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Influencer Snails and Weapons of Mass Attraction

PLUS: The B&N-aissance
January 25, 2023

Noble, Indeed. The business world seems to be confused right now. Cool new flashy tech is struggling financially. But a boring physical bookstore is rising like a phoenix from the ashes. Ted Gioia dives into why. 

Our Take: I've noticed that my kids and their friends think that BN is the "cool library" and I've been mulling on that for a while. They go there for collecting, for curation; they see it as the "analog entertainment" store.

That said, the "anti-commercialization" message in this newsletter is strong and heralds B&N's success in tearing down publisher incentives and curation. While I'm very much here for the "anti-kowtowing to commercial incentives" narratives, it *also* comes at a time when people are anxious and digitally burnt out, and when Tiktok is driving more interest in long-form reading. It's the perfect storm of the right time for the right leader who throws out the old model! A hat tip is deserved to reader and friend of the podcast, Alex Greifeld, who shared this story with us.

Be a Good Little Consumer, Now. What is it that makes Mini Brands so soothing? Maybe it’s partnerships with Influencer Snails

More Sights & Sounds. Walmart is going to raise its starting wages from $12 to $14 an hour. Lowe’s CEO says a website crash in 2018 during Black Friday caused the company to make changes which set them up for success just two years later when Covid hit. According to new research funded by Google, the ideal split for marketing budgets is 60% allocated for digital marketing and 40% for traditional marketing. Classical music is making a comeback among people under 35 years old. What is it that makes Mini Brands so soothing? WeCommerce and Tiny are combining into a tech holding company, creating a lot of commerce firepower in one spot. And what if we had to defeat minesweeper to cancel a subscription? It’s kind of starting to feel like that’s the next logical step in our cancellation hoops. Also, enjoy watching the godmother of drumming play the “Greatest Hates” of Liquid Death.

Forgotten, No More. While most retailers are working as hard as they can to stay relevant to Millenials and Gen Z, Lands’ End is not. Instead, the company’s strategy is focusing on the forgotten Gen X as its most sought-after customer base.

Influen-Snails. Emily at FeedMe newsletter alerted us to Burberry's sponsorship of the creator economy; only in this instance, the creator is a literal Snail.

Photo by Ralston Smith on Unsplash

Too Woke or Just a Joke? M&Ms announced the retirement of the company’s spokescandies, based on internet controversies about “wokeness.” The candy company also introduced Maya Rudolph as its spokesperson. But some people are left wondering if this is nothing more than a publicity stunt leading up to the Super Bowl.

Quantum Leap. IonQ, a Maryland-based company, is planning to open a 65,000-square-foot quantum computer research and manufacturing factory near Seattle. The company also plans to invest $1 billion in the PNW region over the next ten years.

Walgreens in Chains. You may have noticed that a lot of shelf items at Walgreens are locked up all of the sudden. Why? Shoplifting could be a major contributing factor.

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