the U.S. that goes to waste with into the mouths of 50 million poor Americans who don’t get enough food. From the Hungry Harvest case, give [Continue Reading …]
A couple years ago Chipotle scored big with its animated video “ Back to the Start ” that championed natural food and farming and featured Willie Nelson singing the Coldplay song “The Scientist.” That viral video got more than 7.5 million views while clearly reinforcing the positioning Chipotle seeks in the market. Now Chipotle is back and this time it has Fiona Apple singing over a dark animated, dystopian video (see below). There is also an iPhone video game . For more background, read an interview about the latest ad with Chipotle’s CMO Mark Crumpacker in the Village Voice, “ Chipotle’s New ‘Scarecrow’ Video and App: An Emotionally Powerful Marketing Tool (INTERVIEW) ” (September 13, 2013). Check out Chipotle’s website and those of [Continue Reading …]
Mattel’s Hot Wheels have a mom problem. Many toy purchases are made by mothers. Moreover mothers often (and more frequently than fathers) supervise their children’s playtime. But many moms don’t understand “car toys” like Hot Wheels. On the other hand, according to Mattel research, moms have a pretty good feel for action figures. I guess that Batman and Buzz Light Year action figures are a lot like the dolls most moms played with when they grew up. Consequently, moms are being blamed for three years of flat sales of Mattel’s big three car toy brands (Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and Tyco [Continue Reading …]
Retailers have become increasingly savvy in their merchandising strategies. These two slide shows are designed to show consumers how to save money at two of America’s most successful retailers. They also offer insights into the sophistication of today’s retailer. These examples should be particularly relevant because many of our students shop at Target — and probably aspire to shop more at Whole Foods. See “ How to Shop Target Like a Pro ,” (January 3, 2013) and “ Whole Foods Cracked ” (November 21, 2013). We have also posted these at Learn the 4 Ps . What other tricks of the trade have you seen at Target? Whole Foods? What other retailers have impressed [Continue Reading …]
In spite of an aggressive advertising campaign (the ad below for example, was one of the 10 most viral tech ads of 2012), a nice looking product with a cool cover/keyboard feature, and the Microsoft brand name (is that an advantage?), the Surface tablet appears to be falling short of sales targets. An article at All Things D suggests that a “ Lack of Distribution is ‘Killing’ Surface ” (December 5, 2012). What do you think? Is Place the problem? How about Price? Promotion? Product? Target market? Which of these marketing strategy elements are the biggest reasons for the slow initial sales of the Surface?
Seth Godin has a great way to simplify complicated ideas. As we all know, marketing can be complicated. At some level, marketing is all about making “ Useful and believable promises ” (Seth Godin’s Blog, October 10, 2012). How does Nike make itself more useful? More believable? How does Walmart make itself more useful? More believable?