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Attention Marketers: Humans are Blind to Change

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When we look at a scene, our eyes move around quickly, 70 to 100 times a second, locating anything noteworthy.  This visual input is translated into a mental memory map by our brains. These quick eye movements are called saccades
Saccadic movement is what causes Change Blindness: a perceptual phenomenon that occurs when humans fail to detect seemingly obvious changes to scenes around them. 

As a result when we see we unconsciously focus on areas that our evolutionary biases deem important (often anything moving fast, anything that looks like a living thing that may be a potential friend or foe). The brain automatically fills in the rest of the details from its memory map — often disregarding details that it thinks it has seen before. 
"The Door Study" a 1998 study by Daniel Simons and Daniel Levin is the one of the most popular study to demonstrate how change blindness occurs in the real world.

While "The Gradual Change Test" highlights how humans fail to notice slow…

Did you know? The company that help put man on Moon also ran the first TV ad

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The Bulova Corporation, formerly called Bulova Watch Company, is considered to be the pioneer of modern marketing techniques.
In 1926, when radio was a new phenomenon and not many understood the power of this new advertising medium, Bulova ran the first known radio commercial, "At the tone, it's 8 P.M., B-U-L-O-V-A, Bulova time". In the 1930s, 40s, Bulova were sponsors of all of the top twenty radio shows of the time. During this same period, Bulova became the first watch and clock manufacturer to start spending more than $1 million a year on advertising. 
It wasn't a surprise, thus, when in 1941 television advertising became legal, Bulova produced the first-ever TV commercial. This 10-second commercial depicted a Bulova clock and the map of the United States with the live voice-over  "America runs on Bulova time." This ad cost Bulova all of $9, which in today's money is $150, and was watched by 4000 Americans.

Apart from mass advertising, Bulova also expe…

The Rise of the Superstar Firms: Why McDonald's is thriving?

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Over 100 years after Theodore Roosevelt warned against the growing control of a handful of corporate giants, a small group of "superstar" companies—some old, some new—are once again dominating the global economy. As per a 2015 Mckinsey Global Institute report, 10% of the world’s public companies generate 80% of all profits. What's most intriguing is that the gap between these few “superstar” firms and the rest is growing
But what makes these "superstars" thrive?
These firms are known to invest in their core skills so as to relentlessly pursue their long-term goals. And thus it turns out, that a remarkable number of superstar companies are family owned or run by dominant owners who can resist the pressure for short-term results.
For an example, we can turn to McDonald’s. In 1948, the fast-food joint was already a success when Richard “Dick” and Maurice “Mac” McDonald, the original owners, decided to shut it down for three months to revamp the entire operation. 
Th…

How Barbie became a Pop Icon transcending generations

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Barbie, the teenage fashion model, was created by Ruth Handler, the co-founder of the toy manufacturing company Mattel Inc. It was inspired by a German fashion doll, Bild Lilli; a doll based on a character known as "a symbol of sex and pornography for the men of Germany".

Barbie debuted on 9th March 1959 at the American International Toy Fair and was a "crashing bomb," according to the New York Times. Sears, then a retail giant with the power to make or break a toy, refused to stock Barbie. A then-unprecedented $12,000 market-research test also found mothers hating the doll, even though girls loved her. But Barbie proved everyone wrong. In the first year of its launch girls snapped up 351,000 Barbie dolls at $3 apiece, making the doll a smash hit. 
The unmatched success of Barbie is attributed to it's unique and innovative marketing strategy. Barbie was the first doll to be heavily marketed with television advertising. Mattel had bought commercial time on the mos…

Brand Credibility: Bausch & Lomb & greed gone wrong

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Bausch & Lomb was the first company to receive FDA approval to market soft lenses and introduced the product in 1971. The popularity of its soft contacts soared after the launch of multiple regimens: “planned replacement,” “frequent replacement,” or “daily wear, two-week replacement lenses." As the market grew & became increasingly competitive, the production costs plummeted but Bausch and Lomb struggled to make profits: end-user prices also dropped and growth in the total number of lens wearers remained stagnant.

In late 1989, Bausch & Lomb repackaged its existing traditional daily-use "OptimaFW" lens as a "Medalist" extended-wear lens; later, it repackaged the same lens again as a "SeeQuence2" disposable. OptimaFW line was the most expensive at $70 per pair (with an expected life of a year or longer); Medalist occupied the middle price range at $15 a pair (with a planned replacement period of one to three months) and SeeQuence2 line was …

When Ray Kroc flew over towns looking for church steeples to open McDonalds stores

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Ray Kroc in the 1940s owned a successful Milkshake mixer distribution business. In the beginning of 1950s his business started to slow down. In the US there was an exodus from the cities to the suburbs and many neighborhood soda fountains were forced to close down. But one small restaurant in San Bernadino kept ordering more machines. He flew down and met the McDonald brothers who ran the restaurant.

When Ray Kroc joined the McDonald brothers, he envisaged thousands of Mc Donalds outlets across the country. In trying to identify the best locations, he used to fly over towns looking for church steeples. He believed that good American families would live around churches and that's the kind of customers he was looking for.

src Consumer Behavior by Schiffman/Kumar

Freemium Pricing Model: 25% of Europe's Most Profitable Airline's Seats Are Virtually Free

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CEO of Ryanair Michael O'Leary's vision is to make most of its seats free by the end of this decade.
The goal, he says, is to make money by getting a share of the shopping and retail revenues from airports, where the airlines attract traffic. In 2016, Ryanair earned $2 Billion in ancillary revenues from snacks, check-in luggage, seat selection, insurance etc, amounting to nearly 30% of its total revenues.

Mr Leary's predictions are bolstered by the fact that a quarter of its customers are already being offered free fares. Passengers only pay the taxes and duties while the airlines make money through extras like checked luggage, snacks, food, water and in-flight merchandise sales.

source: Principles of Marketing: A South Asian Perspective,  13th Edition, Kotler Philip

Further, the airline also saves costs by selling 99% of the tickets online with offers of travel insurance, hotels, car rentals and various other packages. To reduce costs, they have introduced non-reclining …