October 28, 2019
Welcome back to your weekly update on the changes, trends, and movers-and-shakers making headlines across marketing, brand, consumers and more!
From Deepak’s neuroscience desk, one study reveals that due to similar stimulation of our dopamine-producing reward system, our brain processes information the same way it reacts to junk food, money and drugs.
Below are a few thought-provoking articles to kick-start your week. Thanks as always for reading, sharing and sending your contributions.
BRAND & MARKETING
- Though NPS is a helpful high-level barometer for consumer sentiment, it’s worth considering where it goes wrong. In other performance KPIs news, MIT’s Michael Schrage warns against letting metrics critics – and the tyranny of metrics – undermine your business, and Netflix is has recently shared three metrics it watches.
- Whole Foods predicts these ten food trends will steal the show in 2020 – though no- and low-booze beverages are already enjoying the spotlight.
- Also food-related, the online ordering boom has fueled the rise of virtual restaurants, hosted within the kitchens of established restaurants, and ghost kitchens, created solely to create food for delivery. With 60% of restaurant meals now consumed off-premises, this trend is expected to stay.
- McKinsey details five practices that maximize the chances a digital transformation both succeeds and returns meaningful ROI.
- Ipsos’ Chief Growth Officer wonders if brand purpose can go so far as to make competition irrelevant. This comes as Ben & Jerry’s shares its best practices for keeping its brand consistently and authentically purposeful.
- BCG’s six qualities of the organization of the future revolve around technology, data, and talent – but are all underpinned by the importance of a humanized purpose. That being the case, Wharton management professors discuss which perks matter the most to employees, noting that “perks are symbolic of valuing employees, and people will give more when they are in a culture which is supportive and caring,”
- One industry voice suggests that the top global brands got there by advertising – and by leveraging traditional media in particular – finding that the top 10 “Best Brands” (as designated by Interbrand’s recent ranking) represent $5.6 billion dollars in ad spend
- Fast Company reports that ”cult brands” (think SoulCycle, CrossFit, and Airbnb) actually are cult-like – but this innate human need to be part of something bigger began with religion, which is now seeing declines in engagement as these brands become more prevalent.
- The case for why marketers need to get better at marketing marketing.
RETAIL, SALES & SHOPPER
- Nordstrom’s new seven-story NYC location is an attempt to deliver the “best, most modern version of what a department store should be and can be right now.” Given 25% of transactions at Nordstrom’s 116 full-line stores is a food or beverage purchase, this store will feature seven F&B options, with eight dishes available for in-store delivery.
- The ironic stepping down of both Nike’s and Under Armour’s CEOs likely reflects larger seismic shifts and systemic challenges facing these brands … and retail more broadly.
- Consulting POV – The NPD quote in here is the right one, which is that these two companies are both trying to do different things and in different places competitively. Nike’s working from a position of relative strength while Under Armor is trying to chart a post-founder route forward.
- CNN examines the power of – and shopper psychology behind – Costco’s $4.99 rotisserie chicken.
- Consulting POV – Costco’s commitment to making sure this product can stay $4.99 is a great simple insight into how their business model works! Our comprehensive overview adds much more detail and insight to the mix.
- Experience 2030: The Future of Customer Experience recommends brands rethink their customer ecosystems to keep pace with empowered consumers and evolving consumer technologies that will impact the funnel and overall CX.
- Consulting POV – Automation at retail will primarily be about optimizing repetitive tasks and freeing up people to do the best job a person can do managing your in-store experience. The omni-channel world will definitely require retailers to adopt the language and vocabulary of CRM and CX to win in the marketplace!
- American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa are teaming up on a joint buy button in hopes of boosting online conversion rates by giving consumers a simple and consistent checkout option when shopping online.
- Consulting POV – The transition of the payment world was well-captured by our team in this report. Anything like this that makes conversion more seamless and less time-consuming will help the rest of the retail world compete with players like Amazon that control a fair amount of wallet share today.
- AdAge explores how brands across also retail channels can apply location-based insights to improve customer understanding and unlock myriad benefits.
- Consulting POV – As always, be wary of the articles written by the CEO of a company whose service is the topic. We have often talked about the importance of Addressable and Contextual marketing (including in this deck here) and most retailers and FMCG companies have struggled to understand how to scale these insights into meaningful opportunity.
- Marketing professor Dan McCarthy’s detailed look at Hello Fresh’s (inconsistent and unclear) marketing metrics (CAC, retention, and more) unearths some questions about the subscription service’s strength as a company.
- Consulting POV – Echoing the sentiments above, the language of CRM is foreign to most companies and not as clear as some areas of analysis. The great project of 2020s retail will be making sense of these analytics and tying them to how a major retailer operates.
- Retailers are increasingly acting on customers’ desire to go green in their shopping, with the introduction of sustainable stores being one example.
- New research from Braze sheds light on how smart D2Cs successfully engage with consumers.
- Consulting POV – Kantar’s research on the topic is debatably superior 😊.
- With the 2019 holiday season is shorter than usual (six less days and one less weekend), retailers are starting earlier and with more compelling product offers and delivery features to appeal to shoppers – even though expedited delivery options have come at a (short-term) cost to Amazon.
- Consulting POV – Amazon’s Q4 outlook is probably more worrying than their shipping cost increase, though it does indicate the real problem for Amazon is that demand for last mile logistics in general may be outstripping supply. Our holiday outlook captures our POV on this coming holiday season well.
ON THE HORIZON
- HBR has identified the best-performing CEOs in the world. You’ll notice that many of the top ten have MBAs – but Marc Benioff, #2 on the list, recently outlined what business school never taught him.
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, our Global Streetscapes Network shares three global marketplace solutions of novel sneaker collaborations.
- A recent collaboration between HBO and Adidas lead to the release of the Adidas Game of Thrones collection of Ultra Boosts. This collection involves six versions of the Ultra Boost 4.0, each with a specific, Game of Thrones theme.
- The phrase “America runs on Dunkin’” was recently taken quite literally. Dunkin’ Donuts recently joined forces with the shoe brand Saucony to create a Dunkin’ Donuts inspired sneaker for the Boston Marathon in April 2019.
- The Berlin Transport Company (BVG) teamed up with Adidas to offer limited addition shoes, sold for 180 Euros, that have a yearly pass to the subway sewn into the shoe
- Mattel and Airbnb are teaming up on a Barbie dreamhouse in Malibu, available for a one-time stay only.
- Verizon is giving its unlimited plan subscribers a free year of Disney’s new Disney+ streaming service.
- Pizza meets plants as Pizza Hut introduces plant-based meat substitutes into some of its menu items – as well as a new industrially compostable, round pizza “box!”
- Bose is expanding into healthcare, with aims to leverage its powerful sound technology to help those with sleep and hearing issues.
- Kellogg is supporting GLAAD’s anti-bullying and LGBTQ advocacy work with a new “All Together” cereal.
- Forrester proposes four spectrums critical for crafting a superior customer experience.
- Amazon has launched its first spirit brand: Tovess, a premium gin brand, is available in the UK.
- American Express has introduced a corporate credit card for startups, capitalizing on the technology-informed approach Brex has come to be known for.
- The thoughtful case for why MVP – the minimum viable product often pursued by new businesses – should be replaced by MLP, the minimum lovable product.
- Greek yogurt is experiencing its “third wave” of consumption as the space remains crowded and consumers are increasingly switching across brands for the mix of formats, flavors, and fat levels different brands offer.
- McKinsey research quantifies the (high!) ROI of good design, finding that companies with the strongest commitment to design enjoy 32% more revenue and 56% greater total returns to shareholders.