Marketing

Toy Craze in an Egg: Why the Hatchimal Is Hot

www.hatchimals.comWhy do we want the things we can't have?

In the toy market, especially in the holiday season, it's sometimes because demand just takes off like a flying reindeer, surprising Santa, and toy makers and everyone in between.

We're referring, of course, to the Hatchimal, the small, furry, motorized creature that pecks its way out of its colorful plastic egg and sings "Happy Birthday." Store shelves and online retail sites have been widely cleared of the little coveted creatures, leaving parents scrambling. "Scarcity – whether it is manufactured scarcity or genuine scarcity – makes people go nuts for an item," Smith School professor Rebecca Ratner explains. Read ,more

Stunt Marketing or No, Domino’s Has Refurbished its Brand

Last week, Domino's Pizza delivered a pizza by reindeer in Japan. And before that, it started delivering pies by drone in New Zealand. Neither method is likely to become a mainstay delivery method for the Michigan-based pizza giant, but experts say that both demonstrate its willingness to adapt, to take some chances and to try a few gimmicks. The onetime target of late-night talk show jokes has stoked a comeback by focusing on its niche as a delivery innovator, with an Apple Watch app and a "Tweet a Pizza" system that lets customers order pizza by way of emoji. Read more...

No-Frills, Not Even a Carry-On: Would You Fly Basic Class?

United Airlines is the latest major U.S. airline to unveil a new price point for budget travelers – basic economy – a flight with so few perks its critics have dubbed it the "misery class." You’ll pay a reduced fare – basic economy is aimed at helping United steal back share from low-cost competitors – but, in exchange, you’ll be the last passengers to board, you’ll agree to whatever automated seat assignment you’re given at check-in (even if it means not sitting with your travel companions), and you won’t dare use the overhead storage compartments. It might be just the ticket for airlines, and for flexible travelers whose chief concern is price, says Smith School Professor Roland Rust. But what will it mean for United's brand? Read more...

The Biggest Holiday Shopping Day You've Never Heard Of

Black Friday is old hat. Cyber Monday is passe. The most interesting shopping day of the year is the one you haven't even heard of: Green Monday. It's the day each year when the Internet saves Christmas — the Monday after the final shopping weekend of the season, when frazzled consumers hit the web to snap up the final few gifts on their list before the window closes on the all-important free-shipping offers. Read more...

The Economist Ranks Smith Faculty No. 1 in World

Professors at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business placed No. 1 in the world for "faculty quality" in The Economist's 2016 full-time MBA rankings, marking the third consecutive year atop the category. Prior to the current run, the school finished No. 2 for faculty quality in 2013. Overall, the Smith School finished No. 47 globally and No. 32 in the United States in the latest rankings, released Oct. 13.

One Big Question About the AT&T-Time Warner Deal

AT&T's proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner could be the first of a string of similar mergers to come. So you have to wonder: Why is Wall Street giving the deal such a cold shoulder? It could be a sense that the deal won't go through, or it could be a sense of market deja vu. "My first reaction?" says Smith School finance professor Richmond Mathews, "Oh, no. Here we go again." Read more...

How Twitter's Mating Dance Could Backfire

What's next for Twitter? Just a few weeks ago, Twitter had a multitude of potential suitors, with Google, Disney and Salesforce all said to be considering bids to acquire the mainstay social media platform. Then, one by one, the suitors walked away. Liz Sara, chair of the Board of Advisors for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Smith School, breaks down what Twitter and its CEO Jack Dorsey need to do next. Read more...

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