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Monthly Archives: February 2010

RobinsResources.com

My sister, Robin, writes for a blog that is aptly named “Robin’s Resources“. It’s a sweet gig. She basically shops and then writes about her experiences in the shop. Let me give it a try:

7-Eleven

Highland Park, IL

Sort of stinky, not well merchandised, dusty candy, very convenient.

Mike’s note: Not a big fan of Slurpees, I can do without the blue lips

Who you’ll see shopping here: Random people who don’t appear to be from the area

Their specialty: Snacks, beer and porn– what else is there?

What you should buy: A hot dog from the all-day hot dog roller

What you may not know but should:

  1. The 7-Eleven franchise is the largest i chain store in the US with almost 37,000 outlets
  2. July 11th is “7-11” day in the US, but in Australia 7-11 day is November 7th
  3. Smoking appears to be permitted

Well, I’m not sure I captured the essence of Robin’s Resources, you’ll have to visit there to make your own judgement…

An Early Girl Scout Cookie Recipe

The first Girl Scout cookie was invented in Wilmette, IL (according to my secret sources). Here is the original recipe. It’s kind of crumbly…

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar plus additional amount for topping (optional)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

Cream butter and the cup of sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes, and sprinkle sugar on top, if desired. Bake in a quick oven (375°) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Makes six- to seven-dozen cookies.

What is a Brand?

There are few questions in marketing that spark as much debate as this one. One of my favorite explanations, from Adrienne Weiss, is that a good brand is a club that your customer wants to belong to.

A guy from Plan B in Chicago sent me this definition:

Any brand is a set of perceptions and images that represent a company, product or service. While many people refer to a brand as a logo, tag line or audio jingle, a brand is actually much larger. A brand is the essence or promise of what will be delivered or experienced.

Importantly, brands enable a buyer to easily identify the offerings of a particular company. Brands are generally developed over time through:

  • Advertisements containing consistent messaging
  • Recommendations from friends, family members or colleagues
  • Interactions with a company and its representatives
  • Real-life experiences using a product or service (generally considered the most important element of establishing a brand)

Once developed, brands provide an umbrella under which many different products can be offered–providing a company tremendous economic leverage and strategic advantage in generating awareness of their offerings in the marketplace.