1. Unless you are an Olympic swimmer… no strike that. Any man who wears a speedo or mankini at any time for any reason is a googy.
2. Unless you are under the age of 30 and/or hiking a 20-mile trail and you find yourself wearing a backpack, you are a googy.
3. If you have been out of high school for more than 5 years and are still wearing graphic t-shirts and/or graphic shorts, you are a googy.
4. If you order a casserole in a dirty diner and they bring you a plate of unidentifiable, steaming, gooey goop, it is googy.
5. If you rub a lotion on you and it leaves a slick, slathering mess of cream on your skin, it is googy.
For more about googy, I referenced the urban dictionary:
Googy noun ˈgüˈjē
1. An obese kid who makes smart remarks and plays EverQuest 24/7. 2. To act stupid, as with a show of too much emotion; more emotion than usual, especially when tired. 3. A person who spends valuable work time reading pointless blog posts about googy.
Wait a minute…
Target Seeing Positive Sales Results from Addition of Fresh Foods
Target’s 2nd quarter profits rose 3.7%. The company credits the increase to adding fresh food to its stores. Target said sales rose from more consumers consolidating shopping trips at its location.
In contrast Walmart has experienced a ninth straight quarter of negative same store sales. While Walmart has said it is seeing sequential monthly improvements, consumers are purchasing smaller pack sizes of products.
However, not all consumers are tightening their budgets. Target is seeing some of its consumers trading up to higher end brands like Smith & Hawken and Fieldcrest.
“Across all of retail, the 20% of households with the highest incomes are shopping more often and spending more, while the other 80% have been cutting trips and spending less,” said Target’s merchandising chief Kathy Tesija on a conference call. “Some of these trends are visible in our own results.”
Target’s core customer has a median household income of $55,000. Some analysts have said Walmart’s core customer has a household income in the low $40,000s.
Walgreens to Create More Competition for CPG Companies
Walgreens has consolidated its store brands and introduced a new private label brand – Nice! Nice! will include more than 400 high quality grocery and household products at prices up to 30% below other national brands, according to a news release from Walgreens.
The new Walgreens’ brand will start appearing on store shelves in early 2012. It will feature non-conventional drug store brands, including soups, bakery, tea and rice.
According to A.C. Nielsen data, total private brand sales in the U.S. have increased from $64.9 billion in 2005 to $88.5 billion in 2010. The fastest growing store brand consumer segment is households with incomes more than $100,000.
If you conduct publicity and media relations, you probably have a decent media list, including editors for Good Housekeeping, Today Show producers and local and national industry beat reporters. But beyond the obvious must-haves for any CPG media database, expanding your list to reach untraditional contacts can have a major impact on your brand. This is of course if you pitch media contacts the right story, but that’s a different post all together.
Below are our top four secret tips for building a bigger, better media list to help secure more media coverage.
1. Find Freelancers. Freelance reporters often devote a major portion of their work to one particular industry category. As a result, they have developed strong relationships with particular magazines. It will take a bit of extra time up front, but devote the effort to build a targeted list of freelancers covering your industry and make sure they receive any relevant news and announcements from your company. Then, when they are assigned a story, they will know exactly where to turn for information.
2. Scour the web for syndicated writers/columnists. Again, a little bit of research can go a long way. Start by adding syndicated writers covering your industry beat through services like Scripps Howard and the Associated Press. Then, look for independent syndicated writers by reviewing sections in leading newspapers (i.e. check out the Home section to find a syndicated design writer). Finally, target relevant beat reporters at newspapers that are part of large publishing groups like McClatchy. If you place a story in one of the company’s papers, it can likely appear in sister publications.
Land one quality hit with a syndicated writer, and watch the coverage roll in from around the country.
3. Identify industry experts. Major national consumer media often rely on “industry experts” to acts as guests or interview subjects providing the latest tips and trends on a certain topic. Add these experts to your list and make sure your product is on their radar. If there is a natural correlation with future editorial interview opportunities, you may get a mention without ever having to speak to a producer or editor.
Additionally, well-known magazine editors often appear as lifestyle experts on non-competitive media outlets (i.e. TV talk shows). If you are targeting a certain show, make sure their editorial expert is on your list too.
4. Pinpoint production companies. This strategy works particularly well for consumer products, design and home improvement projects. Cable networks like Style, HGTV and DIY air shows produced by third-party production companies. If your product has a direct tie in to one of your favorite feature shows, track down a contact at the production company that produces the show. Call them directly and ask if they will consider products for placement on the show.
I gas up the computer this morning and begin the daily ritual of scanning all the news alerts that appear in my inbox. Side-by-side I read these two headlines:
You can not plan this kind of thing. Anyway, I read both stories and realized that this does not have to be a bad thing for Sara Lee (I am assuming that the vast majority of their perfect deli meats find their way into school and/or daycare kid’s lunch bags). If I were Sara Lee, I would adopt this cause and find solutions. I must admit that I haven’t given this a lot of thought, but here are a couple of my initial ideas:
1. Align with an appliance manufacturer or retailer to launch a campaign goal of putting a portable refrigerator (like dorm size fridges) in every classroom in America (starting in the South).
2. Partner with an insulated lunch bag manufacturer or retailer to give every student in America a “Perfect-Lee Cool” lunch sack. At the very least, allow students/parents to earn points with every deli meat purchase that can be applied to the cost of the insulated bag.
3. Work with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to increase awareness of the issue and bring an end to issue of unsafe lunches.
Memo to Sara Lee: There is a solution AND an opportunity for every problem; I hope you can find a perfect solution for this one… if you don’t, Spam might!
As a marketer, determining consumer-purchasing behavior is key. For example, is it third party media or blogger coverage that drives purchases? Is it price? Celebrity endorsement? Referrals? Advertising? Social media? Direct marketing?
I’m constantly evaluating my own consumer buying behaviors to help shed some light, like a recent Thundershirt purchase for our dog Monty.
Monty has developed a terrible phobia of thunderstorms, and it is only getting worse. We find her hiding in our utility room shelving unit or in my closet. The poor dog is so distraught she starts panting and shaking even if she hears a drop of rain.
I was talking to my friend Sarah one day about Monty’s behavior. She recommended the Thundershirt even though she hadn’t used the product. I considered looking it up online, but never took the initiative. Then my father-in-law mentioned it a few weeks later and sent me the web address.
The first thing I looked at on the website, was the price and media coverage of the product. Since I was a little leery this product would actually work, I also read the testimonials from dog owners, trainers and veterinarians.
But what ultimately got me to pull the trigger was Thundershirt’s guarantee policy. The company allows you to send the product back for a full refund (less S&H) within 45 days. I don’t like to be “duped” as a consumer even if the price is low, and this made for TV product had me a little skeptical. So the guarantee made the purchase a little less risky and ensured me the Thundershirt wasn’t going to be our next dust collector.
While we are still waiting for a storm to test the Thundershirt, analyzing my purchasing behavior for this particular product provided yet another example of the power of referrals and third party credibility. Whether it be customers, media, bloggers, consumers and/or experts, establishing credibility – especially for a new product manufactured by an unknown brand – is a necessary marketing strategy.
Not that anyone will ever see this film or even care… it is worth reporting that Morgan Spurlock has now done for the branding and advertising community what he previously did for the fast food industry.
Though not due for release on DVD until August 23, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was released domestically at theaters back in April. The production budget was $1.8 million and box office receipts to date are $636,928, meaning not a lot of people have seen it yet.
It is, in a sentence, “A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement.”
A staggering 82% of the people who saw it gave it a rating of A or B, and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine says: “I’m buying into Spurlock. As ever, he makes you laugh till it hurts.” I say, “It is a riches of embarrassment.”
As a movie fan, I love it. As a tenured industry insider, I must admit that the my laughter was eventually replaced by muffled cries of sadness. In his own entertaining way, Spurlock manages to shine a light on all the worst that exists in our business, surprising even me at times.
[Editorial Disclaimer: Though I did not sponsor this film with product placements, I nonetheless highly recommend it.]
As a consumer, you have probably noted a large influx in the use of QR codes on direct mail pieces and magazine ads. In fact, the US Postal Service is currently offering a discounted postage rate on pieces that include a QR code.
With QR codes popping up everywhere, we couldn’t help but notice that many are just not up to par. If you are planning to incorporate QR codes into an upcoming campaign, avoid some of the common pitfalls.
1. No call to action. Avoid including a QR code on a magazine ad, direct mail piece, poster, etc. without providing consumers with a clear direction on what they should do with it or where the QR code will take them. It is important you tell your audience what to expect when they scan the QR code. For example, Home Depot made excellent use of their QR codes on nursery plants tags. The tags very clearly instruct consumers to scan the QR code to receive more plant care tips.
2. Linking to a generic web page. Just like advertising or campaign web landing pages, QR codes should take the scanner to a relevant destination. For example, promoting a new product in a magazine ad? The code should take the scanner directly to a page with more information and purchasing options for that product. Providing a special offer through direct mail? Take the consumer directly to a location to redeem the offer.
Consumers should see an immediate connection between your call to action and the content they reach through the QR code; they should know what the next step is immediately and intuitively. Guide them to the content they are looking for.
3. Linking to a non-mobile website. Ensure the location the QR code drives users to can be viewed on a mobile phone. If it is impossible to navigate, too small to read or missing important visuals, you will lose the chance for a meaningful engagement.
4. Not tracking results. There are a few ways to track QR codes. If the QR code links to a page on your website, you can simply add website tracking to that page and use your analytics provider to track activity.
However, if you are driving participants to a site not associated with your company (YouTube, etc.), you can develop and connect a QR code with a unique URL through a shortening service like bit.ly. Simply go to the bit.ly website, enter the URL and click shorten, click on Info Page+, right click on the QR code and click “Save Image As…” to use in your creative. Then, simply save and visit the Info Plus+ page to view results. Keep in mind you will only have limited tracking capabilities using a service like bit.ly (e.g. clicks, referrals and location).
Also, consider providing unique codes to different audience segments (based on location, age, gender, etc.) to determine where your QR code achieves the best results.
Frank Lloyd Wright would be impressed.
Imagine a living room or office or conference room or retail space with limited or no windows or windows with really bad views… only a TV or computer monitor and a few incandescent or fluorescent lights to brighten up the space (picture the first 10 minutes of “Joe Versus the Volcano“).
Now imagine the same room with sky ceilings and luminous virtual windows that allow the outdoors in from all sides. Not just pictures of the outdoors, but true high-tech “illusions of nature” that soothe the mind and body.
That’s just what The Sky Factory did, and it is amazing to behold. As a northerner who is forced to stare at gray clouds and dead trees for no less than six months out of the year, the mere idea of blue skies, babbling brooks and pounding surfs is more than I can handle. But it is not more than The Sky Factory can deliver.
We’re talking ultra high definition motion here (aka eScapes) captured by award-winning cinematographers. According to the company’s website, “Using the latest RED Digital Cinema™ technology they capture the beauty of mountains, waterfalls, beaches, streams and rivers, wildlife, and more.” And the scenes run in length from 30 minutes to two hours. And if you have a request for a particular beach – or mountaintop – a custom illusion is possible.
It’s what my dad would call a touch of heaven.
Disclaimer (this is my second disclaimer in two weeks… sheesh): I acknowledge openly that I have never actually seen the product up close and personal (though I hope to soon), and I have received no incentive to pimp this product. I simply saw it in a magazine and got unreasonably excited. What can I say, I love the outdoors… even if it is an illusion.
From pink KitchenAid blenders to colorful tissue boxes and Toy Story Band-Aids, customizing consumer products is nothing new. However, even in light of the economic challenges, consumers are still willing to pay a bit more for commodity products that bring a touch of personalization to their world.
Two recent products that caught my attention are “designer” garbage bags and toilet paper covers. Two products you never know you needed until you see how fun they can be.
Dress the Mess: Sick of looking at the ugly black or white garage bag hanging out of your wastebasket. DesignerLiners offers various patterns of garbage bags from blue leopard to pink polka dots (and they are biodegradable). Plus you can even customize them with your company logo or family crest. Now throwing out the trash never has to be boring again.
Respect the Roll: Cottonelle has lunched toilet paper roll covers in various designs. Too bad my grandmother did see this market coming. She could have made a killing with her crocheted TP covers. Conttonelle is currently using the Roll Covers as a promo. You can get yours free with the purchase of a 12 pack (or larger) of Cottonelle Clean Care Toilet Paper.
Plus Conttonelle is having a little fun with their “Respect the Roll” campaign. Check out “Where the Sun Don’t Shine Tribune”, which has been absorbing news since 1996.