Wednesday, December 30

Favorite Blog Posts of the Year

I write a blog post virtually every day ... it's just a normal part of my routine at this point. It's a creative outlet that gives me great joy.

In particular, I do a lot of writing for Entrepreneur and Huffington Post, on various topics surrounding business, marketing, pop culture, and family. Sometimes all of the above!

I thought it would be fun to once again pick my favorite posts from the year, from these two venues. A year-end list, if you will, of what captured my fancy most. Ten of them to be exact.


Here goes ...

TEN ... Here's How To Boost Your Social Media Following: Begin with the basics, for any kind of brand.

NINE ... Is There a Difference Between a Brand and a Product?: You guessed it, the answer is yes! My mantra at work all year long.

EIGHT ... Lift Off Whoa!: A much-needed eye-opening flight.

SEVEN ... College Reunion - Going Home: One of my most read posts of the year about a life-defining event.

SIX ... Instead of Always Aiming to Win, Agree to Agree: A main philosophy that rules my life, and my book.

FIVE ... An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg: Respect, from one dad to another.

FOUR ... Are Those Your Kids?: We need to redefine the role of "parent," for all "parents."

THREE ... Do We Groom Ourselves on Social Media?: Perhaps it's time to remove the filter. I know I tried.

TWO ... A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: What you put out there makes an impact, back then and right now.

ONE ... Honesty and Acceptance Starts with Self: Taking a look at the man in the mirror isn't always easy. My most shared post of all time.

REI - Brand of the Year

Every year, at the end of the year, I highlight what in my opinion is the brand of the year. I give kudos to the one brand that to me either made a breakthrough, advanced their marketing, or made a difference. Or whatever I think made it stand apart that year.

While this year's pick didn't necessarily drive the biggest marketing moment of the year (it came in at #6 on my annual list), I do believe that it significantly brought its brand to another level, got people talking, and made a difference.

My pick this year is the retailer REI, specifically for its #OptOutside campaign around Black Friday.


This is a brand that honestly probably wasn't on many people's radar. It's a brand that is all about the outdoors. So it launched a campaign to close its doors on Black Friday, urging consumers (and its employees) to spend the time outside instead. The brand's website also gave some suggestions for how to spend that time outside. Well done.


The brand stood for something and it wasn't afraid to take a profit hit on the biggest shopping day of the year to make a statement. I've personally seen a lot of #OptOutside shopping bags ever since.

Sure, their management took some flack for creating a "stunt." Nothing wrong with a stunt in my marketing eyes, provided that it's tied to the brand's equity, which in this case is surely the case. And in this case, the brand was able to spark a national dialogue about Black Friday behavior two beats ahead of every other retailer who is also tackling the topic of extended hours, long lines, door buster promotions, and employee relations during the holidays. REI came out of the gate early, with an inspirational message.

It built its brand in the process.

Well done. Great branding. Amazing leap forward. Well-intended promotion!

What's your brand of the year? What's your experience? JIM.

Monday, December 28

Biggest Marketing Moments of 2015


(this article also appears on Huffington Post - click here to read it there)

I just love year-end lists! My fascination started as a kid when I'd listen to the year-end music countdown from Casey Kasem (if you don't know who that is, please don't tell me but feel free to click this link).

So clearly I can't miss a chance to do one of my own...the biggest marketing moments of 2015.

Here goes with my very own Top Ten list ... the brands that IMHO made the biggest splash this year.


TEN ... Holiday Red Cups at Starbucks: This annual adventure sparked a debate that most didn't even want to have. Intentional or not?

NINE ... Amazon Dash: A brilliant idea at the core of this brand's essence. At the push of a button.

EIGHT ... Racing Extinction: A moving tribute on an iconic screen. While I missed it in real time, I certainly caught the conversation.

SEVEN ... Hillary 2016: A new logo launches a new campaign for the Presidency. Amazing how a logo can say so much.

SIX ... REI #OptOutside: A bold move put this retailer on the map, and got others thinking. Holiday preservation?

FIVE ... Patti Labelle's Sweet Potato Pie: Lady Marmalade may just have saved an entire bakery. Selling like hotcakes minute by minute.

FOUR ... Burger King Peace Burger: A show of solidarity or a re-commitment to rivalry? Great use of social media to communicate across battle lines.

THREE ... Adele: She had us at Hello, and shattered records in the process. I finally jumped in.

TWO ... Tylenol #HowWeFamily: A blockbuster campaign brings back a blockbuster brand, jumping on a trend and leading the way. I was personally moved.

ONE ... Marriage Equality: A chance for brands to support their many consumers, and many took the chance. More than ever in history, just in time for this moment in history.

Anything I miss? What would be in your top ten? What's your experience? JIM.

Holiday Traditions Big and Small

This article is a part of my continuing series at Entrepreneur. Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience?  JIM

Friday, December 18

Butterfinger at the Super Bowl

Hello, Adele has a new album out. There's a major marketing force going on for the new Star Wars movie. And by the way, Santa Claus is coming to town.

So why on earth would be care about the Super Bowl?

Well there are a few brands that are trying to get us to care, with a few early release announcements of the intention to air campaigns during the big game. But let's be honest, if you are going to break through the clutter of what's currently going on, you're going to have to go big or you might as well go home.

Which is exactly what Butterfinger is attempting.


Just this week, the brand announced its Super Bowl presence by having a guy jump out of a plane mid-air, captured all on Periscope. As brands all rally around trying to figure out how to use the new venue, this brand comes out of the gate and shows us all how.



And then some. The best part, for me, is that they tied it all strategically to their campaign manta of #BolderThanBold. We've heard that before, to be honest, but at least the brand is being consistent in its approach as it uses new channels. We shouldn't care that it's reminiscent of Doritos, Taco Bell, Red Bull, blah blah, blah...the brand is breaking new territory with it.

Fortunately, Periscope recently added a play back feature so the content isn't immediately lost ... take a look at the announcement by clicking here.

To be clear, folks, this is just an announcement of an intent to advertise in the Super Bowl...proving that advertising in the big game is all about pre-game hype and post-game analysis. Being first with something new isn't so bad.

Who's up next? Hello!

What's your experience? JIM.


Wednesday, December 16

Sing Alongs

What is it with our fascination with Sing Alongs? Not just karaoke, but in the shower, the car, and in front of the mirror. We just love to sing along to our favorite tunes, and we love pretending we are on stage!

We can't help ourselves.

Which is why we are seeing the pop culture success of these sing along concepts, all of which I love equally ....

Jimmy Fallon does a bit where he sings along with famous artists singing their signature songs with only classroom instruments. He had me at Holiday with Madonna, but then Hello, here's Adele:



I guess I'm not the only one with the fascination...it seems that this is a genre where Jimmy Fallon is most comfortable. As the creator of Lip Synch Battle, the show has hosted many a sing along including this most recent version of Rhythm Nation:



Speaking of Jimmy Fallon, just this week he did this sing along with the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to much social media fanfare, par for the course given all of the Star Wars hype:



But enough about Jimmy, then there's Late Night Carpool Karaoke.  While I've never been much of a Carrie Underwood fan, would couldn't love her singing in harmony with herself:


Jesus Take the Wheel!

There is one big thing that separates these sing alongs that have come long before them...social media. The shareability is out of control, which is how I've gotten hooked to begin with.

Do you sing along? What's your experience?  JIM.

Tuesday, December 15

Monday, December 14

Sunday, December 6

2015 Holiday Video Advertising

It's been said that the holidays are "the most wonderful time of the year." I'd have to agree, both personally and professionally.

I love the holidays, as I have documented quite feverishly in my new book Out and About Dad.

But I also love the holidays because of all the marketing activity. Most retailers make a huge portion of their revenue and profit during the holidays, so it's fun to see them fight for consumer attention with elaborate campaigns...on-air, on the internet, and ultimately in-store.

Here are a few video advertisements that have captured my attention this season so far.

Brands in the UK are known for competing heavily with elaborate videos during the holiday season. Here is Sainsbury, a retailer in the UK, who knocks it out of the park. Let's face it, cats are hot on the internet, especially a CGI cat:



John Lewis, another UK retailer famous for its holiday videos, has no intention of being left behind this holiday season after a very successful 2014 season with the now infamous #MontyThePenguin:



This video from Edeka, the largest grocery chain in Germany, has some people crying, some people offended, and many people perplexed. It's a great story, although admittedly there is an uncomfortable twist. Whatever your take, there is some solid storytelling in here in line with holiday family gatherings:



Coca-Cola found itself in some controversy this holiday season with a video that perhaps had the best of intentions, but ultimately had to be pulled based on how many interpreted it. The internet dubbed it "the white savior" proving that the message really is in the eyes of the beholder:



Given the fact that it's still early December, I'm sure there much more to come this season. Stay tuned and send me some examples!

What's your experience?  JIM

PS - here's an extra for fun...a spot from an unlikely brand, PornHub. You may remember this brand from the Super Bowl, although its advertising was banned well before kickoff. In this spot, we see the business aggressively trying to elevate its brand by show casing that perhaps the generation gap no longer exists and perhaps showing how modern families relate to each other:


Friday, December 4

Uber Puppies


My family is full of dog lovers. We had dogs growing up and then we had a fur-kid of our own, Sophie, for twelve years when our kids were growing up. She was the light of our lives for twelve years. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her and miss her.

And while we yearn to have another, at this point in our hectic crazy lives we just can't swing it. We sit in hope that when the kids get out of college and grad school that they will take the plunge...and we can puppy sit as grandparents!

We've often talked about how fun it would be to just "adopt" a dog for a couple of days or so, just to get our fill. Soak up the love but not have the full time responsibility that comes from having, basically, another kid.

So you can imagine my sheer delight when I heard that Uber was partnering with local shelters in select markets to give you fifteen minutes of play time. Evidently this has been going on for months; can't believe I missed this!

Just like you can click to get a ride, you can now click to get a pup, or two. Of course, just in case you decide to extend your playtime to a permanent gig, there are adoption forms on hand and at the ready.

Click here to see a video covered by NBC News. "It's like delivering Christmas!"

Brilliant.

Brilliant for the dogs and the shelters to help give loving homes to deserving beings.

Brilliant for Uber to elevate its brand and honestly combat some of the negative commentary that's been put out there. I'm not sure anything except puppies could reverse search engine results around unions, surge pricing, and safety concerns.

Puppies, puppies, puppies!



To be honest, I'm not sure I'll partake because I have a feeling that puppy would be on a one-way trip and never go back. So I'll do it when I'm ready :)

Good going, Uber. Now that's a reason to light up the internet.

What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, December 1

No Friday in Black Friday


(this article also appears on "Huffington Post" - click here to read it there)

Black Friday has had a relatively long history of being one of the largest, if not the largest, retail sales day of the year. The name literally came from the fact that the Friday after Thanksgiving was typically the first day of the calendar year when retailers would start to make a profit. It was the day when their P&L went from red (losing money) to black (making money).

Hence the name Black Friday...the day when retailers went into the black.

Then Black Friday became a "thing" that retailers would promote to drive sales even further and further and further. To be honest, Black Friday has become exhausting as a result.

And I'm afraid to say that over time Black Friday has also become more of a loss leader than a day of turning profits.

This year I noticed a considerable shift, one that has been brewing for awhile now but has really changed Black Friday.

It's no longer just on Friday. It started to begin on Thanksgiving night, and then it kept going and going.

This year, I walked into a few stores on the Monday before Thanksgiving and all I heard about were Black Friday sales. All week long it was all about Black Friday sales. The sales even carried on after Friday. It's like Black Friday is now a total event, not a particular day in the year.

Same with Cyber Monday. It's typically been the Monday following Thanksgiving that online retailers have joined the sales party. Well now Cyber Monday was starting well before Black Friday, and then extending well past Monday.

It's enough to make your head spin. What day of the week is it?!?

Will this ever end? Maybe next year it'll just be a Black Sale and a Cyber Sale...just in time for the White Sales of January!

What's your experience? JIM.

PS - Maybe retailers could take a lesson in communications from this Japanese retailer and just get right to the point ....


Monday, November 30

Reese's Peanut Butter Trees

OK, so this makes me chuckle so I just have to share.

Reese’s Peanut Butter cups is facing a bit of a “social crisis” again, due to some disappointment in its holiday “tree” cups. The brand released, again, peanut butter cups shaped like trees to help us all celebrate the holidays. They've also done hearts and pumpkins for other holidays.

The problem is that many can't see the tree amidst all the chocolate and peanut butter. In fact many are seeing something quite different. And they are posting and sharing their opinions and pictures.


Ok, so the brand is taking liberty in how it defines its trees. I understand manufacturing and branding, so I get it. The general shape is there, but perhaps not enough definition to live up to expectations.

The brand handled the situation beautifully with a thorough social media comeback called #AllTreesAreBeautiful, and by responding directly to consumer complaints with style and a sense of humor. Well done.

What I don’t necessarily understand is how the brand didn’t anticipate the upset. Especially since it has gone through this in the recent past, with the same shape issues and the same social commentary.

Or maybe it did anticipate it!

I always say that when you are in marketing, “lessons learned” is a vital part of annual brand planning. You learn from the wins and losses each year, and you reapply to the next.

We are all talking about the brand - so I guess it's working. 

What do you think? What’s your experience?

Wednesday, November 25

Can One Pie Save a Bakery?


Can one single pie save an entire bakery? What about when that bakery is Walmart, the largest retailer in the world.

Evidently the answer is a resounding YES!

Many have been noting that the bakery section at Walmart has been lagging...lagging from lackluster products and lower sales. Well there's a new baker in charge who has set out to reverse a declining trend.

The reversal of fortune begins with an unlikely partner...Patti Labelle. Miss Lady Marmalade is quite the baker, as it turns out, and is most famous for her sweet potato pie. She's published the recipe and has even done the talk show circuit about her baking skills. Walmart reached out to her to see if she could start baking for them.



And baking she did...to the tune of selling one pie per second for 72 hours straight in preparation for Thanksgiving.

Didn't hurt that the diva has been receiving reviews like this one:


Seems like this just may inspire a whole lot of new goods in the baked goods aisle of your local Walmart.

Have you tried it? What's your experience?  JIM

Thursday, November 19

When Fashion Meets Pizza

I'll admit that I'm a bit biased on this one.

I'm a huge fan of Chef Marc Vetri. I've met him personally a few times and I've been to most of his restaurants in Philadephia.



I'm also a big fan of Urban Outfitters, home to retail brands Urban Outfitters, Anthropology, and Free People, with headquarters based in Philadelphia in the now retro cool Navy Yard. Urban Outfitters was my first fashion go-to when I moved to Boston right out of college. They had cool shirts that I could afford. Perhaps that's where my "cool shirt thing" started, come to think of it.



So you can imagine my fascination when fashion meets pizza, and I heard that Urban Outfitters is acquiring Chef Marc Vetri's restaurant group including Vetri and Pizzeria Vetri.

But it's beyond fascination, it's forward thinking. Brick and mortar retailing is dying, or at best on a major slide. So innovators in the industry need to evolve the shopping experience if they want to survive, and get any kind of ROI on their real estate.

So I am imaging, with this new company, fashion shows while dining. Dining while shopping. Cafes next to racks of cool shirts. Night life with night time shopping.



I mean, let's admit it ... shopping is much better after a couple of glasses of wine. And a slice.

What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, November 17

What's a Television?

While the execution of the film isn't so perfect, I love the concept of this new commercial from Time Warner Cable. What exactly is a television?

It's not really just a "television" anymore. The old-school definition is no longer relevant. You can watch television on virtually any screen from a handheld to a tabletop to a wall mount. It's all television.

Take a look:


Such a statement about the evolution of pop culture.

What's your experience?  JIM.

Sunday, November 15

Let's Ignore Our Differences

This article appears on Entrepreneur...all about acknowledging what makes us different and working to ignoring it.

Give a click here to give it a read.

What's your experience?  JIM

Friday, November 13

Adidas and the Mascot


With all the overly dramatic hype surrounding the scandalous "red cup" this week, I almost forgot to comment on the Adidas initiative that I think may have fallen off the radar but is certainly worthy of note and comment.

Adidas has offered to support any high school sports team who would like to change its reference to Native Americans. Evidently there are over 2,000 high schools in the US who use Native American references in their sports teams/mascots. Adidas will offer financial assistance towards re-naming, re-logoing, and re-executing a revised version.

Timing is everything...the brand paired the announcement with this week's White House Tribal Conference. Obama himself commented positively on the Adidas move.

While many applaud the initiative, there were some skeptics and critics, mostly noting that Adidas should mind its own business since it supplies sporting good apparel to many teams, including professional teams that also have such references.

I grew up and went to high school in a different era, so this concern wasn't top of mind back then for me and I honestly never really connected the imagery to racism ... but that's just me honestly being naive. It upsets a great many people and for that reason alone it is due its fair consideration.

As for Adidas having a voice in it all, I am personally a fan for brands having a point of view, particularly when it is related to their business. No one has to agree with that point of view, and in fact we can all vote with our dollar.

Just like with the now infamous red cup.

What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, November 10

I Have a Theory About the Starbucks Red Cup

(this article also appears on Huffington Post - click here if you'd like to read it there)

I have a theory.

Starbucks re-introduced its beloved holiday cup this week, just like every November, to much drama. There's always a lot of anticipation for it, mostly because for many it heralds in the holiday season. Every year the cup is just as festive as the year prior. It's great fun if you are a Starbucks fan.



But not this year ... this year the cups are just plain red.


I have a theory.

Was it an anti-Christian move as some have speculated?

I have a theory.

Was it a take on minimalism as I believe one of the designers has stated?

I have a theory.

Was it a print production error and the company simply didn't want to dispose of the cups?

I have a theory.

Starbucks has long taken on social issues. This is the first company, brand, and CEO to take a stand on topics like same sex marriage, gun control, and tax reform. And it's taken a hit each time. But it's also gotten a lot of fans in the process.

This is the same company that not too long ago got slammed for trying to put race relations out on the table, well actually out on the cup, with #RaceTogether.

They are clearly not afraid to take on an issue.

I have a theory.

The blank red cup could be a statement about political correctness. There has been a lot of banter going on in the news and pop culture about an over-exaggerated emphasis on being politically correct. So much so that many say in some cases we are stripping away our culture.

Perhaps like stripping away our collective holiday festivities?

By stripping away the decorative design that once declared open season on the holidays, the company could be putting a stake in the ground about being too politically correct?

Just a theory.

No matter what, it is a not so subtle statement about the brand's role in the holidays and in our popular culture, given all the discussion that this move has created. That alone is a score, and another nod to the brand's active role in our pop culture. Quite impressive, regardless of any theory.

What's your experience? JIM.


Friday, November 6

Help Me Get Home


As we start to enter the holiday season, we start to make plans to go "home." Or to bring the family home. With two adult kids away at school, the complicated schedules merely get more complicated. But we still bring everyone home.

SC Johnson (makers of Glade, Pledge, and Raid) seems to get that with their "Help Me Get Home" promotion, just in time for Thanksgiving travel. It's a simple little sweepstakes where you can win $1,000 toward your travel home.

And of course there is a little video content to enjoy and share as well. There's nothing better than seeing families reunite for the holidays ...


It's all very simple and endearing, which is what I like about it. And it's also completely in line with the positioning of the parent company. SC Johnson, a family company. As you see so many parent companies struggle with a unifying identity, SC Johnson has stuck with theirs for years. A family company. And it's never more relevant than during the holidays.

So simple, so endearing.

What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, November 5

Fear: Buried Alive on A&E


Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of reality television. I was there for Survivor, American Idol, and all of the Real Housewives. I get the allure.

But I'm afraid this new show may be taking the genre too far.

Fear: Buried Alive. It just recently started on the A&E network. Home of Duck Dynasty and Hoarders.

On the show, three different people are separately buried alive in coffins underground as a social experiment on television. We watch as they cope and struggle underground. Did I mention that they are in a coffin? They can feel and hear the dirt being poured on them as they get buried alive.

EW! And I don't mean Entertainment Weekly. EW!

Why on earth would that be entertaining? It almost feels like it crosses boundaries of vulnerability and voyeurism. And what brands would want to advertise on it?

I can't watch it. But I'm dying to hear what you think.

What's your experience? JIM

Tuesday, November 3

Wednesday, October 28

REI #OptOutside


All's fair in love and war, as they say...especially on Black Friday.

Known as the "Super Bowl of Retail," the day after Thanksgiving has long long long been the biggest shopping day of the day, fueled by families being together, anticipation of holiday gift giving, and retailers boosting sales with big promotional boosts.

Bam!

Critics have said that it's getting out of control with blockbuster sales, extended hours, and even retail doors opening on Thanksgiving itself. Black Friday has become much bigger than just one day.

It does start to make your head spin, and I for one avoid it. But as a marketer, it's hard not to put your brand in arm's length of shoppers looking to shop.

Well this year retailer REI is saying "enough is enough," and has announced that it will remain closed for both Thanksgiving and Black Friday...giving its employees a well deserved holiday off.

The announcement came with a call-to-action to #OptOutside, encouraging shoppers to skip the malls and spend the day outdoors, like its employees.


Good brand messaging. Here we are talking about the brand, right?!? I'm betting REI wouldn't have been on many people's radar quite yet otherwise. #OptOutside hashtag and all.

They even created a website to help people #OptOutside.

Critics here say the move is beyond just wanting to be good to employees, and that the brand is using the announcement to exploit its positioning and ultimately promote its products.

I say, "but of course." Shouldn't all policies consistently drive towards the same brand positioning? Isn't this a better way to promote what this particular brand is all about rather than having a 50% off sale that starts the evening of Thanksgiving and extends for 24 hours into Black Friday?

I think it's smart for this brand and I also think it's generous to take a sales day off and still pay your employees.

Well done, IMHO.

What's your experience?  JIM.

PS - Who knew that REI stands for Recreational Equipment, Incorporated?

Tuesday, October 27

Target Halloween 2015

Just in time for one of the biggest holidays of the year, and certainly one of the biggest drinking and partying moments of the year, Target released on online video series that allows viewers to celebrate Halloween while interacting and shopping with entirely themed content.

It's quite cool...and a shining example of the current "content is king" mantra of marketers du jour. Including an easy-to-use linkage to sales...something most content marketers have been scratching their heads about.

Leave it to Target.

The kick-off video is called "The House on Hallow Hill" --- a haunted house that opens up a buffet of windows that takes viewers through a Halloween tale with "click to buy" options all along the way. The "hook" is that a raven has stolen your smart phone so you have to go into the house to try and find it, room by room.

Quite brilliant.


The brand makes it almost impossible not to engage.

Great fun. What's your experience?  JIM.

Thursday, October 22

This Too Shall Pass

This article appears on Entrepreneur as part of my series on balancing work and family.

"This Too Shall Pass."

Click here to give it a read.  JIM


Sunday, October 18

Gap in Experience

As marketers, we are all talking about the “brand experience” these days like it's the buzz word du jour.

I even wrote a series of books about it called The Experience Effect. 

(published five years ago btw before it was a buzz word)

#Just Sayin'
Building a consistent experience from across all of your marketing elements seems so obvious when you put it on paper, but in reality there are many brands that exhibit a gap in experience, shall we say, that can leave consumers scratching their heads. Guess it's not so obvious for them!

A case in point.

Over the weekend I bought a hard copy of the magazine GQ. I haven’t bought a magazine in years! I wasn’t feeling that great, and there’s just something relaxing about lying on the couch flipping through a magazine. I haven’t done that in years either!


I was quite excited to find that the issue covered a new collection of men’s clothing from a GQ "design team" in collaboration with the retail store GAP.

The two brands had done this before to great success; I have the camouflage cargo pants to prove it. This new collection looks just as interesting and the price points are amazing, as is the look and the quality.



There's obviously a huge "paid" media effort to get people to notice the new collection ... the print in the magazine here and I've also seen outdoor. I have not yet noticed it in social media but that may be me.

So as to not waste a trip to the mall, I phoned our local GAP to make sure that the new clothing was in store. The magazine had just come out and sometimes advertising and promotion (unfortunately) can beat retail distribution to the punch. 

That’s when the gap in experience happened.

The woman who answered the phone had no idea what I was talking about, and she was quite exasperated about it as if I had no idea what I was talking about.

Gap in experience.

When I pressed her, she rudely handed the phone to another associate…you know when as the person is handing the phone over they are also talking about you in aggravation. Yes.

Gap in experience.

This associate was aware of the collection but informed me that her store wasn’t going to carry it. Evidently her location is not a “premium” GAP. Didn’t know there was such a thing; bit of an oxymoron if you ask me. Ok.

“Is there a premium store nearby,” I (honestly) very politely ask.

“I don’t know,” she responds as if she’s ready to hang up on me.

Gap in experience.

“Could you look it up for me,” I continue, “because I don’t know how to decipher your stores from one another.

She then quickly goes on to tell me that there are no premium GAP stores in our area, and quickly ushers me off the phone. She left me feeling like she didn't even bother to check, just wanted me off the phone quickly. Maybe she was busy, not sure. She could have told me that and called me back.

No jumping through hoops for me today!

Gap in experience.

Funny, I live in one of the most densely populated areas of the country where there are a lot of men and women that I am sure buy men’s clothing.

Gap in experience.

No new cargo pants, or anything else, from this collection this year…leaving me asking myself, “why else would I go there?” Especially now.


Have you experienced a gap in experience? What’s your experience? JIM.

PS - As marketers, we should always strive to eliminate as many gaps in experience as we can. That's our job, among other things!