Posts Tagged ‘Fast Company’

Interesting Goodbye to VHS

steveparkhurst | August 7, 2016 in Advertising,Visual | Comments (0)

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Can Toms Shoes Be Saved?

steveparkhurst | April 11, 2012 in Promotional,Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Fast Company is featuring an interesting article about Toms Shoes and the writer, Cheryl Devenport, theorizes whether the Toms business model can be saved and maybe one day, better utilized.

First, the Toms buy-one-give-one model does not actually solve a social problem. Rather, the charitable act of donating a free pair of shoes serves as little more than a short-term fix in a system in need of long-term, multi-faceted economic development, health, sanitation, and education solutions.

“What’s wrong with giving away shoes?” you might be thinking. “At least they’re doing something.” The problem, we’ve learned, is when that “something” can do more harm than good. As Time recently noted, an increasing number of foreign aid practitioners and agencies are recognizing that charitable gifts from abroad can distort developing markets and undermine local businesses by creating an entirely unsustainable aid-based economy. By undercutting local prices, Western donations often hurt the farmers, workers, traders, and sellers whose success is critical to lifting entire communities out of poverty. That means every free shoe donated actually works against the long-term development goals of the communities we are trying to help.

The fact is, Toms isn’t designed to build the economies of developing countries. It’s designed to make western consumers feel good. We can see that in the company’s origin story, as the Toms website proudly tells it, in which founder Blake Mycoskie saw the problems barefoot children in Argentina faced and decided to start Toms. Mr. Mycoskie didn’t ask villagers what they needed most or talk to experts about how to lift villages out of long-term poverty. Instead, he built a company that felt good and that was good enough for him and Toms’s nascent consumers.

Read the entire Fast Company article here.


Fast Company: How Whole Foods “Primes” You To Shop

steveparkhurst | September 16, 2011 in Advertising,Branding,Promotional,Visual | Comments (0)

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Fast Company has a great article by Martin Lindstrom, author of Buyology and Brandwashed, about the power of in-store advertising that we don’t even see as actual advertising. In this case, Lindstrom looks at Whole Foods and he begins tearing down many myths. It’s a fascinating story.

From Fast Company:

In my new book Brandwashed, I explore the many strategies retailers use to encourage us to spend more than we need to–more than we intend to. Without a shadow of doubt, Whole Foods leads the pack in consumer priming.

Let’s pay a visit to Whole Foods’ splendid Columbus Circle store in New York City. As you descend the escalator you enter the realm of a freshly cut flowers. These are what advertisers call “symbolics”–unconscious suggestions. In this case, letting us know that what’s before us is bursting with freshness.

Flowers, as everyone knows, are among the freshest, most perishable objects on earth. Which is why fresh flowers are placed right up front–to “prime” us to think of freshness the moment we enter the store. Consider the opposite–what if we entered the store and were greeted with stacks of canned tuna and plastic flowers? Having been primed at the outset, we continue to carry that association, albeit subconsciously, with us as we shop.

Read the entire Martin Lindstrom article here.