Saks (SKS), Bebe, Winn Dixie, Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), and Blockbuster are among larger retailers that have announced store closings. DailyFinance 8/20/10
A study published in the May issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, says that online Advergames, which are a blend of interactive animation, video content and advertising, should be more closely regulated because they expose children for extended periods of time to online messages that primarily promote corporate branding and products. University of California - Davis - Health System (2010, June 4). Online games new marketing tool for unhealthy foods. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 4, 2010
“Reverse graffiti,” the practice of “washing” corporate logos onto dirty sidewalks using stencils and high-pressure water sprayers, is increasingly being utilized by “environmentally conscious marketing agencies. NYTimes.com 6/3/2010
Coupons appeal to affluent shoppers too. A Harris Interactive survey conducted for Coupons.com found that 61% of adults with annual household incomes in excess of $100,000 had redeemed a coupon in the preceding six months; 39% had redeemed a printable online coupon in that time. PromoMagazine.com 6/2/10
Three of Tiger Woods’ sponsors, Nike (NKE), Gatorade and Gillette, have expressed their support in the aftermath of his automobile accident and rumored affair. CNN 11/30/09
The founder and former president and CEO of Jones Soda has founded BoxB, a company that will create nonalcoholic private label beverages for distributors. Owning their own brand eliminates the risk associated with building non-owned brands and then losing the distribution when they become a hit. Brandweek 11/28/09
With Christmas less than five weeks away, Borders (BGP) and Barnes & Noble (BKS) are concerned that the weak economy will depress sales, despite best sellers from Dan Brown, Stephen King and Sarah Palin. wsj.com 11/25/09 May require subscription.
Dress Barn (DBRN) has completed its merger of Tween Brands, owner of the Justice brand that caters to children from the ages of 7 to 14. It will operate as a subsidiary of Dress Barn. Chainstoreage.com 11/25/09
AOL is adopting a new brand identity next month when it spins off from Time Warner (TWX). The triangle is gone, and the uppercase “AOL” is now upper & lower case, punctuated with a period: “Aol.” NYTimes.com 11/22/09 via Media Bistro
Tide has introduced “Stain Brain,” an iPhone app that offers simple solutions on the spot and allows people to share cleaning tips. The move coincided with the launch of Tide’s Stain Release in-wash booster, designed to be added into the regular laundry load to remove a host of stubborn stains. CMDGlobal.com
The recession has boosted private label sales as evidenced by the 5.3% rise in private label goods during the 52 weeks ended Oct. 3 says the Nielsen Company. Branded packaged goods dropped 2.3%. Hardest hit: Baby food (22.3%), frozen pizza/snacks (20.4%) and salad dressings/mayo/toppings (18%). Brandweek 11/28/09
“Videogame sales—the bright spot in last year's dismal end-of-year shopping quarter—are showing signs of weakness, foreshadowing a tough holiday. Sales of some of the most anticipated titles have already disappointed and, others won't be on store shelves in time.” Wsj.com 11/27/09 Requires subscription.
77% of American Kids say Humor is the number one thing they want to see in advertising; 55% say music. MRI American Kids 09
A new study by the Marketing to Moms Coalition, a not-for-profit industry group, reveals that mothers are sacrificing purchases for their own use in order to ensure their families get what they need. For example, seventy-two percent of survey respondents say they gave up on the quality of new clothes they buy, while 51% cut back on health and beauty product quality. Yet the majority of mothers say they are not scrimping on the quality of their children's' food, medical needs and clothing.
The annual State of the American Mom Report is a nationally representative sample of 1,225 moms with kids under 18 years old living in the home. It includes both English-speaking mothers and Spanish-speaking mothers in the U.S. Findings were analyzed by the research firm Insight to Action, and include valuable information for marketers such as:
- An overwhelming majority of moms (78%) have cut back on household spending this year.
- Moms are sacrificing quality for value in everyday expenditures
- 61% of moms are focused more on the environment this year
- More than half of all moms are making special trips to retailers that offer the best price
- Majority of moms (58%) are making more home-cooked meals
- 77% are using more leftovers
- 39% are on Facebook, while 11% are on Twitter
- Majority of moms plan to spend more than $600 on holiday gifts this year
The study was conducted in the second quarter of this year, and covers a range of insights and information, including mothers' media habits (both traditional and online); their computer usage; their consumption habits and priorities; their attitudes toward shopping and marketing; and the influence of their children in product purchases.
The recession has caused more U.S. consumers continue to turn to cheaper fare, such as fast food, canned, and frozen processed foods are higher in fat and calories and are made with refined grains and sugars. The result: obesity, diabetes and other illnesses are increasing. Wall Street Journal 11/1/09
Consumers say they would consider buying secondhand items; during the last 12 months, 29% said they have been buying more secondhand goods and fewer new items. 15% said they only started buying secondhand goods within the last year. Brandweek 10/31/09
The retail industry will lose an estimated $2.7 billion in return fraud this holiday season and an estimated $9.6 billion this year according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Return Fraud Survey. Chain Store Age 10/30/09
Deloitte’s 24th Annual Holiday Survey of retail spending and trends reports that two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers are planning to shop differently due to concerns about the economy. Despite expectations for economic improvement, consumers continue to reduce their spending on gifts. The average number of gifts people plan to purchase declined to 18.2 from 21.5 last year and 23.1 in 2007. The amount consumers plan to spend on gifts is down as well, to $452 compared with $532 in 2008, and $569 in 2007. Deloitte 10/28/2009
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $682.74 on holiday-related shopping, a 3.2 percent drop from last year’s $705.01. Two-thirds of Americans (65.3%) say the economy will affect their holiday plans this year, with the majority of these consumers saying they’re adjusting by simply spending less (84.2%). National Retail Federation 10/20/09
When drug companies are cited by the FDA for deceptive marketing, they lose 1% of market value on average, according to new research by Diana C. Robertson of Wharton and two colleagues. Harvard Business Publishing 10/22/09
Consumers are using the internet to find the best deals at retail outlets, toy stores and more “So what happens online, doesn’t always stay online in the new economy where deal hunting is driving buzz.” Nielsen Wire 10/23/09
Buzz about Christmas and holiday shopping on social media sites is down 3% year-over-year. This activity is in line with other research at Nielsen relative to retail expectations and consumers’ personal finances that indicate modest spending from a cautious consumer base. Nielsen Wire 10/23/09
“Teen apparel chain Abercrombie & Fitch has suffered after refusing to cut prices, yet it resists big discounts. The retailer hopes to win back customers by emphasizing edgier fashions.” LATimes 8/15/09
Target, which had outsourced much of its e-commerce technology and fulfillment services to Seattle-based Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), will launch and manage its own Target.com platform beginning with the holiday season in 2011. Atlanta Business Chronicle 8/7/09
Nissan Motor Co.'s environmentally friendly electric automobile, the Leaf, will go on sale in Japan, the U.S. and Europe next year. Designed to avoid a “stereotypical futuristic design,” the blue hatchback has a sporty design and a recharging opening in the front. Huffingtonpost.com 8/3/09
Apple reportedly offered a refund to the family of a child whose iPod music player exploded after being dropped, only if they would sign an agreement that threatened legal action if they ever disclosed what had happened. The Times 8/3/09
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Sears (SHLD), and Hyundai are among a growing number of brands offering ‘insurance’ if consumers don’t achieve a certain level of cost savings as a result of purchase, or lose their jobs. Brandweek 7/18/09
Two hot-selling new beverages, Joose and Four Loko, have come under scrutiny by state attorneys general concerned that the drinks' alcohol-and-caffeine content is a dangerous mix and may be designed to appeal to underage drinkers. Wall Street Journal 7/17/2009
Holdings announced Friday the final results of its bankruptcy sale process. Under the terms of the deal, Golden Gate Capital will maintain a substantial majority of Eddie Bauer's stores and employees in a newly formed going concern company. Chain Store Age 7/17/09
“Who needs a second pair of Crocs (CROX) in a recession, particularly when the first pair is holding up just fine?” The future of Crocs is in doubt as the manufacturer struggles with millions of dollars of debt and a surplus inventory of shoes. Washington Post 7/16/09
“Blockbuster Inc. (BBI) has moved deeper into consumer electronic sales by partnering with portable media manufacturer Archos to sell the Archos 10 netbook, a mini-laptop that will allow users to conveniently play movies and other entertainment.” Atlanta Business Chronicle 7/17/09
Wal-Mart (WMT) is asking its suppliers to provide environmental information on all products carried in its stores. The company will use that information to label each item with an eco rating, designed to measure its environmental friendliness. CNET 7/16/09
Eric Tsai, of the Design Damage blog, invited me to participate in his “Interview with an Expert Series.” We discussed how the current economic environment is challenging branding and marketing efforts, what brand strategists and marketers can do to strengthen their personal brands, and why social media should be a part of a company’s marketing efforts. Check it out.
The experience reminded me of one of the reasons that I enjoy blogging---connecting with, learning from, and getting to know other bloggers and readers. While it was fun (and flattering) to be interviewed, what I enjoyed most was the conversation with Eric. He’s pretty passionate about strategy and design and I learned a lot from him regarding ‘social branding.’ So, thanks to Eric for reaching out, and note to self to do more reaching out of my own.