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Retail

Walmart’s Next Victim Is Organic Food, and You Can’t Blame Them

walmart organic

Wait, what?

Hey, when you’re Godzilla, you try to step on everything else, crush it, and keep on moving. Why? Because you can.

Meet Walmart. You may have seen a store or two around your neck of the woods. And for the world’s largest company, the one thing you have to give them is they never stop trying to add new cards in the spokes of its ginormous wheel. So, what in the world could it possibly add to its current global domination?

Organic food. I know, right?  Read more

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Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

STUDY: Millennials Seek Validation About Purchases, but Not Through Advertising

Moosylvania Millennial Purchasing Study

When older generations have sought validation or reassurance that they are making good purchasing and brand-loyalty decisions, advertising has valiantly stepped in to pat them on the back for a job well done or a smart choice made. But when Millennials seek that same approval and reassurance, they don’t look for it from advertising, but from their friends and family members, often through phone calls, texts, and social media channels throughout the purchasing process.

This is the major takeaway revealed by the 2014 Moose Millennial Study Data, conducted by Mooslyvania, which showed that while Millennials identify themselves as very self-confident and independent, they seek constant reassurance from friends and family when it comes to shopping. This is true whether the individuals in this age group shop alone or together — they still remain digitally connected to the people they trust most, seeking advice, guidance and approval via text, phone call and social media.

So, if brands aren’t gaining Millennials’ trust and loyalty through traditional advertising, how are they going about it? Read more

More Online Fashion Brands Eyeing Retail Stores as Core to their Business Models

Warby Parker Store UES Window Final“We’re trying to blend both worlds so they complement each other”, said Tim Riley, director of online experience at eyewear brand Warby Parker. He spoke on a panel recently about web-based fashion companies at FIAF (French Institute/Alliance Francaise). Warby Parker is one of a number of fashion brands in the post-startup phase that’s ventured into retail space. Another panelist, Mollie Chen, editorial director of Birchbox, said the beauty products packager is planning to open its first store in SoHo.

Digital-only brands have long been perceived as more cost-effective since they don’t need to pay steep expenses for designing and maintaining posh locales and sales staff. But internet-based companies have found that online-only doesn’t work for all categories. The in-person experience also adds a valuable dimension, forming a holistic customer relationship.

These two brands tested the waters first before investing in retail locations.

Read more

Target Needs to Put Its Legs Together

So, I’m sitting on my couch catching up on DVR recordings. One of my favorites is Comedy Central‘s absolute genius “@midnight.”

Host Chris Hardwick always starts the show with a high-octane “This happened on <insert your social media platform here> today.” And there was this picture.

targetfail

What in the red-and-white hell is that geometric gap between her legs? It’s certainly not a Bulls-eye, Target, so care to explain that deformity of this poor woman?

Of course not because they are still working around a certain Yuletide data breach so their PR reps are kinda busy at the moment. However, Target’s cracked photoshop crew were trying to make the waif pictured above even smaller because that always sells bikinis to real women, right? We can only hope that while Target is looking to cut costs while it invest in some heavy-duty, hack-proof security system, that they keep its proofreading group in marketing.

By the looks of that cavernous gap in the picture, someone was asleep on the job — or the edit button.

Target Overhauls Security, Makes Overdue Decision … Sorta

Target-Rain

Thanks to a certain credit breach, someone at Target has been crying the blues.

The holiday season was not the most wonderful time of the year for Target thanks to some cybernetic miscreants living in their grandmama’s garage. On December 19, the bulls-eyed retailer reluctantly disclosed a data breach that compromised 40 million accounts. That was trumped by the admission of stolen personal information one month later — including names, phone numbers, and email and mailing addresses — from as many as 70 million customers.

And that’s when you would assume someone in technology would be refreshing a resume, right? An intern? Some IT manager? A PR director (since we get blamed for most things anyway)? Nope, according to the hometown Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Target went angling for a much larger fish.

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STUDY: The ‘Honey-Do’ List is No More; Men Take Primary Responsibility for Household Shopping

man-in-grocery-storeThe reigning (and laughably antiquated) stereotype of a man in a grocery store looks something like this: a dude with a detailed, doomed-to-be-ignored list from his wife shoved unceremoniously in his pocket as he bypasses the vegetable isle to load up his cart with beer, condiments, and maybe a few slabs of meat to slap onto the grill, taking zero stock of labels, nutrition, food origin or even marketing.

Meanwhile, a new study by Defy Media, the Acumen Report: Brand New Man, paints an entirely different picture.

The survey, which took into account the responses of 2,000 men ages 18-49, revealed that 65% of men hold primary shopping responsibility for several household product categories, with 67% saying they actually enjoy shopping for the household.

This is particularly good news for marketers, as the results also showed that 63% of men are open to choosing new brands, and the way they go about doing so leaves plenty of room for companies to engage and impress them. As the report states, “When men are compelled to seek a new brand, they don’t just reach for the closest or cheapest one—they’re looking for the one.” To find it, they employ four identifiable steps that can be described as the four E’s. Read more

STUDY: Interacting With Other Brands Makes Consumers More Loyal

shutterstock_148909514

Now THAT’s a #ThrowbackThursday

Here’s some research that goes against everything you thought you knew about marketing and social media: a paper published in Scientific American this week claims that “flirting increases loyalty” when it comes to brands’ relationships with consumers. Not only that, but interacting with other brands also encourages consumers to spend more money on their favorites.

That’s quite a conclusion, sir. Please do explain.

Read more

STUDY: 21% of Users Write Reviews for Products/Services They Have Never Tried

negative-reviewSometimes, products, services and companies fully deserve the harsh reviews they may get online–bad service, shoddy products and questionable business practices are all valid reasons to call out the culprits and warn others away from a potentially negative experience. Not only can such reviews act as a public service, but some are hugely entertaining (you’ve seen Amazon’s review page for these Haribo gummy bears, right?).

But what if the online reviews upon which customers are basing purchasing decisions are totally fabricated?

According to recent YouGov research, a surprising 21% (one fifth!) of Americans who have reviewed a product or service online say they have done so without ever buying, using or trying that product or service. Who would do this, you ask? Surely this is the behavior of young, bored, immature kids, right? Wrong. We’re talking adults, here. And not just any adults–parents. Read more

Amazon Gets All Nostradamus-Like With Its ‘Anticipatory’ Shipping

amazon anticipation

When Amazon.com tells you it’ll be there before you know it, they ain’t screwing around!

Amazon’s latest move in the customer service one-upsmanship game comes right out of a George Orwell novel. According to Digital Trends, the company recently patented a new system called “anticipatory package shipping.” [Cue Close Encounters of the Third Kind music here.]

What does it mean? As Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them”—and Amazon knows exactly what you want. I know, right?!

Of course, Amazon’s patent doesn’t divulge how the company intends to freak the hell out of its online consumers, only that it plans to do so successfully.

We’ll tell you more after the jump, because we know what you want, too…

Read more

Marketers on MLK Day: ‘I Have a…Really Bad Idea!’

MLK Twerk

Oh…hell to the no! 

With respect to Dr. King, “I have a dream…that someday marketers that do this repugnant #$%! will lose a job, the ability to operate photoshop and possibly conscience just for a week or two.” Just let that galling picture sink in. That’s “Freedom 2 Twerk” and Dr. Martin Luther King throwing up some inane thug sign promoting said event. And then there’s that bling.

The hell?! On what planet in some distant twerkiverse is this crap a good idea?

Martin Luther King fought the most valiant fight against racial oppression and for civil rights in the 1960s. No link is needed because if you don’t know about what this day means to so many people, then you need to get your narrow behind in a library today. (You know, if they were open.)

However, now that the war is won, battles continue to rage in a court of retail? Why, just why?

Read more

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