September 3, 2019
Happy September! If you’re looking for new fall “idea” books on behavioral science, leadership, and life, Adam Grant has short-listed his recommendations – but if you’re looking for tried-and-true reads CEOs revisit over and over again, check out these.
From Deepak’s neuroscience desk, one behavioral economist investigates what Behavioral Economics reliably and consistently tells us – if anything – about how to build brand value over time.
BRAND & MARKETING
- The global vs. local brand debate appears to have heated up last week, with one industry expert offering guidance for future-proofing your global branding strategy, and HBR suggesting how global brands can best respond to local competitors, whether newly-emerging or deeply-rooted.
- McKinsey outlines best practices for building agile capabilities that in turn enable faster, higher-quality decision making, better-quality products, faster delivery, and stronger employee engagement.
- 15-year old Yelp is finally allowing users to set and search by preferences – whether cuisines, interests, or otherwise.
- RMIT professor of marketing Francis Farrelly identifies four key levels of impact we can expect to feel soon in the automotive industry.
- Recent neuroscience research sheds light on the impact and ROI of influencer marketing, with influencer ads generating 277% greater emotional intensity and 87% higher memory encoding than TV ads.
- Challenger bank brand N26 has launched a campaign that targets Millennials and Centennials by trying to get them to feel “love” in a traditionally stressful category. Challenger banks, also known as fintechs, have long been seen as disruptors to traditional banks, but the potential of the questions they are asking has far deeper implications for the financial sector.
- Peloton filed for an IPO last week. While its profitability is nothing to write ride home about, its 110% YOY revenue growth and valuation may have its brand-building loop, which involves multiple stages of the customer journey and elements of the CX in an attempt at seamlessness, to thank.
- If the CEOs that recently endorsed the Business Roundtable statement really want to end shareholder primacy and short-term obsession, Fast Company has five changes they can start with.
- Nissan recently reorganized its marketing department around vehicle segments to better focus on the mindset, wants, and needs of customers on a vehicle basis – a departure from the channel-specific silos the org was previously oriented around.
RETAIL, SALES & SHOPPER
- Nordstrom’s local and digital strategies show promise, and have helped the retailer to foster a loyal customer base around its reputation for differentiated product and service. This comes as Nordstrom introduces a new Sustainable Style online offering; it curates thousands of sustainable products already offered in-store to help customers learn about and find these products offline.
- Consulting POV – Nordstrom is a smart company that tries smart things. Their share price was recently rewarded for some significant cost cutting.
- In perhaps the next chapter of discovery shopping and subscription boxes, eCommerce shoppers are increasingly interested in buying “mystery boxes” from online platforms like Etsy and eBay.
- Consulting POV – Combining long-tail low velocity SKUs into a bundle at a higher price point has some interesting economics for the seller in terms of shipping and product awareness – most of the successful ones here are focused on a very specific niche like BTS or Doctor Who fans. It makes sense where all of those are combined, but probably less well for less well-defined segments or different mixes of items.
- Puma, as it grows its DTC offerings, is opening a massive flagship storefront in NYC as another way for the brand to talk to and engage with its customers.
- Consulting POV – It becomes easy to look at Nike’s successful stores and lump something like this store into that mix. Madison Avenue flagship stores are a “commitment to the American market” the way a duty-free shop at JFK is – it’s ostensibly in America but not sure that’s who you’re reaching.
- eMarketer digs into mCommerce, the potential of texting as a channel and the need to maintain an active conversation with retail customers.
- Consulting POV – A designer-led brand like Cynthia Rowley can certainly benefit from the brand having a “persona” that’s like an individual, making this type of communication helpful.
- Wharton and NYU retail experts consider whether luxury is the latest retail casualty in light of Barneys’ recent store closures and other headwinds facing luxury retailers.
- Consulting POV – Dangerous to take a poorly-run company like Barneys and extrapolate any learnings from it beyond that it was poorly run. Barneys lacks (outside of NY) a distinctive category that identifies it as luxurious to shoppers, and instead just presented brands available in multiple outlets at incredibly inflated price points. Rent isn’t the problem with this business, it’s traffic. Rents are high where potential traffic is high.
- DTCs are increasingly acknowledging the importance of physical stores and leveraging multiple business models (i.e. “digital native” does not mean “digital only”), perhaps because of the increasing complexity and costs driven by fragmentation in the social commerce space.
- Consulting POV – Multiple business model management is one of IRG’s seven success pillars, and this is a great example. Using stores as a part of the CRM marketing mix will be a critical success factor for brands that aren’t historically store-based.
- As retailers invest more in both developing and promoting their own product lines in the form of private brands, the battle between brands and retailers’ brands is heating up.
- Consulting POV – Jason Goldberg is a smart guy but, like a lot of digital commentators, dramatically overstates what are really incremental changes in the retail ecosystem. Kroger’s Simple Truth brand has been around for years, and Target’s Cat and Jack is 3 years old. There’s no evidence that Target’s success in apparel branding will necessarily translate to food – they’ve struggled in grocery before.
- Costco opened its first store in China last week, and the fact that they had to close after five hours due to overwhelming crowds is a good omen for Costco becoming a key retailer in China.
- Consulting POV – There may be no better mix of culture and retail format than Costco in China. Low cost, great stuff sold in a complicated frenzied environment works in China better than just about anywhere. For years, by the way, Kirkland Signature has had some of the top selling SKUs on Tmall (China’s eCom platform).
- Lululemon’s new in-store restaurant may actually succeed given its clear alignment with the company’s strategic purpose and the reason the retailer’s stores exist in the first place.
- Consulting POV – If life gives you lululemons, serve lululemonade. Retailers using space for restaurant concepts is a trend that will definitely continue!
ON THE HORIZON
- An overview of the top ten results from Duke’s annual CMO Survey speak to the role of new technologies in bolstering the importance of marketing – but also marketers’ continued struggle with preparing for the future given present-time priorities.
- Kantar Growth Officer Anas Ghazi dishes on the future of Kantar, WPP, and marketing more broadly.
- Amazon is teaming up with Fitbit (specifically, its new smartwatch) to double-down on its Alexa everywhere strategy by infusing the voice assistant into as many facets of a consumer’s daily life as possible.
- Google is partnering with Dell to develop enterprise-focused Chromebooks.
- Le Tote, the private clothing rental company, is purchasing Lord & Taylor, and at least one person thinks it’s a fantastic fit.
- Philip Morris and Altria are in talks to reunite, given the constant change in their market and the onset of vaping, cannabis, and other threats / opportunity areas.
- Target is welcoming Disney into 25 of its locations to open fully immersive and interactive mini stores.
- Dentsu has acquired MuteSix, a DTC agency, allowing Dentsu to offer performance marketing capabilities for clients at every stage of their growth.
- Nestle purchased Persona, which integrates genetic data, individual consumer assessments, and algorithmic tech to customize vitamins and supplements, to bring a new, more personalized dimension to the growing Nestlé Health Science portfolio.
- Harvard organization researchers attempt to codify the (absolutely critical) soul of a start-up.
- Thanks to hipper, lower-carb, higher-protein, and die-friendly alternatives popping up, cereals are seeing a comeback among select segments.
- Related, more than half of APMEA consumers look for consistently cleaner labels when shopping – but clean eating in the East is very different from the West.
- Mavely, a new mobile shopping app that rewards users for buying and recommending products from 100+ DTC brands and is evidently becoming a “solid, competitive alternative to costly social channel advertising”, launched last week.
- Alibaba is opening a physical store in Spain, which is telling for both its European ambitions, and its online-to-offline data collection strategy.