Monday, January 22

Amazon Go — Now Open

About a year ago I wrote about Amazon’s foray into brick/mortar with a new convenience store especially created for Amazon members. It’s completely cash-less and cashier-less in that all you do is pick the item off the shelf and walk out. Your membership does the rest. It even knows if you pick something up and then put it back...you’re only charged for items you exit with.

It’s basically a smart store, chocked full of convenience items and food. It’s the store of the future, powered by Amazon tech.

But at the time it was only for Amazon employees. Not anymore...it just officially opened up to the public in its hometown of Seattle. I have a feeling we’ll see other locations coming soon! And probably offering a broader range of categories eventually as well.

Have you been yet? What’s your experience? JIM

CEO of BlackRock - An Inspiring Message


The CEO of BlackRock, an investment management company, got it right last week...he sent a note out to other CEO's in the industry basically saying not to solely focus on short term profits.

Click here to give it a read.

This from an investment management firm?!? Yes, indeed!

While certainly any for-profit organization needs to make a profit for its various constituents, including shareholders, but it shouldn't look that way. It shouldn't be so obvious and it shouldn't be the only item on the agenda. And it shouldn't be at the expense of everything else.

So for a company (and industry) known to focus on (solely) generating profit to make such a bold statement is quite inspiring!

Inspiring!

It's refreshing to see a CEO take a broader view on the business, clients, employees, communities, and the world.

What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, January 18

Hanger Latex Flame Choker


Hanger Latex Flame Choker? What? In hindsight, probably four words that should never have been strung together.

File this next to H&M...under ”But how could THIS happen!?”

Just this week I wrote about the H&M hoodie heard ‘round the world and about how its backlash keeps on. Now the mom of the model used in the ad is citing concerns over safety of her son. Too far.

But we are witnessing similar backlash at another fashion retailer, ASOS, for its promotion of an item called “Hanger Latex Flame Choker” (pictured above). Note that the brand name is Hanger so this isn’t the only product with that brand name, but it makes for a messy combination of words. Social media comments say that it’s celebrating suicide. Perhaps, but as worrisome is the completely poor timing given all of the social commentary as of late. Well actually, no timing would have been anything but poor timing on this one.

Have to ask the question...”Did they think this one through? How could this happen?”

Lessons Learned for Brands: Be conscious of the marketing you’re putting out there and how people may react and also have an appropriate approval process in place to screen for content that may confuse, ignite, or be misinterpreted. And then double check it before you release it. And then have a response plan if you still happened to miss something.

Here we go again. What’s your experience? JIM

IKEA's Pregnancy "Test"


You have to admit, this is clever. It may be other things as well, but it is clever.

Sweden is home to IKEA, the innovative retailer that's not afraid to put it out there. Like when they were one of the first big brands (and big retailers) to advertise to same sex couples way way back in the day. Gotta respect that.

This time, in their home country, IKEA is targeting soon-to-be moms with a special discount on their cribs. But the only way you can get the discount is if you pass the pregnancy test and actually pee on the print ad that appeared in a national print magazine. Yes, the ad is an actual pregnancy test.

Clever. At a time when actual print advertising is diminishing, this ad gives it a reason for being (so to speak).

Now truth be told, you don't have to actually bring the test into stores...it's just a way to capture attention. The attention of very busy pregnant women prepping for the upcoming arrival.

Many have had many comments about this promotional ad on social media. Me? Clever.

What's your experience? JIM