Check Out an Amazon Go Store

If you want to glimpse the future of retail, check out an Amazon Go store.

They’re sleek and modern, with a minimalist vibe. Black merchandise racks. Wood veneer. Polished concrete. Pop music plays softly in the background; cameras nestled in the ceiling monitor your every move as you wander the aisles.

“Big deal,” you may be thinking. “Sounds like Whole Foods.” True. But you won’t see a single cashier, cash register, or self-service checkout stand.

What’s in a Name Change? For Those Saying U.S.M.C.A., a Mouthful

President Trump has long wielded the word “Nafta” like an epithet, deriding the North American Free Trade Agreement as the worst trade deal in history.

So when he renamed it the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — or U.S.M.C.A. — this week, he may have short-circuited attempts to criticize the new deal. Why? Because the name itself is really hard to say.

Even Mr. Trump, who bills himself as a master brander, appeared to grasp that U.S.M.C.A. was not as smooth as Nafta, saying on Monday that people would make use of the new term “99 percent” of the time. At an event in Philadelphia on Tuesday he poked fun at the name, arguing that it had to be changed because Nafta was so bad for the country.

“U.S.M.C.A. Like Y.M.C.A., or United States Marine Corps with an A at the end,” Mr. Trump said. “I like the way it sounded.”

He is largely alone. While reviews of the trade deal itself are still coming in, the name itself has gotten a resounding thumbs down.

Top Trump administration officials have stumbled over the agreement’s shorthand, which linguists say is tricky to verbalize because it is an initialism rather than an acronym, like Nafta, which slides off the lips like a word.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, made clear that he was still coming to terms with the new name while espousing its many virtues.

“The North American deal — the U.S.A. — uh, uh — got to get this right — U.S.A.M.C.?” Mr. Kudlow said.

Dean Crutchfield, a branding and marketing strategist in New York, said that since the name was officially being changed in the text, it would probably take hold, as long as the news media used it.

“I think the more people see it, the more they will get accustomed to it,” Mr. Crutchfield said.

The Future regarding Elon Musk

Should Elon stay or should he go? That is the question we discussed on CNBC Power Lunch. The issues facing Tesla are like a spreading sore. Trust has taken a major battering.

There is a dysfunctional dynamic at Tesla. Leadership is to help people develop beyond their dreams and hold their fears. Elon has been weighed, measured, and found wanting.

Shareholder value is not a strategy it’s a result. One thing is for sure the Tesla brand can be stretched beyond cars, trucks and lithium batteries. Other automakers cannot. Should Elon be running the day to day or should he be focusing on those bigger bets? Here’s the segment.

How do Retailers Differentiate and Build Reputation?

Was Build a Bear’s “Pay your age” a success? It certainly garnered substantial media coverage. What can retailers be doing about standing out in the crowded market with marketing that’s sustainable?

Here are some thoughts I shared with China Global Television.

Eat This – How to Win at Retail

We all receive over 3000 images a day from logos, ads, signage, promotions, packaging along with a hoard of everything else we see online and off. But when you’re in a store you see over 300 commercial images within a rapid timescale that leads to 75% of purchasing decisions being made at shelf! From 28 blinks a minute, you go to 17 blinks a minute. A captured consumer! You’re focused, in the moment, editing the present. Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 9.13.42 AM

But online shopping sales continue to grow at an exponentially faster rate than in-store sales. 51% of Americans prefer to shop online so the old strategies of simply having a good location or putting up flyers or ads in your local newspaper aren’t going to cut it anymore. How do you get people to the store and why should they care. Here are 14 thoughts and examples.

  • Retailers need to break with stale gender stereotypes in their advertising. Demand that is largely driven by millennial and Gen Z consumers –  Stop n Shop’s new ad campaign is a great example
  • 50% of your store visitors may not have any deeper knowledge of or prior relationship with your brand. And you only get one chance at making a first impression
  • Target and cater for men – Kroger ​
  • Give Shoppers a Reason to Visit Your Store – H&M​
  • Sales Triggering Signage – Timberland
  • Instill a Sense of Urgency –
  • Check-Out Convenience – BestBuy
  • Don’t Forget to Be Locally Relevant – Nike Flagship stores
  • Celebrate All the Little Holidays
  • Get Creative with Video – Dollar Shave Club
  • Create Returning Buyers through Smart Remarketing
  • Use Social Media Targeting Capabilities to Your Advantage
  • Run Beautifully Executed Google Shopping Campaigns –
  • Invest in Some Guerilla Marketing Campaigns – McDonald’s
  • Try Podcast Advertising
    (70M Month)
  • Understand Your Seasonal Peaks and Plan Accordingly

#1: Run Beautifully Executed Google Shopping Campaigns

  • Google Shopping campaigns allow retail marketers to sell their products directly through the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
  • Organize Shopping Campaigns by Best-Selling Items. Grouping together your best sellers will help you capitalize on online sales
  • Ensure Your Ad Images are High-Quality and Crawlable
  • Include Merchant Promotions and Product Reviews – add tags like a special offer

walmart tills

#2: Give Shoppers a Reason to Visit Your Store

  • Retail marketers desperate for more storefront traffic need to start giving their customers a reason to come in
  • The store stands out from its surroundings, catches the consumers’ eye and inspires them to cross the street and enter the store
  • By creating new window campaigns every few weeks, brands aim at generating regular visits from the window footfall
  • Perhaps you have a special in-store discount for shoppers. Lululemon is constantly convincing me to come by their stores with their free yoga classes
  • ​Brands like Superdry, Desigual or H&M prove regularly that luxury is not a precondition for standing out
  • If you don’t spend on any advertising, only your window is left to create in-store traffic. Inditex does so, and the result is strong product windows. Lacoste is an example to show that it doesn’t take fancy collections to create strong windows. Tommy Hilfiger is an example of aligning window campaigns with merchandise planning
# 3: Sales Triggering Signage:
  • 80% of the time consumers spend in a store, their eyes browse for the next anchor point
  • Impulse buys in brand retail represent the largest share of sales
  • Store signage consists of printed and digital aids that create brand and commercial messages
  • Signage is the store’s final add-on to make the visual merchandising work (‘the icing on the cake’). If executed well, signage creates brand experience and grows shoppers’ comfort in making a buy
  • Timberlands’ outlet signage is noteworthy
  • today’s visitors to the Ferrari store in Maranello are unlikely to remember the merchandise but will recall the story about Enzo Ferrari’s ashtray
#4: Check-Out Convenience
  • The cashier or check-out is the last stop on a consumer’s in-store journey.
  • Those last 10 minutes of a store experience hold great potential for building a relationship
  • Nike’s best practice retail check-out in particular. Think about the last time you shopped for footwear and recall the 15 minutes before being served with your size and color: a waste of time for in-and-out ‘need shoppers’ who already know what they want
  • Hema – Alibaba’s retail online payment apps and delivery in 30 minutes

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 9.16.53 AM#5: Use Social Media Targeting Capabilities to Your Advantage

  • Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter make it absurdly easy to find and get in front of the people most likely to buy your products

#6 Target and cater to men

  • Grocers are rolling out sausage, beer stations to lure men
  • Hy-Vee and Kroger are stepping up their “male-centric amenities” — introducing gourmet sausage stations, “beer dens,” meat and beer pairing promotions, men’s facial care lines and more
  • Men also are more likely to purchase impulse items, so putting novelty products on display can lead to a higher ticket
#7: Don’t Forget to Be Locally Relevant
  • Geotargeting
  • 300+ retail and brand logos, VM messages within just 3 hrs of shopping
  • Ad copy and imagery
  • Local lingo
  • Commercial Flagship Retailing – Nike

#8: Invest in Some Guerilla Marketing Campaigns

  • Using public places to get the word out about your business
  • Grab the attention of the public outside of the internet. It will be far more memorable! McDonald’s

#9: Try Podcast Advertising

  • 67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly

#10: Get Creative with Video

  • Some brands have made their products big through video. For instance, who could forget the Dollar Shave Club videos then went viral

#11: Celebrate All the Little Holidays

#12: Instill a Sense of UrgencyScreen Shot 2017-08-24 at 11.01.49 AM

  • When you instill urgency into your marketing messaging, your audience feels the pressure and is more likely to give in and make the purchase now

#13: Understand Your Seasonal Peaks and Plan Accordingly

  • This includes things like adjusting ad spend, working with design for new creative, and executing seasonally relevant campaigns that will boost sales during these peak times

#14: Create Returning Buyers through Smart Remarketing

  • Remarketing allows you to remind shoppers that they should buy your products

Why Did Pepsi Lose The Cola War?

Did you know that in the famous blind tastes back in the 80’s Pepsi in their core research and their iconic “Take the taste test” advertising campaigns used 1-ounce cups and people preferred Pepsi over Coca-Cola? But in real life, people found 20 ounces of Pepsi to be too sweet and preferred Coke.

Lesson learned. Do your customer research. 

Supermarkets Deploy Sausage Stations, Dad Jokes to Lure Male Consumers – Z News 24

As more men do the household food shopping, grocery stores roll out guy-friendly amenities and rewards like beer dens, butchery classes, gasoline discounts, and dad-humor signage. Read More.

Death on the High Street. Who is to Blame?

Given what has happened in the US, where hundreds of department stores shuttered their doors last year who would want to be a retailer now? We used to quip that when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping but that has collapsed with the latest set of grim retail sales data.

After a grim December, many pundits had been ushering a bounce back, but the figures showed that consumers were not as robust as they once were and the retailers will have to face a painful long-term slowdown. Who is to blame?

Real wages are declining real wages and shoppers are being hit by high levels of consumer debt and the likelihood of higher borrowing costs. But the wider problem is a dramatic shift in the way consumers spend their dosh. There’s been a tectonic shift in the way we spend our time and money. Leisure, travel, social media, eating out, eating in – using subscription and delivery services – and technology are all taking time and Luca that would once have gone straight to the tills of retailers.

This trend boosts Amazon but it is threatening big-name retailers and forcing a rethink about how retail will look in years to come, and what might be done with retail parks and malls when retailers shut up shop and physical retail space becomes redundant. Amazon might be at fault but consumer behavior is also to blame!

From malls through to main street, experiences need to be enjoyed that can’t be at home – from game centers, climbing walls and crazy golf to bras, restaurants, pop-up markets and food stalls. New start-up retailers are emerging from vape shops to ice-cream parlors. Even Microsoft and Dyson are planning stores following the example of Apple.

To compete with the scourge of online shopping, malls, and high streets may have to offer short leases, pop-up spaces and farmer market-style events to bring in smaller businesses that cater to younger people who demand more authentic and local experiences. If retailers are unable to lure shoppers back they will die within the next 12 months or struggle to find the investment needed to survive. But the future of retail is not solely the responsibility of the retailer – it’s the responsibility of the consumer! We just don’t know it yet.

Starbucks closed more than 8,000 stores for a few hours for racial bias training – Nightly Business Report

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) closed more than 8,000 stores today for a
few hours for racial bias training. As we reported, the training comes
more than a month after a Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) manager called police on
two black men who had been waiting in the store for a friend before buying
something. Analysts say the store closures could cost Starbucks
(NASDAQ:SBUX) $12 million in lost sales.

GRIFFETH: Now, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) chose to conduct this racial bias
training in a very public way, and as Sue just mentioned, at a financial
cost as well to the company. Other companies do similar training but they
do tend to not draw attention to it.

So, is this a good strategy, not just for Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) but for
other brands as well?

Joining us tonight, Dean Crutchfield. He`s a brand expert who runs his own
company, Dean Crutchfield Company.

Good to see you again. Welcome back.


GRIFFETH: Are there risks to this kind of public display of teaching your
employees racial bias?

CRUTCHFIELD: Well, it`s really a question of delivering it. You know,
purpose builds profits or at least that`s the strategy. So, really, it`s a
question of can you actually deliver it? That`s really what we`re
questioning with Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) today.

You know, they`re under pressure to show their leadership and their impact
on these very sensitive issues of gender and race, and it really is a
question of, you know, what they deliver once they actually do this. The
most important thing is they are saying they`re prepared to take a hit in
their business to actually do something right. So, in a sense, that shows
the goodwill of their intent.

HERERA: Does it match up with their pledge of social responsibility? It
seems as though it does.

CRUTCHFIELD: It really aligns very well, actually, with the core strategy
at Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX). In fact, part of their vision statement wraps
around inspiring and nurturing the human spirit. So, I can`t think of two
better subjects than gender and race to actually answer that as a strategy
and show that it really delivers what it means.

So, it`s not so much your ability as a business, it`s more about the
choices you make that define who you are and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is
making a very deliberate choice here in terms of their strategy to, as it
were, train away implicit bias. And I think to your point, this has been
going on for decades. Many companies, police departments have all been
trying to train away implicit bias.


CRUTCHFIELD: And really the question is, does it work? I think that`s a
big question here.

GRIFFETH: And because it was so public, the closing of the stores and
everything, obviously, they`re trying to spur the national conversation in
that regard.

Do you see other companies then maybe following their lead in this?

CRUTCHFIELD: Well, I think, you know, a leader has to lead. I think
that`s what Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is doing.

You know, there`s massive disruption happening in the market out there.
Customers want to know about the brand value. They want to know if those
values align with them. They want to know where you stand on race, and
gender, and environment. They want to know what your leadership is and
what your impact is on those issues.

It`s very different from what it was before. So, I think what we`re seeing
here is Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) leading the charge of something we`ll be
seeing more and more, which is about purpose-driven brands.

GRIFFETH: Dean, always good to see you. Thank you for your thoughts


The Growing Potential of Chinese Brands

Brands liberate markets and China has much to celebrate with their brands. President Xi has talked about the Chinese Dream. Can its brands supply the aspiration and inspiration to its people?

As I said on China Global TN, we should applaud Chinese brands success. In 2014 the brand value of the top 100 Chinese brands was $380B today it’s $680B! It’s added more value than the US stock market!

However, rising stars can burn out fast, Just consider the potential plight of ZTE in the face of American vitriol. What’s clear is that China is propelling to a consumption-based economy from a production based economy. It’s no longer the copier but the copied. In this segment, with China Global TN we discuss the implications.

%d bloggers like this: