posts tagged with 'marketing'

salesmanship at the lemonade stand

I biked home from church on Sunday, since I had to stay later than the rest of the family. Besides giving me a few more items to add to my list of judgements, riding the entire length of the bike path on a sunny Sunday afternoon offered an insight into the entrepreneurial spirit of the youth of America as it manifests itself in that classic of childhood capitalism, the lemonade stand. As I went along I noticed at least four optimistic youngsters who had set out stalls along the way. I didn't stop at any of them myself, since I was headed to a birthday party, but I slowed long enough to compare their offerings. Two stood out as a comparison of what to do and not to do in the trail-side drink sector.

A teenage boy, slouched in a lawn chair alongside the path, in the middle of a moderate stretch between street crossings, was offering bottles of "ice-cold" water for a dollar each. He may have had headphones on. Two elementary school girls had their stand set up in the center of Lexington just before an intersection, and were standing up and encouraging passers-by to try a glass of their 50-cent lemonade, of which they had a big pitcher. You can probably guess who was doing more business.

Our own boys were doing some selling on Friday with their friend from next door. Set up on our front walk, they weren't likely to see much foot traffic, but on the other hand they were unavoidable for anyone who wanted to come into our house. Harvey and Zion were selling "something like lemonade" for a dollar a glass (a small glass!), while their friend offered cups of water for ten dollars each (water which her mother reported she'd been stirring with her hands; though that wasn't part of her pitch).

Harvey and Zion (both looking grumpy) with a friend and their lemonade stand

do cheerful faces bring in more customers?

I don't know where either of those stand in comparison to the extremes of the last paragraph, but Harvey must have been doing something right, because he ended the day with two dollars in his pocket. He used it to buy a kite, and it really works!

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feeling like a VIP

A work colleague left in April and for reasons of customer service I started to get her mail forwarded to my inbox. She lives in a particularly posh section of Long Island, and one of her e-mail newsletter subscriptions is something called the "VIP Clubber." Every day an email about some New York night-club comes into my inbox, and I've been deleting them up until yesterday, when I was so bored in a meeting that I started perusing the text and realized it was comedic gold! If you get a kick of making fun of the neuveau riche, then this is for you. Check out this email copy. I've bolded the things I take to be "laugh lines."

Subject: New Status Thursdays at 46Lounge Arabian Nights Theme Party

Description:
46 Lounge: Martini Bar Wine Bar Tapas Menu Eclectic Dining Lounge Nightclub Tropical Outdoor Patio. 46 Lounge is an ultra-chic lounge with flavors of Manhattan, Miami and Los Angeles packed into one exciting venue. With trendy Contemporary Design featuring Italian Metallic Tile, Brazilian Cherry Dance Floor, Posh VIP Area with Custom Lighting, Granite, Slate and Steel Bathrooms and 3 Designer Martini & Wine Bars, 46 Lounge is the most upscale & hip bar/restaurant/nightclub outside of Manhattan.

Drink Specials:
- $150 Bottles of Ketel One All Night
- $80 Bottles of Nuvo
- $5 Frozen Drinks
- $3 Corona & Heineken & Well Drinks till 11PM
- 1/2 price specialty drinks till 11PM
- $3 Drinks & $5 Martini till 11PM

Music by:
Dj David S along with Todd George, Joey C and Joe Giorgio

More Specials:
Hookahs, Belly Dancers, Henna Tattoos, Free BBQ on Patio.
Coconut palm trees, Cabanas, Tiki-bar, White drapery & Frozen drinks including our NEW Call-A-Cab & Miami Vice

Door Policy:
Doors open at 6pm; Must be 21+.
Dresscode: sexy and casual, we do reserve the right to be selective.
Guest lists closes at Midnight. Open till 3am.

Today's email brings me news of SoHo's first eco-friendly nightlife destination with transparent ceiling fixture comprised of over 5,000 individually hung crystals designed to emulate a rolling landscape. How could you not want to go? But be careful; Dress is Grown and Sexy, and they reserve the right to be selective.

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stupid beer tricks

It's summer, so that means the big beer companies are trotting out their hot-weather marketing campaigns. After all, if you're not going to drink weak, watery beer when you're hot and sweaty, you're not going to drink it any other time. So we get things like the Coors Light cold-activated bottle. Now, Coors Light is the brand with a taste so anemic that all they could think of for a promotion was to call it the "coldest-tasting beer"—As Cold As The Rockies, natch—so what they've done now is enable you to visualize that cold. Now, the picture of mountains on the front of the bottle turns blue when the beer is cold enough. Really! This is vastly superior to the old method of feeling the temperature of the bottle (dreadfully 20th century). The television advertisements depict groups of men abandoning their tasks and scrambling frantically to reach the bar when their friends alert them to the blue labels, so it may be that the target audience does not have refrigerators or coolers at home.

And then there's Bud Light Lime, with which flavor Anheuser-Busch admits, as Leah puts it, that their regular brand "tastes like crappy soda." In the old days people used to add lime—or even lemon!—to their beer themselves, if they felt that it would improve the flavor or "refreshment profile". No longer! Why bother to go to the trouble of finding an actual lime, when "Bud Light Lime offers adults the citrus taste, expected from a fresh squeezed lime, without a trip to the produce aisle"!!! It's not for me, though: the totally a real news article press release mentions a target audience of "active adults", "savvy partygoers", and "playful, outgoing men and women" (really! all those adjectives! and more!), and I don't think I'm any of those things. Oh well! I'll just have to survive the summer drinking water for refreshment and beer for delicious beery taste. And the occasional bout of drunkenness.

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