Points of Interest #28

September 16th, 2016 

Points of Interest is a weekly recap of ideas and innovations we are following at Plannerzone.

Image via Adweek

Something looks different here (Image via Adweek)


Did you know the Energizer bunny started as the Duracell bunny? Find out how that happened and how the bunny intends to keep going and going in today’s marketplace.

AirBnB vs Hotels. Uber vs Taxis. Zenefits vs Brokerages. Firms built on disruptive innovations often face legal opposition from from incumbents in the market. Now it appears that Elon Musk’s auto empire is the latest firm to join this club. Tesla continues to battle the state of Missouri over its ability to sell cars directly to consumers from its own show rooms. The brand claims that other dealerships don’t provide the same level of customer experience because they lack familiarity with electric vehicles.


Kyle Schwartz, a 5th grade teacher, decided to ask his kids to anonymously finish this statement: I wish my teacher knew. After tweeting out some of the results many teachers engaged and it went viral. Maybe we should start an ‘I wish my boss knew’ campaign.

This video takes a look at China’s superapp, WeChat. Users can make transactions on the platform—from ordering dinner, to hiring dog cleaners. And without missing a beat they can chat with their friends, and submit reviews of their transaction, all within the same app. Because of China’s laws the government is  able to access all of the data from the app. Is WeChat super convenient or super dangerous? You be the judge.

They say if you can’t beat em’, join em’. I suppose for AdBlock Plus we’d have modify it slightly: After you beat em’, charge em’. This week Eyeo announced that it would be launching its own advertising exchange. The new platform will distribute inventory through partnerships with Google and other partners, but only if they meet AdBlock’s standards for non-intrusive advertising. The exchange also limits the ability for advertisers to target, and retarget, site visitors. For advertisers it may be worth it, assuming it allows them to reach people who have insulated themselves from other display advertising.

440px-eyelashpermWiki of the week: Eyelash Perm

Eyelash permanent wave, or more commonly called an eyelash perm, and may also refer to permanent relaxer that straightens the hair is a cosmetics procedure performed only by licensed Cosmetologists to flip up eyelashes using hair perming technology.

Book Club: This Little Pinot Went to Market

July 6th, 2016 

Book club is a monthly series where we highlight the most informative and inspiring books on marketing, advertising, and business strategy.

This Little Pinot Went to Market Book Cover - Larry Lockshin

Follow the link to buy This Little Pinot Went to Market

Whether you’re dishing out a second course, or a second helping of advertising, we can agree that everything goes better with wine.

From the earliest pages of this book, Professor Larry Lockshin eloquently explains the core ideas of effective strategy, “Marketing, in a sense, is the philosophy of satisfying the buyer that must permeate successful competitive companies . . . the perception [that customers] have of your company is carried by your products and your people in every interaction.” From this vantage point the book takes the reader on a guided tour of wine marketing. Through the lens of wine, the author examines key ideas from marketing science, and how they apply throughout the marketing mix.

The beauty of this approach is that the lessons from these articles can be applied to many categories aside from wine. They reflect fundamentals truths about marketing science and consumer behavior.

The book is structured as a compilation of short, easy-to-read articles. The writing is concise. The examples are direct. The analysis is smart. And if you want to learn how to tell a story that weaves complex theories and research findings into an engaging narrative this book is a useful template.

Lockshin takes on challenging marketing topics like Double Jeopardy theory, salience, segmentation, and market based assets. Throughout the book he somehow manages to convey the significance of these ideas, without burying the reader in data, or sacrificing nuance. As a reader you come away with the impression that, like wine that develops subtleties over time, this straightforward approach reflects his mastery and deep reflection on the subject.

Some of the key ideas/topics covered in this book:

  • Marketing’s role within a company (seems obvious, though it’s often misunderstood)
  • Straightforward explanation of market based assets
  • Identifying factors in the market that contribute to the growth of the category
  • Common mistakes committed by small wineries, which conveniently apply to small brands in other categories
  • A simple way to measure market penetration and see if a brand is on the right growth trajectory
  • The influence of wine labelling and package copy, and strategies for effective packaging
  • Price and pricing strategy
  • Fundamental questions for marketers to answer, and act on (e.g., When and where do people buy? What role does the product play in their lives? Do different groups buy for different reasons? Do they rely on different kinds of information when they buy?)
  • Distribution, and how to form an effective partnership—an aspect of the marketing mix that’s often overlooked, but critically important to building a brand
  • Most importantly, this book makes empirical generalizations from marketing science meaningful by showing how they apply in an actual category

This book is on Plannerzone’s reading list because reading these articles is more engaging than considering theories in abstract, or through the heavy-handed anecdotes that fill marketing textbooks. It’s also very well written, and a good reminder on how to make complex ideas accessible.

As usual, it’s better to let the author speak for himself. The following are two videos, one on the book, and a presentation on the author’s research in wine marketing.

This is a useful primer on the types of things to mention in a book pitch, although I deduct style points for not including a clickable link in the YouTube video or its description.

Digital Strategy: Gestural Computing

November 26th, 2012 

If you’re interested in digital strategy, user interface, or computer science, this is the video you need to see.


John Underkoffler is probably best known as the consultant/scientist behind the gestural computing systems shown in Minority Report, and the heads up display in Iron Man.


A few highlights from this video:

    1. Most user interface up to this point has been fighting with the natural tendencies of human cognition and tool manipulation, namely tendencies toward movement, fluidity, and touch.
    2. The line between everything is blurring—fast.
    3. The future is about pixels, not devices. Everything exists in x,y,z space now, not flatland.


To me, the beauty of this is that he isn’t worry about being outside of the box—he’s cranking out new boxes to play in every day.

I look forward to seeing some of these ideas show up in digital planning and product innovation briefs.