Coca-Cola Launches Six-Month Subscription Service

Coca-Cola launched a subscription service that lets a limited number of consumers sample some of the beverage company’s 20-plus new drinks before they hit shelves.

Members of the “Coca-Cola Insiders Club” will receive a monthly shipment of beverages across three categories including Coke Energy and AHA flavored water, as well as merch and surprise gifts. Subscribers can choose from two payment options to join the six-month membership, either $10 monthly or $50 prepaid with one month free. 

The subscription service included 1,000 memberships openings, which sold out in three hours. Though Coca-Cola says fans can join the waiting list to be notified when a subscription spot opens up.

Coca-Cola’s limited membership is the company’s way of testing subscription services. Alex Powell, digital experiences manager, Coca-Cola North America, said that the quickness of the sellout “proves there is an opportunity to scale the concept and allow more people to participate.”

Coca-Cola will monitor sales, feedback and social media buzz to determine if a longterm subscription service makes sense in the future, but for now, only a six-month trial is available.

Fueling the subscription test was also the brand’s launch of Coke Cinnamon in November. Powell said the response across social and digital platforms exceeded expectations, opening Coca-Cola’s eyes to the need to give loyal fans an exclusive taste of the brand.

The ecommerce subscription market has grown by more than 100 percent a year over the past five years. Sephora launched its “Play! By Sephora” subscription box service in 2015, P&G rolled out a razor subscription called “Gillette on Demand” in 2017 and a number of categories have since entered the market including beard grooming, fresh flowers and wine.

Marketing A Unicorn With Pendo CMO, Jake Sorofman

During the 184th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Jake Sorofman, the chief marketing officer at Pendo, in front of a Marketing Today live audience in Durham, N.C. Previous to his role at Pendo, Sorofman was vice president and chief of research at Gartner.

In October of 2019, Pendo became a newly minted “unicorn” with a valuation of over $1 billion, following their latest injection of $100 million in venture capital. Sorofman shares more about Pendo and what marketing looks like at scale while experiencing exceptionally high growth rates.

Pendo is an integrated set of tools that help digital product teams make better decisions and create better experiences in web and mobile apps. The real goal for Pendo, according to Sorofman was to “build a billion-dollar company, a company that has lasting and enduring value in a community, creates lots of jobs and delivers value to customers.”

In this episode, we learn from the incredible growth of Pendo and the experience of Sorofman about how to handle fast growth and an expanding organization.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • The life of the CMO of a “unicorn company” 02:39
  • What do you do with $100 million? 03:17
  • Defining Pendo and its role in the market?  04:21
  • The three major target markets for Pendo. 05:19
  • The landscape of marketing at Pendo. 07:02
  • The importance of “events” in marketing. 07:56
  • Jake’s insight into “performance marketing” and “brand marketing.” 09:03 
  • Advice for other fast-growth companies. 10:20
  • Triple, triple, double, double, double: the rate of growth for Pendo. 10:50
  • The four keys to making marketing “more valuable.” 11:32
  • The importance of discussions at the “executive table.” 13:40 
  • The current “state of talent” in the marketing industry.  14:40
  • How to be successful as chief marketing officer. 15:55 
  • The key to earning the right to your audience’s attention. 16:38
  • The importance of content marketing in your tool bag. 16:55

Resources Mentioned:


Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Read This If You Want People To Remember Your Brand Better

Originally published at AW360.

Article Takeaways:

  • Defining brand consistency
  • How consistent branding builds customer relationships
  • Giving your brand messaging time to work

You’ve probably heard by now that consistent branding is important. Everyone says so–it’s one of those common business truisms that, for many, goes in one ear and out the other.

Your company’s logo design, your business website, your mobile app, your store signage, your marketing and customer support messaging… they must all be instantly recognizable as your brand.

There are multiple reasons why consistent branding is so powerful–and inconsistent branding is so harmful. So, let’s take a deeper look at the whys and hows of branding consistency.

What is brand consistency?

Brand consistency occurs when a business presents the same visual face, values, personality, and brand messaging across every customer touchpoint.

This can be challenging to accomplish if you don’t fully understand your own brand. And, that’s why getting to know–really know–your brand is the first step in any brand consistency effort.

Why is brand consistency so important?

The goal of any brand is to provide a recognizable, positive brand identity people will remember.

Without a consistent brand presentation, you cannot achieve that goal.

Here’s why…

Consistent branding improves brand recognition.

A phenomenon known as context-dependent memory states that people remember information best when they are in the original context in which they encountered that information. However, brand messages usually occur in a wide variety of places (online ads, business cards, outdoor signage, product packaging, emails, etc.).

This means that your brand messages often lack the necessary context that would make it easiest for people to remember them.

So, consistent presentation becomes necessary to bridge the gap and reinforce your brand recognition.

This is especially true for new and younger businesses. As we emphasized in our guide on how to start a business,

A strong brand identity is the most effective way your new business can gain a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Consistent branding communicates to the world that you know who you are.

Brands that can’t settle on a consistent presentation or voice project their confusion to the world.

Consistent branding shows that you stand behind, and live, the identity that you’ve shared with the world.

People trust businesses that practice what they preach.

If your brand consistently delivers on promises, presents itself in the same way, and acts in accordance with the identity it presents, it proves the authenticity of your brand.

People value and trust authentic interactions.

Consistent branding builds customer relationships.

Like any relationship in life, it takes time to build strong relationships with your customers.

Consistent branding allows your business to be perceived as the same business they met the last time they heard from you. After enough consistent exposures to a brand, customers begin to feel as though they know you – and the relationship begins to grow.

As we explained previously,

The more customers are exposed to something–a product, a service, or your brand–the more inclined they are to like it.

This is a psychological phenomenon known as “mere exposure.”

So, the science indicates that the more frequently customers: 1) interact with your brand, and 2) recognize it due to consistent presentation, the stronger your brand/customer relationship will grow.

How do you build brand consistency?

It’s impossible to faithfully repeat something if you don’t know what you did in the first place.

And, that’s the challenge so many businesses encounter when they try to present a consistent brand.

If you haven’t given any deep thought to your brand–your values, your inherent and projected brand personality, your unique selling proposition, and how those elements will manifest visually–then you simply cannot expect to achieve a consistent brand presentation.

If you don’t really know your brand, yet, how could anyone else?

So, start by self-reflecting. Determine the values that drive your business and the traits that define it and make it unique.

Then work with talented designers to develop a visual design that embodies that brand. This will be the foundation for all of the visual elements that customers and potential customers will associate with your brand.

If you already have a logo and visual branding elements, conduct an inventory. Ask yourself if these elements properly represent your brand. If not, it may be time for a logo refresh or a complete visual rebranding.

If you’re not sure if a rebrand is appropriate for your business, check out this article on how to rebrand your business.

Create a style guide.

A style guide is the one source of truth for your visual brand. This document outlines a set of rules to follow any time a member of your organization wants to publish, present or promote content for your brand.

As we previously explained,

If your brand isn’t captured in a style guide, it can quickly drift into an inconsistent experience for your customers and employees.

This includes visual information such as fonts, brand colors, logo, signage specifications, typography style, and any other commonly used branded graphic elements. It should also cover less tangible items like ideal voice and tone, your branding mission and company philosophy.

So, once you’ve clearly defined your brand and developed visuals to support it, make them official in a style guide you can share with every member of your team.

Give brand messaging time to work.

As we mentioned earlier, relationships of any kind take time to build.

And, it’s estimated that it takes between 5 and 11 interactions (depending on the source) before a customer is ready to make a purchase.

So, when executing any branding strategy, plan to give it enough time to really sink into the public consciousness.

Your business name and logo should remain the same for as long as possible. And, if changes are made, they should be clearly related to the originals to maintain your valuable brand equity.

Your brand position may change over time as the business landscape evolves. But, it should still have a life cycle of years–not weeks or months.

This is just one area where authentic branding has a distinct advantage over contrived branding. An authentic brand is far more likely to have longer staying power since it is grounded in the reality of the business from the foundation up–making it easier to implement and most likely to still be relevant years from now.

If you don’t immediately get the reaction to your brand that you had hoped, don’t give up too quickly and try something new. Every brand needs time and repeated exposure to truly make a lasting impact.

Deliver a consistent multi-channel experience.

Businesses today share their marketing and branding messages in many, many places.

From social media to your website, email marketing to roadside billboards, and mobile apps to your customer support team, people are interacting with your brand all over the place.

And, they should be. It’s in your best interest to be in all of the places that your customers frequent. This makes you easy to find and keeps your business top-of-mind.

But, being in all the right places isn’t enough. It’s crucial to present a consistent brand across all of these locations if you want people to recognize your brand and remember you.

This is especially important when you lead customers on a journey from one point to another. For example, if you send an email with a discount link, the landing page the customers land on should share the same brand messaging and appearance as the original email.

Customers should experience your brand in the same way whether they’re on social media, a mobile app, your website or in your store.

Brand from the inside out.

Your employees are the guardians of your brand.

Employees need to be as well-educated and passionate about your brand as you are. Without their understanding and buy-in, a consistent branding effort is doomed to fail. This is one of the reasons why the best brands happen from the inside out.

Authentic brand values that evolve naturally from your company culture will be easiest for your employees to embrace and enact.

But don’t assume that because your brand values are genuine, that your employees will know how to–or that they will–articulate them. Provide brand education for all employees so that they understand their role in presenting a consistent brand identity for your company.

Consistent = Reliable = Valued

In our personal lives, we value those who are always there for us when we need them. It’s reassuring to know that we can rely on someone.

The same is true for a consistent brand. When people find a brand that not only meets their needs but does so reliably in a familiar way–that breeds loyalty.

Embrace these consistent branding tactics for your business and, in time, you’ll leave your competition in the dust.

Gartner Study Highlights The Perils Of Personalization In Marketing

Eighty percent of marketers will ditch personalization efforts by 2025 due to a lack of return on investment (ROI) and issues with customer data management, according to Gartner’s report, “Predicts 2020: Marketers, They’re Just Not That Into You.”

Despite the ubiquity of data-driven initiatives, many marketers believe that data itself is hindering their ability to personalize efforts. As Gartner’s findings show, 27 percent of marketers said that data is the key obstacle to personalization. 

Weaknesses in data collection, integration and protection are reflected by consumers’ profound concerns over data privacy. By 2023, one-third of all brand public relations disasters will result from data ethics failures, the report notes. The American Marketing Association’s 2019 study echoed this sentiment when it found that both US and Chinese consumers have anxiety over privacy, hackers, bots and worry that new technology will detect the human touch from shopping.

Before investing in personalization technology and new tactics, Gartner recommends marketers evaluate their personalization efforts in a number of ways. First, brands should test tailored recommendations at the segment level to avoid premature investment in a personalization tool. Next, cross-functional teams should take a collaborative approach to personalization efforts as doing so can expand ROI and collective impact. Lastly, the data suggests using case development and consent management as guides of the personalization roadmap.

Other critical predictions to help brands acclimate to evolving customer behaviors include the fact that budget allocation on influencer marketing will decrease by a third as consumers lose trust in figures or brands they don’t know. To help curb those effects, 25 percent of marketing departments will have a dedicated behavioral scientist or ethnographer as part of their full-time team. 

“Consumers have developed an increasingly jaundiced eye toward marketers’ efforts to embrace them. Their increasingly cluttered email inboxes and mobile phone notification centers may lead them to ignore even the most carefully personalized and contextualized message. Marketers must really adopt the basics when it comes to test and learn before investing in personalization technology and new tactics,” said Charles Golvin, Gartner senior director analyst.

Shiseido Creates Interactive 3D Installation Showing Real-Time Aging

Shiseido created an interactive 3D installation that shows visitors what they’d look like in the future and what they looked like in the past to showcase real-time aging and the brand’s decades of research on skin. 

Beyond Time” uses processing technology combined with facial data capture to show how people look during different stages of their life. To explore different sides of close friends or loved ones outside the boundaries of time, two people enter the installation from opposite sides, and by looking through a digital mirror, are able to see each other as they’d look in the future and in the past. 

Bringing the experience to life is a 3D facial age simulation engine that analyzes 1,300 facial data points and compares them to a bespoke database of face models. The result is a scientifically accurate aging simulation in real time. 

“Beyond Time brings that purpose to life in a deeply emotional way, by letting people explore the boundaries of time and beauty through a unique experience that is, at heart, driven by data,” said Shiseido’s chief creative officer, Naomi Yamamoto.

Shiseido’s Global Innovation Center (GIC), a research institute and experiential space known as S/PARK in Yokohama, is where consumers can experience the “Beyond Time” installation. Shiseido opened the GIC in April of this year to, “promote comprehensive communication and collaboration with consumers, researchers, business partners and experts inside and outside of Japan.” Today, Shiseido has global research centers located in five countries, where its teams research and develop activities to analyze skin conditions and makeup trends of consumers in each region.

Deirdre Findlay Departs Stitch Fix For CMO Role At Condé Nast

This week in marketing careers, Deirdre Findlay leaves her role as chief marketing officer at Stitch Fix for a position as CMO at Condé Nast, chief marketing officer Kristin Lemkau is set to helm a new US wealth management division at JPMorgan Chase, ex-Patagonia marketing leader Strick Walker joins Simms as CMO, Pizza Hut’s U.S. chief brand officer departs after one year and former marketing leaders from eBay, PepsiCo, IHOP and 1-800 CONTACTS take new chief marketing officer positions.


Condé Nast Announces CMO Appointment Of Deirdre Findlay

Variety reports that Deirdre Findlay will be joining senior leadership at Condé Nast.

Findlay, who AList confirmed was departing from her role as Stitch Fix’s CMO at the end of the year, will be filling the chief marketing officer spot vacated by Pamela Drucker Mann. who moved into a new role as global chief revenue officer as part of an August reorganization at the media company.

“Deirdre will bring increased focus to our direct-to-consumer efforts, helping develop our relationships with our consumers to grow revenue, and partnering across the company to strengthen our brand identities globally,” Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch said in a statement announcing the appointment.


CMO Deirdre Findlay To Resign From Stitch Fix In New Year

AList was able to confirm the resignation of Deirdre Findlay from her position as chief marketing officer at Stitch Fix, effective January 3rd, 2020.

Stitch Fix made the following statement to AList regarding the announcement, first indicated during a recent earnings call:

“We can confirm our CMO, Deirdre Findlay, has decided to leave Stitch Fix for a new opportunity on the East Coast. Her resignation will be effective by January 3rd. As we announced on our recent earnings call, Elizabeth Spaulding is joining Stitch Fix as President at the end of January, and as part of her role she will oversee marketing. We are grateful for everything Deirdre has done for the company and wish her much success for the future.”


Kristin Lemkau Set To Head New JPMorgan Chase Unit

Kristin Lemkau, CMO for JPMorgan Chase & Co., is set to lead the bank’s newly created wealth management unit, according to an exclusive today from The Wall Street Journal.

Lemkau, who has been with JPMorgan Chase for 21 years, was named Marketer of the Year for 2019 by The Advertising Club.


Icelolly.com Announces New CMO

Simon Lloyd has been named chief marketing officer of vacation travel comparison site icelolly.com. Lloyd’s previous experience includes serving in executive roles at AXA, Superdry, BBC and Virgin Atlantic. 

The travel site’s previous CMO, Ross Matthews, announced his departure, effective January 2020, back in November. He joins the managed vacation rentals and holiday resorts business Awaze, which owns cottages.com, in the new year.


Simms Lands Strick Walker As CMO

Strick Walker, who formerly served as global marketing director for Patagonia and as a global marketer at Converse, joins outdoor sports manufacturer Simms as their new chief marketing officer. 

Walker most recently held the position of CMO at footwear company Merrell where he lead the purpose-driven One Trail project as well as a product collaboration with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. He starts his new position in early 2020.


Pizza Hut’s Chief Brand Officer Departs

Marianne Radley, Pizza Hut’s U.S. chief brand officer, is no longer with Pizza Hut according to an update from Restaurant Business

Radley, who was named to the position just over a year ago, previously served as a marketing executive for Monster Energy. Radley’s replacement is forthcoming, according to the report.


Former EBay Australia CMO Joins Hilton APAC

As reported by The Drum, eBay’s former CMO for Australia, Julie Nestor, has been tapped by Hilton APAC (Asia Pacific) as VP of marketing and e-commerce.

Nestor, whose previous experience also includes over 5 years as VP of consumer marketing at American Express, will be based in Singapore for the role. According to Hilton’s press release announcing Nestor’s move, she launched the first Apple Pay service in Australia for American Express, as well as eBay’s first paid membership program.


Country Music Association CMO Named CEO Of Academy Of Country Music

Damon Whiteside has been named chief executive officer of the Academy of Country Music, effective January 6. 

Whiteside has served as the chief marketing officer for the Country Music Association for the past 6 years and has affiliations with Digital LA, CMO Club, American Marketing Association and Promotion Marketing Association, among others.


Longtime PepsiCo CMO To Lead Marketing At Schwan’s

Grocery delivery company Schwan’s Co. has named Roberto Rios chief marketing officer, according to Food Business News

Rios was previously chief marketing officer of global beverages at PepsiCo and served in various positions at PepsiCo for over a decade, spending 2 and a half years as CMO for PepsiCo Foods Mexico.


Joan Blackwood Joins National Vision As CMO

U.S. optical retailer National Vision is welcoming former University of Phoenix marketing leader Joan Blackwood as their permanent chief marketing officer. Blackwood replaces Jevin Hassey, who served as interim CMO previous to Blackwood’s arrival.

According to National Vision’s press release announcing the new hire, Blackwood previously served as chief marketing officer at Monster Worldwide, 1-800 CONTACTS, and Zumba Fitness.


Joe Adney Takes CMO Role At Black Bear Diner

Brand and marketing strategist Joe Adney joins Black Bear Diner as chief marketing officer as the restaurant chain builds its leadership team. His previous roles include marketing positions at Bob Evans Farms, IHOP, and Baskin-Robbins USA.


Rico Macaraeg Tapped As CMO For Stojo

Brooklyn-based sustainable goods company Stojo has named Rico Macaraeg as chief marketing officer. Macaraeg’s previous experience includes leading legacy department store Lord + Taylor’s marketing organization during their rebrand, while building “an omni-focused, data-first marketing organization” while the brand was acquired by LeTote.


Edible Names Scott Wakeman EVP Of Marketing

The world’s largest franchisor of fresh fruit arrangements, Edible, has named Scott Wakeman EVP of marketing. Wakeman previously served as VP of marketing for Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants, leading the chain’s advertising, field marketing and media strategy.

According to the press release announcing Wakeman’s new position, he’ll be tasked with “managing and building a team that will develop a strategic marketing plan that integrates strong vertical marketing programs as well as generation strategies.”


Stacey Pool Named CMO At Noodles & Company

Stacey Pool joins fast-casual restaurant chain Noodles & Company as their chief marketing officer. 

Pool previously served as SVP of corporate marketing at Vail Resorts, Inc., where she advanced guest segmentation and personalization initiatives as well as executing integrated campaigns. Prior to that, she worked on NIKEiD.com’s digital experience for Nike.


Julie Spencer Washington Tapped For Trinity Health Marketing Leadership

National health system Trinity Health has named Julie Spencer Washington senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer. Prior to this position, she was CMO for Champion Petfoods and has 30 years of experience in brand strategy.


Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, December 13. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Job Vacancies 

Vice President, Global MarketingShiseido Americas CorporationNew York, NY
Vice President, Creative MarketingFOX CorporationNew York, NY
Chief Marketing OfficerForresterCambridge, UK
Senior Vice President Of MarketingClear Channel OutdoorNew York, NY
SVP–Creative MarketingWalt Disney TelevisionBurbank, CA
Vice President, Marketing StrategyParamount PicturesHollywood, CA

Make sure to check out select job vacancies on our Careers page.

Will Virtual Influencers Replace Real People?

Originally published on ION.

(Editor’s note: AList is published by a.network. To get up to speed on the rapid changes affecting the influencer marketing landscape, click here.)

Virtual influencers have almost three times the engagement rate when compared to real influencers, according to HypeAuditor’s report of the most popular virtual influencers. That finding may produce an eyebrow-raising or two considering the fact that half a million active human influencers are operating on Instagram—compared to just a few hundred virtual influencers on the same platform. 

With full reign to make them look real, act however they want and promote any product or message, brands could find virtual influencers more appealing than their human counterparts. Brands like KFC, Yoox, Calvin Klein and Balmain have already gone against the grain to work with designers and start-ups to create digital influencers via computer-generated imagery (CGI) for themselves.

“That’s why brands like working with avatars—they don’t have to do 100 takes. “Social media, to date, has largely been the domain of real humans being fake. But avatars are a future of storytelling,” Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, told The New York Times.

On the top spot of HypeAuditor’s roundup, a majority of which are from the US is “Lil Miquela,” the CGI-born beauty and lifestyle influencer who boasts 1.8 million followers and a 1.97 percent engagement rate. In 2016, media studio Brud debuted Miquela, who calls herself a “robot” in her Instagram bio and has since turned her into a popular YouTuber and musician. Her first music video on YouTube amassed 2.6 million views, and her song, “Automatic” is also available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud. She landed the cover of Elle Mexico and even teamed with Samsung to promote the company’s Galaxy S10 phone in a sponsored Instagram post, among various other brands including Prada and Calvin Klein.

In 2018, Balmain introduced three digital models for the fashion label’s pre-fall 2018 collection campaign. Photographer Cameron-James Wilson helped Olivier Rousteing, the brand’s founder, bring the models to life on screen. A “virtual army” of ambassadors aligns with Rousteing’s goal to bridge the gap between fashion and technology. Last year, Rousteing created a virtual reality experience and headset called “My City of Lights,” to showcase his creative process.

Virtual influencers are starting to find their way into the strategies of quick-service restaurants too. In April, KFC launched a campaign featuring Colonel Sanders as a CGI influencer. From April 8-22, virtual Sanders took over KFC’s Instagram through a variety of posts that highlighted his lifestyle including sponsored posts promoting brand partners such as Dr. Pepper, Casper and TurboTax. A spoof on the modern-day influencer, the CGI Sanders was the brand’s opportunity to “poke a little fun at the advertising world.”

It may take a while before a majority of marketers get on board with pixelated influencers given consumers crave authenticity, the one quality virtual influencers inherently lack. Eighty-two percent of those in the US trustrecommendations from people they know and 58 percent of consumers said being authentic is a very important trait for influencers to have. The question then arises: if a majority of the data out there supports human connections as powerful marketing tools, where’s the value in utilizing a manufactured figure to form connections with consumers?

The short answer is millennials and Gen Z. Virtual influencers present brands an opportunity to reach these younger, digital-savvy audiences as 32 percent of virtual influencers’ core audience are women 18-24 years old, and 11 percent include those between 13 and 17 years old. Additionally, some brands are seeing a boost in social media presence thanks to their virtual influencer of choice. For example, Yoox created a CGI influencer of its own and named her Daisy. Since Daisy’s takeover of the Yoox Instagram account, the online fashion retailer has seen an “incredible upsurge” in the number of followers and its engagement rate.

Chanel Opens Holiday Ski Lodge In String Of Experiential Events

Chanel is hosting an experiential holiday ski lodge inside The Standard High Line in New York, between December 12-15. Open free to the public, the activation, “Chanel No.5 in the Snow,” is inspired by the luxury fashion house’s campaign for its No.5 fragrance perfume. 

The Chanel ski lodge will feature Instagrammable moments like an ice skating area and seasonal drinks and snacks. Chanel will reveal an augmented reality-enabled snow globe photo opp during a private event it’s hosting on December 10. Thereafter guests can access the AR feature through Snapchat and online at Chanel.com.

In 2017, Chanel was named the most influential luxury brand on social media. Chanel’s creative videos, which form the core of its strategy, generated more than 300 million views on both YouTube and Facebook, more than any other luxury brand.

What sets the brand apart from the rest is its ability to give consumers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at branded content via its “Inside Chanel” series. Rather than highlight products’ accessibility, Chanel emphasizes the brand’s aspirational qualities. 

More importantly, the brand has ramped up the experiential side of its marketing efforts. In February 2018, Chanel inked a deal with global ecommerce platform Farfetch to expand its digital initiatives and create a personalized shopping experience for its customers, online and in real life.

In 2018, the French luxury house published its financial results for the first time. Delivering a revenue of about $10 billion, Chanel is the second-largest luxury brand in the world, following Louis Vuitton. Chanel also saw revenue growth of 11.5 percent in 2017 compared to the year earlier, driven by strong consumer demand in Asia Pacific.

This year, Chanel opened its second US store in Palm Beach. The two-level, 13,260-square-foot boutique houses mostly ready-to-wear, which is the brand’s fastest-growing category in the US. Inside, custom touches such as a dining room and an event space add to the experience for its Palm Beach clients. 

With this new brick-and-mortar addition, Chanel’s goal is to build activations around the local community. President and chief operating officer John Galantic told WWD that they’re already growing by double digits in Palm Beach.

At Art Basel, Popeyes Hawks Sandwich For $120,000

Popeyes duct-taped its popular chicken sandwich to a canvas for a last-minute installation at Art Basel Miami Beach. The fast-food chain’s goal? To parody an original art installation titled “Comedian,” which consisted of a banana plastered to a wall via one strip of duct tape. After the duct-taped banana went viral, Popeyes quickly followed suit and deployed its own debate-triggering art. 

Created in partnership with San Paul Gallery Urban Art, Popeyes’ installation, “The Sandwich,” is listed at $120,003.99. The brand describes it as “a mixed media work of art consisting of a toasted brioche bun, two pickles, fried chicken, mayo and duct tape on canvas.”

When, or if, a sandwich-art lover purchases the piece, the proceeds will benefit Popeyes Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps communities with food and support in times of need.

Burger King wanted in on the fun too, so it created an ad featuring a Burger King french fry duct-taped to the wall with a side-by-side of the original banana installation.

Popeyes inserting itself into the Art Basel scene reflects the brand’s goal to keep the conversation going around its infamous chicken sandwich. 

In September, a Twitter debacle that erupted between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A led to the chicken sandwich wars, of which Popeyes was declared the winner. The social media siege led to Popeyes receiving 1.1 million mentions and 6.8 million engagements from 110,000 unique authors. A nationwide shortage of its chicken sandwich soon followed.

When Popeyes restocked its sandwich, around November, the company forgoed television ads and instead relied on paid digital and social media as well as print and out-of-home advertising. 

“It was all to drive talkability on social and get coverage through PR. Normally we do a lot of TV, a little bit of digital, and really push on launch—here we have the most successful product launch since I started here six years ago, and it involved zero TV advertising,” global chief marketing officer for Burger King and Popeyes, Fernando Machado, told The Wall Street Journal.

Still riding that chicken wars wave, Popeyes today announced its partnership with UglyChristmasSweater.com to create ugly holiday sweaters featuring Popeyes’ chicken sandwich and brand colors of orange and red. The sweaters are selling online at $45 each.

The Power Of Audio With Audible CMO John Harrobin

During the 183rd episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview John Harrobin, chief marketing officer at Audible. Audible is an Amazon company that was founded in the late 1990s out of an oral storytelling tradition. They began as an audiobook medium and have expanded to become a subscription service, including original programming, access to newspapers, magazines and free short-form content. Harrobin’s previous experience includes serving as chief marketing officer at Verizon and various roles with NBC Universal. 

On the show today, Harrobin discusses the audio content market, how his professional background led him to marketing, mentorship, the future of his industry and the future of marketing in general. He also discusses the importance of diversity in marketing departments and on boards. 

Harrobin says he views marketing as being in the center of the action. He adds, “What I really love is driving growth and launching products. That’s where you really get immediate gratification in the form of metrics and customer feedback. Is what you are doing working? If not, you need to know how to adjust.”

What sets Audible apart? “Our goal, in many cases, is to guide creators, provide them with data and help them understand what to expect. We also help them with marketing and help them reach new audiences. We like to consider ourselves the best partner because we can provide better results through our reach and strength of distribution in marketing. We want to help them build their personal brand.” 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”: 

  • Where did John start his career? (01:30)
  • John shares how his background as a finance consultant led him to marketing. (01:59)
  • Did John have any significant mentors along the way? (05:00)
  • What is the origin story of Audible? (06:20)
  • Why does John think audio has remained such a popular medium? (08:57)
  • What does marketing at Audible look like? (12:00)
  • What does the future of audio look like? (14:18)
  • What are the advantages for a creator working with Audible? (16:05)
  • How do Audible’s content marketplace and original content work together? (19:56)
  • Does John have a specific experience he feels defines him as a person,(23:27)
  • What other brands does John admire? (26:45)
  • Does John see any big opportunities or threats staring marketers in the face? (29:46)

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.