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Marketing Strategies for Sonder, Punch Bowl, and Peloton in the New Zealand Market

Learning Outcomes

This assessment requires the learner to:

1. Critically examine advanced and contemporary marketing theory and practice in a service market context.

2. Research and apply advanced and contemporary marketing theory and practice in business-to-business markets.

3.Critically examine how marketing strategies impact net profit, assets, return on assets, KPIs, and shareholder value in small and medium businesses in New Zealand. 

“Early on, we thought: How do we deconstruct the services and operations of a hotel, and [rebuild] them in the age of mobile phones?” says Francis Davidson, founder and CEO of the short-term apartment-rental company Sonder. Combining Airbnb-like rooms with the consistency of a stylish boutique-hotel chain, Sonder has knit together a network of more than 2,000 rentals in 18 cities across North America and Europe over the past seven years. This year, it plans to open another 2,000 as it moves into new cities. The key to its growth: The San Francisco based Sonder contracts with property developers to lease entire floors in their buildings. It saves money by doing away with amenities like front desks (its app assigns each guest a room-access code) and by outsourcing maintenance and housekeeping services. Today, Sonder’s properties have an occupancy rate of nearly 80 percent (the average for U.S. hotels is roughly 65 percent) and take in about $57,000 per unit, per year” 
(FastCompany, 2019a).

“When Robert Thompson opened the first Punch Bowl Social—an “eatertainment” concept that combines games and food—in his hometown of Denver, in 2012, he had one thing in mind: to encourage real, human interaction among millennials, inspired by the Victorian-era tradition of 
gathering around a bowl of punch. “This generation demands experiences, which also manifests itself in food and beverage,” he says. His company’s 15 U.S. outposts, from Atlanta to Portland, Oregon, include plenty of diversions: VR parlors, vintage arcade games, bowling alleys, and the food itself, thanks to menu staples created by James Beard Award–winning chef Hugh Acheson and now under the aegis of in-house chef Sheamus Feeley. Punch Bowl Social’s revenue grew by 31 percent last year, driven by food and beverage sales. As the company expands—it added four locations in 2018 and will open eight more this year—Thompson is finding new ways to keep people engaged, entertained, and 
eating well” (Fast Company, 2019b). 

“Seven years after launching as a stationary bike company that allowed subscribers to live-stream digital cycling classes, Peloton has morphed into a $700-million-a-year-in-revenue fitness powerhouse that produces hundreds of hours of videos for a community that includes runners, yogis, and more. “We are a content creation shop at this point,” says cofounder and CEO John Foley. In 2018, Peloton debuted its Tread machine, along with a second studio in New York City, where it now films boot-camp, yoga, running, and even guided-meditation classes led by instructors whom fans have turned into stars. 

Last year, the company also introduced a $19.49-a-month digital subscription (no hardware purchase necessary) that includes access to more than 20 live classes daily, with an additional 10,000 available on demand. The key, according to Foley, is that “they’re real classes. You’re part of the experience.” 

They’re so interactive that a user logging in to a yoga class from her home in L.A. may get a shout-out from the instructor in New York. A London studio is now in the works, and a 35,000-square-foot mega studio in Manhattan is slated to open in early 2020” (Fast Company, 2019c).

Your tasks are:

1. Choose 1 of the case studies above.

2. Critically examine the New Zealand market and identify whether and how your chosen case company (A, B or C) could position itself in the New Zealand market. 

3. Based on your examination, the CEO of your company (A, B or C) requested you to research innovative and contemporary marketing strategies and tactics using academic literature to attract customers in the New Zealand market. The CEO has asked you to examine and suggest two strategies, using academic literature and real-world examples, that would be appropriate to incorporate into the company’s marketing strategy. 

4. In addition, the CEO asked you to research strategic alliances and partnerships with other New Zealand companies ((1) one B2B partnership and (1) one not for profit organisation). You are required to critically examine opportunities and pitfalls of B2B partnerships/alliances as well as
critically examine opportunities and pitfalls for not for profit alliances/partnerships. 

The CEO wants to know whether the company (A, B or C) should partner with B2B companies and not for profits or whether the company should not partner with anyone in the New Zealand market. Make a recommendation based on your critical examination.

5. Based on your marketing strategy examination, the CEO has asked you how the adoption of your suggested strategies could impact net profits, KPIs, shareholder value and other digital marketing metrics. You will need to critically examine the potential influence of the strategies on the financial metrics, using appropriate academic literature and real-life examples. You can also make suggestions on what financial metrics your company should use.

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