This is the fourth in our Aiming for the Hearts of their Customers interview series, with seven Minnesota customer experience leaders sharing their strategy for the coming year. In this article, we catch up with Lisa Hoene, the VP of Brand and Marketing Services for Allianz Life. Overview Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) helps Americans achieve their retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and life insurance products sold through independent financial professionals. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry. Defining Customer Experience “Our brand is the essence of our customer experience – everything grows out of our vision and mission. In my role I focus on how we bring our brand to life for our financial professionals and policy holders.” A challenge for many B2B2C companies is defining the “customer” … [Read more...] about Creating a great customer experience for agents AND consumers – an interview with Lisa Hoene, VP of Brand and Marketing Services, Allianz Life
If you read of a south Minneapolis deli burning down, you no doubt felt a sympathetic twinge for everyone who lost a livelihood in the blaze. A TV news story described it as a "neighborhood favorite," but isn't that always the case when an old piece of the city goes up in flames? Just once, I'd like to read this ... FLAMES CONSUME CAFE AS NEIGHBORS CHEER When Tenderhorn Park resident Jeremy Ghipzhter heard the sirens early Monday, he suspected the worst: Karbunkle's Cafe was engulfed in flames, and some idiot had called the fire department and told them. "I saw the fire start in the back by the kitchen when I was walking my dog, and I thought we were talking just the other day about how we'd love to see it burn, because it's such a dump. Whoever called 911 wasn't someone who had the flan. Do you know what they called flan? Those single-serve Jell-O pudding cups. The owner would just walk by and toss it at you." As the flames grew high, residents gathered to celebrate the end of a … [Read more...] about Lileks: Just once, fire should consume the scourge of the neighborhood
The Super Bowl is more than just a big game. It's the Super Bowl of American Consumption, where Americans gather to ingest as many calories as a typical Thanksgiving dinner. According to the organization the Calorie Control Council, Americans will gobble up at around 2,400 calories during the big game, while a recent study from Cornell University found Americans could average as many as 4,000-5,000 calories on Sunday, based on average consumer grocery store purchases during Super Bowl week. Here's how much Americans are consuming this Super Bowl Sunday: 1.25 billion: The number of chicken "wing portions" the National Chicken Council estimates will be eaten. 100 million: Pounds of avocados that Haas Avocado Board estimates will be eaten. 11.2 million: Pounds of potato chips that will be eaten, according to the Calorie Control Council. 8.2 million: Pounds of tortilla chips that will be consumed. 222,792: Number of football fields worth of farmland … [Read more...] about Super Bowl by the numbers: How many billion things are we consuming?
WASHINGTON — Consumers barely boosted their spending in August, a sign that overall economic activity could be weaker this quarter. Consumer spending rose just 0.1 percent, following a much larger 0.3 percent advance in July, the Commerce Department reported Friday. It was the smallest gain since June. The August weakness reflected a big drop in sales of durable goods such as autos. Income growth slowed to a gain of just 0.2 percent. Wages and salaries, the biggest component, showed no gain at all after strong increases in June and July. The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at a robust annual rate of 2.1 percent in the April-June quarter. But many economists believe growth has slowed in the current July-September quarter, reflecting the impact of a string of devastating hurricanes and the subsequent slowdown in consumer spending, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of economic activity. Some analysts say GDP growth could be as low as a 2 percent … [Read more...] about US consumer spending up weak 0.1 percent in August
Sick and tired of all the bad news, research firm Sageworks decided to do a little snooping and found some fun facts that you won't see in any of the economic reports due out this week. The Consumer Confidence Report came out Tuesday with sad news that consumer shopping remained as weak as bland tea in September, even after falling to depression-era lows in August. Undaunted, the folks at Sageworks decided to find out just where the money's going. Turns out consumers ARE shopping their little hearts out. Just not where you think. Flowers are out and cars are "in." After studying the financial statements from 10,200 CPAs and bankers , Sageworks learned a little bit about the taste of their clients. Automobile dealers reported that sales are up nicely at 14.8 percent, while flower sales at florists fell half a percentage point in the last 12 months. Gas stations saw a 14.26 percent uptick in sales over the last 12 months after seeing a pathetic … [Read more...] about Consumers still buying. Just not flowers.