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Sunday, February 03, 2008

The penny drops. Well is dropping

Two very different subjects, one thing in common.

Firstly this article from Motley Fool: “60 is the new 40”.

It looks like "boomer-focused" retail companies like Chico's CHS , Coldwater Creek CWTR , Stein Mart SMRT, Christopher & Banks CBK and Talbots (NYSE: TLB) are having a hard time of things.

The Fool argues that if indeed 60 year olds have a much younger mindset, than their chronological age, then they aren’t going to be turned on by stores focusing on oldies.

Here you have the simple marketing dilemma. If you are targeting the 50-plus do you do it in covert or overt way. If you are selling financial services then there is no argument – put up a big sign and say all 50-plus welcome, especially if you can cut them a good deal. If you are selling vanity/status products then covert is probably the best bet.

This brings me onto the article in a new Harvard publication: “Don't Bother with the "Green" Consumer”. I quote.

It seems so logical on the face of it. A company wishing to go green should focus on the green consumer, right? Not so. Marketing to the green consumer has proved difficult, even downright dangerous, for companies large and small.

Small, streamlined green brands that truly appeal to the environmentalist consumer can't reach the mainstream. Those companies get stuck in a green ghetto—virtuous, but limited in scope.

So while the traditional marketing answer to the question, Should we market to the green consumer? The better answer is this: Instead of focusing on a green niche, focus on green behaviors that everyone can aspire to.
See the connection? It is really 101 marketing but still companies and NGOs keep falling into the ghetto marketing trap. Strange. Dick Stroud

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