Dollar General goes after higher earners – Nashville Business Journal


Dollar General goes after higher earners – Nashville Business Journal.

Targeting those making $75,000 a year and who want consumables…

The question is, will this be a brilliant move to expand market share or will it lead to a diluting of Dollar General’s brand by moving away from its core mission of selling cheap goods to super-discount shoppers?

via Dollar General goes after higher earners – Nashville Business Journal.

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Mountain Dew: From hillbillies to hip-hop


Here’s a fascinating read from Business Week about Mountain Dew.

PepsiCo understandably wants to create a thirst for its Mountain Dew brand in a greater market. The sugary drink has roots in the hillbilly culture of the Southeast and moonshine liquor, which was nicknamed Mountain Dew. Now, PepsiCo has enlisted hip-hop artist Lil Wayne and street skateboarder Paul Rodriguez to entice potential customers age 18 to 24 to pop the top on their product.

I won’t go into the whole story here, since you can read it on Business Week’s site, but this is a smart move for several reasons. Why not try to broaden your product’s appeal? The target age audience is increasingly diverse and is often located in urban areas outside the Southeast. Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Fanta have gained market share in that age bracket.

I love Mountain Dew and Sprite both, but in a nod to PepsiCo’s brilliant marketing move, I’ll choose a Mountain Dew the next time I need a refreshing drink, and I’ll think of hillbillies and hip-hop while I do so.

Leap (Year) into marketing opportunities


This February is extra special because it only comes along once every four years — it’s Leap Year!

Here are some facts and fun trivia about Leap Year.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to reach customers in a new way, consider building a marketing campaign around Feb. 29. Some restaurants give a free meal or dessert to people on their birthday–Feb. 29 would be an excellent day to go the extra mile for people whose birthday only technically comes around once every four years. Restaurant owners: perhaps you should consider giving this Leap Year customer both the meal and a dessert free as a goodwill gesture.

Other businesses can take advantage of the extra day this month. Consider giving a 29 percent discount on items that are normally 25 percent off. Jewelry stores might take advantage of the Irish legend of women proposing to men on Leap Year Day (as mentioned in the movie “Leap Year”), and offer a deal to women on men’s wedding bands.

On another topic, today, Valentine’s Day, is the second birthday of Jason’s Marketing Primer. I launched this blog two years ago today. Read my first post here.

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Olive Garden: Cheap eats aren’t always enough


Olive Garden has conceded it needs to make changes to address lackluster sales figures for five quarters in a row.

Although the chain offers “affordable Italian food,” which should be a plus in this economy, it has been suffering from competition from fast-casual chains like Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill, Motley Fool reports.

One person says Olive Garden plays Dean Martin music and expects that to provide an Italian atmosphere, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Company officials have acknowledged the need to make changes, and plan to introduce healthier, low-cost meals, Yahoo Finance reports. Other changes will include remodeled restaurants and a new ad campaign.

I agree with what one person posted in comment boards on Yahoo Finance: Olive Garden needs to focus on the food. Americans are demanding more healthy, fresh food, not frozen. If you have good food at a reasonable price, you have most of the components in place (along with good marketing to tout these changes). I recently dined at Carrabba’s with my wife, and the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was pleasant.

Oh, and I would ditch Dean Martin for authentic Italian music. Sorry Dean, but the Rat Pack needs a vacation.

The Whopper on wheels


USA Today reports Burger King is doing a test drive of home delivery.

That’s right, the Whopper has its own set of wheels.

But what about cold fries, you ask?

The burger restaurateur has invented a proprietary thermal packaging unit, USA Today reports, to ensure the order stays hot.

If you live in the boonies (as my papaw used to say) and love the Whopper but hate driving to town, don’t start counting your fries before they’re out of the deep-fryer. This is only a test, and Burger King may decide the concept does not work. The test is being conducted in a limited area. And deliveries are limited to within a 10-minute drive from a restaurant.

But hopefully, this test drive will translate into a success. This is a smart business move by Burger King to capture more business from a culture that loves convenience and home delivery of everything from pizzas to videos.

Walk a mile in someone else’s Patagonia clothes


I recently learned of a cool environmental initiative by clothing manufacturer Patagonia.

The outdoor apparel maker encourages its customers to sell their old clothing on eBay under the Common Threads Initiative. Those who agree to the “pledge” and list their clothing on eBay will have the item advertised on Patagonia.com’s used clothing section.

It makes good business sense for Patagonia to encourage its customers to sell their old clothing to make way for new purchases. It could also be argued, however, that helping people buy used clothing at a lower price could take some sales from the company. Whichever view you would take, however, it’s hard to deny that anything helping to reuse old clothing is a good initiative for the environment.

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