Archive for the ‘Quick Points’ Category

Movies By All Means!

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

The holidays were delightful this year and I hope the same for all of you.  Happy New Year!

I also enjoyed movies….By All Means!

This is a great time of year for movies as they queue up the real Oscar contenders now.

And we sat around the “electronic hearth” enjoying old movie favorites with friends and family.

A highlight was certainly our True Grit day where we saw the Coen film (excellent!) in the afternoon and then came home and watched the John Wayne version (also excellent, but quite different!) on Comcast Video-On-Demand.

Also sampled in the Comcast Holiday films.  (Good idea, Comcast!).  Home Alone 2 and other treats.

I am currently testing out the Comcast iPad app.  One excellent application was checking out if various obscure Oscar contenders might be available somewhere in the 500 channel universe.  And they were!

But I feared that my VOD bill was going to be astronomical so I queued up Chariots of Fire to watch for free via iPad scheduling of recordings.  Most excellent holiday movie, except…….some goof was made by someone.  I only got two hours of Chariots.  Was that an EPG (electronic programming guide) goof or a goof by the iPad app or “operator error”.  Don’t know.

But here I am with no Chariots ending.  However, in the spirit of “Movies By All Means”, I found the movie available on the Netflix streaming service and promptly watched the rest of it on my gorgeous iMac!

Nevertheless, I like the Comcast iPad app….easier somehow to find things on that EPG vs. the TV EPG.  On yet another holiday afternoon, I found that When Harry Met Sally was playing on channel 473.  Who even knew what was offered on 473.  And they can’t fool me twice, I recorded extra time but didn’t need it.

The Consumer Electronics Show is on in Vegas right now.  Lots of gadgets and gizmos.  There will be some 80 tablets come to market this year.  But I’m probably most interested in a higher functioned TV set with direct Internet access, streaming etc.

Because then, I can get “Movies By Even More Means”!

Durability – delivering vs. claiming!

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Jeep now tells us that “The Things We Make, Make Us” with a fairly large brand claim to durability and overall quality.  See  I truly hope they can deliver on asserting that they are of the quality of some of the finest American inventions of all time.

But to my ears, this is risky.  You are setting a very high bar.

Let me share two products that met that claim.  My 16 year-old Krups coffee pot which failed this morning.  Not that’s durability.

And my adorable tee shirt bought in Hong Kong 20 years ago which finally ripped.  Look at those colors after enumerable washings.

Two delivered quality and durability

Now that’s quality that I can vouch for.

Linkedin Here We Come!

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Attention all stray business cards:  you are heading into Linkedin or the circular file!

A B2C marketing vignette

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

As our readers know, we’ve been commenting on the iPad and key strategic events at industrial giants like Apple, GM, Tribune and others.

But, this morning we turn our attention to how marketing applies to small businesses right here near the office.

The Crock Spot at the Farmers’ Market.

I happened to try this at a food fair recently and thought the food was delicious.

Why are there no people?

They have a booth at our busiest Farmers Market and are the nicest folks….but I wonder how long they will last as they don’t seem to do the business that other food booths do.

First, I thought it was the brand name – Crock Spot.  I guess the food is cooked in crock pots, but what you see if a conventional set-up with pans sitting over hot water.  No crock pots.  And then, as a marketer, I take issue with a brand name that is about “what we do” vs. “the benefit we deliver”.

However, I am now more convinced that this is a product design problem.  You, the customer, assemble a custom lunch from them.  There are signs that tell you what to do in steps.  (See them pasted to the case.)  So, you have to make lots of choices to get your lunch.  Which grain?  Which meat?  It doesn’t seem like a menu so much as a science project.

I hope they can make it.

I’m not alone in thinking their food is quite yummy.  Our local magazine, 5280, gave them a sweet review, which the folks in the booth told me about but, of course, they had no mention of in the booth.  (See

Marketing in terms of brand identity, product composition and promotion is key in every business, from small to large.

Off to the Saturday Farmers Market!

Do they know too much or just enough?

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Is it a benefit or a threat?  That’s the point of The Wall Street Journal’s recent series on Internet privacy.  (See

I’ve always felt that targeted advertising was the next big opportunity for cable TV.  I’m ready to sign up right now to change the ad mix on The Golf Channel from Viagara, luxury cars and insurance to travel, clothes and cooking!

However, the web is increasingly able to deliver this targeting, which I think is great….but like the Journal’s Nicholas Carr article where he points to danger, I’d like these providers to try to be careful with my information and maybe show me an ad for something that isn’t exactly matching my profile so it’s not all endless trips, fashion and recipes!  I’d like to stay part of the general conversation of American life, not just buried in my micro-segment.

What do you think?

Methods and Mickey

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

A reminder to all marketers to be alert to how your customers are using new methods to solve personal and business problems.  This sneaks up just when you’re not looking, such as when:

  • An operagoer in our arts group sold the tickets she couldn’t use last minute on Craig’s List
  • I found a Mexican restaurant via my smartphone during an out of town trip.  A restaurant that diners raved about and that was exceptionally close to my hotel!
  • I used the food diary function on that same smartphone, scanning bar codes to put foods I ate in the diary and checking restaurant listings for calorie counts.  (This became essential after the Mexican restaurant!)
  • And I looked for a Mickey Mouse gift online for a friend vs. conventional methods, getting something more special and at a better price with less aggravation.
    • Had to make last minute bid changes via the very same smartphone.
    • Was encouraged by my dining companion when she saw the excellent picture on the smartphone!

The list goes on and on.  We often talk about an adoption curve for new solutions, but right now, it feels a bit more like a step function.  Once you’ve shifted, you aren’t going back.

Social Media as News Provider

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Just heard that Michael Jackson died today via FaceBook.  Not via the conventional news sources.  At least not initially.  So, how do news providers think about getting out ahead on “news alerts” via social media.  Or is the key for them to be on these different delivery vehicles?