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Archive for March, 2007

Attention Researchers: Check Out the First Issue of MEASURE!

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Do you have retail clients? Do you have retail prospects? Are you a consumer? If so, you will want to read on.

We have just introduced a new monthly newsletter – called MEASURE – focusing on the retail experience.

The study included shoppers in six categories:

  1. Grocery
  2. Drug
  3. Consumer Electronics
  4. Office Supply
  5. Mass Merchandise
  6. Club

Our information this month was compiled from online surveys with 17,000 consumers and in-store audits (conducted by sister-agency National In-Store) of more than 3,500 office supply and consumer electronic store locations.

Did you know?

  • 11% of grocery store shoppers who left without buying, said waiting to check out was a factor in their decision not to make a purchase!
  • The check-out wait influences males 40% more than females with regard to deciding not to buy!
  • Wednesday has the shortest waiting lines!

Since our launch earlier this week, results from MEASURE have already been highlighted on ABC News in Sarasota, Florida; in the Herald Tribune (also in Sarasota); and in BrandWeek.

Next month’s issue of MEASURE addresses the impact of store appearance and cleanliness.

If you are interested in these types of things, you will want to click on the link below and find out more.


We look forward to your comments and reaction to our first issue of MEASURE.

Now Is The Time to Make a Call – No Need to Wait!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Have you ever thought about what a friend from college or high school is doing now? Or you never knew what happened to someone you played sports with or was in your music lessons? Or a relative that you were very friendly with, shared the same interests and for some reason you stopped talking. Perhaps you grew apart and frankly you didn’t know why. I am sure you have said I should call Mike, Ted, Fred or Alice and see what is going on. But for some reason it is a fleeting moment in time and you go back to doing whatever you were doing and don’t pick up the phone.

This has happened to me. I know I am a “yes” to all of those questions. Probably all of us have people who touched our lives in some shape or form and have grown apart over the years. It was never premeditated but it just happened.

I try and keep in touch with a lot of people but often I think about what happened to someone I haven’t spoken to in awhile.

Recently I heard from the sister of a friend of mine. She unfortunately delivered some very bad news. My friend was in the hospital – actually in ICU and was very sick. They didn’t know what was wrong with her. They were doing a battery of tests and couldn’t figure it out. A day or two went by and thankfully she is doing much better. In fact I spoke to her a few times and I can’t even believe she was sick. She sounded great and very positive as she always is.

The reason I wanted to share this story is everyone has people that we don’t talk to as often as we would like. All of us are busy, but surely we can find some time to reach out to someone and see how they are doing. Spend a few minutes and make a call to one of them.

I know I will.

Fact or Fiction Day

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Welcome basketball fans – today is fact or fiction day. We look forward to your thoughts and any other comments that you may have. Click here to see all of today’s Fact or Fiction postings.

Fact or Fiction: Steve Nash will win MVP for the third year in a row

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Since 1955 Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul–Jabbar (twice), Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell have all won back to back MVP’s. Only Bird, Chamberlain and Russell were able to win three in a row.

Steve will not win this year especially if his team gets knocked out by San Antonio in the second round of the play-offs. Nash is a GREAT player but I don’t believe he is in the same league as Bird, Chamberlain and Russell. He will finish 2nd in the voting to Dirk Nowitski. FICTION!

Fact or Fiction: The Dallas Mavericks will be NBA Champions this year

Monday, March 26th, 2007

This team is awesome! They remind me of the 1985-1986 Celtics. They are great day in and day out. They will 100% win the NBA championship especially since the top three teams are all in the west and finishing as the number one seed means they won’t have to play San Antonio Spurs in a very physical and mentally draining seven game series. An argument could be made that their top eight players rival the greatest teams of all time. They are the only team in NBA history to have three winning streaks of more than twelve games in the same season. The Mavs choked (sorry Mr. Wade) last year and it will not happen this year. Get ready, Dallas. There will be a parade come June…FACT!

Fact or Fiction: As long as the Boston Celtics finish in the NBA lottery they will have the number one pick in the upcoming draft

Monday, March 26th, 2007

I have a discussion with a somewhat intelligent guy often about sports. Yes he is opinionated and yes he is from Boston. His name Rick Hurwitz. He believes 100% the 1st pick of the NBA draft this year will be the Boston Celtics. His belief is that the NBA wants the Celtics to be good and possibly great again and will make this happen. My response is simple – let’s go back to the history books to 1997 when the Celtics were favored and had the most ping pong balls to get the number one pick. Rick Pitino took the Celtics job for one reason and one reason only. He was betting heavily the number one pick would be his and he would take Tim Duncan. He was wrong – just like Rick Hurwitz will be this year. FICTION!

Fact or Fiction: Kobe Bryant will win a 4th NBA Championship before he retires.

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Kobe and the Lakers haven’t made any noise since they won three championships in a row – the last one in 2002. Some of Kobe’s accomplishments are

3-time NBA Champion
9-time All star
8-time All-NBA Selection
6-time All-Defensive Selection
2-time NBA All-Star Game MVP
1997 NBA Slam Dunk Champion
1996 Naismith Prep Player of the Year

In addition, he scored 50 points again Friday night making him only the second player in NBA history to score 50 points in four consecutive games. Kobe those are all impressive statistics and now the only thing you are playing for is individual statistics from this point forward. You have NO shot at getting close to an NBA Championship trophy. In fact most years you will probably get bounced out of the first round of the playoffs. Enjoy the trophies you have!…FICTION!

What Do These Things All Have In Common?

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Milk, meat, batteries, medicine and coke. What do these things all have in common?

Before I give you the answer I need to tell you a quick story.

In October of 2006 I went to CASRO, and for the first time decided to play golf as my free time event. Usually I play tennis, but for some reason I thought I would play golf with Howard Gershowitz and Jay Wilson. No Jay, this story isn’t about our little bet. And yes I still owe you the money. I didn’t realize it at the time but there would be a bus trip to get to the course.

Let me set this up a little bit. We are in the LA area and will be finishing around rush hour (which in LA terms means anytime of the day except 3:30 am) and the best part–you will be on a bus. No thanks. Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun and count me out. Since I had a car and Howard was up for it we decided to drive to the course. Once we reached our destination (which was 8 miles past the middle of absolutely nowhere) we had a great time.

After golf we started the journey back to Marina Del Rey. But before we could get on the highway, I wanted to stop and get a soda. The only place we could find was this very little convenience store that was dark, dingy and clearly could have been a scene from a horror movie.

After getting on the highway I finally had a sip of what I thought would be a nice gulp of a 20 ounce soda. Much to my surprise it had very few bubbles and tasted awful. In fact I couldn’t even have another sip. Of course living in Texas and being a gentleman, I offered the rest of the vile soda to my wingman and passenger Howard Gershowitz who looked at me like I was crazy (and of course had a few choice words for me.

I couldn’t believe that a soda could taste that bad – and why was that? Did it sit out in the sun? I checked the bottle and actually saw an expiration date–which was from 6 months earlier! No wonder it didn’t taste great!

I drink soda all the time and NEVER knew that it had an expiration date. Well it does and that is what milk, meat, batteries, medicine and coke all have in common.

Now when I buy a soda in a grocery store or convenience store, I always check the expiration date. In fact last week one store had sodas with seven different dates. Again, a shock to me.

Did you know that soda had an expiration date? What else has one that I might not know about?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Who Is Your Favorite CEO?

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

The second you go to the business section of a newspaper you will see some negative press on a CEO leading some company. Whether it is Robert Nardelli from Home Depot getting a huge severance package or reading about the boys from Enron and their fines and sentencing.

Today let’s forget all the bad stuff about CEOs; please toss it out of your brain. I don’t want you to think about it and frankly I don’t want to write about it.

I remember growing up reading about CEO icons like Jack Welch and Lee Iacocca. They have retired and moved on to another phase of their lives.

  • My question is who are the great CEOs of fortune 500 companies today?
  • Who gets it?
  • Who would you be proud to work for?
  • Whose integrity is never compromised?

Is it Bill Marriott who has been CEO since 1972?

Is it Douglas R Conant who has been CEO of Campbell Soup for 4 years?

Is it newcomer Jim Donald who took the top spot at Starbucks less than two years ago?

The real question is who is it and why?

I look forward to reading all of your comments.

Are Kids Getting It All Wrong This TIME?!

Monday, March 19th, 2007

I was reading an article last month and it had the headline “Watches Lose Ground to Cell Phones”. Yes I was curious so I read on. In a survey last fall, investment bank Piper Jaffray & Company stated – (much to my surprise) 66% of all teens NEVER wear a watch and only 10% wear one every day. Yes I am shocked – in fact I still can’t believe it! I get that most teens have a cell phone and yes I know it has a clock. But I also know that a cell phone’s battery can run out or there are spots like a plane where you are asked to turn it off – then what – late to class? Late to dinner with your parents?

Experian Simmons Research also discovered that, while Americans spent more than $5.9 billion on watches in 2006, that figure was down 17 percent when compared with five years earlier.

When I get dressed in the morning, my watch is part of my standard uniform. I wear different watches depending on what I am doing, where I am going, the color of my suit. In fact when I go to Madison Avenue and present to Omnicom, I usually wear my dad’s retirement watch that he gave me. It means a great deal to me, so I only wear it to very special occasions.

I know people who have watches they received as gifts and had comments inscribed on them – I guess that is old school and not necessary for the new generation.

Teens of today are using their cell phone as a watch, an alarm clock that wakes them up in the morning and with all of the text messaging, an email device as well. I have all of that technology and a Blackberry as well. I guess this is another difference between certain generations.

Does that mean you are considered really old if you wear a watch? Does this bother you? Gary, Steve, Jon, Ed, Sharon, Colleen and Amy, do you guys still wear a watch and why? Maybe we should all toss our watches and be young again.

I look forward to your comments.