Paper Dinosaurs – An Update


Back in 2015 I examined whether catalogs were paper dinosaurs – Paper DinosaursMaybe someone in the marketing department at L.L. Bean read my post.

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Last week, L.L. Bean (for the record a 105-year-old brand) rolled out its “Be an Outsider” campaign utilizing a new website augmented by a digital movement.  In addition, this week they will introduce some new TV spots.  Their Senior VP of Creative indicated they were shifting from a heritage brand in catalogs to a product company.  They will be spending twice as much in back-to-school marketing dollars this year compared to last year.  Good move given the National Retail Federation is projecting that back-to-school, back -to-college spending will reach an all-time high of $83.6 billion, up 14.2% from 2016’s $75.8 billion.

Smart marketing L.L. Bean.  Will other paper dinosaurs go digital?  Save the trees!  



Forever Relevant – Brevity Works (12/28/09)

Millions of blog posts are published every day.  Among those that do attract readers, 55% of those readers will read the blog post for 15 seconds or less.  Some posts – forever relevant!

Brevity (noun): shortness of duration; shortness or conciseness of expression.

Read On:

  • Got Milk?
  • Just Do It!
  • “Don’t leave home without it.”
  • Twitter – microblog: 140 characters post.
  • President Obama’s campaign mantra in 2008 – Hope & Change (Change We Need
  • Google’s Mission – Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
  • Madonna.
  • Unfriending.
  • This blog.

Brevity Works!




Back in April, I provided detail about the official list of real issues compiled by the United Nations, specifically their online Twitter engagement.  Environment was ranked second.  Usually climate change dominates all Global environment conversations.  To me, we should be equally concerned about food security.  Environmental solution: Community!

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Food security is the state of having reliable access to sufficiently quantity of affordable, nutritious food.  The decline of food security will lead to Global social disruption.  Remember the event that triggered the Arab Spring?  Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire after he was banned by the government from selling fruit at his local market to earn a meager living.  The event sparked public protests throughout Tunsia; the rest is history.

“To build a better world, start in your community.”  Last night’s fortune cookie.

My fortune cookie reminded me of a great TED Talk by celebrity chef/scholar, Dan barber titled How I fell in love with a fish.  He speaks in depth about a fish farm in Spain with a sustainable ecosystem (note: worth googling).  At the end, he concludes we need a radically new agribusiness model; create conditions where every community will feed itself.

A great example of a food community project is Alaska’s Seeds of Change.  Located in Anchorage, it is a vertical, energy efficient hydroponic greenhouse that provides education and employment for young adults (16-24 years old) year-round.  Their leafy greens and herbs are sold at their local market, featured at a local restaurant plus delivered by Artic Harvest to Anchorage consumers.  A community project supplying fresh produce and building skills for future generations.

Are you engaged with a community project?     

The Professionals


One of my favorite TV shows is the documentary series on Japanese TV titled The Professionals.  Every week they feature professionals from various fields that share their viewpoints of what motivates them day in and day out.  This past week was about the tofu craftsman (a.k.a. tofu master), Takeshi Yamashita.

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Takeshi Yamashita is the owner of a small tofu shop founded 145 years ago (5th – generation).  In addition to cultivating his own soybeans, he utilizes a natural nigari coagulant in his manufacturing process that produces a delicate texture and rich flavor.  Thanks to decades of experimentation, Takeshi Yamashita has evolved into a renown Japanese tofu craftsman.

Some of his guiding business principles for success resonated for me as I watched the documentary:

  • His father told him to keep the business small and simple (a.k.a. boutique).
  • An avid reader of philosophy, he quoted Aristole: “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
  • At any age, 40, 50, 60, etc., you need to have intellectual curiosity to truly experience the “Joy of Living.”

What are some of the key attributes you think are important in becoming a true professional?

Intercept Marketing 2.0


The original concept of intercept marketing was to provide products/services to capture incremental sales in locations your consumers frequented during their daily routines– FedEx drop boxes, Godiva chocolate bars at Macy sales counters, etc.  Get ready for intercept marketing 2.0.

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Intercept marketing 2.0 will be the utilization of app partnering for complementary brands.  The Weather Channel app is the latest app to integrate complimentary services (e.g., Uber, Groupon, Caviar, etc.) next to their weather forecasts using location-based context.  Weather affects everyone as they plan their daily activities.  Stormy weather forecasted, an Uber button will appear so you can schedule a ride.  Sunny, 75° weather forecasted, a Groupon button appears for local beer garden specials targeting thirsty guests.

Intercept marketing 2.0; smart marketing!



Lunch Shaming


My last post was about an innovative food waste solution – food-waste diversion.  Today I would like to share insight about a source of food waste that is a result of lunch shaming, a byproduct of our government’s inability to manage school meal debt.

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What is lunch shaming?  It is when a school cafeteria employee is instructed to either substitute a hot lunch with an alternative (e.g., white bread cheese sandwich) or throw out the meal if the student has an unpaid school lunch bill.  In some cases, it has been reported, cafeteria workers stamp the arms of children (“I Need Lunch Money”). Embarrassment, embarrassment, embarrassment – lunch shaming!

In 2014, the Department of Agriculture reported that approximately half of all school districts used some form of shaming to compel parents to pay bills.  Last year, the School Nutrition Association surveyed 1,000 school lunch programs and reported that 75 percent of the districts had unpaid meal debt.

School meal debt management is a serious and debatable issue that needs to be resolved.  Lunch shaming (especially throwing out hot lunches which is contributing to the current food waste problem here in America) is mean spirited!

All comments welcomed!


Food Waste (a.k.a. Garbage) Diversion


I have expressed my concerns regarding food waste, thus praise innovative solutions to reducing America’s food waste – the last time was LeanPath and their leader Andrew Shakman back in 2015.  Today I would like to address the successful trends in the food-waste diversion industry.

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An innovative solution that is gaining momentum is known as food-waste diversion, converting what is considered waste (e.g., spent grain the byproduct of brewing beer, juice pulp, ugly fruit, etc.) into viable food products (e.g., snacks, jams, etc.).  ReFED, a non-profit coalition recently released some food-waste diversion data which revealed that only 11 companies existed in 2011; currently there are 64 established companies.  Overall these enterprises have diverted thousands of pounds of waste that normally goes to landfills, a major source of greenhouse emissions.  Note: It is estimated that 63 million tons of food are wasted per year in the U.S.

Food-waste (a.k.a. garbage) diversion is a starting point.  Do you have any innovative food waste stories to share?