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Internationalization of the World

As consumers become more curious and confident, they look to brands that can connect them to everything the world has to offer. Witness the sushi sections of neighborhood supermarkets, days spas with exotic therapeutic treatments, Brazilian steakhouses that have people lining up by the dozens and now local creperies popping up in your neighborhood. Inspired by the sidewalk creperies that line the streets of Paris, La Creperie is the place to find this French creation. For dinner and dessert, a variety of authentic crepe creations offer consumers a new cultural taste experience.

Can your brand offer consumers a connection to the world at large? In what other ways have you seen the world “grow smaller”?


Emotional Connection

In our over-stimulated society, it takes a lot for a brand to break through. So how do you compete with private label?

Creating an emotional connection with your consumer can be an effective method for drawing consumers into your brand. Febreze Air Effects transports the consumer to a new place through the evocative naming of their scents like Spring & Renewal, Winter Evening & Warmth, Rocky Springs & Cool and Hawaiian Aloha. Each scent takes you to a specific place with emotional descriptions.

Consumers are always looking for a more unique experience – what are you doing to help captivate them?



Consumers who cultivate an appreciation for artisan quality seek out brands that are true to the original intent and deliver on a timeless sense of purpose.

Artisan Biscuits, now available at select Starbucks, may be a new company but they have been baking biscuits in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, for over 70 years. The original Ashbourne gingerbread recipe came into the family’s hands in the early 1800s from the French chef who invented it, and has been passed down from generation to generation ever since. Artisan Biscuits are “made with skill and care from quality ingredients”, offering bisuits made by “real people, not robots”.

Whether it’s based on craftsmanship, centuries old processes or the standard of quality of the ingredients, Artisanship delivers a singluar experience that consumers have shown they are willing to pay for. In pursuing the concept of Artisan, you need to ask yourself if an Artisan version of your product is relevant to your consumer, and will they attach value to it?


(Limited) Opportunity

In today’s fast-paced, highly networked world, the concept of “limited” can give you an edge.

Creating limited availability, location specific and not for everybody products gives your brand the opportunity to stay in front of consumers and capture their attention in new and novel ways. There is great business potential in positioning your brand at the right place and right time and putting your brand in the middle of the action. Plus, it’s fun for consumers to see their favorite brand do something new and different. It gives them another good reason to engage with your brand.


Brands like Absolut have utilized this concept with their City Series including Absolut New Orleans, Absolut LA and now Absolut Boston. Trendwatching has also noted the idea of “Limited Locations” in their current trend briefing with examples such as Burberry Blue Label and Le Labo City Exclusive fragrances.


My Way

How many people just cannot give up their ice cream for frozen yogurt? I mean, ice-cream offers more flavors and more customizability with companies like Cold Stone Creamery and Ben and Jerry’s right?


Yogurtland is now making yogurt more exciting for consumers. Consumers embrace the opportunity to express themselves through the brands they associate with and seek out more options. At Yogurtland you get to make your frozen yogurt treat the way you want it by mixing in nuts, fruits, cereals and candy. “You become the architect of your frozen yogurt creation”. Through customization, Yogurtland has made yogurt more interesting and created a connection with consumers. How can you update your category and allow consumers to make your brand theirs.


Badge Appeal (for a limited time)

The ability to give your consumer choice and status, even if for a short time, is a sure win. Companies and websites like Rent to Roll and Bag Borrow or Steal give consumers a chance to have the status or badge appeal that they crave. Rent to Roll offers consumers the ability to rent custom, high dollar rims, while Bag Borrow or Steal gives woman the chance to “own” limited edition designer handbags without he financial sacrifice. Consumers embrace the opportunity to express themselves, show off new news and products or separate themselves from the mass market, even if its just for a short time.


The Edge


Consumers like the idea of trying things that APPEAR illicit or dangerous but really aren’t. People revel in the feeling of doing something naughty or unexpected and will continue to experiment with foods, fashions, entertainment and practices that challenge socially acceptability. The increasing presence of brands like Axe Body Spray, KY Jelly, Apple and Eve’s Tribal Tonics and Grand Theft Auto demonstrate that mainstream tastes are inching further into the extreme.

Brands that can push the boundaries offer consumers an emotional outlet in being under the radar and seemingly on the edge.  Can you take the safe version of something that feels wrong and weave it into your brand story?

Have you ever thought about where the boundaries might be with ice-cream? Take a look at how The Icecreamists have brought a little bit of naughtiness into the freezer section.


Own One Thing

If you want your brand to stand out in the consumer’s mind, stake your reputation on one element, one ingredient or one compound and then tie it to a highly coveted benefit. In a world where specialization and focus can often be the driver to success, own an element and you can be on your way to owning a relationship that will be successful for years to come. POM did it with pomegranate and Lavanila Laboratories has done it with vanilla.


Emotional Benefit

dknymen-ad-campaignWhen a brand stops selling what’s in the product and instead starts promising some HUGE emotional payoffs—like hooking you up, is it believable?

Well you tell me?

DKNYMen recently had a two page spread in many Men’s fashion mags with NO mention of the fragrance, minimal at the most.

What they did mention is how to get you (the reader) the hook-up in any major city – where to go, what to do, where  the action is and how to get the maximum enjoyment and social currency out of the two page spread.

And for the reader, the benefits are palpable, something to talk about, places to go, making you look connected to your friends – the one who always has a plan. Think I’m joking, this is what keeps 22-39 years single people relevant, in the game and exciting.

I don’t want to overstate this but think about it, if a brand can keep you exciting and relevant, you tell me, Did I hook you up?


Designed By

A casual walk down the Magnificent Mile, past Banana Republic. reveals one of the most common exops, Designed By, that we saw emerging years ago. It’s the idea that when there are two distinct benefits that drive trial or awareness and a brand can only inherently provide one of those benefits, then finding a designer (because that designer is relevant, and satisfies the other wished for benefit) VIOLA! you have magic.