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Amazon Versus Hachette, Amazon Versus Disney, Etc.

18 Aug

As the world’s largest book seller and online retailer, Amazon is never afraid to flex its muscles with regard to suppliers. So, these questions come into play: Is Amazon acting as an advocate for lower consumer prices (as the retailer claims)? OR is Amazon an unrestrained bully trying to increase its margins at the expense of its content providers (as critics claim)? WHAT IS YOUR CONCLUSION?

For several months, Amazon has been  battling with publisher Hachette. Consider this observation in Catey Hill’s report for MarketWatch:

“Amazon and book behemoth Hachette — along with some publishers’ groups and writers — are at one another’s throats, in a fight that’s escalated just within the past week. Amazon, which accounts for about 60% of the digital-book market, wants to use its market power to get Hachette to lower E-book prices, while Hachette says that this is ‘punitive,’ hurts authors and bookstores, and doesn’t take into account the costs — like royalties, marketing and expenses — that go into creating books. Hachette also notes that 80% of its books are already selling online for $9.99 or less, which is the price at which Amazon hopes to sell many of its E-books. For its part, Amazon has used its leverage against Hachette by delaying shipping and stopping pre-orders on some Hachette books.”

Now, Amazon has also decided to do battle with the Walt Disney Co., another behemoth content provider. Consider this observation in Greg Bensinger’s report for the Wall Street Journal:

“When Amazon.com Inc. wants to fight, it turns to a familiar playbook. The latest to feel the Seattle retailer’s sting is Walt Disney Co. Amazon isn’t accepting pre-orders of forthcoming Disney DVD and Blu-ray titles including Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Maleficent. As Amazon continues its well-publicized battle with Hachette over E-book costs, it has now engaged in a battle with Disney. It is the same tactic Amazon has employed in a bitter four-month spat with Hachette Book Group over E-book pricing. To press its point, Amazon suspended pre-orders for physical copies of many Hachette titles and lengthened shipping times or pared discounts for others. The tactics underscore Amazon’s unusual sway in E-commerce, where it is by far the dominant player, particularly for books and media.”

Click the image to see a Wall Street Journal video on this battle.

Photo by Associated Press

 

Be a Smarter Tourist: Avoid These Scams

13 Aug

It is currently the height of the tourist season in many countries. As such, smart tourists must be aware of — and protect themselves against — the numerous scams that are out there.

As UK-based Just the Flight puts it:

“Tourists are often the most vulnerable to scams; they are probably unfamiliar with the surrounding area; they are often in need of help and information and tend to be trusting of locals; they are likely not to question what they see or are told; they often cannot speak the language where they are; and they are probably carrying large amounts of cash and credit.”

“Most scammers are smart. They know how to cheat money out of tourists in ways that make identification difficult, if not impossible. Some scams are quite obvious once they have occurred, with the victim realizing they have been cheated but only after it is too late. Others are more subtle, where the victim may never realize that anything went wrong, and they rationalize that they have either lost of miscounted their money. Tourist scammers and pickpockets take advantage of weak laws and law enforcement, thereby allowing them to effectively operate indefinitely while nothing is stopping them.”

Take a look at this infographic from Just the Flight and avoid the worst tourist scams.
 

 

Marketing Art at the J. Paul Getty Museum

24 Jul

The J. Paul Getty Museum, located in Los Angeles, Clifornia, is world renowned. Its mission is to: “inspire curiosity about, and enjoyment and understanding of, the visual arts by collecting, conserving, exhibiting, and interpreting works of art of outstanding quality and historical importance.” It “builds collections through purchase and gifts, and develops programs of exhibitions, publications, scholarly research, public education, and the performing arts that engage our diverse local and international audiences.”

The Getty Museum appreciates the importance of marketing. One interesting, marketing-oriented initiative of the Museum is its interactive online discussion of The Life of Art: Context, Collecting, and Display, which is on exhibit at the physical museum:

“Look closely at a work of art and you are likely to uncover clues to a fascinating past and present: an object’s intimate connection to people, places, institutions, and cultures. This exhibition takes four objects from the Museum’s decorative arts collection—a silver fountain, a wall light, a side chair, and a lidded bowl—and encourages you to explore their ‘lives’ through an interactive presentation.”

Click the image to access the interactive online show-and-tell.
 

 

An Interview with Fashion Legend Diane Von Furstenberg

17 Jul

Diane Von Furstenberg has been a prominent, trend-setting fashion designer for decades. Take a look at the Web site of her company to see what she’s doing now.

Here’s a brief bio of Von Furstenberg by Liz Welch of Inc.:

“Designer Diane von Furstenberg was 27 when she made the first wrap dress in 1974. The iconic design landed her on the cover of Newsweek — and millions of women snapped up her dresses. But when demand faded, von Furstenberg ended up selling most of her licenses to avoid bankruptcy. In 1997, von Furstenberg relaunched her company, which now has annual sales of more than $200 million. The wrap dress, too, made a comeback, and recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with ‘The Journey of the Dress’ exhibition, which traveled the globe. And, as the 68-year-old designer recently shared with Inc. contributing editor Liz Welch, she is focused on building a company to outlast any fad.”

Click Von Furstenberg’s photo to read her recent interview with Liz Welch for Inc.
 

 

Nielsen’s 2014 Breakthrough Award Winners

14 Jul

Research giant Nielsen annually examines thousands of new product introductions.

As part of its analysis, Nielsen has identified its 2014 U.S. Breakthrough Innovation Winners: “These diverse new products carry the common thread of finding and filling unmet consumer needs while demonstrating that with significant effort, game-changing innovation is possible in any category and by all types of companies.” The products are all commonly found in the supermarket.

The winning products were all introduced in 2012. We have inserted direct links to these products:

 

Companies That Have Changed the World

9 Jul

Many companies have had a major impact on business practices and our lives. And a lot of these companies have endured for a century or more.

Recently, Fortune published a list of 27 companies that have changed the world over the last century-plus.

Sorry, Apple fans — but Apple ranks only 16th on the list!

Click the image to see the full list. :-)
 

 

Who Are the Best at Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

8 Jul

For the tenth year, a major award for the best firms in  CRM has been given by 1to1Media, this time in conjunction with Gartner.

Click here to read a summary about the 2014 Gartner &1to1 Media CRM Excellence awards.

And click the image to read the full report.
 

 

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