By Insights Discovered - Thursday, December 8th 2011
It’s that time of the year when we all feel the philanthropist in us calling to help others in need. During these tough economic times it is not difficult to find worthy targets for our generous hearts. Most people donate cash, food or even their time to help those in need. We want to do these charitable labors and that’s awesome! Some feel it’s not sincere if our efforts are reciprocal, meaning both sides receive something, but that’s not necessarily true. There are many instances where giving can give back and everybody benefits.
Marketing is filled with commonly used adages, though some of them are clearly half-baked. One that I hear often is, “Consumers are no longer brand loyal.” And while there’s a kernel of truth to that maxim, you could get burned if you simply accepted it on face value. True, most of us will not carry a flame for one store, product or experience from cradle to grave, but that doesn’t mean we can’t form affinities for certain items or shops. So even as marketers bemoan consumers’ fickle tastes, they spend millions of dollars a year trying to cook up ways to stoke our devotion…
By Insights Discovered - Tuesday, November 8th 2011
Not unlike a hiker who discovers he is lost and begins to panic, some business owners have experienced similar distress when their business fails to perform at an expected level. The hiker hopefully remembers some basic survival tools to help him out of his situation. For example, S.T.O.P. (Sit-Think-Observe-Plan) is an acronym survivalists use to remember how to remain calm and keep a level head when trying to figure out how to get back to safety. Company managers of any business type can use this same acronym if they find themselves in an uncomfortable position and would like to get their business back to a safe place.
Recently I took stock of my wardrobe and determined that I really didn’t need anything new for fall. As a result, I’ve spent very little time in stores or on shopping sites. Not exactly music to retailers’ or designers’ ears, I’m sure. But don’t worry. Just because I haven’t been seeking out new products doesn’t mean they haven’t found me. Within the last week alone, I’ve fallen under the spell of two items I didn’t know I needed until I stumbled upon them and they spoke to me, begging me to bring them home. But these enchanted encounters didn’t happen in a store. Nor did they occur in an online shop.
By Insights Discovered - Tuesday, October 18th 2011
There’s an old fable that goes something like this: A father asked his sons to bring him a bundle of sticks and then challenged each in turn to break the bundle over their knees, which they found impossible. He then split the bundle and showed how each individual stick could easily be broken. “United you are strong; separated you are weak,” he said. I’ve noticed within the children’s business, some companies try to go it alone, and this results in those companies, along with the dreams of their owners, being easily broken.
You’ll often hear President Obama talk about his attempts to get outside “the bubble,” referring to the excessive amount of time presidents spend in the White House and surrounded by Beltway insiders. Living such an insular life, he recognizes, gives one a skewed view of reality. Similarly, the New York Times On the Runway blog featured a post two weeks ago entitled “Bursting the Nutty Bubble” about the fashion bubble that makes those who work in designer and luxury markets forget that the real rainmakers in the garment industry are popularly priced goods, not the $15,000 handbags and $3,000 shoes to which they’ve become accustomed.
By Jeremy Richardson - Tuesday, September 20th 2011
Sometimes well-known trademarks are so familiar to us that they become synonymous with the products themselves. Brand names like Band-Aid, Kleenex, Spandex, Xerox and many more have entered our vocabulary, so much so that we use them to describe generic products other than the originals. When was the last time you asked for a facial tissue? While it’s not illegal for consumers to do this in everyday speech, it can be a big problem for companies who use a well-known trademark, perhaps without realizing that it is a registered trademark, to describe their own products. I think the most commonly misused trademark in the children’s apparel industry is ONESIES®.
By Insights Discovered - Thursday, September 8th 2011
If I mention Groupon®, what comes to mind? For me, I think I’m getting a deep discount off of something. I just love a good deal! The idea of getting something at half price or better is tough to resist, even if I don’t necessarily need it. Groupon and the countless other daily deal sites are banking on the irresistible temptation of getting that “good deal.” Despite its relative newness in the marketplace, this category is evolving, with more specialized children’s products sites such as Zulily, BabySteals® and Totsy appearing. What does this mean for manufacturers who are contemplating a daily deal or are already selling through these sites?
Trade shows are great places to get revved up. Surrounded by new and familiar faces, fresh designs and a positive vibe, my creative juices always start racing. No, I’m not driving toward a disclosure about hidden design aspirations. Rather, my mind fills with business ideas and growth opportunities on behalf of the exhibiting companies. For the newbies who have just left the starting line, I can already envision ways they could expand on their concepts, protect their proprietary ideas and boost their visibility. And for the more established brands, I imagine a myriad of ways for them to shift into a higher gear.