Posts tagged “markets”

Campbell’s Gardennay

I realize I’d been away from Canada quite a while when I saw Campbell’s Gardennay on the grocery store shelves (of course, you know I’m into that stuff). It just seemed like the worst, most awkward faux-Euro brand name. I’m amused to see American DiGiorno appear in Canada as Delicio, but mostly, this Campbell’s soup name just seems weird and strange. But then, I don’t live in the target region. Anymore.

Primping for the Cameras in the Name of Research

Cosmetics companies are striving to understand how their products are used differently in their various emerging markets. Presumably, they are elsewhere looking at differences in meaning, in addition to simply understanding usage.

Crucial to that effort is the search for differences that could help build a brand in critical emerging markets like India and China. L’Oreal has an expanding network of 13 evaluation centers around the world created to observe grooming and ponder a variety of burning questions: Do national differences exist in primping styles? Would women in Japan and Europe, for instance, stroke on mascara with the same lavish hand? (The answer is that in Japan, women apply mascara with an average of 100 brush strokes compared with Europeans, who are satisfied with 50, a difference noted by ethnologists for L’Oreal.)

It was observations like these that ultimately affected how the company made and marketed its mascaras or developed the foaming quality of its shampoos. “We are far from understanding everybody everywhere. It takes time,” said Fabrice Aghassian, director of international product evaluation for L’Oreal, which is seeking to map the world’s beauty routines in a landscape the company calls geocosmetics. “When we know the behaviors of people, we know what unexpressed expectations we do have to consider.”

Exchange Evolution

The photo is definitely quaint but still matches our iconic image of how trading (whatever that is; most of us have little understanding of the mechanics of markets or the activity of trading). Maybe we picture men in jackets with numbers on ’em, holding phones and throwing pieces of paper and yelling and yelling. But that era has disappeared as technology has eliminated the need for a central place. Trading takes place in distributed facilities, owned and operated by “banks” (including Morgan Stanley et al) not in centralized facilities owned and operated by exchanges. The Chron today considers the history of the exchange in San Francisco, now a gym.

A 1999 article in The Chronicle reported that only about 5 percent of the 17.5 million shares traded daily there involved personal interaction on the exchange floor.

The romance was ending. Warren Langley, president and chief operating officer of the exchange from 1996 to 1999, wrote in an e-mail that those who had devoted their lives to the exchange “really were in pain as the world of technology and telecommunications made floor-based exchanges obsolete (and made the value of their jobs go away).”

In 2001, the exchange announced a merger with the electronic marketplace corporation Archipelago, eliminating the need for brokers to interact face to face, and sold the trading floor in 2002.


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