When I first read Eric Ries’ definition of a startup, I laughed out loud because I thought it was the perfect description of a full-service advertising agency – or at least the one where I worked for 10 years. Every day of the week we created new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty, and we were good at it.
I should confess that I hadn’t really given a lot of thought to private label brands for pet specialty retailers before I was contacted by Mark Kalaygian for this article in Pet Specialty Magazine – but I probably should have: it makes a lot of sense. A line of high-quality private label products can help not only to differentiate a retail chain, but also provide a solid lift to the profit margin – if done correctly. Most of our experience with private label branding has been in tools, appliances and semi-durables, like storage containers and kitchen gadgets. Our initial exposure to [...]
It’s the season for New Year’s Resolutions: exercising, losing weight, saving money and getting organized top the list for most people. But for many others, learning a foreign language, or improving an existing (though potentially languishing) foreign language skill, is also a top consideration – somewhere between numbers 6 and 24 depending on the published list. I studied French in college and was fortunate to spend three and a half years working for an international organization in Paris just after obtaining my bachelor’s degree. When I returned to the United States to start graduate school, I felt perfectly comfortable speaking [...]
A bedrock principle of classic micro-economic theory is that rational consumers will make better decisions when they have access to all the information that affects a transaction in a given market. But in a head-snapping decision in favor of American Express, a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court ruled that consumers would be better off if they were not exposed to the full costs of credit (and debit) card transactions. Ohio vs. American Express In 2010 the Federal Government and more than a dozen states sued American Express, Visa and MasterCard over the “anti-steering” provisions they had inserted in their [...]
An advertising agency executive responds... If not dead, I think traditional qualitative is becoming an endangered species. I've seen enough bad practice in focus groups - often driven by agencies and clients who have no real understanding of either the purpose or process - to cause everyone to question why they should continue with qualitative research or whether it should be euthanized. The days of the traditional focus group being used to evaluate creative work I think quite rightly are done: it's cheaper and faster just to develop multiple pieces of content, A:B test them in the market place and refine the content [...]