Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why do they say 99 cents and not 100? - Yahoo! Answers

Why do they say 99 cents and not 100? - Yahoo! Answers

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Get STRATFOR for only $99

We just received this email from the intelligence service STRATFOR, which we use (here excerpted) - see the full text here:

"Dear STRATFOR Reader: The results from our price test are in, and to thank you for participating, we'd like to extend a very special offer to you: join STRATFOR today for a year for just $99. It's lower than the winning price we're going to use going forward, but we want to reward you for taking part in our study. Take advantage of the absolute lowest price we've ever offered on a STRATFOR Membership and ... get an entire year for just $99.

STRATFOR Members get geopolitical intelligence, focused analysis, up-to-the-minute information, and maps, charts, and graphs delivered to them daily. We're offering you all the STRATFOR benefits for just a fraction of our normal price: just $99 a year. It's your chance to get 24/7 access to geopolitical intelligence and the kind of definitive analysis nobody but STRATFOR provides, but a low rate you might not see again. Don't miss out; join STRATFOR today!

Thank you for your participation"

Monday, May 11, 2009

Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands : Consumers are Angry with Governments, Institutions, and Economic Sectors but not Brands

The BrandZ Top 100 ranking of brands by brand value was created by Millward Brown Optimor to identify the world's most valuable brands by dollar value. Their 2009 Press Release regarding this year's ranking is found below:


Google is the world’s first $100 billion brand, number one for the third year running

New York, New York, 29th April 2009
— the fourth annual BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking published today by Millward Brown Optimor reveals that brands sustain their value, despite the tough economic environment.

The BrandZ Top 100 ranking identifies the dollar value of brands. It does this by combining financial data with research on consumers and business-to-business users from BrandZ, the world’s largest brand equity study.

The value of the top 100 brands has held its value at $1.95 tn (a marginal increase of 1.7 percent). Google is number one with a value of $100 bn, Microsoft is number two at $76.2 bn, and Coca-Cola enters the top three for the first time at $67.6 bn.

There are 15 new brands entering the ranking this year. Pampers is the highest entrant at no. 31, followed by Nintendo (no.32) and VISA (no.36). Trends identified from this year’s rankings are:

— Brands that represent good value for money have done well, this is about quality as much as price, for example Wal-Mart (+19 percent), ALDI (+49 percent) and Auchan (+48 percent). H&M (+8 percent) is now the number one apparel brand.

— People still reward themselves with little treats when money is tight. Brands such as McDonald’s (+34 percent), Marlboro (+33 percent) and Budweiser (+23 percent) have all done well.

At Home
— Brands that can be experienced at home have shown strong growth. This includes home shopping: Amazon (+85 percent) and eBay (+16 percent); Coffee that can be prepared at home: Nespresso (+27 percent) and Nescafe (+23 percent); and gaming — Nintendo jumped into the ranking for the first time at no. 32.

— The increased popularity of using the internet on the move through devices such as the iPhone and BlackBerry has led to huge increases for the mobile operators category as a whole, driven by demand for data services. Vodafone enters the top 10 for the first time this year (+45 percent)....

About Millward Brown

Millward Brown
( is one of the world's leading research agencies and is expert in effective advertising, marketing communications, media and brand equity research. Through the use of an integrated suite of validated research solutions — both qualitative and quantitative — Millward Brown helps clients build strong brands and services. Millward Brown has more than 75 offices in 48 countries. Millward Brown Optimor focuses on helping clients maximize the returns on their brand and marketing investments. Millward Brown is part of Kantar, WPP's insight, information and consultancy group.


Outside of North America

Miquet Humphryes
+44 1926 826179

U.S. and Canada

Lauren Raisl

See the full report, where there are also lists of the Top 15 by Brand Contribution (Emotion), Top 10 by Brand Momentum (short-term growth prospects), top 20 Risers (greatest year-to-year value increase) and Newcomers to the Top 100 list.

There are top 10 lists by region:
Asia, Europe (including the UK), United Kingdom, and North America.

Featured Top 10 lists are also found for the following economic sectors:
Apparel, Beer, Bottled Water, Cars, Coffee, Fast Food, Financial Institutions, Gaming Consoles, Insurance, Luxury, Mobile Operators, Motor Fuel, Personal Care, Retail, Soft Drinks, Spirits, and Technology.

But perhaps the most interesting and significant list of all is the last one in the report, 10 Key Take Outs, of which we quote Number Four:

"4 Stay Positive

Consumers are angry – with government, at large institutions, with entire sectors. But they are not angry at your brand. Brand strength is stable over time. It is disrupted only when something new enters the market or when the brand upsets the relationship with consumers. It takes a lot to make that happen. A recent Millward Brown study of the financial sector revealed that consumers are likely to aim their current displeasure at the sector or at certain high-profile individuals. The displeasure consumers feel, however, does not seem to dramatically alter their
experience with their individual brand."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Why do we set Prices at e.g. 99 cents (or 98 cents) rather than 1 Dollar or 1 Euro or 1 Pound or any other Currency?

Commerce has a lot to do with psychology.

Why for example do we price retail products at 99 cents (or 98 cents) rather than 1 Dollar or 1 Euro or 1 Pound or "one" of any other Currency?

The obvious - but not necessarily correct - reply that a price like $99.99 is not equal to $100 misses the main issue, by assuming that the buyer is more likely to buy at a price of $99.99 because he or she thinks that the price is then less than $100 and closer to $99 rather than $100. But the buyer knows EXACTLY what the price is. The buyer is not confused on this score.

Rather, a cent or two is given in return to the buyer by the seller, so that the actual psychology at work here is perhaps something different.

The seller or retailer is trying to get as much price out of a bill of currency as he can without taking it all, leaving the buyer with at least "something" in return, even if it is a penny. Essentially, that one cent is a form of "rebate" to assuage the buyer's loss. At least, that is our theory.

Cecil Adams has a factual analysis at The Straight Dope.

Liberty of London : Within the Reach of All Classes

Our photograph header is a clip of the Tudor wing of the Liberty department store in London at night, taken October 30, 2008 from the intersection of Great Marlborough Street and Argyll Street.

Harrods in London is better known, Westfield London is newer and KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) in Berlin may have the preferred selection of foods and wares, but the exterior of the Tudor wing of Liberty is probably the most aesthetically appealing.

As related at The Earthly Paradise, the department store owes its name to Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty:
  • "Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty was born in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England
  • In 1875, Arthur opened his own store, Liberty and Co. in Regent Street, London....
  • In the beginning, Liberty worked with a number of popular fashions, but as time went on the store evolved its own style firmly rooted in the Arts and Crafts tradition. Later it was one of the first places to popularize Art Nouveau (in Italy, Art Nouveau was actually called "Stile Liberty")....
  • Liberty of London made Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau styles much more accessible." [links added]
A more detailed version of the life of Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty, including a portrait of the founder, is found at the website pages of the The Archibald Knox Society, where it is written:

  • "The store became the most fashionable place to shop in London and iconic liberty fabrics were used for both clothing and furnishings. Its clientele was exotic, and included famous members of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.... Liberty himself said that his store aimed for "the production of useful and beautiful objects at prices within the reach of all classes." [link added]

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