I love being psychic... Thanks Alice.

A few days ago I posted this... in which I said, "I received my first order 4 days. Everything I ordered was in the box, intact and great. In-pack sampling, however, I hope is something they start doing." And then, this is what I found on facebook today. " announces free samples + win a Mac Book! -".

Seriously, I'm psychic. Go check out the link.


Retail Forward Conference in NYC

Some of my cohorts from Insight and Strategy are in NYC this week at the Retail Forward Conference. They are tweeting live some interesting tidbits. Check them out:

Tuesday Delivers

The very definition of in-store is changing, even for the most basic of products. For buying something as simple as shampoo, opportunities are both real and virtual. The growth of services like Peapod and Amazon Fresh as well as online ordering for brick and mortar stores like Safeway and King Sooper have changed the game.

At this point, has received a decent amount of press, and I have been following them for a while. First on their blog, anxiously awaiting their beta to end and for them to open to the public. Then when the opportunity finally arrived, I registered for my account. The registration process gathered smart and select details about my household (number of adults, children, their ages, etc.). Enough to be useful, but not so much as to slow the process.
I went online and pulled together my first order last week. The process was simple and the site easily shoppable. I would have like to have seen a little more cross-merchandising though, but I'm sure, as they gather more info about their shoppers, they will better provide recommendations. Anyway, I received my first order 4 days. Everything I ordered was in the box, intact and great. In pack sampling, however, I hope is something they start doing.

The question this raises for me is... will shoppers start brand switching because only limited brands are sometimes available through these new, highly convenient services?


Fresh and Easy Reason to Twitter

As everyone on the planet is rapidly signing up for and figuring out Twitter, I have been keeping an eye out for great retail uses of it. (see recent post about Meijer) So, when the above popped up on my Twitter feed from Fresh n Easy, I was pleased. Outside of the usual news and deal announcements employed by most retailers, or even promotional offers as Meijer has done, creating a feedback loop with shoppers is a great innovation. It represents a retailer truly understanding the need to have a conversation with its shoppers, not just push out messages at them. Well done Fresh n Easy!


Digitail™: The Bosses' Big Presentation

Its been a big day for Digitail, a relatively new practice we have hatched over at Integer.  Digitail was created to capitalize on existing trends in the retail and digital spaces which are bringing the two closer and closer together. Digitail has basically involved a shift in thinking across the agency as well as  new internal structures and a couple strategic alliances.  Both Craig Elston, SVP of Insight and Strategy (my boss) and Morgan McAlenney, SVP of all things digital (my adopted boss) are at the In-store Marketing Institute Summit today presenting. This is the first time that we have had an industry forum to present our thinking in this arena. (you download the presentation here).  I'm very curious to see what the response is.

Also, today, gave us a guest column spot and pubilshed an article on Digitail as well.  Article is here

The launch of this practice has been a real adventure and has already yielded some great results.  If you want to long story on Digitail, you can read the white paper which can be found on (our work blog). The white paper can be found here


My Digital Love Affair with Meijer

Meijer rarely makes it into the top ten retailers of my clients and I don't even have one around me that I could go kneel in front of... but I do truly love them.  Over the past few years, I have watched in wonder as they embraced new technology in a very simple and, most importantly, shopper-centric way.  I have mentioned their great widgets/apps in a previous post, (Favorite Tech and Trend Tidbits Effecting Retail in 2008), because while the Target snowglobe iphone app was cute and all, it wasn't really that helpful. Meijer on the other hand, is trying to use technology to enhance the shopping experience. 

Today, however, I wanted to briefly mention their Twitter feed. While none or few, of their competitors are embracing the world of mirco-blogging, Meijer has integrated it into a fun little Easter promo they are having on their website.  The promo is simple.  Step 1.) Log in to and read today's clue. Step 2.) hunt around Step 3.) Find the egg and find the promo code. Read more here.  With a very simple idea they are, driving traffic to the site, creating increased visitor frequency (come back to see tomorrow's deal), and increasing pages viewed per visit as users look for each day's egg (they can put the egg on a new or under used part of the site for awareness). So simple an idea that does so much.

So, each day on Twitter, they put up the day's clue to drive traffic to the promo. For example "Today's Easter Egg clue - To get a reel deal at Meijer, follow the bunny at! Hint: You may be star struck!"  Further, I love that they have also brought some light hearted fun back into promotion.  Today we have serious consumer trends about the economy, health and environmentalism which, while important, often tend to focus brands on more serious promotional concepts, or worse, simple value-based ideas that lack any imagination at all.  As a marketer that is currently wandering the frontier of the intersection of digital lifestyles and how they impact shopping, its nice to know that there is a retailer out in these parts as well. 


Join our Social Media Experiment - Tide Loads of Hope

This evening we're in an interesting social media experiment. We're testing the power of social media to spread a "buy now" message to support a great cause. Tide is selling retro tee-shirts to support Loads of Hope. Check out the video below for more about this great cause, and support them by going to and buying a shirt—two shirts gets free shipping.

It is definitely a great cause so a worthwhile endeavor. But the key to the experiment is in not using traditional paid media and instead appealing to bloggers, twitterers, facebookers, etc. as the mechanisms to reach out and talk to folks. So please check out and join our experiment.

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