Category Archives: Marketing

The Future of Shopping: Online AND In Person

As holiday season approaches, we’ve got a shopping special!

Nora Young points to this article in Technology Review by Avi Goldfarb about the death of the “death of distance” – why local still matters in the ecommerce era. Nora explores this story in an interview with Avi over at Spark.

Cathi Bond looks at shopping habits of Generation Z, in an era of social shopping (via Marketing Week). She mentions Wanelo as a cool example of the trend in action. Nora wonders if more of us aren’t going to the online/offline social shopping model, and if Gen Z are just early adopters.

What do you think? How are your shopping habits changing?

The Sniffer, August 6, 2013: Trends in Memory, Economy, and Marketing

Happy Summer! This time around, Cathi Bond talks about an intriguing opinion piece by Shawn Parr, arguing that someone should bring Kickstarter-style narrative and bootstrapping to the US debt problem (via PSFK)

Nora Young mentions this Technology Review profile of neuroscientist Daniela Schiller, about the nature of memory, and how alternatives to drugs may be used to change the way we experience our memories. Does this square with how you think about your own memories? Let us know!

In lighter news, Cathi points to chef Robert Ruiz’s use of edible QR codes on his sushi (via PSFK). Gimmick? Smart?

The Sniffer is off until after Labour Day. Have a great rest of the summer, and see you for season – ack! – NINE in the fall!

Nora and Cathi

The Sniffer, June 21st, 2013: Trends in Retail and Books

This time around, Cathi Bond looks at the rise of high-end automated kiosks for selling a wide range of products (meat, for instance!). The idea is to make sales, drive traffic to the fewer remaining bricks and mortar stores. Logical, but another sign of the automation of people’s jobs.

Nora Young looks at Qantas Airlines plans to launch a line of books. The length of the book varies by how long your flight is (via Springwise). Death of literature or simply a reaction to our time-crunched times? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

The Sniffer, Dec 20th, 2012: Trends in Shopping and Colour

This time, trendwatchers, a look at trends in shopping. Cathi Bond and Nora Young riff on some of PSFK’s fascinating retail trends. Get a look at their whole report here. Nora refers to Daniel Pink’s new book along the way, which will be featured in an upcoming episode of her show Spark. What do you think of the trend towards ‘social commerce‘ and towards consumers being rewarded for exposing their social media contacts to recommendations and ads?

Nora and Cathi also talk about the news that Pantone’s colour for 2013 is Emerald. What does it mean? Anything?

From both of us, have a wonderful holiday, and thanks so much for listening to The Sniffer. More in 2013. Woo hoo!

And now, for the holidays, please enjoy…

The Sniffer, Dec 10, 2012: Trends in Customization and…Cocoons

This time, trendspotters, Cathi Bond talks about one of the more surprising trends she’s seen: cocoons. See them here, here, and here. (Via Gizmag). Any theories as to why cocoons, why now? Is it the search for security in difficult times, or something else?

Meanwhile, Nora Young talks about CustomMade, a service that brings craftspeople and buyers together in a marketplace for customized manufacture (via Core77)Nora also tells the story of Bemz, a site that makes new covers of just about all the chairs and sofas IKEA has made. With all this disintermediated customization going on, are major retailers going to need to be a lot more flexible?

UPDATE: Bemz apparently delivers internationally, not just in North America.

The Sniffer, Oct 10th, 2012: Trends in Customization and Personal Devices

In today’s podcast for trendwatchers, Nora Young talks about Indochino, a service that provides custom-made suits by getting the customer to do their own measurements. Cathi Bond and Nora think it furthers the trend toward mass customization, and using the internet to create personalized experiences for lower prices. It continues a trend they’ve talked about before, in products such as Styku.
Meanwhile, Cathi Bond discusses this PSFK interview with Digital Art Director Dhani Sutanto, who has created the Oyster Ring – wearable tech that he can use to access the London Tube. Cathi and Nora discuss whether the app-loaded cell phone has taken the wind out of the sails of wearable tech, or if there will be new life in good looking wearable gear.
UPDATE: Bit of a problem with the podcast for a day. Should be fine now. Thanks Encaffeinated ONE

The Sniffer, Feb 17th, 2012: Trends in Crowdsourced Funding and Cool Info Management

For this trendwatching podcast, Cathi Bond has been keeping an eye on who’s raising funds on Kickstarter. She found this family farm hoping to raise pigs and take production all the way to cured pork products. People seem to have an increasing appetite for putting their money into specific projects that they can have some sense of agency over; witness the success of projects like Kiva.

Meanwhile, Nora Young recalls the cute wi-fi rabbit, Nabaztag. Perhaps it was just a little ahead of its time, since we’re seeing all sorts of charming display tools aimed at helping us get a grip on all the information that’s coming at us. Nora points to two good examples: Feedair (via Gizmag) and Little Printer, by the folks at BERG. Little Printer is particularly distinct because it, well, prints things out on paper. Amidst all our electronic means for keeping tabs, is there still a role for paper lists in your life? Let us know!

The Sniffer, Feb 5th, 2012: Trends in Advertising and Eco-Housing

In this podcast episode, Nora Young gets her rant on about new trends in tech-flavoured advertising. Sure things like QR Codes are cool and all, but are you really interested in using your phone with them to get yet more ads? Tell us, would you interact with Coca Cola’s polar bears online? Read more at CNET

Meanwhile, Cathi Bond talks about the CHIP house, an experimental prototype in building a net zero energy house that competed in the Solar Decathlon in the US. Interesting design – could it be the house of the future? As an aside, Nora mentions all the cool things people are using Microsoft’s Kinect for, from research projects to art installations. (Interaccess featured a piece by David Rokeby that used the Kinect to allow visitors to interact virtually with gallery goers in Europe. I wish I could find video documentation).

And, just for fun, via Swiss Miss, this wonderful look at British coffee culture. Check it!

The Sniffer, Dec 20th, 2011: Trends in Robotics and Niche Marketing

In today’s podcast for trendwatchers, Cathi Bond has more examples of the niche subscription trend we’ve been talking about. This time, it’s niche Brazilian bread (via PSFK). For more on niche subscriptions, check out Cathi’s story on Spark here.

Just in time for New Year’s resolutions, Nora Young points out Rajesh Shetty‘s Metrics that Matter. For inspiration, or a long dark night of the soul, check it out here and see how you’re doing going into a new year.

Meanwhile, Nora Young points to Gizmag’s piece on tiny robots called Kilobots that Harvard is making available for sale. Gizmag wondered whether it might be feasible for regular folks to get them. Nora thinks they might make a lovely Christmas present (hint, hint). Note: after we recorded this episode of The Sniffer, Gizmag updated their story, saying that they would sell for about $2,000 for 10 ‘bots. Pricey, but cool. On a more serious note, Nora points to the more general trend in robotics research away from modeling humans or mammals and towards swarming of flocking behaviour. They reminded Cathi of the robots in Minority Report: