The Value of Showmanship

Posted by on August 13, 2020 at 1:54 pm

Some products really know how to make an entrance. Originally posted on November 27, 2012. We’re taught never to judge by appearances. We all do it anyway. Our all-too-human tendency to judge a book by its cover surely is unfortunate from a social justice standpoint, but from a marketing standpoint it offers an opportunity not […]

TBT: Functional is so last-decade

Posted by on June 25, 2020 at 7:00 am

Originally posted July 15, 2014. Things have flipped. Not long ago the likes of Starbucks and McDonald’s enjoyed a competitive advantage by providing free onsite Wi-Fi. Today, that’s pretty much de rigueur. Providing onsite Wi-Fi is not so much a competitive advantage as not providing it is a competitive disadvantage. Likewise, offering mobile banking, once the sign of a forward-thinking […]

To the Swiftest Go the Spoils

Posted by on April 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm

WHEN YOU SEE WORDS like “estimate” and “90 percent” flung about without supporting data, it’s wise to assume you’re dealing with a guess landing somewhere between wild and educated. But when no less than IBM does the flinging, I’m inclined to pay attention. IBM recently suggested that 90 percent of all data has been produced […]

Zappos: Rhetoric and Reality

Posted by on February 22, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Lest I be misunderstood, let me state for the record that I love Zappos. I admire, perhaps even envy them. And I like shoes as much as the next guy. When companies attain preeminence, it is usually due to a convergence of factors. Surely Zappos is no exception. Being early to the game helped; with […]

Five Lessons from the Instagram Fiasco

Posted by on February 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm

You know the tale: Facebook acquired Instagram; members inferred from the revised agreement that advertisers could use their photos without paying or obtaining permission; Facebook replied, in essence, “No, no, no, you misunderstand, we would never do that”; Facebook changed (“clarified”) the user agreement; Instagram subscribers left en masse; and pretty much no one blamed […]