Tag: marketing

When Marketplace asked Patrick Rishe about the potential of advertising brand-fatigue among NBA sports fans, Olin’s director of the sports business program, said, “No.”

Even with the NBA Developmental League re-branding next season as the “G” League after Gatorade bought the naming rights?

Even after the NBA lets teams sell advertising space on the upper-left corner of player’s jerseys next season?

“Rishe… doesn’t think people are going to tire of branding anytime soon,”according to the Marketplace story. “I am not concerned about the over saturation,” he said. “And I think though some purists may say that they are, let’s see how they feel two or three years from now. I doubt they’ll raise a fuss then. The sports consumer will adapt.”

Link to Marketplace story.

SafeTrek is an app that helps you feel comfortable in scary or unsafe situations. When you feel unsafe, you hold down a button on your smartphone. If you release the button and do not input your password within 10 seconds, SafeTrek automatically sends police to your exact location. As a student, Zack, SafeTrek CEO, noticed that a lot of women on campus felt unsafe, but did not always want to run to the blue buttons that call security. So Zack and three friends built the smartphone app that has since attracted over 250,000 users across the United States.

safetrek2What makes SafeTrek unique is the built-in GPS function that sends your exact location to police—most police operators do not have the capacity to pinpoint callers. Furthermore, everyone always has their phones with them, which eliminates the need to look for a college blue-light system if you are on campus. Another benefit the app provides is useful data to security authorities indicating areas where people feel most unsafe and where increased security may be needed.

Our team has been able to meet with the SafeTrek executive team, learn more about what it takes to run a startup, and more importantly, the significance of maintaining a cutting-edge company that continues to beat market expectations. Safetrek has assigned us a project to create a marketing plan from strategy-to-implementation, and has been extremely hands-on with their approach. We met yesterday to collaborate and narrow our scope for implementation. Our team had a chance to brainstorm with SafeTrek’s team responsible for its success and we added value by offering a new perspective on creating that one channel that will make them continue to succeed with millennials.

Our goal working as a team, and with SafeTrek, is to go beyond a written report. More importantly, they are expecting a tangible implementation of our idea. We look forward to our upcoming meetings and brainstorming on more ways to increase downloads, usage, and build new platforms for the company.

CELect SafeTrek Team: Michelle Palka, Law; Daniel Tamasi, MBA; Daniel Vilardo, BSBA; Nathan Vogt, BS Engineering

Teams of undergrads presented marketing plans last week to Coach CEO Victor Luis as part of Staci Thomas’ Marketing Management course at Olin. The St. Louis Post Dispatch Fashion Editor sat in on the sessions and reported on the encounter that allowed the CEO and students to exchange ideas about the business of retailing. Luis encouraged students to consider retail as a career instead of the more traditional tracks of finance and technology.

Link to article in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
: “Coach CEO gives Wash U students business lesson, subtle career advice,” by Debra Bass,  12/11/16

Photos by Joe Angeles, WUSTL Photo Services

As presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump make their last-minute pushes for votes before the Nov. 8 election, an Olin Business School faculty member said the tight race boils down, in part, to poor political branding practices.

“Corporate managers know that in order to sell a product, you have to brand it,” said Raphael Thomadsen, associate professor of marketing at Olin Business School. “Branding means creating a promise for the product and infusing every customer interaction with that meaning. Branding is critically important not just in business, but in politics, too. However, the Democrats chose not to brand Hillary Clinton in this election.”



Thomadsen, whose research focuses on marketing management and strategy, said Clinton’s camp failed to rise to the branding challenge: Instead of giving her a clear, consistent message, it provided messages that were muddled and scattered. Thomadsen contrasted that with Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, noting his campaign material constantly backs up that slogan.

“Trump’s branding is clear,” said Thomadsen. “His voters know why they are voting for him.  Clinton, in contrast, has not branded herself. A brand must be built by repeating your message and framing each talking point within that message. At times, Clinton has tried to create a brand with slogans such as ‘Stronger Together,’ however the execution failed to be consistent. Go to hillaryclinton.com and you might see a video entitled ‘When you’re 27 million strong.’ However, there are also lots of messages on other themes. There is no slogan anywhere on that page that creates a common message across the material. That is not a brand.”

Thomadsen also noted that Clinton’s campaign could have pivoted and tried to brand Trump in a negative way, but here again it never stuck on a consistent theme. While Clinton certainly critiqued Trump, Thomadsen maintained that she didn’t create a lasting branding framework to effectively sway over voters.

“Perhaps they felt there were too many potential messages,” he explained. “Should they focus on the mistreatment of women? On his lies? On his financial dealings? Clinton often critiqued Trump, but her campaign didn’t create a lasting framework with which to string together each of Trump’s scandals. This was a lost branding opportunity for the campaign.

“Ultimately, Hillary Clinton didn’t effectively brand herself, so Trump did it for her,” Thomadsen continued. “Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ terminology is ubiquitous. In the absence of any coordinated message against this, that brand has stuck.”

Guest blogger: Erika Ebsworth-Goold

Purchasing and pricing has always been a dance between buyers and sellers. Before deciding to make a purchase, buyers spend varying amounts of time and effort searching for price information. These searches can and do affect the pricing strategies of sellers: Where should they set their prices? Should they offer sales or discounts, or keep their product prices at a high margin?

New research from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis presents a new framework that might make it a bit easier for businesses as they navigate the marketplace: it all boils down to understanding the buyer’s search.

Prof. Tat Chan

Prof. Tat Chan

Tat Chan, associate professor of marketing at Olin, along with co-authors Xing Zhang, assistant professor of marketing at Fudan University and Ying Xie, associate professor of marketing at the University of Texas at Dallas, used an empirical approach for their research, recently accepted at Management Science.

The researchers examined a business-to-business market, where supply firms sell materials to buying firms, and buying firms need to search for price when purchasing to determine which selling firm will offer the best price in order to buy cheaper.

“We studied whether it’s optimal for the selling firms to have periodic price discounts when they sell to the buying firms,” Chan said.

The researchers developed their pricing strategy model by analyzing data from an independent distributor that sells chemical lab supplies. The distributor provided 5-1/2 years of data on daily selling prices and sales quantities for a homogenous product called d-luciferin potassium salt.

The compound is sold by many firms, and there is no brand or quality difference. It also has a limited shelf life, so firms with inventory space can’t “stock up” for a better price or when prices drop.

“We chose this product because it needs to be used quickly, so there’s no inventory advantage for buyers,” Chan said. “But we found it’s still good for the company to offer a periodic price discount.”

By offering periodic price discounts, the researchers found firms can cast wider nets and reach different customer bases: the ones who are willing to buy at a higher price to save time, and those who are willing to take the time to bargain hunt in order to find the best deal.

“Some firms may search for price more intensively, looking at many, many companies,” Chan said. “Some companies don’t have that much time, they just know one supplier and buy from them only. Therefore, when you offer periodic price discounts you can sell to different kinds of buying firms.”

Although the research dealt with business-to-business transactions, Chan said there are takeaways for retailers as well. The ability to determine an optimal price promotion schedule, while taking into account expected competitive reactions, is of huge importance to retailers.

Knowing which customers have high search costs (with less time or inclination to compare prices), and which have low search costs (with more time to compare prices) can be used to put together a plan for setting discounts, ultimately allowing retailers to better compete in the marketplace.

“Our model gives a promotion schedule, how often a business should run a price promotion and how deep it can be,” Chan said. “It is critical that businesses look at the data and see how consumers are searching for prices.”

Chan is available for interviews and may be reached at chan@wustl.edu.

Image: Flickr Creative Commons, thinkpublic, Discounts Today

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