• Back To Books

    After a decade of trying to sell lots of items outside of the "books" category, Barnes and Noble has decided to "unclutter" its stores to make room for what it considers to be an excellent opportunity for future revenue growth. For...
  • 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...
  • Amazon's Clicks and Bricks

    Amazon is ready for the holidays. And as it stands today, the company has been both naughty and nice. It has been naughty to its competitors who are finding it increasingly hard to compete and it has been nice to its consumers who can now shop Amazon...
  • 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...
  • Coffee Crunch?

    A quick look around any downtown area will tell you that coffee retailers, led by the far-too-ubiquitous Starbucks, have saturated the market with their shops. To say this market isn't crowded is to ignore the fact that "specialty coffee"...
  • No New Malls?

    The age of the enclosed regional mall has long been over with construction peaking in the late 1980's, a trend that began well before the age of e-commerce. This is not to say that they will disappear altogether, but only six large malls were built...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • The Nielsen Haters

    The Nielsen Ratings have been a fact of life in advertising for many decades. This periodic sampling of TV viewers across the U.S. is the primary factor in how prices are set in the advertising industry since it reflects how many people are watching a...
  • 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...
  • Holiday Freeze for Brick and Mortar

    The consumer shift from brick-and-mortar buying towards e-commerce buying has been in full force for almost two decades now, and the 2017 holiday shopping season won't be any different. Indeed, Retailer brands that focus on physical locations have...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Natural Pricing's New Paradigm: Part One

    Over the past 50 years, marketers of natural and organic products up and down the supply chain have enjoyed a distinct luxury that most marketers only dream of -- a constantly expanding market consisting of consumers who are willing to pay a premium for...
  • Ignoring The Internet Cheese

    In our ongoing quest to transform what we learn through social media about attitudes towards our products into some form of actionable marketing strategy, we marketers have a tendency to overreact when we hear something negative. And when it comes to...
  • An Organic Opportunity

    He did it for Annie's Homegrown, so why can't he do it for a two year-old start up that wants to market USDA Certified Organic baby food to the health-conscious masses? John Foraker took a small natural products brand and turned it into an acquisition...
  • Toys "R" Bust?

    Long-ago, Toys "R" Us joined the ever-growing list of retailers struggling against the forces of Wal-Mart and Amazon, unable to beat prices and losing relevance to an increasingly fickle culture. Once a mainstay of the national retail scene...
  • One Thousand For A "Ten"

    The Apple Marketing Machine is in full swing with the announcement that a new iteration of the iPhone is pending. Just when it will be released is still a bit of a mystery, but it will indeed be released eventually, and to much media attention, both social...
  • "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...
  • Lululemon: Thinking Beyond the Mat

    After a great deal of negative publicity caused by selling several batches of unintentionally "see-through" yoga pants as well as the CEO's assertion that the company's yoga pants "aren't for every (body type)", Lululemon...
  • Smashburger's Triple Threat

    Regional fast food chain In-N-Out Burger has cried "foul" and as a result has filed a trademark infringement suit against the national fast food giant, Smashburger, claiming that the rapidly-growing, upstart chain's "Triple Double"...
  • Craft Beer: From Booming to Brooding

    Readers of "KnowNow! Marketing" should know that craft beer sales have been slowing since their peak in 2013 of 20% annual expansion for a category whose boom began in the early 90's and now boasts 5,562 breweries in the United States. This...
  • A River Runs Through It

    Apparently Amazon's proposed acquisition of Whole Foods Markets will face no opposition from the Federal Trade Commission, and so the deal will close on Monday. In earlier posts we have explored many reasons for this interesting acquisition, the biggest...