Hillstrom’s Pricing

Hillstrom’s Pricing: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Optimizing Customer Behavior via Prices

by Kevin Hillstrom

This fascinating booklet is about how the mix of price levels a retailer offers in its selection of merchandise affects customer behavior. In his 30-year career in retail, Kevin Hillstrom worked for Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, and Land’s End as well as 225 clients in his consulting practice.

The author examines sales data by price range, merchandise category, channel, and customer life cycle (new customers vs. repeat customers) over a span of five years. Most pages include a spreadsheet or graph showing data from a hypothetical company with declining sales, along with commentary on how the author analyzes the numbers to figure out what’s going on. The target audience for the booklet appears to be catalog and ecommerce retailers. Continue reading “Hillstrom’s Pricing”

2021 Castlin Manifesto: Strategy in Polemy

2021 Castlin Manifesto: Strategy in Polemy

by JP Castlin

JP Castlin is a strategic thinker and consultant based in Sweden. Major themes in his Manifesto are complexity and emergent strategy. In the chapter on marketing, he is not shy about challenging prominent figures. The paper is 71 pages including an impressive 9-page bibliography with academic papers, articles, and books cited throughout the text. Continue reading “2021 Castlin Manifesto: Strategy in Polemy”

Small Business Finance and Valuation

Small Business Finance and Valuation

by Rick Nason and Dan Nordqvist

A finance professor and a CPA have teamed up to explain finance and risk management concepts specifically for small business, defined as assets under $5 million. They acknowledge that the objectives of small business owners often differ from those of a Fortune 500 CFO, whose focus is typically maximizing shareholder value. Freedom, peace of mind, and other quality of life issues may be more important to a small business owner. Continue reading “Small Business Finance and Valuation”

How to Build a Better Business Plan

How to Build a Better Business Plan: A Hands-On Action Guide for Business Owners

by Alastair Thomson

One of the primary benefits of a business plan is “finding a business model that works.” Alastair Thomson, an accountant and experienced C-level executive, guides you to think from a lender’s or investor’s perspective, whether or not you are seeking outside financing. From their side of the table, would you find your business compelling?

The completed plan becomes your “roadmap” for execution. “With the right business plan, you do your thinking up-front. You know how to take advantage when new opportunities come your way and you know exactly what problem needs solving if performance veers off-course.” Thomson encourages planning for three scenarios: best-case, worst-case, and likely outcome. “The biggest danger for a pessimist is under-resourcing their business.” Continue reading “How to Build a Better Business Plan”

Making Art Work

Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture

by W. Patrick McCray

This book picks up where C.P. Snow left off in his 1959 book The Two Cultures. Snow was a British chemist turned novelist who had scientist friends and literary friends, but he observed that these groups were two separate cultures who rarely communicated with each other. Patrick McCray is a history professor at UC Santa Barbara. In Making Art Work, he studies several endeavors to bridge this divide, primarily in the 1960s, but also more recently. Specifically the book is about collaborations between artists and engineers.  Continue reading “Making Art Work”

An interview with Mark C. Crowley, author of Lead from the Heart

An interview with Mark C. Crowley
author of Lead from the Heart:
Transformational Leadership for the 21st Century

December 16, 2020 — 63 minutes — Book ReviewAmazon

      • [0:01:04] Employee engagement.
      • [0:13:16] Hiring people with heart.
      • [0:18:56] Connect on a personal level. Manager as a coach.
      • [0:21:43] If you don’t give a shit about people, none of this is going to work.
      • [0:24:28] Maximize employee potential.
      • [0:26:27] Flow.
      • [0:32:25] The boss who doesn’t care about you.
      • [0:34:10] Value and honor achievements.
      • [0:37:17] The heart is a feeling, sensing organ.
      • [0:42:23] Work From Home.
      • [0:49:44] How the wrong people get promoted.
      • [0:55:58] Organizational culture and values.

Transcript
Continue reading “An interview with Mark C. Crowley, author of Lead from the Heart”

Risk: Why We Fear the Things We Shouldn’t

Risk: Why We Fear the Things We Shouldn’t—and Put Ourselves in Greater Danger

by Dan Gardner

“One of the most consistent findings of risk perception research is that we overestimate the likelihood of being killed by the things that make the evening news and underestimate those that don’t. What makes the evening news? The rare, vivid, and catastrophic killers. Murder, terrorism, fire, and flood. What doesn’t make the news is the routine cause of death that kills one person at a time and doesn’t lend itself to strong emotions and pictures. Diabetes, asthma, heart disease.”  Continue reading “Risk: Why We Fear the Things We Shouldn’t”

B2B Institute’s B2B Trends

2030 B2B Trends: Contrarian Ideas for The Next Decade

by Peter Weinberg and Jon Lombardo, The B2B Institute

The B2B Institute published a 43-page PDF on what they foresee as the three major trends in business-to-business marketing: (1) a greater emphasis on building long-term brand equity; (2) greater consistency in creative execution; and (3) a shift from hyper-targeting to broader reach within categories. Some of the ideas presented in this paper will sound familiar to anyone who has read the work of Ehrenberg-Bass Institute or the work of Les Binet and Peter Field. Continue reading “B2B Institute’s B2B Trends”