Columns

The Star Treatment

The Star Treatment

Last month we talked about the wrong way to use a celebrity’s endorsement.  Now let’s talk about the right way—because, let’s face it, celebrity endorsements sell. Endorsement agreements contain many of the same provisions you would find in any contract; the trick with celebrities is to make things as explicit as humanly possible (and toMore »

Crazy for JCP

Duke_Ratliff

Remember Crazy Eddie? Back in the ’80s, the New York-based consumer electronics chain was known for its loudmouthed spokesperson, presumably Crazy Eddie himself. In ubiquitous television and radio ads, Eddie would proclaim at the top of his lungs that his prices were “insaaaaaaane!” J.C. Penney, suffering from a long hangover of too much Ron Johnson,More »

Pondering Millennials

Duke_Ratliff

Call them a marketer’s dream—or nightmare—the consumer segment dubbed “millennials” (consumers aged 18-34) is starting to make its presence felt in the home furnishings industry. Attention-getting products targeting millennials have been seen at every trade show this year. These items are usually inventive, colorful or unusual in some way—perfectly reflecting the quirky, hard-to-pigeonhole millennials. LastMore »

SodaStream Goes Mainstream

SodaStream Goes Mainstream

As the home furnishings industry convenes for its annual gathering at McCormick Place, it’s interesting to note that U.S. consumers are in the midst of a rare housewares moment. Fizz-maker SodaStream created a housewares buzz amongst consumers with a much-seen ad during the recent Super Bowl. The Israeli-based company undoubtedly will have one of theMore »

Walmart, My Hometown’s Hero

Walmart, My Hometown’s Hero

My hometown was replaced by a Walmart—seriously. While critics have complained for years that the nation’s largest retailer ruins town centers, my hometown of Grundy, Va., pinned its economic future on a much-hoped-for Walmart store. After a long wait—I initially wrote about Grundy’s attempts to get a Walmart in 2005—the store is slated for aMore »