Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Why are cosmetics so confusing?

For guys cosmetics are a major minefield and one that they simple don’t even think of venturing into except around the time of Christmas or birthday presents and even then unless they’re handed a note, chances are that they’ll come back with the wrong thing.

That’s even for relatively simple stuff too. What on earth is night cream for instance? Why should it be different from day cream? When you read the descriptions there seems to be no really good reason for there to be a difference at all.

Of course the real reason for such things is that it allows for more potential marketing to be done. Thus any brand you can name puts out a whole range of stuff with different names largely so that they can sell more stuff.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

The oldies rise

In case you haven’t notices, the post-war baby boom began to hit retirement age about five years ago and the retirees will continue to rise in numbers for another ten to fifteen years.

This group has been one of the largest target markets since the 1960s and drives much of the marketing and product development spend that you’ll have seen over the last fifty years or so. Thus today we see things like face wrinkle cream hitting the shelves in quantities that would have been unheard of only ten years ago and all because this group are getting to the point where they need such things.

What’ll happen over the next twenty years as they retire will be a shift in marketing towards a much older age group than hitherto we’ve been used to. The cosmetic industry will have a field day naturally but then so will all kinds of medical aids companies and, of course, the financial services people will move to produce products aimed at a more mature market. No more will the example customer be a 30 year old: think 60 year old these days.

All being well this massive shift will let me buy that immortality pill at some point 🙂

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

How complete should a holiday destination be?

Most people are still in search of their ideal holiday spot I’m sure. But what is “ideal” anyway?

Obviously it should take into account your interests and those of the group which you’re travelling with. But is it enough to consider each of those individually? What if there was a single spot that took account of all possible interests?

Argueably, orlando vacations would be very close to allowing for all possible interests. Granted, not quite in a single spot but in a fairly compact region you can take in theme parks, beaches, wildlife, museums and just about everything else that you can imagine.

Does that make it “ideal” though? Not for everyone certainly but it is very close to ideal for an awful lot of people.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

A good start for the new OU vice chancellor

I’m generally a message in a bottle kind of person as far as political activism goes rather than being that proactive with firing off letters to all and sundry as Wendy tends to do.

However, I thought that I’d drop the new Open University vice-chancellor, Martin Bean, a line about my thoughts on some rather undesireable side-effects of the ELQ fiasco. Specifically, the dropping of all but one of the science summer schools and the associated dropping of all the crop of named science degrees.

The summer schools have been a fixture of many Open University degrees from the very start. They’re the time when one feels like a “real” student for a week. They’re the time when one has the chance to get together with a whole heap of fellow students for all kinds of activities (ranging from serious study to, sometimes, the less high-minded student activities). They’re the time that one sees the Open University in the flesh.

The snag is that whilst up until a number of years ago the summer schools were an integral part of the regular courses, they were almost all separated off five or ten years ago as courses were rewritten. Thus whilst the original S100 science foundation course included a summer school, the updated S104 doesn’t and instead there’s a separate course made up entirely of the former summer school. That has the consequence that the summer school is now optional and therefore almost impossible to get a sponsor to pay for it and so many fewer people do the summer schools these days.

To add to the problems, the current proposal is to implement these changes over the next couple of years. That would be fast enough in a normal university where degrees typically span three or at most four years. In “OU-time”, it’s incredibly rapid as degrees can take anything from six to as many as eleven years even without breaks between courses. Thus even people who are well through their degree can be affected. One of those on the forum who’s almost at the end of her degree has already been forced into doing one of the summer schools a year or two “too soon” because it seems unlikely that the final summer school that she needs will be replaced after it expires. She’s one of the lucky ones: many of those at the start of their degrees will find that they can’t complete the degree they were aiming for as the required summer schools (and perhaps other courses) will long since have been cancelled by the time they’d be doing them.

Anyway, Martin tells me that he will be raising the issue fairly soon. I’m sure that this issue and other ELQ related ones will make his time an “interesting” one.

I was going to say that I was surprised to receive a personal reply from him the day after I sent my little missive but actually I’m not. It’s just what one would expect from the Open University vice chancellor and it’s good to see that he’s already taken the “open” part onboard.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Another year, another potential documentary: this time setting up a B&B in Northern Ireland

It’s been over a year since our last enquiry re participating in a documentary so we were overdue for this one.

Thus far we’ve been getting enquiries from the various “moving to France” TV series producers but this time it’s in connection with the possibility of us setting up a B&B back in Northern Ireland.

As with the French series, there are surprisingly few people who meet the criteria for the series. For our first one for instance, we met all the criteria but weren’t able to move in January so missed the time slot for the filming.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.