Glucosamine is a health supplement that supposedly helps with range of motion and joint pain. So I’ve used it for years.
The problem is that it’s expensive. So I usually wait for BOGO deals (buy one, get one free).
I recently got that deal with two bottles of Osteo Bi-Flex.
After I got home, I discovered that both bottles were less than half full! So I combined them and still had room left in the bottle.
- The consumer thinks they’re getting more than they actually are.
- The product takes twice as much shelf space.
- The product takes twice as much space in a truck on its way to the store.
- The consumer pays for twice as much packaging.
- Twice as much plastic is being manufactured from crude oil.
- Twice as many bottles are likely thrown away or possibly recycled – and trucked to the dump or recycling center.
Come on, companies – wake up and stop wasting our resources!
The world has moved on from Canvas.
(And I do understand that Canvas is still the appropriate backing for an oil painting.)
Huckberry is a mostly-for-men retailer that often features cool retro clothing and objects of desire, targeted at males of my age and demographic.
Rarely am I willing to pay the premium for such luxury items, but it’s fun to look and sometimes dream.
This week, Huckberry tried to sell me a $268 waxed canvas jacket. I love how the jacket changes with age to become even more desirable.
Alas, that price is not in my budget. Furthermore, Gore-Tex entered the clothing market 40-ish years ago and revolutionized outdoor clothing fabrics. A typical waterproof and breathable shell parka these days weighs about a third of what the Flint and Tender waxed canvas jacket does – and allows you to sweat less if you’re doing the required wood chopping exercises.
But there’s no Gore-Tex parka made that looks anything like a waxed canvas jacket!
The photo is courtesy of Larry George II and used under a Creative Commons license.
My daughter loves Lululemon.
She worked at a Lululemon store for a few months over winter break and got the inside scoop on the Lululemon Life.
She has almost made more money buying used Lululemon apparel at the Goodwill and reselling on Poshmark than she made working at the Lululemon store. (Well, not really.)
During one of her Goodwill excursions, she discovered and very kindly bought me a long-sleeved Lululemon shirt at a fraction of the original price.
I like it.
After wearing the shirt about five times, I discovered words inside the cuffs!
“FIND YOUR FOCUS” was inside one sleeve and “LOOK INSIDE” graced the other. (And I just realized the double-entendre of “look inside.”)
What a great idea – giving customers a hidden feature to add a tiny bit of extra delight.
If you’re in business, think of ways to give hidden delight to your customers. You could convert a peripheral customer to a loyal fan. (Don’t worry – that’s not really going to happen for me with Lululemon.)
p.s. I thought it would be hilarious if Lululemon put “EXERCISE REALLY ISN’T THAT GREAT” inside one of its sleeves.
Have you ever noticed that Amazon sells lots of cheap stuff with weird brand names?
These goods are shipped from China to you (sometimes direct) without any help from American marketing experts.
Look at the backpacks that were featured in the top eight results from a search on Amazon for “packable backpack”:
- Venture Pal
Only one of those brands would even get close to appealing to an American: Venture Pal. But even the word “pal” is not part of American English anymore. None of those outdoor equipment brands are as attractive to American consumers as:
- North Face
Admittedly, several of those known brands have a lot of equity – years of making quality products. But they evoke the untamed destinations, rugged adventure, or at least a feeling of quality.
And the Chinese brands are often very good value for the money. They may even be made in the same factories as the big brands. But those companies are cutting themselves out of a lot of profit that could be realized if they had better branding.
My recommendation to companies that produce products like Hikpro (“hick-pro”) and Neekfox (what?!) – simply hire a group of American teenagers. They can come up with a better unique name within 20 minutes of brainstorming than five hours spent by a team of Chinese nationals sitting in a room in Shenzhen.
Lincoln bought the emperor’s new clothes.
This ad appeared in the February 2017 Fast Company magazine (in a very high-priced spot – the inside front cover). Lincoln paid a massive amount of money for the ad series, shot by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Agency Hudson Rouge made out like a bandit.
But Lincoln did not think about their real audience. Showing a 20-something person behind the wheel of a $60,000-ish luxury car, newly-minted from a marque typically bought by people above 60, will not make 20-something people want to buy one. Nor will it make 60-year olds who want to be 20-something want to buy one.
No matter how much the critics like the car.
Yes, it would have been appropriate for Lincoln to push the envelope in their marketing – but not so far.
Maybe they should have put kids under 10 behind the wheel – that audience will need to buy cars, eventually.
Many of us are still trying to figure out how Mr. Trump won. Whether or not you like him and what he represents – or the Democratic party and what they represent – one thing is certain – we do not know what tomorrow brings.
Alfa Romeo is trying to make inroads onto our roads. The Giulia Quadrifoglio is a beautiful high-performance four-door sedan. Car critics are praising it from their rooftops.
But American has largely abandoned the four-door sedan. As you know, crossovers (suburbia-biased SUVs) have taken over.
Conventional wisdom from car manufacturers dictates introducing a flagship top-of-the-line vehicle to generate excitement in America about other vehicles they have to offer.
I would like to respectfully disagree with that wisdom.
They should have launched an affordable but exciting small crossover. They will sell a crossover – the Stelvio. But it is priced in a similar range as the Quadrifoglio (more than $70,000) – out of the range of most Americans.
Start at the bottom and work your way up. It worked for Mr. Trump.
Photo courtesy of Alfa Romeo UK – and used without permission. (If you live in the UK, go out and buy a Quadrifoglio now, and they will be happy.)
“Love covers a multitude of sins…”*
When you love a company, you’ll forgive their little mistakes.
I love IKEA:
- I love their relatively inexpensive stuff.
- I love how they suggest doing more things with less space.
- I love the photo of the old Fiat 500 with a living room being transported on its roof.
- I love the fresh, healthy and sometimes tasty food options in their cafeterias.
- I love the style of much of what they sell.
- I love the exotic-ness of the weird Swedish names for their stuff.
Because of my love for IKEA, I’m willing to put up with the things I don’t like:
- I hate how they spell their name in all caps.
- Some of their stuff is poor quality.
- Since their goods are so inexpensive, workers in other parts of the world are not making enough in their factories.
- The maze can be annoying, even though I know the shortcuts.
A very illusive goal for any company is to make it onto someone’s loved companies list. And it’s easy to get off that list. (Hello Chipotle and VW.)
Homework for my marketing friends out there: brainstorm with your team ways your company can get on your customers’ loved companies list.
* 1 Peter 4:8b.