Category Archives: New Products

Domino Confuses and Optimizes with Sugar Package Change

Converting a product from a resealable pouch to a flip-top canister is a dramatic packaging change.

Different enough to confuse the shopper that brought it to my attention.

Too buried among tens of thousands of SKUs for the in-store customer service team to know the scoop.

Finally solved by calling Domino and getting the explanation.

Photo/Graphic Credit: Harvey Chimoff.

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Turn Customer Listening into Learning and Go-To-Market Action

Good things can happen when you listen to customers.

Consider Hostess Brands,  which “has nurtured retail sales of its products nearly back to their pre-liquidation level of more than $1.3 billion in 2012” as reported by Julie Jargon in The Wall Street Journal.

Credit: Captain Cupcake1 Flickr

Credit: Captain Cupcake1 Flickr

This summer, the company expanded the Hostess brand product range with white and wheat bread along with hamburger and hot dog buns.

Why is Hostess getting into bread?  They listened carefully to customers and realized there was a business opportunity. Continue reading

19th Hole Marketing: Positioning Requires a Decision

I just couldn’t get 100% comfortable with the gunshot-type-sound every time my partner hit the ball during a round of golf this summer.

If you’ve played golf or listened closely on TV, you understand the thwack of the driver or the whoosh of a good iron hit.  And, if you’ve been to a gun range, you know the sound of a firearm.  But you wouldn’t expect a gun sound on a golf course.

That’s what you get with the EZeeGolf Power Driver, which automatically drives a ball down the fairway.

There’s also a worthy strategic marketing discussion to be had.

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Marketing is Fun, Differentiation is Hard. Part 2.

This is part two of a three-part series on marketing differentiation.

Part 1 highlighted New York City wine retailer Taste Wine Company (User Experience Innovation Creates New Kind of Wine Store).  The innovative idea propelling this new venture:  shoppers can taste every bottle before buying!

Today, in Part 2, we take a look at global hotel brand Mama Shelter, and how its founders are putting a different spin on the US boutique hotel business.

Credit: Mama Shelter.

Credit: Mama Shelter.



Redefining Boutique Hotel Experience for an American Audience

The Mama Shelter hotel brand is an example of both marketing differentiation and a global-brand applied geographically. Continue reading

Texas Bus Company Caters to Fed-Up Air Travelers

You might think the bus transportation business – and bus operator marketing – are boring.

That’s the wrong answer in Texas, where a new company offers a unique transportation option to fed-up Lone Star State travelers.

Credit: Vonlane.

Credit: Vonlane.

Vonlane puts a smart-differentiation twist on the old-fashioned bus ride.  It’s a reminder that when you think like an end-user, you may find a path toward commercially successful differentiation.

Vonlane demonstrates, at least sometimes, that what appears to be a commodity product or service doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else. Continue reading

Uber Shifts Gears in Spain to Build Brand

Uber is an agile marketer and tenacious competitor.

The company is known for disrupting (positively, for the public) the taxi/car ride industry.

Whether by design or not, Uber has demonstrated many agile for marketing characteristics, including being flexible, experimental, empowering and customer focused.  As I’ll explain, Uber also seems to have a strong, clear vision that’s aligned with adaptive execution.  (Thanks to Barre Hardy of CMG Partners, and her recent webinar introduction to the agile for marketing concept.)

Vision and execution bring me to what Uber is doing in Spain.  

In December 2014, a Spanish court ruled that Uber could no longer operate its UberPop car sharing service in Barcelona.  Instead of being hamstrung, the company made a smart and creative brand-building pivot.  Uber switched gears to nurture its developing brand equity and maintain its business platform foothold.

In February, the company launched UberEats.

UberEATS - Barcelona, Spain. Translation: From hungry to happy in 10 minutes. Photo Credit: Uber.

UberEATS – Barcelona, Spain. Translation: From hungry to happy in 10 minutes. Photo Credit: Uber.

According to the intro blog post, UberEATS is “an on-demand food delivery service that gets you the best meals from the best local restaurants in under 10 minutes.”  (Uber has a similar Uber Fresh service in Los Angeles).

Here’s how Uber is executing the strategy: Continue reading

Creative Branding Hooks $1M Investment from Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban

Founders Brad Schultz, Amy Steadman and Justin Fenchel (left to right) make the Shark Tank pitch for BeatBox Beverages – October 24, 2014. Credit: BeatBox Beverages.

Last Friday night on Shark Tank, Mark Cuban invested $1 million in a boxed, wine-based cocktail business. Why?

Excellent marketing and branding.

The founders of BeatBox Beverages, launched in 2013, have done a terrific job with creative branding, customer target definition, and positioning.  Cuban was sold on the growth opportunity for this fun, lifestyle, experiential brand. Continue reading