always on our minds

How marketers learned to sell more lettuce and why it matters

January 21, 2015 By: Heather Ward

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a talk at the Harvard Business School given by Ranjay

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a talk at the Harvard Business School given by Ranjay Gulati, and I learned something about marketing that I’ve never forgotten. Gulati’s research at the time focused on the difference between an outside-in (customer-centric) approach and an inside-out (product-centric) approach. In order to explain his case for the outside-in approach, he used the example of lettuce manufacturers who kept trying to improve their product by asking about where people would prefer to buy it or how much they’d pay for it. One day, they took a step back and asked their customers about how making and consuming salad fit in with their busy lives. By shifting the question away from the product and understanding the larger context of people’s lives, they discovered that people wanted to eat more salad but...

Read more

Good ideas are never half-baked

August 26, 2014 By: Matt Gorlaski

Have you ever come across an idea so different and bizarre you feel compelled to be a part of it?

Have you ever come across an idea so different and bizarre you feel compelled to be a part of it? That’s how many customers feel when they walk into a Johnny Cupcakes bakery for the first time. Most people walk through the door expecting the smell of freshly baked pastries. Most people expect to gaze upon artistically decorated cakes. Most people are unexpectedly surprised. In its simplest terms, Johnny Cupcakes is a t-shirt shop. The concept behind this growing brand is also very simple: cupcakes. But what makes this company great is how far the idea has been pushed. When customers walk through the doors of the “bakery” they find themselves standing amidst retro-style bakery refrigerators with t-shirts displayed on cookie sheets. All the designs created by the brand have a cupcake incorporated into a pop culture reference. These satirical...

Read more

A Dang Good Rallying Cry

July 28, 2014 By: Holly Monacelli

Last week while my husband and I puttered around Puerto Rico, we happened upon a local smoothie shop in a

Last week while my husband and I puttered around Puerto Rico, we happened upon a local smoothie shop in a remote part of Rincon called Banana Dang! As if the name wasn’t awesome enough, the logo is a smiling banana. But more importantly, in this small surfer town, it’s a rallying cry. An excited, affirmative answer for the sea-soaked and sunburned and water-weary. Want a delicious mango and acai berry smoothie? Homemade banana bread? Strong Puerto Rican coffee? BANANA DANG, I do! Finding a rallying cry may not be as easy as it was for Banana Dang! co-owner Than Than Dang, who was born with part of it. And the idea of the store was born in 2007, the Year of the Monkey — and those guys just happen to love the main ingredient of every smoothie made here: bananas....

Read more

Only Shooting Stars Break the Mold

March 19, 2014 By: Aisling Roche

Last week I attended the 2014 IHRSA Convention, where I got to know one of Holland-Mark’s longest standing clients, IHRSA.

Last week I attended the 2014 IHRSA Convention, where I got to know one of Holland-Mark’s longest standing clients, IHRSA. The annual IHRSA convention brings together those in the health and fitness industry to experience a vast array of speakers, instructional sessions, networking, and the most impressive trade show in the industry. The convention included fantastic keynote speakers – all with a key message to break through the mold and stand out from the competition – whether you’re building your personal or business’ brand. How to Fascinate: From First Impressions to Lasting Value - Sally Hogshead Sally explained that we are living in an extremely competitive environment where we all struggle to distinguish ourselves. Not only do we have to stand out, we have to do so in 9 seconds. The attention span of our audience – be it your...

Read more

The Business of Joy

April 2, 2013 By: Heather Ward

I recently attended a client convention out in Las Vegas. IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, has been one

I recently attended a client convention out in Las Vegas. IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, has been one of our clients for many years. Every spring, thousands of club owners and operators, fitness professionals, consultants, developers, and investors flock to the IHRSA Convention & Trade Show to learn about the newest trends in the industry and share knowledge with one another. This was my second time attending the convention, and I was blown away by the amount of positive energy in the fitness industry. I spent several hours wandering around the trade show floor and couldn’t help being drawn to the Zumba booth. They were blasting fun latin music, and three dancers were leading a group of convention attendees through a sample Zumba class. That evening, I went to a fundraiser to support ALS research called the Zumbathon....

Read more