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Unilever Eyes Bigger Budget For Digital Shopper Marketing

March 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever said it plans to allocate more of the company's shopper marketing budget to digital display, after seeing the results of a research project implemented in partnership with Aimia, Sainsbury's, Nielsen, i2c, and the IAB. Focused on digital display advertising for five of Unilever's brands, including Persil, Magnum, and Maille, the study revealed an average ROI of ₤1.47 for every ₤1 spent. Although further rounds of the project are expected to be conducted, results of the first round are already prompting the company to change its shopper marketing strategy in 2017, Unilever Homecare shopper marketing manager Stuart Jeffrey said.
Sarah Vizard , "Unilever to increase spend on digital shopper marketing after proving display ROI", Marketing Week, March 16, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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McDonald’s Enters The World Of Smartphone Food Ordering

March 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Hoping to win back the drive-in customers it lost over the past four years, McDonald’s is at last testing a mobile ordering app it is satisfied with. The company is showing off the technology in Chicago where a new high tech demo restaurant was built with a redesigned kitchen that speeds order flow. McDonald’s hopes to avoid the disasters Starbucks encountered when its app generated a flood of orders that overwhelmed stores and drove away impatient walk-in customers. The company says order automation will cut transaction times, reduce errors, and free up workers to deliver food to tables or to cars parked in mobile order spots.[ Image credit: © McDonald's Corp. ]
"McDonald’s Finally Has Mobile Ordering", Fortune, March 15, 2017, © Time Inc.
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Maison Lancome Enlists Fashion Designer Le-Tan To Launch Limited Edition Make-Up Collection

March 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Maison Lancome said it has partnered with fashion designer Olympia Le-Tan to launch a limited edition line of make-up products. Marking the brand's latest partnership with a fashion designer, the limited edition range will highlight Le-Tan's vision for women. Described as retro but not nostalgic, Le-Tan's fashion design highlights a “free, sexy, and original femininity,” the company said.
"Olympia Le-Tan is Maison Lancôme's Guest of Honor", PR Newswire, March 13, 2017, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Revlon Revamps Marketing Initiatives In Push To $5 Billion In Sales

March 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Revlon is gearing up marketing initiatives to revive its existing brand portfolio as part of its plan to become a $5 billion business in five years. Following its acquisition of Elizabeth Arden for $800 million last year, annual sales are about $3 billion. Revlon's CEO Fabian Garcia emphasizes that it does not intend any further acquisitions and plans to grow organically. Marketing is now more focused on younger clientele and gives emphasis to social media presence and digital marketing. Some of Revlon's recent marketing initiatives include signing social media beauty influencers and celebrities like Gwen Stefani, collaboration with Amazon for the launch of The Love Project that targets socially conscious Millennials and hiring Allure magazine editor in chief Linda Wells as its Creative Officer. [Image credit © Revlon]
Trefis Team, "Here's how Revlon is Gearing Up its Marketing Initiatives for the Revival of its Brands", NASDAQ, March 09, 2017, © NASDAQ, Inc.
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Soccer Star Griezman Is Named Latest Head & Shoulders Ambassador

March 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Shampoo brand Head & Shoulders announced during the Paris Fashion Week that their newest ambassador is Atlético Madrid and France striker Antoine Griezmann. The brand has a track record of working with soccer talent in its promotions.  Griezman will help launch the new Head & Shoulders Men Ultra series, featuring six new variants with high performance boosting ‘Zinc Technology.’ Griezmann joins other soccer superstars Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich & Germany), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy) and Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich & Poland) as it continues to reach out to male consumers. [Image credit © Head & Shoulders, P&G]
"Head & Shoulders Names Antoine Griezmann as Newest Ambassador", Fashion Insider, March 09, 2017, © Fashion Insider
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Birchbox Tries Offering Customers Personalized Subscription Boxes

March 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Birchbox is testing a beauty-subscription service called Birchbox Select Beta. Priced at $15 a month, the program offers customers the option to subscribe to boxes customized based on their beauty needs. Birchbox's launch of the service follows the company's announcement of its plan to open a retail store in Paris.
Allison Collins, "Birchbox Beta Tests More Customized Boxes", Women’s Wear Daily, March 07, 2017, © Penske Media Corporation
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L'Oreal Paris Launches Campaign Promoting New Voluminous Original Mascara

March 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oreal Paris launched a marketing campaign highlighting the company's Voluminous Original Mascara. Dubbed “The Original,” the campaign features several brand ambassadors, including actresses Diane Keaton and Julianne Moore, fashion models Barbara Palvin and Soo Joo Park, and transgender model and rights activist Hari Nef. According to the brand, the personalities featured in the campaign have their respective takes on being original, “breaking rules and staying true to themselves.”
"L'Oréal Paris Debuts New Voluminous Mascara Campaign: The Original", PR Newswire, March 07, 2017, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Persil Supports UK Launch Of Disney's Beauty And The Beast Movie

March 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever UK's laundry detergent brand Persil partnered with Disney to help promote the movie Beauty and the Beast which will be shown on local cinemas starting on March 17, 2017. As part of the co-promotion deal, Persil will offer consumers a Disney Store voucher worth ₤5 with every purchase of 22-wash and 38-wash Persil Capsules. With a budget of ₤2 million, the campaign will include out-of-home ads and POS materials.
"Persil partners with Disney for on-pack promotion", Talking Retail, March 07, 2017, © TalkingRetail.com. Metropolis Business Publishing
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Aldi To Use Alibaba Online Platform To Market German Brands In China

March 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Germany’s fast-growing discount grocery chain Aldi hopes to interest Chinese consumers in German food and beverage brands, especially wine, snacks and breakfast foods. With that goal in mind, the company will "soft launch" an online presence on Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform, followed by a full launch event in Shanghai on April 25. The Chinese venture is being managed by Aldi South, owner of Aldi U.S. and manager of the British chain. An Alibaba manager said the Chinese middle-class is increasingly interested in German products.
Victoria Bryan, "German discounter Aldi to start online sales in China", Reuters, March 03, 2017, © Thomson Reuters
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AXE Hair Enlists 30 Male Influencers to Encourage Men To Style Every Day

March 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
According to AXE, men are more interested than ever in hair but 65 percent never style or do so only on special occasions. While men say they feel more confident when they do style, men perceive styling as too complicated and don’t want to be judged for “trying too hard.”  Seeing an opportunity, the brand enlisted 30 top male influencers from a range of fields – sports, music, epicurean, gaming, technology, and comedy – to talk about why and how they style.  The contributors also emphasize why styling is important to their success. The ‘Instagroom’ videos will support a digital content hub featuring product recommendations, styling tips, video content and personalized styling.  [Image credit © Unilever]
"AXE® Hair Enlists 30 Top Influencers to Get Guys Styling Every Day", PRNewswire , March 02, 2017, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Amazon Anticipates Permission From India To Launch Produce Delivery Venture

March 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon Fresh, a growing competitor of supermarkets in the U.S., U.K., and Europe, is waiting for foreign direct investment approval from the Indian government before launching a grocery delivery operation there. The company expects to be delivering produce, lentils, milk, and other staples sourced from local farmers. Amazon already sells fresh produce and dairy products through its Amazon Now venture in four Indian cities, though the food is sourced from local supermarkets.[ Image credit: © SounderBruce ]
Writankar Mukherjee, "Amazon Awaits FDI Approval to Deliver Groceries at Doorstep ", Economic Times, March 01, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Campbell Soup Says Its Four Platforms Will Ensure Future Growth

March 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison told consumer industry analysts recently that she and her company understand that the “future food world” will be complex and challenging, with unpredictable and unrelenting change. There will be both “opportunities and disruptions” caused by advancements in food, health and wellness, and technology. With that in mind, the company has established four platforms for growth: further developing its omnichannel strategy, especially e-commerce; focusing on affordable, high-quality, and even functional snacks; taking advantage of the future biometrics-based personalization of foods; and applying the concept of “limitless local” that embraces smaller and more regional farming and food production models. [ Denise Morrison, iImage credit: © Campbell Soup Company ]
Lynne Cooke, "Campbell Soup Outlines Four Platforms to Drive Growth", CPG Matters, March 01, 2017, © CPG Matters
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It’s Really Not More Expensive To Eat Healthful Foods

March 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Are poor diets and obesity the direct result of the unaffordability of healthful food? According to one analyst, the answer is no, though many people believe it. One reason for that is that some studies have looked at food prices on a price-per-calorie basis, which makes many high-calorie foods seem inexpensive. For example, a low-calorie yogurt would appear more expensive than an identical high-calorie yogurt even though their retail prices are the same. Christopher Snowdon says his report compares directly the prices of healthy and less healthy food substitutes and also compares them by “edible weight.” He found almost no difference between the price of regular food products and their healthier substitutes. Analyzing by edible weight, healthier supermarket food tends to be cheaper than less healthy food. [ Image credit: © Peg93, Wikimedia  ]
Christopher Snowdon, "Cheap As Chips", Report, The Institute of Economic Affairs, March 01, 2017, © The Institute of Economic Affairs
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Olay Releases New Version Of Skincare App To Help Consumers Navigate Options

February 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble’s Olay is rolling out a new version of its mobile app that features expanded artificial intelligence capability. The previous Olay Skin Advisor app relied on a selfie, “smart skin analysis” and personalized product recommendations. The latest release uses “pixel-tagging capabilities” that compares the selfie with a databank of hundreds of thousands of photographs of women to help women diagnose their “most troublesome skin problems.” Olay were motivated by research that showed up to 33 percent of women are “overwhelmed” by the choice of available products. Since the app was launched last year it has had 1 million “visits.” Other brands, such as Benefit, with its Brow Genie, and Cover Girl, are using AI in their apps to engage consumers digitally, while others push into physical stores – Make Up For Ever, for example, opened in February a global flagship store in New York that offers Go Pro Makeup small tutorials led by professionals, covering makeup application techniques.  [Image credit © P&G]
Sarah Mahoney, "As Beauty Gets More Digital, Olay Expands AI", MediaPost, February 28, 2017, © MediaPost
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Walmart Aims To Close Pricing Gap With Aldi, Other Discount Retailers

February 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is seeking to narrow a pricing gap with discount retailer Aldi, as well as with other U.S.-based retailers, such as Kroger.  According to reports, Walmart launched a price-comparison test in at least 1,200 of its store locations in the country. Also, the retailer is requiring its packaged goods suppliers to lower their product costs. [ Image credit: © Jared C. Benedict, Wikimedia Commons ]
Nandita Bose, "Exclusive: Wal-Mart launches new front in U.S. price war, targets Aldi in grocery aisle", Reuters, February 27, 2017, © Thomson Reuters
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Revlon Partners With Amazon To Launch Marketing Campaign

February 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty brand Revlon Inc. has partnered with online retailer Amazon to launch “the Love Project” marketing campaign. As part of the partnership deal, Amazon will put the Revlon brand on 10 million shipping boxes. To launch the campaign, the company introduced on February 23, 2017, a music video highlighting different forms of love.
Anthony Noto, "Revlon Teams Up with Amazon on Heels of 'Love Project'", New York Business Journal, February 27, 2017, © American City Business Journals
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Ariel Partners With Fashion Designer Giles Deacon To Launch Campaign

February 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble's Ariel detergent brand partnered with UK fashion designer Giles Deacon to launch a marketing campaign. Covering cinema and TV screens, the campaign is aimed at presenting a new concept of “clean” and to help consumers deal with “first-wash anxiety.” According to the company, the campaign is a follow-up to the brand's setting up of a pop-up shop in London selling an exclusive fashion collection by the designer.
"Ariel partners with Giles Deacon in new campaign", Talking Retail, February 24, 2017, © TalkingRetail.com
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Vitamin Start-Ups Pull Industry Into The 21st Century

February 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Half of all Americans take a daily vitamin or supplement. But, despite that, the vitamin industry has been slow to adapt to evolving consumer trends. Now, thanks to a blend of lifestyle branding, wellness influence, and retail convenience, the vitamin industry is advancing into the 21st century with numerous changes. Start-up Care/of, for example, last year launched customizable vitamin packs that offer "honest guidance and better ingredients." Users are quizzed about their age and lifestyle, then sign up for a $30/month subscription to a custom vitamin blend. The Ritual brand also offers vitamin blends by subscription, targeting Millennial women. The bright branding is vastly different from traditional supplements. Ritual's products contain few ingredients, and their sources are well-documented.  [ Image credit: © Ritual ]
"Vitamins Get a Makeover", Report, J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, February 23, 2017, © J. Walter Thompson Intelligence
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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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Food Deliverer Thistle Launches Frozen Meal Kits For Infants, Toddlers

February 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food delivery startup Thistle is launching meal kits for busy parents who want to make nutritious baby foods at home. The founders say available baby and toddler foods are not particularly nutritious, and even the healthier options are over-processed, pureed, watery, and don’t taste like real fruits or veggies. The vacuum-sealed, flash-frozen Thistle meal kits are steamed, pureed and spiced at home. The company specializes in organic, gluten-free plant-based ingredients, but also offers omnivore meals. The main competition is baby foods sold in boxes, pouches, and jars by grocery stores. But a few e-commerce companies deliver kid-friendly meals or meal kits to the home. Though 14 percent of consumers are buying food online (Nielsen), it remains to be seen what portion of the $30 billion baby foods and formula market will shift to e-commerce models.
Lora Kolodny, "Thistle Launches Meal Kits to Make Nutritious Baby Food at Home", Tech Crunch, February 23, 2017, © AOL Inc.
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Canadian Grocery Delivery Service Offers New Ben & Jerry’s Treats Daily

February 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is using a Canadian grocery delivery service to introduce two dairy-free Ben & Jerry’s frozen dessert flavors: P.B. & Cookies and Coffee Caramel Fudge. Toronto-based Urbery began offering the new flavors before their official store release late last month. A pint of the non-dairy dessert sells for $9.99, and regular flavors sell for $8.99. Urbery’s $4.99 delivery fee is waived if customers order three or more pints. The desserts are purchased on a dedicated website that offers daily delivery between 5 and 10 p.m. in downtown Toronto within 30-45 minutes. [ Image credit: © Ben & Jerry's ]
Chris Powell, "Ice Cream, On-Demand", Canadian Grocer, February 21, 2017, © EnsembleIQ
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Supermarket Bakeries Ride The Crest Of The Fresh Breakfast Trend

February 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In-store bakeries in supermarkets have one key advantage over other food channels like c-stores and quick service restaurants: their products are baked fresh each morning. Freshness is what attracts foodies and others looking for a unique breakfast experience. Norwalk, Conn.-based Stew Leonard’s bakers, for example, turn on the ovens at its five stores at 3 a.m. every day to make French butter croissants, apple cider doughnuts, and hand-shaped bagels that are boiled and hearth-baked. Currently trendy is anything mini-sized, including mini-croissants and mini-muffins, but also higher grain products like bran muffins and trail mix muffins. In-store breakfast bakery revenue, including sales of bagels, muffins, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and coffee cake, were up 2.8 percent during the 52 weeks ending December 31, 2016, according to Nielsen.
Julie Gallagher, "In-Store Bakeries Compete for Morning Share", Supermarket News, February 21, 2017, © Penton
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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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Fragrance Brands Are Recruiting Influencers For Digital Ad Campaigns

February 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Some fragrance brands are expanding their partnerships with social media influencers, including YouTube vloggers. For example, Coty invited influencers to the launch event of Marc Jacobs' Divine Decadent scent. Brands are moving away from their previous business model of launching campaigns featuring celebrities. [ Divine Decadent perfume; image credit: © Sephora ]
Homa Zaryouni, "Fragrance Brands Discover Influencers", L2 Daily, February 17, 2017, © L2 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.
"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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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.
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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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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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.
Leia Taing, "Fibre One Launches its First TV Advertising Campaign", The Food & Drink Innovation, January 10, 2017, © Food & Drink Innovation
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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.
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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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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