October 20, 2013

For the last year or so, many of the articles about retail featured in this newsletter mentioned the perceived scourge of showrooming. This thoroughly modern phenomenon occurs when shoppers visit a brick-and-mortar business solely to browse before they ultimately buy a product for cheaper online. Fear over showrooming has gripped much of the retail world, leading at least one company to start charging people to look around their stores.

According to a recent Harvard study, however, the threat of showrooming Continue reading

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September 22, 2013

When it comes to promoting a product, marketers usually have two routes they can take: either hype the item’s notable features or draw the audience in with something creative. Choosing the latter option is a much riskier endeavor, though. After all, it’s easy to forget a boring commercial. Advertising backfires worst when a company miscalculates the level of their own wit and unleashes a high concept disaster. For instance, last year a Pop Chips ad featuring Ashton Kutcher as a Continue reading

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July 15, 2013

Throughout Pepsico’s history, one thing has remained constant: the company’s flagship soft drink has always played second fiddle to chief competitor Coca-Cola. Known by name by billions throughout the world, Coke is not only the gold standard of soft drinks, but of branding in general. Although Pepsi and its umbrella of products certainly command a fair market share, Coca-Cola’s continued worldwide dominance is all but assured at this point.

Except in Russia, that is. Pepsi was one of the first Continue reading

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fastfoodClocking in at 800 calories with 53 grams of fat and 2,430 milligrams of sodium, Burger King’s Suicide Burger certainly lives up to its name. This outrageous creation features four patties, four slices of cheese and loads of bacon all slathered in special sauce. The existence of this burger brings to mind many troubling questions, not least of which is, “Why would Burger King offer such an abomination to their customers?” Well, as strange as it may seem, they technically Continue reading

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April 25, 2013

manniIf you’ve ever walked into a store and instantly had the feeling like you’re being watched, it’s because you usually are. Between all-seeing security cameras and roving secret shoppers, retailers are busy keeping tabs on customers. Granted, brick-and-mortar stores have every right to be suspicious: inventory loss due to stealing takes a big chunk out of every retailer’s profits. But some customer-tracking techniques have nothing to do with shoplifting; it’s the customer’s shopping habits the businesses are interested in.

While Continue reading

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April 19, 2013

 

priceInformation moves so fast in today’s Internet-enabled world that it can be difficult for companies to keep up. In the case of online retail, demand for a product can shift minute-by-minute, making accurate pricing an extremely difficult task. That’s why many businesses are opting to price their goods “dynamically” rather than relying on a single concrete number.

Although new to some retailers, dynamic pricing has been common in the airline industry for years. In order to lessen the likelihood Continue reading

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April 15, 2013

zaraThe years following the start of the recession have not been kind for much of the retail industry. For the clothing company Zara, however, the downturn has been something of a blessing. The Spanish brand came to global prominence in the 1990s as its affordable but fashionable looks started to arrive at stores on foreign shores. Today the company brings in more than $9 billion annually from 1,600 locations as shoppers the world over turn to Zara’s lower price tags Continue reading

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April 10, 2013

rbullEver since The Colgate Comedy Hour premiered in the 1950s, companies have been happy to stamp their names across a variety of entertainment ventures. For some modern companies, though, simply being the sponsor of an event no longer has the same appeal. After all, nearly every form of mass entertainment features a sponsor of some type. Whether it’s TV, concerts or sporting events, consumers are constantly bombarded with the names of corporate benefactors, making it difficult for some brands to Continue reading

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April 7, 2013

budTo most American beer drinkers, there’s only one Budweiser. Go to the Czech Republic, however, and you might be in for a bit of surprise. Since 1895 the brewing company Budejovicky Budvar has been making a beer called Budweiser. And no, they didn’t just rip the name off from the iconic AB Inbev brand. The brewery operates in a region of the Czech Republic called Budweiser, where people have been brewing beer since 1295. In fact, the region’s proud brewing Continue reading

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