CYA week: For 7 days of school we could either choose to go on a hike of a lifetime and set the trail for people who want to hike the San Digeuito Watershed or we could choose finance and learn about making a new business and useful tools for our future. I chose to do the financial for 2 reasons. The first being my knee has been injured for a long time and I have asthma so I would have slowed the group down. The second being that I love math and I was interested in making a video for my week with Mr. Hensley. Here is my reflection of the week.
The week of finance was pretty successful in my eyes. I had a lot of fun in just the first day. We went to Junior Achievements which was truly amazing to experience. I got to observe kids from all over the city, talk about their businesses they created themselves. There were some really innovative ideas along with some that failed miserably. But we got to hear from guest speakers which was by far my favorite part. A man from At&t talked to the whole group of students and was very comedic. Then we got a more serious man, but he had much more experience than the first guest speaker. He sold his first company for over five million dollars. This was a great day and the kids from our school did extremely well. They received all the money they asked for. The second day was finally here and I was excited because we got to create our own businesses. I thought it was going to be a breeze given the fact that I was so pumped from the previous day at the finance conference. But boy was I completely off target. I had no idea what to come up with and it was already three hours into the day! I was blanking on business ideas and everytime we thought we came up with one, it was already a legitimate business. So we struggled as a group and could not come up with anything. Even at the end of the day we had no set invention or business idea. The next day we came into school, but I was late since I was not feeling well in the morning. I came to school to see my group walking in the halls. I asked them what they were doing and they told me they had decided to make a informational music video instead of coming up with a business idea. I luckily had brought my camera that day and told them I could film for them if they wanted. They automatically agreed and we got to work. They had already came up with a couple of lyrics but I realized not everyone in the group knew the songs. So I told them that we should just use a rap beat off of youtube and we can just come up with lyrics to the beat. Everyone was very excited about this so we put our minds together and got to work. It was pretty amazing that we wrote a whole rap song in just one day and we were excited to film the next day. After writing all the lyrics we toojk a field trip to Vons and wrote a long reflection. We had to do something called the 4 “p’s” of finance. It is Product, place, price, and promotion. I wrote a long reflection about a product that I found in Vons. “ The category I originally chose was soda. I chose soda because it is such a big industry and I wanted to see if there was a method of marketing they use compared to others because it is such a competitive business. The consumers usually want soda for social events and gatherings or personal use.
I chose Dr. Pepper specifically just because it is one of my favorite sodas and it is unique compared to the other brown sodas like Coke and Pepsi.
Product: The consumer wants a unique, good tasting and refreshing soft drink they can enjoy. They also want something that comes in different sizes. Some may want 2 liters because they are having a party and they can get rid of all the soda in one night so they don’t have to worry about it going flat. Or they want 12 fl oz. because they only drink one every week and want individual cans and serving sizes. This brand also has an extremely unique flavor that many cannot describe. However I would say it has this almost spicy and sweet flavor mixed with carbonation that doesn’t make it too sweet but it also has great flavor along with it. The customer can use it in many different ways. They can use if for a party, or to quench their thirst or even to keep their blood sugar level at the desired level. The great thing about this product is it can be used almost everywhere. Their is only restrictions in places like libraries and places that do not allow food or drinks but this is fair and every soda company has a disadvantage in those places. This bottle is a pretty simple look. It has a big number 23 on it to show 23 different flavors. It also has a bright red label for 2 reasons. The first is to represent that almost spicy flavor that is very nicely incorporated into the beverage. I also think red is a bright color, it catches your eye and shows passion and something very energetic. Sprite, a very refreshing drink, has green as the color showing earthiness. It is different because of two things. The first being that it has a unique flavor and the second being that they promote and give away a lot of college scholarships.”
I took a long time each night to type these things out. This was just a small example of the reflection that we wrote each day. The next day we had all of the equipment but it was already Thursday! We thought it was due Friday so we hurried and filmed and edited. During the day we filmed over 10 scenes, voice overed the whole video and edited the final product. Jake and I had to stay after school to edit, but in one day we had a very creative music video explaining finance and how someone should invest their money. It came to Friday and we found out that it was due the following wednesday. So we just relaxed, did some final editing revisions and we relaxed. Then we went to the Rubio’s food court and enjoyed some nice pizza. The last two days we just added lyrics and final editing and we were finally done. After Tuesday, we presented our video and Mr. Hensley loved it so it was a true success in my eyes.
Project work :
5 P’s for Dr. Pepper/Barriers to entry/We’re going to the store
The category I originally chose was soda. I chose soda because it is such a big industry and I wanted to see if there was a method of marketing they use compared to others because it is such a competitive business. The consumers usually want soda for social events and gatherings or personal use.
I chose Dr. Pepper specifically just because it is one of my favorite sodas and it is unique compared to the other brown sodas like Coke and Pepsi.
Product: The consumer wants a unique, good tasting and refreshing soft drink they can enjoy. They also want something that comes in different sizes. Some may want 2 liters because they are having a party and they can get rid of all the soda in one night so they don’t have to worry about it going flat. Or they want 12 fl oz. because they only drink one every week and want individual cans and serving sizes. This brand also has an extremely unique flavor that many cannot describe. However I would say it has this almost spicy and sweet flavor mixed with carbonation that doesn’t make it too sweet but it also has great flavor along with it. The customer can use it in many different ways. They can use if for a party, or to quench their thirst or even to keep their blood sugar level at the desired level. The great thing about this product is it can be used almost everywhere. Their is only restrictions in places like libraries and places that do not allow food or drinks but this is fair and every soda company has a disadvantage in those places. This bottle is a pretty simple look. It has a big number 23 on it to show 23 different flavors. It also has a bright red label for 2 reasons. The first is to represent that almost spicy flavor that is very nicely incorporated into the beverage. I also think red is a bright color, it catches your eye and shows passion and something very energetic. Sprite, a very refreshing drink, has green as the color showing earthiness. It is different because of two things. The first being that it has a unique flavor and the second being that they promote and give away a lot of college scholarships.
Place: They look for a good tasting soda that will give them energy and a good taste. They want to feel good and many people do this by what they drink. A lot of people like coffee from starbucks and many others like Dr. Pepper. They distribute their product in many different varieties. They have a variety of flavor choices like diet Dr. Pepper, 10 calories and original. They also come in different sizes. You can get a 12 fl oz can, a 16 fl oz can, a one liter bottle and a two liter bottle. They also are in the back of the soda aisle along with the Coke. However the aisle is in the center of the store and is a very popular aisle when shopping. The original two liter bottle is placed right on the shelf that is eye level with the costumers. But the individual 12 fl oz cans were on 2 shelves below the original. Most of their products were in the same vicinity however the original was the first bottle you saw coming down the aisle along with the Dr. Pepper 10 calorie bottle. Last was the diet, which I can assume is the least popular. Now the only thing was that the section for the Dr. Pepper was a little smaller than the section for products like Coke and Pepsi. Coke also had a lot more flavors like cherry Coke, vanilla Coke, diet, lime, etc. Dr. Pepper was not the biggest by any means, but the shelves were empty and two of the students ended up buying some over the other choices for sodas.
Price: The value of this drink is to quench thirst, excite their taste buds and perhaps get energy out of the product since it does have caffeine. There are established price points. If you have a Von’s club card you get 3 2L bottles for 5 dollars. That is equivalent to 48 fl. oz. Now you can get a box of six 12 fl. oz cans for 3 dollars. For less than double the price you can get 3 times the amount of soda. However there are factors of personal preference. If you do not drink Dr. Pepper often, a 2L bottle would not be good for you mostly because once you open it, it will go flat in a short piece of time. Now if you like soda a lot or you are going to use a large quantity in a short amount of time it is a better deal. Now I think they do this because they have such high profit margin. And by setting it cheaper it makes people think that they are getting a much better deal with the larger quantity, but in reality it costs about 10 cents to make each 2L bottle of soda and it is all profit with whatever they sell. Something that sets it apart is that it gives away college scholarships which caters to a huge market of college students, who buy a lot of soda and there are so many of them. The price is about the same as the competitors. They rely solely on their unique taste. They offer the products at 4 different price points. Price points for 12, 16, 1L and 2L bottles.
Promotion: They mainly advertise through commercials. I was first introduced by a commercial but first tried it when my friends told me it tasted way better than coke and they all recommended it. I think the obvious best times are during huge sports events like the superbowl and the world cup. However I think a great opportunity would be the presidential election and American Idol. I think this because Dr. Pepper is about being a unique individual and the President is a unique individual so it would be a great representation. Competitors are known to bash on other companies and degrade their product. Coke promotes their product everywhere. They have commercials, sponsor events and are promoted in amusement parks around the world. It does not influence the promotion of Dr. Pepper but Coke just is a bigger name/brand.
Target Market: The target is a wide variety of people. That does not include kids however college students are a HUGE part of the market. They offer college scholarships which influences the college students or high school students to buy it. It also markets towards parents who have kids getting ready to go to college.
Barriers to entry: The Barrier to entry for our music video was pretty low mostly because anyone could make a music video. There are cameras available at school and all the computers come with iMovie. We also have mics and a vocal booth so anyone could come up with great sound quality. The thing that set us apart from others and made out barriers a little higher was the fact that I love writing lyrics and have a talent for coming up with lyrics efficiently. I also love filming so my cinematography is at a more advanced level than others. I have angels and scenes in my head and transfer them to the screen.
We’re going to the store...
MXN sells a large variety of “authentic” Mexican food. The most popular item on the menu is the California burrito. They sell it either by taking your order at the counter or by you going through the drive through. They then call your order out rather than saying your name or order number. Then you sit down and enjoy the meal. At Vons, you fill up your shopping cart with your desired items and amount, and take it to the cash register where they scan and bag your items. However there are different lanes. There is the normal lines, with no maximum item count, there are express lanes where the max item count is 15, and there is self checkout. The difference is immediate consumption at MXN where you can enjoy your food hot and ready. At Vons there is a time period where you have to take the groceries, put them in your car, drive home, unload them and then put them away. It is more convenient at MXN.
When I am at MXN I have a process for choosing the food. My first step is to ask the person what their favorite menu item is. Most of the time the answer is the California burrito. If I am not in the mood for the California burrito, then I look at the pictures. I see what looks the most appetizing. But that is the not the final factor of my decision. Once I find what LOOKS most appetizing, I check the ingredients because I am allergic to almost everything in the world so I have to be very careful when I chose my food. At Vons it is very different. I usually only go to Vons if I have a specific item in mind. My family usually shops at Trader Joes and Jimbos, so when I go to Vons its usually if I need medicine or food for my friends when they come over. It is a tradition to my friends to spend the night at my house and we watch movies and play video games. With 5 - 7 teenage boys in one house, we tend to get hungry so we go to Vons to get donuts and cookies. Then we choose what to get with whatever looks most appetizing at the time. That is really the only thing. The difference between the two is just that at MXN it is a very limited menu and I have the thing I get all the time. I usually stick with the California burrito or the buenos dias burrito. At Vons it is all situational. It depends on what we are feeling on that specific night.
At MXN I consume my burrito fast. I eat it as soon as it comes out, still hot and fresh. It is great because MXN is relatively fast with their service and the people are pretty nice. However the only problem I found is it is very easy for MXN to mess up orders. I have not recieved things I asked for in my burrito on multiple occasions. So there is room for error. At Vons I usually get the items I need, which takes about 30 minutes or 4 - 6 items, because me and my group are very indecisive. Then I have to wait in line, give the money to the cashier, go home and then dig into the delicious food. The difference is that Vons, although it takes a lot longer, there is a higher guarantee that it is going to be flawless and there will be no mess ups. However at MXN it is much faster service but there is more room for errors.
The layout for MXN is very small and squished together. There is no air conditioning, however there is outdoor seating which is very nice. There is a salsa bar and a soda machine that allows you to access as much salsa and soda as you want. They have all the supplies you need to eat your food for free and in the front. At Vons it is a nice big open space, with very organized rows and aisles. It is nice and cold in there and has a large amount of products. There is a giant selection. From fresh fruit to frozen pizza. They are different because MXN is small but has everything you need to eat your food and Vons is huge but may not cater to everyone’s needs. There is more costumer service at Vons but I have found that it is hard to find. At MXN there is not as many employees but they are forced to cater to you because they stand in the front and you can ask them for anything.
We’re going to a bunch of stores...
There are many advantages of having a business in a food court. The main one is that it has a lot of foot traffic. Even if a small percent of the 1,000+ people who visit it per day, go to your business, you still get a lot of money. Not only that but they also usually are in good locations like in malls or next to movie theatres. This is a big advantage because they get foot traffic from all over different places. It is also good because you usually cannot have the same cuisine as others in the same space so there is no competition for pizza places or american burgers. However I am sure rent is cheaper for the space since you have to share it with other businesses.
With every advantage there is a disadvantage as well. I think the biggest is when you have a smaller business that is not a chain, competing with food that are big chains like Panda Express. They will always have a big name food chain and more times than not they will choose the bigger name just because they know they will have good consistent food. You also have to share a space with many different restaurants so if your food choice is not popular, you may not do well. You do not see many Indian food places in food courts. You see cheap asian food or burgers.
There were four different places in the food court we visited today. There was Rubios and Cold stone, the more chain restaurants, and there was Massachusetts Mike’s Pizza and Capriottis, which are not big chain stores. Rubios is Mexican food, Cold Stone is ice cream, Mike’s is pizza and Capriottis is sandwhiches.
Something this businesses all have in common is that they can all be eaten for lunch and dinner so they are all competing during the lunch rush and the dinner rush. They are also all right across the street from the movie theatre. They are also all owned by the same management and I’m sure they all have the same rules and restrictions from what they can and cannot do.
These businesses are all very different. The obvious difference is the different cuisine types with mexican, dessert, pizza and sandwiches. But they also have different marketing style and ordering style. Rubios makes all the food in the back and you order and they just call your number when it is ready. Cold Stone makes the ice cream right in front of you and you get it right away. It is immediate customer satisfaction. With Mike’s pizza you see the pre cooked pizza in a display case and tell them how many slices of what pizza you want. Once you choose, they put the slices into an oven right in front of you and tell you it will be done in a certain amount of time. Since this is not as big as other places they offer specials that give you a lot of food for cheap. Mike’s gives 2 slices of pizza and a refillable 16 oz drink for only 6 dollars. It is a great deal because it really fills you up. Capriottis is a sandwich shop that has a wide variety of different sandwiches you can choose from or you can make your own much like subway. However they don’t make it in front of you. Instead you put down all the items you want on your sandwich and then they make it and bring it to you. You get much more meat than subway but it is also much more expensive.
I do think that some shops might form strategic alliances that offer combination deals so that once people have had their meal they get a 15 % off coupon for Cold Stone. The other places take 20 % of the money they made from the customers who bought Cold Stone with the coupon. It is a win win situation and both businesses come out on top. But I do not think places like Rubios and Capriottis ever do just because they are such different style foods and no one wants to go get a sandwich right after they had a burrito and vise versa.
I don’t know if they even get to choose the location they get in food courts but if they did then I definitely think there is a strategy. I think the Capriottis is the best location because it is the side that everyone is facing as soon as they come in straight from the movies. When they get out and go in the door, Capriottis is the first thing they see. But many people, after visiting once, know that Rubios is on the other side so they just go straight there. I also think Cold Stone chose the middle because they are surrounded, on both sides, by dinner food and they are extremely close for the people who want something sweet right after. And since there are 4 locations in the food court, they chose the place right in the middle of the two most popular places rather than at the end where they would only have 1 store next to them.
If I could make any food court it would be rather large. I would have a Panera bread, a Panda Express, a Cinnabon, a Mcdonalds, A Mike’s Pizza, a Starbucks and an MXN. I would want Panera because it is slightly more high class, it has drinks, desserts, soups and salads. I want a Panda express because who doesn’t love Panda? It is Asian food and it has a variety of sides and menu items. I would want a Cinnabon because it is the sweet factor and they also have shakes that you can order. Mike’s Pizza because every food court needs variety and Pizza is a classic American food. Starbucks is not commonly found in a food court but I feel like they are successful anywhere you go. The starbucks and the Panera would be separated because I would not want it to feel like class segregation. MXN is lower class than Panera, no question, but you want your customer to feel comfortable about what they eat. A Mcdonalds would thrive in a food court like this because it is the only burger place in the food court and it has so many different items and would have no competition. I would charge them more for rent of course. Last but not least MXN. In southern California, cheap, greasy mexican food is extremely popular. I think that it would do so well, given that it is the only Mexican food place in the whole food court. I think all of these would be a great start for a food court.