Funny excited young woman in checkered shirt shouting in megaphone over yellow background

It’s About Marketing

January 11, 2016,

Pick any industry and you’ll find that marketing is often at the foundation of its success.  If you think about all the marketing you’re exposed to in your everyday life it’s almost overwhelming. Marketing can be subtle or it can in your face.  Some marketing is stealth and sneaks in the back door, while other types just kick the front door open.  The good news, it all works.

Marketing is all around us.  It’s on T-shirts.  It’s on billboards. It saturates all types of media. And, it infiltrates even the most discrete forms of communication.  It’s insidious… but necessary. Think about it.  If you don’t tell people what you are selling (I.e., marketing) then they won’t come to you to buy it. Read more

Vector illustration of funny cartoon robots family

The Future of Retail

November 23, 2015

I have to admit that shopping at Sam’s Club is not exactly a glimpse into the future of retail. 500,000 square feet of concrete floors and metal shelves doesn’t sing out cutting-edge. But recently, they added a machine that’s provides a look at a possible future. The machine is about half the size of a pop vending machine, and it sits quietly near one of the aisle end caps… until you walk by it. When it senses motion, as you approach, it perks up and in a friendly and very lifelike voice asks, “Would like a free sample?” Samples of nearly every food item or vitamin product are an anticipated event for kids and many adults during a Sam’s Club visit. These machines are part of the adventure as well. If you decide you want a free sample, you simply scan your membership card and out pops the free sample du jour. Read more


Coolest Thing I Ever Bought

August 31, 2015

I have to admit the gift shop is often my favorite part of most museums. As an avid art lover, museums are always on my agenda whenever I travel. For me, after spending several hours exploring a museum, the gift shop is often like dessert.  The gift shop is a little bit of sweetness that hits the spot after a hearty meal of museum fare. Read more


Using Pinterest for Social Media Marketing

August 10, 2015

Pinterest is a great social media platform for retailers for two reasons. First, users can use it to create “idea boards” for things such as “Great gifts for people who love hiking,” or “Ideas for my amazing wedding reception.” Second, Pinterest users are heavy on the “buy.” Many idea boards on Pinterest are directly linked to a way to purchase an item, although do-it-yourself and recipes remain important categories on Pinterest. Read more

chazan store for blog

The Chazan Museum of Art Shop

The Chazen Museum of Art, located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, underwent a major expansion and remodel project that opened in Fall 2011. Unfortunately, while the store was given a bigger space, it continued to operate in the red and was not able to find its voice or leverage the added media attention or visitorship into an increase in revenue. The store was disorganized, both in the sense of product selection and how that product was merchandised. I came on as museum shop manager in November 2013. Within a week of taking on the retail management for the Chazen I knew I had a huge challenge ahead of me. Read more

Row of colorful shopping bags isolated on white background

5 Tips to Branding Your Shop

Who doesn’t love a great shopping bag? Like the treasures within, having your purchase wrapped up in beautiful gift paper, or put in a fun bag with a large graphic on the side can delight you and solidify a great shopping experience. Great packaging is also a key to strengthening brand identity and can have tremendous promotional impact.

Here are five ways to get the most out of your branded packaging. Read more


Educational Products

The excitement of learning something new should not stop when visitors leave your museum. Offering guests educational products is one way they will both remember their stimulating trip and enhance and extend the experience of your institution.

“People want to learn something new. Anything that makes them say, ‘hmm…I didn’t know that’ is what you’re looking for, and chances are, if they say that, then they’ll buy the product,” says Kay Kay Zimmerman of GrandmasUnplugged. Read more