retail news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB reader Robert Wheatley wrote:

Your FaceTime post today lands squarely on the essence of best practices in marketing strategy: uniqueness and differentiation. Disrupting the category go-to-market norms – said in another way zigging when everyone else zags – is the lynchpin to owning a place in the consumer’s mind (the Holy Grail of marketing outcomes). We find in many consumable product categories there is rampant sameness between entrants whose messaging and behaviors tend to run together like a pack.

The courageous marketers work to upend the rules and look for ways to rethink the conventions to both separate and elevate themselves from the other brands. The litmus test of doing this well must include observing the rule of relevance. Unless your solution sits squarely in the wheelhouse of what benefits and matters to people buying your product, and works to enhance their experience and lives, then its tough to make it stick.

Nicely done, Kevin.

Yesterday we took note of a Fast Company piece about how Ikea, which has faced some significant product safety issues in the past, is investing in a new "Safer Homes" initiative, described as a suite of tools and activities "geared toward helping create a safer life at home for families and children." However, the story suggests that the initiative may be more aimed at shifting responsibility than it is at insuring customers' safety.

One MNB reader responded:

I know safety is an important topic but my mind went immediately to this Jeff Foxworthy quote…

“When I was a kid, my parents had a 900-pound television on top of a TV tray. My dad's theory was, "Let him pull it on his head a few times, he'll learn. You wanna put a penny in the light socket? Try that out. OHH! Hurt like hell, didn't it? Don't do that no more."

And finally, when commenting on the story about scotch being available in Tide-style pods, I asked hat would happen if I tried to wash my clothes in Glenlivet.

MNB reader John Rand had an answer:

One rather hopes they would all come out in Tartan plaid.

Boom! (We'll be here all week…)
KC's View: