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


LinkedIn linked to twitter? Beware…… November 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — kayroseland @ 12:26 pm

Busy sending your tweets to LinkedIn?   Consider carefully……….. and stop it!

People who were smartly using the LinkedIn status line now show up on LinkedIn with twitter goobeldegook mucking up their LinkedIn presence.  The LinkedIn status line is one of the strongest tools in your social media kit; use it wisely! 

At minnebar, @MNHeadHunter says he is just waiting for someone to be tweeting about those )#(*& Vikings, Gophers, (fill in the blank) and send it not only to  twitter (where it will barely register on the Oh, Horrors! scale) but to LinkedIn.   LinkedIn is your resume folks!!!  Keep it concise, focused and a proud representation of the best of you.   Keep Twitter for your best casual, snarky, witty self.  Oh and one last thought?

Google is forever!   And for that matter, so is Twitter!!!  Let the social media user plan for the future before you hit that Update key.

Kay Roseland     @KayLoire


minnebar: 600 MN geeks and Me! November 22, 2009

minnebar (#minnebar) — minnesota + tech + design + drinks   was held at Best Buy headquarters in Richfield,  MN on Saturday, November 21. 

minnebar is an “(un)conference” where attendees set the agenda.  It is unique because it brings together the Twin Cities’ design and programming community for a day of learning, networking and fun.

Shareology had a ball  amidst geeks and gurus in the Best Buy headquarters.  The great thing about minnebar is it is created by the participants!  Don’t like a 45 minute session?  Quietly leave and go sit in on another!! 

Among sessions Shareology attended:

Marketing via Social  Media                        Alex Hawkinson

Android 101                                                           Justin Grammens

 Networking Online                                          Paul DeBettignies

Let’s take a look at some of the fun:

Minnebar arrivals begin the day with muffins, fruit and Caribou in Sandy's Place at Best Buy headquarters

Attendees gather for Android 101 in the Best Buy Theater

Android 101



Alex Hawkinson, session leader, and Luke Francl, (un)conference organizer

Donnie Berkholz prepares to present on Bad Apples or ... .....

Zack Steven at the social media end of the (un)conference

Gopher Game or Minnebar? Tough call.... Minnebar wins! Paul DeBettignies, @MNHeadHunter, helps navigate online networking

Networking online session attendees doing their homework

What a great day at minnebar!

What a way to spend a Saturday:  a pure learning adventure!  Many thanks to Luke, Ben, Jeff and Matt  for organizing Minnebar, and a special thanks to all the sponsors: 

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Informed sources tell me the after party went on to 8 pm and beyond!!!

So how did you spend your Saturday?  If you’d like to relive minnebar, check out #minnebar on twitter.

Kay Roseland    @KayLoire


SMBMSP #21: more pics and less bacon November 20, 2009

Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis St. Paul ( #SMBMSP ) met at Imation Headquarters in Oakdale, MN on November 20th for another round of networking and learning.  


  • Putting the passion back into your jobsearch
    by Kate-Madonna Hindes

    Showcasing your value as a jobseeker using social media and while networking. Creative and easy ways to remember your ‘accomplishment statement,’ how to use social media to find a job and touching base on advanced ways to use linkedin, twitter, and more.

    Kate-Madonna Hindes works for the State of Minnesota Workforce Center System. She facilitates on Social Media and Creative Job Search strategy. She also facilitates around the nation for the NCCC, through her blog, GirlMeetsGeek.

  • GoGirl Case Study: How Conversations Built GoGirl
    by Holly Matson and Cydney WuerffelA case study of a local Minnesota start-up that shows how social media knowledge was put to work to launch and build a brand. We’ll discuss the importance of integration and strategy and why social media can’t work without it.Holly Matson is an Online Marketing Manager at Risdall Online Marketing Group. Cydney Wuerffel, also at Risdall Online Marketing Group, is an Online Visibility Specalist.
  • Imation Gets Social
    by Jeffrey MeredithLearn about some recent social media efforts by the world’s leading provider of removable data storage products.

    Jeffrey Meredith
    is Vice President of Global Marketing and Product Management for Imation.

GoGirl, a new product line, utilizes social media and the occasional MINI Cooper to market a unique feminine product.   Shareology was impressed with the strong branding,  including the product name GoGirl.  About half way through the presentation, it dawned on Shareology that this is not the first time she has run across this product.  Given the events of October  10, Shareology has been doing a LOT of reading; I’ve already plowed through all seven Harry Potters:  again.  Currently I’m rereading Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, which includes a “female funnel” received by one of the main characters, Mary Ann Singleton, as a component of her job at a San Francisco TV station during the 70’s.  Maupin has written a fascinating seven books about this time period; what he did not do was brand his novelistic female funnel as GoGirl!

Here’s a few selections from Social  Media Breakfast Minneapolis St.Paul #21:

Kristi Kottschade and Lenore Hoolihan at Imation Headquarters for SMBMSP #21

Kate-Madonna Hindes or @GirlMeetsGeek meets her audience

GoGirl, a unique new product introduction, via social media

Risdall Online Marketing Group's Holly Matson and Cydney Wuerffel greet their audience

Shareology guesses this may be the most unusual product @MyklRoventine has ever given away...

What better way to end SMBMSP #21 than with a smiling Amy Bryant?

Next time (December 18 at Open Book) remind Shareology to get a seat by the projected Twitter stream:  so cool!  

A tip of the social media hat to Rick Mahn and Mykl Roventine for another high quality event!  

Kay Roseland @KayLoire


Happy Friday the 13th! November 13, 2009

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Just a quick note about some coming attractions on Shareology….   So many of you have clicked on “A New Shopping Center in 2009?  Are they Mad?”  that an update  is in the works.   Key store and restaurant openings in West End make a return visit by Shareology and her camera a must.  

Shareology also scored her ticket to Social  Media Breakfast Minneapolis – St. Paul #21 a week from today at Imation headquarters in St.  Paul.   Looking forward to a great content session and ever fun shots of social media geeks at play.   SMBMSP is one of the most satisfying groups Shareology has ever been a part  of  (unless you count Alpha Psi Omega, the drama fraternity, and Shareology does!!) 

So enjoy your Friday the 13th;  see you back here in the next few days with more retail and social media news, pictures and general frivolity!

Happy Weekend!

Kay Roseland   @KayLoire


Imagine the smile on Shareology’s face…. November 10, 2009

UPDATE May, 2010:

  • Opening Day of Louis Vuitton, Galleria:   May 4, 2010
  • Date of Shareology Post re Opening:          May 4, 2010
  • Date of Strib’s article on Opening:                May 6, 2010
  • Shareology:                                                            Still Smiling

Original  Post from November 10:

…when she retrieved her Star Tribune this morning to find “Vuitton to defy economy and unpack at Galleria” on the front page, main story in business section.   But then, dear Shareology reader, you knew that 24 hours earlier:  proceed to the post below “A Retail Surprise at Galleria!”


A Retail Surprise at Galleria! November 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — kayroseland @ 12:17 pm
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Shareology has been following changes at Galleria in Edina,  MN for the past year.  This shopping center is one of the few remaining vital during one of retail’s most challenging times.  One strategy has been to move tenants in small spaces into larger spaces.  Shareology was a tad concerned that, based on her prior experience in percentage rent  at Dayton Hudson Properties, successful small tenants may be hard pressed to keep up with additional rents that come with additional square footage.  Thus a great tenant in a small space risks failure when moved to a larger space.   A source confirmed to Shareology a few weeks ago that Galleria is extremely careful with its tenants, and moves those who can grow and be successful into larger spaces.   The same source indicated that as one of the few privately owned shopping centers, the Galleria has more freedom to make decisions, and carefully nurtures its tenants and their growth.  

Moving those tenants to larger spaces leaves those smaller spaces empty behind.  Galleria has been averaging about six open store fronts in the past year.   A trip to Edina this weekend confirmed that the movement of tenants into larger spaces continues.  Styled Life does indeed look styling in its new space.  Last week, Fifth Avenue Optical moved into new space, and stopped Shareology in her tracks with its new, attractive store.

Down the hall, Shareology came to a jaw dropping stop.  In the spot vacated by Fifth Avenue Optical and Styled Life was indeed another boarded up space, this one painted chocolate.   The jaw dropping was caused by the sign in front of the empty space:  

“Coming Spring 2010:   Louis Vuitton”    Wow.  Double Wow.   Great fit with their existing tenant Coach.  (And Louis Vuitton’s nearest neighbor?  Tiffany.   Nice Neighborhood.)  

Can retail recovery not be truly underway if Louis Vuitton is moving into Edina?  Shareology left with a skipping step and a smile in her heart!





Shareology was admiring the white and crystal holiday decor at Galleria, when she realized Spring for the opening of Louis Vuitton in Galleria has gotten much more specific:  LV will be here in May!


Kay Roseland    @KayLoire


Inspired Merchandising? or Worst Idea Ever? You decide! November 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — kayroseland @ 12:12 pm
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Shareology is proud to welcome a guest contributor today; Bill Carlson (of Kestrel Marketing in Chicago) and I worked together on the Honeywell Interactive Kiosk.  Bill is still finding amazing items at retail.   Let’s see what he says:

So I happened across this inspired merchandising while shopping at the grocery store and thought it worthy of a humorous sidebar in Shareology… Bet you won’t find this combination in any best practices documentation!

….house brand perhaps, which may explain the “unique” placement (i.e. Impromptu store-level decision vs. structured best practice recommendation from national brand?).

Discord grabs the eye and in fairness to whoever set this up, the sheer fact that I took note is indicative of its success. Actually not often that something stops you in your shopping tracks, requires a second or two of thought and then gets you chuckling. That being said, not so sure this would be in my top-10 cross-promotional recommendations…

1)    There are good ideas for cross-merchandising and there are
not-so-good ideas for cross-merchandising.  Most basic and logical approach
is having products which somehow complement one-another — in front of pizza
you might have red pepper or parmesan cheese, for example.  Creates a
“that’s a good idea” moment for the customer.  Another approach is simply
using that space for any impulse items whether connected or not — in the
frozen foods section one might envision condiments, for example, though
could be just about anything.  Anything except products which don’t look
right next to one-another, of course — in this case, not so sure stomach
relief is the right thing to have in a food aisle!

2)    So, how did this occur?  Are these trays on freezer doors
merchandised based on store-level discretion?  With due respect to store
staff, it’s not their daily challenge to be considering marketing and
cross-merchandising so perhaps someone just didn’t see the irony?  Or maybe
they DID and this is intentional (guys in the back chuckling every day?) —
certainly gets me every time so perhaps there is some wisdom here,
intentional or not?  While cute, and maybe a lesson in how a mismatch can
get more attention than something we might consider more appropriate,
perhaps this is not the right message, and certainly not what I would want
to see in front of my product if I’m one of the pizza suppliers.  If the
stores were not provided with best-practice directions/recommendations, then
indeed the result is at the whim of store staff and this case in point
demonstrates the potential issue.  We’ve all seen a good idea in the
conference room not get executed properly in the field, eh?

3)    Finally, merchandising overkill?  Trays on many of the freezer doors
break the clean look through those doors and if what is on those trays
doesn’t fit the area, then it’s a waste of time and space.  Would be
interesting to do a hidden camera deal in that aisle — merchandise those
trays with complementary products for a day and then merchandise them with
unrelated goods another day and see which gets more action.

Have fun!

Bill Carlson
Kestrel Marketing

So, dear Shareology readers, what do you think?   Inspired Merchandising?  or Worst Idea Ever?

Kay Roseland   @KayLoire


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