• Changing Tastes are Catching Businesses Off Guard

    Changing Tastes are Catching Businesses Off Guard Today some of the biggest names in retail are struggling to understand the quirks of the millennial generation, a critical customer base. McDonald’s has lagged in the trend toward “fast-casual” dining (e.g. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Corner Bakery) that offers healthier ingredients and highly customizable meal options. The chain’s…

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  • August 2014 – Are Customers Really OK with Online Business Experiments?

    Are Customers Really OK with Online Business Experiments? Is messing with the minds of your customers sometimes OK, or is it mostly always wrong? Last month the online matchmaking service OKCupid said it purposely manipulates data to “improve their matchmaking system and help users find love”. And that it’s justified because, “That’s how websites work.” Or…

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  • July 2014 – Can Customers Like You Too Much?

    Can Customers Like You Too Much? Not all customers are good for your company.  There is a specific class of customers that could actually signal that a new product will fail. A recent study from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University describes these “harbingers of failure”.  These customers tend to have unique tastes, they buy…

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  • June 2014 – How to increase your customer base 850%, Uber-style.

    How to increase your customer base 850%, Uber-style. The evolution of technology presents a continuous challenge to business models – but it also allows old and new companies to gain unique competitive advantages. A recent example is Uber, a company that has developed smartphone apps that allow riders to book livery and ridesharing services with…

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  • September 2013 – Momma Always Said First Impressions Matter.

    Momma Always Said First Impressions Matter Remember the old days when shoppers used to go to the store, compare products sitting on shelves, and then choose one to buy? P&G called that the First Moment of Truth between the customer and the company. Yes, that was a long time ago – maybe 10 years… Now…

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  • February 2013 – Watered Down Bourbon Misses the Mark

    Watered Down Bourbon Misses the Mark We enjoy the occasional bourbon, so we couldn’t help but notice the recent announcement by Maker’s Mark (see link) reversing their decision to add water to their whiskey. In business, there are big decisions and there are small decisions.  A decision to dilute a premium product with water in…

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  • September 2012 | What’s A Customer Really Worth To You?

    What’s A Customer Really Worth To You? For several years PriSim has been teaching students to consider the “lifetime value” (LTV) of their customers. And now we’ve published an article describing the LTV process. Click here to read a copy of the article. It’s easy to fall into the trap of valuing customers based solely…

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  • A WikiLeaks World

    Covering your assets in a wikileaks world We’ve all heard about Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief at WikiLeaks. Not too long ago, he published classified government documents and exposed toxic waste in Africa, Scientology manuals, and even water-boarding procedures. Some want to see him as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Others want to see him…

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  • The Value of Older Consumers

    Tipping sacred cows for fun and profit. The value of older consumers. It’s official. If you’re older than 46, MOST advertisers are ignoring you. Why? Because conventional wisdom says you are an old bat? Probably. Conventional wisdom (and the ever-wise media) says older consumers wear black socks with Bermuda shorts, hate change, and can’t use…

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  • Toyota and Managing a Crisis

    We recently read a great analysis of Toyota’s recall crisis in The Detroit Free Press. The article describes how growing pains caused by rapid expansion, strained engineering resources, and a centralized corporate structure put stress on Toyota’s admired corporate discipline – and created the the company’s first serious recall in more than 50 years of…

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