Holiday Price Discounts Reveal Shopping Psychology

16 12 2008

With so many retailers ostensibly competing on price during the holiday season of 2008, it’s hard to avoid seeing the 20%, 40%, even 70% off discount signs and commercials designed to bring your holiday spending to some store’s cash register.  But some retailers are being awfully creative in their price promotions to capture a pair of psychological effects: the buyer’s pride in finding a great bargain and the desire to give a high quality gift.

Advertising bargain discounts, not prices, should drive holiday sales

Advertising bargain discounts, not prices, should drive holiday sales

Most people aren’t hoping to give worse presents to their loved ones this year – they want to give the same high quality, aspirational items they’d give in a good economy.  Shoppers accustomed to shopping at mid-range and high-end retailers may not know the location of the nearest Marshall’s, Filene’s Basement, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post, or other quality discount retailer.  Here are some examples of premier retailers using holiday discounts to attract holiday spending.

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Innovation in Recruiting: VisualCV

11 02 2008


Are you ready to take ownership of your professional web identity? A veteran of web services and a seasoned recruiting executive have teamed up to launch VisualCV, Inc. Their gorgeous multimedia web document resuscitates the resume, allowing you to post a professional resume, CV, or bio for public distribution or even application for employment. With a VisualCV, you can attach videos, image files, work samples, or other professional portfolio documents to provide a more compelling first impression – and if you’re a recruiter, you can cut down the time you waste screening out applicants for your positions. Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond Green

5 01 2008

When a hotel executive asked me recently what I would do to communicate the hotel’s sustainability initiatives to current and future customers, I proposed that the hotel explicitly abandon trying to advertise and promote its actual green activities to focus more on the emotional goodwill of sustainability through story telling and interactive displays – allowing guests to touch and feel (with hands and heart) the ways the world could be a better place. Read the rest of this entry »

Darden student videos

30 05 2007

Originally published May 1, 2007.

It’s a first in business school world – which means this is really innovative or really dumb, and I’m sure an audience poll will reveal a widely polarized opinion. Nonetheless, students at Darden are producing homemade marketing videos on YouTube promoting the school from our own perspective. I’d really like to see these merged with the “Learning Team Linebacker” skit (that’s right, Terry Tate style) from Follies.

For some background, our school has a student-run Darden Capital Management which puts select students in charge of a multi-million dollar investment account (which returned 13.7% last year, outperforming benchmark peers in each of its four fund types). In a similar effort to provide marketing-focused students with rewarding experiences, Darden Marketing Management launched the project to give students experience with a real marketing project with measurable impact.