Archive for January, 2010

Let’s say that you’re an airline, and you notice that more and more customers are booking one-way tickets. Are all these people moving to a new state or country, and leaving their old lives behind? Doubtful. The more likely explanation is that the other half of your flights suck. And since many airlines have cut […]

Buying unpopped popcorn is great. You purchase a container or bag of the kernels, stick it in the closet, and throw it in the air popper when you’re ready. Like magic, a little scoop of kernels turns into a giant bowl of popcorn. In terms of space efficiency, it’s hard to beat. Oatmeal and dry […]

Most e-commerce websites make it a point to prominently display the logos of the credit cards they accept, along with alternate payment options, throughout their site. The rationale is obvious: there’s no point in convincing customers to add items to their cart and go through checkout if you don’t accept the payment methods they want […]

Sometimes the most mundane products are hotbeds for marketing innovation. Take trash bags, for instance. Nobody pays much attention to them, and you only really think about them when you run out of bags or something goes wrong, like a bag tearing apart. Well, I recently stocked up on Glad trash bags for the kitchen, […]

My router broke over the weekend. After some trial and error, I determined the problem was the power adapter that plugs into the wall outlet. Since you can’t buy the power adapters separately, I was forced to buy a whole new router. So, I walked over to Staples and picked up a seemingly identical replacement […]

Several weeks ago, I returned a few holiday gifts and asked the retailer to exchange them for different products. The company was a little behind the times with their return process, so I had to enclose a letter explaining what I was returning and which products I wanted them to send me in exchange. However, […]

Earlier this week, my wife and I each tried to check the status of the same online order. In her case, the website said the order was in process, but didn’t provide any more details. But when I tried it about 30 seconds later, the tracking system showed there was an issue with one of […]

Here in Chicago, the Corner Bakery restaurant chain is fairly ubiquitous. They serve things like coffee, desserts, soups and sandwiches, and seem to attract a steady stream of customers. During the weekend, I walked by one of their larger locations, which takes up almost the whole first floor of a building. I’ve passed this location […]

Lately, I’ve seen some rather odd loyalty programs. Normally, you’d just sign up for free and start earning points. This is the model that airline frequent flyer programs made popular and it seems quite logical: you reward your best customers, and those who don’t spend enough with you don’t get anything in return. However, two […]

While shopping for an insurance policy over the weekend, I started with a basic set of requirements: strong financial strength, ability to get a quote online, etc. After narrowing down the field to five or six companies, I opened up their online quote pages and took a look at what they were asking and how […]