A rundown of what we’re sharing internally this week.
Nurtured over several years, brand equity can provide its holder with tremendous staying power. Some have withstood the test of time and lasted over 100 years, becoming household names in the process. Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, L.L. Bean, UPS and Carhartt are spotlighted for their ingenuity, adaptability, utility and most of all–their entrepreneurial spirit and vision.
Why it matters: Some companies are able to utilize their original, timeless vision as fuel to propel themselves through decades of social change, economic highs and lows, changes in consumer behavior, market volatility and changes in marketing strategy. This evolution is written into the brand’s history, and builds upon its DNA, creating a molecular structure, or brand equity, that provides insight on how to market honestly and organically.
Youtube is attempting to harness some of the ad money that would normally go to traditional television networks were it not for COVID-19-induced production delays, by expanding its unique reach metrics to television viewership–showing how many unique users within particular demographics, rather than devices, viewed an ad. The platform has also added programmatic deals into its forecasting tool, predicting what type of reach a campaign is expected to have.
Why it matters: Viewers of YouTube television currently watch over 450 million hours of content daily. With YouTube’s new programmatic deals, advertisers will know who’s viewing ads and how much they can expect to increase a marketing campaign’s reach.
McDonald’s aims to appeal to the younger generation of spice-lovers with its first McNugget flavor change ever–Spicy McNuggets. The marketing campaign driving the new release includes a 40-minute reading of “Spicesurance,” a mock insurance offering mobile orders free McNuggets by former NFL player Anthony “Spice” Adams.
Why it matters: The “Spicesurance” marketing campaign points to the possibility that big chains may be returning to pre-pandemic approaches to advertising—leaving behind the emotional, empathetic messages that dominated ads beginning in March, in favor of humor.
Joel Yashinsky of McDonald’s came on as CMO of Applebee’s during a turnaround period for the casual-dining chain and just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit–with the task of re-establishing the restaurant’s “neighborhood” roots. With its customer base equally divided between millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers, Applebee’s believes it can reach each cohort through loyalty to its comforting and simple, bar-and-grill identity.
Why it matters: After COVID-19 hit, 85 percent of Applebee’s business disappeared as dining rooms were ordered to close. The company adapted by driving business toward its patios; implementing pandemic safety protocols; incorporating brand-appropriate communication points; shutting down all national marketing campaigns; going completely local; and utilizing the Applebee’s app, Google search, Facebook and its virtual brand Neighborhood Wings.
Facebook has unveiled Project Aria, a research program that’s developing the platform’s new augmented reality (AR) glasses, designed in partnership with EssilorLuxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses. The data gathered by the glasses will support the development of head-tracking, eye-tracking and audio algorithms as Facebook’s Silicon Valley staff tests the specs before they are available for sale in 2021.
Why it matters: On the benefits of wearing the glasses, Facebook said, “If you’re at a grocery store, the front-facing cameras might scan the room and identify the store’s contents, while the eye-tracking cameras recognize your gaze has fallen on a fruit, and the display function pops up with an identification, its price, its nutritional value, potential recipes, and so on.”
Mall operators Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Group are purchasing JCPenney in a stalking horse asset purchase agreement for $1.75 billion in cash and debt. The move will allow for the company to avoid liquidation and keep as many stores open as possible.
Why it matters: Along with JCPenney, Simon and Brookfield have bought themselves time in determining how to address a string of vacancies they anticipate in the coming months and years—vacancies that could have potentially caused serious trouble for the mall operators given co-tenancy clauses in lease agreements requiring certain minimum levels of occupancy.
Las Vegas-based fraud prevention startup NS8, hydrogen-electric automaker Nikola, Outcome Health and a number of other companies are being investigated for fraud. In addition, Wirecard’s former CEO was arrested for a scandal surrounding the disappearance of $2.1 billion.
Why it matters: After a string of fraud cases have come to light, it has become more important now than ever to ensure agencies and ad tech vendors are held accountable, and that companies entering into business with them protect themselves.
Roughly one third of American consumers report shopping online more frequently post-pandemic and say they’ll continue to do so after things return to normal. Driving this trend isn’t only safety, but convenience as well. Food and grocery products, household essentials, personal care products, clothing and personal electronics are among the sectors that have experienced the greatest boost in sales.
Why it matters: This phenomenon has reinforced the importance of social media content creators in connecting consumers with new products and recommendations, as a study from Influencer and GlobalWebIndex found the sectors that are particularly ripe for content creator influence include: beauty/personal care (52 percent), fashion (39 percent), entertainment subscriptions (31 percent) and food delivery services/cooking kits (28 percent).
Harvard Business Review
Post-traumatic stress disorder is the most common outcome after experiencing a traumatic event, but for most, resilience is the natural response. In 54 studies analyzing thousands of individuals, many responded to shocking events with a “fresh start” attitude and a reconsideration of their values—also known as “posttraumatic growth,” or PTG. In a study of roughly 10,000 trauma survivors, about half of them experienced at least some PTG.
Why it matters: When the pandemic is over, rather than anticipating recovery, leaders must affirm values in order to boost morale, allocate resources for employee mental health and encourage community.
Products that don’t fit into standard conceptions of mainstream American cuisine are collectively labeled as the grocery store’s “ethnic aisle,” an outdated approach that doesn’t align with consumer behavior.
Why it matters: What’s considered traditional, mainstream or ethnic is in constant flux as American palettes’ expand. White millennials are open-minded and outgoing in their consumption, and ethnic minorities in the US have increased buying power. For ethnic food companies not to have to fight for limited shelf space, and in order for more Americans to experience a wider array of cuisines, grocery stores might want to disperse these products throughout the store and next to more “mainstream” items that could complement them.