October 22, 2014

Retail Marketing

The Downton Abbey Method of Marketing

Downton Abbey Season Four Cast in Front of Castle

Are you good at remembering names?

Even if you aren’t, I bet you could recite the names of the characters on Downton Abbey. Or Mad Men. Or The Big Bang Theory. Or whatever TV series you enjoy.

You know the characters well now, but you didn’t the first time you saw them.

You got to know them over several episodes through the repeated use of their names, their actions, their expressions, and most importantly, their stories.

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How to Score Big on the Small Stuff

Sirius XM Radio Spring Training Announcement with Typo - Reflection on Brand

On March 18 of this year, I was signing into Sirius XM Radio online when the graphic above caught my eye.

It wasn’t the flying baseballs. Or the blue sky.

It was the spring traning. T-r-a-n-i-n-g.

I was born with an observant nature and a proofreading eye. Most of the time, my observations have been welcome and have served me well.

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Get Personal

Fidelity Investments personalized email to Evelyn Starr

Like you, I play many different roles in life.  And I have different names depending on the role I am playing.

You know me as Evelyn.  My kids call me Mom.  New acquaintances initially address me as Ms. Starr.  And when my kids and husband are searching for something around the house, they refer to me as “finder of things.”

Those are names I enjoy.

But apparently I have a whole bunch of aliases.

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Marketing Lessons from a Groundhog

Groundhog Day teaches Event Marketing Lessons

As I write to you this morning it is 24 degrees Fahrenheit and snowing. 

When I moved to New England, I knew what I was getting into weather-wise.  I chose to go north.  Fall foliage might be spectacular, but winters would be long.

With the name ‘England’ in the region’s moniker, you don’t move here for the weather.

I assumed, naively, that native New Englanders were used to the weather and might even enjoy it.

Boy was I wrong.

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Tell Me A Brand Time Story

Veryfine Brand Story book: It All Began with an Apple

I love to write.  I’ve been writing since I was 15 years old.  I owe my discovery of this passion to my brother Ken.  (Thank you Ken!!)

Ken is nearly six years younger than I am.  When he was nine years old, he gave me a small journal for Hanukkah.  It was about five by four inches and had a gold and white cover.  I was so charmed that he would spend some of his allowance to buy me a gift – we didn’t usually exchange among siblings at that point.

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Elevate Your Pitch

Working Girl elevator pitch scene with Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford and Signorey Weaver

When I moved up to Boston after college, I knew few people in the area.  I found my roommate Judy through a service called the Roommate Connection.  Luckily she and I became fast friends and she kindly took me to parties that her friends threw.  Occasionally I met someone at a party that would lead to a first date.

One first date that sticks out in my memory went downhill faster than an Olympic skier.

His name was Joe and he was a PhD candidate at Harvard.  Not a medical doctor, but an eventual doctor from Harvard nonetheless.  So far my grandmothers would have had thumbs up.

We went to a casual restaurant and ordered our meals.  And then Joe began to talk.

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Mirror, Mirror

Resized EJS in the Mirror 10-10-13

I didn’t see it coming.


For months I had been noticing that it was getting harder and harder to read.  I am a voracious reader.  For the past few years I have been dealing with my aging eyes by holding books progressively further away to see them better.  And until a few months ago, it had been working well.

So when I noticed this new found difficulty, I assumed that the distance I needed from the book had finally outgrown the length of my arm.  (And my arms are long!)

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The Brand Formerly Known As…

logo for the artist formerly known as prince

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my name during the course of my life.  Or I should say hate-love.  The dislike came first.

In elementary school, I was the only Evelyn.  Not just in my class or in my grade.  But in the whole school. 

No one that age wants to stick out.  I would have given my eye teeth to be the fifth Carolyn in my grade instead of the one Evelyn.  (I didn’t love my teeth either pre-braces.)

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Try Me

Marketing Sample Pen

You know how your parents told you not to talk to strangers?  Well one day on vacation I not only spoke to a stranger, I invited her to my hotel room

In October 1996 my husband Dan and I took an ABC Tour vacation to Asia.  My parents had taken the same tour six months earlier.  Among the highlights they mentioned were the free five-minute massages that they got from a group of Thai masseuses who hung out outside one of the temples in Bangkok.

The day we toured the temple, there they were.

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Teenage Wastebrand

A&F Taylor Swift t-shirt

“I don’t think I want to shop there anymore,” said my 13-year-old daughter Fiona three weeks ago after learning of Abercrombie & Fitch’s latest offense.  This time, their target was one of her favorite singers, Taylor Swift.

In case you haven’t heard, Abercrombie was selling a t-shirt that said “# more boyfriends than t.s.”.  Teens knew the reference to Taylor Swift immediately.  And Taylor’s fans – “Swifties” – were not amused.

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