bc q&a

Coupon King: 5 Questions with Thinaire Co-Founder Tim Daly on NFC Adoption

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 15, 2014 02:13 PM

Thinaire, a leader in radio frequency-enabled solutions, has been using technologies like Bluetooth and NFC to deliver mobile commerce and advertising content since 2011. While Thinaire's software can deliver paid video, music, games, apps and other sponsored content to consumers through branded apps, brands and retailers are increasingly in search of ways to deliver sales incentives to consumers in the very moment that they're considering a purchase.

NFC, which is at the heart of beacon technology, has been talked about as the next innovation in retail marketing, but brands have been slow to adopt the technology that makes use of consumer data due to confusion among marketers and concerns over security. Proximity marketing has previously been at the center of consumer complaints at retailers like Nordstrom, which was caught last year capturing shopper locations via the store's Wi-Fi network without consent. 

However, increased transparency from retailers and consumer-enabled apps like Swirl and Shopkick have helped retailers like American Eagle deploy beacon technologies throughout stores, pushing sales notifications and coupons for products that are in close proximity to a shopper's location within the store. Thinaire also recently launched its Active Shopper digital coupon solution to deliver mobile coupons that are instantly redeemable at checkout, while Macy's plans to expand its use of Apple's iBeacon technology to all of its US stores by year-end.

ActiveShopper works anywhere NFC and beacon solutions are available, and soon that may be in a lot more places following Apple's announcement last week of its mobile payment service, Apple Pay. The platform, which seeks to replace credit cards, uses NFC technology to seamlessly—and securely—complete transactions, a key piece to the mass adoption of the retailing technology.  

brandchannel spoke with Thinaire co-founder Tim Daly to discuss the future of NFC and how brands can better utilize proximity marketing.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Drop the Logo: Abercrombie & Fitch Ditches Identity to Regain Fashion Cred

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on August 29, 2014 11:17 AM

Say goodbye to the ubiquitous moose silhouette and serif-laced font: Abercrombie & Fitch is going logo-less as a last-ditch effort to get teen shoppers back in its stores. 

After reporting its tenth-straight decline in quarterly sales this week, troubled A&F CEO Mike Jeffries said the retailer is "looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing" after the brand had already cut logo-wear by 50 percent. By spring, A&F hopes to look a little more like the products seen inside fast-fashion houses like H&M, Zara and Forever 21: basic, and fashion—not brand—forward. 

A&F's plight is shared by teen retail rivals American Eagle and Aeropostale as well as its own Hollister brand, all of which heavily rely on logo-branded items that have since fallen out of favor with teen shoppers.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

ModCloth Follows Dove, Aerie in Pursuit of Values-Based Branding

Posted by Mark Dwyer on August 25, 2014 12:57 PM

Brand owners recognize that people are more likely to choose brands whose values align with their own. But how should a brand tell audiences about its values? Before taking a standard, media-based approach to communications, brands do well to consider a bold, attention-getting demonstration of its values to get people’s attention. 

ModCloth, the San Francisco-based e-tailer of women’s clothing, took action recently by being the first retailer to sign the Heroes Pledge for Advertisers as part of the #TruthInAds movement. The parameters of the pledge call for advertisers to not alter the shape, size, proportion, color and/or remove or enhance the physical features of models, although stray hairs may still be airbrushed away.

The brand, which has been supporting women of all shapes and sizes since its inception in 2002, has received praise and social media buzz for the move. “It‘s easy for us to sign on to something celebrating real people,” ModCloth CMO Nancy Ramamurthi said.  “When you see in the public this kind of change in attitude of embracing a company that does what’s right, companies will make the shift.”Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: adidas Steps Up for World Cup, Tyson Wins Hillshire and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 9, 2014 08:57 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

adidas partners with YouTube for The Dugout World Cup streaming channel, and leads FIFA sponsors calling for an inquiry into Qatar's bid. Above, its latest World Cup spot (with David Beckham, Lucas Moura, Zinedine Zidane and Gareth Bale), which has passed 9 million views since Friday.

Tyson Foods wins bidding for Hillshire Brands.

Amazon starts managing payments for third parties.

Barclays joins wearable tech revolution with contactless payment wristbands.

Gap Inc. becomes first US retailer in Myanmar with Old Navy and Banana Republic manufacturing.Continue reading...

retail watch

American Eagle Deploys iBeacon Technology in Expanded Shopkick Partnership

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 27, 2014 12:57 PM

American Eagle Outfitters has teamed up with Shopkick to deploy iBeacon technology in 100 AE and Aerie locations in what will be the largest rollout of the still-controversial tech across the apparel industry. 

Apple’s iBeacon technology uses Bluetooth LE to ping shoppers in-store and offer location-based deals, display location-specific rewards, discounts and product recommendations all without the customer even opening the ShopBeacon app.

"American Eagle Outfitters' shoppers are tech-savvy, social, and love their smartphones," said Shopkick CEO Cyriac Roeding, according to ClickZ. "ShopBeacon is able to connect to this new generation of shoppers as a trusted companion, by reminding opted-in users to open the Shopkick app at the entrance of the store, and further personalize their shopping experience with alerts and high-value rewards.”  

Additional Shopkick partners include Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, JCPenney, MasterCard, Old Navy, Simon Property Group, Sony, The Sports Authority, Target, Visa, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Revlon, Unilever, Pepsi, Levi's and HP.Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

Abercrombie Tries to Right Itself While Lululemon Keeps Running Into Walls

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2013 02:57 PM

And so the saga of out-of-touch retailers continues.

After a rousing few months of PR lows, teen outfitter Abercrombie & Fitch and yogi cult clothier Lululemon still have some gas in their engines. The purveyor of $90 stretch pants has largely recovered from its March "sheer pants" issue, with sales—and poor judgment—back at normal levels. A&F, however, has had a rougher go at it since the brand was thrust into the spotlight in May over some ill-advised comments from CEO Mike Jeffries that brought to light the brand's 'cool kids only' culture.

The consumer outcry over Jeffries' old comments—"A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."—only added wood to the fire that was A&F's falling sales. The company netted its seventh quarterly consecutive loss in same-store sales this week, resulting in an overall 30 percent devaluation in 2013. And after months of trying to put a band-aid on the brand damage, A&F announced that it will begin stocking more styles and larger sizes of its women's tops by spring and even start selling shoes and accessories in a bid to woo back teens that have defected to trendier retailers like H&M and Forever 21. 

In an age where inclusiveness is the key, A&F's preference for the “all-American kid(s) with a great attitude and a lot of friends," could be called downright archaic. Outright ignoring the flourishing plus-size industry, the retailer previously only carried up to a size large for its women's clothing, while rival American Eagle, as well as H&M and Forever 21 produce XL and plus-size lines.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Another Failed Mea Culpa from A&F After Activists Show Up at HQ

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 23, 2013 03:04 PM

It’s been seven years since Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries told Salon.com that his company is only interested in outfitting the cool, hip, skinny, “all-American kid(s) with a great attitude and a lot of friends.” He’s been paying the price for his exclusionary comments, though, for the past few weeks since Business Insider republished the quotes in a story about how A&F didn’t carry any women’s XL or XXL sizes.

The A&F brand has been taking a beating since. YouGov’s BrandIndex charted 18- to 34-year-old’s thoughts on the brand versus fellow retailers H&M and American Eagle. The latter two went up slightly while A&F’s numbers plummeted. Jeffries, no doubt, is regretting his comments from way back when (or at least is annoyed that BI brought them to the world’s attention again). On May 15, Jeffries posted a note to the company’s Facebook page that went for the old “quote has been taken out of context” argument and claims that the company is “strongly committed to diversity and inclusion.”

That may be so, but Jeffries may have misstepped again Wednesday when a group of teen activists showed up at the doorstep of the Columbus, Ohio, headquarters of his company. They were taken in, People magazine reports, and had a meeting with company execs but Jeffries didn’t bother to stick his head into the proceedings even though this has been a PR disaster for his company.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Lingerie Riots in Russia Fuel Controversial Advertising Trend

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 26, 2013 12:19 PM

One year after the Moscow show that landed Russian punk band Pussy Riot prison time (and global fame), a German lingerie brand is using the anniversary to sell racy undergarments.

Crass commercialism? Of course. But that's not the problem. The problem is backfire. Backfire is what another lingerie brand, Victoria's Secret, also faces with its latest marketing push.

The brand, Blush, debuted a not-so-safe for work video on YouTube, saying, "On the first anniversary of the Pussy Riot concert in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Berlin based Lingerie label blush supports the free pussy riot movement with a sexy protest march through icy Moscow (-15° C). Support Freepussyriot.org!"Continue reading...

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