From Four Wheels to Two: Has Mini Gone Too Far? (Time)

Auto Company Mini Moves to Electric ScootersOne of the most difficult decisions facing marketers is figuring out how to grow their business beyond what originally made them successful.  For most marketers, there comes a time when the products that led to initial success have hit their peak and a decision has to be made on how to further grow the company.

As we observe in our Planning with the Product Life Cycle tutorial, many marketers, who see product sales stagnate (i.e., reach maturity), will often look to make changes to the product (e.g., new features, target new market, introduce lower-price models) in order to keep sales going.

Product Placement Advertising is Gaing PopularityWill the sports car driven by James Bond entice movie-goers to consider test driving that car? Are television viewers more likely to increase their purchase of the snack product they see their favorite sitcom star consume?  Would a song blaring in the background of a computer game get gamers to purchase the artist’s CD?

Marketers hope with the assistance of product placement promotions the answer to these is yes!

Lars Johnson Has Goats on His Roof and a Stable of Lawyers to Prove It (Wall Street Journal)

Protecting TrademarkToday marks a milestone for as we reach 3,500 stories in our Marketing Stories Archive.  Since 2004, we have continually posted relevant stories from top news sources focusing on a variety of marketing topics.  When we started listing marketing stories we did not offer much more than a link to the story.  Over time we expanded this feature by providing a brief description of the story.  Starting in 2009, we began offering detailed discussion of selected stories within our Blog.

For our 3,500 story we have this fun one from the Wall Street Journal discussing a unique trademark.  Marketers mostly use trademarks for brand names or other identifiable images, such as a logo.  Marketers look to trademarks to help protect them against competitors that may try to attract business away from the marketer by using words and images made popular by the marketer.  As an example, this story discusses a restaurant in Wisconsin that registered a unique aspect of their business – goats on the roof.  (The actual trademark can be found at the USPTO by searching for serial #74646306.)

QR Codes: Are You Ready For Paper-Based Hyperlinks? (Search Engine Land)

Quick Response Bar CodeMany marketers believe print-based media has lost its effectiveness as an outlet for product promotion.  By print-based media, we are referring to promotional outlets found primarily in newspapers, magazines and direct mail.  The general thought behind this is that digital media, such as websites, social networks and smartphones, is replacing print-based media as an information and entertainment source in the eyes of a growing number of consumers.  Marketers believe this shift in consumer habits will inevitably lead to digital media being a more attractive option for promotional spending compared to print.

Goods to Go (Internet Retailer)

Drop Shippers in RetailingIn our Wholesaling tutorial, we discuss the role of drop shippers in the distribution process. In the context we exam in the tutorial, drop shippers are wholesalers that are situated between a supplier (e.g., manufacture) and a buyer (e.g., retailer).  These wholesalers handle shipping activity but never take physical possession of the product. Instead, suppliers make arrangements with these wholesalers to deliver product directly to the buyer.