Shareology

Happy Birthday! Shareology is Two!!! July 26, 2011

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Hard to believe that Shareology started on July 26, 2009!  Even harder to believe the great people I’ve met along the way; thank you so much for your readership. Love to look back at milestones?  Here are the top 3 Shareology stories in the past 2 years:

  1. Legoland reopens at Mall of America! 
  2. Apple brings their Briefing Room to Uptown!  
  3. Branding Opportunity or Ugly Concrete Posts? 

So what do YOU want to talk about in the next Shareology post?

Kay Roseland  @KayLoire

 

Update on Branding Opportunities: Aloft April 17, 2010

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Perhaps you remember a post Shareology did on Target and those round, red concrete balls?  Recently, Shareology was exiting Aloft in downtown Minneapolis after Kane Camp: Developing Content for Social Media.   She looked back over her shoulder and realized that Aloft had yet another version of branding opportunity:

Okay, granted they are grey and not red.   Granted the size varies, whereas Target’s seem to all be about 3 feet in diameter.   And yet:  another branding opportunity!!!

You can find that original post at:  http://kayroseland.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/branding-opportunity-or-ugly-concrete-posts/

Kay Roseland    @KayLoire

 

Target and The Great Save Event – plus a branding update January 17, 2010

Ahh, remember the good old days when Target sent buyers off to the Paris flea market or the Asian shores to bring us back treasures for our home in January?   Those days are gone in this post recession world; this year we get The Great Save Event!   If it happens to remind you of Costco or Sam’s Club or even Wal-Mart – no problemo!   Shareology dashed in last week to see what all the fuss was about:   

No Membership Fees

Club Packs Club Packs

Signage hanging from the ceiling near checkout reminds shoppers (‘cuse me:   Guests) to check out the back of the store.  And yes, as Shareology left,  headed out the door ahead of her was a woman with a shopping cart loaded with one of the largest packs of toilet tissue Shareology has ever seen.   Does everyone have storage for these club packs?    

Remember that Branding Opportunity or Ugly Concrete Posts? item Shareology wrote a few months back?  It seems for everything there is a season; even branding opportunities, or round red Target balls, have a winter season:   

even Branding Opportunities have a winter season

Life is now good in Minnesota; 30′s seem warm in comparison to the below zero cold of a week ago.  And as Shareology types this, the score is Vikings 34  Dallas 3.   For a snapshot in time, life is good.   

See y’all in N’awlins! 

Kay Roseland   @KayLoire

 

Target, Apple, Macy’s…and the winner is: Apple!! November 29, 2009

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Shareology stepped out on the Saturday after Black Friday to observe a few eclectic trends this holiday season.   She was struck  by merchandising at three retailers; a few select holiday shopping photos and the conversations they started follow:

What better place to start Holidays 2009 than the seasonal decorations department of Target?   Shareology normally doesn’t discuss missed photo opportunities, but………   just a few moments before, three guys in a row were poised in serious contemplation of the wall of lights.   Apparently there are homes out there in need of even more twinkle opportunities!

Is Shareology the only one who thinks it’s a giggle that come Black Friday, the red and green storage bins come out at Target?  I mean, Shareology is one of the most organized people on earth:  but do your holiday decorations have to be in a red bin?   Granted, it makes spotting them in the attic a snap…..but still.    Even if this is not for Shareology, she does enjoy standing in this aisle each year and shaking her head.

Okay, there are two retail windows Shareology can stare at for moments on end.   One is Tiffany.  (Deep sigh, consider heading to Galleria.)  Two is Apple.   This year there seems even more to the Apple presentation at the front of the store.  First, instead of that white, minimalist look, we have a tree and……..wait for it ………mulch.   Actual mulch below the tree.  But let’s get closer:

Yep, definitely real mulch under the tree.  Informed sources tell Shareology:  “The tree in the Apple store IS REAL.  They get two of them delivered to the store.  One for the first half of the season and another one is coming later.  They have to water it several times a day to keep it from drying up.”   Wow.   Shareology is blown away:  an actual tree.   Apple and the bleeding edge are so far in the future, they have circled back to the past and the use of a real tree.  Wow.

But check out the top of the tree:

Now there is a succinct sales message:   “Give Mac.”   Gotta love it!

Shareology eventually moved to the right side of the Apple store front.   At first she thought the tree stand was filled with mouse pads – how last century!  Turns out they are…..   apps!   As one watches the video (in the shape of an iPhone, naturally), a graphic shows up that matches one of the mouse pads on the tree, and a description tells what each holiday themed app does.   For Shareology, it became less about the app, and more about matching the graphic on the video to one of the mouse pads on the tree.   Kinda like a graphic video game.

So let’s move from a superb example  of holiday merchandising to one at the other end of the spectrum:

In an upscale environment, Shareology stumbled across a cardboard display of pet beds.  Even if one could tolerate the cardboard, the product is practically hidden away.  Can you guess what retail store offered this display?   Sorry,  Macy’s, this one’s yours.  Is it any wonder that Shareology declared Apple  the winner of this merchandising tour?

Kay Roseland   @KayLoire

 

Branding Opportunity or Ugly Concrete Posts? August 2, 2009

As Shareology was circling Target for the 14th time last week, she started to notice that Target may be unique in its ability to turn a 3 foot high red ball or concrete barrier at the store front into a branding statement:
Target and those 3 foot high red concrete balls at the store entrance

Target and those 3 foot high red concrete balls at the store entrance

How do other stores deal with store fronts and the need to protect the random driver from crashing into a very expensive entrance?  Let’s see how Best Buy, Sports Authority and Harley Davidson deal with the same issue.   Let’s see what branding opportunities are hits and which are misses.

Best Buy:  Ya think they park the car here for the sheer Branding Power of Geekness?

Best Buy: Ya think they park the car here for the sheer Branding Power of Geekness?

Further Away:  Looking Good

Lost Opportunity:  Where is the yellow and blue when it comes to concrete barriers?  Beige is bland, bland, bland....

Oops:   Why no beautiful blue or yellow carried through to the concrete barriers?   Like we’re not gonna notice them if they’re beige?

Let’s see how Best Buy’s neighbor handles the same challenge with a tad more integration:

The Black Posts repeat the shading of the Red Logo:  Yay!

The Black Posts repeat the shading of the Red Logo: Yay!

Looking Good!   Sports Authority is making its corporate colors work by repeating the shading color with the concrete barriers.   Didn’t we always say how important accessorizing is?

And the Winner Is!

And the Winner Is!

Shareology has to admit she was very pleasantly surprised how Harley Davidson in Eden Prairie, Minnesota handles the concrete column challenge.  They don’t!   Instead we have this garden wall.   (Don’t you always shop for your bike surrounded by flowers and garden walls?)  Hey, you’re not gonna drive your pickup through this concrete garden wall, trust me!  So function is served.   But on least a couple of occasions, Shareology has sauntered through this garden and the bikes for sale wondering if she shouldn’t consider another mode of transportation.  

So:   what do YOU think?  Target’s use of the 3 foot round red concrete balls on four corners of their lot, plus at the store entrances, is a strong and unique branding opportunity.  Or do you prefer the outdoor shopping environment Harley sets up in Eden Prairie?  Shareology wants to know!

Kay Roseland   @KayLoire

 

Big Box? Big Lot? Or…Public Art? July 20, 2009

As retail  struggles, some retailers in blue stress low prices. Other retailers in red look to outside store design to draw customers into their stores.  Previous experience in point of purchase suggests that the outside of the store impacts the decisions made inside the store.

Those of us who have been strolling the newly opened Edina Promenade, participating in the “Judge the Public Art” contest, might be excused for considering the Super Target on York Avenue as part of that public art. Instead of the normal flat boring back of store, we are treated to some rolling hills, green grass, trees and structural elements of the new Target architectural language.  

Public Art -- Target Art

Public Art/Target Art

 Proceed off the Promenade and around the store’s north side and you find the best looking rain runoff area ever featuring white chunky bricks replicated in the nearby low rock walls. 

Rain Water Drains
Rain Water Drains

 Next up on our Around the Target Tour? Six red chairs ready for your next conference break, picnic, or just plain contemplating all things restfully red. (Will we ever look at a three foot red concrete ball again and not think of Target?)

IMG_1030

 The chairs are just off the colonnade that leads you from Galleria across the street to a covered walkway straight south into the store’s entrance. This shaded walkway does a lot to alleviate the harsh Minnesota sun, and makes quite a refreshing entrance to the store.  

Almost as much fun as the Guthrie Theatre's front porch on  the river
Almost as much fun as the Guthrie Theatre’s front porch on the river

Just to give one a teeny glimpse of how good design permeates all things Target, even the ladies room inside the store offers sleekly designed sinks and faucets. Want still more good design and function? Those hand dryers are super effective and efficient:  how come these weren’t in use years ago?

Great Design in places you'd never think to look.........
Great Design in places you’d never think to look………

I know it’s hard, but we leave the store (picnic supplies in tow) and continue our tour back to the Promenade. These hydrangeas are part of the landscaping that perfectly sets off the south side of the store.

Our final shot shows how Target has used images that support the brand while sending messages about how fun and elegant shopping here can be. (Didn’t think elegant was a word you would use to describe Target? Take another look at the woman striding forth in the red dress.) Not one image on the outside of the store that causes us to cringe; all show various Target customers, all demographics blissfully happy in the red spending zone. Try feeling this good about design in blue shopping cart land; ain’t gonna happen.

The Bullseye Branding Rocks!
The Bullseye Branding Rocks!

A tip of the shopping cart to Target, and the designers, architects and landscapers who made this possible!

Is the U.S. consumer marching into stores because of the design of the exterior? Or will Bentonville take over the world?

Even in a challenged economy, I feel a lot better about spending my dollars in a store that makes me happy before I even enter. What about you? What about the consumer?

Kay Roseland / Twitter: @KayLoire

 

 
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