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Avery Dennison does deal with RFID patent troll

BY CSA STAFF

In a move designed to accelerate adoption of RFID at the item level, Avery Dennison has signed a licensing agreement with Round Rock Research.

Round Rock describes itself as a technology research and patent licensing firm while others have used the less glamorous phrase patent troll to characterize a company that doesn’t manufacture, sell or market products or services. Either way, the $1.5 billion Avery Dennison Retail Branding and Information Solution subsidiary of Avery Dennison said it entered into a licensing agreement with Round Rock for radio frequency tags and readers that will facilitate further adoption of item-level RFID by U.S.-based apparel retailers and brands.

“RFID adoption in the apparel industry is accelerating around the world due to the strong investment case and fundamental advantage it affords retailers to better manage inventory and serve customers,” said Shawn Neville, president of Avery Dennison RBIS. “This license agreement, along with our significant investments in RFID innovation, manufacturing capabilities and market development, positions us to lead the accelerating adoption of RFID in the U.S. and around the world.”

The move by Avery Dennison RBIS follows resolution of a lawsuit last month between Round Rock and Motorola Solutions and Smartrac. Round Rock had sued the firms and several of Motorola’s major customers for use products Round Rock said infringed on its patents.

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Coca-Cola three-peats at NASCAR Marketing Achievement Awards

BY CSA STAFF

The Coca-Cola Company received the 2013 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon held in the Encore Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas. An official partner since 1998, Coca-Cola has become the first three-time recipient of the award.

The award recognized Coca-Cola for utilizing an immersive integrated marketing approach, which has engaged fans, customers and employees across virtually every facet of the NASCAR ecosystem, including intellectual property, promotions, public relations, B2B, online, broadcast, at track, event marketing, social media and retail.

“Throughout the course of our 15-year relationship Coca-Cola has become one of the most recognized brands in our sport,” said Jim O’Connell, NASCAR chief sales officer. “Once again Coca-Cola raised the bar by creating innovative activation and an integrated marketing approach to engage with millions of NASCAR fans, embodying the spirit of the award.”

This year, Coca-Cola introduced a series of brand spots titled, “Coca-Cola Racing Family Road Trip,” featuring NASCAR stars Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. The four-part series premiered during the Daytona 500 and its creative mirrored storylines that were playing out on the track throughout the season.

“The Coca-Cola partnership with NASCAR is rich in history and passionately multifaceted. We’re honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award from such a valuable partner,” said Sharon Byers, SVP, sports and entertainment marketing, Coca-Cola North America Group. “From our Coca-Cola Racing Family members to decades of supporting local, regional and national activation, together our properties talk to a broad scope of fans. In 2013, the NASCAR partnership extended across 19 tracks, 13 current and alumni drivers, two entitlement races, activation with 36 national retail partners in more than 250,000 retail locations, 2.8 million My Coke Rewards entries in NASCAR-themed sweepstakes and nearly 12,000 participants in our Coca-Cola Family Track Walks.”

Previous winners of the NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award include Anheuser-Busch, Mars, ESPN, FOX / TNT / NBC, Gillette, Kmart, Nationwide Insurance, Office Depot, Sprint, the Home Depot and Toyota.

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Three Ways to Win Over Reluctant Shoppers

BY CSA STAFF

By Gary Ambrosino, president, TimeTrade

The November Consumer Confidence Index made headlines as the numbers slumped to the lowest point within the last six months. On the surface, this could cause concern for retailers this holiday season. However, when you’re in a store, how often do you actually think about an economic indicator when you’re deciding how much to spend?

Instead, shoppers are focused on the customer experience – determining how well they trust the brand and more importantly, the sales associate assisting them to find what they need. Hesitant shoppers present a huge opportunity for retailers to win them over, now that the price-matching has leveled the playing field.

Here are the three ways retailers can increase holiday sales and keep customers coming back in 2014.

Personalization – at every stage of the buying cycle.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all world when it comes to anything these days, especially customer service. In a world where you can personalize your cell phone, customize your shoes and even your barista calls you by name, the demand for personalization is higher than ever before. Shoppers want to feel like they are a retailer’s only customer, and that begins before they ever step into a store. According to a recent survey of 1,000 consumers, 92% revealed that a more personalized, improved experience is the thing they want most from retailers, trumping lower prices.

Giving customers the personalization they are looking for goes far beyond an email with the customer’s name in the subject line. Retailers have a wealth of customer data at their fingertips to create more targeted, meaningful campaigns and promotions. Imagine if you could know exactly what a consumer wanted before they stepped into a store? It’s possible today.

A retailer’s most untapped resource: The employees.
Combine a deeper understanding of buyers’ needs with knowledgeable employees and you’ve created a formidable force. Major retailers surveyed at the Future Stores Conference in July 2013 found that consumers will spend 25-50% more when assisted by an informed, helpful store associate.

When a customer trusts a store associate, they trust the brand. The most successful retailers today are investing in training and equipping store associates with tools they need to more efficiently work with shoppers. Store employee structures are also evolving, especially during the holiday season. Temporary staffers rarely have the depth of experience or product knowledge that consumers crave. As a result, product experts are becoming the front lines for assisting shoppers while temporary hires support them. This creates a more streamlined process for both the staff and the consumer.

Create the most convenient experience possible.
Few people enjoy holiday shopping – fighting over parking spots and dealing with crowds isn’t for the faint of heart. However, what consumers really want isn’t complicated: answers to their questions and the ability to quickly find the products they need. The more retailers know about customers before they walk in the door — the greater chance retailers have of providing a valuable, personalized and satisfied buying experience. Retailers that reinvent what it means to go shopping during the busiest time of year will beat out the competition and set the stage for success in 2014.

In the long run, price-matching and flashy sales won’t earn you long-term customers. It’s about efficient, personalized service. In order to cash in this holiday season, retailers have to take the focus off of price and volume, and focus on customer. For many consumers, holiday shopping forces them to purchase from retailers they typically wouldn’t – that’s the biggest opportunity. If retailers can give first-time, rushed holiday shoppers a unique experience, they can turn a one-time purchase into a lifetime customer.

Gary Ambrosino is president of TimeTrade. He can be reached at [email protected]


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