Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Marketing Case Study
prepared by Mark Francis
Company History:
Polaris Industries was founded in 1945 by Edgar Hetteen, his younger brother, and their best friend.  Initially, the company was called Hetteen Hoist and Derrick, and they specialized in repairing farm equipment.  In their spare time they would tinker with different machines and inventions.  The founders wanted to find a better way to reach the remote hunting cabins in Minnesota, and that was the motivation that led to Polaris' first vehicle.  The founders needed to establish a brand with the public.  Edgar arranged a 1,200 mile trek across the Alaskan wilderness to prove the vehicles would hold up. They made the journey in 12 days, and the snowmobile was a success.

Value Proposition:
The Polaris brand means delivering high quality vehicles, products, services, and experiences to millions of people around the world.
Polaris industries has succeeded in marketing its products since the 1950's.  They benefit from spending  time and resources on fully understanding the market.  What I discovered during my case study of Polaris is how closely the company follows some of the methods described in "The Purple Cow".  For example, the content on Polaris' social media sites follows the recommendation of designing content that is native to the platform. On Facebook, posts about how Polaris is active in The Wounded Warrior Project, Boy Scouts of America, and United Way, is less annoying than just displaying the product.  On Instagram, the pictures involved the products combined with people who used a Polaris vehicle in a power sports competition. Polaris has a marketing tool called the Ridecommand.  It is an app that anyone can download, and it allows riders to organize group rides. Customers can share information before, during, and after a ride.  It is a brilliant way to promote customers to spread excitement about the product.
Polaris industries sales in 2016 were approximately $4.8 billion dollars, which shows how well they know the customer and their market. In my opinion, Polaris industries should continue following the current marketing plan.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Week 2: Marketing In The News

AdAge Burger King Article
I came across an ad at AdAge.com that was very interesting.  The article discussed a commercial by Burger King that contained audio comments that were designed to trigger smart listening devices around those viewing the commercial, such as Google Home and Alexa.  The actor in the commercial said " Okay, Google.  What is the Whopper burger?" at the end of the advertisement, which was a marketing stunt designed by Burger King to affect audiences smart listening devices.  Burger King did not consult with Google on this commercial, and Google Home quickly made adjustments to their system.  The article went on to discuss the importance of audio branding in marketing, especially with the increase in smart listening devices. The marketing challenge that burger faced was how to reach the customer through all the other noise in the environment.  Burger King did something remarkable, even if it annoyed a few people.  The additional press that Burger King got for the Whopper hamburger was worth the marketing stunt.  I'm sure there will be many more copy cat commercials in the future, but it worked for Burger King.  Burger King's value proposition is the flame broiled barbeque process for their Whoppers at a fair price.  They are the king of all fast food burger places. Fast drive thru and thousands of locations for the busy families.  Delicious food at fair prices.

What I learned from this article is the importance of identifying your brand in all areas.  As important as the logo is for a business, the sound that is related to your product is just as important.  As the article mentioned with so many advances in smart devices, smart listening and audio branding can stick with consumers for a long time.
Burger King Hijack's Google Home Video Discussion

Topic 1: Social Listening


I chose the SpaceX brand because they are doing a lot of interesting things involving space!  SpaceXs' value proposition is the ability to use the newest technology and the most advanced rocketry to make space exploration more affordable.  The company manufactures rockets that have the ability to be reused.  Leading the way in the private sector space exploration.  SpaceX has a vision to be the first company to offer space tourism.  People seem to be really excited that the company is getting closer to making space exploration a possibility for people other than NASA astronauts.  One commenter on Twitter tweets "There's a place in space for everyone".  Even if the company is several years away from offering the middle class space tickets, there is an atmosphere of  excitement and optimism among the fans of this company every time the company announces a successful launch or landing. 

Tech groups, such as Scientific America, praise the success of the company.  Every successful mission seems to reignite the optimism that SpaceX brings to all of its fans.  There were a few skeptical comments on the safety of sending tourists into space, but after having a proven track record of several successful launches, it should convince enough people that space travel is coming sooner that we might think!
If I were the brand manager of SpaceX I would respond by building as much buzz from the positivity and excitement around each successful mission.  I would engage my fans on facebook and twitter more often.  Maybe post brief announcements of the new missions that will be coming up in the next five years, or other high tech fascinating goals that the company has in the works, to continue that excitement in the imagination of all the science fiction early adopters!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Week 1

Topic 1- About You

I chose to enroll in this course because I needed four elective credits.  Marketing is a vitally important component for a business to be successful, especially in the age of internet commerce.  I am currently seeking a degree in business administrations with a focus on accounting.  I would like to become fluent in the accounting language of businesses, and be able to analyze a firms financial health to help them use their resources most efficiently as possible.  I am interested in learning the basics of the marketing processes, and what it takes for a successful business to compete with larger companies in the over advertised society companies do business in.  There are many things I am passionate about outside of college, but with very limited time resources I focus on only a few hobbies.  I enjoy rebuilding busted vehicles.  Currently, I am replacing head gaskets on a 1999 Subaru Outback wagon.  I also enjoy carpentry and home remodeling projects such as building decks, fences, and bathroom additions!