All Posts Tagged
Tag: ‘atomic blog’

Amazon’s $13.7B Endorsement of Brick and Mortar

For years Amazon’s guerrilla forces have been leading a small cadre of pureplay electronic retailers in a battle to overthrow (or steal profit from) the Commerce Establishment. They’ve been motivated by battle cries like “Give me electronic liberty or give me death”. Or “in your margin is my opportunity!” This scrappy group has, in the true form of guerrilla fighters, used high profile actions to dominate the attention of their well established brick and mortar opponents. As a result, the establishment has wasted time, energy, and opportunity being “anti-Amazon” rather than being “pro consumer” or “pro growth”. Press coverage has made it clear the field of battle is littered with casualties. And, in true war correspondent style, the number and type of casualties are often overstated for the sake of a good story. There is real damage on both sides. There are many very large casualties on the e-commerce side (a fact often ignored). And this year we’ve seen very serious casualties among traditional retailers – but not all from this fight.  A lot of brick and mortar damage is self-inflicted or the result of warehouse and discount stores. Then, we reach June 16, 2017 – a day that will go down in the annals of, well, something. That’s the day that…Amazon strode across the field of battle to join the other side. Wait… What? Yup. Amazon just joined the establishment…well, sort of. With all the retail casualties strewn across the field of battle, the establishment isn’t what it used to be. And with the […]

Read More

Reading the Fossil Record: Why Data and Machine Learning Tell Us Less Than We Think

A few years back I read a post on Retail Wire that pondered whether retailers will need traditional research once mobile tracking is “in place”. The question reveals a very common flaw in how people think about research. And That flaw continues today amid all the AI and machine learning hype. Developing conclusions from mobile data is the equivalent of scientists reading the fossil record. When I was a kid, scientists had been observing the fossil record for hundreds of years. So, they really thought they knew what the truth was. Dinosaurs were reptiles, they had reptilian skin, they were cold blooded, lived isolated lives, and modern day lizards are their direct descendants. Fast forward to 2017. My kids learned that some (many) dinosaurs had feathers, that some (many) were herd animals, they were pretty fast moving, that some lived in family based units, some hunted together, and that birds essentially evolved from dinosaurs. The original scientists weren’t bad at their jobs. In fact, they were brilliant. The problem was all they had was observed data. They created solid, grand theories from the observed facts they knew. With Observed Data You Never Know What You Don’t Know. Paleontologists erred in their theories because there were thousands and millions of fossil truths they couldn’t see – they hadn’t yet been discovered or analyzed. Mobile data puts us in a similar spot. So does purchase history, shopper behavior, browsing behavior online, phone call data, and almost every other type of data the modern AI theories are based […]

Read More

Competing with Amazon: Innovative Products are Key to Brick & Mortar Future

Lately I’ve seen writing that suggests retailers can’t win long term competitive advantage with products. To be fair, retail IS incredibly complicated and success depends on smart strategies throughout the eco-system. Steve Dennis, for example, recently discussed the importance of “the story” that leads consumers to your store. And although I believe Steve is too dismissive of products in this instance, I agree with the importance of story. But… Wait…What? No competitive advantage in products? Retail ONLY exists to sell product! It’s true that retailers gain no strategic advantage when buyers merely load up stores with products (any products) or search for “best products” without a plan for how they contribute to strategic success.  The buyer’s job must be more than filling in a spreadsheet of products. Still, since selling product is the only reason stores exist, a product based strategy must be a key focus in order to survive and thrive. But how? One Strategic Option:  Leveraging Innovative Products One way to build strategic power with products is with a program around innovation. In this strategy, retailers seek out innovative products, put them prominently on the shelves…and advertise them at significant levels of spending – usually with TV. In 25 years of working with programs like this, a reliable and consistent innovation program will: Bring very large numbers of new shoppers into stores. Bring very large numbers of existing shoppers back more often. Make shopping more interesting and entertaining. All that adds up to higher foot traffic, more spending per visit, higher product margins, improved brand preference, and better shopper retention. In fact, using Steve Dennis’ term, done right these products become a core part of your story. […]

Read More

Quote from a Forbes Article

Recently, a comment of mine appeared in the Forbes Article “Should Amazon Make Their Boxes Available to Advertisers?”.  My Answer: If Amazon keeps these deals rare, then they can keep a freshness and still be worth it. But if Amazon does this regularly we will ignore the Amazon boxes as easily as we ignore the other advertising wallpaper in our lives.

Read More

Quote from a Forbes Article

Recently, a comment of mine appeared in the Forbes Article “Should Amazon Make Their Boxes Available to Advertisers?”.  My Answer: If Amazon keeps these deals rare, then they can keep a freshness and still be worth it. But if Amazon does this regularly we will ignore the Amazon boxes as easily as we ignore the other advertising wallpaper in our lives.

Read More

Innovative Products Need Specialized Marketing: The Kobalt Double Drive

Product innovation is the lifeblood of consumer goods companies. And I’ve spent my career using communication to maximize business and brand impact from innovative products. The more my agency drives powerful impact from innovative products, the more frustrated I get watching companies with astounding innovation waste their opportunity with “business as usual” marketing. Innovation can’t be handed over to the same resources used for everyday marketing of products already on the shelves. The skills needed to nurture a well-known, successful product and brand are very different from the skills needed to move a branded innovation from zero to hero. So let’s look at a brand innovation success: Lowe’s Kobalt Double Drive Screwdriver. Innovative Screwdriver? Really? We have to get past the idea that innovation must “change the world”. Those kinds of innovations are exciting to theorize about. But there’s also incredible short-term and long-term payout from innovations that are incremental – making an existing product better. So, yes. Screwdrivers. In 2011, our clients at Lowe’s were pretty excited when they approached us with the Double Drive Screwdriver. We were a bit skeptical…until we had one in our hands. The core of the innovation is revolutionary gearing that leaps beyond ratcheting — as you rotate the handle back and forth, you keep on driving the screw. It’s not just powerful to use but also fun. And it offers big consumer value – tremendous advantages whether assembling RTA furniture or working on the electrical box. Business as Usual Marketing Would have Led to Weak ROI. Sitting on the shelf shoppers would never […]

Read More

Business As Usual Advertising Won’t Drive Product Innovation Success

Read More

8 Reasons Product Advertising and Video Is Right for Your Brand

In the ad business, too many agencies lack the skills and experience to look at a client’s business problem and know how to develop a strategy that implements the right mix of advertising solutions as it specifically relates to your problem. Instead, they fall back onto brand advertising or promotional work (in-store signage or ads focused on discounted prices). And that means they ignore a powerful type of advertising that is critical to innovative products: Product Advertising. I have over 20 years of experience driving brand growth with product-based advertising. It works powerfully for both your product and your brand. Like any other type of advertising, it shouldn’t be used in every situation, but there are times when it’s the ONLY option that can move your business forward. Unfortunately, many agencies don’t fully understand its power, so it’s often taken it off the table. In fact, when you have a product that has compelling consumer benefits, product advertising is the right direction for building brand value while selling product in the meantime. How? Here are eight important reasons product ads are powerful for your brand:  Product Stories are Recalled at Critical Sales Points. Byron Sharp reminds us that a strong brand has strong “physical and mental availability”. Mental availability means consumers think of your product at the right times – like needing a pick-me-up snack and thinking “Snickers”. When you have a unique, compelling product, and when consumers know why your product relates to them, they will recall it when they need it or give you […]

Read More

PRODUCTS NEED MORE THAN A BRAND: Why compelling product video matters

How do you use video to best sell an innovative product —moving it off the retail or online shelf and into your consumer’s hands? It’s a tricky question – the options are more complicated than it might seem. A traditional agency may be great at brand work or price promotions, but most lack the skill to create effective advertising based around products – especially new, innovative products. And while standard video production companies make nice looking video, “nice looking” doesn’t drive results for products. Effective product video requires a solid communication strategy combined with visuals that make your product so compelling that consumers take action. Let Your Product Drive. Advertising and video rarely lead with product. But they should. When you put product first, great things happen. Despite what some might think, product-focused advertising doesn’t mean your brand takes the back seat. Rather, what you say about the product establishes a powerful connection with your brand, and becomes the tangible reality that drives high levels of product sales. So, they go to together – product and brand. Think about it. When people view a product as innovative, they view the brand or company behind the product as innovative too. Apple is one easy example. But also think about OXO, Dyson, and Tesla. All of these brands became powerful by leading with their product innovation. And they keep the brand powerful by building out entire product lines supported by brand as their backbone. Drive With the Product Messages that Matter. Successful product advertising isn’t a list […]

Read More

PRODUCTS NEED MORE THAN A BRAND: Why compelling product video matters

How do you use video to best sell an innovative product —moving it off the retail or online shelf and into your consumer’s hands? It’s a tricky question – the options are more complicated than it might seem. A traditional agency may be great at brand work or price promotions, but most lack the skill to create effective advertising based around products – especially new, innovative products. And while standard video production companies make nice looking video, “nice looking” doesn’t drive results for products. Effective product video requires a solid communication strategy combined with visuals that make your product so compelling that consumers take action. Let Your Product Drive. Advertising and video rarely lead with product. But they should. When you put product first, great things happen. Despite what some might think, product-focused advertising doesn’t mean your brand takes the back seat. Rather, what you say about the product establishes a powerful connection with your brand, and becomes the tangible reality that drives high levels of product sales. So, they go to together – product and brand. Think about it. When people view a product as innovative, they view the brand or company behind the product as innovative too. Apple is one easy example. But also think about OXO, Dyson, and Tesla. All of these brands became powerful by leading with their product innovation. And they keep the brand powerful by building out entire product lines supported by brand as their backbone. Drive With the Product Messages that Matter. Successful product advertising isn’t a list […]

Read More
Page 1 of 1012345»...Last »