Another March Fitness Funk

Another March Fitness Funk

Ican pretty much set my watch to how my body will feel around the end of March. After just over three months of trainer workouts and lifting weights, my body and mind always has a hard time transitioning to the early road rides. Saturday’s ride in Henderson was no exception. I was scheduled to meet up with Ben and Jim to ride the Silver Island Road Race course at around 1:00 pm. Since I arrived to Henderson early, I rode to Jessenland Hill and got a few climbs in before the ride. The last time I had ridden this hill was 2009 while racing in my second ever road race as a Cat 5. Boy, 5 years of racing has gone by in a blink. I love this photo–riding a used internet bike, elbows locked, hands numb, and loving life. The first few times up the hill on Saturday I felt pretty good, but by the time I met up with Ben and Jim I realized my legs were flat as pancakes. We headed back up the hill (a fourth time for me) and then proceeded to ride the Silver Island 18 mile circuit. Of course the tailwind sections were great, but once we entered the cross and headwind sections my legs were toast. I could turn the pedals over petty hard for about a minute or two, but had absolutely no muscle endurance. After making the full circuit, we went up the hill one more time before turning around about 8 miles into the loop. The 12 miles of headwind back to the car were humbling to say the least....
What does Oak Flooring, Windy Hills, Braised Rabbit, and Vehicular Manslaughter have in Common?

What does Oak Flooring, Windy Hills, Braised Rabbit, and Vehicular Manslaughter have in Common?

Reflecting back on an uncharacteristically busy Saturday that involved a round-trip to gramma and grampa’s in Mapleton, a 50-mile bike ride in Henderson, and an evening out in Minneapolis, I’m not sure one additional activity could have fit into the span of the 16 hour day? Mapleton with Koen Since Koen is on spring break all of next week, we thought it would be a perfect time for him to spend a few days in Mapleton at grandma and grandpa’s house. With a full day ahead of me, Koen and I hit the road early. I was excited to see how my dad was doing after undergoing his second hip surgery a few weeks ago. I couldn’t believe he was already well enough to rip-up carpet in preparation for a floor and wall refinish of the dining room. This 100 year old Craftsman house is going to look even more amazing with fresh sheet rock and beautifully finished original oak floors. Having grown up in this house since the day I was born, I can’t believe I had never seen the beautiful oak floors that were hiding underneath the carpet. I just hope my dad doesn’t overdo it while working on this project.     Biking in Henderson After leaving Koen in Mapleton, I headed back north to Henderson where I was scheduled to meet up with Ben and Jim to ride the Silver Island Road Race course. Since I arrived to Henderson early, I rode to Jessenland Hill and got a few climbs in before the ride. The last time I had ridden this hill was 2009 while...
The Psychology of Price and Our Lazy Brains

The Psychology of Price and Our Lazy Brains

Why is developing a pricing strategy within a marketing plan so difficult? On the surface this would seem like one of the easiest elements of the marketing mix. There are not the development costs of the product element, there are not the relationship requirements of the distribution element, and there are not the persuasive and creative elements of the promotional element. However, human brains are lazy and price is often the easiest shortcut in evaluating the entire product or service. According to the American Marketing Association, price is the “formal ratio that indicates the quantities of money goods or services needed to acquire a given quantity of goods or services.” However, we all realize that the perceptual element of pricing makes it much more powerful than this definition suggests. Research indicates that even the most trained sommelier will mistake a lesser wine for a high-end vintage wine if the price tags are swapped. This price heuristic is how we can quickly make judgements about everything from a can of paint to a haircut. Without these short-cuts like price, our brains would need to cognitively engage in all of the thousands of decisions we make every day. Just think how long a trip to the grocery store would take if we weren’t making quick and habitual decisions based on branding, packaging, and price. When establishing a pricing strategy, like all elements of the marketing mix, a marketer must focus on the target market and defined objectives. However, understanding how the target feels about price is often easier said than done. Observational research or experiments may be more effective than survey data...
Can a Normal Guy Assemble a Weber Spirit Grill is Less than an Hour?

Can a Normal Guy Assemble a Weber Spirit Grill is Less than an Hour?

I’m not going to lie. Assembling this Weber Spirit Gas grill may have been the highlight of my day. As much as I have complained about needing to assemble modular furniture or small appliances over the years, the nine-year-old LEGO lover in me still welcomes a good challenge. The older I get and the more secure our finances become, the less likely I am to be standing over an IKEA box with an Allen wrench in one hand and a beer in the other. Our former gill was nearly 10 years old and it was time for a new rig. We looked around a bit, but actually ended up buying this Weber Spirit grill on Amazon with free shipping for $100 off the retail price. Weber was the only choice for Angie, which is a testament to how much brand equity can factor into a purchase. The heavy box had been sitting in our garage for a couple of days and it was time to put this thing together before the weekend. I hadn’t looked at the instructions or even opened the box, but I felt that I could be grilling brats in an hour or less. Once I opened the box and scanned the instruction book, I was happy to see that there were only a couple of tools required and a total of 26 steps (just over two minutes per step to meet my goal). It took about eight minutes to completely unbox the grill before I was on to step one. Besides my mistakes of initially putting one of the locking wheels on the back of...
What to Consider if You are Marketing a Service Rather Than a Good?

What to Consider if You are Marketing a Service Rather Than a Good?

According to the US Census Bureau, in 2013 revenues grew in each of the 11 service sectors in the United States. It’s no surprise that we live in a very service-based economy. Since we are more likely to work for, work with, or own a service organization than ever before, how does marketing a service differ from marketing a good? Whether I am working on marketing tactics for my own service-based photography business (Prenzlow Photography), consulting with a service owner, or teaching students about marketing services, I have always started with the discussion of the Four “I’s” of Service Marketing. Intangibility—can’t touch it. Inconsistency—can’t do it the same every time. Inseparability—can’t separate it from the provider. Inventory—can’t hold onto it. Every marketing strategy for a service should begin with these differences. However, the tactics used to better manage these differences can vary widely. Branding: In this era of media clutter and short attention spans, branding is more important than ever for every organization. However, it is even more crucial for intangible services. How can a service share its story and develop a connection with consumers? Tactics may include everything from logo design, to social media content, to a charismatic spokesperson. Since consumers make most decisions emotionally, a service provider needs to continuously consider how to transform its intangible offerings into feelings and memories that consumers can connect with. Pricing: Why is a $100 haircut better than a $10 haircut? Objectively it may be no different at all, but perceptually it sure is. Properly pricing services should not only increase the tangibility through perceptual value creation, but also manage the idle service capacity that arises from the inability to hold...

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