Seeing Glasses in a Whole New Light

If you wear glasses you know that shopping for them at the traditional places like LensCrafters and EyeMart etc.. is mildly, well…. antiseptic. One thing it is NOT is sexy or fun. Stores are boring with bad lighting, doctors smocks, mysterious pricing and ultimately, very expensive. I found this out first hand recently when I needed a new pair of glasses. After multiple visits to the big box stores I was overwhelmingly underwhelmed. Yes, they have big brands with sexy names, like Prada, Gucci and Bulgari. But interesting and cool designs are extremely limited. And the prices!? Oh. My. God. … Continue reading Seeing Glasses in a Whole New Light

Abercrombie’s Brand DNA Revealed in an Unexpected Moment

Back in 2006, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries now famously admitted in an interview with Salon.com that his brand was intentionally “exclusionary” and perhaps most offensive… well… I’ll simply quote him: “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but … Continue reading Abercrombie’s Brand DNA Revealed in an Unexpected Moment

Improving Life on the Road: Inspired Creative Minds

Traveling a lot certainly has its ups and downs (yes.. literally). One of the surprising “ups” is stumbling upon marketing and design brilliance, sometimes in the most unexpected places. For me (admitted marketing geek) I get true inspiration from creative, elegant and insightful solutions that demonstrate deep understanding of the plight of the customer. And when these solutions stop me in my tracks and make me say “what a great idea” and “I’d love to chat with whoever came up with that”, even better. Following are some serious props for ideas which moved me, made me think, or simply made … Continue reading Improving Life on the Road: Inspired Creative Minds

Sometimes “Good” Marketing Isn’t a Good Idea

I appreciate good marketing. Duh. Especially when you can tell they were thoughtful about the brand (and its touchpoints), understand the impact of customer service, are consistent in the environment and truly 360. But alas sometimes, as I have learned, good marketing may in fact be a red flag. Case in point… the dentist. Recently I was referred to a new dentist. I called and had a wonderful experience with an extremely helpful person who proactively called my insurance, thoroughly explained coverage, costs etc. It was terrific. Sign me up! Moments after scheduling my appointment I received a welcome email (from a dentist?). … Continue reading Sometimes “Good” Marketing Isn’t a Good Idea

When Good Service Brands Go Bad

Think of brands known for service and you think of Nordstrom, Enterprise Rent a Car, Ritz, Virgin Airlines, Zappos, Starwood. These are brands known for differentiating themselves by their service DNA. And yet, sometimes even the brands that are known for getting it right, get it wrong. Somehow this is even more devastating then if they had just not been “service focused” to begin with as it’s a break in the brand promise. You feel a bit mislead, fooled and disappointed. Or at least I do. In fact, it makes me angry. Case in point – a recent bad travel day I had … Continue reading When Good Service Brands Go Bad

History Repeating

My mom has a long history with Sears Roebuck & Co. She has always shared stories about how exciting it was when the massive catalog arrived at their doorstep with a thud, initiating near fist-fights between her and her brothers over who got to browse its’ pages first. They would dog-ear the pages that contained their coveted treasures and hope Mom and Dad would remember when their birthdays came around. Later, when a store opened near them it was an exciting destination because Sears sold everything they needed – all in one store. Tools for Pompa, seeds for grandma and … Continue reading History Repeating

A Delightful See’s Candies Experience

Yesterday I had a totally unexpected and absolutely charming customer service/brand experience that still makes me smile to think about. I was in the Bay Area on business and noted a See’s Candies store. I have distinct emotional memories of See’s Candies from when I was a little girl – a good friend’s grandparents would bring them from California on every trip to Chicago… and I was always the secondary beneficiary of these magical chocolate suckers that were always in short supply and were an absolute treat! So random to see the store as I hadn’t thought about the brand, … Continue reading A Delightful See’s Candies Experience