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

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

The Art of the Up-Sell

For a very brief and slightly dark time in college I waited tables at Bennigan’s. For some reason I had a romantic notice of working there. I think it came from 1980’s Brat Pack movies. I thought it would be uber social, with lots of slow motion laughs around a big Cheer’s-like bar and hot guys curious to know who the cute new waitress was (in her green apron and “flair” buttons? What the heck was I thinking?). Of course my fellow wait staff was mostly college drop outs that got stoned in their cars on breaks and bitter single … Continue reading The Art of the Up-Sell

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

Email and the Demise of a Civil Society

Have you ever noticed how rude people can be when communicating via email? Especially when the email is to an unknown recipient. It’s as though we’ve all forgotten that there is still a real person on the receiving end of every email. Slipped our minds that our complaint, issue, concern or frustration has to be taken in by a human in order for a response to be generated. Like we have a hall pass to toss out all social norms just because there is no intimate connection with the recipient. Ironically, it’s very likely that the person manning the support … Continue reading Email and the Demise of a Civil Society

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