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The topic of optimizing productivity continues to be a pervasive point of discussion; but why does it feel like everything we’re doing still isn’t enough? Well, for all the moneymakers out there, you might be surprised to hear that our productivity has increased nearly 400% since 1950, while wages have remained virtually stagnant. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If today’s expectation is that we do more and more for less and less, at what point do we see people break? Professional moms feel the brunt of this burden the most sacrificing (happiness, commitments, relationships), just to stay afloat. Pair that with the. Continue reading

Netflix, AT Target, and Walmart. What do they have in common? These four behemoths, and countless others, regularly embrace and host Hackthons events that encourage outsiders to come together, all in the name of creating, building, and prototyping new ideas. What’s the common bond that links these people together? The art of experimentation. Within the seemingly endless options to explore, hackers at a recent Netflix Hack Day cracked Mattel’s MindFlex technology (which measures brainwave activity and allows you to circuit those impulses to an electrical toy through a series of computer processes). By rewiring the technology, they created a way for users to navigate and control selections on. Continue reading

While much of the mainstream market remains largely unaware of the potential impact of that new technology thing called artificial intelligence (less than 20% of consumers feel that they know a lot about AI), marketers can’t contain their excitement. Marketers believe the possibilities are endless. This transformative technology holds the power to elevate the memorability of an engagement with brands and retailers. Case in point: Starbucks is building a Siri like virtual assistant for its app called My Starbucks Barista. How does it work? Just click the button and watch/talk to the virtual barista sparking conversational commerce. Continue reading

As digital engagements become more pervasive, brands are looking for new, more meaningful, opportunities to connect. Cue the mass scale of Facebook and the early adopters of Facebook Live. The platform enables brands to capitalize on the cultural zeitgeist of trending moments and occasions. For example, this past Halloween, Tomcat (yes, the pest control company) hosted a Facebook Live event in which viewers were active participants in the hunt to kill off a cast of rodents. It was unique. Unexpected. And highly entertaining. Why does this matter? Because content is king; it’s a brief reprieve. Continue reading

If there’s an occasion or event coming down the pipeline, you can bet your bottom dollar that the onslaught of thematic advertising is soon bound to follow. Nowadays, we’ve all grown pretty accustomed to the topical communications that sprout up from marketers during these key time frames. Whether it’s for a traditional holiday (Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day) or the lesser known yet socially revered National X Day (National Siblings Day, National Puppy Day), many brands have become experts at leveraging these moments as an opportunity to spark a conversation. The underlying hope is that these marketing strategies create some top of mind awareness, an authentic connection, and that they ultimately lead. Continue reading

Recently, the subject of empathy has been on my mind. As brands and retailers work to establish long lasting connections with consumers and shoppers, empathy seems to be falling by the wayside. While that might sound like a harsh blanket statement, the fact is that, lately, businesses favor innovation and chasing trends more so than creating meaningful pieces of content that spark an emotional connection. Think back to P powerful “Thank You, Mom” or Dove’s “Real Beauty” ad campaign. Why were these so successful? Because both of these campaigns were compelling and influential pieces of storytelling. To this day, they spark an immediate emotional response. As marketers, we spend. Continue reading

Right now, there’s an insidious tug of war happening between our ability to focus, and the effort to just get it all done. Rightfully so, it’s affecting our ability to regulate day to day emotions and capture the ever elusive idea of me time. It’s a familiar struggle many can empathize with. After all, professionals are working longer hours than ever before according to Gallup, the average full time employee works 47 hours a week and a fifth work as much as 59 hours a week. In fact, recent studies show that the highest paid professionals are also working the most hours, and that struggle to find balance continues to pry at their emotional. Continue reading

Does our income level really feed happiness? According to a study by Princeton University researchers,
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the answer is yes, up until a point. Researchers found that the benchmark for happiness, in regard to day to day contentment with life, tends to sit at an average 75K (give or take a few thousand based on where you live). While many can rest assured that life’s daily struggles become less burdensome at that income level, for many, that range just isn’t the reality. While financial and economic stability continues to be a hot topic of conversation, a recent article in The Atlantic, titled “The Secret Shame of Middle Class Americans” shed a startling. Continue reading

In our Denver office, we recently had the pleasure of hosting Bryan Leach, Founder and CEO of Ibotta. Leach’s entrepreneurial passion for his company was palpable and infectious. He spoke about the important and undeniable dynamic shifts occurring in the digital world and shed an important spotlight on the state of couponing as we’ve known it for the past umpteen years; think, 50 year old housewife clipping coupons out of a crusty newspaper. He also talked about the conception and development of a radically new idea for mobile shopping: pay the shopper real cash. If you haven’t heard of Ibotta, it’s a wildly popular app that allows shoppers to easily. Continue reading

Culture tends to be cyclical and reactionary, yet every once in a while, a disruption comes along that is so gigantic that it shifts society forward into an entirely new era. Less than a decade ago, we could easily trace the pathways of our shoppers; it was a very linear process. Of course, today, that’s no longer the case. The digital age has reshaped and reimagined shoppers’, and retailers’, expectations and experiences. We’re now surrounded by a constellation of new devices, information, and services that are sparking different behaviors and resulting in a brand new type of shopper, the on demand shopper. In this edition of The Checkout, we’ll explore. Continue reading

For brands, cultivating and nurturing a strong community has never been more critical than it is today. With the proliferation of products, services, and brands, it’s not news that consumers increasingly want to support brands that identify with their lifestyles and values. What is new is that brands need to tap into audiences that are passionate about the same shared values and beliefs with the brand in order to earn long term loyalty. Communities like Lululemon and Starbucks transcend a singular product; it becomes about the brand experience as a whole. Yet many brands continue to treat community building as a piece of their marketing strategy vs. a high level,. Continue reading

For the past few years, Starbucks has ushered in the changing of seasons with a series of ceremonious flavors and styles. In almost ritualistic fashion, the peppermint lattes and pumpkin scones symbolize the start of a new Holiday season. For many people, the release of these seasonal goodies creates a wave of excitement and anticipation for the collectables. Yet when Starbucks released this year’s Holiday cup, it was met with an uproar of criticism from various groups. This year, the traditional snowflakes and snowmen were replaced with a singular red hue that darkens in color from top to bottom. Advocates and antagonists alike, immediately took to social media to post. Continue reading

The mind is a memory bank and it’s under attack. Today, there are countless brands and messages in hundreds of categories all vying for a place in the consumers mind. Unfortunately, there’s only a finite number of brands we can store away in that memory bank. In order to make room for fresh information, its become part of our human nature to forget. We seek out new experiences and crave undiscovered adventures all in the hopes of carving out another sliver. Continue reading

What is Mobilegeddon? Google took a bold move and recently altered its mobile search algorithm. From this point on, if a site is not mobile optimized, it will be de prioritized in Google’s search rankings meaning shoppers may never even see your site because it’s hidden at the bottom of the search pile. Can Google justify this decision? Yes. Google strives to provide the best possible user experience for their users. According to Flurry Analytics, people now spend approximately three hours per day on their mobile devices and if a shoppers experience is seamless on their device, there’s a higher likelihood they’re going to make a purchase. Why does this matter?. Continue reading

Deep inside our brains we have a piece of connective tissue called our basal ganglia, and this tiny piece of tissue is responsible for the subconscious and conscious habits we perform every day of our lives. In his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg explores the fascinating habits that control many facets of daily activity. He illuminates why certain cues have the power to transform our behaviors, how new habits are formed and how Fortune 500 companies have been able to use these techniques to their advantage. How do we shake shoppers out of their unintentional and/or. Continue reading
the north face rain jacket Kristina Ford's Profile