You picked a really bad time to be boring

There was a time when you could get away with average products for average people. There was a time when rapid growth could smooth over patches of mediocrity. There was a time when being just a little bit interesting could hold our attention. There was a time when relationships were built over time, face-to-face. Now, consumers … Continue reading You picked a really bad time to be boring

Confusing necessary with sufficient

We're told we have to embrace all things omni-channel, yet Macy's and Nordstrom, two of the acknowledged leaders in this arena, have yet to move the dial much on market share and profitability. We're told we have to digitally enable most dimensions of our business, yet Sears, which has been a pioneer in many aspects … Continue reading Confusing necessary with sufficient

Never teach a pig to sing

"Never teach a pig to sing.  It wastes your time and it annoys the pig." - Robert Heinlein Innovation is hard-work.  So is becoming truly customer-centric. Those who want to desperately maintain the status quo rarely appreciate the champion of change.   Those who wish to stay slavishly product or channel-centric often dread hearing someone … Continue reading Never teach a pig to sing

Surgical Shopping and the Hangover Market

Last holiday season I coined the term "surgical shopping" to describe the highly precise way many consumers were purchasing.  While the panic of late 2008 and early 2009 subsided, consumers were only gradually opening their wallets, focusing primarily on needs vs. wants and often trading down to brands that gave very clear bang for the … Continue reading Surgical Shopping and the Hangover Market

Expensive & Lousy Meets Free & Excellent

I just got back from Chicago where I spoke at the annual Shopper Insights in Action conference.  It was a great trip, but one of the things I will remember the most is a very disappointing experience I had at the host hotel. At this hotel (which shall go nameless, but it rhymes with lariat), … Continue reading Expensive & Lousy Meets Free & Excellent