I read with some amusement as well as concern this article about an apparently still ongoing and massive online advertising fraud. I imagine you’re all aware of it. Meanwhile, back in this article, I mentioned the increasing use of ad blockers, especially by millennials. And within the last week or so, I questioned, as I pointed you to four article on changes in retail, how TV advertising was being received. What I said was, “Perhaps it explains some of the advertising I see on TV these days where a brand tries so hard to find a compromise message that reaches the sensibilities of more than one group that you walk away not sure what product you just saw advertised or why you should care.”
I knew about this article on the Wavestorm $100 surfboard before it ever came out. In some ways, it’s old news. Less expensive surf boards of various constructions and materials have been popping up for years now, and the Wavestorm isn’t new. I guess the genie was out of the bottle around the time Clark Foam went bell y up.
So on the one hand it’s old news. It was highlighted on Boardistan, and I kind of decided there was nothing to discuss. But it kept popping back into my consciousness, and I couldn’t bring myself to delete the link to it. I even wrote 500 words at one point and trashed it.
But here I am. It’s Sunday morning and I think I’ve figured out what’s bothering me. That is, I finally know, from a business point of view, why I care.
So, in a market where your customer may value the experience more than the product, how do you know that your product improves their experience? How do they find out it will? Why should they associate your product with the experience? What, exactly, is the experience you are improving?
Let me tell you a story
Every summer, a local winery (Chateau St. Michelle) holds a series of concerts. Various combinations of my friends and family go to see, typically, one to three concerts there.
You can reserve some really uncomfortable plastic chairs a little closer to the stage, but we always buy cheaper tickets for the festival seating. Below is a picture of what it looks like at a typical concert. The picture below is taken from the back of the festival seating area. You can see the stage and the uncomfortable, white plastic chairs in front.
Now, it might be that you don’t want to be this far from the stage. If that’s the case it’s either the higher priced, uncomfortable plastic chairs or getting there early. The gates open at 5PM for a 7PM show start. But people start lining up at, well, I don’t know, noon. They bring their chairs, food and drink, blankets, and various other picnicking accouterments, some of which are profoundly clever. The closer to the front of the line you are, the better your space can be when you’re let in. I think the correct strategy is to give a blanket to mark out your spot to whoever is youngest and quickest and send them sprinting as soon as their ticket is taken.
I wrote about Quiksilver’s quarter maybe a month ago. In the conference call, CEO Andy Mooney had some really interesting things to say about how the market is changing. I set them aside to think about. I felt they were comments that were appropriate to a general discussion of market evolution, rather than the particulars of Quik’s situation, though obviously they apply there as well.
Maybe a month ago, I was walking through a local mall visiting all the usual retailers to see how things looked. I stopped at a PacSun store and was attracted to a table with some Volcom shorts on it in colors I really liked. There was a sticker on the shorts that said, “Relaxed Fit.”
It’s Friday evening, my wife is out of town, and a friend sent me this article from May 20 announcing the debut referenced in the title. I’ve had a glass of wine and think I’m going to break a rule and have another one as I write this. Or more. God knows what I’ll end up saying. If you search the subject, you’ll find some additional information.
You may recall (or not) that about a month ago I wrote an article expressing some concern that winter resorts were targeting baby boomers. My point was that dependence on high income baby boomers couldn’t be an exclusive, long term strategy because, inconveniently, those people are going to get older sooner and stop snow sliding. When that happens, it would be nice if we had some other customers.
My wife uses Bobbi Brown cosmetics and I doubt most of you really care. Like me (and I’m guessing all the guys who read this), until right now, you’ve probably never heard of Bobbi Brown. Maybe some of my women readers know it.
I came across this a few weeks ago (actually, my wife sent it to me and if I don’t give her credit, I’ll hear about it), but have been busy reading quarterly filings. Heinz, it seems, has introduced what it considers to be upmarket ketchup blended with balsamic vinegar. Read the article here. No, no, no, there’s no surfer on the label or anything really stupid yet amusing like that.
What’s interesting is that they have introduced it and made it available initially only on Facebook, where they have 825,000 followers. At $2.49 for a 10 ounce bottle, it’s $0.60 cents more expensive than their standard product.
Even before they contacted me to ask if I was interested in writing about it, I’d seen that Krush had released the Executive Summary for the Krush Buyers Report and it seemed an intriguing idea. Most of my five loyal readers know I think three things about market research and data.
I enjoy hearing from you, even when you disagree. The exchange means that I learn something, too. Leave a comment on any of my posts to contact me directly.
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Market Watch updates
- Retailers and Landlords. Can’t Live With Each Other, Can’t Live WithoutJune 13, 2017 - 11:44 am
- More Retail Perspective; Zumiez’s Quarterly ReportJune 9, 2017 - 11:50 am
- A Discussion of Retail Prompted by Deckers’ 10-KJune 6, 2017 - 12:27 pm
- More of the Same: Tilly’s April 29th QuarterJune 2, 2017 - 10:40 am