Facebook’s status update box is getting a new feature called Lists, which begins rolling out today. This is the first major update to the entry field since the launch of colored backgrounds just over a year ago, and also serves as a way to encourage Facebook users to share more personal content. The feature, like it sounds, lets users make lists of anything they choose – New… Read More
A name long associated with the Clinton machine has surfaced as a behind-the-scenes figure in the Trump-Russia collusion story, prompting some to speculate that the investigation began at least partly as a dirty tricks operation.
You know that feeling of awe and wonder you had when you were a kid and you saw something huge and amazing? My blackened heart hasn’t felt it in years. Turns out all it needed was going to see an historic rocket launch. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch last week was an exhilarating combination of suspense, bureaucracy, and childlike delight at seeing a giant fiery rocket make a big noise. Read More
Undefeated four-time world boxing champion and cooking extraordinaire Laila Ali can now add author to her resume.
The daughter of late boxing legend Muhammad Ali recently released her first cookbook, Food for Life, and she celebrated the book’s launch with a party at The Ponte Ristorante in West Hollywood with family and friends.
“We’ve been joking calling this my ‘book baby’ because I’ve developed it and nurtured it and now I’ve put it out there into the world,” Ali, 40, tells PEOPLE. “For me, it has been a labor of love.”
Among the attendees at the restaurant, owned by Ali’s former Chopped competitor and friend Scott Cunant, were friends Tina Knowles Lawson, Garcelle Beauvais and Carson Kressley as well as Ali’s husband Curtis Conway, daughter Sydney, 6, and son Curtis Jr., 9.
As Ali directed, Jesi Haack Design played off the title of the book for decorating and created an organic living herb wall that served a dual purpose — as décor and also as a gift for guests to take home and plant. Each cocktail table had a copper colander filled with a mix of anemones, eucalyptus, kale, cabbage and more greenery designed by Bloominous.
“I think that the cover is really beautiful in itself so it was nice to have that as a big backdrop but not to get too overcrowded with other things,” Ali says. “I thought they did a beautiful job bringing in fresh herbs and flowers and really bringing the book to life in the space.”
Guests munched on The Ponte’s recreation of three of Laila’s recipes from her book, including smoky shrimp cobb salad, cheesy quinoa and rice bake and sock-it-to-me-honey cake as they listened to ’90s R&B.
Ali, who learned to cook when she was 9 years old, says that creating a cookbook of her own has always been a dream, and that she first started thinking about writing one when she was in her early 20s.
“I had written down a lot of my recipes back then, and then I lost them,” she says. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack after taking the time to do that so it has definitely been a dream come true to do a real cookbook. This is what I wanted originally when I was writing down those recipes, to have something to pass down to my family and my kids for generations to come.”
Though boxing runs in the family, the now retired boxer’s kids are starting to follow in her footsteps when it comes to cooking.
“They really took an interest in cooking when I first competed on Chopped because they remember me watching the show like a crazy person, trying to learn from it and practicing at home,” she says. “It became a game for them. We would play and judge. I noticed when you make it fun for kids, it makes them really get into it.”
When it comes to her recipes, Ali’s kids definitely have their favorites. Her daughter loves her greens, her son loves her spaghetti and both of them love taco Tuesdays.
“It’s not always an agreement with certain things, but I would say tacos and oven fried chicken wings are the pleaser for everybody,” she says. “Sometimes I feel like a short order cook in my house where I’m making different variations of meals.”
To Ali, it’s important that her kids see where their food comes from.
“I take them to farms and the farmer’s market and teach them that food doesn’t necessarily, unfortunately like a lot of people think, just come from a package or a drive-thru,” she says. “They know where food comes from so they respect food.”
Through Food for Life, Ali hopes to help other people take control of their health through the foods that they eat.
“There’s so many different levels when you think of healthy eating,” she says. “You got people who literally say, ‘I only eat organic vegetables and sprouts and nuts’ and things like that — I’m not one of those people. I choose everyday to eat the healthiest meal I can while still enjoying my food.”
Her book even includes a healthy take on the classic cheeseburger, which she named “The Greatest of All Time” in honor of her father, Muhammad.
“I remember when I was in the second or third grade, there was a little hole in the wall place he used to go to and they had the best burgers,” she says. “Like, they actually seasoned their meat with so many spices that the burger took on a flavor of it’s own. My father used to always order his burger a certain way — with mustard, onions and cheese.”
“Of course my burger, I’m saying to use grass-fed beef and whole-wheat buns if you can,” she continues. “That wasn’t what they had at the hole in the wall but it was definitely inspired by my father.”
Though her father didn’t cook, Ali says he “loved a good home cooked meal.”
“He would rather have a home cooked meal than go to a restaurant any day,” she says. “We grew up with a cook, her name was Edith, and she was an amazing cook. That’s when I had my first taste of a real, home cooked meal. I think that inspired me to want to cook myself.”
As to how Ali came up with the title of her book, Food for Life, she explains, “food creates life and it’s supposed to fuel your life.”
“I divided up the chapters with fun names to fit different scenarios in your life whether you’re dealing with picky kids, dealing with entertaining, want to make a 30 minute meal or you’re having dessert,” she says. “There’s no trendy food theory — it’s really straightforward, clean eating that will always be in style no matter what’s going on.”
Is there room in the market for yet another streaming service? Viacom thinks so. The company, on its earnings call on Thursday, said it’s planning to launch its own ad-supported streaming service by September 2018, the end of its fiscal year. The service will include “tens of thousands of hours of content” from across Viacom’s library. Viacom had hinted about its plans… Read More
Amazon is gearing up to compete directly with UPS and FedEx, according to a new Wall Street Journal report. The so-called “Shipping with Amazon” program will be an end-to-end shipping solution, with pickups from businesses and shipments made to consumers, per the report. The timeframe for rollout is soon, too: Amazon is said to be readying the service for its first launch in LA in… Read More
Egypt’s military says it has begun a major security operation in areas including the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, where Islamic militants are most active.
You’ve searched the show floor. You’ve purchased the perfect product. You’ve put together a merchandising plan. You’re excited about it!
Investing in new product is exciting! But only if it sells. With proper planning, you can ensure it sells. When you purchase new product, there is a lot of planning that must take place prior to receiving it in your store. When it arrives, don’t just put it in your case and hope it sells…have a plan!
Launch it to your staff first
Schedule a training time – a breakfast training or after store hours training works really well. This sets it up as special and captures the team’s attention to focus on the details of your new collection. Your goal is to create excitement and entice the staff to sell it! If possible, ask the vendor to be there for the training, so they can do part or all of the training for your team – no one knows the line better than the vendor! Train on the background of the collection, the history, the designer’s philosophy and inspiration, etc… Mention any exclusivity that you have or know who else carries it in your area.
Train on all the product knowledge that is needed for this new line:
- Metal purity and alloys
- Additional metals available?
- Clarity, color, cut of diamonds/gemstones
- Finger size range available
- Craftsmanship of the pieces
- Special Order / Custom lead times
Coach on how to tell a story:
- How to tell the customer about the collection
- How to show this collection is different
- How to get the customer excited
Show all the associated materials:
- Online catalog
- Displays – and how to set it up
Share the marketing plan:
- Vendor co-op program?
- Email campaign
- Social media, Website
- Store signage
- Don’t let this part slip.
- It is important for your team to talk about the new product with each other before doing this in front of a client.
Unveil the collection:
- Let everyone touch, feel and try-on the pieces!
- Save this for the end, as you start losing your team’s collection once you take the product out to see in person!
Vendors can assist in the launch
Ask your vendor for any assistance they can offer for a proper launch of the new line. They may be able to help with some of the following:
- Contests (sell the 1st piece, sell the most, etc…)
- Jewelry giveaways
- Earn points to buy jewelry
- Invitations for your event
Your vendor wants you to be successful with their product, so ask if/how they can help. Teamwork = Success!
Offer Incentives when you first launch a new product. This helps form habits by getting your team to remember to show it and learn how to talk about it. Your incentives can be retailer driven, vendor driven or a combination of both.
Launch it your clients
Next, launch it to your clients. Throw a party. Ask the vendor to attend. Invite VIP customers to your store to unveil the new line. Call customers that you know would enjoy the new collection. This way, they feel special, as they get to see if before other customers know about it.
When the party is happening, engage the clients – help get them excited. Create wish lists. Give away swag bags. Really make it a benefit for them to attend.
Give the clients an experience they will remember! This is key, as it will get them to come back more often. Make sure they are left with a feeling of “Wow…can’t wait to come back and shop here again”! Amazing experiences stick with us and help remind us to go back again…and again.
For more strategies on this topic or any other area, to build your business, please contact Becka Johnson Kibby at The Edge Retail Academy: Becka@EdgeRetailAcademy or 877-569-8657, Ext. 1.
China’s Didi Chuxing is preparing yet another market expansion after it inked an agreement with SoftBank, Uber’s largest shareholder, to introduce taxi-hailing services in Japan this year. Didi dominates the Chinese market — thanks in no small amount to its acquisition of second-placed Uber China — but this year it has expanded to Brazil via an acquisition and Taiwan via… Read More
Have you launched a new product or a new service, only to be disappointed by the interest you attracted?
If you have, then today’s post is just for you. It will explain why this often happens, along with some ideas on how to make your next launch a success.
Danny from New York emailed me yesterday with a great question. His accountancy firm launched a new profit improvement service at the beginning of January. They contacted existing clients and also advertised it to the local marketplace. That was around a month ago and very few people have expressed an interest. He wondered why.
A common and costly mistake
I took a look at the marketing his firm used and was quickly able to identify a common mistake. A marketing mistake that many small business owners make.
It’s all about how ineffective (and potentially damaging) the word “new” is, when marketing something.
Sure, when you’ve just created or launched something new, you’re excited. You may even have a lot riding on the success of the new product or service. However, that newness is only exciting to you.
As far as the marketplace is concerned, something that’s new isn’t necessarily that interesting. In fact, newness can carry huge drawbacks, which will turn people away.
- To a lesser or greater degree, a new service is going to feel like a risky bet. And your prospective clients hate risk. They want peace of mind. This is the opposite. At best, it’s a bigger gamble than the more established alternatives.
- A new service is never the best. That’s because, by default, it lacks all those improvements that only come with time. It lacks the robustness of a more mature, proven service.
There’s nothing wrong with introducing something new. Far from it. Just don’t assume that because something is new, your marketplace will be interested in it or attracted to it.
Instead, you need to combine the fact it’s new, with additional benefits.
Benefits that your marketplace will find attractive. Benefits that reassure them. Benefits that are compelling. Benefits that are motivating. Benefits that will inspire them to want to know more, to hire you or buy from you.
Here are some proven examples you can use.
Our new (whatever) service provides you with:
- a faster way to.
- a safer way to.
- a greener way to.
- an easy way to.
- a friendlier way to.
- an enjoyable way to.
- a guaranteed way to.
- a more stylish way to.
- a relaxing way to.
- an ethical way to.
- a proven way to.
- an exciting way to.
- a cost effective way to.
Newness by itself has limited marketing power. You need to combine it with compelling, client-focused benefits. This will make it massively more attractive.
And always be mindful when launching a new service, that it will be perceived as somewhat risky. So, give people the reassurance they need. Provide guarantees. And if a risk-reversal is possible, use it. If you’re not sure what risk-reversal is, I use it here. It’s extremely powerful, because it makes hiring you a zero risk.
Keep these ideas and suggestions in mind, for your next (or current) launch. Because “new”, by itself, isn’t that attractive.
Let’s grow your business! I can help you build a more successful business, increase your sales and boost your profits. To find out how, read this.