January 13, 2020
A very happy new year to you! After a brief hiatus, welcome back to your weekly update on the changes, trends, and movers-and-shakers making headlines across marketing, brand, consumers and more.
If you’re looking for some new page-turners to start the year off, check out the most influential books ever written about business, a few books to help you be a better leader, and Adam-Grant-endorsed books coming out in 2020.
From Deepak’s neuroscience desk, how to inspire people to love your brand the way they love Harry Potter, Starbucks, or Disney by tapping into the psychology of fandom.
Below are a few thought-provoking articles to kick-start your week and year. Thanks as always for reading, sharing and sending your contributions.
BRAND & MARKETING
- An excellent series on “the loyalty economy” makes the case for customer value as a table stake in any conversation about business value. Related, Kantar’s Doreen Wang recently joined leaders from Interbrand and Brand Finance to debate whether brand valuation is brilliant…or bulls*t.
- Faris Yakob explains the luxury paradox, and the challenges that come with needing to balance luxury’s inherent exclusivity with the fame-building needed to bring more customers into the fold.
- Marriott Global Experience Officer Peggy Fang Roe shares her thoughts on what “experience” really means.
- The modern fallacy of trying to “own” a product category is ambiguous in and of itself – but it’s also important to remember that even if a brand is a category leader today, without sound fundamentals, there’s no guarantee it will be one tomorrow.
- Google’s Chief Evangelist, Brand Marketing suggests how winning brands are changing their playbooks to see greater success by getting more of their customers’ attention and emotional engagement.
- Nigel Hollis details the three audiences to consider when assessing whether your marketing will translate to future sales.
- As Gen Z reinvents social media marketing, brands need to evolve their marketing strategies and reconsider platforms to reach younger audiences. Case in point: influencers and celebrities alike are flocking to Community, a new text-based app allowing for new levels of engagement.
- Ideo kicks off the new decade by offering up emerging novel and substantive trends that will help companies better understand their future consumers. Related, Initiative’s Global Chief Strategy Officer outlines five methods by which marketers can build brand relevance in culture.
RETAIL, SALES & SHOPPER
- India’s budding eCommerce market – perhaps the last untapped retail behemoth – makes it a prime target for significant investment by Walmart and Amazon.
- Consulting POV – The specific development in here is significant – Future Retail is the most sophisticated brick and mortar retail operator Amazon has ever partnered with/invested in (yes, this includes Whole Foods). It will be very interesting to see how that partnership develops.
- In other Walmart news, the grocery giant is piloting a new technology designed to enable quicker, more efficient picking of online grocery orders at the store level.
- Consulting POV – This makes a ton of sense, and is a completely predictable evolution of click and collect, which is dedicated space for in-store pickup order fulfillment, which allows the robots to operate away from human shoppers, which dramatically simplified implementation.
- AdWeek makes five retail predictions for 2020, as Forbes offers their predictions on both top retail developments we can expect this year and five ways grocery shopping will change in the next (half) decade as well.
- Consulting POV – Our predictions coming on January 15th and 22nd – stay tuned!
- There are a few key themes expected in DTC as well, coming as industry observers attempt to codify the success factors of this cohort of companies.
- Consulting POV – The D2C/CRM language in the second piece is particularly critical, as CRM will be foundational not just for D2C but for supplier-retailer relationships as well!
- Kantar’s David Marcotte speaks to the impact of changes at FedEx and UPS on online retail amid an “ever-evolving shipping war.”
- Consulting POV – Dave is as smart on this topic as anyone, and it’s highly likely at least one of these companies will be part of a retail ecosystem by 2025…in particular, the challenge Amazon presents to these companies as a logistics provider is profound.
- Business Insider reports that store closures reached a new high in 2019, nearly doubling vs. 2018.
- Consulting POV – These counts are kind of silly, since they don’t account for square footage or the competence/viability of the retailer. But yes, a lot of stores will open and close in the 2020s!
ON THE HORIZON
- A number of industry leaders shared their thoughts on what they expect 2020 to bring as relates to marketing. This comes as Digiday predicts that marketers will find a middle ground between agencies and DIY approaches in the year ahead. WPP’s Mark Read also recently shared his thoughts on the current – and future – state of the industry.
- Other quick hits to kick off the new year:
- Fast Company predicts that the next decade of design will be about “fixing the excess of the last century.”
- Changing expectations and complicated competitive environments mean new norms in marketing this year.
- Amazon, Apple and Google, despite making competing smart-home products, are collaborating on category standards to increase cross-product compatibility.
- P&G plans to acquire Billie, the women’s razor brand, likely setting the stage for continued conglomerate interest in strong DTCs this year.
- Uber and Hyundai aim to put flying taxis (“four-seat, electric flying vehicles”) in the sky.
- Walmart has teamed up with SmileDirectClub on a line of exclusive oral care products as part of its push into healthcare.
- Taco Bell owner Yum Brands is purchasing Habit Burger Grill.
- An HBR throwback offers a fantastic framework for fostering employee engagement, which in turn fuels workforce productivity and business growth. A more recent piece describes the delicacies and nuances around making an ecosystem strategy work.
- Walmart recently launched Advertising Partners, a new unit that allows advertisers to leverage the retailer’s trove of consumer data for better targeting and measurement tools. “Brands can tap into Walmart’s shopper footprint to get the right sponsored ad experience, to the right shopper at the right moment.”
- McKinsey outlines how incumbents can use their advantages to accelerate growth and build new businesses.
- And in case you missed it …
- A retrospective on CES over the last decade, and Mindshare’s recap of five key themes from this year’s show.
- AdAge enumerated the 20 strongest brand ideas of 2019 – and the eight strangest brand partnerships of the year.
- Reflecting on the biggest business deals of last year sheds light on what we can expect in the decade ahead.