Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Nutritional Health Brings Brand Health?

In this age of the gluten-free, paleo and clean-eating food trends, big food brands have felt a push to accommodate consumers who respond to these buzzwords. Brands such as Frito-Lay, Kellogg and Kraft are experiencing an increase in competition and a decrease in sales, due to their delayed leap onto the health bandwagon (Schultz, 2015). To appeal to the newest spending crowd, the Millennials, they must have a fresh, healthy and authentic image. But to better market themselves as healthy, they need a marketing team who understands the Millennial mind and can sell effectively. But the young marketing professionals are already working for the up-and-coming healthful brands, and do not necessarily want to work for a big food company whose values do not currently meet Millennial standards. 

Despite food trends and fads, there will always be die-hard nostalgic consumers of “junk,” who respond to taste, habit and cost more than health concern or wholesomeness. Besides, these brands did not originally exist to fulfill nutritional desires, but to leave your stomach and wallet satisfied. However, focus on health is the next possible step for the brands to survive long term.

Millennials prefer many purchase options, customization and optimization. If these big food brands provide product extensions including the removal of artificial colors and flavors, GMOs or gluten, perhaps then Millennials who by nature appreciate the presence of choice may be more likely to pick from the top shelves of the grocery store.

It is a “weighty” task to balance brand relevance while remaining timeless and classic. It can be done, but only with a fast market response and willingness to change.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Car naming has been elevated to an ad campaign - I love this!

For those of you who've traveled with me in "Big Willow" my adorable VOLVO XC 90, you know I'm one of those folks who names my car.  I loved the design and green color and when I found out the hue happened to be named Willow Green, I was sold.

The back-story, in 2003 we named our newly adopted tabby-cat "Willow". Her eyes were a gorgeous shade of green, but the name we'd picked out to honor her, Jade, seemed too strong to reflect her bendy, cuddly, willow-wallowing personality once we got to know her a bit better.

So as you can imagine, when I decided to shop for cars, the stars aligned to push me in the Volvo direction. And I named the car "Big Willow" in contrast to the original "Willow" - who's a bit smaller :-)

(That leads me to a follow-up tidbit. Mark, my husband, has a gun-metal gray Jetta named "Little Bridget". That car's namesake? Our enormous, fluffy, gray kitty, "Bridget" who's oversized personality and figure often make her seem bigger than the car!)

Check out the Toyota campaign:

Monday, March 2, 2015

JCPenny’s NEW Catalog Equipped with Dog-ear & Pen-circling Capabilities

Ron Johnson, JCPennys former CEO, wiped the 1200-plus-page catalog from Americas mailbox in 2009. But with new management and direction, their home catalog has been resurrected. 120 glorious pages feature affordable goodies to fill up living rooms, bedrooms and any other room in need of some decorative lovin. Fewer pages, but Pennys has its book-book back. Ill take it. Spokeswomen Kate Coultas said according to their research customers, particularly shopping for home merchandise, still prefer to browse a traditional print piece.  These customers, me included, want the ability to finger through the thin pages, making dog-ears, circling and flagging the wishes and wants, picturing the items in their home.

Ever since companies discovered digital marketing to reach their consumers, weve seen a rollercoaster-drop in catalogs reaching our mailboxes. No longer were the coffee tables and kitchen cupboards of America overflowing with catalog. Great for the environment! But on the other hand, I personally enjoyed Saturday morning couch lounging, marking things I need.

Recently, the Direct Marketing Association found the number of catalog mailed since 2013 rising for the first time since 2006. Some retailers have begun using catalog marketing for the first time. The catalog taps the consumer on the shoulder, ensuring they know its there with its fresh paper smell and glossy pictures. It sits patiently in the living room waiting for you to walk by and take a peek.

To further back up the beloved catalog, Kate Coultas of JCPenny, thinks that, the internet has gotten so big that you cant find anything on it. The Internet is a place for shopping quick and knowing the exact item you wish to purchase. As a millennial I admit I do purchase the item online after looking at a catalog. But I like to touch the pages and see the item and picture it in my life before going online and clicking through an extensive product list.

JCPennys new strategy with their 120-page home catalog is to drive sales. After a few messy years brought on by poor management decisions, they need this. Depending on the market cooperation, Pennys plans to present to America other niche-based product catalog plus experiment with frequency and versatility. Keep watch for JCPennys 2015 home catalog coming to Americas mailbox in March!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Keep It Personal

We are Millennials, hear us … text. And tweet. And snap. While I still look back nostalgically at a time when cell phones were only “for emergencies” and researching involved opening a book, I know I am the typical, technology dependent Millennial girl. Known as the “always connected” generation, Millennials or Generation Y born between 1980 and 1999, make up the largest generation group in history. We’re a challenge to market to due to the size and diversity of our group, along with our identifying attributes that include short attention spans, extreme self-confidence and highly personalized demands. But we also represent strong purchasing power. Successful brands need to take notice and adjust their strategies to reach us.

In a recent Forbes interview, SDL Chief Marketing Officer Paige O’Neill lays out a few recommendations for how marketers can better leverage the size and potential of Milliennials.

1. Focus on experience. As Millennials, we create our own brand experiences instead of waiting for the next marketing campaign. A shift from the traditional “campaign” approach to a focus on the customer experience will help break through the personal junk filter.

2. Show greater transparency. Trust is of huge importance. If brands show how consumer data is collected and use it to offer more customized content or provide a benefit in return, Millennials feel stronger loyalty. It’s all about personalization.

3. Use an omni-channel strategy. We want tailored communication and we want it across all channels. If you engage with your customers on Facebook, we want to see that engagement through the ad you run on Spotify, in your weekly email blast and around the Internet through retargeting.

4. Be relevant to the individual. We’ve always known brands need to understand the behaviors of their target audience. But with Millennials, understanding the journey is key to unlocking a successful marketing strategy. The tools we leave behind – email address, IP address, browsing history, device type and location – will help reach Millennials across channels and personalize the content to individual preferences.

A lot is still left to be seen about the Millennial generation as we enter our forties and beyond. Will we be great money savers? Will our social libertarian outlook fuel significant policy change? As Generation Z enters the mix, how will the workforce change for us? Regardless of the future, to reach us today, marketers need to remember content is king and “keep it personal.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Co-Branding-Does it Work?

Co Branding Does it Work? Kelloggs recently came out with a new peanut butter cereal but ran into the wall when concluding their name alone was not going to be enough to sell their new cereal.

What do big brands do in a case like this?

Generate a deal with another complimentary brand!

 In Kellogg’s case, saving the peanut butter cereal by combining brand strength with Jiff was a logical choice. The happy-brand-couple receives dual exposure and the kids in the cereal isle become extra bouncy at the sight of the delicious complex.

 Licensing agreements are an old trick in the great book of marketing do’s and don’ts. This year especially, many big-box food production companies have been studying the co-branding marketing strategy page for ways to boost their product and break away from their competitors.

 The drawback when implementing this co-marketing is shared control as one relies equally on the other guy to be part of a brand empowering partnership. Yet, the positive facet to this situation, launching the product is much quicker because marketers aren’t building a brand from scratch.

 Here is where the mixed brands get interesting:

 Jelly Belly + Tabasco Dark Chocolate.

 These recognizable brands decided they would make a great food couple, a perfect pairing. I’m not quite sure all would agree with this combination, but I’m confident someone appreciates this.

Here are a few more examples of the duos I find are interesting.

Dial+Froyo Frozen Yogurt Cooling Body Wash: A hygiene product. Off the bat I’m thinking “delicious shower snack!” To some it might not be appealing, but then again many health forward beauty products use yogurt as a common ingredient. The idea has an appealing basis.

Taco Bell+Kraft Southwest Ranch: this combination sounds enticing. I have never tried it. Another point to consider would be that partnering up on this sauce, the brands equity, positive and negative, comes along with the creation of the duo product.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Smart Advertising or Exploitation?

It seems these days-literally the last few days-that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been a frequent flyer aboard Facebook’s News Feeds with it’s great awareness building and fundraising tactics for ALS. This frigid challenge has recently surfaced and many have come forward with different opinions about this viral method of fundraising for ALS. 
A “different” kind of video has been posted in an area some might have seen coming. That’s right, the advertising world. Many large companies brought their executives to the scene to take part and raise money for ALS. But no one called out a branded product…until now. 
Samsung has jumped on board the speeding media train and used the Ice Bucket Challenge in a creative way to promote their new Galaxy 5s smart phone with it’s waterproof shell. In the ad, the Galaxy 5s gets the cubed, cold water dumped right on top of it's (head?) and proceeds to "say" how cold it is. The Galaxy 5s then calls upon it's competitors' top selling smart phone devices to take part in the challenge.
This is where things get tricky. Using a charity’s awareness building campaign to spin off your own profit-making ad could be seen as self-serving. From another angle, it shows the fast creativity and real-time marketing like Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet. But when do you cross the line between creative and crass? Siri, what do you think?
Check out Samsung’s spot:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Freaked-Out Photos

Remember the old adage, "A picture's worth a thousand words."? I've been a believer in the power of visual brand awareness since the days of Dr. Suess, Tom Terrific and The Captain & Bunny Rabbit entered my life. 

And how many of you are old enough to recall being concerned over Big Brother? No, not the awful guys on one of the most-amazed-it's-still-onTV shows, but the Big Brother concept that was kicked off by the novel, "1984". 

Now it looks like our social media pals are the "real" Big Brother. All those darling selfies and more are being mined for lots of data for advertisers. 

Every Nike swish is being tracked. The ad world will know what brand of beer is in your boyfriend's hand. And that you probably shop at Target since the bullseye is behind you in your profile picture…ever so slightly. Yep, this trend really is freaking out folks just a bit - even those guys who take their iPhones to bed with them. 

Once that data's all mashed up and spit back out, you'll be even more specifically targeted. Makes you think - do you really want to wear that Polo shirt anymore?

Check out this article: