Starbucks Clover: A Missed Revenue Opportunity
September 19, 2019 at 12:17 pm

What is the greatest coffee secret at Starbucks you never knew? Simple answer: a cup of coffee from its Clover machine. I will get to the sales and marketing point of this blog post in a moment. But first let’s talk about a subject most of us love: coffee! If you've never had a "Clover," you're…

Food and Jewelry: A Match Made in Heaven
July 19, 2017 at 11:54 am

I always love to learn about unique partnerships in the retail space, and I recently heard about one that involves two of my faves — food and jewelry — so I thought I’d share it with you. The partnership, which launched in June, is between online jewelry retailer BaubleBar and FoodKick by FreshDirect, an on-demand business…

Increase Margins With Predictive Localized Analytics
October 28, 2016 at 12:43 pm

As I go through the discovery process with prospective SPI customers, there's a moment in almost every engagement when one of the planners or allocators shows their current multitab, multidimension, multipivot table, holographic (OK, I exaggerated on the last point) homegrown Excel spreadsheet. It always impresses. I'm genuinely in awe of the complex usage of…

Don't Let ‘Weasel Words’ Ruin Your Offers
August 19, 2016 at 10:34 am

Recently while I was in the mall, I saw the sign below in a storefront window. Marketers can drive revenue by making strong offers, either online or in this case at retail. I wouldn't consider this example to be a strong offer. Take a look. Can you tell me why? While the offer, “30% Off…

5 Retail Trends to Follow Now
August 19, 2016 at 10:08 am

As consumers continue to seek convenience and instant gratification via mobile devices, retailers are challenged with thinking about new ways to generate customer interest and loyalty. To develop insights in these areas, Synchrony Financial recently tracked existing and emerging trends impacting both the retail and mobile payments space and published them in a new report. The report…

President Carly Rosenberg on the Evolution of Bluefly
May 17, 2016 at 9:16 am

There’s been a lot going on lately at Bluefly, the online seller of women's, men's and children's apparel and accessories, home furnishings and décor and beauty items from both high-end niche as well as up-and-coming brands. Earlier this spring, for example, Bluefly unveiled a new look, including a site redesign, new logo, new branding, and…

Retail’s Paths to Athleisure
November 25, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Consumers are getting comfy. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a shift in how consumers dress for both work and play. From casual tennis shoes and T-shirts at work to yoga pants at the local watering hole, fitness wear is moving beyond the gym and hitting the streets. According to NPD Group, "athleisure" clothing…

Urban Outfitters Crosses the Line With 'Bloody' Kent State Sweatshirt
September 16, 2014

In case you haven't seen or heard the news yet, Urban Outfitters is embroiled in yet another controversy. The apparel retailer decided it was a good idea to sell a red-stained, seemingly blood-splattered "Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt" on its website. The university in Kent, Ohio was the site of a deadly confrontation between students protesting the Vietnam War and the Ohio National Guard. Four students were killed and nine others were wounded on a fateful day in May 1970. Yet Urban Outfitters thought it was wise to make light — and a few bucks, the sweatshirt sold for a mere $129 — of the situation.

What’s Your ‘By and For’ Status?
June 3, 2014

Brands these days want their customers to know that there are real aficionados behind their product doors, dreaming, creating and delivering unique and carefully curated goods they hope will be spot on for their customers. Brands tout this as "By and For," as in created "by teachers for teachers," "by chefs for chefs" or "designed by fashionistas for fashionistas." These merchants and brand builders are full-time users of the products they bring to market. A brand's By and For strategy cannot be faked.

What's Waiting to Be ‘Just Born' in Your Production Line?
April 17, 2014

What holiday best represents your brand? How might the successes from that season be a springboard for others? What whimsical ways can you surprise and delight your customers through seasonal product promotions? What's waiting to be "just born" in your product offering?