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Posts Tagged ‘retail’

Impact Driver or Impact Wrench? Confused Names Keep Products on the Shelf

November 8, 2010 2 comments

End-user confusion about drills and drivers is rampant – although the model in this stock photo looks more bored than confused.

There are many ways that companies conspire to keep their products sitting lazily on the shelf (safe from consumer purchase). One critical mistake is with naming.

Consider an example from the realm of the home store where tool makers have created a wilderness of product, category and project names that stand in the way of revenue and market share growth.

No tool category is more confused than drills and drivers. And over the past few years manufacturers have added to the confusion with the impact driver. The impact driver is a superb, compact tool that use small bursts of torque to deliver turning power around the screw, bolt or nut. Read more…

Even Cars Can Be Shelf Potatoes. Consider Volkswagon’s Eurovan

July 28, 2010 4 comments

Eurovan vacation in Eastern Washington

Two and a half years ago I purchased my 2001 Eurovan (Weekender) – a pop top camper that carries 7, sleeps four, hauls 4′ by 8′ sheets of plywood inside, and lets our kids play across a table on road trips. Even better, VW finally upgraded to a strong motor so that the van powers it’s way over mountain passes.

The Eurovan excites passion among those who own them or would like to own them. We Eurovan owners wave to each other on the road and stop to talk in the parking lot. I’ve even had an owner leave me a note asking me to help him find a roof rack setup like the one on ours. BUT, in 2003 VW cancelled the product in the US.

And that leads us to today’s installment of ShelfPotato Diaries. Why did a car that excites this passion eventually fail? It seems their rationale for cancellation included two primary reasons: Read more…

Eight (8) Reasons Products Sit on the Retail Shelf

July 21, 2010 2 comments

Grills like this were on the shelf for nearly 20 years before communication made a breakthrough

Grills nearly identical to George Foreman’s lingered on store shelves for nearly 20 years. Then, the Foreman infomercial blew the doors off driving over $100M in sales in two years. And we learned that while the Grill delivered tremendous value to consumers, no one had known of those benefits or believed it would deliver them.

Not all Shelf Potatoes have potential like the Foreman Grill. Some sit on the shelf because they should. Contributor Ben Smith has noted that the Microsoft Kin was released with massive communication, failed to show unique value, then lingered on the shelf only to be cancelled leaving a black spot on Microsoft’s reputation. Read more…

Snuggie was A Shelf Potato

July 12, 2010 1 comment

Why would a shelf potato this cozy want to race out the door?

For years, a blanket with sleeves called the Slanket sat on shelves. And it wasn’t alone as Gizmodo tells us. These blankets with sleeves sold okay. And when you read reviews by people who owned them, they liked them.

But they never sold in the volume that the Snuggie has. So what turned Snuggie into a super-hit? Communication.

Yup, those cheesy ads. Love them, hate them, or merely put up with them (because what choice is there?), Snuggie’s advertising drives sales. I guess we needed to see the entire family cheering on their team while dressed in Snuggies (and with their backs uncovered). And without their ads we’d still look at a Slanket on the shelves (if they ever got there) and decide they looked just like … well … a blanket. If you’d run into the Slanket at retail, would you have known why you might want one? (And did they have them in leopard print? Oops. That came later.) Read more…

Shelf potato alert – Microsoft Kin mobile phone

July 1, 2010 1 comment

By Ben Smith

“From half baked spud to dud in 2 months is no way to go through a life-cycle son.”

Article: “Death of the Microsoft Kin: A Look at the Evidence”

Article: “Microsoft’s Kin smartphone: No, it kin’t”

If you saw the commercials or talked to a rep in store, you probably couldn’t figure out what problems Kin solved or unmet needs it satisfied. The fact that it was pulled from the market so soon by a company with so deep of pockets leaves only a few conclusions and bigger questions. Read more…