In the mid 2000’s, the health and wellness market was growing quickly but still in its fitful youth. The market growth was increasing steadily, but its consistent success came with its own challenges. Back then, the big question was what’s next? Despite its pace of growth, the industry was a fraction of what it is today. Now, natural and organic products are about as mainstream as it gets, and it is a market in perpetual growth. There are remarkable parallels between the natural market back then and the fashion industry right now. Before you scoff, consider this. It wasn’t that long ago that organic and natural foods market had yet to hit mainstream just like eco-fashion has yet to hit the collective conscious. Environmentally aware consumers are no longer a fringe market. They are on the rise and impacting the marketplace with rapid fire, but the industry as a whole has yet to wake to this. Just ask H&M CEO, Karl-Johan Persson, who recently bemoaned consumer shaming of fast-fashion brands. The natural and organic market had its arrogance too, but ignoring the growing consumer consciousness change won’t make sustainable fashion go away. The fashion industry is either going to listen to the customer and embrace sustainable fashion going mainstream or risk losing its vogue. Here are the top lessons the fashion industry can learn from the health and wellness market.
Let’s be honest, Facebook has a consumer trust issue. Too bad Mark Zuckerberg and others within Facebook don’t seem aware of the public’s perceptions. Facebook recently announced that it will not be fact-checking political ads. They positioned this decision as allowing consumers to decipherer what is real and what is faux. Mind you, they do police and prohibit other ads such as digestible CBD products, but false political ads are clearly more lucrative. Despite Mr. Zuckerberg stating otherwise, we know that according to Facebook’s own claims 126 million Americans may have been exposed to Russia propaganda ads in the 2016 elections. The number alone ensures that the ad revenue off of these ads wasn’t chump change. No wonder, Facebook is happy to cash-in once again in the 2020 elections.
While the world watched a tough, passionate 16-year-old from Sweden take on the very real and pressing issue of climate change, I kept thinking about the impact to brands. After all, an estimated 7.5 million people across the world participated in the climate strike, and many others supported virtually. The end result is that whether brands like it or not, eco-consciousness is now firmly on consumers’ minds and their awareness is sure to increase as the effects of climate change continue to be felt. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity to brands that wish to address their customers’ increasing eco-mindfulness, but have yet to do so or don’t know where to begin. The good news is that there is much to be gained by embracing this growing environmental awareness with brands positioning themselves as purpose-driven. There are three important lessons that brands can learn from Greta Thunberg.
Let me start by saying that I’m not a flavor expert, food engineer or coffee pundit. I am, however, a coffee lover and brand expert. So, when asked about my thoughts on whether the pumpkin spice latte and tea craze is waning, I had to give it some serious thought. After all, one can’t argue that pumpkin spice drinks haven’t been a smashing success. When first introduced, it was the perfect seasonal drink, bringing all the smells, images and experiences of fall to consumers’ palates. This alone requires props. Beyond that, there are still many pumpkin spice fans out there, but as with all things brand-related, staying fresh is the name of the game. That is, perhaps, the biggest hurdle for pumpkin spice’s staying power. It is beginning to feel tired and over-used. As such, it is time for coffee and tea companies to step up and launch exciting, new flavors that offer pioneering tastes and experiences to today’s customer.
Recently, I was on the phone with a prospective client. We were discussing our firm’s approach to the market which focuses on valuing the customer and creating a personal connection with them. As I continued to rattle on, I was interrupted by a question, “what does creating a personal connection have to do with a B2B customer?” I have to admit that the questions stopped me in my tracks. While my mind went to “because your customer is a human being and wants to be treated as a unique individual” regardless if they work for a B2C or B2B business, I realized that the question was sincere. It struck me then that in some industries, there is a perception that the goal should be to preserve a business as usual stance. The logic goes something like this: You have a product or service that other businesses need, you send them the sales sheet on all the benefits, and they make a decision based on those said benefits. The truth is that marketing has evolved – and, yes, even in the B2B world – your customers want you to understand their specific needs, value their unique wants, and understand who they are – personally. This is the reality, so holding firm to how things used to work quickly results in your company lacking relevance. No one wants that. Here are the top changes to the business to business customer behavior and how your company can utilize them to flourish.
We all know them. Those brands that look like they are stuck in time. Their colors don’t look current, neither does their style, typography, and imagery. Their messaging looks like it was written for a different era and their packaging… Well, please don’t even get me started. Now this is an extreme example, but there are many less egregious instances out there. While we all know companies who suffer from a time warp affliction, even brands that feel relevant to today’s customers can fall into the trap of appearing stale in the fast-paced, ever-evolving, digital marketing world. Often a quick review of a brand’s social media pages can be the tell-tale sign of a brand that needs a refresh. The good news is that this is one of the easiest platforms for staying relevant because of the simplicity in updating your messaging. Here are 3 ways to identify if your brand needs a present-day refresh.
Personalization in marketing can mean different things to different people. Some think of personalization only as it relates to email marketing and simple things like using your customers first name in your email messaging. Others think of personalization as curating products that are of the highest interest to your customer through your ecommerce store. Some think of personalization as the straightforward approach of eliminating unnecessary information to improve the customer experience. At Think, we view personalization tactics as an extension of a YOU-centric marketing mindset that puts the customer’s needs, wants and desires first.
Content Marketing has become a bit of a buzz word… and for good reason! Consumers are craving marketing that delivers value, and what better way than through enticing, educational content? While there are numerous forms of valuable content your brand should be using to engage consumers (video, quizzes, expertly planned social media posts, just to name a few), one of the most powerful mediums is blogging.
Your Customers Don't Care! Why a YOU-centric Approach is Key to Winning Customers in Today's Cutting-Edge Brand Landscape
The single biggest marketing challenge today may well be brand differentiation. Now more than ever, it can be difficult to differentiate your products from your competitors in the eyes of the consumer. And can you blame them? One look at any major retailer's shelves or a quick search on Amazon, and you will see a virtual sea of products that all seem to have similar attributes, features and benefits. How does a brand separate themselves and develop true brand recognition and loyalty when there are so many products that are perceived to offer the same thing? This is why effective marketing has become so difficult. The customer is overwhelmed with choices and confused by the apparent lack of differences between products. A YOU-centric marketing approach meets this challenge.
The world of digital marketing never rests. Rather, it is in a constant state of evolution. That is why sophisticated marketers know that they have to stay one step ahead, or at a minimum, stay relevant. The end result is that many marketers dabble in a bit of this and that to determine what is working now, and while we agree that it is important to test, we have noticed that some of the marketing strategy fundamentals seem to be going by the wayside. A perfect example of this is paid search. Some brands seem to be ignoring paid search marketing in the pursuit of other mediums such as social advertising, and while we at Think Media agree that social advertising should be part of the marketing mix, paid search is still the most effective way to drive conversions.