Posted by Anna Eggleton on April 24, 2013
An interesting new trend emerging is the power of the Clean Slate brands. However I am not sure the trend is that of clean slate ie I don’t think consumers are looking for brands without baggage so much as it’s so much easier and less risky now to search and buy the new – with personal recommendations driving trust and appeal.
KEY FACTS: 92% trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising, up 18% since 2007. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information with a 70% trust rating, up 15% since 2008. Television ads were trusted by only 47%, down 24% since 2009. (Nielsen, April 2012)
My favourite new brand (which my children have introduced me too) is Tinc. Taps into the eternal passion that children have for stationary combined with cool packaging and really touchy feely products. Each of the products has a name which gives a pencil a moshi monster type appeal and personality. They even have an app that you can use to earn ‘pebbles’ (by marketing Tinc to your peers) to get money off products.
Posted by Will Butterworth on April 23, 2013
Facebook Home was launched earlier this month and seems to have gone down well with the majority of reviewers. Undoubtedly such a land grab will further frustrate operators clamouring for attention from mobile users beyond the standard out of box, problem resolution and renewal journey. The good news however is that the Home platform may well grow operator profits through data consumption; tests have shown that Home chews through data pretty rapidly. There is an option to limit the data consumption however it seems as though this will limit the end user experience somewhat.
Home is not really alone in what it’s doing here, there are other similar programs around with the likes of Blinkfeed from HTC feeling remarkably similar. However such an aggregator from a powerhouse like Facebook is a big move. Given the nature of the mobile experience aggregators are hot property at the moment. Yahoo have just purchased Sumly for £18 million, not for the programming experience of an 18 year old founder from Wimbledon either, he had none. But for the aggregator technology he sourced in developing the application. It will be coming soon to a Yahoo screen near you.
As a pariah on the Android OS and compatible with HTC and Samsung phones Facebook Home will undoubtedly appeal to young Facebook natives using it as their network HQ. However a meagre 2.5 stars in the Google Play Store and only half a million downloads suggests that the jury is out. Having discussed it with peers; those first swept up during Facebook’s launch in 2004/5, it seems as though interest in the platform is wearing a little thin. It feels as though checking Facebook is becoming an, albeit inevitable chore for the inaugural generation once completely submerged in and excited by its use. Whether any backlash will be strong enough to compromise any of Facebook’s plans to become the hub of a social world we shall see. While Facebook Home is clearly an early step towards that end I for one can’t see why I would need to sign up just yet.
Posted by Giles Lury on April 17, 2013
Make mine a Big Mac
For many commentators the stock market is the barometer of economic performance, but recent years and its volatility must raise a few questions about its accuracy.
Others have advocated talking to taxi drivers - and while I’m always interested in their views, and like Faith Popcorn feel that if you take enough journeys you do get a feel for what’s “going on” in society, I’m not sure their perception of their own prosperity is a good indicator for the whole economy.
Some advocate the length of women’s skirts but (partly wishing to avoid any challenges of sexism) I would note that there is not only less consistency in skirt lengths in recent years, but more and more women are wearing trousers, leggings and jeans, so I’m not putting my money on that
No for me the best indicator is the level of that McDonald’s puts on its value offering.
As Annie Gasparro in the WSJ put it recently:
“Typically investors look to McDonald’s for a broad sense of how the global economy is affecting consumers. To put it simply if McDonald’s can’t sell a $1 cheeseburger, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of industry”
Given the recent pronouncements from Chief Executive Don Thompson that promotions on higher priced items weren’t “resonating with consumers” and the continuing emphasis on The Dollar Menu I would predict the economy has a long way to go yet before we’re really in recovery.
Posted by Giles Lury on April 5, 2013
One of the challenges facing many FMCG marketers today is the LAPD of NPD
The issue is that too many new products or services are being “caught” by the LAPD…
- Launch (in a blaze of glory and if you’re lucky some A&P in year 1)
- Abandon (budgets get cut, focus shifts to next big thing and so sales drop)
- Panic (ensues)
- (Retailers’) Delist
The reality of increasing product portfolios, continual pressure for new news and increasing media costs, means that the old models of innovation need to be reviewed
Our experience suggests that there needs to more focus in the development stage on
- The development of clearer, simpler and stronger propositions and their supporting reasons to believe coupled with the use of more initial idea screening
- The role and development of the pack -the silent salesmen – which must work harder and often is the most important communication vehicle the new product will have. This in turn leads to more Packcept or Pack focused research – rather than full concept testing. The rationale being that the consumer won’t get to see or hear all the “words” there are on a standard concept – or the communication that would have done this role – so a truer test is to focus on the pack
Posted by Paul Gaskell on March 26, 2013
The last few weeks have seen a flurry of articles suggesting the unthinkable; that the sheen might finally be wearing off the Apple brand. (5 Truths That Explain Our Love-Hate Affair With Apple from Fast Company is probably our favourite).
Before I get lynched by my Apple-loving colleagues for suggesting such heresy perhaps we should engage in a little market research to see what consumers really think?
It feels like a good time to re-enact the much told story of how Innocent’s founders tested out their smoothies at a London music festival, with bins marked ‘yes’ or ‘no’ depending on whether punters thought they should ditch their day jobs to make the drinks full-time. Replace bins with piles of t-shirts and we could have a little fun:
The pile that runs out fastest wins…