Our Corporate Overlords: Marketing Wins and Losses

userpic=corporateContinuing our corporate theme of yesterday. Here are some items about how corporations market, including some failures:

  • Picking the Right Number. A really interesting article in the LA Times looks at how the right house number … or the right digits in the price … can sell your house for more money. What’s good? “8”s in certain areas, “7” in Las Vegas, and “9”s almost everywhere. What’s bad? “4” and “13”.
  • The Right Size. Airbus is in an interesting fight with Boeing. Airbus is arguing that airplane seats are narrow enough at 18″. Boeing wants to permit airlines to set the width. Why is this a problem? Americans are wider now then when Boeing did their original width studies.
  • Blockbuster No More. Some familiar names are disappearing. Perhaps the best known is Blockbuster, which is closing all their company-owned US stores. Some of us are old enough to remember the days of the video store, where you could browse and find obscure movies to rent and watch at home. Many interesting movies were discovered in this fashion. Today, it’s all “movies on demand”. This has the same problem as the loss of the bricks and mortar bookstore: recommendations are one thing, but there’s nothing quite like finding a cover and description blurb that draws you into a gem you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
  • Building Bust. Toll Brothers has purchased Shapell Industries. Well, to be specific, they purchased the homebuilding business of Shapell. These names might not mean much to you. Toll Brothers is one of the largest homebuilders, based in Pennsylvania. Shapell, founded by Nathan Shapell, was a major builder in California — especially Southern California. From major developments in the South Bay and particular the North San Fernando Valley (such as Porter Ranch), Shapell shaped the Los Angeles suburb. The North Valley YMCA, where I go, is on land donated by Shapell.