marketing

The Evil Downside of Gift Cards

This past holiday season I saw probably one too many articles trumpeting the value of gift cards to retailers and how they are a great thing for retailers. My skeptic side starts coming out as I see article after article appear, and I have to start asking "Is the increasing prevalence of gift cards as a holiday gift (primarily Christmas) a good thing for retailers?"

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Starbucks and Big Tobacco

Back in the 1950's smoking was glamorous, and just about everybody who was anybody smoked cigarettes. Then came the discovery, to the shock of millions, that sucking smoke into your lungs might not be good for you. Then came another revelation that one of the substances in tobacco, nicotine, which was used as a poison by the Egyptians during the times of the Great Pyramids, is addictive. People then began a mass exodus from the consumption of nicotine via inhaled smoke.

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Why the World Cup is a Big Deal

After living overseas in Germany and England and now coming back to the United States, I have a completely different perspective on Football (or Soccer as we call it in the United States). With the World Cup in full swing, I thought I would tackle the subject of Football and why it is the most popular sport in the world.

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Credit Card Shenanigans

It must be great to be in the credit card business in the United States. Demand is relatively inelastic and regulation is lax, so you can charge whatever you want for an interest rate, increase your fees once or twice a year, and make additional money off cash withdrawals and foreign exchange transactions.

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Building an Experience

As people become ever more immune to traditional advertising and marketing, branding will become more important. Branding is all about building an emotional connection with customers. Making the decision to follow a strategy focused on building a brand is not without peril, however, as it means that you will have to choose to not do certain things, like pursue a low price strategy.

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