Friday, February 24, 2017

Do you shop for groceries online? Are you a Millennial?

My neighborhood used to have a 24/7 Korean deli on every corner.  Most of them are gone now.

My local supermarket, formally a Food Emporium, is now a Morton-Williams store.  They have remade the store entirely and in the process have narrowed the aisles so much that one cart barely makes it through, never mind two.  And even with just a basket, I find it uncomfortable and claustrophobic to shop there.  So I surmised that people probably aren't actually shopping there.

Therefore I was less surprised then I might have been when I saw that a new study from Clavis Insight found that 90% of Millennials shop for groceries online.  The figure drops to 84% for Gen Xers; still high enough to take note.  (Berk, 2017)

In fact, it brings a whole new meaning to the familiar phrase - "Who Moved My Cheese?"  Time for grocery stores to beef up their online/mobile game. 

Berk, B. (2017, February 17)  Study: A majority of millennials shop online for groceries.  Retrieved February 23, 2017, from

Friday, February 17, 2017

All boycotts and bumps are not created equal.

According to @grabyourwallet, @resistance controls 2/3 of the wealth in this country.  I'm not sure where that figure came from, but given the success of both the @grabyourwallet and @slpng_giants boycotts it certainly appears that this group has the financial strength to back up their promises.

Thanks to an ill thought out bullying attempt, Nordstrom's released data that indicated sales of Ivanka Trump products dropped 70% in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th weeks of October.  Wow.  Overall the brand was down 32% for the year.  (Gottfried, 2017)

LL Bean had flat sales in 2016 and is currently seeking a 10% headcount reduction.  (Anderson, 2017)  Uber and Under Armour are tripping over themselves to try to back track on their earlier support of  Trump.

On the other hand, Hamilton is still sold out, and Starbucks doesn't seem to have lost any momentum.  I guess you can't boycott something you never bought in the first place.

Fox News, up 35% in January 2017, (Katz, 2017)  is benefiting from Trump support, but CNN's audience is up 38%.  (Katz, 2017) and the "failing" New York Times, added more subscribers in the last three months of 2016 than all of 2015  (Rodriguez, 2017)  Saturday Night Live is having its best year since 1995, and Colbert is now beating Fallon in the late night wars.

In terms of the "Trump Bump," i.e. the effect of his tweets and comments on brands, it's a mixed bag.  Early comments negatively affected various industries, but Nordstrom's stock rose 4% on the news that they would no longer carry Ivanka Trump products. (Calfas, 2017)

I am reminded of the expression - "May you live in interesting times."  It's actually a curse you know.

Gootfired, M. & Kapner, S. (2017, February 11)  Internal Nordstrom Data Show Sales Decline for Ivanka Trump Brand.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Anderson, C. (2017, February 9)  L.L. Bean offers retirement buyouts to trim workforce by 10%.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Katz, A.J. (2017, January 31)  January 2017 Ratings: Fox News is No. 1. For 15 Consecutive Years.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Katz, A.J. (2017, January 31)  January 2017 Ratings: CNN Ranks No. 2 Across Cable News.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Rodriguez, A. & Mejia, Z. (2017, February 3)  Thanks to Trump, the New York Times added more subscribers in three months than all of 2015.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Calfas, J. (2017, February 8)  Nordstrom stock gains over 4 percent after Trump tweet.  Retrieved February 17, 2017, from

Friday, February 10, 2017

Twitter just made me want to buy something.

Despite the President's constant use of Twitter, the platform is not doing well.  It just reported its 10th consecutive quarter of lower revenue, and its stock price declined by 12%. (Poletti, 2017)

But I can't help wondering if there's an opportunity here that the company is missing.

Back in 2013, Pew Research noted that the typical Twitter user was an 18-29 year-old educated minority in a well-paying job, slightly more likely to be male than female.  (Bennett, 2013)

But a discussion with my NYU students last fall indicated that few of them were on it. 

Here's a blog with their comments...

It seems pretty clear these days that the most active Twitter users appear to be those engaged with politics -- in all likelihood a different audience.  And if indeed the platform is now attracting an older, more educated, wealthier target, that should be even easier for them to monetize. 

Which gets back to me.  Reading tweets on news sites got me interested enough to reengage with the platform.  When I did, they served me ads for The New York Times.  How appropriate.  And effective.  I am now a new subscriber.  Apparently I am not alone.  The Times has experienced a ten-fold increase in subscribers since the election.

Now if Twitter can just figure out how to make it work for them, they might survive.

Poletti, T. (2017, February 10)  Twitter tanks and becomes fodder for M&A chatter again.  retrieved February 10, from

Bennett, S. (2013, August 6)  Who Uses Twitter?  Young, Affluent, Educated Non-White Males, Suggests Data.  Retrieved February 10, from

Friday, February 3, 2017

I miss the horses already.

Last year's Super Bowl ads were a downer.  If the Budweiser spot is any indication, this year's commercials will be equally depressing.  I never thought I would long for sophomoric humor, but let's face it.  I could really use a laugh at this moment.

While pushing heritage and authenticity is a valid strategy, and all decisions are emotional, there is no indication that sad advertising actually works.

Here's a blog with student comments about the topic.

And here's a new link to the ad being discussed. (The old one isn't working anymore.)

And one for the new Budweiser Super Bowl spot.

So, what do you think?  Will this make you reach for a beer? Or do you want them to bring back the horses too?