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Video: Love It or Hate It? Miracle Whip Wants to Know

on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 16:54

Originally posted February 2011

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Brand News: British Airways, Nokia, Microsoft

on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 16:53

Originally posted February 2011

A British Airways passenger who was afflicted with bed bugs during an overseas flight, “was so furious about the way staff dealt with her complaint that she set up a website with photo proof of her experience.” Daily Mail 2/25/11
 
Nokia’s decision to utilize Microsoft’s Windows Phone as their primary platform will help Microsoft to achieve scale and provide Nokia with differentiation in the competitive mobile phone market. But most new phones won’t hit the market until 2012. Forrester Blogs 2/14/11. Currently the dominant mobile platforms are iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
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How Brand Marketers Can Redesign Product Packaging and Labeling Without Alienating Customers

on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 16:52

Originally posted February 2011

We all know that packaging does more than serve as the container for your product, and that labels do more than tell consumers what’s inside. They’re both key manifestations of your brand. So, why do some marketers shoot themselves in the foot when it’s time for a packaging redo?

Here’s an example. My favorite brand of shampoo recently changed its packaging and labeling from the bright color/white lettering I could easily spot on the retailer’s shelf. Because I believed my favorite brand was no longer available I reluctantly purchased a competitor’s brand. A few weeks later I found that my product had been there all along, disguised in reshaped, resized and redesigned packaging with a new font that made it hard to see and read the product name. Worse, the debut of the smaller packaging was accompanied by a hefty price increase.
 
Truthfully, it was time for the brand to make a change. The once trendy packaging looked dated and stodgy. As for the price increase – manufacturers are in business to make a profit and sometimes you have to increase prices. The problem was that the packaging strategy and rollout seemed disconnected to the brand, and the consumer’s potential reaction completely overlooked or ignored.
 
So, how do you ensure your packaging strategy achieves business objectives without alienating customers?
 
Start with your brand positioning strategy. Once established, your brand positioning strategy shouldn’t change radically. But it is important to make course corrections from time to time as your market evolves, your product matures, and competitors innovate. Regularly revisit the core components of your brand positioning strategy to ensure your brand maintains relevance in the marketplace. A recent example: PepsiCo Inc. abandoned the 59-ounce cardboard cartons for their Tropicana Pure Premium juices and replaced them with clear plastic carafes when research showed that “consumers like to see the juice.”
 
With a solid brand strategy in place, plan how your packaging can reinforce the brand to your core target audience. Ensure the brand strategy is communicated to the design team. Keep an open mind and evaluate concepts based on the brand strategy rather than personal preferences. Test concepts with your target audience, but use feedback as a guide, not a dictate. No component of your packaging is inconsequential – make sure that all elements, including the label, work together to sell the brand and are easily distinguished from competitors.
 
These days, consumers are more focused on value than ever. If you need to change sizing, raise prices, etc., remind customers why your brand is the best choice for them. Leverage your packaging strategy to create opportunities to reinforce the brand’s value proposition.
 
Once launched, communicate new packaging to retailers as well as customers. Use display materials and product merchandising to make it easy for customers to find your product. Utilize advertising (traditional and online) social media, email/direct mail materials, press announcements, etc. to tell loyal customers what to expect and how to find products with the redesigned packaging. Consider product promotions to bridge price increases to keep customers from straying to the competition.
 
Packaging redesigns are important components of an effective brand strategy. Sticking to the above guidelines will maximize your chances of attracting new customers without confusing or losing loyal ones.
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Technology Adoption in the US: “A Snapshot of Which Generation Owns What Gadget

on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 16:49

Originally posted February 2011

This Pew Internet study provides device adoption, from cellphones to iPads, among US adults aged 18+:

  • Almost half of all adults own an mp3 player like an iPod, but 74% of Millennials (ages 18-34), own an mp3 player, versus 56% of Gen X (ages 35-46).
  • Tablet computers, such as the iPad, are most popular with American adults age 65 and younger. 4% of all adults own this device.

For more study findings visit Pew Internet American Life Project 2/3/2011

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Beer for Blood - Red Cross 'MisTweet' Boosts Blood Donations

on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 16:46

Originally posted February 2011


The calm response by the Red Cross to an employee's 'mistweet', and an enterprising brewery marketer, turned a potential public relations disaster into a successful blood drive. CNN Money 2/17/11

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Why Marketers Shouldn't Overlook Older Consumers

on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 16:45

Originally posted February 2011
"Today’s older consumers are active, connected and big spenders. Developing targeted programs designed around their varied needs and desires will prove beneficial for the savvy marketers that tap into these lucrative households."Nielsen Wire 2/14/11

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Trends & Research News: Social Media Users More Demanding, Mobile Improves Retail Sales, Shopping Trips Increase

on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 16:44

Originally posted January 2011

Social Media Users More Demanding
Research from Lightspeed Research and the IAB reveals that consumers have much higher expectations of social media customer services compared to more traditional channels; a quarter of people who complain about brands through Twitter or Facebook expect a response within the hour, and around 6 percent within 10 minutes. DMA 1/18/11

Mobile Improves Shopper Experience & Sales
55% of retail associates said that 2010 holiday shoppers, driven by increasing availability of online shopping tools and mobile phone applications, were better connected to consumer information than in-store associates, according to a survey by Motorola Solutions.
 
The survey says that when surveyed shoppers received guidance from a retail associate armed with a handheld mobile computer, over four in 10 (43%) reported the device improved their shopping experience. Chain Store Age 1/17/11
 
U.S. Consumers Making More Frequent Shopping Trips But Spending Less
Continuing economic conditions, and a need to preserve cash means consumers are making more frequent shopping trips but spending less. In response, food and CPG companies are making smaller packages and changing displays. NielsenWire 1/13/11
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Brand News: Apple, Justin Bieber, Starbucks, Borders, Walt Disney, Safeway, Nielsen, Playboy

on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 16:42

Originally posted January 2011

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking leave of absence from the company for the second time in two years, because of a medical condition. CNN 1/17/11

Love Justin Bieber? Chances are you’ll love these brands endorsed by the Bieber: JustBeats headphones & ear buds, Proactive acne cream, One Less Lonely Girl nail polish, My World scented dog tags and wristbands, and coming soon, Justin Bieber Snack Pack Pudding. Brandweek 1/16/11
 
Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) will add the Trenta, a 31 oz. size, to their cold beverage line-up in all U.S. coffee shops by May 3. Reuters 1/16/11 via HuffingtonPost.
Borders Group Inc. reportedly hopes $500 million in fresh capital can provide a bridge for the company over the next six to 12 months while it rearranges its business, enabling them to avoid bankruptcy. WSJ.com 1/15/11
 
Walt Disney Co will add at least 25 new and remodeled locations in North America and Europe in 2011 in the new, interactive format that first premiered in New York. The company plans to convert all 200 North American stores, 40+ locations in Japan and more than 100 outlets in Europe to the new format as part of a 5-year plan. Reuters 1/11/11
 
Safeway has signed Olympic figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi as a spokesperson for its “Lunchbox Winners” produce program. This program offers parents ideas for school lunches and snacks and supports the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters program. PromoMagazine 1/11/11
 
Nielsen HoldingsBV, which tracks consumer behavior ranging from what people watch on television to what they buy in stores, is aiming to raise as much as $1.7 billion in an initial public offering of common stock. The company will be listed under the symbol NLSN on the New York Stock Exchange. WSJ.com 1/10/11
 
Playboy Enterprises entered a definitive agreement with founder Hugh Hefner to take the company private. Heftner said the deal would give Icon Acquisition Holdings, a limited partnership Hefner controls, “the resources and flexibility to return Playboy to its unique position and to further expand our business around the world.” Adweek 1/10/11
 
Starbucks has dropped its name and "coffee" from its logo – the green and white female siren symbol is all that remains. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says "We've allowed (the siren) to come out of the circle in a way that I think gives us the freedom and flexibility to think beyond coffee. Namedevelopment.com 1/6/11
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Caribou Coffee Promo Makes Bus Shelters Into Ovens

on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 16:41

Originally posted January 2011

A Minneapolis agency, Colle+McVoy, is introducing Caribou Coffee's new hot breakfast sandwiches by making bus shelters look like ovens—with actual heat coming from the coils. Clever. AdFreak 1/13/11
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Eleven Consumer Trends to Watch in 2011

on Sat, 06/08/2013 - 16:39

Originally posted January 2011


Trendwatching.com lists 11 key consumer trends to watch in 2011, including acts of kindness from brands. This act of kindness from Southwest Airlines could be one example. NYTimes.com 12/10

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