The New Google Playbook

This week as much of the world noticed, Google unveiled a substantial number of new hardware products and an AI consumer-focused strategy linking things together. As was alluded to ahead of time, 10.4.2016 would be a day people will reflect upon in the future though clearly now not for the reasons many people might have projected. From my perspective, Google came out swinging and hard. They are finally taking a bold stance with their brand and it looks like there will be some considerable marketing to follow. While on the surface, it would be easy to draw some parallels to … Continue reading The New Google Playbook

Not surprisingly digital is driving in-store action … and for all ages. 

Being native to your audience is the most important part of any brand experience.  It’s not always easy but in order to be (or remain) relevant, you can’t swim upstream without a very clear brand purpose.  Retailers have to seriously play nicely in the sandbox because outside of a very select few (i.e. Amazon) you are not going to earn the right to space on a device. Good catch (as always) from Retail Dive on the latest report out of Deloitte … “Any retailer who thinks they can build their own personalized experience to interact with customers anywhere near the extent … Continue reading Not surprisingly digital is driving in-store action … and for all ages. 

Warby Parker’s Employee Enablement 

The company invented a process that invites all of its 800 workers to help manage the business. The new system, called Warbles, lets employees across Warby Parker nominate programming projects. Managers vote on them by assigning points to the tasks they think would add the most value. The programmers then get to pick the projects they’re most interested in, but they’re rewarded if they pick the ones with the most points. Teams of computer engineers compete to accumulate the most points, and after every quarter, the winning team gets a prize. Warbles has been in place for about two years, … Continue reading Warby Parker’s Employee Enablement 

Tim Gunn: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit American women.

I love the American fashion industry, but it has a lot of problems, and one of them is the baffling way it has turned its back on plus-size women. It’s a puzzling conundrum. The average American woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18, according to new research from Washington State University. There are 100 million plus-size women in America, and, for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts. There is money to be made here ($20.4 billion, up 17 percent from 2013). But many designers — dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply … Continue reading Tim Gunn: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit American women.

Amazon dramatically expanding retail presence through “pop-ups”

One interesting part about Amazon’s pop-up stores is that they’re run by the devices team, not the retail team that opened Amazon’s bookstore last year. The initiative is led by Senior Vice President of Devices and Services Dave Limp, who oversees everything from the Kindle to the Echo.  That means the push for more pop-up stores coincides with the success of the Echo, which is widely considered to be the next big hit product for Amazon. The Echo’s success has prompted rivals such as Google and, reportedly, Apple to develop competing versions. According to multiple sources, Amazon is increasingly putting … Continue reading Amazon dramatically expanding retail presence through “pop-ups”

Bringing Venmo to Merchants is full circle … and still faces real challenges

According to Quartz, Venmo will be enabling in-store NFC payments next year which will certainly be good for the loyal base of millenial and younger users they’ve acquired.  For PayPal, which is also enabling their core app, this will close the loop (no pun intended) and finally bring them from digital to physical.   Those of us who have been around long enough can recall some ill-fated prior versions of this journey.  You may (not) recall the initial version of Venmo which had an interesting feature called Trust which would allow you to operate with a merchant as though you had a … Continue reading Bringing Venmo to Merchants is full circle … and still faces real challenges