October 14, 2019
From Deepak’s neuroscience desk, insight on why we imitate others – especially in social situations. But, the JAR warns that a new level of rigor is needed if neuroscience is to reach its full potential in marketing.
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BRAND & MARKETING
- The case for revenue per active client is a key new metric to watch, relevant for subscription businesses in particular. Case in point: Stitch Fix, which highlighted this stat in its recent earnings report.
- With one industry veteran claiming “people hate advertising…and it’s all advertisers’ fault” and advertising growth expected to be less than 3% this year, brands are looking become more embedded in culture to drive relevance and appeal. Gary Vaynerchuk argues that the issue is more that marketers are out of touch with consumers, suggesting they spend too much time navel-gazing, and remain beholden to dated approaches to media.
- Meanwhile, some of the world’s biggest brands are partnering on a global initiative to establish an industry standard around cross-media measurement, and hopefully address the measurement, data connectivity, transparency, and third-party verification challenges currently faced.
- HBR provides some guidance on how to effectively monetize a business ecosystem.
- Living unique experiences and gaining influence are the new status symbols – it’s no longer about owning things and pure materialistic consumption.
- Target CMO Rick Gomez is turning his attention to audio branding to drive distinctiveness and elevate the entire shopping experience.
- The evidence seems to show that, despite a recent over-emphasis on performance obsession, brand-building is back in vogue. If so, what makes winning brands grow?
- McKinsey proposes going “all in” to power the success of business transformation, recommending “five big moves” to lean into.
- On their quest for brand and business growth, cross-functionality is arguably the most important skill a CMO needs. And, a recent CMO roundtable dug into how they’re grappling with shifts in consumer behavior, from expectations around convenience to sustainability pressures.
RETAIL, SALES & SHOPPER
- A new study from the CMO Council confirms that omnichannel is not only the preferred method of communication regardless of consumers’ generation, region or gender – it’s also expected. This comes as store associates are rapidly gaining the ability to provide shoppers with omnichannel services.
- Consulting POV – The CMO Council perspective seems to set up a series of fake strawmen to knock down (did anyone really think that consumers only want to be reached through social?). Like most research about marketing, it seems to WAY overrate the importance of marketing to people and the amount of thought they put into it. Anusha Couttigane and our team put together a great overview of store technology that puts more and practical examples of in-store technology as well.
- Kantar’s 2019 holiday forecast anticipates that online sales will capture nearly a fifth of the season’s sales.
- Consulting POV – Log in to see the full webinar! Great stuff from Doug Hermanson.
- But Piper Jaffray’s latest Taking Stock with Teens survey finds that teen spending is down amid worries about the economy – potentially a warning sign for retailers targeting Centennials this holiday season.
- Consulting POV – Teens make up less of retail spending at holiday than at any other time of year (it’s the one time of year where every adult is spending), but it will be interesting to see how holiday spending impacts their parents’ disposable income going into 2020.
- In a time when consumers are actively choosing more eco-friendly items, curated marketplaces are emerging to help sustainable brands rise to the top. Recognizing the significance of this sustainability imperative, PepsiCo has just named its first Chief Sustainability Officer.
- Consulting POV – Curated marketplaces make sense – they are really the only logical response to scale and the network effect enjoyed by Amazon and, to a lesser extent, eBay (which has become a series of curated marketplaces operating under a single brand…also a good business model). Sustainability will be the omnichannel of the 2020s for retailers and suppliers.
- A retail industry veteran explores what Marshall’s, which just launched its first online store, and other retailers slow to acknowledge the threat of digital disruption got wrong.
- Consulting POV – We like Steve Dennis, but he’s simply wrong here. Businesses with unusual store-based models are often right to take their time moving into eCommerce, and TJX (Marshall’s parent company) is one of the most successful apparel retailers in the world. Tiffany Hogan’s summary of TJX is a good quick overview of this business.
- As the powerhouse retailer sells off ModCloth and downsizes Bonobos, Morning Brew considers how and why Walmart’s eCommerce acquisitions went off track.
- Consulting POV – Walmart struggles with anything that’s not big enough to matter to a $500 billion company. But, don’t be surprised if 3-6 months from now articles will appear in the media talking about how much Walmart learned from these acquisitions and how valuable they are. Anyone in Bentonville Arkansas on November 6-7 should join us for our Walmart session to find out more!
- Allbirds has announced plans to open nearly two dozen stores next year, realizing that despite being classified as a DTC, stores are where most footwear sales are still happening.
- Consulting POV – DTC brands use stores as part of their marketing mix – they play a role that (depending on the brand) can drive higher returns than continued spending on the same vehicles they’ve used in digital or a similar investment in TV. This D2C DNA piece from Malcom Pinkerton and GroupM is a great review of DTC strategy!
- Bed Bath & Beyond has poached Target’s Chief Merchandising Officer to take the helm as CEO and – hopefully – turn the declining business around and improve its shopping experience, among other things.
- Consulting POV – This will be interesting on both sides. Tritton did a great job with Target’s apparel business in particular but Bed Bath & Beyond is a markedly bigger challenge! And Target now needs to continue its forward momentum in apparel without Marc’s big picture focus on design, quality and signature partnerships.
- And, in case there was any question, Retail Dive provides a thorough case for why Macy’s is not the department store of the 21st century.
- Consulting POV – Most of the data would show (as the article points out in detail) that department stores are not the department store of the 21st century. Macy’s has made its share of unusual decisions and mistakes, but the format itself is broke
ON THE HORIZON
- CB Insights proposes 23 industries set to be affected by the legalization of cannabis.
- In a world where consumers are first and foremost humans, a reminder that GDP is by no means a measure of well-being.
ON THE GROUND
Not-to-miss consumer trends manifesting across the global marketplace. Each week, Kantar’s Cultural Streetscapes Microsite will power unique insights on value-driven consumer innovations emerging in a key trend area.
This week, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month our Global Streetscapes Network shares three consumer solutions for breast cancer that are disrupting the global marketplace.
- Alcohol-free and nutrient-rich, from Germany is designed specifically for cancer patients. Mamma BEER gives women the strength to fight breast cancer – as well as support non-profit Mamma HELP.
- UK-based charity Look Good Feel Better’s campaign highlights the importance of make-up and positive self-images for women undergoing treatment for cancer. The aim is to empower, with a lipstick bullet belt and make-up brushes as well as eye shadow and blusher compacts in place of medals.
- , from Poland, is a new device for at-home breast self-examination to make the procedure of screening easier, more effective and more comfortable. Braster comes with an easy and intuitive app that helps users along every step of the examination to make this self-check a regular habit.
- Adidas, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Snapchat have teamed up to launch the app’s first shoppable mobile game.
- Toys ‘R’ Us and Target are partnering to bring the toy brand back in a “modern way” (read: with Target powering to the Toys ‘R’ Us shopping experience).
- Puma and Cloud9 are co-creating an apparel collection for gamers – the brand’s first foray into esports, though other sports apparel companies have done so already.
- Google is exploring acquisition of Firework, a TikTok competitor, following the platform’s massive rise in popularity.
- Why companies need to focus on producing products / services that move industries and society forward actual innovation – instead of wasting time on “innovation theater.”
- AI-powered writing app Grammarly is officially a unicorn, following faster growth “than normally seen in San Francisco.”
- A sharp (if somewhat technical) look at Blue Apron’s performance in light of its customer-based corporate valuation (CBVC) – a view which makes it’s post-IPO fate less surprising.
- Netflix is facing steep competition and short-term challenges, but many expect the company to emerge victorious in the streaming wars.