How much loose change…

… do you carry around? That used to define how much you would spend at a vending machine.

Apparently that’s no longer the case.

Macy’s is adding iPod vending machines to their stores.

Todd Jones, a retail analyst at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia, said the price of iPods could make that area of Macy’s one of the most profitable, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

“This is not a real big risky proposition and is probably a move to become more relevant with a host of age ranges,” Jones said.

Purchasing an iPod out of a vending machine could probably be categorized as an impulse buy, Jones said.

Impulses are getting more expensive these days. Look for reinforced pockets as a feature in the newest lines of designer jeans.  Or maybe just credit card-worthy purchases made through vending machines.

Rajesh is a Brand

Via the Tom Peters! blog, I was introduced to a great NXTBook (yeah, I had never heard of that either) by Rajesh Setty, Personal Branding for Technology Professionals. It’s a great resource for identifying and promoting your personal brand. Not a technology professional? No problem. There are some examples and points relating directly to the technology industry, but this document in no way is constrained to that field.

I recommend printing the document so you can fill out the simple exercises that help you develop your personal brand. I printed it out and even ran it through the binder, so it feels like a workbook and is something I can reference occasionally instead of losing it in a stack or throwing it away.

The Summer of Bill’s Discontent

My friend Bill Kinnon is lamenting the fact that even a 1.1 terabyte hard drive is no longer enough to store all of his video files (he does television production).

HD television bumps up the demand. We’ll see where that leads the supply chain.

Guess that’s why we call them hard drives. The soft version (.Mac, YouTube, Gmail, Flickr, et al to come) is still waiting for our networks and bandwidth to catch up.

“Sam I Am” Selling

Those poor kids

Educating potential customers can be powerful and perhaps nothing educates them better than experiencing your product. This is where free demos and bite-sized samples come in handy.

Maybe you have a Kool-Aid Point with your product. People are polarized to either love you or hate you. Those who love you are labled or attacked by the haters. What to do? Kathy Sierra give some good advise from horse trainer Pat Pirelli:

So, I asked the guy who knows a whole lot about it–Pat Parelli. “What do you when your users are accused of being card-carrying, koolaid-drinking, Parelli cult members?”

He offers two simple suggestions we can use:

1) “Give users the tools to represent what you do accurately.” (He gives his users a free-for-the-asking DVD that clearly demonstrates what the program is about.) “Don’t expect–or ask–your users to defend you.”

But the most important one–the simple ‘doh-slapping-the-forehead’ one for me–was this:

2) Ask the critics, “How long did you try it before you came to these conclusions? Because the feedback is really important to us.”

But what if you don’t know how to represent your product accurately? What if the demo doesn’t give them a real feel for your service? What if you don’t have complete influence over the experience?

This doesn’t just affect businesses. This affects how people view and accept you, your church, your activities, your methodologies, and your beliefs.

This is why I believe door-to-door evangelism is less effective for the church. This is where multi-level marketing gets muddled. It’s where franchises lose their way.

Before you get amped up to go out and educate the ‘uneducated’ about the virtues of what you offer, take stock in what you’re offering. Is the audience uneducated in regards to your product, or are you uneducated in regards to their wants and needs?

Who really wants or needs green eggs and ham anyway?



If Blast! comes to your area… DON’T MISS IT!

Yes, I was a bit of a band nerd in junior high. So, I guess this would qualify as Revenge of the Band Nerds.

The show is a spectacle to be seen. The music and choreography are breathtaking. We enjoyed it MUCH more than Stomp (which we thought was rather good as well). My wife and I first saw it three years ago and once again last week. The only disappointment for me was the absence of the original dance captain Jim Moore. He was iconic.
If you want to understand the hub-bub, see the sample clips on YouTube.