• Bringing You The Gas

    It was just a matter of time before direct-to-consumer delivery reached the fueling industry, and with the widespread adoption of apps among the buying public, it appears that consumers will soon have the ability to order up just about anything. Gasoline...
  • Cobalt Looms As Electric Threat

    Raw materials. They are used in the products we buy, and when demand outstrips supply, they get to become very expensive. But most business-to-business goods are inelastic, and thus when the price goes up demand tends to stay the same. Let's take...
  • 100 Years Of "Gift Dressing"

    What do World War One and Christmas have in common? Gift wrapping was invented back in 1917, but back then it was called " gift dressing", which actually makes a whole bunch of sense. Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards Inc., a brand that is still...
  • Short On X-Mas Trees

    Although the Great Recession has been over for many years now, some aftereffects can still be felt in certain industries. Let's take Christmas trees as an example. Apparently there is a shortage this year, but what does that have to do with the recession...
  • Clubs Seek Gen X For Growth

    As the oldest Millennials settle into middle age, growth in the $24 billion "club" industry has begun to slow down. And while most clubs are focusing on the youngest Millennials and the emerging age cohort just now entering college, some savvy...
  • Coffee vs. Tea

    In previous posts, we have established that the market for coffee retailers is absolutely saturated and that smaller stores are now experiencing declines while even the growth rate at Starbucks has slowed considerably. But even when there are too many...
  • The Truth About Innovation: Part Three

    Continued From Part Two By now, the point of this three-part article should be abundantly clear. We in industry have overused the term “innovation”, and are therefore somewhat desensitized to technological and product developments. Consumers...
  • The Truth About Innovation: Part Two

    Continued from Part One Product Development is one of my favorite university courses to teach, and this important class we learn that there are three forms of innovation. A continuous innovation describes a new product that requires almost no change...
  • The Truth About Innovation: Part One

    Natural ingredients come from everywhere, and many of them have multiple applications that meet a broad assortment of consumer needs. Every year there are a handful of popular ingredients that dominate new product development, and each year the list changes...
  • Gucci Grabs Young Shoppers

    With all of the talk about how the vast majority of traditional brands are struggling mightily to resonate with a massive cohort of fickle young consumers, it's nice to see one of your grandmother's classic brands emerge as a winner in bridging...
  • Friday Night Lights Dimming

    As a sport, American football has lots of problems. The NFL's foibles have been well-documented here at KnowNOW! Marketing, and we all know that the CTE brain injury issue is gaining steam as more evidence mounts that significant numbers of former...
  • Sugar Losing Sweetness: Part Two

    Continued From Part One Sugar isn't just used as a sweetener. In some chocolate products, for example, it is used to give the finished product a smoother texture. If you remove sugar from ice cream, as another example, the result is a product that...
  • Target Remodels, Thinks Small

    As brick-and-mortar retailers reduce their respective footprints across the nation, it is important to remember that despite the rapid rise of e-commerce, these major retailers will always be building new stores even as they close old and under-performing...
  • Costco's Catastrophe Kits

    It often pays to address a niche market, which could be defined as a relatively small market that features few if any competitors. If you have a unique enough good or service and the market is large enough to reach and serve profitably, niche marketing...
  • The Book Is Back

    The failure of e-books to win enough American hearts and minds means that the creative destruction of the book industry may be coming to a close. Larger bookstores have already consolidated and big chains have closed down as Amazon rapidly grabbed its...
  • Tesla Not Good at Production, Promises

    They make pretty cool cars, and that Elon Musk is one heck of a marketer, but the fact of the matter is that Tesla has been an unprofitable maker of very expensive electric cars for well over a decade, and has failed to meet almost every production deadline...
  • Making Lidl Progress

    There was much fanfare when the German grocery giant entered the U.S. market, opening a headquarters in Virginia and challenging long-held turf in that state, Georgia, Delaware, and the Carolinas. The plan is to gain a nice following and expand outward...
  • Aurora Organic: Authenticated

    When a brand is marketed as Certified Organic it must adhere to the tenants of the National Organic Program, a set of stringent requirements that affirm a product's "organic-ness". This program is regulated by the USDA and each organic producer...
  • FDA Says, "Hold The Love"

    One of the tasks of the Food and Drug Administration is to regulate what goes into the products we buy, well, at least the products that we put in and on our bodies. When it comes to foods, the FDA manages a list of acceptable ingredients that it considers...
  • A Gorilla of a Case

    Trademarks are important to marketers since they can be tremendous branding tools, and sometimes this intellectual property must be defended against marketers that aren't even competitors. Imagine how long it would take Nike to call it's legal...
  • Natural Pricing's New Paradigm: Part Three

    (Continued from Part One) In short, the lazy days of pricing in the natural products industry are probably on the wane. Just as marketers had to step up their collective game in the 1990’s to make products more palatable to a market that was rapidly...
  • Natural Pricing's New Paradigm: Part Two

    (Continued from Part One) The fact that they all begin with the letter “C” makes them easier to remember as a framework for pricing strategy, but although easy to remember, "The Five C’s of Pricing" are nonetheless challenging...
  • A Disciplined Approach To New Product Development: Part Three

    (Continued from the previous post Part Two) The last four steps of the New Product Development Process are as follows: Prototype Design: In this stage, research and development, in conjunction with production and marketing, develops one or more working...
  • A Disciplined Approach To New Product Development: Part Two

    (continued from the previous post "Part One") The first four steps of the New Product Development Process are as follows: Idea Generation: Ideas come from many places, including existing customers, employees, supply chain partners, competitors...
  • A Disciplined Approach to New Product Development: Part One

    New product development is important. This is an obvious statement to be sure, but until renowned economist Joseph Schumpeter observed that innovation is instrumental to an organization’s success, and that in extreme form new ideas can “creatively”...