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Report Provides Data For Marketers Targeting Baby Boomers

February 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A market research firm that analyzed the Baby Boomer generation (“boomers,” age 50 and older) and their financial profiles found that age alone doesn’t determine their preferences and behaviors, because age is mostly an attitude. Marketers need to know that what’s most important is an understanding of financial situation, including income and net worth. “A one-size-fits-all approach to marketing doesn’t work,” according to the report, which identifies distinct financial segments. For example: high income/high net worth boomers are more likely to spend in the retail and online channels; boomers are more likely to buy from direct mail and catalogs; they use Facebook as much as other generations; they use their own computers; and they use email, e-readers, tablets, smartphones and even smart TVs as well as cable and satellite. [ Image credit: © Pixabay / jcfrog-166820/ ]
"Age is an attitude: marketing to the boomers+ population ", Report, Epsilon , February 23, 2017, © Epsilon Data Management, LLC
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Walmart Posts Robust Quarterly Sales, But Big Drop In Profit

February 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart’s same-store sales were impressive during the winter holidays, but the company’s e-commerce battle with Amazon is hurting profit. Same-store sales rose 1.8 percent in the quarter that ended January 31, 2017, the tenth consecutive quarterly rise. But profit fell 18 percent as the company pursues its strategic goal of becoming “more of a digital enterprise,” as CEO Doug McMillion put it. Online sales, which included full quarter sales performance from Jet.com, acquired last September, rose 16 percent. E-commerce sales rose 21 percent in the previous quarter. Other downward pressures on profit include plans to raise store workers’ wages and lower prices. [ Image credit: © Walmart ]
Sarah Nassauer, "Walmart Posts Strong Holiday Sales, But E-Commerce Battle With Amazon Pinches Profit", The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Carrefour Sues Lidl For Alleged Unfair Business Practices

February 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour has filed a lawsuit with the Commercial Court of Evry against discount retailer Lidl for alleged unfair commercial practices. According to a report by Challenges, the French retailer is seeking damages for Lidl’s failure to comply with rules regarding promotion of products. Promotion rules require promoted products to remain in all stores for at least 15 weeks.
"Carrefour Takes Legal Action Against Lidl France", European Supermarket Magazine, February 17, 2017, © European Supermarket Magazine
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The Body Shop Cuts Ties With The Daily Mail Over Editorial Stance

February 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Citing concerns on The Daily Mail's comments on human rights, L’Oréal-owned beauty retailer, The Body Shop, announced it does not have any partnership with the tabloid and has no plans to advertise with it.  The firm noted that The Daily Mail's editorial stance is going against The Body Shop's "Enrich Not Exploit Commitment" but declined to comment on whether its decision affects other publications, including The Sun and Daily Express, or specifically which editorial stance it was concerned about. The Body Shop had been running voucher promotions on the front page of the Mail and Mail on Sunday. The move comes in the midst of a campaign for ethical advertising by the group Stop Funding Hate which criticized tabloid newspapers over their coverage of Europe's refugee crisis and other social issues. In November, Lego Group also announced it had ended its relationship with the Mail. [Image credit © Stop Funding Hate]
George Bowden , "The Body Shop Becomes Latest Company To Cut Ties With The Daily Mail Over ‘Human Rights’ Concerns", The Huffington Post UK, February 16, 2017, © AOL (UK) Limited
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P&G Malaysia Plans Adopting MRC Viewability Standards For Digital Advertising

February 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
P&G Malaysia is adopting the US-based Media Rating Council's viewability standards for digital media. Also, the company is reviewing agency contracts in view of parent company Procter & Gamble's call for improved transparency rules in digital advertising. According to Nadiah Syed Nahar, P&G Malaysia's communications and government relations manager, the company will adopt the standards despite mixed reactions from local marketers and agencies.
Daljit Dhesi, "P&G Malaysia Backs MRC Viewability Standards", The Star Online, February 13, 2017, © Star Media Group Berhad
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Smartphones Will Be The Pillar Of U.K. E-Commerce By 2020

February 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Smartphones are rapidly becoming the technological engine powering e-commerce in the U.K., according to a report from OC&C Strategy Consultants, Google and PayPal. Within three years, mobile purchases will account for two-thirds of e-commerce sales – £43 billion – up from £13.5 billion in 2016. Another £14 billion of online retail will involve a smartphone in product research and price comparison, meaning that 80 percent of all U.K. e-commerce by 2020 will be handled over a smartphone. But despite these forecasts, U.K. retailers lag behind U.S. and Asian competitors in terms of mobile readiness, the report notes.  [ Image credit: © Jason Howie  ]
Paul Skeldon, "Smartphone Shopping to Account for Two Thirds of UK E-Commerce by 2020, says Google, PayPal Study", Internet Retailing, February 10, 2017, © SJP Business Media
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Revlon Hires Reinforcements For Social Media Influencer Team

February 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty brand Revlon is expanding its team of social media influencers, including Gigi Gorgeous, who has 2.2 million Instagram followers; Kandee Johnson, with 1.5 million followers; and Sabrina Carpenter, with 10.7 million followers. With each influencer having a different audience, Revlon hopes the expanded team will help broaden its social media reach.
Allison Collins, "Revlon Adds Disney Star, YouTube Masters to Influencer Program", Women’s Wear Daily, February 08, 2017, © Penske Media Corporation
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Effective Social Media Involvement Of Super Bowl 51 Fans Stretched Ad Dollars

February 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Interactive ad strategy – use of live-streams, paid social advertising, and giveaways – were the hallmarks of successful social media and mobile campaigns for several Super Bowl 51 advertisers. Especially effective was PepsiCo’s Lady Gaga halftime show strategy for its Pepsi Zero soft drink, but Budweiser, casual dining chain Buffalo Wild Wings, and Snickers were also able to stretch their airtime ad dollars using social media. Pepsi sponsored a number of giveaways during the game in which football fans who were social media users could interact with Pepsi sites up to halftime. They were then given a chance to win merchandise by re-posting Pepsi’s tweets.   [ Image credit: © PepsiCo ]
Brielle Jaekel, "How Pepsi was One of Few to Leverage Mobile for Super Bowl LI", Mobile Marketer, February 07, 2017, © Napean LLC
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Royal Ahold, Delhaize Grocery Brands Restructure To Focus On Local Markets

February 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The constituent companies of Royal Ahold Delhaize are embarking on a year-long restructuring program to strengthen their retail grocery brands – Giant Foods, Giant/Martin’s, Stop & Shop, Peapod, Hannaford, and Food Lion – by consolidating business support services while tailoring commercial strategies to local markets and communities. The more localized brand-centric strategies of Ahold USA and Delhaize America will include dedicated resources such as category merchandising, assortment, pricing, promotions, marketing and format teams. The parent company said the restructuring will be completed by early 2018. It also announced that the Stop & Shop New York Metro and Stop & Shop New England divisions will be consolidated.   [ Image credit: © Royal Ahold Delhaize ]
"Ahold USA and Delhaize America announce plans to further strengthen brands ", News release, Royal Ahold Delhaize, February 06, 2017, © Roral Ahold Delhaize
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Walmart Ups Ante In Fight With Amazon By Abandoning ShippingPass

February 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
To stay competitive with Amazon, Walmart is ditching its $49-a-year two-day shipping subscription, dubbed ShippingPass, and replacing it with free shipping for purchases over $35. In doing so, the retailer is acknowledging that free two-day shipping is now the standard in online shopping. The new strategy takes aim at Amazon’s highly successful Prime offer, which offers free two-day shipping for an annual $99 subscription fee. Data from Cowen and Company show that by November 2016, almost half of U.S. Internet users were living in a household with a Prime subscription. Some observers speculate that Walmart’s battle with Amazon will lead to even more tactical moves, such as deep discounting. [ Image credit: © Walmart ]
Yory Wurmser, "Walmart Challenges Amazon with New Shipping Plan", eMarketer, February 01, 2017, © eMarketer Inc.
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For Consumers, Premium Signifies More Than Just A Higher Price

February 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Nielsen survey finds that consumers globally are willing to spend as much as 20 percent more for the quality and performance of premium items in any CPG category. The result of this trend is that premium FMCG products in many countries often outsell less expensive products. For example, between 2012 and 2014, the premium segment grew 21 percent in Southeast Asia, which is more than double the rate of the mainstream and value tiers. Survey respondents indicated that premium doesn’t just mean higher price: only 31 percent said price defined premium. Instead, they said premium signifies exceptional quality and performance. [ Image credit: © Wikimedia ]
Rose Anthony, "Sales of Premium CPG Products Increase around the World", CPG Matters, February 01, 2017, © CPG Matters
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Walmart Launches Free Two-Day Shipping For US Customers

February 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart launched a two-day shipping service across the US. Aimed at improving customer experience online, the service is available with a minimum purchase of $35, compared with the $50 threshold for Shipping Pass, the retailer’s previous home delivery service. Unlike Amazon’s Prime program, which costs $99 in annual fee, Walmart’s two-day shipping comes with no membership fee.
Stewart Samuel, "How Walmart is Aiming to Build Ecommerce Loyalty", Retail Analysis, February 01, 2017, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution and IGD Services Limited
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A Better Customer Experience Is A Major Marketing Priority These Days

January 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Improving the customer experience in all marketing channels – making it seamless and connected – is a top priority among retailers and manufacturers because it leads to higher sales. Seventy-one percent of business execs ranked improving customer experience higher than increasing revenue, reducing costs, or other traditional goals, a Forrester survey found. Consumer behaviors, expectations, and demands continue to rise, and they are especially influenced by personalization, good prices, and efficient fulfillment. Improving customer experience is important in all channeles because: 94 percent do research online before visiting a store; 81 percent have looked up inventory on a retailer’s website, 80 percent won’t visit a store if product availability isn’t shown; 93 percent have reviewed product ratings before purchasing; and 57 percent said loyalty often drives a purchase.  [ Image credit: © Wikipedia  ]
"Consumer Trends Report - 2017 Edition ", Report, Kibo, January 31, 2017, © Kibo Software, Inc
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British Ad Agency To Handle All Of Walgreens Boots Communications

January 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The WPP communications services group will develop multiple marketing and communications for Walgreen Boots Alliance’s retail and wholesale businesses, and its health and beauty brands. WPP will provide traditional and digital advertising, media management, promotion and relationship marketing, and media relations. The group, which is based in London, U.K., will open hub offices in Chicago, London and New York to support Walgreens Boots Alliance and businesses including Walgreens, Boots and Alliance Healthcare businesses.  [ Image credit: ©  Walgreens Boots Alliance ]
"Walgreens Boots Alliance and WPP announce global marketing and communications partnership", News release, Walgreens Boots Alliance, January 31, 2017, © Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
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Walmart Readies Hollywood-Theme Ads For Oscars Broadcast

January 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is launching three 60-second advertisements created for broadcast during the Academy Awards on ABC. Marking the retailer's first appearance during the event, the ads are based on a Walmart receipt featuring bananas, paper towels, batteries, scooter, wrapping paper, and video baby monitor. Walmart is working with movie directors Antoine Fuqua and Marc Forster and filmmaking partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
Jack Neff, "Walmart Goes Hollywood, Tapping Star Directors for Oscars Campaign", Advertising Age, January 26, 2017, © Crain Communications
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E-Retailers And CPG Manufacturers Need To Prepare For Strong Growth Now

January 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
E-commerce today accounts for only a small portion of consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales, with the food and beverage sector lagging somewhat behind non-food. But both sectors are set for strong growth, according to IRI. Over the next five years, CPG e-commerce will average 10 percent of industrywide sales. Digital is expected to play a major role in influencing that sales growth, and will drive as much as 77 percent of all retail sales generally, representing about $2 trillion. E-retailers are rapidly laying the groundwork for growth, with Amazon leading the way. Meanwhile, CPG manufacturers could grow online sales by up to 150 percent by building a strong online presence and earning shopper awareness. [ Image credit: © Jason Howie  ]
"Build, Drive and Earn E-commerce Growth for Retail Success", Report, IRI Worldwide, January 24, 2017, © IRI Worldwide
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Sales Boost From All-Day Breakfasts At McDonald’s May Have Been Only Temporary

January 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As same-store sales at McDonald’s sag, some observers conclude that all-day breakfasts are losing their drawing power, at least in the U.S. Earnings beat Wall Street estimates last quarter, but sales fell 1.3 percent. Does the giant fast-food company have an ace up its sleeve to pull financial performance out of a tailspin? Technology, including touchscreens and mobile ordering, may help. But analysts aren’t sure how long that will take to pay off, especially in the face of a nationwide restaurant slowdown. European financials are brighter: same-store sales ticked upward by 2.7 percent, easily beating analysts’ predictions of a 1.4 percent increase. Profit was $1.44 a share globally in the period, beating predictions by 0.03 percent. [ Image credit: ©  McDonald's ]
Craig Giammona, "McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Push No Longer Fueling Growth", Bloomberg, January 24, 2017, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Jif Launches First Australian Ad In 19 Years

January 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever's household cleaning brand, Jif, launched its first Australia-targeted advertisement in 19 years. Created by Zoo Group Sydney, the ad seeks to reposition the brand in the Australian market and help it appeal to younger consumers. It comes with the tagline “Don't leave it, Jif it.”
Zoe Samios , "Unilever’s Jif launches first Australian ad in 19 years with aim to end BBQ neglect", Mumbrella, January 23, 2017, © Focal Attractions Pty Ltd.
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Advanced Store Shelf Technology Seeks To Personalize Shopping At Kroger Stores

January 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Supermarket chain Kroger has begun experimenting with in-store shelf-based sensor systems that detect shoppers via their smartphones and apply analytics technology to customize product offers. Dubbed the “digital shelf edge” project, the initiative is a facet of the company’s plan to automate and personalize shopping to battle online competition from Amazon.com Inc., Walmart’s Jet.com unit and others. E-commerce in traditional food and beverage stores accounted for $1 billion in sales in 2014, less than 0.2 percent of the $670 billion market. Sensors have been installed in 14 stores near the company’s Cincinnati headquarters.  [ Image credit: © ParentingPatch  ]
Kim S. Nash, "Kroger Tests Sensors, Analytics In Interactive Grocery Shelves", The Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Dove Hair China Launches Online Campaign Calling On Women To Be Proud Of Hairstyle

January 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever's Dove Hair China brand launched its “My hair: It has to be my way” online campaign in the country. Featuring various women of different ages and highlighting the brand's “Real beauty by real women” brand slogan, the campaign seeks to empower women to remain true to themselves by coming out with their individual choice of hairstyle. Developed by Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai, the campaign includes an online movie, social media content, and follow-up videos featuring Chinese women sharing their hairstyle stories.
Inti Tam, "Dove Encourages Women to Wear Their Hair with Pride", Marketing-Interactive, January 18, 2017, © marketing-interactive.com by Lighthouse Independent Media
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Trends: How Bakeries Can Keep Bread The No. 1 Bakery Product, And Maybe Spark Sales

January 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
How can industrial and commercial bakeries take advantage of current consumer health and wellness – not to mention flavor – trends to boost the appeal, and sales, of bread? A baking trade publication interviewed several company managers of innovation, consumer insights, sales and marketing, and other experts to find out what trends may boost sales of fresh bread, which is a $13-billion-dollar business and still the largest bakery category, though sales have been lackluster. Among these hopeful trends/strategies: artisan breads, variety in flavor and provenance, clean label; super-premium, organic, gluten-free, non-GMO and nutritional supplementation; better-for-you in general, whole grains and seeds, both in and on loaves; upgrading of sandwich breads; gourmet burger buns (brioche and pretzels); and gourmet buns and rolls for sandwiches. [ Image credit: © Artisan bread ]
Douglas J. Peckenpaugh, "Strategies to Build Appeal into Breads, Buns and Rolls", Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, January 13, 2017, © BNP Media
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Target Launches Haircare Product Range Developed By Celebrity Stylist Kristin Ess

January 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Target will launch Kristin Ess Hair, a line of haircare products developed by celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess on January 5, 2017. Featuring 15 products, the range includes styling powder and a reconstructive mask, with prices ranging from $10 to $14. As part of the company's efforts to promote the product launch, Target will launch a related social media campaign.
Faye Brookman, "Target Taps Social Star for Hair-Care Collection", Women’s Wear Daily, January 11, 2017, © Penske Media Corporation
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Chinese Consumers Are Adapting Priorities As China Changes

January 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In an interview, Delon Wang, Manager of Asia Pacific Trends at Mintel, warned that the rapid growth seen in China’s consumer goods industry might slow as economic growth decelerates and the population adapts priorities to the new China, focusing for example on buzzwords like ‘ancient’ and ‘old’. Mintel’s Global New Products Database indicates that product claims including the word "ancient” on packaging grew 56% in the first half of 2016 within China’s beauty and personal care and food and drink and categories. Wang said that consumers are demanding authenticity, and they are increasingly concerned about health and the environment. Value remains another key attribute for consumers. More consumers are also looking at opportunities to be entrepreneurs themselves in a bid to improve financial security during turbulent economic times, and many are choosing subscription purchasing for their fitness and beauty items. Brand loyalty is highest among the middle-class consumers (68% versus 50% for consumers overall). Other factors at work within China include technological advance – such as the Internet of Everything and smart devices – and retail innovation and evolution, such as pop-up stores. [ Image credit: © Oanh ]
Natasha Spencer, "China’s cosmetics and consumer trends in 2017 part I: A change of pace", Cosmetics Design, January 10, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Grocery Shoppers In The U.K. Made Merry Indeed This Christmas

January 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British grocery retailers finished off 2016 with a very merry Christmas season in which shoppers spent £480 million more in stores than in 2015, a record sales period, according to Kantar Worldpanel. A Kantar analyst said the numbers certainly look good in comparison to a weak Christmas 2015,and were buoyed by “strong consumer appetite for festive celebration after a turbulent year.” The 12 weeks that ended January 1, 2017, showed the fastest supermarket sales growth – up 1.8 percent – since June 2014. Typical household grocery expenditure for December reached £365 this year, which was about £52 more than the average month. [ Image credit: ©  Jonathan Thacker, Geograph.org.uk ]
Fraser McKevitt , "Checkouts ring up a record Christmas", News release, Kantar Worldpanel, January 10, 2017, © Kantar Worldpanel
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New Versions Of Consumer Goods Sound The Death Knell For Older Products

January 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New versions of consumer staples – alkaline batteries, bar soup, ground coffee, etc. – have led to the gradual decline in sales of the older versions. As consumer habits evolve, devotees of the older versions of staples – which may start to disappear from store shelves – may have to start stockpiling. IRI tracks sales on the older iterations of products, and here are some examples of the trend since 2011: margarine sales have fallen 24 percent as consumers turn to full-fat dairy products like butter; bar soap sales have dropped seven percent, as body wash sales surged; powder laundry detergent is down 47 percent, surpassed by pods, pacs, and liquids; single-serve coffee pods have pushed ground coffee sales down by eight percent; and frozen juice concentrate sales are down 37 percent as shoppers buy refrigerated brands or skip juice altogether. [ Image credit: © Mike Mozart ]
Ellen Byron , "Last on the Shelf: How Products Dwindle Out of Favor", The Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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General Mills Runs First TV Ads In The U.K. For Snack Brand Fiber One

January 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Snack brand Fiber One has launched its first TV ad campaign in the U.K. The $1.2 million effort is scheduled to run for four weeks in January, considered the peak diet season. It is expected to reach seven million consumers. The television campaign will be supplemented with a sampling effort in Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s supermarkets that will put the product into the hands of at least 500,000 people. Fiber One snacks contain 90 calories, and are high in fiber and low in fat. [ Image credit: © 
Leia Taing, "Fibre One Launches its First TV Advertising Campaign", The Food & Drink Innovation, January 10, 2017, © Food & Drink Innovation
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Walmart CEO Sees Big Challenges Ahead For Retailers, And Big Opportunities

January 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon believes strongly that retailers need to adapt quickly to rapidly advancing technologies that have accelerated the pace of modern living, particularly when it comes to shopping, purchasing, and taking delivery of products. These technologies will create unprecedented opportunities for retailers. Looking ahead 10 years, he says customers will be able to fulfill everyday needs easily through stores, e-commerce, pick-up, delivery, thanks to sophisticated technologies. Retailers will need to adjust to the fact that customers globally will see what people in other countries have, and will want it too. Lastly, embedded social and environmental sustainability will require tighter collaboration among retailers, NGOs, governments and educational institutions so that customers, associates/employees, shareholders, communities, and suppliers will all benefit. “I can’t think of a more exciting time to be in retail,” McMillon concluded.[Doug McMillon, Image credit: © Shane Bevel (Walmart corporate), Wikimedia  ]
Doug McMillon, "3 Predictions for the Future of Retail – from the CEO of Walmart", Blog entry, Walmart CEO, January 09, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Amazon Making Progress With Prestige Skin Care, Provides Rich Content To Engage Consumers

January 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon continues to build out its offering across new categories and its Amazon Luxury Beauty store shows it will be a contender in premium segments. The company recently added a page targeted at prestige shoppers - Amazon Professional Skin Care -that provides a range of ‘tools and kits to help you develop a complete daily care regimen.’ Amazon offers simple to use filters (shop by concern, expert advice…) along with videos and educational features that engage consumers. Color cosmetic players have for a while offered rich and engaging content but skin care brands have lagged and Amazon is moving to plug the gap - content on the Amazon page exceeds what is available at retailer websites and many beauty blogs.  It also looks to be winning over large brands that were previously dismissive. Elizabeth Arden recently became an official distributor on Amazon’s Luxury Beauty store, a move that will give the online retailer credibility. [Image credit © Innocentj]
Homa Zaryouni, "Amazon Makes Strides in Skin Care", L2 Daily, January 09, 2017, © L2 Inc.
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Beauty Brands Find Risk and Reward In Selling At Sephora

January 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Sephora now has more than 2,300 stores worldwide and some beauty brands are increasingly finding the store challenging to deal with. The store, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, seems to favor LVMH brands, and also has a growing line of private label products that can give it an advantage. An assessment by The Wall Street Journal found that in the makeup area of a Sephora store, LVMH’s beauty brands can occupy nearly half of the shelf space, even though they have only 15 beauty brands compared with over 200 the retailer typically carries. Beauty brands are responding by trying to secure alternate outlets. Estée Lauder has promoted its own website as well as its MAC Cosmetics stores, while L’Oréal has opened stores for its Urban Decay brand. Some brands are also selling in lower market stores such as Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc., a risky practice that can remove allure from a brand.  Brands selling at Sephora are also vulnerable to its own label Sephora Collection line. Sephpora can use its sales data to spot fast rising niches and then develop price competitive alternatives.  [Image credit © Caia Image]
Khadeeja Safdar and Sharon Terlep, "As Sephora Adds Products, Rivalry Heats Up at Its Stores", Wall Street Journal, January 08, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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2017: The Year Of The Brand Chatbot?

January 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
2017 could the year of the chatbots for brands looking to automate consumer engagement. They reside within Messenger Services, like Skype and Facebook Messenger, as well as internal messenger services, like HipChat. They are becoming increasingly sophisticated with more user functionality, and as artificial intelligence becomes better understood, chatbots will be able to do even more, with development moving from what the bot builders believe consumers want to a machine-learned reflection of what they really want. Chatbots will proliferate and become an essential element of any integrated marketing campaign, supporting highly targeted campaigns delivered in the environment in which the consumer spends the majority of their online time. [ Image credit: © Seb Oliver
John Mccarthy, "What, Why and How: Chatbots for Brands", The Drum, January 06, 2017, © Carnyx Group Ltd.
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Rexona Launches Ad Featuring Cricketer Khawaja

January 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Deodorant brand Rexona launched a video commercial featuring cricket player Usman Khawaja. Part of the brand's “Moments of Pressure” marketing campaign, the ad was produced by Milkmoney and highlights Rexona as the deodorant brand “for moments of pressure.”
Abigail Dawson , "Rexona uses Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja in new campaign", Mumbrella, January 06, 2017, © Mumbrella
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I Want My Beauty Treatment And I Want It NOW!

January 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers increasingly want their beauty treatments as and when they want them and new businesses are emerging to serve this demand. Two broad business models are competing – retail ‘bars’ and apps offering at-home service. Retail bars offer a very defined service, often on a walk-in basis. Examples include Skin Laundry for a ‘15-minute laser & light facial’ ($65 base price), drybar for a wash and blow dry ($45) or Madison Reed Color Bar that will touch up your roots for $45 in 45 minutes. Other services available from similar beauty bars include makeup applications, chemical peels and eyelash extension application.

Against these retail offerings are apps that seek to be the Uber of beauty services, bringing together a range of professionals who will provide services at-home. Leaders include Zeel Massage (‘same-day, in-home massages with the best licensed and vetted massage therapists’),  The Ritualist (‘in-home skin care treatment’), Glamsquad (‘Your pro team for hair, makeup and nails—anytime, anywhere’), Vênsette (‘Luxury blowouts, hairstyles, and makeup on demand’),and most recently, Colour (‘the first app for in-home hairstyling, on demand, created by women of color, for women of color’). Both business models work best in dense urban populations but this is truer of apps that need to balance demand and work flow for a team of contractors.  In both cases, venture funding is bankrolling service rollouts in the hope of securing a position in ‘convenient beauty.’ [Image credit © Image Source]
Rachel Strugatz, "Beauty Services War: Beauty ‘Bars’ Versus On-Demand", Women’s Wear Daily, January 05, 2017, © Penske Media Corporation
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Mass And Premium Continue To Drive Growth In Color Cosmetics

January 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
According to Euromonitor International, the color cosmetics market was worth US$57 billion globally in 2015, driven by growing incomes for women in growth markets like India and China. Nearly two-thirds of the market (64%) was mass products in which consumers came from across the income spectrum, with some consumers limited to the mass market through income constraints and others choosing mass options over premium, with a new wave of mass “fast fashion” cosmetics brands that align with trends and rely on high volumes. Premium continues to grow faster than mass, and Euromonitor expects to see a CAGR for the premium segment of 4% over the next five years, versus 3% for mass. It also expects North America to be the first majority-premium color cosmetics market by 2020. The color cosmetics market will continue to encounter broad consumer megatrends, for example in the form of sustainability and healthy living. And customization remains a major opportunity for brands in this category, with brands catering for different skin tones, religions and cultures. [ Image credit: © Image Source
Hannah Symons, "Reinventing Colour Cosmetics through Novel Growth Concepts", Euromonitor International, January 05, 2017, © Euromonitor
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Revlon Names Gwen Stefani As Brand Ambassador

January 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Revlon announced the appointment of celebrity Gwen Stefani as its latest brand ambassador. With the brand planning to feature Stefani in various digital-first campaigns, the pop singer will appear in Revlon’s Choose Love campaign, which will run on broadcast, digital, and social media. Also, the brand’s designed-for-mobile website offers behind-the-scenes looks and content from the celebrity’s campaigns. Content will also be available on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.
Rakin Azfar, "Revlon will Feature New Brand Ambassador Gwen Stefani in Digital Content", Mobile Marketer, January 04, 2017, © Napean LLC
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Amazon Fulfillment Services Reports Significant Growth In 2016

January 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon said it delivered more than two billion packages to 185 countries for sellers, brand owners and entrepreneurs in 2016 under its Fulfillment by Amazon program. The company said worldwide FBA shipments grew 50 percent during the holiday season. Amazon Prime members contributed significantly to the success of the program, ordering millions of items from sellers in the Seller Fulfilled Prime program that offers free two- or next-day shipping. Sellers worldwide using the FBA service grew more than 70 percent, while shipments grew 80 percent. [ Image credit: © Amazon  ]
"Sellers on Amazon are Thriving: Fulfillment by Amazon Delivered More than 2 Billion Items for Sellers Worldwide in 2016", News release, Amazon, January 04, 2017, © Amazon.com, Inc.
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Walmart Hands Haworth Responsibility For Wide Range Of Advertising/Media Efforts

January 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has officially dropped Mediavest as its advertising shop, replacing it with Target’s former agency, Haworth Marketing + Media. Haworth’s new role, according to U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Tony Rogers, will extend “well beyond” that of a traditional media shop. The company said Haworth will provide a number of media services beyond planning and placement. These will include developing strategy for brand integrations and developing strategic partnerships in the marketing, media and entertainment arenas. Walmart has posted 10 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth, including a 1.2 percent 3rd quarter gain in the U.S. Target reported a same-store sales decline of 0.2 percent for its fiscal third quarter, and flat sales for the first nine months. Walmart spent $2.1 billion on U.S. advertising in 2015. [ Image credit: ©  Walmart ]
Jack Neff, "Walmart Shifts Massive Media Account to Target's Former Agency Haworth", Advertising Age, January 03, 2017, © Crain Communications
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Gen Z Is Techno-Savvy, But More Cautious, Conservative, Industrious

January 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A college marketing agency survey has determined that Generation Z, known as the first “digital natives,” easily adapts to new technologies, expects instant gratification of needs and desires, and yet is more cautious and disciplined in the face of economic uncertainty than one might expect. The Fluent survey of 501 college students found that Gen Z-ers: have jobs (75 percent), spend less time gaming, use cash less often, prefer in-store shopping (54 percent), tend to avoid cable TV and radio, increasingly cook for themselves, are hooked on social media to connect with friends or get news updates, and want to work for midsize companies when they graduate. [ Image credit: ©  Ron Mader ]
"Fluent College Student Survey Reveals Rising, Falling Trends among Gen Z; New Behaviors Reflect Social and Economic Realities", Marketwired, January 04, 2017, © Nasdaq, Inc.
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Research Suggests An Omnichannel Strategy Can Boost Traditional Retailer Sales

January 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In a rare piece of good news for traditional retailers that have for years seen slow growth and share declines – digital channel sales rose 23% in 2015 and 26% of all online retail sales now go to Amazon – research published in Harvard Business Review suggests that an omnichannel approach can give them an advantage. Omnichannel strategies aim to engage shoppers through multiple touchpoints and provide a seamless shopping experience across digital and brick-and-mortar platforms. Retailers that do this well can differentiate themselves through providing a multi-channel experience pure-plays simply can’t.  Researchers found that omnichannel consumers, which are by far the majority (73% in this study), commonly interact with retailers in many different ways – in-store, online, on mobile. Importantly, these consumer spend some 4% more per shopping occasion than single-channel shoppers, while customers who used 4+ channels spent 9% more in the store, on average, when compared to those who used just one channel. They are also more loyal, as measured by repeat shopping trips and likelihood they’ll recommend a brand to family and friends. [Image credit © Zero Creatives]
Emma Sopadjieva et al., "A Study of 46,000 Shoppers Shows That Omnichannel Retailing Works", Harvard Business Review, January 03, 2017, © Harvard Business School Publishing
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New Lidl Tagline Hammers Home Emphasis On Quality And Price

January 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German discount grocer Lidl is launching a new strapline to further emphasize its focus on lower prices but not at the expense of quality. The strapline – an easily remembered subheading or phrase – is “Big on Quality, Lidl on Price.” It is not clear whether the new strapline represents a broader brand repositioning, or will replace the old #LidlSurprises tagline, or run alongside it. The idea of the new strapline is to emphasize to skeptical consumers that Lidl’s product lines do indeed have a quality provenance. The company’s sales rose 5.7 percent in the 16 weeks ending December 4, representing a growth rate that is slowing somewhat, but still far outpacing the grocery market’s 0.7 percent. [ Image credit: ©  Wikimedia Commons.]
Sarah Vizard, "Lidl Reveals ‘Big on Quality, Lidl on Price’ Strapline", Marketing Week, January 03, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Unilever, Coca-Cola And Lush Feature In Warc Brand Purpose Readership List

January 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Warc’s annual readership data indicates that a number of brands featured in articles on purpose-driven marketing over the last year. Warc said that Lush’s discussion of its mission and strategy was a particularly popular article, and the company says that it’s important to be both open and honest about where it buys its ingredients, how it runs its business, and the claims it makes. Unilever also featured, with one talking about its initiatives in brand activism, which goes beyond “beautiful narratives”. It also featured in another, in a report from the Guardian Changing Media Summit 2016 on how Unilever and Coca-Cola build brand purpose. [ Image credit: © Panostock
"Best of 2016: Purpose", Warc, January 02, 2017, © Warc
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Some Key Global Consumer Trends Marketers Should Be Monitoring

December 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Advertising Age magazine distilled ten key consumer trends for 2017 from data collected by Euromonitor, including increasing urbanization, greater use of digital pay cards, an aging population, greater interest in health and wellness, and more single people. Fifty-five percent of the world’s population now lives in cities, five points higher than in 2007. The median age is now 30.1 years, up from 27.9 in 2007. About 3.5 million people will go online for the first time each week in 2017. Card payments will continue to grow, and should reach 49.1 percent of all payments by 2021 – they are 44.1 percent now. The health and wellness industry was worth $711 billion in 2016, and is expected to continue to grow in 2017, with increasing demand for meat alternatives and dairy milk substitutes. [ Image credit: © Vimeo Inc. ]
E.J. Schultz, "2017 Global Consumer Trends Marketers Need to Know", Advertising Age, December 29, 2016, © Crain Communications
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Is The Contrary Consumer Simply Frustrated With Marketers?

December 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The job of marketing is being complicated by contradictory consumer behavior. Consumers say they want a slower life but make quick purchase choices, and that health and wellness is a key priority for them, yet sales of products with unhealthy ingredients are still growing. The author wonders if the consumer is simply cynical of the marketers’ messages, and maybe that’s just a part of a broader feeling of distrust of a range of institutions, including government. Promises are made, and then broken. Trends help create the assumptions on which marketers base their approach to reaching the consumer, but those assumptions are increasingly being questioned. They are too general, unsophisticated and often flawed. There have always been “contrary consumers”, but now there is also a growing band of consumers that don’t like to be told what to do and like. [ Image credit: © Phillip Waterman
"The Contrarian Consumer", Adworld, December 22, 2016, © Adworld Ventures Limited
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Sustainability Remained A Key Theme For Unilever In 2016

December 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
If there’s one message that Unilever is pushing at the moment above all others, it’s sustainability, and 2016 provided plenty of evidence, with a raft of corporate social responsibility initiatives and sustainability awards. With another 400 added during the year, it now boasts 600 zero waste to landfill sites, and it announced two major campaigns, one aimed at removing sexist and stereotype-based advertising and one from Dove to promote diversity and realism in marketing. Unilever admits it’s not all about altruism, but a strategic necessity. It claims that its brands that are in line with its sustainable living plan are growing faster. Its public image was, however, damaged as a result of a spat un the UK with Tesco over Brexit-related pricing. Also this year, it announced a new factory in Cuba, opened a new one in Ethiopia, is looking for sites in Colombia, and investing more in Nigeria. But, Unilever was relatively quiet on the acquisition front, although the Dollar Shave Club deal caused quite a stir. [ Image credit: © Nigel Riches
Georgina Caldwell, "2016 in review: Unilever – set on sustainability", Global Cosmetics News, December 19, 2016, © Global Cosmetic Media Limited
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Gillette Launches Digital And Social Media Campaign Aimed At Harry's Razor

December 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gillette shaving razor brand launched “Welcome Back,” a digital and social media marketing campaign aimed directly at online rival Harry's Razor Co. According to Gillette, most men who tried Harry's come back to using Gillette razors; however, Harry's claimed its own data show 81 percent of the 375,000 customers who subscribed to the company have bought more products. After Harry's and Dollar Shave Club launched their razor businesses, Gillette’s share of the U.S. Market dropped more than 10 percentage points, according to Euromonitor.
Sharon Terlep, "P&G’s Gillette Swipes at Harry’s in New Ad Campaign", Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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L’Oréal’s Beauty Squad Is Yet Another Example That Authenticity Pays Off Online

December 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A review of how L’Oréal Paris in the UK leveraged relationships with video bloggers underscores the benefit of a shrewd but straight up approach. A few months ago the company worked with five vloggers that combined have 5.5 million views with the aim of working with Kristina Bazaan, the brand’s global digital influencer, to boost the brand and maintain its position as the ‘go-to digital beauty brand.’ Rather than work with one or two vloggers that have wider reach, working with the five members of the Beauty Squad allows L’Oréal Paris to better reach a range of ages and ethnicities. Also, while each vlogger has a smaller base, they are selected for their knowledge and expertise. L’Oréal hopes that by building long-term relationships and seeking honest and comparative reviews it will manage to convince consumers over the long haul.  [Image credit © Philipp Nemenz]
"Here’s How L’Oreal Is Gaining Competitive Advantage With Its ‘Beauty Squad’ ", Trefis, December 12, 2016, © Insight Guru Inc.
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Mintel Report Highlights Four North American Consumer Trends

December 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Mintel’s new report on North America consumer trends highlights four topics. The first, which the author calls “The Echo Chamber of Secrets”, suggests that the rush to personalization means consumers are only being shown ideas and services they already identify with and brands need more disruption to help reach inside consumers’ “bubbles” to encourage them to extend beyond their comfort zones. “Reality 2.0” reflects the growing demand for novel experiences that enable the consumer to become more immersed in their chosen worlds, through technology like virtual and augmented reality, and live streaming. Mintel says consumers are becoming frustrated with inaction by “the system” and encourages brands to “Be the Change”. The fourth trend, “Life in Sync”, suggests that the strides being made by artificial intelligence are making life smarter and more seamless. [ Image credit: © Eugenio Marongiu ]
Carli Gernot , "Trend Tracker: North America Consumer Trends 2017 (1/2)", Mintel, December 07, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Estee Lauder Selling Direct In London Pop-Up Christmas Store

December 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
As beauty brands seek new ways to get closer to consumers, Estée Lauder has opened a pop-up store, at its head office in central London for the lead up to Christmas. The shop is selling limited edition items from its best-known brands, such Bumble & Bumble, Estée Lauder, Origins and La Mer. The pop-up is also hosting a number of beauty workshops. [ Image credit: © Blend ]
Kim Benjamin , "Estee Lauder opens Christmas pop-up", Event Magazine, December 05, 2016, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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Getting To Know – And Market To – Generation Z

December 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Luxury brands are now trying to figure out how to market to Generation Z, the demographic born since 1995 and chiefly known as “digital natives.” The Z group is the new target market because it has substantial potential buying power and strongly influences the spending of parents and grandparents. They may not be buying luxury products now, but they will soon. Experts say Gen Z is impulsive, ad wary, sensitive to BS and “hates being talked down to.” They’re aware of product options and how to get targeted info. They want to be popular, part of a group. They define their identity by social media “likes” and followers. For marketers, all of this means finding a way to bring “their Internet to life.” [ Audi A3; Image credit: ©  Wikimedia ]
Elizabeth Paton, "Luxury Brands Seek a Way into Generation Z", The New York Times, December 05, 2016, © The New York Times Company
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In LatAm, Direct Sales Struggles In Face Of Multiple Challenges

December 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Reach of direct selling in LatAm, traditionally its strongest market, is falling and now stands at a three-year low. Today, over 62 million households in the region buy from door-to-door reps but this is down from a high of about 64 million. Its popularity has been hit by the rise of convenience stores but especially drugstores that are proving the preferred channel for many consumers, notably 70% in Peru and 55% in Columbia. Investment in and reinvention of drugstores is capturing consumers – they can test and compare products in the store, pay by more options and get advice from instore advisors. Online is also taking share with consumers attracted by its range of products, price and convenience. Mary Kay is one player that is managing to buck the trend. Its investments to modernize, better reward reps and an online support channel have enabled it to grow penetration over 80% in the last three years. [Image Credit © Mauricio Sato Photography ]
Cecilia Alva, "LatAms' favorite channel faces new challenges", Kantar Worldpanel, December 05, 2016, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Ulta Target Millennials With AR App, Seeking To Make Buying Fun And Interactive

December 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online sales for Ulta Beauty continue to grow strongly –Q3 online sales rose 59.3% from $46.2 million to $73.6 million, and now comprise 6.5% of total sales, up from 5.0% last year.  Some two-thirds of traffic is coming via mobile and the company is seeking to play to this with the launch of Glam Lab, an iOS and Android app that lets shoppers virtually try out products before buying them. Users upload a selfie or choose a model with a similar complexion then choose the products and shades to test.  “It’s a great thing for millennials who wanted to have a more interactive experience,” said CEO Mary Dillon.  Hints of the company’s intent came clear in October when it filed a trademark for Glam Lab that would be a multi-platform application that would include augmented reality.  [ Image Credit © Ulta Beauty ]
 
 

 
Matt Lindner, "Ulta Goes Glam on Mobile", Internet Retailer, December 02, 2016, © Vertical Web Media
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