Archive | April, 2013

Wettbewerb der Tulpen | race of tulips

April 17, 2013


Solange es draussen kalt ist, verstecken sich Krokus, Tulpen & Co. Um den Frühling ins Haus zu holen, muss man auf Tulpen aus dem Supermarkt zurückgreifen. In diesem Fall von Trader Joe’s – im Vergleich zu anderen Läden, einschliesslich Blumenladen, fällt man beim Preis nicht gleich in Ohnmacht.

Aber wird es draussen wärmer, sprieβen Krokus, Tulpen & Co. Das Wettrennen ist eröffnet. Während sich die Schnitt-Tulpen bereits dem Ende des Lebenszyklus nähern, starten die Gartenblüher in die Hochphase.

As long as temperatures are still far away from spring crocus, tulips & co. are hiding. If you are ready for spring but aren’t patient enough to wait until your tulips bloom in your own yard you have to go to a supermarket or florist shop. In my case, Trader Joe’s is by far the best place to get flowers – especially from a price perspective. Still I did not get used to the prices and sometimes it’s fainting.

But the warmer is becomes crocus, tulips & co. start to awake. The race has started – which one’s will last longer? While the supermarket tulips reach the end of their life cycle, my garden spring flowers are rushing to the peak.

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Swedish Pizzaiolo

April 14, 2013


Er hat Angst vor der Waschmaschine, dem Staubsauger und dem Wäschetrockner, aber nach jahrelanger Übung gab es gestern die perfekte Pizza. Wenn alles nichts wird, dann eben Pizzabäcker.

He’s afraid of the washing machine, the vacuum cleaner and the cloth line but after years of experiments (some where good others…uuh la la) finally yesterday was the day of the perfect pizza – thin and crusty dough, perfect tomato sauce and Serrano ham from the very much liked Walpole Grocery store. In case professional career makes a downturn he would be a very good Pizzaiolo.

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Differentiation: a social media course related topic | #SNHUMK655

April 12, 2013


DSC04483Most of my posts became travel focused: place we went to and the experience I want to share with family & friends and other interested in the adventures of a German woman living abroad. Back in Germany the U.S. was always known for fitness, people in perfect shape hanging out at the California beaches. I have never been a sporty person but since I moved here I started to go to the gym on a regular basis and at some point it became a routine. Living in a big city one has a big choice of places to choose from but when one lives in the countryside one has limited choice.

This post is also a “thanks for chasing me all the time to give my best” to my personal trainer Traci but also for the fact that I can do it.

Anyway, in this context I’d like to compare the global fitness company  “Golds Gym” and the  gym “Performance Health and Fitness” located in the Monadnock area.

Once you go to the gym you either love it or hate it – depending on the people surrounding you. But also the location and especially the instructors are key drivers why one goes there.

But the question is what are a fitness company’s strategic goals? Of course increasing number of members and also having the latest and greatest equipment and motivating instructors onboard. But what tactics do both gyms use to achieve their strategic goals? In a small town, mouth-to-mouth advertising is the most important which applies for big city gyms likewise but the city hosts more competition. So what else? A proper website which provides information about the facility. Promotions shown on the website are also tactics to raise interest and to get closer to the goal. However, this is a one-way communication and therefore both Gold’s Gym and Performance Health and Fitness use social media. In a way it is unfair as the comparison is between a global company and a local company – David vs. Goliath – but still it is all about customer engagement and to connect with them also outside the gym.

Performance Health and Fitness only maintains a Facebook account and while at the facility people get easily connected the Facebook posts are a mix of general comments on health and fitness combined with news from the gym. One does not really feel connected, which I think is a pity. It’s a great location, great people and with more emphasis in taking advantage of social media the gym could easily get more attention and people would feel more engaged.

Gold’s Gym in contrast, is by far bigger and also has a more professional approach in terms of traditional marketing combined with social media activities.

Both, Gold’s Gym as a company or single locations, maintain a Facebook page. UntitledThe content varies but, for instance the local Facebook page, provides promotions, updates about courses which customers respond to.

The tactics used on a holistic but also local level foster the same output: increase the number of members and make people feel they have made the right choice. In order to get familiar with the company Gold’s Gym also has a YouTube presence, GoldsGymChannel, as well as videos of people sharing their success story. Sharing people’s (success) stories is always an opportunity to increase customer base. You can tell me the opposite, but who’s not dreaming of the perfect body?

In addition they also have a Google+ account, which I like as the appearance of the Google+ platform is not as overloaded as Facebook. Untitled

 Gold’s Gym uses best practices by having an aligned communication theme and again if one is neither on Facebook or YouTube this is another channel the company uses to reach out to customers. Finally Gold’s Gym is also utilizing Twitter. Untitled

Like on their other social media channels it is a mix of health & fitness but also tweets by customers providing information how motivated they are or what they like about Gold’s Gym.

It is clear that the bigger the company the overall marketing approach is different but no matter the budget available in the fitness industry it is all about motivation, transformation, healthy lifestyle and exercise. While the local gym shows efforts by incorporating all elements it doesn’t seem that they have a proper strategy in place to reach their goals. In contrast Gold’s Gym is doing great effort to use social media to get connected with customers also outside the gym. One can see, the more people provide positive feedback on Gold’s Gyms performance the more people want to connect to the company in order to get closer to one’s personal goals: become lean, toned and healthy.


Performance Health and Fitness (2013). Retrieved from

Performance Health and Fitness (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from

Gold’s Gym (2013). Retrieved from

Gold’s Gym (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from

Gold’s Gym West Covina (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from

Gold’s Gym (2013). Twitter. Retrieved  on April 10, 2013 from

Gold’s Gym (2013). Google+. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from

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Bully | The Volkswagen mobil

April 12, 2013


Männer! Kurz hinter der Grenze zwischen New Hampshire und Vermont gibt es “The People’s Car Company”. VW Busse, VW Kaefer, VW Golf’s und was sonst noch so das VW Herz begehrt, kann man dort finden. Es dient mehr als Ersatzteillager und Liebhaber-Findungstätte als als Neuwagen Paradies. Und somit kam es, dass wir letztes Wochenende dort Halt machen mussten, damit die Jungs im Spieleparadies Spass haben.

Men! Westminster, VT, a small town on the other side of the river separating New Hampshire and Vermont is the home of John’s “The People’s Car Company”. VW Buses, VW Beetle, VW Golf and other older models can be found there. It is more of a spare part and VW lover’s destination then a new vehicle paradise. This was also one of the reasons we had to stop by so that the guys could enjoy moments in paradise.

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Mittendrin | Chicago

April 11, 2013


IMG_3728Gehört haben wir schon viel über Chicago und auf unsere Liste der Orte, die wir noch sehen müssen bevor wir abreisen, stand Chicago ganz weit oben. 2h 15min Flug von Boston-Manchester Airport und schon waren wir mittendrin. Über Hotwire hatten wir ein Hotel gebucht und waren höchst erfreut im Sofitel absteigen zu können. Ach ja, Hotwire, zwar bekommt man günstige Preise aber auch das Zimmer auf dem unteresten Flur direkt neben dem Fahrstuhl. Naja im Falle eines Vorfalls ist man wenigstens schnell draussen…Chicago, eine Stadt abwechslungsreicher sie nicht sein könnte. Architektonisch als auch künstlerisch in Bezug auf Essen. Grossstadt aber irgendwie nicht überfüllt, Gebäude nicht zu gross und man kommt schnell ins Schwärmen und stellt sich vor hier einige Zeit zu verbringen.

Der Flughafen ist ganz schön weit draussen…zwei Stunden haben wir gebraucht vom Verlassen des Fliegers bis zur CTA und dann zum Hotel. Komischerweise auf der Rückfahrt zum Flughafen O’Hare hat es dann nicht so lange gedauert. Naja der Unterschied vom Werktag zum Wochenende.

Ich würde sagen 15km pro Tag sind wir gelaufen. Kucken Sie hier, schauen Sie da und die Zeit verging wie im Flug. Essen stand unter dem Motto Asiatisch und somit gab es mittags und abends immer etwas aus der Ferne. Frühstück haben wir immer bei Starbucks um die Ecke gehabt, das war das beste Preis-Leistungsverhältnis und irgendwie sah das Konzept von Starbucks anders aus.

Aber seht selbst.

We have already heard a lot about Chicago and on our list of places we have to see before we leave the U.S., Chicago was close to the top. 2h 15min flight from Boston-Manchester Airport and we were right in the middle. Our hotel reservation was via Hotwire and we were pleased to stay at the Sofitel. Oh, Hotwire, well, what to say. Yes you get low prices but your room will also on the lowest floor and closest to the elevator.  Well in case of an incident, at least one is out soon …If you don’t spend your time in the hotel room Hotwire is a great choice but you have to be aware that you probably will not treated as nice as the “full pay” guests.
Chicago, a city full of variety: architectural and creative also in terms of food. Big city but somehow not overcrowded, buildings not too big and you quickly go into raptures and decided to spend some time here.
The airport is quite far out there … well it took us two hours from leaving the plane to the CTA and then to the hotel. Surprisingly, on the way back to the airport O’Hare then it has not taken so long. Well, maybe the difference between weekday and weekend.
I would say we walked 10miles per day. Busy with watching around, stopping, wondering, continuing and time flew by. Food was themed Asian so there was always something for lunch and dinner from regions like Thailand or Japan. Ok ok, breakfast was not so fancy and extraordinary  but as we had Starbucks around the corner, it was the place to get the best bang for the buck. Somehow the concept store also looked different.But see yourself.IMG_3767 IMG_3763 IMG_3762 IMG_3756 IMG_3753 IMG_3743 IMG_3742 IMG_3739 IMG_3729 DSC_2557 IMG_3713 IMG_3759 DSC_2549 DSC_2553 DSC_2545 DSC_2538 DSC_2537 DSC_2525 DSC_2517 DSC_2504 DSC_2483 DSC_2479 DSC_2478 IMG_3705 IMG_3703 DSC_2462 DSC_2455 DSC_2453 DSC_2442 DSC_2427 IMG_3693 DSC_2426 IMG_3671 DSC_2425 DSC_2423 DSC_2421 DSC_2419 DSC_2416 DSC_2411 DSC_2406 DSC_2404 DSC_2401 DSC_2393 DSC_2391 DSC_2382 DSC_2380 DSC_2372 DSC_2368 DSC_2363 DSC_2360 DSC_2349

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