Friday, August 29, 2008

Alpina's Impacting shelf exposition

This impactant shelf exposition of the new Alpina pasta products (since 1844...!) was shot in the Intermarché of Praz sur Arly
A different packaging and and a complete range of products make all the difference.
Thank's to Philippe Larcher for his contribution.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Should we ban strawberries in winter ?

Some retailers like Casino in France begin to communicate on the packaging of their Private Label the greenhouse gas balance. Beyond the Marketing effect, it raises some questions for the consumers. It surely may afraid a bit more shoppers and if it’s used to compare products in shelf, anyone must be sure of the method used to measure it. Imported products are on focus for the transportation impact on CO2. Some groups are flourishing in the west coast of the US, the locavores, which purpose is to "eat locally" so they only consume food produced in an area of 100 miles around San Francisco bay.

But nothing is simple and we may perhaps be once more victim of a counterintuitive situation. A study from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the Carnegie Mellon University (here) demonstrates that even carried on large distance (mean of 6700 km) transportation represents only 11% of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact 83% of the gases has to be attributed to production mode.

By the way, and that’s even more interesting, the kind of food shows very disparate rate of gas balance. Indeed, red meat is around 150% more greenhouse gas intensive than chicken or fish. Conclusion, to save the planet, it’s more efficient to switch your diet, reducing the consumption of red meat and dairy products than quiting strawberries in winter…

Friday, August 8, 2008

Instinct vs. "Super Crunching" ?

Google is changing our lives. How ? By turning data into profits. His data mining and capacity to deal and sort out conclusions that makes sense from terabytes of data has changed everything. We’re switching from the power of the experts and experience to the realm of standard deviation and logarithmic formulas (formulas better kept that Coca-Cola recipe !).

Ian Ayres book’s describes amazing examples of application of “Super Crunching” in fields as different as Wine testing (predict future value of Bordeaux vintage upon average summer temperature and rain level during harvest) or Casinos. I was impressed to learn that Harrah’s Casinos predict how much his gamblers are ready to lose and still enjoy the game to be able to come back. The “pain point” of the gambler is estimated with information like age, sex and wealth through his zip code area. Passed the determined "pain point" or maximum estimated loss, a gift / invitation is gently offered to the selected customer ! How to transform a big loss in enjoyable experience...

The interesting point with Super Crunchers is the way it describes the switch between instinct or experience vs. quantitative analysis to predict outcomes.

Transposed to the Retail area, it seems that defining the product to be promoted is, in most cases, more the result of an opportunity rather than a deep analysis of its profitability, cannibalization effect or capacity to attract new customers.For example, this photo shot in Carrefour where all kind of shampoo are in promo in the same time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Coincidence : the "No" quote by Richard Avedon

I'm always troubled with coincidence, as I'm fascinated by randomness. Even though most improbable coincidences likely result from play of random events, we always try to look for a hidden meaning...

It happened some days ago, I was visiting the superb exhibition of Richard Avedon in the Musée du Jeu de Paume in Paris and got stuck by a quote from the photographer published between the 1st and 2nd floor :

"I've worked out a series of no's. No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narrative. And all these no's force me to the "yes." I have a white background. I have the person I'm interested in and the thing that happens between us."

Just a few days after, reading Small is the New Big by Seth Godin (a reallllly great book I strongly recommend), page 152, appears the quote by Avedon. Second shock. That's it !

As S. Godin wrote, and you, do YOU have a NO ?

© 2008 the Richard Avedon Foundation

Saturday, August 2, 2008

When more is too much !

I shot these "gorgeous" photos in Mexico, maybe in a Comercial Mexicana supercenter. Beans is a traditional meal in the Mexican gastronomy and may sometimes appear a bit strange for the European palate. I should say that just the view of the pics keeps out hungriness !

Those interested in that kind of stuff may find much more recipes here. (take care !)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Why more is less ?

... c'est le sous-titre de l'ouvrage de Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of choice. L'auteur va à l'encontre d'un préjugé que les retailers connaissent bien : la multiplication du choix dans les assortiments est favorable au chiffre d'affaires. L'idée que la multiplication des choix va de pair avec le développement de la liberté et de l'autonomie de l'individu est remis en cause par B Schwartz qui y voit plutôt un motif d'insatisfaction et de stress des clients.

Ce livre apporte un double éclairage sur la question. Il décrit en premier lieu comment faisons nous pour choisir. Quels sont nos ressorts psychologiques face à une alternative ? Entre la définition des objectifs, l'évaluation de chacun des objectifs poursuivis (goût, prix, praticité, ...), le rôle du contexte et de l'environnement sur le choix le shopper est soumis à dure épreuve. A tel point que cela pourrait entraîner un désarroi face à cette abondance de choix. Les hypermarchés en seraient aussi les victimes qui, pour se différencier mais aussi pour justifier la taille de leurs espaces de vente ont multiplié à l'infini les références.

A l'inverse, le Hard Discount ne propose le plus souvent qu'une seule option par unité de besoin client. Temps de course réduit, moins de stress, cela serais-ce aussi une des clés de leur succès actuel ?

Lequel choisir ?

Nous reviendrons sur ces questions de définition d'assortiment ultérieurement...