Tag Archives: Marketing

Welcome Home, Chip & Joanna!


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Image result for Martha Stewart Home Collection

Image result for Martha Stewart Home Collection

Home collections are just one of many product trends these days.  Whether it is sets of plates or bedding sheets, people enjoy purchasing home products from notable brands.  Some brands are basing their strategy around a particular celebrity.  For example, Martha Stewart collaborated with Macy’s to launch her Martha Stewart Home Collection for her audience.  The audiences that enjoy watching Martha Stewart will follow her brand and that includes purchasing goods from the Martha Stewart Home Collection catalog.

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But it isn’t just Macy’s that is collaborating with celebrities for product launches.  Businesses such as Walmart, Home Depot, Petco Store, Kmart, and even Target are working alongside with celebrities for their marketing strategy.  This marketing tactic is useful for two reasons – one is that it raises more awareness of the brands and two is that it increases their daily profits.  What’s also interesting about this strategy is how the two types of brands are flourishing in the long run (Martha Stewart’s collection brings awareness and raises profits for Macy’s and vice-versa!).  Martha Stewart is helping to bring more attention towards Macy’s department stores while Macy’s is drawing consumer’s attention towards Stewart’s brand.

Image result for Department Store Closing

Image result for Department Store Closing

It’s this kind of idea that help department stores thrive in the 21st century.  Department stores are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars and most brands are losing their business to the point where they have to declare bankruptcy.  With more consumers of the millennial generation shopping online and as retail shopping becomes an idea of the past, department stores are scouting for any game plan to drive in more business.  Target’s newest marketing strategy involves two celebrities from HGTV.

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Image result for hgtv Chip and Joanna

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Fixer-Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are collaborating with Target to launch their new product line called Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.  The and Hearth & Hand collection will feature over 300 products designed by the home-flipping duo.  Some notable items featured include tables, gifts, pitchers, vases, and other common household items.  Chip and Joanna’s newest home collection will release on November 5th.

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Image result for HGTV Fixer-Upper

Image result for HGTV Fixer-Upper

Chip and Joanna Gaines star in HGTV’s Fixer-Upper, a real-estate series where the duo ‘flip’ undesired homes into beautiful pieces of art.  Joanna acts as lead designer of the process while Chip manages the realty and construction aspect of the company.  With their powers combined, Chip and Joanna salvage undesired homes and showcasing them as how they always intended to be.  These flips help revitalize whole neighborhoods within the area.  The duo operates under their company Magnolia Homes, a design and remodeling business in Waco, Texas.

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Image result for Hearth & Hand Target

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia is another perfect case study where celebrities are utilized to further the company’s business agenda.  Target is driving more consumers into their stores by working alongside with Chip and Joanna Gaines to create a profitable home collection.  This home collection will definitely be more affordable (especially for millennials!) than their competitors are offering.

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I thought this HGTV+Target home collection collaboration was a fantastic idea!  I always liked the concept of businesses working with celebrities about endorsement deals.  Celebrities bring about tons of attention from the audience and they can certainly steer them towards another particular brand.  Target is definitely on the right path as far as driving more business goes.

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While I don’t watch Fixer-Upper too much, I do think Target is working with an intriguing marketing strategy for their business.  Consumers are much more different now than they were in the 20th century now that social media came into play.  Social media sites introduced consumers into a whole new way of conducting business.  For example, the concept of delivery services only applied to pizza places; nowadays, you can get all kinds of products delivered right to your door (including cannabis!).

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We’ve entered the digital age, with the brick-and-mortar concept slowly dying off.  Retail shopping is becoming a thing of the past and department stores are now being replaced by online sites.  It’s marketing strategies like Target’s collaboration with HGTV that shine the light of hope for the brick-and-mortar concept in this digital world.

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The Price-Gouging Parasite!


Image result for Hurricane gif

Image result for Hurricane gif

We’ve been having a slew of crazy weather around America these past few weeks.  First hurricane Harvey invaded Texas, flooding thousands of acres of land within the state.  Hundreds of thousands of people are still affected today and the state’s natural environment is heavily damaged.  Now we’re in the midst of the environmental PR nightmare that is hurricane Irma; a PR nightmare that is so strong that Man is losing its deep-rooted battle with Nature.

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Thousands of homes have been destroyed, people are migrating to better land, and food supply has already become dangerously low.  This dangerous shortage of food supply (or supply of any commodity for that matter) leads to the controversial tactic within the marketing/economic world known as price gouging.  To marketing and economic enthusiasts, price gouging is a taboo subject because of its drastic effect it has for the consumers.  It’s a strategy so horrifying, it can only be described as… The Price Gouging Parasite!

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Image result for Price Gouging

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Let’s start dissecting this dreaded monster within the marketing and economics world – price gouging is the event where the seller purposely spikes the goods, services, or commodities to an insanely price level.  Price gouging is considered to exploit the hidden dangers of the economic system, showcasing a worst-case scenario for its consumers.  Marketers don’t want to touch upon this provocative idea that occurs when marketing prices (Four P’s of Marketing: Product, Place, Promotion, and PRICE!).

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Image result for South Park chaos gif

Price Gouging usually occurs in the event of a natural disaster like hurricanes; in this case, it’s happening with Hurricane Irma.  Travelers are paying thousands of dollars for one-way tickets out of Florida, the scarce food supply becomes increasingly expensive due to such a large demand, and the communities themselves have become total anarchy.  This dark marketing/economic tactic is driving people insane, acting in animalistic behavior in order to satisfy their basic needs.  When basic needs such as food and shelter suddenly disappear, all HELL breaks loose for every living creature in the area.

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Now here’s where things get interesting – price gouging is LEGAL in sixteen states.  Thirty-four states enacted anti-price gouging laws with natural disasters being part of the exceptions.  Florida is one of those states as well as California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and even Hawaii.  More than half of the country set up anti-price gouging laws and the irony is that majority of states deal with natural disasters every year.

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Image result for Parasite Monster

Rather than just discuss this as price gouging, we should label it with its true identity – the Price Gouging Parasite.  Why is it called the Price Gouging Parasite you may ask?  Price Gouging is the idea of sucking up as much money from the consumer by setting an outrageously high price.  As the price rises higher, more profit is being sucked up into the system.  Think of it like a parasite sucking the blood from you skin, smooching up trillions of essential blood cells.  The more blood it sucks up, the stronger the parasite becomes and you grow even weaker.

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Just like that parasite sucking the life out of you, price gouging weakens your economic life.  It’s one of the dirtiest strategies within the marketing and economic world during a time of crisis.  What’s even more disturbing is how it feeds of people’s fears during these catastrophic events.

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So how do we deal with the Price-Gouging Parasite?  Where does this monster’s true weakness lie?  Is there a negotiable loophole that could put an end to it?

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Image result for Natural Disasters

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer towards defeating the Price-Gouging Parasite.  It’s inevitability during natural disasters makes this one tough monster to defeat.  As a hard truth to admit, price gouging is just something that’s bound to happen one way or another.  Whether it’s airlines charging travelers thousands of dollars or vendors jacking up prices for water bottles, the Price-Gouging Parasite pops up one way or another.

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As a consumer, you do have one alternative option – opt out of the purchasing process.  If you find that the price for your desired product is simply not worth it, then head off and find the same product with a lower price.  You, as a consumer, make the choice whether or not to go ahead with buying that bottled water or last-minute plane ticket out of the state.  These are frustrating choices to make, yet these are what you will have to choose during these chaotic times.

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And that right there folks, is what we are dealing with right now.  The Price-Gouging Parasite strikes once again during these times of environmental disasters.  Essential goods are becoming scarce, prompting human beings to initiate hasty decisions in order to survive another day.  This parasite sucks people dry, leaving many to fend for themselves.

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Here’s to hoping that Floridians survive another day in the midst of hurricane Irma.  All we can do is wait for the storm to pass so that the Price-Gouging Parasite is laid to rest.

Baked Binge-Watch Session with Disjointed!


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Happy summer everyone (or what’s still left of it!).  We’re creeping into September and the cool, crisp air is blowing over to Massachusetts.  Summer may be ending soon, but the silver lining is all of the new TV series airing in the fall.

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While I’m pumped for the newest seasons to hit next month (mostly excited for AHS: Cult to start!), Netflix is still releasing some television gold these days.  I got to learn about lady wrestlers with GLOW, dived deep into the gloomy money pit of Ozark, watched old friends get together with Friends From College, and encountered a vicious battle happening in Castlevania.  This month’s binge-watching adventure took me to a new stoner-sitcom series that is Disjointed.

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Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Disjointed released August 25th with Kathy Bates starring as Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, owner of a medical dispensary in Los Angeles.  Feldman employs her son Travis and a team of young budtenders to help run her dispensary.  The stoner-sitcom series was created by David Javerbaum and Chuck Lorre (Dharma & Greg, Cybill, Two & a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mom!).  Ten episodes were released with ten others slated to be released later on.

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

I haven’t been the biggest fan of the latest sitcom series that have aired these days, but Disjointed was surprisingly good!  It’s a sitcom comedy series that takes place in a medical cannabis dispensary.  The characters are really wacky (especially Ruth!) and they fit the stereotypical stoners that people usually think of.

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

What’s ironic is that the whole plot is a tongue in cheek scenario aimed at the cannabis culture (and it works too!).  From the trippy animated segments to the 4/20 smoke seshes, Disjointed has everything a stoner-sitcom needs to be successful.  Seeing Cheech & Chong drop by at episode ten was one of few guest spots I enjoyed as well.  It was definitely a go-to sitcom series after consuming some Blue Kush.

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Image result for Alternative Health Herbal Services West Hollywood

Image result for Alternative Health Herbal Services West Hollywood

Besides the series itself, Netflix created a genius marketing strategy along with the show’s release.  To promote the 4/20-friendly sitcom series, Netflix released 12 new cannabis strains the past weekend known as the “Netflix Collection”.  These 12 strains mirrored off of Netflix’s newest series and three of them are based off of Disjointed (which were Eve’s Bush, the Omega Strain, and Rutherford B. Haze).  Some of the notable strains that dropped were from highly-acclaimed series such as Orange is the New Black (Poussey Riot), BoJack Horseman (the Prickly Muffin), and even Arrested Development (Banana Stand Kush).  These Netflix-branded strains were sold at a temporary pop-up store over at Alternative Health Herbal Services in West Hollywood, California.  The sales may be over now, but it still made for an intriguing marketing strategy for promoting Disjointed.

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Overall, Disjointed ended up being a great series even though it went to pot (LITERALLY!).  The kooky hippy characters and far-out psychedelic animated segments really brought the show to HIGHER standards.  Most of the content pokes fun at the cannabis community with the stereotypical stoner characters and it ends up working well.  Their brilliant PR stunt promoted both the series as well as the cannabis industry.

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Image result for Netflix Disjointed

Cannabis-consuming audiences that are scouting for a new sitcom series should definitely start binge-watching Disjointed.  Chuck Lorre helped create some of the most timeless sitcom series and Disjointed is one for the new generation of sitcom-lovers.  Disjointed is definitely something to binge-watch after a nice joint!

#EmojiMovieFAIL


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Every now and then we hear about these crazy and ‘original’ ideas surfacing from Hollywood.  Whether it is a horrendous TV pilot that barely aired on ABC (like Imaginary Mary!) or a music mash-up that did not mix well with the audience at all.  Either way, these preposterous ideas do make for hilarious news stories.  We’ve had some amazing pop culture that is trending well and laugh at the terrible ones that flopped.

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Image result for Summer Franchise Films

Earlier this summer I discussed the problem of franchise films this summer (which you can read more about here).  Film ideas stemming from licensed franchises just isn’t cutting it anymore with the audiences.  These days I rarely attend the movies these days since there’s better selections on Netflix.  I thought I’ve heard of every moronic idea for films these days; that is, until I learned about…The Emoji Movie.

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Image result for the emoji movie

I am DEAD serious when I say this folks – we have a franchise film strictly on EMOJIS.  Emojis, as in, those ‘cute’ and ‘adorable’ pixelated messages people send to their contacts every day.  We have scrapped so far down to the barrel that we’re creating a storyline for cartoon picture of a heart that we use on our phones.

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Rather than ramble on about how god awful this summer film is, let’s get down to some intriguing points about this topic.  The Emoji Movie was a TERRIBLE idea for the summer and it’s finally time I explain (with two explanatory reason) what went horrifically wrong with this film.

Here we go….

#EmojiIdeaFAIL

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Image result for the emoji movie

First off, let’s discuss the monstrosity of this mundane film.  The story goes like this: Gene, a multi-expressional emoji living inside a teenager’s phone, sets off on his journey to become a normal ‘meh’ emoji just like his parents; basically, it’s a young character that goes on an adventure to search for himself (where he came from, what his original backstory is) so that his parents would accept him.  The concept of the story may sound intriguing, but its heavily boggled down by having the characters become emojis.

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This whole idea doesn’t work as a franchise film because it’s been played out thousands of time.  This cute and heartwarming type of story has been utilized so many times for films that now it’s being milked for something trite like emojis.  A repetitive theme used for the plot plus a tiresome trend like emojis equals one train wreck of a film.

#EmojiMovieMarketingFAIL

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Take a close look at the billboard for a minute or two.  Before I looked through Buzzfeed, I had NO clue what kind of message was even being relayed to me.  Hi-five me the popcorn July 28th?  Slap me the popcorn calendar?  WHAT DOES IT EVEN MEAN?!?

Image result for Emoji Movie Billboard

Image result for Emoji Movie Billboard

If you were just as confused as I was, you are not alone.  This billboard had audiences so perplexed about the message that they turned off from the whole idea itself (this is one of those scenarios that you DON’T want happening during your marketing promotion strategy!).  Even after the trailer released, the film was panned by many critics.  Some social media users were so outraged that they decided to ban the film altogether (one user called for a boycott simply because it was ‘dumb as fuck’).  Other than the franchise film itself being ridiculous, the promotional stunt failed to reach its audience.

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And there you have it, two explanatory reasons for why this god-awful film flopped with its audiences.  The Emoji Movie took viewers to a really watered-down and monotonous world of emojis and provided a cliched story about a young man searching for his home.  It is not interesting nor an original film to check out.  This is definitely one of those films to skip after blazing some good cannabis (I could never enjoy this even after a bowl of Citrix).

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Here’s to hoping that there’s a revived childhood classic franchise that is worth watching in theaters.  For right now, I’ll skip the ticket and take my movie-viewing experience over to Netflix.

Brandless: Simply Products, No Brand


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Brands can be found in every kind of product or service offered.  Whether it is the water bottle right on your desk or the mattress you are sleeping in, there is some brand identity attached to what you are currently using.  There is always some specific sign (whether it be a logo or picture) that showcases which company created the product.  Other than the artistic design, the other obvious reason for creating the brand identity is simply getting your name out there in the world.

Image result for Nintendo Logo

Image result for Nintendo Logo

Nintendo engraves their logo on all of their products, including their home consoles.  We all know that what Nintendo games look like since we are familiar with their logo.  Not only are we familiar with the logo, but we hear news about how the company is doing on a daily basis (thanks to PR!).  It just goes to show how important branding is in the business world.

Image result for Product without a brand

Image result for Product without a brand

But in another sense, what could products look like WITHOUT branding?  Are there such products that don’t have any branded image or logo attached to it?  Is there even such an concept such as ‘brand-less products’ that exist in this world?

Image result for Brandless

Image result for Brandless

To start off with that last question… YES there is.  In this technological-advanced 21st century, brand-less products DO exist.  Brandless, a company based in San Francisco and Minneapolis, was created in July 11th, 2017.  Their site provides customers with a wide variety of food and household products we use every day.  The catch? NO branded image or logo is presented within the product.

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Image result for Brandless

Image result for Brandless

These products may be brand-less, but their simplified design technique cuts the cost down.  A majority of these convenient items cost only $3, while some are on sale.  No branding work means the cost of the product decreases in value.

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For those of you who aren’t keen to the communications world of business, it’s time I discuss how branding works (we’ll just go with cereal as an example).  You get a national brand collecting a material from a source.  The company manufactures the product on a daily basis.  Clumps of the material get mixed together to get a type of cereal created.  Once a sample of the product has been made, it gets packaged into the unique design (THIS is where the branding comes in).

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The branded image/logo design was already created, so the cereal gets inserted into the bag.  You are getting the cereal you wanted, but you also take home the BRAND that made the delivery.  We rarely ponder about how many branded products we take home since we are busy enjoying what we purchased.

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Image result for Bottled Water

So what do we want to take home when we go shopping?  What do we NEED to take home at the end of the day?  Are we purchasing the product or the brand itself?

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It’s ingenious ideas like Brandless that make us stop and think about what kind of role branding has in the business world.  Brandless challenged the age-old concept of branded goods or services by providing products no identity whatsoever.  This idea goes outside the box when it comes to branding and works to showcase the low cost as well.

I really thought this was an interesting concept!  It’s definitely something cool that I stumbled on while roaming through the internet.  Brands are all around the city of Boston, so it was something different to see brand-less products.  This is something I could really get into if they opened a pop-up store (or one that’s fully operating!).

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In the end, Brandless went bold with their product design strategy by offering a brand-less concept.  While other brands lunged forward with updating their traditional brand image or logo, Brandless worked to sell the product itself rather than the glitz and glamour of the brand identity.  It goes to show that there IS an audience that doesn’t purchase products based off of their favorite brands.

If you’re a consumer that enjoys buying simplified products, check out brandless.com for some cheap products without a brand identity!