• Online Retailers Give Thanks

    Holiday spending is expected in increase by almost 5% this year, which is a rather robust rate, and this is certainly great news for retailers. But almost all of that growth is expected to be online, and so brick-and-mortar brands have been busily building...
  • Apple "Harvests" iPod

    When a product or product line is in the "decline" stage of it's life cycle, an eventuality every marketer must face, it is probable that marketers have already "migrated" consumers to newer models or to a completely different...
  • Addicted To Deals

    First DARE told us to watch out for drugs. Then Robert Palmer warned us about the addictive qualities of love. And now these days you can be addicted to almost anything--TV, the Internet, social media, sex, shopping, eating, etc. It's all the same...
  • Booze At The Bell

    Taco Bell is doing well, but it, like so many other aged fast food companies, needs something to refresh its brand. Sure, it ain't easy coming up with new products based on the same eight ingredients, and the marketers at Yum Brands are absolute masters...
  • AFL On Last Leg

    The Arena Football League (AFL) has been around for 30 years. When it debuted with four teams in 1987 I was a senior in high school, and the "novelty" sport was seen as football's answer to indoor soccer or indoor lacrosse that is, indoor...
  • Happy Holidays From The NRF

    The National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers, while certainly biased towards optimism for their retailer constituencies yet at the same time not desiring to mislead the public, both agree that this holiday season will...
  • The Maturation of Craft Beer

    Well, it is finally official. After more than 30 years of unchecked growth, the craft beer segment of the beverage industry is finally in the mature stage of the Product Life Cycle. It might be hard to believe judging from the sheer volume of craft breweries...
  • Tesla: All Hat and No Cattle

    Tesla is viewed by many in the general public as an innovative company and its founder and CEO Elon Musk as a genius of the first order. In the eyes of many, he is a pioneer bent on saving the world from the ravages of global warming and other environmental...
  • Under Armour to Diversify

    The sporting goods market has been very, very good to Under Armour. But the brand that marketers have positioned as a fairly exclusive line for "real athletes" (a market opportunity Nike exposed when it started selling plus-sized sweat suits...
  • Batman and Superman v. Negative Word-Of-Mouth

    And the winner is? Word-of-Mouth. Driven by social media following an apparently unsatisfactory effort by movie producers, word-of-mouth quickly killed huge initial interest in the latest superhero redux, "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice"...
  • Another Gamble Vegas Will Win

    Well, granted it was a not-so-new (and recently reunited) Guns 'N Roses headlining the grand opening weekend, but nevertheless the brand new T-Mobile Arena finally opened this weekend in Las Vegas to much fanfare and high expectations for the future...
  • More Beginners, Fewer Players

    From a peak of 30 million players in 2005, golf participation has been in overall decline for the past decade, but it's certainly not for a lack of trying. It turns out that the number of people trying golf for the first time is increasing, yet participation...
  • Wal-Mart's Shape Of Things To Come

    Unfortunately the recent news about Wal-Mart's planned contraction in the U.S. might be a bell weather for other retail chains as they try to navigate what is expected to be a very difficult year for growth. Most economists agree that GDP growth will...
  • The New Black Friday

    Well, so much for Black Friday, and good riddance. It' is still an important shopping day, to be sure, but recent evidence points to its waning importance as an end-all-be-all, make or break day for retailers. It looks like the game of "holiday...
  • Dynamic Pricing Becoming Norm

    The pricing of services has always been a bit of a crap shoot. Generally, marketers will employ some form of a "cost plus" strategy at least initially, but prices must be adjusted based on competitive and consumer factors as well. Over the past...
  • Vader v. Brown

    Star Wars, one of the most successful movie franchises ever, has already generated a huge amount of buzz in anticipation of the release of the next movie installment in a few weeks. Such sequels, also known as "tent poles", almost always represent...
  • More McTesting

    Well-known and omnipresent brands enjoy the luxury of testing ideas before engaging in large-scale commercialization of said ideas. This reduces the risk of failure. Smaller brands don't usually have that luxury because speed-to-market is so important...
  • PC Does What?!?

    My PC (and probably yours too) cannot do what the latest PC's on the market can now do, and so in a rare display of industry camaraderie, several companies have banded together to help consumers discover their need for a new PC. In the old days, the...
  • Holiday Shopping Slowdown

    As the economy continues to slowly amble along, consumers are expected to tighten their wallets a bit this holiday season as spending is expected to rise 3.7% this year, down from 4.1% last year. It may not seem like much of a difference, but when one...
  • Jaguar Losing Attitude

    In a rather large re-positioning effort, luxury car maker Jaguar has announced that it no longer wants to be what it calls "a high-priced outlier" and that it is therefore cutting its list prices to be more competitive in the luxury category...
  • Outlet Marketing at Whole Foods

    It looks like brand name outlets aren't just for manufacturers anymore. We know that natural products retail pioneer, Whole Foods Markets, has been struggling with high price points and increasing competition for the past few years and revenue has...
  • The Age of The Tentpole

    It's that time of year again. The time when movie makers introduce brand extensions or "tentpoles" in hopes that recognized movie franchises will attract what's left of the the movie-going masses. Franchises have always been around:...
  • Heinz Now Passing Mustard

    It seems remarkable that H.J. Heinz, after 140 years of selling ketchup and billions of dollars worth of other consumable packaged goods, has finally decided that it wants to sell some mustard in retail stores. The benefits of tapping into this $400 million...
  • Back to the Future for McDonald's

    In a move that seems to address the public's overall perception of low product quality, McDonald's is taking a page out of the playbook of yesteryear and will introduce a premium sirloin burger for a limited time. Sound familiar? Indeed, in mid...
  • Bourbon v. Scotch

    Consumer tastes for adult beverages are in the midst of a major shift away from the preferences over past decades. Growth in the large-batch beer market, after taking a beating from the wine category in the 80's and 90's, has been completely replaced...