Monday, June 30, 2008


Premium products should be available through a channel that has an upscale or premium image. Brands spend a considerable amount of time and money creating an image [a story] for consumers.

When a firm gets the items below to align, there will be synergies for lack of a better word.
  • Right product
  • Right place
  • Right promotion
  • Right price
  • Right image
  • Right positioning
  • Right consumers
When a firm gets these right they are hitting on all cylinders. Sales can reach their potential and perhaps even surpass them. How is that possible you ask. People outside the target market will see what a remarkable [Purple Cow] thing you have and they will be drawn to it.

The reason for this post is what arrived in the mail today [See picture nearby]. You get them too, sales promotion fliers and coupons. The one that jumped off the page was for Sanders Desert Topping. Here in Michigan, Sanders has been around almost forever. It is positioning to be a premium product and brand.

The problem comes from the retail channel. The ad [see page 4] was for ACO Hardware. ACO has super deals on food products in their ads. Regular price is $5.99 and the sale price is $3.99, a $2 savings. ACO and Sanders will probably move a lot of product with this coupon. The inclusion of an expiration date also adds to the consumers sense of urgency for fear of missing out on a good deal.

Upscale says limited availability, unique, quality, [fill in the blank]. There can be wide distribution and upscale. A good example is Burt's Bees products. They have [or have had] solo displays in CVS, Borders and other stores.

It appears that Sanders is purposely pursuing this channel. To get in the ad the manufacturer generally has to pay in some way. Price discounts for bulk buying for example [discounts devalue brands]. This reduces margins while at the same time increases the velocity of product movement. Short run profit may increase but adversely affect brand strength. Sanders would be better off not distributing in this channel.

What are your thoughts on branding and distribution channels?

Sunday, June 29, 2008


"Idle ideas are worthless, implemented ideas may be priceless."

This was a thought created during a bike ride earlier today. Below are several Edison quotes that relate in some way.

"The value of an idea lies in the using of it." Thomas A. Edison 

"To have a great idea, have a lot of them." Thomas A. Edison

Friday, June 27, 2008


This is a rather gloomy assessment. Hopefully there is some good news that is just over the horizon and not yet on radar.

The stock market expects the future to be less profitable. Market is down big time this week.

Oil closed above $140. High oil & gasoline prices will probably be a strain for some time [3-6 months +]. Not seeing $1.999 gas any time soon. The station here in town has regular 87 up to $4.199 [6/27/08]. This was a jump of 20 cents from yesterday [the price had fallen 6 cents in the previous 24 hours].

Taxes look to be going higher not lower.

Unemployment is 5.5%. It jumped .5% as the most recent move. Will probably increase for the rest of the year. It may hold steady for a month or two but the trend is for higher unemployment to close out the year. Prediction is 5.9% - 6.1% unemployment to close out the year.

What else may happen...
  • Firms will have lower profits in the second half.
  • Shareholders will demand that management fix it.
  • Management will cut costs [add more technology and reduce payroll].
  • This will increase productivity and should help margins a bit.
  • The folks who are unhired will have trouble finding replacement income.
  • Consumer spending will drop.
  • Sales and profits will fall.
What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


This past Friday [June 20] at a likemind event [Zaccaro's Market] in Detroit, Michigan I received a copy of Buying In by Rob Walker. Started reading it on Monday. Hope to have it read by mid July. Seems like it is going to be a great read from the first ten or so pages.

If the book proves to be better than average it will probably be read at a faster clip. Doing some underlining in the book. Might post some thoughts and notes upon completion. If you have a chance, stop in a book store and give it a few moments of your time.

Also met some great people at the likemind event. Was shocked that we were there for three hours and forty-five minutes. Time flew. Connected with most of the attendees on Twitter now.

Here are a few Rob Walker links of potential interest.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Detroit People Mover
in action near Cobo Arena. You can see the Renaissance Center in the background. Look at the big GM logo.

The GM River Days was going on. Since I was on a bicycle it was mostly off limits to me. WOW for what the city of Detroit has done with the River Walk. Very impressed. Might post further thoughts and pictures of the River Walk in the future. Read about it here and here


Interesting combination. Human food plus fish food in the same place. In all fairness, there are some good fishing spots nearby. If the fish aren't biting you can stop back for lunch or dinner.

Google Maps information: Map is here.
3000 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI
(313) 567-7427

If you have been here before, what are your thoughts?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Earl Nightingale: "Our rewards will always be in exact proportion to our service."

Full quote and many others can be found here.

What are your thoughts on rewards being in direct proportion to the value of the service we deliver?


Not sure why people are running Google image searches for Jets + Pizza. It appears that a picture from one of my posts is coming up on the first page of image results. Lots of new hits, all coming from the same search. There has to be a reason why geographically dispersed people are running this search.

It will be interesting to see what news comes out regarding Jet's in the coming days and weeks.

Monday, June 16, 2008


David Pogue of the New York Times has an important message for folks with mobile phones.

"How to Block Cellphone Spam
If I told you that today’s e-column would change your life, would you mind that it’s sort of short?"

Really good stuff on how to block unwanted SPAM SMS messages that you end up paying for.


There have been a bunch of hits on the blog today.
The referring link is below.

If you came to the site this way...
  • How did you get to the referring page?
  • What were you searching for?
  • Are you in the pizza, food or restaurant business?
Any comments and insights you provide will be greatly appreciated.


National Basketball Association related
Did not watch or follow last nights game between Boston and LA. This morning after it came to my attention that LA won game 5, I was wondering about the game. Did a Google search and came to CBS Sportsline. Usually go to ESPN or Yahoo Sports.

What I found is a feature not seen elsewhere and will definitely bring me back to CBS Sportsline. The feature is called "game flow." It shows the points scored on a graph. It indicated the spread and the pace of scoring. Rapid scoring will lead to a line that goes up faster than it goes to the side. A long drought of scoring by a team will be indicated by a flat line.

Next time you need some sports information check out CBS Sportsline.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


What are three things you are thankful for?
Below are three of mine.
  1. - Family
  2. - Friends
  3. - Opportunity
Take five minutes to write yours down.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

USA TODAY: "Cookies' place is crumbling to fruit as top kids' snack"

"Parents are beginning to clean up their nutrition acts when it comes to the snacks they serve their children, new data show.

Fruit is the most common snack for children under 6, and cookies are second. In 1987, cookies ruled and fruit ranked second, according to findings from the NPD Group, a market research firm. And kids today:"

Read the complete story HERE.

Wonder if the moms being tracked in 2005-2007 were more concerned about how they were to being judged on what they give their children.

There has been a backlash against many food products. Carbonated soft drinks, trans fats etc.

How did social pressure change purchase patterns and/or usage patterns. What would the scanner data say these moms bought before, during and after the 14 day reporting period?

What do you think?


Here are a few reasons oil jumped $10 in one day last week
  1. Hawkish comments out of Israel on Iran
  2. Unemployment increased .5% when a .1% increase was expected
  3. The European Central Bank made some statement that were interpreted as meaning higher interest rates sooner rather than later. This lead to a weakening of the US$. Oil is priced in US$.
These are the key factors that most likely lead to last weeks oil price spike.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, June 6, 2008


Markets are jittery today. Previous post on peak fuel prices should have held true. Prices will probably rise at a swift pace if panic overtakes the market.

Will have to analyze factors that are in play and previously were not included in previous post.


Oil rises more than $10 to record high

Some analysts forecast price could hit $150 a barrel by Fourt
h of July
NEW YORK - Oil prices shot up more than $11 to a new record above $139 Friday after Morgan Stanley predicted prices would hit $150 by the Fourth of July.

Analysis and posts are forthcoming as new information becomes available regarding this important story.

Also reported today was that US Unemployment rose to 5.5% for May. It was 5.0% in April and it was expected to rise 0.1%. See link for more details.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Monday June 2, 2008 was the last day of peak gas prices. The only fuel station in town had prices at $4.099 for what seemed like a few weeks. That was the highest price reached. The next day prices fell to $4.059 and this morning [6/5] they were $3.999. The national average price should begin to fall within the next few weeks. The slide will probably be gradual and where prices stabilize is any ones guess.

Lets hope for $3.50 soon then $3.00 by September and hopefully lower as the year progresses [If and when the US $ gains some strength, oil and fuel prices will fall further still].

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Q: What is the best desk/work station arrangement?
A: Unknown. Keep making adjustments and making it better each time.

Just made some adjustments to the work area. Added a wall shelf behind the desk to get infrequently used items off the desk. This allows them to be easily accessible when they are needed [IE not buried in a drawer].

The printer is on a file cabinet to the right of the desk and there is a small shelf unit to the left of the desk. An old school rotary phone occupies the top. Several pens are at the ready there as well.

What is on the desk?
  • HP dv4000 laptop
  • Clipboard with yellow legal pad
  • Wireless mouse
  • Small notepad station from Ikea [note: find refill pad soon]
  • Cross pen [fine tip]
  • There is also an adjustable desk lamp there as well.

What is your workspace?