Showing posts from November, 2017

How the British Royal Family Made Us Forget its Very-German Name

On 17 July 1917 King George V, king of the United Kingdom from 1910 to 1936, issued a proclamationchanging the name of his Royal House to Windsor and relinquishing the use of "All German Titles and Dignities.” 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the House of Windsor.

But before we delve into the why and how, we should know that...
...Britain itself is More Germanic than You Would Care to ImagineGenetic studies have revealed that most of the white British population owes 30% of their DNA to the ancestors of modern-day Germans! The Anglo-Saxons, a people comprising of Germanic tribes who migrated to Great Britain after the breakdown of the Roman Empire, are largely responsible for substantially altering country's genetic makeup. Guess, Britishness is as German as the Royal Family.
And The Royal Family's Current Name is Still Part GermanPrince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was born into the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, a Dano-German branch of…

Attention Black Friday Shoppers: Psychology predicts if you will shop tomorrow or not

Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the fourth Thursday of November. It is regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. In the 1980s, the term “Black Friday” began to be used by retailers to refer to the single day of the year when retail companies finally go “into the black” (make a profit) after being "in the red" for much of the year.
Research shows that consumers would choose to shop on Black Friday again, only if their last year's experience brought them pride rather than regret. For a consumer who bags a bargain in the sale only to find the item was further discounted at a later date, the initial feeling of pride may be tempered by the regret at having bought it too soon and not receiving an even bigger discount.
Source: The Psychology of Black Friday - how Pride and Regret influence Spending by Shalini Vohra
The opposite is true, however, if a consumer was applauded for getting a good deal. The …

The American Gun Industry Pioneered 'Product Placement'


How Kraft's Shreddies Revamped Itself Without Changing Anything

What do you see in the image above? Is it a diamond? Is it a rhombus? Or is it a square, rotated 45°?

In 2008, Kraft Foods Canada capitalized on this confusion to revitalize a 78-year-old brand, Shreddies. Sales of this popular breakfast cereal had stagnated. According to a consumer research done in its Canadian market, customers wanted the brand to refresh itself without it changing anything. 
How to increase sales of a product that is loved by its customers just the way it is?
Kraft Foods accepted the challenge and launched the new & improved Shreddie, the 'Diamond Shreddies'. Hunter Somerville's idea, an intern with Kraft Food's creative agency Ogilvy & Mather Canada, became the basis of this campaign - an 'angular upgrade' to the original Shreddie, devised by a team of 'cereal scientists'. 
Packs of 'Diamond Shreddies' was launched with much fanfare. The tongue-in-cheek campaign triggered a widespread debate among consumers who were in o…

How Potato became a European Staple from Once Being Illegal


Why does Unilever's Axe 'Sound' Masculine?

Our sense of sound, sight, touch, taste, self-motion, and smell don't work independently. Professor Charles Spence of Oxford University has conclusively proved the intimate connection between our senses. He is, in fact, a leader in the field of Senseploration - the investigation of how our senses mingle and interconnect. 
Marketing departments and product-design agencies have increasingly started using Spence's findings. In 2006, the FMCG giant Unilever commissioned a study to find whether volume and pitch of the sound from an aerosol affected a person's perception of the pleasantness or forcefulness of the deodorant inside. Based on the findings, the company invested in a packaging redesign for Axe deodorant, complete with new nozzle technology. The underarm spray, which is targeted at young men, now sounds noticeably louder than the company’s gentler, female-targeted Dove brand
See how you score on this sensory test!
Source: Accounting for Taste by Nicola Twilley, The New Y…

How M&M's Became a Force by Not Melting!

M&M's are part of the main operational food ration for the US Armed Forces. The candies have been part of NASA's every space shuttle mission since Columbia 1981 and are also on the International Space Station menu.
Do you know why?
Because the candy "melts in your mouth--not in your hand!" 
In 1932, confectioner Forrest Mars Sr. moved to England and began manufacturing the Mars bar for troops in the United Kingdom. He was looking to solve a key consumer problem of the time before air-conditioning: chocolate bars melted in the heat, so Americans stopped buying them. During the Spanish Civil War, he saw soldiers eating the British made Smarties, a color-varied sugar-coatedchocolateconfectionery, as part of their rations. Mars was thrilled by the unique construct of these candies and knew it to be the perfect solution to the sales slump that hit the family business every summer. He returned to the United States and obtained a patent for M&M's manufacturing proc…

100 Years Ago Sears Sold Cheap Mail-Order DIY Homes!

In 1908, Sears issued its first specialty catalog for houses, Book of Modern Homes and Building Plans, featuring 44 kit-house styles ranging in price from the US $360–$2,890. That's the equivalent of US $9,147-$73,431 today

As Sears mail-order catalogs were in millions of homes, large numbers of potential homeowners were able to open a catalog, see different house designs, visualize their new home and then purchase it directly from Sears. Sears reported that more than 70,000 of these homes were sold in North America between 1908 and 1940.
In late 1918, Sears conducted a “race,” building two houses, a Sears Honor Built the pre-cut kit home and an identical house with no pre-cut lumber. The pre-cut Honor Bilt Rodessa was the easy winner in this race, with 231 hours to spare (compared to the stick-built house). 
Today, those two houses are still standing side by side as Sears struggles to survive the retail revolution brought in by the likes of Amazon. 
Check out the Sears homes that a…

How Brand became a Legit Financial Asset

Brands are potent, valuable and rare. Successful brands drive consumer loyalty, creating long-term economic benefits and confirming with the definition of an asset. However, as late as the 1980s accountancy was unable to accommodate these assets. 
In 1984 News Group, the Australian flagship company of Rupert Murdoch's worldwide publishing empire decided to take pre-emptive action to correct this accounting anomaly and included a valuation for ‘publishing titles’ in its balance sheet. News Corporation did this because, being an acquisitive company, it had to find a way adjust its acquired "goodwill". Following the accounting standards of the day - deduct acquired goodwill from shareholder equity - would have ravaged the corporation's balance sheet. Thus, News Group reduced the acquired goodwill by treating the brands as acquired assets. 

Following the lead of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, the British Bakeries and foods company, Ranks Hovis McDougall, valued it …

Inside Costco's Success & their 'Treasure Hunt'

As of 2015, Costco was the second largest retailer in the world after Walmart and its stock had soared more than 5,000 percent since going public in the mid-1980s.

However, this store doesn't install signs in its aisles. It rather lets it's customers wander in the store, looking for the things they intend to buy while browsing through stuff that they "notice" on the way. 
Poor customer experience, right?
Wrong! Costco, in fact, has mastered the psychology behind shopping. 
Costco constantly changes the location of its top-selling products - such as light bulbs, detergent, and paper towels - forcing the customers to search storewide. And as logic dictates, the more time consumers spend ambling around the store, the more likely they are to spend.
Costco rotates upward of 25% of its hard-goods and its products. The result is that, of the 3,600 items for sale, a full 1,000 may be offered only for that particular moment and may not be available for a future shopping visit. The…

A 165 Year Old 'Superstar' Developed Gorilla Glass in 3 Months

Founded in 1851, Corning Inc. is one of the world's biggest glassmakers today. It boasts of annual sales of nearly $10 billion and billions in annual profits. Developer and manufacturer of the now ubiquitous Gorilla Glass, Corning is another sterling example of a "superstar" firm.

Corning has had a rich history of working with innovators from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs. In fact, innovation is one of the key values driving Corning's business strategy. Corning regularly invests a healthy 10 percent of its revenue in R&D; to maintain and further it's technological leadership. And that's in good times and in bad. When the telecom bubble burst in 2000 and cratering fiber-optic prices sent Corning's stock from $100 to $1.50 per share by 2002, its CEO at the time reassured scientists that not only was Corning still about research but that R&D would be the path back to prosperity.
Corning has continuously reinvented itself – moving from the company that st…