Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

The Consumer Lab is the consumer insights and brand strategy group at Alcone Marketing Group, a consumer activation company.

DIY Enthusiasm Dims As More Women Say ‘Do It For Me!’

MediaPost Publications – DIY Enthusiasm Dims As More Women Say ‘Do It For Me!’ – 07/31/2008

Vertis Communications’ Scott Marden thinks there are actually plenty of opportunities for home-improvement stores. Its research found, in fact, that these stores are still shoppers’ favorite starting point, with 57% turning to large home improvement stores first for home-improvement needs.

Filed under: Consumer, Customization, Home Improvement, shopping, Women

Rooms to Stop the Young From Straying – NYTimes.com

Rooms to Stop the Young From Straying – NYTimes.com

The rec room, once a wood-paneled corner of the basement with a dumpy couch and a TV with rabbit ears, is enjoying a revival in more upscale form. The space that parents cringed at the thought of entering and adolescents couldn’t wait to escape has been reimagined, largely by affluent suburbanites, as a haven of home theaters, stylish furniture, stainless kitchens and spa bathrooms — all deployed as lures to keep teenagers at home.

Filed under: affluent, Customization, entertainment, families, kids, Teens

Keeping Pace: The Evolution of Marketing and Branding

The 2.0 world is evolving rapidly, creating new promotions and
marketing opportunities such as RSS feeds, podcasting, blogging,
talking avatars and widgets everywhere.

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Keeping Pace: The Evolution of Marketing and Branding
In the digital space, the world of marketing and branding is constantly changing. New technology developments are prompting companies to take a fresh look at the ways they reach and interact with their vendors and customers.

Filed under: advertising, Blogroll, Consumer, Customization, digital, entertainment, gadgets, interactive, Internet, Media, Promotions, technology, trends, UGM, viral, websites, widgets

Peapod Intros NutriFilter Software To Online Grocery Shopping

Peapod is using a new technology that will allow shoppers to view nutritional information per SKU by clicking on a product image online. This will help people with special dietary needs or preferences get both the information and nutrition they need and are looking for in a simple way.

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MediaPost Publications – Peapod Intros NutriFilter Software To Online Grocery Shopping – 04/07/2008
IF DIETARY DILIGENCE ALONE CAN affect peanut allergies, celiac disease and heart disease, Peapod’s new proprietary software program has the antidote to anaphylaxis, intestinal damage and cardiac arrest.

NutriFilter scans the nutritional information for the online grocer’s 10,000 SKUs and shows shoppers with celiac disease, for instance, only gluten-free goods. Specific dietary needs coded into the product include gluten-free, organic, peanut-free, low-fat and Kosher. Other common diets will be added in the future.

Filed under: Consumer, CPG, Customization, food, health

Burger King Whopper To Be Feted

Burger King plans to build Whopper Bars in places like casinos, airports and other venues with limited space.

The menu and size of the Whopper Bars will be smaller than a typical
Burger King, but they will sell Whoppers not typically available at all
times in the chain’s traditional restaurants. Executives say they
haven’t finalized the menu, though it could include as many as 10 types
of Whoppers, such as the Western Whopper, the Texas Double Whopper and
the Angry Whopper, a version topped with spicy onions. One menu sketch
has a section called “Pimp Your Whopper,” where patrons can chose from
additional toppings like jalapeno peppers, bacon and barbecue sauce.

~A

Burger King Whopper To Be Feted – WSJ.com
MIAMI — Burger King Holdings Inc. plans to start building a new version of its restaurants this year called the Whopper Bar that will sell a wider variety of its signature hamburger in a hipper setting.

The menu and size of the Whopper Bars will be smaller than a typical Burger King, but they will sell Whoppers not typically available at all times in the chain’s traditional restaurants. Executives say they haven’t finalized the menu, though it could include as many as 10 types of Whoppers, such as the Western Whopper, the Texas Double Whopper and the Angry Whopper, a version topped with spicy onions. One menu sketch has a section called “Pimp Your Whopper,” where patrons can chose from additional toppings like jalapeno peppers, bacon and barbecue sauce.

Filed under: Consumer, Customization, food, Men, Young Adults

Trendspotting: Fashion E-Tailing Gets Personal

Expect companies that continue to try and find fit solutions to do well, even if
bigger companies can’t. “There is definitely a frustration among women that one
size is not the same from brand to brand, and with sizing in general,” says Ciri
Fenzel, of Breathe Retail Consulting, based in Washington, D.C.

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MediaPost Publications – Trendspotting: Fashion E-Tailing Gets Personal – 01/21/2008
CUSTOM-MADE CLOTHING USED TO BE reserved for the rich–think pretentious executives craving perfect shirts. Or the unfortunately shaped–picture your local tailor, gently letting out waistbands all around the neighborhood. Or else it is something pursued by slightly zany fashionistas, including all those nonconformist teens arduously gluing tiny crystals to their iPods, cell phones and sneakers.

For the most part, however, every time a mass marketer has tried to reach out to these individualists, it hasn’t exactly caught fire. Burger King may let customers have it their way, but most clothing marketers can’t pull it off.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Filed under: Consumer, Customization, fashion, online retail

Latest Luxury: The Store Concierge

High-end retailers are installing concierges in the race to attract customers and set themselves apart.

~A

Latest Luxury: The Store Concierge – WSJ.com
Not long ago, Mark Krug, a concierge at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, dealt with a panicked hotel guest who had arrived at 10 p.m. in an irreparably ripped pair of pants.

The executive had an important business meeting the next morning and needed new slacks to match his suit jacket. Mr. Krug knew exactly what to do. He dialed the cell phone of the concierge at the Dallas store of luxury retailer Barneys New York. The concierge, Gary Jackson, who goes by the name Jackson, opened the locked store, scooped up some potential selections and brought them to the hotel by 11 p.m.

Filed under: Consumer, Customization, luxury, trends

Luxury-Car Sellers Put on the Ritz

For dealers that sell the three top luxury brands — Lexus, BMW and
Mercedes — building palace-like showrooms is also just about the only
way to grow. Many of these dealerships offer services such as manicures, coffee bars, massage chairs and other luxurious amenities to draw in super-rich customers.

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Luxury-Car Sellers Put on the Ritz – WSJ.com
For many people, a trip to the auto dealer means a mind-numbing hour or two in a plastic chair with some tattered magazines and stale coffee.

But some major auto retailers are starting to change that, at least for buyers and owners of luxury vehicles. In the past year or so, several dealership chains have begun giving their luxury-car showrooms multimillion-dollar makeovers. The goal is to create the look and feel of five-star hotels for customers, increase the dealerships’ car allocations and even make it less likely that rival dealerships will pop up nearby.

Filed under: auto, Consumer, Customization, luxury

A Web Site for Pet Lovers, and Marketers Who Love Them

NBC Universal and Procter & Gamble have set up a Web portal that
looks something like a Yahoo or AOL for pet owners, with a bit of
Facebook and MySpace thrown in.

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A Web Site for Pet Lovers, and Marketers Who Love Them – New York Times
KNOWING that you can never underestimate people’s love for their cats and dogs, NBC Universal and Procter & Gamble have set up a Web portal that looks something like a Yahoo or AOL for pet owners, with a bit of Facebook and MySpace thrown in.

The site, Petside.com,
offers a full menu of information about dogs and cats, from the serious
(how to diagnose your pet’s illnesses) to the silly (funny animal
videos). There are links to shopping sites (like Petco.com)
and articles about topics like what to do if visitors are allergic to
your pet (hint: vacuum). Visitors are encouraged to set up social
networking profiles in order to meet other pet owners.

The companies that set up Petside.com plan to share the advertising
revenue. Procter & Gamble is already planning to market its Iams
pet food and Febreze air freshener there, and NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric,
is promoting some of its programs. Petside will also be linked to a
pet-specific site in NBC’s iVillage site and promoted weekly on the
“Today” show.

Filed under: advertising, Branded Entertainment, Consumer, content, Customization, digital, dogs, Internet, living target, pets, social networking, websites

The New Advertising Outlet: Your Life

But many large marketers are taking huge chunks of money out of
their budgets for traditional media and using the funds to develop new,
more direct interactions with consumers — not only on the Internet, but
also through in-person events. Adventurous companies like Nike
have been experimenting with these alternatives since the 1990s. But
now, even the most conventional marketers are making these alternatives
a permanent — and ever bigger — part of their advertising budgets.

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The New Advertising Outlet: Your Life – New York Times
STEVE SAENZ used to run a 10K race in 36 minutes. But last spring — 20 years, 2 children and 50 pounds later — he found himself seriously out of shape. A new Web site from Nike, he says, has brought him back on track.

Since April, Mr. Saenz, 53, has been running with a Nike+, a small sensor in his running shoes that tracks his progress on an Apple iPod he carries. After each run near his home in Louisville, Ky., he docks the iPod
into his computer and posts details of his run on the Nike+ Web site.
There, he has made friends with other runners around the world who post
running routes, meet up in the real world and encourage one another on
the site.

Nike’s famous swoosh is there all along. For Nike, this is advertising.

“It’s
a very different way to connect with consumers,” says Trevor Edwards,
Nike’s corporate vice president for global brand and category
management. “People are coming into it on average three times a week.
So we’re not having to go to them.”

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, Customization, digital, exercise trends, experiential, interactive, Internet, social networking, technology, trends

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