Latest Posts

  • New Grocer: The Complete (Non)Package?

    New Grocer: The Complete (Non)Package?

    In anticipation of the opening of the new grocer UNVERPACKT in Germany, I thought it would be a great time to share what I think could become the next retail trend — zero-waste grocers. UNVERPACKT is combines some of the latest global trends: Crowd-source funding Sustainable zero-waste philosophy Retailer-vetting to select the best products for you Co-founders Sara Wolf and Miena Glimbovski launched a hugely successful crowd-funding campaign, which raised more than double their funding goal. This says to me that many others share the same goals of reducing waste, buying local, and doing our part to improve the environment. The store is slated to open its doors in a few weeks in Berlin’s Friedrichshain Kreuzberg district as Germany’s first package-free, zero-waste market. Products are sold in bulk from gravity bins or cleanly organized crates. Shoppers bring their own containers or can borrow them from the retailer. Products range from…
  • Kashi Shines at Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass

    Kashi Shines at Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass

    So I've just returned from vacationing at a Wanderlust festival in Aspen-Snowmass, CO – it's a yoga/music multi-day event that's filled with all kinds of outdoorsy activities, yoga classes, lectures, organic food and concerts. Wanderlust has become an international series of festivals and with that success comes the integration of partnerships. Gaiam, Garnier, Prana, So Delicious Dairy Free and Camelbak were some of the nationally-known partners, but I have to tell you, Kashi set the bar high and truly grabbed my attention. Even when I'm on vacation, I can't help but get excited about brands championing on in ways that are fun, cool and most importantly, authentic. Authenticity is the name of the game when a brand is striving to directly interact with its target and that really shows on the experience-level at festivals and conferences; Kashi shined with a presence throughout the event and created an authentic, shareable experience…
  • Amazon Fire Phone Unveiled

    Amazon Fire Phone Unveiled

    Amazon took its first steps into the ever-evoling smart phone battlegrounds last week with its introduction of the Amazon Fire Phone. A natural progression into this field, for sure, as an extension of its Kindle Fire and Fire TV, but is Amazon really going to be the next big contender in the smart phone world? I'm sure it'll take some time to for the Fire to gain its footing and awareness spreads, but just around the water cooler that is social media, I have yet to hear of any one of my friends, family and/or co-workers rushing to ditch their iPhones or Samsungs to make way for the Fire. Normally, there's at least a bit of chatter with the release of a new iPhone or Samsung, but I really haven't heard much other than from reviews from tech outlets. The Amazon Fire Phone does bring several new elements to the…
  • No Strings Attached

    No Strings Attached

    As the digital age advances, people are becoming increasingly more independent and self-sufficient. Social networking sites and interactive apps are creating unprecedented accessibility to resources and knowledge that have empowered consumers to ask more of brands and question their loyalty. With so many options out there, consumers are feeling less of a need to commit to just one brand, or to even make a commitment at all. Some companies, such as T-mobile, have recently taken an aggressive approach to this trend, telling consumers to “break up with your carrier” and switch to no-contract wireless plans. Ride-sharing companies like Uber and ZipCar are on the rise, making it convenient for people to only use cars as needed, as opposed to buying or leasing. Even trends in listing personal items for resale, or even the option to rent, are showing growth in the form of websites and apps. RentTheRunway is an e-commerce…
  • Marketing at the World Cup

    Marketing at the World Cup

    Just 48 hours until one of the greatest sporting events in the world kicks off: the FIFA World Cup. I’m looking forward to seeing how marketers are leveraging the World Cup fandom, utilizing the marks they own or being creative on leveraging the fan’s passion for the game if they don’t have rights to the marks. It seems like during every World Cup, a brand gets aggressive and tries to ambush the event. In 2010, a Dutch Beer maker had 36 beautiful women dressed provocatively in the brand’s signature colors walk around the various venues in South Africa during the matches. Thereby infringing on rights that Budweiser has, not only in venue, but with anything even remotely associated with soccer in that country for the length of the tournament.  FIFA caught wind of it and promptly threw them all out of every venue. I wonder which brand will try to…
  • Gaming, For Life

    Gaming, For Life

    I'm an innately competitive person.  Whether that has to do with growing up playing almost every sport imaginable or just loving the gamification of life, I'm not really sure… But sometimes I find it next to impossible to contain myself. This is a trend to which many can relate. Everyone has played some version of the "time game." You know, where you feel like you've been working for hours, you guess the time, only to be immediately devastated when you learn that your guess was at least an hour ahead of reality. Or when you're using a GPS and do everything in your power to beat your estimated time of arrival. For some reason, everyday tasks just feel so much more fun and rewarding when you turn them into a little competition. So how can we translate this practice into our lives for us to become the “best version of ourselves?”…
  • All Things Walmart

    All Things Walmart

    It's that time of year again. Northwest Arkansas welcomes thousands of Walmart Associates and Shareholders from around the world to their annual Shareholders meeting. The meeting takes place on Friday, June 6 at Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas Campus in Fayetteville, but events and concerts will be taking place all over Northwest Arkansas throughout the week. Northwest Arkansas REALLY becomes all things Walmart. The buzz is all about what celebrities will be here. Last year, Hugh Jackman andTom Cruise hosted the meeting . Several musicians sang, including: Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. Doug McMillion, Walmart President and CEO, will speak at Friday's meeting and has already mentioned a few key strategic areas of discussion: Serving the customers through relevant and personalized experiences Expanding opportunities for Associates Driving operational excellence Serving communities through a deeper focus on social, environmental and local responsibility
  • The Passing of a Master

    The Passing of a Master

    Massimo Vignelli, a graphic designer whose Modernist vision inspired countless others, passed on Tuesday, at his home in New York City. Though he considered himself more of an "information architect," Vignelli sought to convey concepts, ideas and places in the simplest, truest forms for all to understand. Clarity and coherence were the ideal in all the projects he touched, be it signage, books, shopping bags, kitchenware, etc. His resolve for simplifying designs was key to his methodology and to his vision, which has also helped his designs stand the test of time. According to his obituary in the New York Times: Mr. Vignelli’s work has been shown in North America and Europe. It is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, as well as museums in Philadelphia, Montreal, Jerusalem, Munich and Hamburg, Germany. His…
  • An Experience Worth Remembering

    An Experience Worth Remembering

    I recently visited Sloan's Ice Cream in Florida for the second time in my life. Talk about a childhood fantasy! For those (like myself) who have never heard of or been to Sloan's, imagine walking into Candy Land or a Willy Wonka factory. From the bright and colorful signage, sugarcoated displays, and fairytale wallpaper, to the (dare I say) breathtaking bathroom (I'm embarrassed to say I took a picture), Sloan's has drawn upon everything that makes sweet treats magical. Although Sloan’s has been doing this for a long time, the idea of capitalizing on the retail “experience” has really been a game-changer for others in the past few years. Brands and retailers alike have started to use innovative technology that allows consumers to interact with their products on a more personal level within the retail space. As an athlete, I’ve always looked at Nike as an inspirational retailer, providing this…
  • Bill Simon, President & CEO of Walmart U.S., Shares His Story

    Bill Simon, President & CEO of Walmart U.S., Shares His Story

    Today, the TPN Bentonville office attended the Benton County Single Parent Scholarship Fund luncheon. Bill Simon, President & CEO of Walmart U.S., spoke at the event. Instead of speaking about how Walmart and the Walmart Foundation give back by supporting the Single Parent Scholarship Fund, it was a much more personal speech. Mr. Simon was very real and down to earth. He discussed his upbringing in a single parent household with four siblings. His mother never graduated from college, and she did any odd job she could to help support the family. She instilled in her children the value and importance of an education, that being average or being exceptional is a choice, and the importance of giving back. Because of this, Mr. Simon, along with three of his siblings, all graduated from college. Two of them even went on to receive their Master’s degrees. While Bill's mother never got…
  • La culture du travail

    La culture du travail

    As a first generation American, it came as a surprise for me to see people in the US work so hard at jobs that seemed to be making them miserable — jobs that literally were driving them to an early grave. Where my family comes from, work seems to come secondary, or even tertiary to family, friends and quality of life. Not to say that I came from any sort of slacker roots. Au contraire. I grew up around very driven, successful people. Aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents speaking a minimum of three languages, adorned with Masters Degrees, holding highly coveted jobs — all while surviving a 15-year Civil War. Approximately 70% of Americans seem to hate their jobs or are regularly disengaged in the workplace. Has this generation of Americans missed the boat when it comes to work-life balance? We’ve all heard “When you truly love what you…
  • When in Shanghai: Part 3

    When in Shanghai: Part 3

    We Are What We Buy I love visiting grocery, drug, convenience and even big-box stores when traveling abroad. My husband does not always view these visits as highlights of our vacation, but he’s generally a good sport about it. When I am traveling on business, I visit with immoderation. Seeing what is on the shelves of stores (and what isn’t), how the shelves are merchandised, what the packaging looks like, prices, what is in shoppers’ carts, etc., … can draw a vivid picture for me of the marketplace and the people. You can learn about customs, tastes and traditions just by walking into a retail store. While recently in China, I noticed in a Watson’s drug store that there were no aspirin or pain relievers to be had on the shelves – no section at all on the floor dedicated to these products. It turns out that in China you…

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