• Email Missing Mark

    Now that long lines at retail stores are becoming a thing of the past, one would think that holiday shoppers would be a much happier bunch, but smart marketers know that is always something for customers to complain about. And to a smart marketer, an...
  • 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...
  • The Magic Age? 26

    For marketers, young shoppers have always been a coveted demographic, and since this generation is the largest in history, targeting and attracting those in their 20's and 30's has become the key to the survival of many brands. According to an...
  • 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...
  • Sugar Losing Sweetness: Part One

    The obesity epidemic remains a major problem in America as well as in other wealthy nations, and concern among consumers and lawmakers alike is driving food chemists to find alternative sweeteners that still satisfy our need for things that are "sweet"...
  • 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...
  • "It" Is A Hit

    After a very disappointing summer and a year that has seen the movie industry continue along the lackluster path it has taken over the past decade or so, the adaptation of Stephen King's 1980's horror novel, "It", broke a number of box...
  • Getting Off the Bus

    Public transportation advocates often aren't the ones who actually take public transportation. Suffice it to say that if you have any connections to make or have to pay full price, you are probably better off finding another way to get where you want...
  • Starbucks Dumps Teavana

    Starbucks is not exactly hurting these days, although the brand's growth has slowed, and it has been difficult to find a sustainable solution to get things moving again. Revenue growth of 4% isn't bad, but an equally significant indicator of health...
  • The International Booze Cruise

    The global market for alcoholic beverages continues to grow at a moderate pace, and as one might expect, the competition both within and between the three major booze categories is rather stiff. In the U.S., annual sales of beer continue to decline (minus...
  • Restaurants Losing Lunch

    Citing lack of time and high menu prices, consumers are no longer "doing lunch" at the rates we have seen in previous years. In fact, Americans made 433 million fewer visits to restaurants at lunchtime last year, which resulted in over $3 billion...
  • Retro Superstar Shines

    Apparently there has been a "retro" shoe craze that has gripped the hip, shoe-sporting element of our culture, and apparently it has peaked. If you blinked and missed it, that's OK. It has been fairly brief and for Adidas as well as Foot...
  • About Time for a Change

    Almost everyone over 30 has heard of "About.com", a general information site that dates back to the very early days of the internet. These types of all-purpose sites used to be rather popular, but as the overall internet audience now includes...
  • All About the Add-ons

    Video games have been around since the late 1970's, and almost immediately after introducing Space Invaders and Asteroids (two of the pioneering games) in bars, marketers developed home entertainment systems. The first one I had was called Odyssey...
  • Bolstering a "Black Market"

    When a government entity deems something illegal, an unsanctioned "black market" always develops to meet demand for the illegal good or service if such a demand exists. We have seen this effect with alcohol during Prohibition as well as with...
  • Emerging Authenticity in China

    China has developed a well-earned reputation as the "world's workshop for counterfeit goods", and this should be no surprise to any astute student of business. But this particular piece isn't about the fake stuff, but rather the changing...
  • The Culling of the Brands

    Packaged foods brands have been experiencing slowing sales amidst changing consumer attitudes and behaviors and, as a result, many of these brands are up for sale. Many shoppers favor fresher food these days, and food prices have been falling for several...
  • Gigging For Tips

    Over the past few years, we have heard a lot about the "gig economy" wherein workers patch together different jobs to make a living, but musicians and other live performers have been "gigging" for hundreds of years. The pay has never...
  • Approaching a Tipping Point?

    Once upon a time, there was no gratuity in food service. Someone brought us what we ordered, we paid the bill, and that was that. As a matter of fact, in the vast majority of places around the developed world, tipping is not at all encouraged, even seen...
  • A More Natural Niagara

    Niagara Falls. On the Canadian side of the river families enjoy restaurants, Ripley's Believe It Or Not! and other cheesy attractions, and a bunch of pretty cool waterfall related tourist attractions. In short, it's pretty crowded and is what...
  • Baseball's New "Boys of Summer"

    Promotions at spectator sporting events in the U.S. are very, very common. Sponsor engagement is a big deal, as marketers pay lots of money to be attached to a "sport property" and reap the benefits of fan "affinity" among many other...
  • Panera Versus "Not Food"

    The consumer attitudinal shift towards preferring "cleaner" food products has been in full swing for at least four decades now. Changing attitudes have spawned the now massive Natural and Organic Products Industry, and even mainstream marketers...
  • An Organic Panic

    For two decades demand has outpaced supply in the world of Certified Organic ingredients, and this supply shortage has been a major part of the reason as to why organic products tend to cost so much. As such, the industry's manufacturers and retailers...
  • Oranges Still Losing Juice

    Florida has always been known for warm weather, sunshine, beaches, spring break, COPS episodes, tacky attire, tourists, professional sports teams no one cares about, elderly Northeastern transplants, hurricanes, and of course, oranges. But still reeling...
  • Alibaba's Many Thieves

    Few young adults are familiar with the classic book , Arabian Nights , but one of the more familiar tales concerns Alibaba and his Forty Thieves. I always found it amusing that the Chinese "eBay-like" giant chose such a name for its business...