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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In-Store Marketing Report

Forbes article: In-Store Advertising: Coming Of Age?. Good, if unsurprising article about in-store ideas. Mentions the Modcart from Modstream which I posted about here, previously. A simple, digital ad for the cart handle, originally tested at Home Depot. Mentions static in-store displays, claims they are contrary to shopper behavior, but I disagree. I have now seen some excellent implementations at Whole Foods Market by Micro Industries that would seem to say otherwise. Its not about making shoppers stop, its about providing them with just in time and place information. You could also say that cart-sourced information is distracting from the store navigation process. Here is the full report by Deloitte / GMA on shopper marketing.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Moving Towards Emotional Design

Some observations from last week's Montreal Neuromarketing conference. " ... Why struggle to make ads more appealing when you could be making the product itself more appealing by tapping into the consumer's true feelings and reactions? ... "

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Spin on Laundry

A colleague points us to an article in the Columbus Dispatch:

Procter & Gamble's new spin on laundry Is Swash a college student's dream: No more laundry, ever?

Swash employee Leslie Shumaker demonstrates to fellow Ohio State senior Ben Shinabery how Smooth It Out removes wrinkles from clothing. The store on N. High Street sells five laundry products aimed at college students.

The campus Swash store, open since September, features some brash, college-friendly marketing to Ohio State students.

There's a theme behind the line of laundry products sold at a new store near Ohio State University: anti-laundry. At least that's what it seems like at Swash, the one-and-only test store for a new Procter & Gamble brand of the same name.

Of the store's five products designed to get stains, wrinkles and odors out of clothing, only one requires that the piece of clothing spend time in a laundry machine. That product -- a damp, scented cloth -- needs 10 minutes in a dryer to steam out all of the aforementioned clothing mishaps. It's use-and-go for the rest of the Swash products -- an anti-odor spray, a de-wrinkle spray, a stain-removal pen and a lint roller ... "

Monday, October 22, 2007

Is Wal-Mart's IT a Commodity?

Nick Carr writes about Wal-Mart's IT, its distinctive capabilities and value, with lots of comments:
' ... " I never viewed computers as anything more than necessary overhead," Sam Walton once said. Nevertheless, after I wrote "IT Doesn't Matter" back in 2003, critics would routinely present Wal-Mart as the killer counter example to my argument that information technology rarely provides a competitive edge anymore. Wal-Mart had famously set itself apart from its retailing rivals, IT analysts would point out, by building a lot of highly customized IT systems that its competitors were hard-pressed to match ... Now, with commodity software greatly advanced, Wal-Mart's custom systems have turned from advantage to disadvantage, and the IT analysts have changed their tune ... ' .

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Proposing the Cloudbook

Nicholas Carr points to John Markoff's post in the NY Times Tech Blog about Cloud computing: " ... a lightweight, thin-client, ultralight laptop that draws its data and applications off the Internet ... " . Since I composed the above snippet there has been considerable discussion about the cloudbook idea in Carr's blog. This could be part of the future of portable, cheaper and more convenient computing.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Space-Based Solar Power

Interesting piece on the subject with quite a bit of detail. This could be a saving grace for power, but could take another 10-20 years to bring close to feasible.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Baseline Reviews RFID at Wal-Mart

BaseLine Magazine reviews Wal-Mart's RFID initiative to date. Describes it as 'faltering', and says it has not met its financial goals since its inception in 2003. Evan Schuman, in reviewing that article, suggests that Wal-Mart is altering its plans as a result. The Baseline article also provides a good overview of the challenges involved.
" ... "We haven't lost faith in the potential of the technology," says Simon Langford, head of Wal-Mart's RFID initiative. "But we have had to change our strategy to provide more benefits to our suppliers."

Wal-Mart's change of plan demonstrates the need for retailers and suppliers alike to tread carefully with RFID. As retailers such as Best Buy have observed, widespread adoption is still years, not months, away. At the same time, some of the greatest benefits may not be in applications first thought to be ripe for the technology, such as automating distribution centers. Instead, retailers are finding early gains closer to the sales floor, where they are using RFID to track consumer buying patterns and ensure products are on shelves in time for promotions ... "

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Stuff of Thought

Reading Steven Pinker's The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. I am a big fan of Pinker, best so far was his book The Blank Slate. This latest book is also very good, but sometimes descends into depth that the average reader may not want to deal with. Good read about language and the brain.