Our Attention Span Is Less Than a Goldfish

Consider these observations from Vikas Agrawal, writing for CustomerThink:
“Did you know that humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfishes? A 2015 study conducted by Microsoft in Canada showed that the average attention span of humans has decreased by 4 seconds in the past 15 years. From 12 seconds in 2000, last year’s study showed that it is now at 8.25 seconds only, largely due to the advent of smartphones. This is actually a tad shorter compared to the attention span of goldfishes who are clocking in at 9 seconds.”

 

Now, consider the work on infographics by InfobrandZ:
“Pictures speak to us. They convey ideas that spark both our memories and our imaginations. Looking at a picture is indeed like reading a thousand words. More than that, it allows us to visualize relationships in a way that is not possible with words. And in that fact lies the power of Infographic Marketing.”

 

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Good Bye for The Limited?

After more than 50 years, youth-oriented women’s apparel retailer The Limited has announced that it is shutting all of its 255 stores and will focus on its online business going forward. Some experts, the retailer will be sold or shut in the not-so-distant future.
Click the image to see the sales now available online.


 

What happened? As reported by PYMNTS.com:
“According to Fortune, Sun Capital Partners sent a letter to investors explaining that it had invested 1.8 times its $50 million investment in Limited stores. The disclosure outlines how the private equity firm will still be able to garner a profit from the investment, despite the fact that the equity value of Limited has been written down to zero.”
“’We have worked very hard and made significant investments over nine years to improve operations and create a sustainable business at the Limited,’ Sun Capital told Reuters in an E-mailed statement. ‘In an increasingly challenging environment for mall-based retail and women’s apparel, we are very disappointed that the company has had to make the difficult decision to close its retail locations.’” 
“All brick-and-mortar locations of the Limited were closed effective Jan. 8. The Limited’s web site continues to display deep discounts and a change in the return policy: “All sales are final.” However, it’s not clear how long the retailer will continue to sell items online.”

 

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together, Strategy Mix | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Look to the Golden Globes for Ad Creativity

The Golden Globe Awards were presented last Sunday. As more of a “party” show than others, the Golden Globe show attracts edgier ads. Here are two examples.

As reported by T. L. Stanley for Adweek:

“For fans who didn’t know that A-list movie star Drew Barrymore is shilling for a Weight Watchers-like program, surprise! And for those who didn’t know she’s playing a cannibal in her new Netflix show: double surprise!A new ad campaign that kicked off during Sunday night’s Golden Globes for the upcoming black comedy Santa Clarita Diet. The 10-episode show, launching Feb. 3 on the prolific streaming service, also stars Timothy Olyphant, who plays Barrymore’s real-estate broker (non-zombie) husband.”
“When she asks if you’re ‘ready to take your life to a whole new level of wow,’ with a crimson streak of blood dripping from her mouth, there’s no longer any question that this is a tongue-in-cheek (literally?) ad for a twisted piece of entertainment.”

 

And as Tanya Dua reports for Digiday:
“Just two months after Snapchat’s video-capturing Spectacles hit the market, they made their red carpet debut. L’Oréal Paris, the official makeup sponsor of the Golden Globe Awards, used Snapchat Spectacles to give viewers a sneak peek into the awards show.”
“The $130 devices were worn by its celebrity makeup artist Sir John as well as two other L’Oréal Paris brand ambassadors, who used them to stream behind-the-scenes content, from celebrities getting ready backstage to the walk down the red carpet.”


 

Posted in Nontraditional, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Self-Branding for Professional Success: A Primer

Want to learn more about branding and its features—including the evolution of branding and brand positioning? Want to learn more about how to create and nurture your own self-brand to enhance your professional growth opportunities? If you answer yes to either question, then this article is “must reading.”
The first part of the article (pages 1-10) covers the evolution of branding concepts, brand positioning, brand equity, the role of communications (including new media), and corporate branding.
The second part of the article (starting on the bottom of page 10) focuses on such aspects of self-branding as these: the factors impacting one’s professional self-brand, steps in self-branding, personal branding SWOT analysis, a career ladder approach to self-branding, self-brand management and re-invention, and creating and sustaining an online self-brand.
To enhance the discussion, there are several practical and colorful figures that illustrate the keys to superior professional self-branding.
[Click the IN logo at the bottom of the slideshow to access and download a PDF version of the paper.]

 

 

Posted in Career Useful Information, Careers in Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Be Better at Customer Service

Last week, we wrote about one aspect of customer service — the retailer’s return policy — and its impact on consumer satisfaction.
Today, we are presenting a broad-based infographic on good customer service that was developed by  Exponential Solutions (The CUBE) Marketing. Thanks to Steve Hashman, one of the company founders, for providing the infographic.
 
 

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Strategy Mix | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2017 Global Economics Interview with Hof Prof

Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business Distinguished Professor Joel Evans was recently interviewed by the award-winning Hofstra radio station WHRU about the upcoming 2017 global economy. Here is that EIGHT-minute interview. The views are those of Professor Evans and not Hofstra University.
[Please pardon all the sighs. Professor Evans is not in a state of distress, only in a state of bronchitis. 🙂 ]

 

 

Posted in Global Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

L.L. Bean’s Dominant Edge: Its Return Policy

Now that the 2016 holiday shopping season is over (except for spending gift cards), a vital question to consider from both the customer’s and retailer’s perspective is: What kind of return policy best serves my needs? For many consumers, the answer may be: an unlimited time frame to return a purchase. For many retailers, the answer may be: holding down costs as much as possible. In either case, the return policy is a key element of customer service.
These are some return practices disliked by consumers: [Note: Many good retailers do not follow these practices.]
  • An overly short time period to make a return for a full refund.
  • The amount of the refund for a gift item when the gift recipient does not have a receipt.
  • A discounted refund merely for opening the product’s box.
  • The time to process a refund for a return.
  • Items excluded from refunds, such as computer software.
  • The shipping fee to return a purchase made online.
Two of the acknowledged leaders are Amazon, whose return policy is easy to use and consumer friendly, and L.L. Bean, whose return policy has received various honors and awards.

As a prelude to a YouTube video about returns at L.L. Bean, Business Insider’s Sam Rega recently stated: Here’s what makes L.L.Bean’s ‘100% satisfaction guarantee’ the best return policy of any retailer.”

 

Posted in Nontraditional, Online Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together, Strategy Mix | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments