Archive for May, 2011

As I arrived at the airport last week, I was greeted with the longest security line I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t even a peak travel day, since we left a few days before the holiday weekend, which made me wonder: why the heck was the line so long? Other passengers echoed the same sentiment, and […]

Let’s say there’s a certain product that you’ve sold for years, maybe even decades. It’s timeless and classic, and people buy it regardless of the season or what might be trendy that year. Customers expect that they can walk into any of your stores or visit your website, and the signature item will be there. […]

Last weekend, I went to a well-known clothing store to buy a few items. They were running a very attractive 30% off deal, and as luck would have it, every item I wanted was also available on a “Buy 2 or more, get them for only $XYZ each” special. Everything looked good until I got […]

A few weeks ago, I placed an online order with a clothing retailer that I’ve been very happy with in the past. Unfortunately, all of the items that I received in this order were either the wrong size or of a low quality. Since the retailer charges for returns by mail, I walked to the […]

Anyone who has studied business or marketing is probably familiar with the razor-and-blade business model: you sell the durable item together with a starter supply of refills for a very low price, and then enjoy high margins on the subsequent refills once customers are hooked. Yet despite the success of countless variants of this sales […]

I’m surprised that companies don’t make a greater effort to reach out to the people who use their gift cards, in order to determine how satisfied they are with the experience. Customers who visit the venue regularly will probably report that they were perfectly happy to receive a gift card from that establishment. But the […]

These days, it seems like virtually all the large websites — including some of the most prominent online retailers — are allocating some of their on-screen real estate to advertising. And I’m not just talking about promoting their own products and services. Instead, these areas usually carry a rather random assortment of third-party ads, too. […]

For the most part, the wayfinding signs that you see in airports, train stations, and other high-traffic venues seem to do a good job of getting you to your destination — assuming you know the name of where you’re going. But what happens when there are multiple exits, each with their own sign, and you […]

As I walked towards the park the other day, I ran into an obstacle that made me change my route. In particular, there were a half-dozen fire trucks and ambulances lined up next to a building, and the personnel had roped off the entire sidewalk on that side of the street. Based on their body […]