Friday, November 21, 2014

Black Apps

Fact: On average people use 26.8 apps per month for a total of 30 hours and 15 minutes (Nielsen).  Black Friday is one week away.  According to data from Verizon there is a high demand for even more apps to make shopping easier – best deals, shorter lines, etc., etc., etc.
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By the numbers, last year McKinsey & Company estimated 44 percent of shoppers used a smartphone to make shopping on Black Friday easier.  Now according to new data from Verizon, more consumers want Black Friday apps.  They reported earlier this week that 80% of those surveyed want to know where to get the best deal; 78% indicated they would benefit from knowing what stores have the shortest lines.  Consequently, retailers/brands are going to have to implement dynamic pricing (real time) policies thanks to mobile’s role in influencing shoppers on the move.  Walmart, the world’s largest retailer already announced that it will match Amazon prices at all its U.S. locations (approximately 5,000 stores).   

Black apps will save you nanoseconds and $$$ next Friday!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Brand Uniforms – An Update

Back in April I first wrote about the hottest brand uniform here in PhiladelphiaNorth Face.  Given what I just read about their new marketing movement, this is a good time for an update.
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For the week ended October 18th, North Face had twice the share of their leading competitor Columbia in the outdoor apparel market.  In order, the share for the top three were as follows: North Face 25.4 percent, Columbia 12.5 percent and Patagonia 9.7 percent.  Based on their new marketing movement, these share numbers most probably will increase.  Detailed below is a quick review of the different marketing touch points the veteran brand North Face will be utilizing:

  • A new rendition of Woody Guthrie’s classic “This Land is Your Land” by the band My Morning Jacket.  Their music video includes footage of active urban people (e.g., a woman running across the Brooklyn Bridge) in addition to their typical outdoor adventurers.  Their tag: “Never stop exploring.”

  • A dash of cause marketing.  The song can be downloaded from iTunes for $1.29.  Apple will get their usual share (one third) and the rest will go to the 21st Century Conversation Service Corps which hires veterans and at-risk people within the U.S. Interior Department.  Note: North Face announced it is also contributing $250,000 to the cause.

  • Their first 90-second spot went on TV November 9th during Sunday Night Football.  Now they plan to run shorter 15 to 60 second spots on television and online.

  • A partnership with Outside magazine that promotes outdoor outings at notable locations (e.g., white-water rafting in Colorado) where consumers are encouraged to submit photos of themselves online using the hashtag #SeeForYourSelf.

As a marketing geek, I value brands who implement marketing movements that pinpoint their brand’s MTP (Multiple Touch Points) – hybrid marketing, a blend of outbound and inbound marketing that both seeks out and engages their community.  North Face is a perfect example of a hybrid marketer, specifically the way they leverage their recognizable brand logo as an integral building block when communicating their message.

North Face, America’s brand uniform.  Black!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Buried Alive

Yesterday I went downstairs to ask my doorman José a question.  I could not find him.  José was buried under an avalanche of delivered packages at the front desk.  2014 online holiday shopping is already on the march to break some new records.   
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Forrester Research released earlier this week that they project U.S. online sales will reach $89 billion in November and December.  That represents a 13 percent increase versus last year, an estimated increase of $10 billion in absolute dollars.  Note: These figures for the two months will represent 30 percent of all 2014 eCommerce spending, but also have been adjusted for a shorter holiday selling season and delivery capacity constraints.  

Good news for FedEx and UPS route drivers, branded Retailers that have beefed up their online marketing movements, etc., etc. etc.  Bad news for the restaurant industry if people are not going out to brick & mortar to shop, thus stopping at their favorite restaurants for a bite to eat or drinks.

Happy online shopping!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Heavenly Sendoffs

Last week I posted Cat Bowls detailing how the premium pet food business is skyrocketing.  Speaking of skyrocketing, how about pet owners memorializing their deceased friends with Heavenly Sendoffs!
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You read the Blink correctly.  Celestis, a Houston based aerospace company that launches a portion of the cremated remains of your departed love one into space, has now created Celestis Pets.  Aimed at pet owners, they will send 1g of the cremated remains or a lock of your pet’s hair off into space in a long-lasting engraved capsule.  Their service offers four different packages starting at $995 and going upwards to $12,500 for the Voyager – the capsule will be placed on a scientific deep space mission where it will float through space indefinitely. 

Pets in heaven!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cat Bowls

I spotted an ad for Purina’s New Fancy Feast Broths in one of my food magazines last week – Classic with tuna, shrimp, & whitefish in a decadent (a great use of the word) silky broth.  Imagine cat bowls, another example of premium pet food 2.0!
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I last posted about the pet food industry back in February2012.  Back then, a new category in pet foods was emerging, premium pet food which accounted for 5 percent of the total pet food market ($19.5 billion in 2011).  The APPA (American Pets Products Association) now estimates that “Pet Parents” will spend an estimated $22.62 billion on pet food in the U.S. in 2014.  Cat and dog food market  products account for over 90 percent of the U.S. pet food market (PMMI).  Euromonitor reported that the premium dog food which includes organic varieties and never-frozen meals has grown nearly 170 percent in the last 15 years.    

Back to Purina’s New Fancy Feast Broths, eight varieties in total either in a silky or creamy broth.  Remember that all the broths are labeled decadent.  Based on 1,300 plus reviews, consumers rate their product line between 4.0 - 4.2 on a scale of 5.0.  The most reviewed, popular item appears to be the Classic product that appeared in the magazine ad with the tagline: LICKABOWL, LAPABOWL, LOVEABOWL!”

Are you ready to teach your smart cat how to use chopsticks?