Archive Page 2


Sexing up chocolate milk

Sexing up chocolate milk

Cocio is a Danish chocolate milk brand. The brand is known to be a rather old-fashioned and un-glamorous brand in Denmark where it is preferably drunk together with traditional Danish hot dogs. The Cocio factory in Esbjerg, Denmark produces about 400 000 bottles of Cocio a day and export  to USA, Norway and Sweden.  However, in Norway and Sweden, the sales aren’t going so well. Where I come from (Stavanger, Norway) Cocio is one of those drinks that you find on the bottom shelf in the fridge in the local petrol station.  This image of Cocio as a classic but un-glamorous brand is about to change as Cocio now tries to take over larger market shares in Norway and Sweden.  Cocio’s marketing department decided they wanted to keep their classic image but at the same time, sex it up a little by having Sexy Eva Mendez delivering Cocio milk in this TV commercial:

Michael Broch Hansen, Cocio’s sales- and marketing director says that it is not an easy task to describe what it feels like to drink a bottle of Cocio, but Eva Mendez personifies the experience because she is a classic beaty and at the same time she has that dark side to her, just like Cocio. I think they do a good job with making the brand more sexy and glamorous and at the same time keeping the classic, retro brand-image. What do you think of the commercial? please post a comment!


5 reasons why I love IKEA

IKEA is a Swedish brand that has stores in 25 countries all over the world. The countries with top the sales numbers are Germany, USA and France. Last year, IKEA sales rose by 1.4% despite there being a recession which is not at all surprising as it is a place you can go shopping on a budget, and IKEA is known for their low prices and functionality of their furniture. The low prices is something they are able to offer due to their designers using their creative skills to find the cheapest possible way to manufacture their products and by cutting costs in transportation by packing unassembled pieces of furniture in flat boxes to save money on transportation and assembling. IKEA is no doubt one the reasons why Sweden is ranked high on brand worth. (see

5 reasons why I love IKEA:

1. The IKEA catalog

I used to have a note on my postbox that said “No unadressed mail please, except from the IKEA catalog”. IKEA spend about 70% of their overall marketing budget on the IKEA catalog and more copies of the catalog have been published than copies of the Bible! The catalogs are pretty and can be a good read.

2. The Scandinavian spirit can be seen in the functionality and simplicity of the product designs and the hospitality and homely, friendly environment in the IKEA stores. They even let this guy live in an IKEA store for a whole week:

If you want to see how the rest of the week went, go to

3. Prices for everyone. Even though the cheap prices comes of the cost of having to assemble the furniture yourself which can be a time-consuming and frustrating activity. However, knowing that you built your own kitchen or wardrobe can make you feel like a furniture God/Godess.

4. The Stories and history behind the products: Raise your hand if you own a BILLY bookshelf! The BILLY bookshelf and Klippan sofa has been selling for 30 years, since the start of IKEA. If you remember the old electricity boxes with round knobs that you had to push in when the electricity went out, you might recognise these:

The PS candlelight-holders are made of old-fashioned electricity-box knobs that there was no use in anymore after the electricity-boxes were upgraded with switches instead of knobs.

5. The IKEA meatballs. You cannot go to an IKEA store without stopping by the cafeteria for the Swedish meatballs. They are only one dollar and some customers go to IKEA solely for the meatballs. By offering this cheap dish they draw people into their stores, increasing the likelihood of them buying something they did not know they needed.

…And that is why I love IKEA.





“One of the weaknesses of our age is the inability to distinguish needs from greeds.”

-Don Robinson

Over-consumption is a term used to describe the consumption habits in countries where consumption is unsustainable. Over- consumption is, as you may already know, more or less our fault. 76.6% of the world’s private consumption is carried out by the richest 20% of the world’s population. This picture that shows how emissions of CO2 are spread over the world should give you an idea about exactly how bad we are:

Does this make your  ache? There are ways to make it better:

Suggestion no 1:

  • Meat consumption takes 10 times the amount of resources to produce as a corresponding amount of vegetables. Therefore; quit eating meat.
  • Did you hear about the British MP who announced that he was going to quit flushing after doing “number one” on the toilet? You can do better: Stop flushing the toilet even after number two; it will save much energy and water.
  • While you’re at it, quit showering.
  • Wear your clothes and shoes until they fall of in rags, and then use the rags to sew new clothes. Individualistic and fashionable.
  • Sell your house and start living in a tent instead. That way you won’t have to consume electricity, sewage and garbage disposal services.

However, if you are like me, you love meat too much to give it up, you like smelling nice, you think the sound of a toilet flushing is like msic to your ears. You can still be a normal person but adjust your consumer habits to become more environmentally friendly with these simple steps:

Suggestion 2

  • Turn showers and tap off when your are not using the water.
  • Turn lights off when you leave a room.
  • Print on both sides of the paper.
  • Read the news online instead of buying papers.
  • Bring your own bags when shopping.
  • Choose green products.
  • Use a bicycle to get to work when the weather permits it, rather than driving a car.
  • Give things to do for gifts, like theatre tickets or offer to help out with something for free instead of silly things like ear-muffs shaped like teddy-bears, grapefruit-scented candles, decorative pillows or books titled “100 light-houses you should see before you die”

Next week I become a green consumer super-hero!


Hallmark commercial poll

I thought I should share this clip with you, dear reader. It is a commercial from Hallmark for Valentine’s day greetings. Please watch it and tell me what you think:

Am I being cold-hearted and cynical now, or is that just sickening? cast your vote below:

Happy Valentine’s day, and thanks for voting!


Win-Win for Lex Ware labs

Win-win for Lex Ware Labs

Lex ware Labs is a Swedish company that specializes in language and translator tools. They recently hit the Jackpot, when Apple Inc approved their wake up alarm as an iPhone application. Since iPhone already has a large consumer-base, Lex Ware can surf the apple wave for free! – WIN!

The sleep cycle application is an alarm clock that measures what stage of sleep you are in. This is measured by placing the iPhone in bed, and detecting your movements with the accelerometer in the iPhone (the mechanism that makes the picture turn when your turn the phone). It will also record how you sleep and wake you up when you are in one of the more shallow stages of sleep. Studies have shown that when waking someone up from their slow wave sleep, they may feel more tired and and it takes a longer time to get their cognitive functions up to a normal awake level then if you wake them up from the other stages of sleep ( Ferrrara, Gennaro, Casagrande and Bertini 2000). The alarm will go off within half an hour of a designated time that you set it to and when you wake up, a graph will show your level of activity during the night. How cool is that?

I t may not be necessary to have an alarm clock that wakes you up when it thinks you are not in deep sleep and that shows a graph over how you slept, but consumers wants is anyhow. The novelty-factor and entertaining side to it makes it attractive to consumers. So, the coolness and novelty factor: WIN!


The Breakup

by Janne,

image by Janne,

Dear Camerabox,

When I met you I was just another consumer wandering around in www looking for a camera to buy. I am not saying I was naïve and innocent. I had been around the block, spent hundreds of pounds and kroners on clothes, books, food and gadgets online. But this time it was different. I had searched through an endless array of forums and tests to find the perfect camera for me and I found the one I wanted.

So in search for a shop, I picked you; The equipment was reasonably priced, you had next day delivery and a secure web-page (In addition to your handsome looks and layout). What more can a www-consumer ask for? After placing the order, you seemed quite eager to make me happy straight away, because the next day I found a note in my post-box, saying delivery had failed since I was not in. The same thing happened again next day but I could collect the parcel at the local depot.

This is the point where our relationship started to rock. Citilink, the delivery company was in another town, an hour drive away. When I called the delivery company and an automatic answering machine gave me two options:

Press 1) to return parcel

Press 2) to track the order.

I pressed 1 and e-mailed you, dear Camerabox, to let you know that the parcel was heading your way, and to say that I did not think much of your choice of a courier. I called you as well to arrange a new delivery and you kindly said that you would off course contact me when the parcel returned. That was so nice of you! And it was not your fault that the courier did not do a particularly good job.

After establishing this relationship between us over a week in October and after contacting you so many times, I felt I should leave the ball in your court this time and sit and wait for you to call. That took you 2 weeks. When you called and told me the camera I had ordered had gone out of stock, I started having doubts about our relationship, It felt like I was giving you so much more than what you gave me back. The funny thing is that

  • I had paid for the camera, so it was my property
  • The camera had been shipped to me before, so it did exist.

The only thing I gather from this is that you sold my camera to someone else, while I was sitting there, waiting for it. As I pointed this out to you, you said that it was my fault, since I had not contacted you. But I had! Twice!

I think you could sense my frustration, so you asked if I wanted a refund. And since I am a well-behaved customer who knows that mistakes happen, I tried not to shout when I said yes. And you probably did not notice, but I pressed the “hang-up” button on the phone pretty hard.

As you know, this happened in the beginning of December. I shall not bore you with all the details of what happened after the break-up, I am sure you remember most of it, so here is a recap:

  • I called, and you said I would get a refund within 5 days.
  • After 7 days, I remind you about it. You did not respond.
  • I called again, and you said you would give a refund within 30 days.
  • I sent you another reminder the day after and again you did not respond.
  • 30 days after I sent you yet another reminder.
  • You called me to tell me about how a new payment system were making things slow. You apologised for the delay. You also asked if I wanted the refund as a cheque or straight to my account. I said I wanted it transferred to my account.
  • A couple of weeks later, you e-mailed me and asked for my address so you could send me the cheque. (Even though I explicitly stated I wanted it transferred straight to my account).


To this day you still haven’t refunded my money. I tried to break this relationship off a long time ago, but it is hard when I am being reminded again and again about how lousy you treat me by not sending me my money back.

I wish we could just end this. The power is in your hands. All I can do is give you these pieces of advice on how to treat you future customers:

  • Know your facts. There is a huge difference between 5 days, 30 days and 60 days when a customer is waiting for a refund or a delivery.
  • Be honest. It is extremely frustrating when the customer has to wait for something, but it is even more frustrating if they are told the product (or in my case, a refund) will arrive at a date and it is considerably delayed.
  • Do not let the customer do your job. If you have problems knowing what the customer wants, or if something about the order changes, let the customer know! It should not be the customer’s job to call and ask. For the record, I sent 8 e-mails and received 3 replies. I called about ten times, and received one diminutive phone call from you.
  • Document your communication with the customer. If you document your conversations and e-mails, it is easier to know where the customer stands and what has previously been said between the customer and customer-service.
  • Do not sell a product twice. Pretty much what it says on the tin. Just don’t do it!


That is all.

(Not so kind) regards,

Gerd Inger Aarnes


Success-stories of Ugly Shoes


When I was in high school in Norway, everybody wore them.  We first saw the Spice girls in them, after that all the girls in school had them and by short boys hated them. The Buffalo boots:

They were hugely popular in Europe. I had a pair. and many times have I asked myself: why did I wear them?

 I think the answer is simple. We wanted the shoes, because everybody else had them, including the Spice girls.  We liked the Spice girls, and because The spice girls and the Buffalo shoes appeared together frequently we started liking the Buffalo shoes.  In other words, an example of classical conditioning. To learn more, click  on the illustration below and imagine the dog is me or you:

In America, Buffalo boots were for “the freaks”. The Spice girls were not that popular and over here, Marilyn Manson wore the buffalo boots. As he represented “the freaks”, they were conditioned to like the shoes, as shown in this illustration. (Click to enlarge)

classical cinditioning of the buffal boots in America

Perhaps wearing ugly shoes is one of those unfortunate events that inevitably occurs from time to time  to the humankind. In 2005 paparazzi-pictures of celebrities wearing UGGs came out. The shoes fall into the same category as the Buffalo shoes, they may be a lot of things, but they are not the prettiest shoes in the shop.

Crocs is another tale of ugly shoes-success, selling to people all over the world. Crocs had a 2 million USD net income in 2008. Here is a picture of desperate housewives star Teri hatcher wearing a green pair: