With hundreds of kitchen products on the market and only so much room in consumers’ cabinets, Sweeney set out to discover just what kitchen product categories consumers are most aware of, what they actually own and their purchase intent.
What this survey clearly indicated is consumers love their kitchen products! When asked about their favorite kitchen product, 100% of respondents answered the question and the majority even knew the brand name. Responses ranged from kitchen necessities like knives, blenders, toasters, coffee makers, microwaves and mixing bowls to more unique products like an onion saver to Pampered Chef food chopper, Zylus ice cream scoop and Breville panini press.
It will come as no surprise consumers own kitchen products that are a necessity, with 93.0% of respondents owning pots and pans and 87.6% owning bakeware. Less popular products included food scales (28.3%), pressure cooker (18.4%), oven liners (9.7%) and BBQ grill matt (5.3%). The less popular kitchen products could be due to lack of category awareness.
Similar to the products most consumers owned, 28.1% of participants plan to purchase pots and pans and 21.1% plan to purchase cookware over the next year. Pressure cookers (3.5%) and oven liners (3.4%) are the least likely kitchen tools to be purchased. These results likely reflect the economic conditions.
When it comes to brand awareness in the kitchen, Calphalon was the most popular, followed by OXO. Foxrun, Fissler, Norpro, Taylor and Range Kleen had the least amount of brand awareness among survey respondents.
Sweeney conducted the survey online with a representative database of 150 consumers. A total of 114 consumers completed the survey [86 females/28 males, 57 age 35 and younger/57 age 36 and older].
If you have any questions about this survey, please contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com.
I’ll bet you never thought you’d see the day when I defended McDonald’s, but here it is and here I go.
Did you know… San Francisco has banned the inclusion of toys in children’s meals unless certain nutritional requirements are met?
Did you know… A New York City councilman is proposing a similar law?
Did you know… Jack in the Box announced the end of toys in its children’s meals in June of this year?
And now, Mickey D’s – king of the Happy Meal – is dropping to its knees, agreeing to revamp its Fatty McFattersteen food box with a healthier alternative.
Long believed to be a gateway drug to Big Macs and Quarter Pounders, the new Happy Meal will eliminate half of the fries and replace them with fruit. According to the New York Times, “McDonald’s made it clear that it was changing the composition of Happy Meals in response to parental and consumer pressure. It also pledged to reduce the sodium content in all of its foods by 15 percent, with the exceptions of soda and desserts.”
I am not sure whether to celebrate or cry. On the one hand, McDonald’s offering healthier foods is a good thing, right? But on the other hand, McDonald’s just publicly confirmed that parents and consumers are totally incapable of handling their own lives… they can’t even feed their children properly.
So rather than wait for the government to step in and force their hand, McDonald’s has buckled. And so begins the end. Mark your calenders and warn your children.
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. “Reality control,” they called it: in Newspeak, “doublethink.”
Though I consider myself a fairly smart guy, I am admittedly not a scientist. So I won’t pretend to understand the chemistry of Alcoa Architectural Products’ new Reynobond® with EcoClean™ – aluminum building panels (cladding) – that clean themselves, as well as the air around them.
Fortunately, I don’t require an advanced degree to recognize the new technology’s value: Reynobond with EcoClean constantly works to remove pollutants by using sunlight and the water vapor and oxygen in the air to clean the air itself. According to the company’s website, “10,000 square feet of Reynobond with EcoClean has the approximate air cleansing power of 80 trees. That’s enough cleaning power to offset the smog created by the pollution output of four cars every day.”
In addition, because the EcoClean™ coating is superhydrophilic, it makes the surface of the Reynobond® super slick in the presence of water. So when it rains, water doesn’t bead on the surface. Instead, it collapses and runs evenly off the building, taking most of the broken-down organic matter and nitrates with it. Even the slightest amount of rain or humidity in the air creates the effect, so the building is constantly washing away contaminants. That means lower maintenance costs for owners, and a consistently cleaner image for the building over time.
In summary, EcoClean is a really innovative technology that is good for building owners, good for the environment and good for the community-at-large. Congratulations Alcoa.
P.S. Please update me when you introduce the self-cleaning car.
[Disclaimer: Alcoa did not request or pay for this review.]
So you have done it! Proverbial success: you did your homework, picked the right journalist, sent a great pitch and now they have called you to set up an interview.
Now what? There are six key questions you should ask media every time to ensure you maximize every media interview and increase your potential to landing a story.
1. What is the focus of your story? In some instances a reporter may be looking for an expert resource on a broader trend story, while in others they may want to cover your company for a feature article. Find out right away the purpose for the interview so you or your company spokesperson is prepared to fill the proper role.
2. When is your deadline? Find out right away when the reporter needs to speak with you or your spokesperson and when they need to turn in their final story. Then, schedule an interview that gives you or your spokesperson time to plan.
3. Do you have any preliminary questions or interview guidelines you would like us to review before the interview? Many journalists have a very specific idea of the type of information they need during an interview. If they can provide questions or topic guidelines to review in advance of an interview, you can be prepared to provide the best information most likely to make it into the story. This can be particularly effective when journalists are looking for tech focused or in-depth information that may require you or your spokesperson to conduct some research. Also, this helps to ensure you can naturally weave your talking points into the interview.
4. Would you like photos or images to accompany the story? Whether it is a headshot, product or application photo or even a chart or graph that helps illustrates key data, journalists like to incorporate visuals that capture the reader’s attention and enhance the story.
5. What days and times are you available for an interview? Journalists often work on multiple stories with various deadlines at once. If you are scheduling an interview for someone other than yourself, determine a journalist’s availability before hanging up the phone.
6. What is the best method (phone, email, Twitter, etc.) for getting back in touch? If you are not conducting the interview, chances are you need to determine when your spokesperson is available. Once you do, you will need to get back in touch with the journalist quickly to confirm the details of the interview, and you cannot afford for your message to be missed.
Also, no matter who is conducting the interview, once the interview is completed, follow up with the journalist to determine if they require any additional information or a follow up interview.
Need help launching a publicity and media relations campaign? Contact me at Kayleigh (at) sweeneypr (dot) com.
It’s the dead of summer, the heat index is above 100 and the media is laser-focused on pretty much any lame story that will get their audiences’ attention. One of my favorites – and I never tire of hearing this – is the “staycation” story. This is a modern version of the “I’m vacationing on Porchville this summer!”
But I have come to learn that Staycation is just one of many of the new breed of vacations being popularized this summer. Here are a few of the others:
NBAcation: This is when you are locked out of the office – without pay – for an undetermined amount of time.
Daycation: This involves scheduling every friday as a vacation day from June till September to create a virtual 4-day work week. For the record, people in the office hate the guy who does this.
Fraycation: This is when you take two weeks off work, but spend the vast majority of your time worrying about your clients and the security of your job. Prescription cocktails are required.
Playcation: No work? No worries… just fun in the sun. No one actually ever does this, it is just talked about around the water cooler.
Whattheheycation: This is the unexpected vacation resulting from a power outage that kills all the open documents on your desktop.
Graycation/Greycation: This is actually retirement.
I am writing this post from a remote location today, as the power grid that feeds our building went dead last night. And so it goes.
Having a bad day? Need a good chuckle. Check out these commercials.
Biz Markie’s is back and he’s got what you need.
A product you never knew you needed.
Red House Furniture forgets about orange, green, purple and brown people.
A recent study on email marketing by Harte-Hanks revealed both good and bad news about consumer response to email marketing messages.
On the one hand, average email open rates declined to 17% for 2010, down from a 26% average open rate in 2009. However, the study indicates the drop may be due in part to more users accessing email via smart phones as well as changing patterns in downloadable email images.
Now for the good news…
Overall delivery rates across nine major industry sectors have increased to 95% in 2010, up from 93% in 2009. Moreover, unsubscribe rates have dropped from .32% to .19%, and bounce rates dropped to 5% from 7% in 2009. And click rates remained flat at 3%.
This means more emails are reaching the customer’s inbox more often, and you have to work harder to continue to increase open rates among a more crowded inbox.
Here are six tips for increasing your email open rates.
1. Consider the Source. Email recipients are more likely to trust a name they recognize. Determine which has the most recognition for your target audience – the organization name, company spokesperson or leadership, or even a mascot – and make that person the “From” name with a corresponding and recognizable “From” email address. And remain consistent so recipients become familiar with the email source.
2. Short and Snappy Subject. This seems obvious and elementary, but consider how many email messages your receive daily that you delete without ever opening. Why? Because it took too long to figure out what the email was about or you lost interest after the first three words. In an inbox, users typically can only see the first 5 or so words…so try to get your point across fast and with as few filler words as possible.
Don’t settle for being descriptive. If possible, communicate a direct benefit received by opening your email. For example, “Tips for Email Marketing” is a more descriptive subject line compared to “Increase Email Open Rates”, which provides a more direct benefit to the recipient.
3. Segment Your List. Take a look at your list and determine if there are natural divisions like customers vs. prospects, age categories, industries and even level of authority that could benefit from more targeted messages. You can still target all segments with more general messages, but measuring and tracking results of targeted emails will increase the likelihood of the email being opened. It can also potentially provide insight into behavior of certain target audiences you can apply across a broader marketing campaign.
4. Experiment – The More Scientific the Better. Even if you are satisfied with current open rates, consider there is always room for improvement. Start with a hypothesis…For example, we get the highest open rates for sales-focused emails on Wednesday afternoons. Now test it…try Monday mornings and Saturday at lunch, Sunday night, etc. And give it a chance to work…One blast on a Thursday morning will not provide enough data to know if this is a better time; revisit different delivery times consistently for several distributions, collect data on open rates and engagement, and then make an assessment.
5. Repetition. To have meaningful impact, email communication with your list should happen frequently and regularly. Expecting stellar open rates from one email push is like expecting to increase sales by 10% by running an ad just one time. Give email marketing the time it needs to work.
6. Infuse Content Marketing. If it is logical for your business, consider one of two approaches to deliver non-promotional, useful content to email recipients.
Develop and distribute content focused, entirely non-promotional emails periodically to your list. Provide information that helps solve common challenges or problems; become a trusted provider of information.
Include the same type of content within the context of a promotional email. For example, to market a new line of food storage containers, an email might provide recipes that store or travel well with the new containers, and include a link to purchase that product.
Keeping with the first recommendation, if recipients associate your “From” name and email address with beneficial information, they are more likely to open your emails. This is true even when the emails are strictly promotional, because they will expect to receive an offer with a relevant and tangible benefit.
Need help strategizing and implementing a successful email marketing campaign? Contact kayleigh (at) sweeneypr (dot) com.
Once upon a time, you couldn’t read “once upon a time” unless you first visited the local library. But that’s no longer the case… and it is causing a serious problem.
Due to decreased funding, libraries are short on technology, short on hours and short on visitors. In fact, library closings have become a viable alternative for many public and even school libraries.
The recently released 2010-2011 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study concludes that libraries are “grappling with a “new normal” of flat or decreased funding, paired with increased demand for public library technology resources. The result is a mix of the grim austerity, reflected in decreased operating hours and closed library outlets, in contrast with the robust delivery of technology resources that support workforce development, e-government services, and skills training for the competitive global marketplace.”
So what’s a library to do?
On college campuses, the bookless library is not just taking shape, it is taking the place of the traditional library. As reported in TIME on Monday, “At Drexel University’s new Library Learning Terrace, which opened just last month, there is nary a bound volume, just rows of computers and plenty of seating offering access to the Philadelphia university’s 170 million electronic items.” And Drexel is just one of hundreds of schools making the transition.
On the public front, big city institutions continue to secure essential funding. The New York Public Library for example is preparing to unveil a transformed main branch that architect Norman Foster says “anticipates the parallel and integrated worlds of electronic digital systems and traditional books.”
Meanwhile, in smaller towns like Kent, Ohio, funding is a little harder to come by. Kent Free Library has been faced with diminishing state support. In response, it has reduced its hours and cut its materials budget from $360,000 in 2008 to $120,000 this year. Library director Stacey Richardson must now market a 1.8 mill continuing levy just to secure necessary operating funds.
As a man who covets his original copy of W. Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, and Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions, and still owns his first library card, I am sad to think libraries may one day become little more than glorified Starbucks stores that “fit seamlessly within a neighborhood and provide visitors a place to find a connection.” Think it’s a crazy comparison?
According to the Starbucks website, “it’s the wonderful people you meet that make Starbucks so special. People like you. People with ideas, passion and curiosity. We’d like to help you have fun, dream big and connect to the people and ideas that interest you. Because we believe marvelous things happen when you put great coffee and great people together.”
According to American Library Association president Roberta Stevens, “Libraries have been and are continuing to transform themselves to be responsive to the needs of the populations they serve. Libraries are busy because they are central to the lives of millions of families, students, older adults, entrepreneurs and those who require assistance in weathering the economic challenges of the past few years.”
Maybe we should just put Howard Schultz in charge of this issue and see what he can work out.