Retailers Tag

In its infancy, advertising was an interruption. Ads were part of the price of watching TV or flipping through a magazine. More recently, brands have experimented with ways to make their messages desirable in their own right, via social engagement and branded content. But at a Social Media Week event at the Time-Life Building in New York City this month, Gabe Zichermann argued that in the future, brands will use game mechanics to go beyond just getting a customer’s attention. Instead, they will make themselves a part of the rhythm of their customers’ lives. Games are “a process, not a destination,” Zichermann argued. Zichermann said he defines “gamification” as the use of game mechanics and game-based thinking to solve problems and create user engagement. But more broadly, he explains, a solid game-based marketing program is really just the final incarnation of the loyalty programs businesses have been using for almost 200 years. In the first phase of loyalty programs, customers were given free merchandise for buying a set amount of product. Think of those cards that promise you a free pizza after you buy nine pizzas at the regular price. These are still the most common form of loyalty program, he says, but they’re not the most effective. They tend to offer incentives

End-user confusion about drills and drivers is rampant – although the model in this stock photo looks more bored than confused.

Consumer Packaged Goods, What's in a name... Tool makers have created a wilderness of product, category and project names that stand in the way of revenue and market share growth. And no category is more confused than drills and drivers. At the Oregon State Fair recently I ran into some impact drivers from a major brand. You know impact drivers – those great compact tools that use small bursts of torque to deliver turning power around the screw, bolt or nut. “Impact driver” is a strong label for the category of tools because they are used by pro and DIY alike primarily to drive screws and self-tapping hex headed screws (e.g. those used for steel studs). Impact drivers are also used, but less often, to drive lag bolts, remove small stuck bolts, and in a few other driving situations. In other words, from both the pro and DIY end user point of view, they are an evolution of the drill/driver. But at the fair, the boxes were labeled “impact wrench”. Huh? An impact wrench? An impact wrench is a big tool used on cars, trucks, and in factories that delivers 2500 to 7000 in-lbs of torque and is used for the heaviest duty work on cars and trucks. It also exclusively drives sockets and is used on heavy bolts. But the tool in that package was an impact driver – a tool that delivers small bursts of usually 500 to 1300 in-lbs of torque – torque that is light enough to drive screws or hex head screws without breaking them. How can we expect consumers to buy products without consistent categories and names?

Visiting Smaller Number of Channels, Making Fewer Trips, and Shifting to Dollar Stores Represent Key Findings CHICAGO, Aug. 26, 2010 - Shoppers are cutting back on the number of channels they are visiting, concentrating visits on stores known for lower prices, generally visiting stores less frequently...