Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 20, 2013 06:22 PM
Salt Lake City-based startup Needle offers a twist on social commerce, utilizing brand loyalists as shopping guides for curious consumers.
Its workforce, a team of brand experts that operate like freelance customer service reps, earn an hourly rate up to $12 and have a hosted profile on the retailer's website. “They love the products, they want to be in the loop on what’s new,” founder Morgan Lynch told brandchannel. His current workforce numbers about 20,000. “They’re contractors, who can come and go, but we have an extensive on-boarding process—that’s why I think there’s a difference between crowdsourcing and a distributed workforce.”
The service was inspired by Lynch's own shopping experience, in which he struggled to find reliable recommendations online for a product, and instead ended up buying the item in-store. The frustrating experience led to Needle, which gives "consumers the ability to find the perfect item online at the right time."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 05:28 PM
Folks have plenty of options when it comes to streaming online movies and TV shows: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Apple's iTunes come to mind, but Target apparently thinks the space has room for one more.
The retailer is reportedly testing a beta version of Target Ticket, a TV and movie-streaming service with access to 15,000 titles.
It will also provide “new releases, classic movies, and next-day TV,” the beta site claims. Right now, it’s just being tested on Target’s own employees, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports. This joins another employee-only beta test currently underway that allows people to order products online and pick them up at the store.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 20, 2013 04:36 PM
Procter & Gamble remains far from out of the woods in its closely watched effort to goose sales in traditional western markets, bolster its biggest brands, rebuild its innovation mojo—and do all of that at a less expensive level. The company's newest such effort is to overhaul how it measures the impact of its $5 billion-plus annual marketing outlay, especially its digital aspects, in a major new review.
America's largest advertising spender just adopted a new system two years ago for measuring ROI on marketing spending because investors—led by activist shareholder Bill Ackman—had begun pressuring new P&G CEO Bob McDonald to get more efficient in that area. Of course, Ackman and like thinkers began putting pressure on McDonald all over the map in an effort to get him to move more aggressively on a strategy to put P&G's financial returns back to historical peaks and more in line with those of competitors such as Colgate and Reckitt Benckiser.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 03:37 PM
After only a month, Jennifer Warren, the chief marketing officer for RadioShack, has given the 92-year-old company's image quite an overhaul. With hopes to become more relevant to younger consumers, the brand is pulling out every trick to try and woo a generation of digitally-savvy consumers into its aging stores.
Earlier this month, the electronics retailer released a new commercial advertising Beats by Dre's Pill speaker, a spot that's riddled with half-dressed women moving in suggestive ways. The spot features a soundtrack by Robin Thicke, which is available for download with the purchase of a Beats product. With over 1.8 million views, it's the retailer's best effort to attract attention to the host of other electronic brands it carries, especially hip ones like Beats by Dre, as it continues to battle its long-time reputation as a wires and batteries-type shop.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 02:42 PM
YouTube may very well be the king of user-generated video, but the site has recently been making a push to create more original content as it takes TV head-on. This week, YouTube launched its first-ever Comedy Week, an exclusive collection of comedy's biggest talents doing their thing nightly on the video network.
Throughout the week, YouTube will air a series of live shows, new episodes from existing channels and curated playlists with the help of over 150 comedians and media channels including Sarah Silverman, The Onion and even Arnold Schwarzenegger. A third of YouTube’s top 100 sites are all comedy-related, according to YouTube marketing head Danielle Teidt, and the hope is that the series will show the viewing public that the site is a good place to find great content.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on May 20, 2013 01:39 PM
Hyundai is reportedly close to settling 38 federal lawsuits filed after it overstated the fuel economy of its cars. Such a turning point might suggest a grand statement by the brand seeking to sweep that nasty episode behind Hyundai for good with a hearty mea culpa.
But just as Hyundai marketing stewards have done from the beginning of this shameful interlude that began in November, they're making sure they communicate primarily with the offended parties—Hyundai owners—instead of with the general public. Hyundai simply continues to carry out the remedy it came up with last fall of an apology to those owners, changing of internal procedures about estimating mileage, and a reimbursement to its customers consisting of debit cards for gasoline purchases to help make up for the mileage they "lost," around $88 for each year they've owned the vehicle with overstated mileage.
"We're focusing on the owners," Steve Shannon, CMO of Hyundai of America, told brandchannel. "We think we're doing the right thing. Every day a certain number of [reimbursement chits] come in and we send them a debit card, and the owners tend to be very pleased with the fairness of the settlement."Continue reading...
let's make a deal
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 12:22 PM
In what Yahoo hopes to be a life-altering deal, the aging internet company acquired social media site Tumblr for $1.1 billion, affectively gaining the attention of millions of users that visit Tumblr monthly (that is, if they all don't jump ship first).
Purchase rumors began to swirl last week after the company's CFO Ken Goldman spoke of Yahoo's "aging demographic" and their need to be "cool" again. With the acquisition now official, Yahoo will suddenly be knee deep in the content-consuming, uber-engaged millennials that it craves, but the question is whether Tumblr's core users will stick around for fear that Yahoo will alter the blogging site—or whether advertisers and brands can handle the rough-and-tumble world of Tumblr.
However, CEO Marissa Mayer was quick to assure users (with her first Tumblr post, of course) that Yahoo would "not screw it up" and had no plans to tamper with the site or its crew. Mayer's post, in the copyright-flouting spirit of Tumblr, used an image that without first getting its creator's permission.
Founder David Karp—who is slated to become Forbes' youngest billionaire—will remain at the head of the company along with his team. According to Mayer, it seems the only major plans Yahoo has for Tumblr (besides not screwing it up) are more opportunities for native advertising (aka advertorials or sponsored content, which Karp & Co. have been testing in the wake of earlier stumbles) in addition to implementing Yahoo search on Tumblr to start mining all that juicy millennial user data.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 20, 2013 10:54 AM
The "Live Free" logo on the back of a jacket or the big, red "自由" ("Freedom") on the sleeve of Harley-Davidson riders in China may seem a wild bit of irony. To those who buy into China as the brutal 1984-like state dry of any freedom, it may seem like a bold, almost rebellious political statement but to the riders displaying them, it's neither.
The idea of freedom through consumption is exploding in China. More and more brands—both foreign and domestic—are using the message every day. While the concept of consumer choices and products offering "freedom" is global, the idea of "freedom" in China is very unique.
A recent Reuters photo essay showed the world what a China Harley-Davidson rally is like. There were more than a few cultural differences. While the Sturgis Rally is held in the dusty backwater of South Dakota, China's recent Harley rally was at a private lake resort just outside of Shanghai. China's Harley enthusiasts tend to be CEOs or the very wealthy, but Harley-Davidson ownership is booming in China for some of the same reasons as in the west. "For me [Harley] represents freedom, total freedom,” a rider named Phillip Chu told Reuters.Continue reading...