What I’m thinking about today:

1.The Jan Rules
2.Mobile continues to change the future of retail
3.Drink Diet Coke kids, Taylor Swift says so
4.Satisfries? Why bother.

1. We’ve started morning announcements at AKHIA. They are about 15 seconds and conclude with Amber Christopher saying ‘make it a great day, the choice is always yours.’

I believe in those words. I think we do have a choice to directly affect how our day goes. Which is why I love where I work. See, it’s easy to say it, a little harder to live it and extremely difficult to create it for others. Which is why the office culture is so important. From the day AKHIA opened its doors our president, Jan Gusich, has cared about giving people the opportunity to succeed. Yes, we are an agency so, um, that’s what we have to do (for our clients) to stay in business.

But Jan took it a step further, literally doing everything in her power to create a place people were excited to come to work. Yesterday was my eight year anniversary at AKHIA, taking my total to 12 years worked there (I left for a year…sue me). I’ve been lucky enough to learn a few things from her that allow people to not only work someplace they love but to be a part of it. Here’s a few of them:

  • Jan lesson #1. Listen. People’s opinions matter. They work hard, work late; they deserve to have a voice and a forum for it.
  • Jan lesson #2. See lesson #1. You listened. But did you really listen? What are you doing to show the person you listened to that you are going to take action? That what they said was important enough that you are going to apply it?
  • Jan lesson #7. No act of anything is too small. We are a team. And we need every little detail to get done the right way to achieve success. No act is so small that it shouldn’t be acknowledged and thanked.
  • Jan lesson #13. Don’t ask someone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself. AKHIA folks know that Jan is just as likely to jump in and stuff envelopes, answer phones, make calls, hang banners, etc. as they are. And it makes them want to work harder for her. They take pride in that fact and as result take pride in what they do.
  • Jan lesson #15. Celebrate. We celebrate every birthday here. Every AKHIAversary. Every wedding. Every birth. Life is about these great moments. Jan believes in sharing these moments and giving them the attention they deserve.

There’s more where that came from. And I can tell you, it’s contagious. Looking for extra ways to make AKHIA special…everyone can and does play a part in making it a great day.

2. I know I’ve been a broken record about this but the numbers continue to pile up—increased use of mobile devices is completely changing the retail experience. I keep asking but I have yet to see a retailer lean into this: What does the future of retail look like, specifically, the store set-up, with mobile playing such a large role in the experience? Will stores open up and have less shelf space, more interaction? Will retailers look to create the same experience you have with your mobile, offering up interactive options with the chance to win coupons, special deals, etc. The sky is the limit in what can be done but I am sensing that retail space will shrink. Who will be the first to lead? Consider the stats here, specifically:

  • Forty-six percent of shoppers say they are less likely to comparison shop when using a mobile app.
  • Coupon apps are used by about 25 million Americans each month
  • It is predicted that the number of U.S. adult smartphone users who also use mobile coupons will jump from 31 million at the end of 2012 to 40.8 million at the end of 2013.
  • Fifty-nine percent of tablet owners use their tablets for product research and are more likely to purchase physical items (38 percent) than smartphone shoppers (24 percent).
  • Fifteen percent of online retail sales will be made on a mobile device this year.

3. Did you see the new Diet Coke Taylor Swift can? On the surface…no big deal, right? A cool design. A fun way to promote a spokesperson. But when you consider how popular Swift is among 6 – 12-year-olds doesn’t it seem a little misplaced? Do we need to market pop to this age group, diet pop at that? Why not just throw Teen Beach Movie on there while we’re at it?

4. Burger King launched its healthy option french fries, called ‘Satisfries’. They are a whopping 70 calories less (270) than the regular fries (340). Seriously? That’s it? 70 calories? Why bother? If someone hits up Burger King are they really worried about 70 calories? I can’t imagine people who are on diets or meal plans are thinking ‘oh good, I can finally go to Burger King.’

This seems to be a stretch – and a lazy way to create some marketing buzz.