Modernizing A 135-Year-Old Brand With Avon’s Global CMO Kristof Neirynck

The task of revitalizing a 135-year-old brand for today’s market is daunting at best, but for Avon’s Global CMO Kristof Neirynck, that’s just the challenge he wanted to tackle. Coming from Walgreens Boots Alliance—when we last spoke with him in episode 208—Kristof saw the overwhelming opportunity to bring his keen eye for storytelling and passion for data to a company that has been on the decline. He’s steering the ship in a positive direction not only for consumers but for their unique brand ambassadors as well—their representative “Avon ladies.”

In this episode, Kristof and I reunite to talk about his new role at Avon, how he’s working to revitalize the brand and the key innovations introduced to modernize the storied company. Listen in to hear about how their business structure affects women’s livelihoods, the company’s focus on purpose and giving back and what Avon is looking for in marketing talent.


In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • The purposefulness of the Avon business structure
  • How Avon is modernizing their selling channels
  • Which generation is the highest growing group of Avon representatives

Key Highlights:

  • [02:29] Kristof’s path to Avon 
  • [06:46] The empowerment of women through Avon
  • [08:39] Kristof’s role as Global CMO at Avon
  • [11:15] Avon’s challenge of brand consideration
  • [13:42] Expansion of selling channels for a historic B2B2C brand
  • [15:54] Avon ON app as an innovative selling tool
  • [19:54] Revitalizing and modernizing the brand
  • [24:45] The type of marketing talent that Avon is looking for 
  • [27:48] An experience that defines Kristof recapped from episode 208
  • [28:30] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [31:16] Brands and causes we should notice
  • [32:56] The largest opportunity or threat for marketers today

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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 brand, customer experience, innovation and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.

Trend Set: Entertainment Giants Partner Up

Ayzenberg’s Ashley Otah explores some next-level immersive and experiential collaborations trending on our timelines this week.


Live Nation x Halsey

Halsey isn’t just bringing music to her fans, she’s bringing beauty with her as well. The singer recently teamed up with Live Nation Entertainment to take her beauty brands—af94 and about-face—and feature them in experiential pop-ups at several venues and festivals across the country. The collaborative, in-person experience will provide concertgoers with an opportunity to try on looks virtually, as well as sample and experiment with the products. While just getting started, the partnership highlights the power of in-person experiences, virtual reality and shared passions.

WhatsApp x Giannis Antetokounmpo

In WhatsApp’s first-ever short film, basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo takes audiences on a journey around the world as he shares his “origin story of many origins.” The film, starring the Milwaukee Bucks player, delves deep into what it means to be human in an ever-connected world. As a result, WhatsApp highlights its offerings beautifully while elevating Antetokounmpo’s story. The importance of global connectivity, creativity and culture shines brightly throughout the piece, leaving space for thought-provoking introspection and discussion. The film is available for streaming on Prime Video.

Spotify

Spotify, the first music-streaming platform to have a presence on Roblox, is bringing more music to the masses with Planet Hip-Hop, an immersive, virtual experience designed to take users on a journey through the genre as they learn more about some of its biggest stars. Through curated, creative experiences, fans can bounce between portals, shops and other iconic spots. The mixture of music and technology continues to be a space to watch and enter.

Next-Level Brand Promises With Del Taco CMO Tim Hackbardt

Tim Hackbardt’s professional journey includes ventures into consulting, advertising and even broadcasting, but his path repeatedly brought him back to Del Taco, where he is now chief marketing officer. Del Taco is one of many restaurant chains Tim’s worked at, but he says it’s his favorite because the business model offers countless opportunities to increase sales.

In this episode, Tim and I discuss how he’s working to take a new brand promise and make it the essence of the company’s culture. Listen in to learn how to foster “brand love,” an idea all the most successful organizations can boast.


In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How to apply brand promises internally as well as externally.
  • Sometimes, you must push past a failure and wait until the time is right to try a bold idea again.
  • Find opportunities to break out of day-to-day demands and take time to build emotional connections with your customers.

Key Highlights:

  • [02:21] Becoming an accidental marketing genius
  • [11:04] The importance of brand versatility
  • [14:11] The evolution of the QSR marketplace  
  • [16:47] How the CMO role is defined at Del Taco
  • [18:52] Applying brand promises internally and externally
  • [24:09] Pushing past prior failures
  • [29:27] The experience that defines Tim
  • [32:50] Advice Tim would give his younger self
  • [34:47] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [36:14] Brands and companies to take notice of
  • [38:53] The biggest opportunity or threat for marketers today

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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 brand, customer experience, innovation and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.

How Immersive Advertising Is Changing The Way Networks Market Content

While network television still commands the attention of millions, streaming services recently outpaced viewership for over-the-air and cable broadcasts. Now networks—and the brands that rely on them—are ramping up their creativity and finding new ways to draw viewers back to “old TV” with immersive advertising.


Why Immersive Advertising Wins The Battle For Consumer Attention

Immersive advertising might not seem like an obvious choice for TV network marketers, but the numbers are impressive. A recent survey by Ericsson Emodo found that approximately 75 percent of consumers are more likely to pay attention to ads that feature immersive or augmented reality components, while 70 percent actually expressed an interest in experiencing more ads with AR elements.

Those stats are pretty incredible when you reread that last line. Consumers actually want more ads—and they might turn those ad blockers off to get at them.

Why? Because immersive ads are like games; they’re permission-based excursions that pull the consumer out of the moment and to someplace unexpected. That temporary flight away from the ordinary can be just as valuable as a more costly campaign that consumers might simply tune out because they see hundreds every week.

What Brands Are Doing To Leverage Immersive Experiences

Big brands like Gucci, Ikea and Sephora were among the pioneers of AR and immersive ads targeted at retail consumers, but streaming services have also launched new and immersive experiences to keep viewers connected when offline.

Having spent so much time indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers want to be outside. And for those who work from home, disconnecting from devices as much as possible is essential. So streamers are bringing the digital outdoors in unexpected ways. For example, Netflix rolled out a series of innovative AR and immersive ads for “Bridgerton” and “Stranger Things” with elements that got consumers off their couches and into new venues and spaces. A London “Stranger Things” scavenger hunt used actors, AR and mobile messaging to encourage fans to stay out and about over a period of days.

Immersion is not just a nice-to-have for advertisers with an already much-loved content product—it can be key for delivering challenging or complex brand messaging, as it captures people’s attention in an all-consuming way. Live event immersive advertising adds a powerful punch to AR-enabled campaigns because consumers are actively engaged with an ad for an extended period of time—usually because they are drawn to a unique experience. That means there’s no multitasking or distractions to pull their attention away from brand content. There’s another benefit to immersive outdoor campaigns: Fun experiences often translate into positive brand associations.

Why Network And Cable TV Are Turning To Immersive Experiences

While HBO used an immersive experience to promote “House of the Dragon” at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year, free-to-air broadcasters are also looking at immersive campaigns as a way of reentering consumers’ crowded screens and staying top-of-mind.

Recently, NBC promoted the revival of its 1980’s hit “Quantum Leap” with an immersive drive-thru experience in Los Angeles that offered drivers the opportunity to fill up their tanks for 91 cents a gallon, as well as buy a movie ticket for under $4 with a special code from Fandango. While the event offered fans some retro fun, it also delivered a brand message about the appeal of outdoor activities that don’t involve digital technology—a unique conversation starter for young audiences who might have become aware of all that cool ’80s stuff from watching “Stranger Things.” Immersive experiences also create brand ambassadors organically, as attendees share photos from these events with friends and family even when they would never share an ad.

Immersive advertising is powerful because it gives consumers the choice to interact and rewards those who do with unique experiences that feel like entertainment and not a sales pitch.

With consumers becoming overwhelmed at the sheer volume of content out there, marketers need to stay memorable. That means inspiring consumers to engage because they feel an affinity to the brand or the content produced by reintroducing themselves—perhaps in person.

Trend Set: Collaborations On Our Radar

Ayzenberg’s Ashley Otah returns this week with the latest trends focused on collaborations and partnerships.


Morgan Stanley x Rebecca Minkoff

Morgan Stanley is no longer just a financial expert: they’re a fashion expert too. Their investment firm is now collaborating with fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff on a luxury women’s banker bag. A Wall Street status symbol since the ’70s, the bag is taking on new life as a symbol of gender diversity in the workplace. In addition, other brands are also looking to diversify their appeal as they branch out into new industries to engage with wider audiences. Understanding unique and necessary consumer needs—paired with the help of working alongside adjacent industries—can build brand awareness and loyalty.

Shake Shack x Hot Ones

Shake Shack announced that it is trying its hand (or at least, its tongue) at competing in the spicy food game. The burger joint is partnering with “Hot Ones,” a YouTube show produced by First We Feast, where guests are interviewed while they eat spicy chicken wings. Known for fun partnerships, such as its one-day collabs that support charity, the brand is no stranger to shaking things up. Diversifying offerings, even for a short while, can solidify brands as significant players in the game. In addition, rewarding fans for being early adopters or loyal followers is a surefire way to boost brand affinity and keep audiences coming back for more.

UPS x Awake NY

UPS and Awake NY launched their one-of-a-kind design collaboration at New York Fashion Week, created by Angelo Baque. The limited-edition collection celebrates the Latinx community by supporting small businesses and aspiring designers. The unique partnership also included a pop-up fashion bodega store for Hispanic Heritage Month, from which all proceeds and $50,000 in grants will go to the next generation of Latinx designers. The fun and fresh collab was a new spin on an old favorite for a good cause.

The Sound Of Brands With Amp’s Michele Arnese

Michele Arnese has always had a love for music. Still, it was only after spending ten years as a management consultant that he was able to found amp, a sonic branding agency, and his passion became his profession. As Global Founder and CEO, Michele expertly weaves sound into some of the most recognizable brands in the world, such as Mastercard and Mercedes-Benz.

In this episode, Michele and I discuss what branding with sound really is, why it’s so important to the brand experience and the use of data and insights into the world of sonic branding.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What sonic branding is and how it’s different from jingles
  • How companies like MasterCard and Mercedes-Benz are using sonic branding
  • What amp’s copyrighted “Sonic DNA” is and how they created their custom sonic brand index

Key Highlights:

  • [02:23] Michele’s path to founding amp
  • [05:10] What is Sonic Branding and why do brands need sound
  • [08:27] Why sound is resurging and the evolution of the jingle
  • [10:42] What is the perfect example of sonic branding
  • [14:17] MasterCard’s sonic brand strategy
  • [19:36] Mercedes-Benz’s sonic branding
  • [22:08] How using data and technology is impacting sonic branding
  • [24:00] Michele’s index of the best audio brands and the first sonic branding magazine
  • [26:21] An experience that defines Michele
  • [27:22] Michele’s advice for his younger self
  • [28:00] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [28:47] Brands and causes we should notice
  • [30:30] The largest opportunity or threat for marketers today

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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 brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.

Navigating The Third Space: In-Car Marketing

The average consumer now spends 13 hours per week in their vehicle, representing a 27 percent increase over 2021. As consumers spend more time on the road, a new generation of connected cars is helping transform vehicles into a third “home” space—an environment that allows consumers to shop, be entertained, communicate and even work as they drive or rest in their vehicles.


What Is The “Third Space?”

The average New York-Newark area resident who commutes spends an average of 56 hours stuck in traffic, according to the 2021 Urban Mobility Report produced by Texas A&M University. Los Angeles residents faired slightly better at 46 hours per driver in 2020—but that still accounts for more than an entire work week spent trapped inside a vehicle. That makes the car much more than a transportation method; it’s also a quasi-living space where attention is highly focused and limited to short periods of time, intensifying the impact of any content that the consumer engages with. As new features are introduced to luxury and utility vehicles, consumers will one day have the option to use voice assistants to interact with their devices and connect with home or work, as well as discover new entertainment options. That also means that connected cars are actually gateways to immersive experiences that consumers will engage with every day.


What The Numbers Say

According to research by Waze, U.S. drivers are far more active than last year, traveling more and farther in the first quarter of 2022. They are also driving to more fun activities, with trips to culture and entertainment destinations rising by 55.7 percent and journeys to sports venues up by 76.8 percent over the same period last year. According to 87 percent of restaurant executives surveyed in Waze’s study, consumers are also letting their impulses decide where to go for dinner. That means drive time is also “decision time” for many consumers, and marketers should be aware of the opportunities and risks involved in reaching new audiences on the road.


Why “A Third Space” Matters To Marketers

It isn’t a surprise that people really, really hate being stuck in traffic. One study suggests that people were willing to give up five minutes of any other leisure activity if it would help them save one minute of time in traffic. Drivers are desperate for a distraction and open to engaging with smart, creative content. The opportunity for marketers is significant, but it can be hard to nail down. While consumers are used to listening to the radio or to podcasts in their cars, connected vehicles offer new options for interactions, each with the potential for brands and consumers to connect. Yet those connections can easily turn into unwanted interruptions if marketers are not cautious.

Creating in-car marketing content is uncharted territory, but that doesn’t mean there are no best practice guidelines to keep top of mind. Here are some things to remember when developing a new strategy:

Make It Worth Their While

Just like with any other type of marketing plan, campaigns should be designed to deliver value to the consumer that prompts them to engage without distracting them from their main task or activity for too long. That means you’re not just delivering content that relates to a guestimate of what a consumer may be doing at the moment, but offering tools or access to features that offer immediate value that’s demonstrable and tailored to the audience. For example, location-based discounts or unique content that add delight to a slow commute when traffic alerts indicate roads are blocked.

Stay Native And Relevant

Automotive companies have been taking advantage of new technologies, like augmented reality, to showcase their new vehicles. That may also soon extend to in-car displays of relevant content and targeted information, however, this content will engage users only when their implementation adds a tangible benefit to their drive time or downtime experience. For example, apps that send critical auto safety information to in-car displays and app-streaming plugins designed to let users access any app from their car’s screen while sitting in traffic.

Think Personalization First

For many consumers, being alone in their cars is a welcome refuge from the outside world—for a few minutes. When those minutes stretch into more than an hour, that space can become a place of tension. Marketers should allow consumers to personalize their interactions to match the mood of “the room,” as well as access the features or information that they want in the way that they want. For instance, consumers may need different types of content at different points in their drive. It’s up to you to make sure that your creative offers multiple iterations to meet their interests, such as audio for active driving or on-screen app content for bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Don’t forget compliance

When attempting to map brand marketing opportunities to connected cars’ digital capabilities, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind from the European Data Protection Board.

  • Disclose data usage to consumers during onboarding and offboarding.
  • Develop a long-term data use compliance strategy for apps and any digital interactions.
  • Ensure that content delivery has embedded, automated controls designed to prevent interference with safe driving, remote control of car functions or emergency service communications.
  • Use consent as the legal basis for studies or research using any consumer data, including location and search.

Building For Your Customers’ Future Journey Today With Andrew Zimmerman, CEO Of Journey

Andrew Zimmerman is the CEO of Journey, an innovation and design consultancy that works across the physical, digital, and virtual landscape. Andrew recently formed this future-forward company with the help of enthusiastic backers and several acquisitions, allowing it to quickly expand and scale.

In this episode, Andy and I discuss how brands can leverage emerging technologies to envision and create the next evolution of customer experience.


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why you should be developing a voice interface for your product or organization
  • How to think about what your customer’s journey will look like in the future
  • Why you can’t apply traditional thinking to the new ‘worlds’ being created today

Key Highlights

  • [01:42] A teaser for Andy’s bestseller “Journey”
  • [08:00] Andy’s move from CEO of Frog to CEO of Journey
  • [12:25] What made it easy for Andy to raise funds
  • [14:36] Looking at the next generation of customer journeys
  • [19:15] Why Andy calls voice interfacing the “unheard channel”
  • [22:40] Analyzing the wild, wild west that is the Metaverse
  • [28:33] Blurring the lines between physical, immersive, and virtual worlds
  • [34:25] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [38:40] The biggest opportunity or threat for marketers today

Resources Mentioned:

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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 brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.

Growth Marketing In The Crowded Space Of FinTech With Michael Goodbody, CMO Of Dave

Michael Goodbody’s journey to CMO of FinTech company Dave is certainly unique, starting in professional sports, moving to journalism, then switching to FinTech marketing. Spending time at fast-growing financial institutions like Wise (formerly TransferWise) and Credit Karma gave him an exceptional growth marketing lens within a space known for growth leveling.

In this episode, Michael and I discuss his marketing process, his focus on products that achieve what people are looking to do, countering the competition, and Michael’s thoughts on the type of talent he’s looking for in marketing today.


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Keys to differentiation in the FinTech Space
  • The difference between creative growth marketers and data-driven creatives
  • What type of creative talent is needed for FinTech marketing

Key Highlights

  • [01:30] Michael’s path to marketing
  • [06:56] All about Dave
  • [08:41] How Dave’s unique background contributed to current success
  • [10:24] Approaching the role of CMO
  • [12:37] Growing within the FinTech space
  • [21:48] Continuing to stand out in a crowded marketplace
  • [28:16] What marketing looks like at Dave
  • [33:01] Defining marketing talent at Dave
  • [38:19] An experience that defines Michael
  • [40:06] Michael’s advice for his younger self
  • [42:38] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [46:05] Brands and causes we should notice
  • [48:14] The biggest opportunity or threat for marketers today

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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 brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.

The Future Of Green Products With Seventh Generation’s CMO, John Moorhead

John Moorhead, CMO of eco-focused product company Seventh Generation, was a reluctant marketer. He “thought it was for the birds” until he realized the business impact it could have on one of his passions–the outdoors. It was then that he knew marketing would become his path to change the way people think about the products they use.

In this episode, John and I discuss his passion for environmentalism, how Seventh Generation is creating the future of green products, the new look of the brand, and the role of advocacy that businesses play in the world today.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Unilever and Seventh Generation utilize marketing in traditional and e-comm retail
  • Where businesses can impact sustainability and environmentalism
  • How Seventh Generation amplifies advocacy for their company and consumers

Key Highlights

  • [01:08] John’s path to marketing
  • [06:07] All about Seventh Generation and the acquisition by Unilever
  • [08:53] Seventh Generation’s brand refresh
  • [13:00] The future of green products
  • [14:05] Technology and science helping at the shelf
  • [16:27] Marketing’s challenge to address sustainability
  • [19:02] Connecting traditional marketing channels with e-comm
  • [22:34] Business’s roles in sustainability and climate
  • [26:16] An experience that defines John
  • [28:40] John’s advice for his younger self
  • [30:20] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [31:20] Brands and causes we should notice
  • [32:59] The biggest opportunity or threat for marketers today

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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 brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.