Imagine if you opened a store where selling stuff wasn't the main idea. What would be the point of that? That's the challenge — and opportunity — facing David Porter, the former Wal-Mart executive just hired by Microsoft to figure out what a Microsoft "store" should be.
Friday's Wall Street Journal included a remarkable story about Nestle. In part it was remarkable because Nestle isn't necessarily a company that gets a lot of press, much less the kind of press that could fairly be classified as of the "man bites dog" variety.
Last week, we saw a glimmer of hope that the promise of "retail strategy" may at long last rising above the level of a cruel contradiction in terms. I'm talking about the new strategic alliance between Procter & Gamble and Ann Taylor.
Paul Newman will be remembered for many things — acting, philanthropy, race-car driving. I will always think of him as an incredibly astute marketing guy.
About ten years ago, I was lucky enough to visit the Newman's Own offices in Westport, Conn., and interview its president, Tom Indoe (interview here). After the interview, Tom gave me a tour of the place, including Paul's office. He wasn't there at the time, so my fondest memory is simply a small sign tacked to the wall that read: