Tag Archive: consumer


Meijer Butter Fail!

Dear Meijer:

Why did you put the salted butter in a box with a red stripe and make the wrapper blue and put the unsalted butter in a box with a blue stripe and make the wrapper red?

Until I saw them side by side, I was making all kinds of mistakes assuming that my quarter stick of butter in the red wrapper was salted and vice versa!

Who thought this mixing of the color scheme was a good idea?

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This post was inspired by upsidedownturtle – please keep the suggestions and ideas coming everybody! I really appreciate your thoughts/feedback; that’s why I started this blog in the first place!!!

My wife keeps getting phone calls from Western Michigan University’s Alumni Association asking for money; even though she’s asked to be removed from their calling list several times.

Upsidedownturtle’s husband keeps getting phone calls from the University of Michigan’s Alumni Association, first engaging in spurious small talk, and then asking for money (they’ve even gotten these calls on Sunday nights)! They have also asked several times to be removed from the calling list, but to no avail.

There are a couple of trends I’ve noticed when discussing telemarketers with my friends:

  1. No one that I know of has actually taken these folks up on their offers
  2. Everyone has tried to get removed from the associated calling list
  3. Very few folks have actually been successfully removed from said calling lists
  4. Every person feels as if their privacy has been invaded by these phone calls

Now, I understand where telemarketing came from. For a while it was the only option for any sort of “personal” contact with customers, but, with the options available today, why the heck are telemarketers still as prevalent as they are?

Nowadays you can send a custom e-mail to your customers with ads, sales, and features which are custom tailored to their specific interests. When this is done well, your customers will actually thank you and look forward to your e-mails (Etsy does a good job of this; my wife actually looks forward to getting her weekly e-mail from them, and she even makes an event out of going through the e-mail and adding new items to her wishlist).

The mind and expectations of today’s consumer has also changed. We don’t want you to invade our privacy; we want you to work for our attention, and we want to look at your ad on our time (if we look at your ad at all). Yes, this requires more effort on your part; you can’t just read us a script and expect us to invest our  money in you. You need to invest some time and effort into crafting an ad that is tailored to us, as individuals, and design it and deliver it in a way that makes us want to play along.

Yes, you will have fewer views (more people may initially answer their phones than click on your ad), but the customers that you get from this form of advertising will undoubtedly spend more money and time with your company (and not actually be turned off from your company by your mode of advertising)!

…and, just for fun, here’s another blog from Seth Godin about Permission Marketing!

Do you notice anything odd in this picture?

How about this one?

If you didn’t notice, it’s the watch.

These pictures came from the Fossil magazine that showed up for my wife yesterday.

Now, how many of you ladies under 35 get into your fancy sun dresses, strap on your wrist watches, and then head into town?

Here is what I believe to be the flaw in this advertising: Fossil makes watches, and they do it well. Fossil also makes clothes (Did you know this?), and they still do it  under their ‘Fossil’ name. This leads to consumer confusion:

How are Fossil’s clothes? I have no idea! My perception of ‘Fossil’ is a watch company, not a clothing company, so I already do not take their clothing as seriously as I would take clothing from someone such as J. Crew.

‘Fossil’ is, and should only be a watch company. If they want to make clothing, they should open up another company with a new name. This way they can create a second solid position in the mind of the consumer and not confuse them with the association to the watch company (look at how Proctor & Gamble have handled Tide and Cascade and their dozens of other products: they have virtually re-invented their company several times by the creation of dozens of seemingly unique companies.).

We’ve already discussed the importance of company names, and I fear that the watch industry is not immune to this rule!

With the way that their marketing is being handled, Fossil is quickly becoming a Relic (Get it? Get it?)…

Leave Something Behind!

A few days ago, I was getting ready in the bathroom when I noticed my wife’s St. Ives face scrub and had somewhat of an epiphany:

Now, there’s nothing fancy about this face scrub (what I mean to say is that this epiphany could and should apply to any other consumable consumer product).

The basic, underlying issue is this: You need to stay in the forefront of your customer’s mind, and, even better, you should strive to have your brand noticed by folks who are not yet customers and seek for ways to have conversations spurred concerning your product.

So, back to face scrub: Our face scrub is kept in the shower. Therefore, the only time that we notice or think about the face scrub is when we are in the shower, and the only time that anyone else would notice or think about the face scrub is if they were in our shower (…and, since moving into our new house last September, I don’t believe we’ve had anyone other than us use our shower).

So far, we’re not doing a good job of staying in the mind of the consumer or starting conversations…

Now, let’s say that St. Ives made a cheap magnet with a mirrored finish and a border that featured the tube of the St. Ives scrub that I have pictured with a cheesy tagline (something really corny like “You look great today!”), and let’s say that they included this free with the purchase of a tube of St. Ives.

In my opinion, a mirror is an awesome choice because it 100% relates to this product, and, of course, because people love to look at themselves. Also, while these folks are checking themselves out, their eyes are always just inches away from a picture of your product.

I’d imagine that this mirror would get stuck on the inside of lockers and on refrigerators in kitchens everywhere that St. Ives is purchased (I remember from high school that every single girl had a magnet-mirror in her locker). This also means that this mirror would get viewed, not only by the girl who owned the locker, for example, but also by her friends, and not just by the woman who owns the refrigerator, but by all of her house guests who happen to step into the kitchen.

Now, let’s say that someone gets two of these mirrors because they buy two bottles; while it is true that they may throw the extra away, I believe that it is more likely that they would pass this on to one of their friends (who wouldn’t want a magnet-mirror?).

And, just like that, your product, which is normally hidden behind a shower curtain or a medicine cabinet door, is put in the central location of a house or school.

It is so important, when you have a consumable product (especially one that is kept somewhat out of view), that you stay in the forefront of your customer’s mind and spur conversations relating to your product, and the best way to do this is to leave something behind!