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Foreign Must be Better

Say things with an accent and they seem to be more complex, well at least harder to understand if you only speak English.

In the world of Beauty, accents, not only in hair but in marketing, seems to indicate more attention to detail or a linkage to a more efficacious ingredient and increasingly consumers are more interested to know where the item is made. Brazilian style, Moroccan Oil, Italian soul all sounds good but is it better than a good ol’ Made in the USA?

Have your feelings changed about foreign products over the past few years?


Own a Day

Consumers are always looking for a reason to celebrate. Why not give them one?

Celebrate your company’s success by creating a national holiday. This will not only allow consumers to give your product a chance, but it will create endorsement through word of mouth marketing.

This emerging trend is seen with companies and campaigns like:

· 7-Eleven’s Free Slurpee Day every July 7th

· Tropical Smoothie’s Flip Flop Day where you receive a free Jetty Punch Smoothie for wearing your flip flops for a certain day every June

· And more recently, Dress Like Spiderman Day on July 4th sponsored by Carl’s Jr. where you receive a free burger.

What’s your promotional day called and what are you giving away?


Try it, Like it

Consumers want the reassurance that an item suits their taste before they purchase it. Women specifically are more concerned with how a brand or item is for them. They have to know whether a pair of jeans “makes them look fat” or not. Clothing stores make this easier by providing a fitting room, but what about cosmetics?

Sephora, a beauty-retail company, allows their consumers to do the same by providing a myriad of ways to “try stuff on” Although most department stores already provide free tutorials on make up and sample perfumes for their consumers, Sephora takes this experiential space to another level. Additionally they created tiny handles for items like eyelashes that make it easier for consumers to fully visualize how these items will look on them. 

Sephora knows that consumers are more likely to purchase products that they have personally tried and tested, they also mail three free samples of your choice in every online order.

How does your brand let consumers “try stuff on”?


Return to Nature

Financial woes, increased incidence of depression, double dip recession looms, what are our alternatives for happiness when money is short?

Yes, CAMPING, in marketing terms an idea great for camping was always the idea’s secret death knell. But in economic strife, consumers seem to be flocking back to nature. Younger consumers in general see what a screwed up world their predecessors created and they are simply not interested in the same incentives. They just want to be happy, and that means camping, surfing, kite flying, anything but sitting behind a desk working for the man.


Affordable Luxury

TOPSHOP is a European clothing company that recently expanded their territories in Las Vegas. The brand takes pride in their trendsetter style as they cater to the “fashion obsessed,” as well as the aspiring fashionistas. With hundreds of apparel stores to compete with, TOPSHOP gets a leg-up by offering a personal shopping experience for customers with free fashion consultation by appointment. Another key selling tool is that TOPSHOP makes their aspirational line affordable for students by offering a 10% discount all year round to students with their school ID.


Local Sourcing?

All corporations stretch the truth, right? Consumers know it, executives have become okay with it, consumers feel it in their gut, but it works for everyone. Or does it?

There are a lot of hot buttons right now – environmentally friendly, transparency, local sourcing, and customer service to name a few. While some companies are trying to play the angles to get into consumer’s pockets, other companies are reaching out to consumers on another level. Domino’s Pizza campaign is classic example. Listening and broadcasting consumer feedback, good and bad, to improve their pizza has really boosted the brand. Trendwatching, recently found a racing bike company, Ritte Racing, that even though its not on trend, is honest about it’s products being made in China rather than trying to make excuses or hiding it.

Does it hurt your brand more in the long run to hide the truth or face it head it on and be honest with consumers up front?


Innovation Pipeline

Having a pipeline that is focused and well managed can provide the framework for strategic, effective and sustainable innovation.

In the innovation process, decisions can often be made based only on subjective intuition or for risk-aversion purposes. Ideas can simply happen at the wrong time and then be lost forever. Consumers change, capabilities change!

Make sure you are being productive in your innovation efforts. Take a look at your pipeline, sometimes ideas that didn’t seem quite right a few years ago can be leveraged now.

Match the intent of ideas with fresh consumer wishes and win with some of your old ideas!


Old School Cool

While everyone is creating the next high-tech version of the next great idea, sometimes the best idea is to take a step back a few decades. Nostalgia is engaging, trustworthy and can trigger a deep emotional response. People have a fondness for the familiar especially in times of turmoil.

With all the visual and quality cues of a brand that has been around forever, Tommy Guns Salon was founded in 1994. With the old-school quality, professionalism and surroundings of traditional English barber shops and the cool, unique and contemporary styling and products, Tommy Guns brings their customers a simple and authentic haircutting experience worth talking about.

What emotional triggers does your brand set off?




Do One Thing Great

Max Brenner, the bald head behind the international Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man Restaurant chain, does one thing really great…chocolate.

With chocolate boutiques in Israel, Australia, Philippines, Singapore and the United States there is no question that his brand stands out in the consumer mind for providing an extraordinary chocolate experience. The chocolate menu includes chocolate waffles and crepes, fondues, ice creams, hot chocolate drinks, smoothies and chocolate martinis. His chocolate pizza was even featured in a February 2011 segment of Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

Max Brenner understood the value of owning a single element and its relevance and perceived value to the consumer. When you are able to focus on one thing, the better you get at it. You can automate and innovate and discover tricks that put you ahead of the competition.

What is the one thing you do really great? In a world where specialization and focus can often be the driver to success, can your brand become synonymous with a single benefit?



I’m a Local

Grocery stores are stocked with choices galore but shoppers are looking for more! They want ways to serve themselves and to serve a greater cause. Consumers want their purchases to mean something and the tie breaker between choices is often the chance to support their local communities. The economy is still flat-lining and buying eco-friendly “Local” gives consumers the idea that they are helping to fix things, even if it’s just a little.

Whole Foods has a history of supporting local farmers and their “I’m a Local” campaign is an easy way for people to contribute to their local community and the economic recovery. Only products that have traveled less than a day (7 or fewer hours by car or truck) can even be considered for “local” designation, and most stores have established even shorter maximum distances.

This trend goes beyond just food and beverage as well. American Express has a new “Small Business Saturday” campaign and fashion brands are following suit. Thread, curated indie design and fashion, is a local hot-spot for people in San Diego, Seattle, LA and San Francisco. At a recent show in L.A.’s Garment District, featuring mostly locally made jewelry and clothing, over 2,500 shoppers showed up.

How can your brand support the local community?