• "No Cash" Catching On

    In Sweden only 20% of all transactions in the country are conducted in cash, but in the United States? No such luck. We, as a nation, are still struggling with using the chip card machine, which was about 10 years overdue, and soon we will have to grapple...
  • Tip Pooling To Threaten Servers?

    Tipping for food service isn't unique to the United States, but overall, the practice of shifting most of the cost of labor onto the customer in the form of a "gratuity" (expected, but not mandatory) is something that most people around...
  • The Big Spenders of 2017

    Although the holiday buying season isn't yet finished, the bulk of the shopping has been done. And it looks like the economic gains of 2017 (combined with the fact that Americans are saving less than in previous years) have enabled the best Christmas...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Shiploads From The Supply Side

    When we talk about marketing, it is almost always about companies that operate further downstream in the supply chain suchas retailers and branded product manufacturers.These are the cool companies to talk about since we see them every day. Indeed the...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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"...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Dove Pulls Offensive Ad

    My, how times have changed. An advertisement that was meant to show how Dove's body wash is for everyone and a celebration of diversity was slammed on social media, resulting in marketers discontinuing the ad entirely. The ad portrayed a woman morphing...
  • 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...