Friday, April 29, 2016

Note to Century 21 - daily emails? Unsubscribe me.

I know that marketers are very excited by email marketing, but daily emails?  Really? 

I guess there may be some people who want them, but I'm not sure who they would be.  According to a 2015 survey 53% of consumers report that getting too many emails is the reason they unsubscribe - so I guess the other 47% are ok with how many they are getting.  Or not.  I think it's far more likely that they are dumping them into an email account that they have created for just that purpose and are ignoring them. (Schiff, 2015)

I read somewhere that you should send the most emails to your newest customers and oldest.  Perhaps that explains the daily emails to new customers.  But since you have no idea what a new customer wants you can't personalize the emails in any way so they simply become more spam filling my inbox. 

Not that Staples, who I have been doing business with for over a decade, is doing any better.  Saying that an offer is "Just for You" and including items I have never bought is ridiculous.  And sending me coupons that aren't good for my preferred brand of ink are insulting.  I've been a part of your loyalty program for years.  Why aren't you looking at my past purchases properly? 

When I tried to manage my subscription the choices were limited to reducing frequency to two times a week.  Not good enough.  What I really want is an email once a month for something I actually might buy.  Is that too much to ask? 

And as far as Century 21 is concerned, I will be unsubscribing as soon as I finish writing this blog.  I hope they haven't already sold my email address to a million other people so that they too can annoy me with emails I don't want.  But I imagine that ship has sailed.

Quick follow-up: When I tried to unsubscribe from C21 they would not allow me to!  Instead the best option I could find was reducing frequency to once a week.  What are they thinking?  The reason I joined the program in the first place was that I intended to do more shopping with them in the future.  Pissing me off is not a good way to start a new relationship.  I may need to reconsider.

Schiff, J. (2015, March 24)  Top 7 reasons people unsubscribe from your email list.  retrieved April 29, 2016, from

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sorry Coca-Cola, I don't think this ugly new can design is going to save you.

After five straight quarters of increases in soda volumes, due no doubt to the clever packaging personalization effort, volume was flat in first quarter 2016.  And flagship Coke volume declined in every region except Asia.  (Esterl, 2016)

Coke's solution - a new global advertising campaign begun in January doesn't seem to be helping.  So here comes a can redesign. (Lukovitz, 2016)

Ugh.  The new design doesn't appeal to me and I don't think it's going to address the wave of concern about health issues associated with sugary drinks that's the underlying cause of the decline in soda sales.

Worse yet, it may negatively impact the success of Diet Coke in the US because consumers will no longer be able to recognize the brand.

Perhaps they should have looked a bit more closely at the epic fail of Tropicana's package redesign n 2009 before making the move.

Esterl, M. (2016, April 21)  Flat Soda Consumption Hits Coke.  Wall Street Journal.  pB3 

Lukovitz, K. (2016, April 19)  Coca-Cola Unveils Global 'One Brand' Packaging.  retrieved April 21, 2016, from

Zmuda, N. (2009, April 2)  Tropicana Line's Sales Plunge 20% Post-Rebranding.  Retrieved April 21, 2016, from

Friday, April 8, 2016

Campbell's says their cans will be BPA free by 2017... gee I thought they already were.

In 2012 Campbell's promised to eliminate BPA from its can linings.  I didn't realize it would take five+ years.  I guess the linings other companies are using in Europe weren't good enough for them.

They say the new linings which use acrylic or polyester linings will be safer.  I'm not sure that I believe that.  Why would one petroleum based product be better than another?  In fact, they could be worse, but we don't know it yet.

Truthfully I took Michael Pollan's advice back in 2007 and eliminated all processed foods from my diet.  And I won't be going back.

But my bigger question is whether it makes sense for companies to even release information that involves making their products healthier and safer.  Are they just drawing attention to a problem that most consumers were unaware of?  There seems to be a spate of announcements like this coming out lately.  And, they all make me wonder what they aren't telling me.

So perhaps the best approach is the one that Kraft recently took with their Mac & Cheese.  They reformulated the product to replace artificial dyes, waited several months, sold 50 million boxes, and then shared the news. 

Here's the commercial...

Very interesting.  And I think it will be far more effective then telling me what's wrong with your product and then waiting 5 years to fix it.  What do you think?

Lukovitz, K. (2016, March 29)  Campbell Says Its Packages Will Be BPA-Free By Mid-2017.  Retrieved April 8, 2016, from

Kell, J. (2016, March 7)  Kraft Mac & Cheese Changed Its Recipe And Nobody Got Mad.  Retrieved April 8, 2016, from