Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Toy Story – The Final Chapter?

Being a native New Yorker, I was disappointed to learn that F.A.O. Schwartz closed its doors earlier this month at its iconic Fifth Avenue location.  Is this the final chapter for F.A.O. Schwartz?
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Not according to Toys “R” Us that has owned the store since 2009.  A spokesperson for the toy chain indicated they made a decision to vacate the location due to the rising costs of operating a retail location on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  Translation: The landlord Boston Properties was scheduling a rent increase, but bottomline fewer giant stuffed animals were going out the door to make the store profitable, since people preferred playing with the apps and touch screens at the Apple Store located nearby.

Is this the final chapter for F.A.O. Schwartz?  Stay tuned – Toys “R” Us indicated they are looking at a new space close to Times Square.  For me it will not be the same as stopping to look at the classic window displays of Bergdorf Goodman, another historic Firth Avenue store during the holidays, then crossing the street to browse at F.A.O Schwartz.

Hopefully, this is not the final chapter and kids once again will be able to play the giant toy piano.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Vacation Time Shrinks

American vacation time has shrunk over the years, plus a majority of employed vacationers work during their time off.  Being overworked is the main reason Americans say they skip vacation time.  Welcome to the era of vacation time shrinkage

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Back in June, I read numerous articles about vacation time shrinking.  The average paid vacation days in the mid-80’s was 21.  In 2014 the number of days shrunk to 16. More alarming, 61% of Americans plan to work during their vacations versus unplugging.  Detailed below by the numbers are the tasks employed workers plan to perform:

·         Emailing – 38%
·         Accessing work documents – 32%
·         Phone calls – 30%
·         Texting – 24%
·         Fielding work related requests – 20%

Has your vacation time shrunk?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

In Your Face

In June I posted Heineken’s utilization of MTP (Multiple Touch Points) to reach their target community.  Today I would like to share another MTP initiative, Amazon Treasure Trucks.  
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Amazon recently announced it will be launching its Treasure Truck concept in Seattle.  The truck is decorated to look like an Amazon package complete with their logo.  Each day they will be offering a deal via their mobile app for one item only.  Customers can purchase the item and choose a time to pick it up at a pre-determined location.  Some customers can also take a chance and walk up to the truck to buy the item on the spot if available.  Smart marketing!  However, the Treasure Truck also builds brand awareness via a subtle tactic I call “In Your Face.”  Think about the number of consumers who will be driving in a target market that spot the truck and will be reminded to shop on Amazon even if they are not capitalizing on Amazon’s daily deal.  Is this a new marketing tactic?  Not really.  Remember the “Weinermobile” Oscar Meyer created back in 1936.

“In Your Face” marketing energizes brand awareness.  Just ask Red Bull!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mental Fortitude (a.k.a. Willpower)

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton 
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Remember Scott Hamilton, Olympic figure skating gold medalist who overcame a brain tumor that stunted his childhood development.  He definitely exhibited mental fortitude (a.k.a. willpower), the strong determination to overcome adversity, a difficult situation.    

Wimbledon started earlier today.  Over the years I have written about tennis.  My last story was about Victor Estrella Burgos, a tennis player from the Dominican Republic, the oldest (34) first time titlist in Open Era history.  I am always fascinated by tennis players, male or female, that have labored on the professional tour for years before they finally win their first title, long after that might have called it quits.  Mental Fortitude (a.k.a. Willpower)! 

Today’s story is about Denis Istomin, a 28-year old tennis player from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (where?) who won his first ATP level tournament this past Saturday, one of the warm-up tournaments leading up to Wimbledon.  Denis turned pro in 2004, thus he has been on the ATP tour for eleven years.  That takes perseverance, but what makes Denis’s achievement even more special is at age fourteen, in 2001, he was on his way to a tournament and suffered a serious leg injury in a car accident that required extensive surgery and kept him hospitalized for three months.  He did not pick up a racquet and resume training until 2003.  Mental Fortitude (a.k.a. Willpower)!

Achieving goals takes mental fortitude (a.k.a. willpower)!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Heineken – A Marketing Update

Back in 2012 I first posted about Heineken’s utilization of MTP (Multiple Touch Points). Thanks to a new mobile app, once again they are ramping up their strategic marketing initiatives courting Millennials.  
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The hub of Heineken’s new marketing movement is their proprietary BrewLock technology which is a new way to dispense beer – the highest quality draught beer on the market.  Consequently they developed a new mobile app that enables their target audience (Millennials) to view a 3D demonstration of their new technology and locate bars via geolocation that are utilizing BrewLock.  In addition, they added a gamification element to the app, the Unlock BrewLock game for participants 21 or older. The grand prize is a trip to Amsterdam.  Smart MTP marketers Heineken!  They recognize that on-the-go Millennials are surgically attached to their smartphones thus have created a fun, engaging app that delivers relevant content and enhances the overall Heineken brand experience. 

Let’s raise our chilled mugs to Heineken.  Cheers!