Friday, April 30, 2010

Free e-book on consumer experience

Download it by klicking here.o

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Macabre fashion ads sell the product

Women’s fashion magazines are chock full of ads, some featuring bizarre and
grotesque images. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer
, these ads are effective at grabbing consumers’ attention.

“Why do we see such bizarre imagery in ads for clothing that cost several hundreds or even thousands of dollars?” ask authors Barbara J. Phillips and Edward F. McQuarrie. The researchers interviewed 18 women who regularly read fashion magazines to examine their reactions to macabre ads.

They found that in addition to expected modes of engagement with ads, some women approached fashion advertisement as a type of fiction. “These women would be transported into the story world set in motion by the ad’s pictures, asking themselves, ‘What is happening here?’ and ‘What will happen next?’” the authors write.

Still others sought out imagery that could be approached like a painting in a
gallery. “These women would immerse themselves in the images, examining its lighting, colors, lines, composition, and creativity,” the authors explain. Overall, the researchers found that in many cases, the key to constructing an engaging fashion ad was not to make it likeable or conventionally pretty, but to make it engaging.

“The merely pretty was too easily passed over; grotesque juxtapositions were required to stop and hold the fashion consumer flipping through Vogue,” the authors write. “For the brands that choose to use grotesque imagery—roughly one-fourth, according to a content analysis—the promise is that greater engagement with ad imagery will lead to a more intense and enduring experience of the brand.”o

How layout can spike consumption

This is an interesting story on how changes in the layout of the cafeteria in a school increased vegetable consumption by 250-300%, a figure that seems like sci-fi to anyone who tried to make children eat more salad.

The thinking is not different from the earlier posting on store layout. Put anything you want to steer sales towards, in a hot spot.o

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good brands are hard to find - but here are some!


Retail Survival Tactics

Although the economy is getting better, not all retailers are experiencing that customers are coming back, and it seems like the recession mentality is stilling clinging to many consumers.

Some survival tactics for retailers is described by US Today here.o

Colours in cultures

Colours carries cultural and emotional information. Some codes and responses are inherited through history, for example the fact that heartbeat rises when we see the colour red. In other cases colours have been interpreted into a cultural context. This makes one think about the consequences for retailers going worldwide with a specific store expression, design and colour setup. Is it possible to create a worldwide brand with the same graphical content?

Look closer at this infographic here.o

Friday, April 23, 2010

Everything you ever wanted to know about making the perfect store layout, but where to afraid to ask

The layout of any store is critical to obtain profitability. The main goal of layout planning is to handle customer flow, goods flow and to create as many hot spots as possible in order to control the focus of the customer around the store. A good layout ensures that the customer gets in contact with as much of the range as possible during the visit, in order to make certain that any craving could be satisfied. The fact that the customer actually get an overview of the entire offer and stays as long as possible in the store is crucial in order to obtain a high turnover from each customer. It seems logic to presume that if we show as much as possible, something will fit the need or lust of any visitor. You can only by what you see.

(Black = Customer flow, Red = Hot spots, Blue = Decompression zone)

Basically, there are to separate types of layouts, a controlled layout and freeflow. In the latter, no attempt is made to stear the customers path around the store.

Here are the laws of layout planning:

1. The goal is to, in a natural way, lead the visitor so that the entire sales area is covered during the tour around the store. In larger stores the main aisle should be stretched as close to the outer walls as it takes to get an overview of the departments presented on the wall.

2. Secondary aisle should make it possible to enter the departments along the main aisle thus making the range easy accessible.

3. Special consideration should be taken in order to get traffic into the corners which often are overlooked in the planning phase, making them unefficient sales space.

4. The mail aisle should not be to straight. As humans have eyes attached to the front of the head, we look forward if nothing attracts our attention. This means that we sometimes need to break the straightness which can be done in a number of ways. Creating roundabouts by putting merchandise in the center of the mail aisle, and thereby force the visitor to slow down and change direction is one way and making the main isle turn by predetermined intervals is another way. Placing mirrors is another way of controlling customers speed, as humans are selfloving creatures, and bound to slow down for a better look at oneself.

5. The layout should present the departments in a logical order. The most important and brand critical range should be placed as to create a first impression.
6. Aside from customer flow, goods flow before and during opening hour must be planned for.

7. At turns and "hooks" in the aisle, consideration should be taken how to make best use of the hot spots created and that customers have in front before they turn. This is often the best selling areas of the store.

8. Some stores have many seasons in their commercial calendar. Flexibility and activitydriven range must be taken into the equation. A solution could be a permanent part of the store and some flexible areas in order to make room for seasonal changers.
9. Customers tend walk to the right when you walk into a store. Then we turn to the left and way back to the counters. Along the entire customer flow there shoul be activitity areas and any change in the directions of the customer flow should be used with smartness.

10. The earlier in the store the visitor is converted into a customer the more effective will the entire store be. A good offer that fits a lot of the visitors needs is a simple tool to get it done. Inside the doors of any store there are a "decompression zone" were visitors in their minds still are on their way into the store, with the same pace as outside the store and were the customer is trying to orientate. This zone should be made as small as possible. A good offer is a good and easy way of doing this.

11. A possibility to sit down is a good investment in order to release the stress of followers not beeing a part of the actual buying process. It takes the pressure down and leave the buyer at peace.

12. Make the walls accessible and interesting so that there are a reason to take a step of from the aisle and move into the department.o

Consumer Trends & Tactics

James Dion of Dionco is a great thinker and speaker on retail subjects. Here are some clips on consumer trends and the tactics needed to capitalize on them.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Real products for real problems please

Since birth of the industrial revolution manufacturers have produced products that is completely unnecessary for 99,99% of all humans on earth. This clip shows solutions to fake problems that products guarantee to solve.

Brand owners, please produce products that offer solutions to real problems.o

The Physics of Marketing

Could Isaac Newton be seen a marketing genius? A little recommended reading for the weekend on David E. Bowmans blog where he compares marketing to physics. Read it here.o

Different branding

Harvard Business School professor Youngmee Moon´s new book Different have a great preview on Youtube:


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Touchscreening your body


Monday, April 19, 2010

The "un-storing" of retail

With all new possibilities of making connections between seller and buyer it will be harder to define what retail is and is not, a well as it will be more difficult to define the word "store". The "un-storing" of retail implies that transactions move out from the traditional retail spaces and that we will see new

Just look at what retail has become in terms of channels:

The traditional internet retailing - Amazon et al. Beeing around for more than a decade it is fair to call it traditional though many retailers haven´t gone on-line yet. The combination between physical stores and internet retailer used to be the definition of multichannel retailing.

C2C - Consumer-to-consumer business ie consumers making connections outside the reach of retailers - like on eBay for example.

Facebook and other social media sites offering possibilities to set up an internet store within the community. The arena of social media makes it possible to connect in a more relaxed manner since the world of social media is much more personal by definition. The retailer could be considered a friend among other on-line buddies.

The Pop-Up Retailing trend might have reached its peak but will noless be a part of the retail arsenal for the years to come. Originally a way to create buzz around a fashion brand by popping up for a limited period of time, days, weeks on as long a as a month and then suddenly disappear and move to another location, pop-ups have been an alternative for several retailers during the US recession to build temporary stores in malls where empty space has been created as retailers have gone bankrupt. Pop-up is a way for brands to come out to the people that normally not will seek the brand for themselves, and to meet the target audience in places not normally associated with the brand. We will probably see more creative ways to package the pop-ups than we have seen so far as this channel matures and needs differentiation.

Instore kiosks will make it possible for retailers to appear in small spaces with a limited range, but still offer the entire range at the push of a button. As shown in the clip above, instore kiosks can also get the information provided to a customer up to a whole other level.

Service providers going in to a retail-like environment will be likely to risen sharply. This is beacuse that in a store it is easier to create a friendly and non-threatening ahmosphere than in a traditional bank for example, where the counters almost looks like a judges stand. The above picture shows a Danish bank going in to the caffee-business. Several banks have gone in this direction and others will follow.

Vending machines is another way of popping-up and have been covered in several places on Retailomania like here and here and this is an old way of selling that has gotten a new and more glamorous life in recent years.

There are several situations when you don´t want to get out of the car. Having a cold in the middle of winter for example. Drive-through retail are likely to rise as servicedemand get higher.

Joint ventures and partherships on hotels, spas or the gym, where people are in a relaxed mood are likely to be targeted by shop-in-shop operators.

The channel development trends will be cruical to follow in order to stay ahead of development.o

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sample Lab - try before you buy

Sample Lab, one of the original retailers taking up the trend of providing product samples for customers to try is now seeking international franchisees.

The store consist of an exhibition area, where a range of products from sports drinks to the latest mini laptop await the attention of customers. Visitors can browse here or move into the “Salon” area and relax in a modern café-like setting. The “Powder Room” area is a more private area in which to primp and preen with the latest cosmetics and facial care products

Sample Lab offers a membership for JP 300 in registration and JP 1000 in annual membership fee. The shop offers evertyhing from moisturizers to exercise equipment and members can try out anything they want while in the shop and also take home up to 5 items per visit. The only catch is that visitors must fill out surveys about the products they've tested.o

Luxury at the touch of a button

U*tique is the vending machine for anyone wanting a little extra. Placed in hotel lobbies, gym locker rooms, nightclub lounges, premium shopping malls and airports, U*tique will provide luxur beauty and skin care products along with premium energy supplements, iPods and premium chocolate.

“I wanted to bring luxury personal care products to women who are racing from a hotel to a meeting or a workout and perhaps forgot a lip balm," said Mara Segal, the 29-year-old creator.

Hassle-free luxury with time efficency attached.

The vending machines feature a touch-screen interface that displys profiles, ingredient lists and video demos of the product, in order to enhance the shopping experience.o

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The best coffee shop in the world

Roasting plant is coffee heaven for coffee lovers:


Friday, April 16, 2010

Asda goes small

I told you this was a trend.o

Retail Trendspotting


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Small store format is a big thing

Several retailers are making progress in format development by developing smaller formats. Even if hypermarkets will continue to grow on several markets it is clear that many retailers is thinking small and neighbourhood stores in order to boost growth in the years to come. Tesco is building Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Walmart Neighbourhood Market and Safeway´s along withseveral other both food and non-food retailers are searching for ways to make their stores smaller. The reasons are obvious:

- Smaller stores means quicker, easier shopping experiences

-A lower investment minimizes risks and implies low break-even points

- Localization is easier with more alternatives for smaller formats, escpecially in urban areas.

- Coming closer to the customers mean less fuel spending

- A smaller format means more stores per area unit making it possible to optimize coverage.

- A smaller store usually has higher sales per square meter, making it more cost effective.o

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Different paths to low prices

A low price strategy can be executed in several ways, but is always associated in low costs. While some retailers cut the range others go for better control through heavy investments in new technology.

C³I – Communication, Coordination, Control Intelligence. Military standard communication and command structures. Wal-Mart is the company that has invested most and earliest in new technology and built already in the eighties the worlds largest privately owned satellite network, in order to transfer sales data between different units in order to obtain the best possibles sales and stock control. Recently, Wal-Mart has pioneered in the RFID-sector

Volume and price warfare. Another Wal-Mart weapon that can be summed up in Sam Waltons productive loop. Contrary to traditional thinking where a greater demand is followed by price increases Wal-Mart re-invest in lower prices that will give even larger volumes.

- Time efficency Zara can within the course of two weeks get inpired by a piece of apparel on a catwalk in Paris and then let some of their 200 designers make a similar product, produce it and bring it to the stores, earlier than the originals will arrive to the store shelves.

Partnering with the customer. IKEAs idea to share the burden with their customers, creates an argument that the client should pay a lower price.

Cost superiority through purchase- and logisticsoptimizing. Aldis slimmed range of some 800 SKUs creates a stock turnover and sales volume per article that is previously unseen in retail history.

Innovative supplier relations. During the early 90-ies Wal-Mart and P&G piloted an project to eliminate unnecessary costs in the retailer-supplier relations. The result bacame known as scan based trading, where the supplier owns the stock until the very moment the consumer pays for it in the counter. The supplier is responsible for that the range is appropriate in all aspects and the retailer is responsible for creating floor traffic.

Private Labelstrategy where the retailer is responsible for everything except the very manufacturing of the products.o

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Envision your life in 2020

Forbes Magazine presents the results of an future scenario workshop on life in 2020. Read it here. They also show some of the exercises leading to the discoveries in the below video.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Target Launches Recycling Stations in All Stores

Target has launched permanent community recycling stations in all 1,740 stores to kick-off a month-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. This will make it possible to allow guests to deposit used beverage containers, plastic bags, small electronics and more. Throughout the month, the celebration also includes the launch of an online eco-boutique where guests can find eco-friendly products and learn more about the company's commitment to the environment, a month-long sweepstakes, a reusable bag giveaway and a unique Target circular.

Other ways Target is celebrating Earth Month include:

•Launching an eco-boutique at, featuring downloadable coupons and eco-minded brands with products such as non-toxic cleaners, energy-saving appliances and products made of recycled materials.
•Giving away with purchase, 1.5 million complimentary reusable shopping bags made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled PET bottles.
•Continuing to encourage guests to use their reusable bags at checkout to receive a 5-cent discount off their total purchase per reusable bag.o

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The largest retailer on the planet

WalMart is the largest retailer on earth when it comes to turnover and almost any other KPI you can think of.

The growth makes statistics constantly uncertain. For example, in 2006, Walmart had 1.8 million employees. In 2009 that figure was somewhere around 2.1 million, 1.4 million in the U.S. alone. Each week, almost 60% of America shops at Walmart. Worldwide, that comes to 200 million visitors--again, every single week. That is a whole lot of people. From hypermarkets, to Sam´s Club to neighborhood stores, WalMart is effectively covering all aspects of the american consumers life and buying situations.

Flowing Data has put together an intresting flow map showing the growth in numbers available here.o

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Creative briefs brief

Not bad.o

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fighting private label

Desipite a global rise in private label sales, Heinz is still defending its market share with great effectiveness. By using an arsenal of five different weapons Heinz still manages to prosper where others fail.

Tighten the portfolio

Heinz was once famous for its 57 varieties. But that was long ago. On one of the toughest and most private label-saturated markets (UK), 15 brands stands for 70% of sales. By cutting slack it is possible to focus marketing budgets instead of spreading to thin and not beeing able to push through.

Build brand equity

Needless to say. Heinz has focused on a few extremely well known products to work as heroes for the brand as a whole and the advertising seem to work. Heinz Tomato Ketchup appears as the brand that British consumers least want to give up, followed by Heinz Beanz and Heinz Ketchup still maintains a 75 % market share in the category. What other brand can come close to that figure?

Focus on innovation

Private Label is a volume game. The more innovations that is built into packaging, recipe, the harder it is to copy it - simply as niches are to small to build volume in. Standing-on-its-head-bottle, spicy flavours, kids mystery colours, a 'trap cap' that eliminates watery ooze etc, makes it easy to differentiate as the definite market leader of the category.

Expand into new markets

Within a few years, Heinz will have 20% of its sales coming from emerging countries like Poland and India, where private label have a much longer way to go before reaching levels of Western Europe.

Manufacture for the supermarkets

Heinz has been producing private labels for supermarkets for years, thereby:

- Profiting from the growth of private labels. Someone is going to produce it if supermarkets want it. It could as well be you.
- By producing private labels and beeing a partner to the retailers, bonds with the customers will be further strengthen.
- Private label production makes it possible to use production line capacity to the limit, thereby getting a better overall economy.o