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Flavors & Layers: Lessons from Lay’s

From fat-free chips to flavor contests, market research has both failed and supported the well-known potato chip brand, Lay’s, in their product development process. The Wow! “healthy” chip disaster shows that promising market tests don’t always spell success. Crowdsourcing campaigns, while beneficial for increasing customer engagement and boosting short-term revenue streams, can provide inaccurate insight into long-term consumer preferences. This year, Lay’s has released a new product line, Lay’s Layers, but only in two flavors presumably as a large-scale market test for their brand-new chip design.

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The Grande Escape

Taco Bell’s latest advertisement campaign pokes fun at market leader and competitor McDonald’s. The ad features singer Doja Cat escaping from a clown school whose ice cream machines are broken. Sound familiar? Using comparative advertising, influencer and social media marketing, and rewards program incentives, Taco Bell’s recent ad campaign not so subtly asserts their superiority over the fast-food leader plagued by broken ice cream machines.

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Super Bowl Sunday

Every year marketers and customers alike prepare for the largest advertising event in the United States: The Super Bowl. The famous sports event provides a unique mass marketing opportunity to utilize television advertisements to promote everything from chips to cars. This weekend is Super Bowl LVI, and everyone is wondering which of the multimillion-dollar commercials will flop and which will triumph. But why do companies willing spend huge portions of their marketing budgets for a 30-second ad? Super Bowl Sunday is the one time of year that people actually turn on the TV just to watch commercials.

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Marketing Shipping

Shipping issues are impacting supply chains in every industry, increasing lead times, and causing companies to rethink their operations in order to get cargo to their customers. Companies have rushed to fill rising demands for imports, leaving ports and roads alike clogged with traffic worsened by labor shortages. In this environment, one business-to-business (B2B) industry, ocean shipping, is turning to airfreight options to ease its struggles.

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Rewarding Loyalty

Fetch Rewards is a company that allows users to earn rewards back on their purchases from several companies, eliminating the need to participate in brand-specific rewards programs. In exchange for a partnership with Fetch Rewards, companies can gain access to certain user data. User data analytics allows companies to strategically target customers based on their purchasing habits and favorite rewards, among other usage metrics. Would you give up data on your spending preferences for appealing rewards and personalized advertisements from your favorite brands?

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A Perfectly Packaged Pint

Known for their tradition and scientific method to pouring the perfect pint, Guinness has mastered product differentiation and strategy. The successful brand originating from Ireland operates globally, brewed in over 60 countries and available in over 150. With a diverse range of products, packaging, and labelling, Guinness sets an example to marketing managers promoting consumer products internationally. By adjusting their products to suit the trends and preferences of different markets, Guinness has been able to appeal to a variety of consumer tastes for over 260 years.

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Greenwashing

Take a look at your shampoo bottle or an item in your pantry. Is the packaging recyclable? Is it “naturally derived”? Does it come from a “sustainable” brand? Chances are, you are being misled by those labels. In order to meet increased consumer expectations for environmentally friendly products and services and reach net zero emission goals, companies have taken a less than ethical approach when advertising their products: greenwashing.

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Service, Service, Service

Service is more prominent than ever. With more than 80% of jobs in the United States related to the service industry, quality of service is impossible to ignore. However, most companies struggle to strike a balance between service quality and cost with some notable exceptions. Known for both impeccable service and cost-effective strategies, Singapore Airlines and Southwest Airlines have discovered the secret to keeping customers happy with a sustainable cost structure.

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When Endorsements Go Wrong

Celebrities can attract new customers, boost sales, and be iconic in advertising campaigns. With increased importance placed on social media marketing, endorsements can also come from smaller scale stars like Instagram influencers. Consumers will buy a product or service because their favorite influencer raves about it on Tik Tok or to support their favorite actress’s new product line, regardless of the celebrity’s actual involvement in product creation. [i] Despite the enormous benefits to celebrity and influencer endorsements, marketers face equally great risks to partnering their brand or product with an individual. Scandal and controversy are difficult to predict and can damage a company’s reputation and sales.

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Nikeland: Virtual Reality Retail

Virtual reality and augmented reality are poised to become the next phase of internet consumption. With companies like Nike and Roblox taking advantage of new forms of marketplaces, the possibilities for innovation in digital consumer experience are endless. Catering to the expectations and values of Millennials and Generation Z consumers will be key to the success of the virtual world, the metaverse. Nikeland on Roblox is a prime example of marketing personalized experiences to Gen Z consumers.