Is Black Friday good or you? or good for the retailers?

Did you go for any Black Friday sales? Another question is, did you overspend your budget?


Black Friday sales sounds like a great news to every shopper because they could find some killer bargains and spend their money for some new stuffs in pleasure. However, this is not always the case.

“Dr. Laurence Ashworth calls Black Friday a “perfect storm” of a handful of psychological mechanisms. For starters, consumers already have a visceral response to seeing a deal. We see the actual price, then we see the price it’s being sold at on this one day only.

That limited time offer is paired with a limited quantity of items in a crowded store.

This implies the principle  of scarcity. The limited time offer urges customers to make a purchasing decision faster with more impulsion. Somebody enjoys shopping and they call it retail therapy. It’s a rush of dopamine when shoppers see some good deals and they eventually spend lavishly without conscious. Be a smart consumer and control yourself.

There are the links of some very interesting articles that talking about the Black Friday’s deals:

Response to Khabibah Munir’s The Book Revolution

I am a vivid reader and I am having cognitive dissonance with the ebook revolution. I definitely agree with Khabibah that I would still continue to purchase paper book instead of an ebook even though a paper book can be more expensive and heavier to bring around. An ebook does not have the texture, the smell of papers and thus, lacks the reading emotion that I would appreciate. Furthermore, I have been facing my laptop’s screen for more than 7 hours per day and I do not want to read book on digital screen again (it hurts my eyes!).

However, I really have to say that ebook is our future and paper book might eventually become obsolete. First, producing an ebook costs much less than a paper book. Also, producing books using paper is not environmental friendly after all. By holding an ebook reader, you can easily switch to any book you want to read instantly and it is very convenient to bring around.

In ancient time, people wrote things on tree, animal skin or stone until a Chinese invented paper. Now, technology has become so advanced that words can be displayed on digital screen. People will eventually switch from reading paper books to reading ebooks. Remember that marketers always try to create values and sell them to customers. I may argue that the marketers is simply making up the benefits of an ebook-reader. They are changing the way we read and the way we live.

Reflection on Group Project (Comm 296 section 101)

First of all, I am actually very surprised that I would have the option to choose my own teammate for the group assignments (I am being assigned into a team in other courses). Therefore, due to the “liking principle”, I chose to team up with the other three Malaysian friends, plus, I am really glad to have Eric and Agape in our team. I am really impressed with the efficiency of the team because we usually set a meeting time, sit together to start doing the assignment and we only leave after we finished everything in several hours. 🙂

In the course, we have chosen as the company for the marketing plan assignments. Many people might think that is just a big online retailer. This is very wrong. is somehow like a hidden empire. It owns, IMDb, woot! and so on. Besides, it is also an IT solution provider in providing cloud computing service, or they so-called the Amazon Web Service (AWS).

The founder of, Jeff Bezos has set a very clear value proposition for his company that is “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.” He hires many Walmart logistics executive in improving their supply chain management by adopting digital-driven supply chain; he bets on leveraging technology advantage to improve customer service by using CRM. Basically, Amazon,com is an A++ company that is doing so good in almost every aspect of its business model. In other words, it is very challenging to detect problems in their marketing strategy.

As the competition is becoming more intense, Bezos is very ambitious that he wants to create a Kindle ecosystem to foster the bond between and its customers.

He wants people to buy Kindle tablet/ebook reader so that they purchase products from (Kindle has a built-in Amazon App which is very easy to use). However, here is where the problem comes. There is a standard gap between what wants to achieve and what it really achieved. The fact is that Kindle tablet is not as compelling as other tablets such as the iPad or Asus Transfomer.  Moreover, Kindle’s Appstore lacks of useful apps that can attract people to buy it. In this context, we think that the idea of a Kindle ecosystem is excellent but Amazon still has to work on producing a  more compelling device that customers would choose to buy.

Take Google as an example, Google is a search engine company yet it has built the most popular smartphone operation system, Android and has successfully produced many great devices like the Nexus 5 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet. They will be launching Google Glass and Google Coin very soon, too. The key is that how you can make your customers cant live without your products. 

Fashion Philosophy meets Food Recipe

In my previous blogpost, I discussed about how Uniqlo emerged as one of the most competitive apparel retailers in the global market. Only a few days after I published my blogpost, I found something on the Apple iTunes that really gives me a jolt- an Uniqlo recipe App. My first thought was “What?! When does Uniqlo sell food?!”.

The Uniqlo Recipe is a free App that you could download on Apple’s AppStore. It provides 24 original recipes that are easy to be prepared at home. It features 6 emerging chefs, namely Jamie Malone, Josef Centeno, Kim Alter, Kuniko Yagi, Thomas Mcnaughton and Brian Leth. The Japanese retailer styles each of the chefs and creates original music using their cooking sounds. Also, the App’s interface is beautiful, clean and user-friendly.

The Objective

Why Uniqlo does that?

Uniqlo has been keen to enter the US market for years under their business expansion plan. Now, they publish an App on the iTunes to increase the brand awareness/recognition among the young working males and females, age between 20 and 29. The App is basically a marketing channel to advertise the brand to the potential customers in North America. Some young working males and females cook simple dishes at home and they then need a recipe book. Uniqlo realized this situation and they have decided to build a recipe App so that those targeted customers could simply refer to their recipe App by using their iPhone or iPad. As marketing is not just about making commercial, it can be much more interesting for example like this case. Are you interested to download the App?

A Focus on Galaxy Gear’s Failure

Portable IT devices like smartphone, tablet and ultrabook are extremely popular nowadays simply because the people are so into Internet and social media. That’s also why many IT companies are competing to roll out the next “wow” IT product to impress the consumers. When Google is still working on the much anticipated Google Glass, Samsung has managed to launch its so-called “first smartwatch” on 4th September 2013. The Galaxy Gear is a $299 Android-based smartphone that can connect to Samsung Galaxy device. It has many features such as, Smart Relay, S Voice, Memographer, Voice Memo, Auto Lock, Find My Device, Media Controller, Pedometer, Stopwatch and Timer.

It’s not hard to tell that what Samsung is trying to do is to create the first-mover advantage in this new-created market so that it can easily claim the throne even when many followers enter the market. Do they really succeed?

According to Reuters, Samsung announced that they have been selling 800000 Galaxy Gear watches since its debut. This number is not really impressive. Moreover, a source claims that there is a return rate of 30% at Best Buy. The Galaxy Gear simply failed because there is a knowledge gap between what the customers expect to get and what the Galaxy Gear actually delivers.

Rachel Metz of Technology Review writes: “After trying some smart watches, I’ve determined that a good one will need to be more than just reliable and simple to use — it will have to learn when and how to bother me.” Simply migrating your smartphone’s interruptions to a your wrist doesn’t add much value. It’s the same annoyances on a 

smaller screen.”


It seems like the Galaxy Gear is a noble attempt at innovation. However, what the customers want is not just a piece of smaller screen device with the same features as a smartphone because they could just use a smartphone instead. The smartwatch is incompatible with non-Samsung smartphones and it has really bad battery life. Most of the part, it is just an unnecessary luxury.

People will only be interested with the smartwatch when it is faster and more advanced than a smartphone and can genuinely improve their lives. This is what Samsung needs to think about when they work on improving the Galaxy Gear as the iWatch might be coming very soon.

If the Galaxy Gear is something as shown in the above, with a foldable screen and long battery life then it will definitely “wow” the world!