Sunday, December 6, 2015

Blog #8: Review

This marketing class has really helped me understand more about marketing in general, especially because of this blog post assignment.  Having to keep a constant blog post was helpful for me and taught me a lot about a way to advertise that I would not have originally thought of doing.  There are a few main points below that I have talked about briefly in previous posts but they have really taught be good lessons about marketing and how to advertise a product in the best way.  With learning these marketing terms below and being able to fully understand them, I feel like when I am able to open my bakery in the future, I will be ready for it and know exactly how I plan on advertising my desserts and business.

Types of Products
There are four different types of products.  High-Learning Products are products that people need to learn a lot about before purchasing.  You need to invest a lot of time into these products.  Low-Learning Products are products that do not need a lot of your time invested into it.  Fashion Products are products that come and go multiple times in the market.  These products come up when they are in style, then go away, then come back again at a later date when they are back in style again.  Fad Products are products are products that are only in the market for a short period of time.

Classifying Products
There are four types of product classifications.  Convenience products are products that are bought frequently. Shopping products are products that take a little more time to think about before purchasing them.  Specialty products are products that you need to really learn and look up information about the product before purchasing them.  Finally, Unsought products are products you do not think about or do not want to think about.

Brand Equity
Having brand equity is a great way to add value to your product and increase sales.  One way you can increase brand equity and value in foods is by learning how to use the product in a different way than normal. For example, in a previous blog, I explained how you can use Oreos not just as a normal cookie, but to make Oreo Balls.  That way you increase the ways to use the product which will increase the customers' interests and increase the sales.  You can do this for almost any food out there.

Product Life Cycle
There are four stages in the Product Life Cycle.  The first stage is the Introduction Stage, where the product is first being introduced in the market.  People do not really know much about the product yet  so it is important to be very heavy on advertising techniques so that your product can become more known to the consumers. The second stage is the Growth Stage, where your product is at the peak of its time in the market and it generates the most sales and profit it ever will. The third stage is the Maturity Stage, where your products sales start to slow down a bit after the product has been in the market for a while.  The fourth stage is the Decline Stage, where your product's sales drop extremely low and you are no longer making much money off of it.  In this case, you can either delete your product completely from the market, or harvest it so your customers who still use your product do not get upset.

Purchase Decision Process
There are five steps in the Purchase Decision Process, which describes your level of involvement in purchasing your product.  Step 1 is Problem Recognition, where you recognize that a situation has occurred and you need to purchase a product.  Step 2 is Information Search, where you look back into your past purchasing history to see what types of products you liked to purchase.  That way, you can get some information about what kind of product you would like to buy this time around.  Step 3 is Alternative Evaluation, where do research on the product you are looking for.  In this step, you might also compare the product you are looking at with other brands.  Step 4 is Purchase Decision, where you actually buy the product you have been looking for.  Finally, Step 5 is Post Purchase Behavior, where you determine if you made the right decision or not when buying your product.

Blog #7: Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies
As we are approaching Christmas time, gingerbread cookies re-enter the market.  They are the perfect treat to have while you're either just gathering with friends, decorating the tree with family, or to bake just so your house smells good during the season.  I love baking gingerbread cookies around Christmas time.  Baking them with my friends and family to bring to Christmas gatherings and decorating them with icing and little candies.  There are many ways you can make gingerbread cookies, by shaping them into little people or just make them into plain circle cookies.  You can also make gingerbread houses!! Those are very fun, trying to make the house stable with icing and decorating it with candy.  Below is a picture and a link to Betty Crocker's site.  It provides my favorite recipe I use to make gingerbread cookies every year. 

There are a few different marketing techniques that deal with how you price your products.  
Bundle Pricing: Bundle pricing is when you group two or more product together in one package.  People can do this type of pricing with gingerbread cookies and gingerbread houses by not just putting the cookies in the box but also adding the candy and icing with it. They are selling two products together in one package.
Odd-Even Pricing: This type of pricing technique is when your product is priced just a few cents or even dollars under an even number.  It is a way to trick the consumer's mind in thinking it is a lot cheaper than when it is at an even number.  This is a common technique for almost any product, including gingerbread men and houses.  It is a competitive way to sell your product and convince the consumers that your product is the best option of them all.  

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Blog #6: Ice Cream Sundae

Ice Cream Sundae
Ice Cream Sundaes are so much fun to make and are also very easy to make.  I usually make these when I am babysitting and the children love it.  This is a classic dessert that almost anyone knows how to make.  You start with any flavor of ice cream, my personal favorite for this purpose is Vanilla Bean.  Then you add any toppings you want: sprinkles, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, m&ms, Oreo crumbs, peanut butter cups, mini chocolate chips, or any other candy or fruit. My personal favorite toppings to add are peanut butter cups, sprinkles, whipped cream, and a cherry! Like I said, little kids love to make this and it's a fun activity to do while babysitting.  Not only do children like it, but most teens and adults do too.  It brings you back to your childhood and just brightens the mood of everyone.

Below is my favorite ice cream sundae to get when I am out with friends at Friendly's.

Four Types of Products
The four different types of products are high-learning, low-learning, fashion, and fad products.
              high-learning products: With these products, consumers need to learn a lot about the product    
              before purchasing it.  An example of this a computer.
              low-learning products: With these products, you do not need to learn a lot and right when
              you purchase the item, you know exactly what to do with it and how to use it.
              fashion products: These products come and go within the market.  They can show up for a
              while and be very in style, then go away for a while, then come back again years later.  A big
               example of this in today's time period is high-waisted pants.
              fad products: These products are usually only in the market for a short period of time, but
              when they are in the market, the sales are very rapid.  An example of this would be silly
              bands that were popular a few years back.

Ice cream sundaes would be classified as low-learning products because you don't need to learn a lot about how to make sundaes.  When you purchase the ice cream and the toppings, you know exactly what to do with them.  It is also easily imitated by competitors because anyone can make an ice cream sundae.  It is a delicious treat that just about everyone loves and will enjoy.

Blog #5: Brownies

Brownies are a classic dessert that is simple and easy to make.  You can make it for just about any occasion.  There are a few different recipes and ways on how to make it.  You can add cream cheese, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, icing and much more!  My personal favorite type of brownie to make is when I add chocolate chips and chocolate icing.  This is a great dessert to bring to family and friend gatherings.  You can decorate them for almost any holiday or occasion simply by just adding some colorful sprinkles.  Below is another one of my favorite recipes from Betty Crocker's site that include cream cheese and chocolate chips.  It takes a little bit of time to make these but it is a simple recipe that turns out great every single time!

There are two different types of goods: durable and nondurable.  Durable goods lasts over a long period of time while non durable goods last only for one or two uses.  In this case with brownies, they are a non durable good because once you eat it, it is gone.  You only get one main use out of them.  

Classifying Products
There are 4 types of consumer products: convenience, shopping, specialty, and unsought.          
        Convenience: These products are usually bought frequently; like milk or eggs. 
        Shopping: These products are things people have to think about a little more before buying
        and compare with other products; like a hair cut or new shoes.
        Specialty: These products are things you need to learn more about before purchasing
        because they are very expensive; like cars.
        Unsought: These products are thing you don't think about at all or don’t want to think 
        about; like life insurance.   

Brownies aren't usually bought as frequently as things like milk and eggs but in this case, it isn't as extreme as shopping products, therefore it is classified as a convenience product. However, if you have severe food allergies or may be gluten free, brownies could be classified as shopping products because you would have to think a little more about buying them to make sure you get the right product to fit your needs. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Blog #4: Oreo Balls

Oreo Balls
Oreo balls is an amazing food that is a great snack and is fun to make!  I personally love making Oreo balls as a dessert to bring to a gathering.  Making Oreo balls is a simple, easy process that doesn't require too many ingredients or an oven.  All you need are Oreos, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and chocolate.  You start by mixing the Oreos, cream cheese, and powdered sugar and roll them into one inch balls.  Then you put melted chocolate around the balls of Oreos.  This is a perfect simple dessert that is easy to make for almost any occasion. 

The link below is the recipe that I use when I go to make Oreo balls. 

Brand Equity
Having great brand equity adds a lot of value to your brand.  Oreo balls itself are not a brand, however, they help give the Oreo brand name equity.  Oreo balls increase the versatility of an Oreo and it is no longer just a simple cookie.  

In creating brand equity, there are a few things you want to consider.  First, you want to try to set a positive brand awareness to your consumers so that they keep coming back and using your product.  Then you want to make sure your product is functional but also has an imaginary side to it.  In this case, Oreos have successfully created positive brand awareness because people were able to get creative with this product by expanding its use and created Oreo balls.  Next, you should take into consideration the thoughts and feelings of your consumers.  You want to make sure that they are having positive thoughts and are loving your product so that they continue to come back to you.  Finally, you want to create a connection with your consumers.  This is a very hard task to complete, but you want to try to create a positive relationship.  With Oreos, they try to create a positive connection with their customers by creating Oreos with different colored fillings depending on the current holiday.  They also give out different recipes that involve the Oreo so that way there are many more uses other than just eating a cookie.  The Oreo balls is a great example for that.  

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Blog #3: Apple Pie

Apple Pie
Personally, apple pie is one of my favorite holiday desserts.  At every fall and winter family holiday get-together, my aunt makes her amazing apple pie for dessert.  She’ll spend all day in the kitchen cooking and baking.  My aunt's apple pie recipe is a big secret and she refuses to tell anyone how she's does it.  However, if you would like to try to make apple pie one day, below I posted the link to Betty Crocker's website with another great recipe.  This is the recipe that I use when I make apple pie myself.  It is a very time consumer dessert to make, but in the end, it is more than worth it after you take that first bit and your mouth fills with apple cinnamon goodness!

Product Life Cycle 
The product life cycle pretty much just lets you know how are along a certain product is in its life.  Depending on what stage a product is in, you will be able to determine how if its sales are either increasing or decreasing.  Apple pie is a little different than normal, everyday consumer products, however it still goes through this process when you relate it to what season it is mostly made and eaten in. 

Introduction Stage
Right now, it is prime time fall season, school has started up but the holiday season don't start until next weekend.  Slowly, the pumpkin and apple flavored treats are coming back in style.  Therefore, apple pie is in its introductory stage for this year.  The prices and sales of apple pie, and other apple desserts and drinks, are slowly starting to rise.

Growth Stage
Next weekend, the holiday season will be here!  Halloween is this weekend, thanksgiving is a month away, and christmas is not far behind.  I know for my family, at every holiday occasion, we have apple pie for dessert.  My aunt usually makes homemade apple pie, rather than buying it pre-made at the store, however for others who buy it at the store, the sales are rapidly growing.  When the sales of a product grow at a rapid pace, you know it has reached its growth stage in its life cycle.

Maturity Stage
Once Halloween comes, the holiday season will fly by!  A few days after christmas, the holiday season will slowly come to an end. Therefore, the apple pie season will also come to an end.  As a result, the maturity stage steps in and the sales of apple pie desserts will begin to decrease. 

Decline Stage
Eventually, holiday season will be all over and the new year will be here!  The sales of apple pie will drop very low.  During this decline stage, you can either do two things with the product.. deletion: where you completely get rid of the product, or harvesting: where you retain the product but don't get rid of it.  Apple pie is a little different than normal consumer products, so in this case, deletion is not an option.  You would just harvest it while you bring out the newest trend for the next season to come. Then the next year, when fall rolls around, you bring out the apple pie again and the life cycle starts all over again. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Blog #2: Death by Chocolate

Death by Chocolate is one of my all-time favorite sweets to eat.  Death by Chocolate is a bowl full of different layered chocolate desserts.  First, you start with a bottom layer of brownies.  Second, you add a layer of chocolate pudding.  Third, you add a layer of chocolate mousse.  Finally, the last layer is Cool Whip.  Then you continue to pile up the layers in that same order until you reach the top of the bowl.  Once the layers reach the top, you can choose to add little sprinkles, chocolate chips, or any other kind of topping to decorate it like in the picture below.  

This picture below is the Death by Chocolate that me and my cousin made last Thanksgiving.  We layered it in the same order listed above and also decorated the top.  To outline the turkey, we used cookie crumbs then we filled in the feathers using sprinkles.  

To help explain these five steps in the purchase decision process, I will use an example involving me and my cousin; for every holiday family dinner, me and my cousin get together to make the dessert Death by Chocolate.  However, our level of involvement in the purchase decision process is very low.

Step 1: Problem Recognition
This is the first step in the purchase decision process.  During this stage, you recognize that there is a situation where you need a certain product or service.  In my example, me and my cousin recognize, as the holiday is coming up, that there is no dessert for our holiday dinner yet.  Our family always has a sweet tooth so dessert is always needed at big family gatherings.  Therefore, we recognize that we need to make a dessert!

Step 2: Information Search
During the information search stage, you look back at your previous purchase history to determine which brands or products you liked the most.  For example, when me and my cousin are at the store looking at the certain products we need, we look for the same products we always use every time we make Death by Chocolate. Those ingredients are Cool Whip, brownies, chocolate pudding, and chocolate mousse. Sometimes we also like to add a few extra things on the top, like in the picture below.  

Step 3: Alternative Evaluation
Alternative Evaluation is the step where you research more about the product you are looking for.  You might compare it with other brands to see which is the best fit for you.  For the example involving me and my cousin, we usually don’t need this step since we are just buying food and it is not a high involvement situation.

Step 4: Purchase Decision
The purchase decision is when you actually buy the product you are looking for.  In my example, me and my cousin buy the ingredients we need.

Step 5: Post Purchase Behavior
In this final step, after you have bought your product, you evaluate your product and see if you made the right decision with buying it.  You see if you are either happy or unhappy with the product you have purchased.  So in my example, me and my cousin are satisfied after our purchase of the ingredients to make our Death by Chocolate dessert.