Latest Posts

  • The coolest part of the Apple event wasn’t the hardware.

    The coolest part of the Apple event wasn’t the hardware.

    Well, the day we've been waiting on for the past year came and went. Apple's big reveal. We all got what we wanted — not just one bigger, faster, skinnier iphone- but two versions. The iPhone 6 and the 6+. Aside from the blazing performance and upgraded camera—- this new iPhone brings Apple up to par with specs and features the Samsung, HTC and Nokia mobiles have had for the past few years — including NFC (finally). Apple's inclusion of NFC now gives retailers the confidence they need to continue to roll-out NFC terminals across all their stores. Apple also gave us a watch — (notice that I didn't say "smartwatch"). What Apple did was the opposite of what the rest of the manufacturers have done with their smart watches. They engineered this device around how humans would actually use it (even "lefties") rather than make a mini-smartphone that you wear on your wrist. Apple enabled options for both…
  • Viral Brilliance

    Viral Brilliance

    The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, viral phenomenon, is teaching us a lot about a lot of things — ALS for one, human nature, masterful fundraising and some things us marketers should pay attention to. It is treasure trove for Cause Marketers and there are some universal truths (reminders) in it for the rest of us. The request on social media from one person to several  friends to donate to the cause of ALS, while demonstrating their support for the cause/cure by sharing a video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice over their heads is the basic premise. Then, the friends who are challenged are supposed to donate, challenge a few more people and post their video proof of their ice bath. And so on and so on. It is the dream child of every viral campaign to have this much uptick and involvement, so quickly. (for the record, it is…
  • P&G Shifting to a Less is More Strategy

    P&G Shifting to a Less is More Strategy

    Earlier this month Proctor & Gamble (P&G) announced that it would be cutting more than half its brands, a drastic shift  in strategy for the world's largest consumer-products company. In the past, the company obtained brand after brand, even within the same category to ensure a hefty percentage of shelf space and leverage for consumers' dollars. But as the retail landscape is shifting, P&G, along with other CPG companies, are having to adjust their paradigms and their portfolios. From the Wall Street Journal: P&G didn't say which brands it will sell or shut down, but it will be a sizable culling of products that bring in around $8 billion a year in revenue. The company owns scores of lesser-known brands including Era and Cheer laundry detergent, Clearblue pregnancy tests and Metamucil laxatives. Dozens could prove attractive to private-equity firms that specialize in orphaned brands or companies in countries like China…
  • I’m Passionate about Paint. Wait… what?

    I’m Passionate about Paint. Wait… what?

    You might not think of paint as a passion play. And, you'd probably think of it as a fairly low-involvement category until you need it and then it can become very complex and confusing. You spend hours trying to figure out the difference between brands, types and raise questions like, "Should I go with Dove Wing or Gray Owl?". We are all used to seeing messages, ads and POS in-store that either showcases how beautiful and premium the paint is, or how affordable, or the benefits of how long it lasts, how easy it goes on, etc… In-store we might see POS that helps you choose the right type or color for your job. Or, like other successful, savvy brands and products, paint brands too can create a dialogue with their target by tapping into their passions. Which is exactly what Benjamin Moore is doing for the rabid Boston Red Sox…
  • The greatest BRAND story ever told.

    The greatest BRAND story ever told.

    My fiancé and I just returned from a trip to Disneyland and had a blast exiting the “real world” and spending 4 days in the happiest place on Earth. It’s no secret that Walt Disney created one of the greatest brands in the world. He was a storyteller and to this day, the “story” is the foundation for everything Disney does. It was during this recent trip that I was reminded of many ways retailers could benefit from taking a page from the Disney “story” book. One of my first takeaways was the absence of what I like to call “brand ugh” moments. Take for example the “cue”. Nothing kills human momentum like a line. At Disneyland the line is anything but a “wait” – it’s actually part of the ride. Once you enter the cue, unexpected reveals, interaction and environments set the stage for the ride to come. They…
  • Move Over Millennials, Gen Z is Here

    Move Over Millennials, Gen Z is Here

    In the past decade, millennials have become the “most researched generation in history.” They stormed the generational field with their vast knowledge and willingness to adopt an array of new technologies and social media, encouraging marketers to decode the best Gen Y communication tactics. Millennials are trailblazers in new media, but their haughty, technological reign may soon come to an end as Generation Z moves in. A recent report by Sparks & Honey dives into Gen Z and how individuals under the age of 18 are beginning to shift the millennial mindset into something new. Of the findings, the following are a sampling of Gen Z’s mindset, behavior and surrounds: Gen Z is diverse Since 2000, there has been a 50 percent increase in multiracial youth in the U.S. Further, gender roles are being challenged and less accepted than in previous generations. Gen Z multi-tasks, despite short attention spans Currently,…
  • 89% Are Shopping Brick-And-Mortar for Back-to-School

    89% Are Shopping Brick-And-Mortar for Back-to-School

    As a new survey created by Accenture found that 89% of parents with school-age children will be visiting brick-and-mortar stores for this back-to-school shopping season. Top motivations for shopping in-store vs. online: avoiding shipping fees and the desire to touch/feel products. However, shoppers will be “webrooming” to determine pricing and to find out what’s in stock before spending time to go find products. That study found that 8 in 10 will be consulting their mobile devices while in aisle. All more proof that engaging your target as they pre-shop and via mobile is more crucial than ever, but ultimately, final purchase decisions for back-to-school are happening the “traditional way”, in-store.
  • The Ultimate Luxury Pop-Up Shop: Chanel Meets Aspen

    The Ultimate Luxury Pop-Up Shop: Chanel Meets Aspen

    [gallery ids="1575,1577,1578,1579,1580,1581,1582,1583,1584,1585"] Luxury brand Chanel launched its first state-side pop-up shop this July, in Aspen, Colorado. Karl Lagerfeld showed his distinctively western-style Métiers d'Art Paris-Dallas collection in Dallas, Texas, last December - and now the collection has appeared, publicly showcased in a small modern boutique above the Casa Tua restaurant and club. And just my luck, I happened to be in town the last night the pop-up was open! Giddy. I was on a mission to track it down and that I did. Without a doubt, this collection felt right at home in Aspen as it did in Dallas. It's completely over-the-top western Americana, with stars, fringe, holsters (for your Chanel No. 5, of course), belt buckles and boots. The large wood-clad room over the Casa Tua captured the thematic and served as the perfect setting for such glamor. Feather-capped mannequins and the classic Chanel logo in Neon centered around a large…
  • 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…

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