Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Big Box of Word of Mouth

There is a reason why Hallmark does not carry "belated Xmas wishes" cards. The festive spirit/reminder started 2 seconds after the Halloween and Thanksgiving items are off the shelves.

As one of the Big Box shops in North America, Sears has just launched that leverages a few trends:

- Word of Mouth buzz is extremely effective especially amongst women and mothers
- Female internet users now equal or outnumber male users in US and Canada
- Mothers/women hold the key to the family wallet and they value convenience and safety
- Woman-to-woman conversations create unique and deep bonds and loyalty

Check out the Mom to Mom forum and tell me what you think!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Designed by Women, for Women

A team of 6 women student researchers at Canada's Simon Fraser University have invented a purse called the Ladybag that uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. RFID tags are inserted into your items (such as wallet or keys) and a reader at the bottom of the purse. If something is missing, a pattern associated with that item lights up on the outside of the bag.

I applaud innovators' enthusiasm especially utilizing technology in new ways. However, I could not help but wonder ... have they asked or observed how women use their purses in real life?

A woman likely has more than one purse (some many, too many!). The collection is needed for aesthetic or functional reasons, likely both. Inserting readers to every single bag sounds more like a chore than a "clever invention" to me.

Mothers of young ones may be at any time carrying multiple bags. Important items like cell phone or keys would reside in coat pockets, on the wrists, or other places deem more convenient.

In theory, key items can be defined as one's wallet, keys, and cell phone. In reality, they vary from day to day. My most important item today is a Thank You card for my son's school teachers. Will I forget it on my way out of the door? Maybe. Will I take the time to tag all important items du jour, a la high tech fashion? Definitely not.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Beauty, Self-Perception and Others

A fascinating piece on how we see ourselves in others' beauty decisions. Laura Kipnis also wrote a much-discussed book on women and monogamy and how social mores are evolving.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Please, mom!

A survey by NPD Group indicated back-to-school shoppers plan to spend the same (43%) or less (21%) time at brick-and-mortar stores. 51% will shop between Aug. 1 and Sept. 1, compared with 56% last year.

On the other hand, moms welcome online retail stores. A study from found that 55% of moms are planning to do their back-to-school shopping online this year - an increase of more than 25% over 2005. Limited time and money are the reasons.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

iVillage is going live!

iVillage earned my loyalty by providing content and links to almost every issue I would face as a woman, mother, and professional.

14 millions agree - that's the number of unique visitors to the woman portal, according to Comscore.

In March 2006, NBC acquired iVillage.

Now NBC Universal announced the launch of a new multiplatform talk show iVillage Live on December 4th 2006.

Sponsors include Bally Total Fitness, Calphalon and Estee Lauder.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2006

The Campus Scene

Enrolment in Canadian universities surpassed the 1 million mark for the first time during the 2004-05 academic year.

Women continued to vastly outnumber men, accounting for 58% of undergraduate students and 53% of master's students.

The gender divide between subject areas remains conspicuous. Women dominate law, communications and humanities enrollments while many more men are stepping into engineering, mathematics and information fields.

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