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Posts Tagged ‘consumer’

Starbucks Joins the Black Friday Black Eye to the Holidays

Kinda says it all to me after this holiday buzzkill news

Kinda says it all to me after this holiday buzzkill news

Sure, there’s a Starbucks on every corner. If you don’t believe me, listen to the great Lewis Black explain it.

Now, I understand Starbucks thinks it is a retail giant, but it’s not. Admit it, O’ siren of the coffee bean. You sell addiction in a nicely tight package of prepubescent angst.

Your smarmy baristas may be happy to provide some fattening lemon, pumpkin or other fru-fru bread, but you are placed on every street corner in the known world to sell coffee.

Your PR is for coffee. Your products are known as coffee. Your bottom line is laced in it.

So, far be it from me — who just loves all this Thanksgiving Thursday / Black Friday hurry-hurry-sell-till-you-puke-mess — to allow a moment like this to go by without a comment of snark. But Santa has decided that Starbucks would be better served as a big box retail store than a depot for hipsters ogling over each other’s skinny jeans and graphic tees.

According to the ConsumeristStarbucks’ Black Friday deal is $65 for a stainless steel tumbler that comes with an entire month’s worth of free espresso-based beverages.

Well, dip me in a caramel macchiato and call me java mama. I hope this comes with an appointment to an internist because your damn liver and kidneys may have something for you by New Years.

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Should Brands Pay Online ‘Influencers’ to Promote Their Products?

An article in the Harvard Business Review last week made an interesting, if not particularly novel, argument: brands should seek out independent “influencers” or “brand advocates” who have expressed support for their products in the interest of building relationships that will eventually involve the exchange of money for promotional services.

The story’s headline addresses “marketers”, but of course it’s relevant to PR pros as well. So should our clients identify and pay their “brand advocates” before it’s too late?

This issue is almost but not quite a retread of the “should brands pay for blog mentions” slippery slope debate: do we locate people who genuinely support our clients’ products and then offer them money to continue doing so?

Author Teresa M. Caro notes that brands have a lot of trouble pulling this off. Why? Because—all ethical concerns aside—it’s extremely hard to do. And proving ROI is a bit like finding the needle in that haystack.

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Consultant Philip Graves: ‘Not All Pieces of Consumer Insight Are Equal’

Philip Graves is a consumer behavior consultant and author of the new book Consumer.ology: The Market Research Myth, the Truth about Consumers and the Psychology of Shopping. While he has a great respect for research and data, he also thinks brands should cautiously use market research as it can lead them astray. His AFECT approach – analysis of behavioral data, frame of mind, environment, covert study, and time frame – outlines the criteria to determine the reliability of consumer research.

Recently he spoke with us about the uses and limits of consumer research.  And he answers the question: What is a consumer behavior consultant?

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