Top of Mind Thursday, February 25, 2021: Want Fry’s With That?

This week, Silicon Valley-based Fry’s Electronics announced it was closing all its remaining stores and shutting down operations immediately.

Leverage2Market LogoThis wasn’t a total surprise, because Fry’s had been shuttering stores for the last couple of years. Inventory was limited in those stores that remained open.

What was special about Fry’s? Long before there was Best Buy or Amazon or even ecommerce, Fry’s was the place we visited to get anything and everything related to electronics. Yes, you could buy a complete computer system, but you could also buy all the individual parts to build your own computer from scratch. You could also buy music and movies, appliances, cell phones, the latest gadgets, and even a good array of snack food.

Going to Fry’s was a Silicon Valley experience. The employees were dressed in starched white shirts and ties, but somehow they’d never caught on to the concept of customer satisfaction. They were usually quite knowledgeable, but not very friendly. Sometimes, it was obvious you were bothering them. But there was no better place to get what you needed in one large store.

At one point Fry’s had $2.3 billion in sales, 14,000 employees and 34 stores. Most stores had a theme–like a Western outpost or a Mayan temple or a space ship.

What happened? Quite simply, they missed the cue on ecommerce. Fry’s had an online store, but it was never state-of-the-art. Other more aggressive competitors breezed by them. With Amazon Prime, why would anyone trek to Fry’s and wander the aisles looking for exactly what they needed? The answer is, they wouldn’t.

Fry’s missed the cue that what their customers wanted had changed. By the time they realized what was happening, it was too late. Their business model was fried. RIP.

Contact me to find out how you can get heard above the noise–even in a crisis situation.


Check out our marketing thought leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

Marketing Above the Noise.

Download a FREE chapter now.

What are people saying?

Buy now.

 


Let us help your business rise to the top.

linda@popky.com
(650) 281-4854
www.leverage2market.com

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Top of Mind Thursday, February 18, 2021: Baby, It’s Cold Inside


This week, the rest of the country watched in horror at the situation unfolding throughout Texas.

Leverage2Market LogoExtreme weather conditions resulted not only in unusual amounts of snowfall, but exceedingly cold temperatures–close to zero degrees Fahrenheit—which nearly brought down the entire state electrical grid. Pipes froze and burst, families were forced to burn furniture to stay warm or sleep in their cars, critical emergency equipment stopped working, and those that went to shelters risked exposure to COVID in group settings.

Other parts of the Midwest suffered through this weather front as well, but in places like Illinois or Minnesota, these conditions are somewhat expected and the local areas are better prepared. There was nearly a week’s notice that this storm would hit Texas–but that didn’t seem to make a difference in terms of preparation.

There will be plenty of blame to go around once the skies clear and the weather warms. But the more important question is whether there will be behavior change moving forward. The issue is not whether or not to believe in climate change–but how to deal with extreme weather situations as they occur.

On a similar subject, once COVID is controlled, will we take appropriate actions to prevent and prepare for the next global health crisis? What will it take for us to sit up and pay attention?

Those who think it isn’t necessary to prepare for these type of events face a cold, hard reality sooner rather than later. Ice cold, in fact.

Contact me to find out how you can get heard above the noise–even in a crisis situation.


Check out our marketing thought leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

Marketing Above the Noise.

Download a FREE chapter now.

What are people saying?

Buy now.

 


Let us help your business rise to the top.

linda@popky.com
(650) 281-4854
www.leverage2market.com

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Top of Mind Thursday, February 4, 2021: Moving Beyond Amazon

This week, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, announced he will be stepping down as CEO of the world’s largest ecommerce firm.

Leverage2Market LogoBezos, who started Amazon as an online bookstore in 1994, is the second richest person in the world, worth $182 billion.

Amazon has been one of the biggest winners of the pandemic, with $386 billion in revenue last year–a 38% yearly increase. More impressively, net profit increased by 84% in 2020, driven mainly by contributions from Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Very few people in the developed world have never dealt with Amazon. Over 140 million people have Amazon Prime accounts–which provide access to award-winning original streaming content, in addition to free shipping. AWS owns over 1/3 of the cloud computing market–more than the next three competitors combined.

So is there really a way any of us can move beyond Amazon? Look at what happened to Sears Roebuck–at one time the largest retailer in the world. Sears owned the direct-to-consumer business for decades. If you think Amazon offers a diverse set of products, consider that between 1908 and 1940, Sears sold over 70,000 mail order houses: the plans and all the pieces showed up at your door, to be assembled by the homeowner and friends.

Being the biggest and best at what you do makes it nearly impossible to have the foresight to invent what will replace your business. Sears couldn’t become Amazon, any more than the previous generation of retailers could have become Sears.

Somewhere out there, the next Jeff Bezos is lurking. We just don’t know who that is yet.

Contact me to find out how you can get heard above the noise–even in a crisis situation.


Check out our marketing thought leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

Marketing Above the Noise.

Download a FREE chapter now.

What are people saying?

Buy now.

 


Let us help your business rise to the top.

linda@popky.com
(650) 281-4854
www.leverage2market.com

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Top of Mind Thursday, February 11, 2021: Cat Got Your Face?

Yesterday, the hottest thing on the Internet was a video of a lawyer appearing in a Zoom-based court hearing…as a cat.

Leverage2Market LogoEvidently, someone in his family had added a cat filter to his Zoom profile and the poor man couldn’t figure out how to get rid of it in real time. Zoom filters are designed to move with the image of the person, so whenever he moved his head, the cat head moved with him.

It was very funny, and brought a whole new meaning to the idea of online cat videos. The judge in the case appeared amused as well. But I suspect there’d be a different reaction if this turned into a regular occurrence.

We only have one chance to make a first impression. In today’s virtual environment, the tools available to us are limited to start. Video sessions are 2D. We’re limited as to what we see on the screen, and in many meetings like this one, there are multiple parties participating–making it even harder to project the right image.

That’s why it’s even more important to control everything you can. Dress appropriately. Have an uncluttered space behind you (or use a background that looks professional). Keep meetings as concise as possible. Use visual aids and screen sharing to help communicate your key points.

And make sure no one’s turned on any cat filters, doggone it.

Contact me to find out how you can get heard above the noise–even in a crisis situation.


Check out our marketing thought leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

Marketing Above the Noise.

Download a FREE chapter now.

What are people saying?

Buy now.

 


Let us help your business rise to the top.

linda@popky.com
(650) 281-4854
www.leverage2market.com

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