Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 7am

George Prout

Applied Marketing 101: Beads and the Product Life Cycle Curve

Scarcely a day goes by without at least one retailer asking my opinion on if, and when, the bead frenzy will end. It’s an important question, given the extraordinary dependence that many better independent stores now have on bead lines for traffic and cash flow. As part of the diagnostic process of evaluating our customers’ marketing strategies, it’s generally helpful for me to understand the relative contribution of each merchandise category to a store’s overall revenue stream, and recently it’s not been uncommon for me to see 30 percent or more of gross revenues coming from beads. In order to understand what’s happening in this category, and perhaps gain some insight into what may likely happen in the future, let’s take a look at a fundamental marketing principle called the Product Life Cycle.

Applied Marketing 101: How this funny looking little ink spot is about to change Everything

Occasionally, technological changes occur that transform society in extraordinary ways. I’m sure you would agree that the development of the personal computer represents just such a change. In this context, there have also been a series of “mini-revolutions” in which smaller incremental technological advances (e.g., the Internet, Cable TV) created transformational changes as well. In my view, we are on the threshold of a very big change, a societal embrace of a new technology that will fundamentally alter the way that retailers communicate with consumers.

Applied Marketing 101: The Social Media Marketing Model

There is a revolution taking place right now in the way that retail businesses communicate with their customers. This revolution is so extraordinary, and so unprecedented, that most of us are still just beginning to understand its implications. In order fully to understand what’s happening, here’s a bit of background.