While NASA is still the world’s leader in space exploration, it has become less transparent in making advances in technology development. The tech industry has become segmented due to outside brand influences. While NASA is still advancing in their own way through technology, other brands (Apple, Samsung, etc.) are pioneering in daily technology, which is more of a daily concern to consumers. NASA is losing the interest of daily consumers of media and technology due to their lack of transparency and latency of new technological advances.
NASA's competition can be seen in from two angles: business and government. Apple, for instance, is a competitor of NASA for the business of consumers, while the Russian Federal Space Agency or programs in China made by the China National Space Administration are competitors of NASA in governmental and advancement circumstances.
NASA’s primary goal is to be the pioneer in space exploration, scientific discovery, aeronautics, and technology development. In addition to this, they attempt to put their attention towards humankind with space centers and museums (example: the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.) that people can access to view their previous work and success.
NASA’s target is humankind on a whole, with a goal of building and maintaining international awareness of their advances. They also target those actively involved in space and its exploration, and science, as well as the few with long-term vision for investment purposes.
What's going on in culture
Society has become more focused on materialism and tangibility. The majority of society have the mindset of “if it doesn’t affect me now, it doesn’t pertain to me.” While society is focused on the short-term, NASA is focused on the long-term, and there is a disconnect between the two, as well as a lack of understanding as to what they are trying to achieve.
If NASA could utilize innovative technology from other countries (China, etc.), to create products or services that would influence humankind positively, their brand awareness would increase and their reputation would blossom in the eyes of the consumer. It is important for NASA to find a way to increase their transparency and relevancy in the eyes of the consumer, and if they can do that, their reputation as the lead pioneer of exploration and science in the world will be solidified and expanded. What NASA has right now is a strong reputation for space exploration, that has the potential to grow into a consumer-friendly "brand" if worked on in the right ways.
Whole Foods has lost their exclusive/elite status as a higher quality brand, and has lost loyalty from their clientele. In addition to this, they have an increase in competition with big-box brands in buying from local farmers due to their ability to purchase on a larger scale and sell at a lower price.
Competition is increasing in the organic food market due to the higher demand of organic foods. Organic foods are becoming increasingly popular due to the increase in knowledge of millennials. Costco made $4 billion in organic produce sales in 2015 because they have more stores nationwide and have the buying power to purchase organic produce in bulk and sell them at cheaper prices than Whole Foods. They have remained consistent in their selling, as opposed to Whole Foods, who begun their business at a peak, and has been continually dropping for six quarters.
Whole Foods was the first grocery store of its kind to sell exclusively high-quality organic produce, and exclusively purchasing their foods from local farmers. They have incredibly high standards as a food retailer, and are aiming to be the pinnacle of food market standards. However, in an attempt to increase their revenue over the course of the past few years, they have been cutting their prices at a quarterly rate. Investors look at this negatively, and took this as a note to reduce investments in Whole Foods.
Whole Foods primarily targets anyone who is interested in healthy eating, with a focus on millennials due to the fact that they are driving forces of organic culture as a result of their increased knowledge of healthier eating patterns and higher interest in organic lifestyles.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CULTURE
For many individuals, healthy living is becoming less of a trend and more of a lifestyle. Not everyone can afford the prices that Whole Foods charges, which is why wholesale markets are becoming increasingly popular in the organic industry. Because of this, Whole Foods began decreasing prices, which raised skepticism in their customers.
Whole Foods needs to refocus on their mission statement regarding the quality of their produce. They should give off the impression of being similar to a local farmers market, rather than trying to conform to a wholesale brand strategy. They should emphasize the sale of their produce rather than their ready-to-eat meals. By cutting out their lunch and dinner “menu options,” and stressing the importance of their produce, they can potentially increase their sales and raise their status to where it used to be.
Since Snap Inc. has gone public recently, they are facing a lack of understanding on behalf of professional investors. Investors are afraid of the original selling price of Snap Inc.'s stock not exceeding a profitable rate. Snapchat is not an app that is appealing to a large demographic; it is a niche app that appeals to a certain kind of market, namely millennials or those with a large social media portfolio/platform. Therefore, investors are afraid that it is a fad and the company is not worth investing in.
Snapchat's main competitors are Facebook and Instagram. Instagram Stories, as well as Facebook’s up-and-coming Messenger Stories could pose to be a big potential threat to Snap, as it offers face-recognizing filters just like Snapchat. People who already have Facebook accounts but not Snapchat accounts may prefer to stick with Messenger Stories, as it offers a very similar experience to Snapchat without creating another account and adding another app. The same applies to Instagram-users, but with less similarities.
Snapchat is an entertaining social media app that allows for loose daily connection between friends through fleeting pictures, short videos, emojis, and emoticons. Snap's main goal with Snapchat is to “re-invent the camera” to aid in fun communication between friends. Relating to the business problem, such loose connection and fleeting photos does not often appeal to businessmen and businesswomen or adults in general.
Snap primarily markets Snapchat to millenials, and secondary targets those who are deeply invested in social media and their “online image/persona,” who are willing to try any and every new form of social media to further promote themselves.
what's happening in culture
There has been a huge social media boom as of late, and altering pictures is on the rise more than ever before. There is an increase in creative expression of personality, and social media aids in this. There has been a shift in the means of keeping up with culture: where older generations get their information from newspapers, radio, and cable TV for the facts, newer generations are turning to social media apps and are zoning in on opinions as well as stated facts.
Snap needs to continue to expand and keep up with the shifting trends of pop culture in order to maintain relevant. They could consider incorporating specialized “culture packs,” where based on culture or location, users are offered different features, geotags, and face-altering filters that relate to them. Because Snap has gone public, they should focus on becoming more attractive to investors to increase stability in the market. There should create a structure behind Snapchat, a sort of end goal or purpose, rather than just being seen as that funny app with the filters. With a backbone or that allows users to connect with each other, the app and the company could become more appealing to investors and older generations.
JCPenney has plateaued in the sales department. After their decline in profit over the last six years, they began to pick it up again in 2016, but that has nonetheless flat-lined. They do not intend to make profit through sales, but have instead turned their attention to salvaging profit through real estate, by closing approximately 140 stores by June 2017. JCPenney seems to be confused with their business strategy and is gripping at straws, trying anything and everything to figure out why their sales are not remaining constant, but not truly seeing their true problem. They have lost their way and are seemingly stuck in the past, where they were a big name brand to compete with.
JCPenney’s main competition includes Macy’s, Kohls, Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom. Macy’s seems to be JCPenney’s biggest threat, and they are trying to follow in Macy’s footsteps with their latest plan of selling off some of their real estate that they are not making great use of.
JCPenney’s alienated a large percent of their most loyal customers due to their decrease in advertised sales and elimination of coupons (which they have since repealed). They are now reaching out to name brands with larger and better reputations in an attempt to open up their market and bring in more customers, as they were failing to do so with the pre-existing brands that they had.
JCPenney’s is looking to incorporate more big-name brands (as seen with the addition of Sephora, Coach, Disney, and Michael Graves). This is seen as an attempt to open up and expand their target market, which seems to be lost at the moment. Previously, their target market could be seen as families, with a focus on coupon-fiends and loyalty customers.
what's happening in culture
In this day and age, online shopping is on the rise. There are more options within the market to choose from, and the trends within the market is on a constant change. As consumers can now order their goods online, the in-store customer experience has become increasingly important. Big name brands are remaining popular among the newest generation of shoppers.
When devising a solution for JCPenney's dilemma, consider the four P's of marketing:
- Product: JCPenney should incorporate higher-quality fashion products.
- Price: JCPenney should reinstate couponing and sales to their previous state, as well as offering better prices to entice customers.
- Promotion: JCPenney should promote online sales more and increase promotion on bigger name brands.
- Place: JCPenney should create a big JCP store “for show,” in order to attract customers. Think Macy's on 34th Street in Manhattan, and create a store in similar fashion.
In the Bahamas, the city of Nassau is the leading tourist site. The suburb Lucaya and the city of Freeport are smaller, lesser-known areas of the Bahamas that want to become tourist sites, but cannot devise the means to do it due to a lack of brand identity, as well as a lack of political and financial support from the Bahamian government. Yes, the entire country of the Bahamas has a general tourist aura around it, but Lucaya and Freeport don’t see the benefits of it, because the tourism is mainly sourced in Nassau. Due to their declining economic state, they have been cutting back on provisions on the island, including their well-loved Junkanoo Carnival. If they truly have the desire to become a main tourist attraction of the Bahamas, they need the financial and political backing of the Bahamian government.
Freeport/Lucaya’s primary competitor in this situation would be Nassau, as that is the part of the Bahamas that is most often recognized by tourists, reels in most of the revenue, and is emphasized by the Bahamian government. The government is currently backing Nassau, with little support behind Freeport/Lucaya.
Freeport/Lucaya has a very strong lack of brand identity due to their lack of relevancy in the travel industry. They are known for their close proximity to the airport and their cheaper prices for vacations, and they were previously known for their celebration of the Junkanoo Carnival.
Freeport/Lucaya’s current target market is focused on value travelers who want an island getaway but don’t want to spend much. Compared to most Nassau prices, most Freeport/Lucaya prices are cheaper, with a smaller distance from the airport (a huge plus for a lot of travelers).
what's happening in culture
Younger generations now are interested more in paying to travel and staying in beautiful locations rather than spending their money on physical items. Travel/tourism is statistically proven to be growing, especially among our young generation, as they intend to invest in memories instead of material items. The younger generation is also very keen on attending festivals (music, etc.) and parties to celebrate and embrace their youth.
Freeport/Lucaya should focus on building their brand and attracting a new target market, while making themselves more relevant to the Bahamian government to increase financial and political backing and leverage. This can start with an emphasis on the Junkanoo Carnival, branding that as a main attraction of the island, almost in the way that Mardi Gras is branded in New Orleans. If Freeport/Lucaya can obtain sponsors for Junkanoo (much like Nassau acquired Cartoon Network for their summer festivities), and target people of the younger generations interested in party scenes, they can convince the government that they are worth backing, and that there is more to Bahamian tourism than just like Nassau.
Mattel is having trouble identifying a niche product with the new generation of children. They are in the headspace that their previous hit-sellers (such as Barbie and Hot Wheels) will continue to be their best sellers for years to come, when in actuality they are falling behind in the market. They are taking too long to adapt to the newer generation of toy purchasers and are missing their opportunity to capitalize on what the market is willing to spend their money on. They are spending too much time trying to improve their older, previously popular toys (such as Barbie with their new line of differing physique girls) instead of putting that time into creating a new best-seller.
Mattel’s competition has evolved from toy companies alone; their competitors include Hasbro, Jakks Pacific, Nintendo, and Lego. Additionally, companies such as Apple and Samsung are taking over the children’s market in a unique ways: children are asking for iPads and cell phones as toys instead of the traditional dolls or race cars.
The Mattel brand is a long-lasting brand that hasn’t made a strong enough impression on today’s children or toy purchasers. They have been behind on trends and new phenomena among the youth, due to their reliance on their old best sellers. While their former successes prove that they have the potential to be a powerful force in the toy industry, their more recent follies are showing that they have difficulty adapting to the changing market around them.
Mattel’s primary target market is children of all ages, with a secondary target of anyone who has to purchase toys.
what's happening in culture
Technology is more prominent today than ever before. Often times, physical toys will come with an online access code of sorts, pushing the technological side of things. In addition to this, the most popular toys that come about now are, more often than not, trends that last for a few weeks at a time until something new comes along to stay in the spotlight for a few weeks, and so the cycle continues.
Mattel should stop resting on their formerly-popular segments of the company. It is evident to their future success that they learn to adapt and create new segments that will attract the new generations to come. Technology is an important part of today’s culture and it is an important area of focus, but it is not the only area of focus, especially for a toy company. Coming out with a hit toy is important for any toy company, and Mattel needs to come up with more hit ideas to keep children interested in their products. Mattel should also consider hiring a group of younger individuals who are more familiar with what is going on in today’s culture to help aid in the creative process behind toymaking.