Connecting the Dots … Bringing Online, In-store

Nordstrom & Pinterest

We all know the significant impact that e-commerce has had on today’s retailers … many are redistributing advertising spend to social media outlets, cutting overhead by cutting square footage, and putting more stock in their online storefronts. Sales are being delivered to consumers less by Sunday morning circulars and more by Facebook promotions, Twitter discount codes or Pinterest contests. But just when you thought you had it all figured out, retailers are now turning the tables … merging social media with brick & mortar stores. Read more of this post

Be Bright | Gap Falls Into Color

Fall is always colorful.  The leaves turn to bright shades of yellow and orange, crisp Macintosh apples glow a rich red, and the sky is full of bright blue.  Why then, should an autumn collection be void of all color? Exactly.  It shouldn’t. Read more of this post

Ultra Local and Hyper Familiar

Out on the edge of the Hamptons, there are a couple of small hotels that may be a vision for the future of hospitality.

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Spring Greening

Now is a great time to spring clean but instead of tossing techno-waste and other items in the trash, where it ultimately ends up polluting the planet, you might consider some eco-friendly strategies provided by Earth Conscious retailers and organizations.

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For the Love of the Game

Some sports enthusiasts will pay a pretty penny to enjoy their favorite pastime. Check out the video courtesy of Co. Design Daily of “A Modernist’s Foosball Table”, priced at a mere $68,000. The foosball table marries the personal passion for the game with high design. Whether or not you are a fan of foosball, one must appreciate the attention to detail in this piece. Click here to see the video.

National Retail Federation’s Annual Expo


Appropriately titled “The Big Show”, NRF recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of it’s annual Convention and Expo at the Javits Center in New York. Having personally attended this event in 2009 and 2010, it was extremely encouraging to see the large number of participants this year. The show ran for 4 days, with a broad array of sessions, super-sessions, and Expo Hall vendors to keep one constantly in motion. Most of the sessions on Sunday and Monday were standing-room only, a dramatic departure from years past. The threat of a snowstorm definitely lightened the crowds on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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What is the current Hospitality Fun Factor?

It’s the middle of January, and it’s been extremely cold and snowy here (at least for Cincinnati), so I thought I would see how our favorite hotel companies are willing to entice me for a long weekend away.  My wife and I like urban getaways, so I thought that I would check out offers in big US cities. What I found was rather interesting:

Most Brands offer the usual:  extra loyalty points, discount breakfasts, a bottle of wine, even the occasional free movie ticket.  As many of these offerings are similar, the big differentiater is how they are presented on the corporate website.  Kudos to Starwood and Hilton for having incentives that operate across the system.

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Branded Content

The web continues to provide new avenues for a brand to connect with consumers. I recently stumbled upon The AnthropologistAnthropologie’s latest web addition that removes itself from product and emotionally connects and inspires consumers with a variety of topics—photography, craft, artistry, etc.

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Bus Stop, Bus Go

It’s the absolute truth when I tell you the radio was playing  the Hollies’ old catchy tune “Bus Stop”  on a recent trip to Lexington, KY. What better reason, then, to stop and look at a few of Lexington’s very unique bus stops, and find out the story behind this program?

The bus stops are the projects of Art In Motion ( AIM).  According to AIM’s website,  their goal is “to make Lexington a more vibrant, livable city through the fusion of public art, public transit, and public spaces.”  The shelter shown above, on Newtown Pike, is called “Bluegrass”. Read more of this post

Name that Voiceover…

Advertising agencies are elevating the level of ‘Branding’ in commercials these days, with the more widely accepted practice of employing key celebrities to do their voiceovers. An art in itself, casting the right voice – and often, more importantly, the right celebrity character’s voice, adds depth to these commercials that is almost on a subconscious level. If you emotionally connect with that character, can the simple use of his or her voice connect you to that product as well? Do you listen to the message more intently when ‘Don Draper’ tells you to love Mercedes?

Or when Mad Men’s ‘Roger Sterling’ sells the ‘Lincoln lifestyle’?

Or can you accept Cisco and the ‘Human Network’ as a forward-thinking, inspired company when paired with a youthful Ellen Page and a classroom full of globally connected children?

Then again, a few fall short… despite his presidential confidence – am I supposed to believe that Martin Sheen is the choice, or voice, of the ‘Next Generation’?

The bar has been set high and Brand’s need to be all the more aware of who their customers emotionally connect with… Trust me, we’re listening.

If you were a voiceover, which Brand would you be?


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