1. Select one of your favorite products and describe it terms of its:
- total cost of ownership
Be sure you refer to these concepts in the week’s readings before tackling this description. Then, identify where your product would fall on the product/service continuum and why you chose that location. Use percentages such as 25 percent product and 75 percent service. Lastly, does the product have any product lines? If so, how do they differ from the “core product” in terms of additional benefits or features?
2. This section of the week’s readings describes the types of consumer offerings with four categories:
- convenience offerings
- shopping offerings
- specialty offerings
- unsought offerings
Consider your own purchase behaviors. Identify a product that, for you, falls into each of the four categories. Be sure to consider why you chose each of the categories for each product.
3. The Coca-Cola company has a very large and complex channel distribution system. Take a look at how the company describes its distribution system by clicking on this link: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/our-company/the-coca-cola-system
Can you outline the indirect channel system based on the information on the website?
What value does each of the channel members provide to the end customer?
What might you suggest they do differently?
4. Can you think of an example of a product for which the warehouse or the method of transportation is the channel leader? You might need to do a little web searching to find examples. Think creatively for both online delivery and physical delivery.
5. Can you think of an IMC campaign? Progressive is one example, but there are plenty out there. Feel free to go back in history and think of campaigns like IBM’s launch of the personal computer using the Charlie Chaplin-like character or Coke’s I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing campaign, or Apple’s IMC campaigns used on every new product launch. Remember, don’t just focus on the advertising. Find those other promotion tools they used to convey the selling proposition. You may want to read most of the week’s readings before tackling this discussion topic to get a better idea of what all the promotion mix tools are, and how the AIDA model (as noted in the reading highlights in the example above) works.
6. Many companies with small budgets mistakenly think they can use “free” advertising as they define public relations. Indeed, some companies do rely only on public relations only if the unique selling proposition is so newsworthy that the news media will be the carriers of the company’s message. Apple is a master at this whenever that company launches a new product.
Can you think of any other product that relied solely on public relations? What was it about its unique selling proposition that made this feasible for this company?
7. A good way to illustrate derived demand is to study the LeBron effect, the economic boost the basketball superstar LeBron James brought to his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Watch this video as the LeBron effect illustrates how businesses throughout the Cleveland area prospered and declined as a result of his choice of where to play.
Cleveland’s Basketball Boom Brings Economic Vigor: http://www.econedlink.org/interactives/index.php?iid=87
Can you think of another situation similar to the LeBron effect in which derived demand was created by something that happened in the external environment—something that caused other companies to sell their products to other businesses to meet new demand?
For example, after 9/11, many people were concerned for their safety or their ability to survive during an attack. This prompted companies to market safety kits for home and auto. Most of these kits were compilations of existing products, but the derived demand for bandages, flashlights, and so forth increased.
8. Consider your own workplace. Do you work for a company, the military, or at a nonprofit institution such as a hospital?
Describe your organization’s buying center and how it adds value by procuring what your organization needs to conduct its business and produce its own products or services. How are the buying decisions made?