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brand ambassadors

Burt's Bees at 30: Keep Balm and Carry One (or Three)

Posted by Dale Buss on September 29, 2014 03:17 PM

Burt's Bees nowadays is far from the company founded 30 years ago by a former hippie but the first national TV advertising campaign for the personal-care megabrand now owned by Clorox Co. does try to invoke some of the charm of the simpler times when Burt Shavitz came up with his original lip balm.

Besides being able to harness the resources of a CPG giant, and diversifying into a wide variety of personal-care products, the biggest change for Burt's Bees under Clorox has been the proliferation of lip-balm flavors in recent years. And in a culture where flavor proliferation has become a huge and growing trend in categories ranging from soft drinks to Greek-style yogurts, and where the lip balm category has been revitalized by the eos (Evolution of Smooth) brand and its Millennial-favored pod-like line of lip balm flavors, the move makes sense.

So its new Uncap Flavor campaign, coming on the heels of the brand's 30th "Beeday" (celebrated everywhere but France, we're guessing) depicts two bees flying while holding either end of the Burt's Bees signature yellow cylindrical container. It's the original, peppermint-flavored balm that was introduced in 1984. And as it falls, its cap pops off and a parachute of mint opens.Continue reading...

branded content

Benefit Plumps Up Content Push to Connect With Wing Women Everywhere

Posted by Tori Miner on September 3, 2014 12:24 PM

Benefit Cosmetics certainly lives by the culminating line of its "Benefesto"—Laughter is the best cosmetic. From product naming (personal favorites include “Dr. Feelgood” complexion balm and “Stay don’t stray” eyeshadow primer) to pop-up experiences (such as Gabbi’s Head, a London pub just for women wanting to watch the World Cup), the full brand experience is fun, flirty and reflects a tongue-in-cheek tone crafted to keep you laughing as you’re looking good.

And when it comes to branded content, Benefit stays true to its core message while finding creative ways to connect with fans. Most recently, it released a music video parody of Montell Jordan’s ‘90s hit “This Is How We Do It” starring comedienne Anjelah Johnson in her MADtv-spawned character, Bon Qui Qui. Set in Las Vegas, the video oozes '90s nostalgia as it celebrates wing women getting glammed up for the ultimate ladies night.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Can Facial-Mapping Take the Beauty Industry to a New Level?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 20, 2014 10:40 AM

The days of excruciating hours spent in a makeup chair to transform into a character like Mrs. Doubtfire or the Joker are waning, thanks to Nobumichi Asai’s Omote.

A mash-up of real-time facetracking and projection mapping, artists can layer malleable makeup on subjects that are moving. Asai has previously used projection mapping to apply CGI to cars and to buildings before taking on the human face.

Asai's iteration still has some kinks to work out, but the face-mapping technology behind the project is actually at work in several other branded products in the beauty industry that are currently on the market.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

From Kim K to Karl Lagerfeld, Celebrities are Cashing In on Branded Products

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 24, 2014 03:55 PM

It’s not enough to just be a superstar these days, with millions of adoring fans and multitudes of followers on social media. Instead, celebrities from all walks of life are turning their personal brands into actual businesses with products and services that you never knew you needed.  

Case in point: Kim Kardashian's blockbuster mobile game “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.” The Sims-like game is sitting at No. 1 on the iTunes free app chart and reportedly brought in $200 million in the few months that it's been live. Kardashian, according to Forbes, will take home around $85 million of that thanks to her near 50 percent stake in the game. While the game "is ridiculous. It’s laughable. It grates on your nerves after awhile," the Washington Post reports, "it’s nearly impossible to look away.” 

Reflecting the Kardashian brand, now a multimillion-dollar empire, the app lets users achieve various levels of gameplay on their way to becoming an “A-list” celebrity with Kim as a guide. In-app purchases of Kim Coins drive revenue through the roof for the fairly simple app, which has a 5-star rating.Continue reading...

retail watch

For Retail Brands, a Blend of In-Store and Online Can Get the Sale

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 24, 2014 11:41 AM

Retail is ripe for innovation, but are consumers really hungry for it? The latest Omnichannel Shopping Preferences study from A.T. Kearney seeks to answer that, but the findings may surprise the droves of brands making huge investments in digital commerce. 

The survey of 2,500 US shoppers found that physical retail stores play a crucial role in online purchasing habits, with 55 percent of shoppers preferring to use both physical stores and online retail throughout the shopping journey. 

The study makes for an even greater argument for omnichannel retail. "A strategy based on leveraging the appeal of the physical store supported by digital is the best formula for capturing the maximum number of sales, building sustainable customer loyalty, and creating opportunities to cross-sell," study co-author Michael Brown said

While online-only brands like Birchbox continue to experiment with physical retail spaces, traditional retail brands are also finding fun, innovative ways to combine the ease of online shopping with the brand experience of brick-and-mortar.Continue reading...

retail watch

Birchbox Scores with First Brick and Mortar Store

Posted by Brittany Waterson on July 17, 2014 01:52 PM

Color this beauty blogger impressed. I finally got a chance to visit Birchbox, the beauty subscription service and e-commerce site, at the brand's first brick-and-mortar retail store, which opened in New York last week. Located in Soho, the store includes a curated product assortment from 250 brands. Birchbox joins brands like Warby Parker and Bonobos in making the leap from exclusively online ventures to physical stores.

Birchbox launched in 2010 and has grown rapidly with a goal of redefining the retail process by offering customers a way to try and experience the best beauty products on the market. Birchbox offers monthly subscriptions, in which customers are sent boxes containing sample-sized beauty products, in addition to an e-commerce site where all the products are available for purchase. The brand tested pop-up locations in New York and the Hamptons before making the leap to a permanent residency.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

The Polished Home: OPI, Ace Hardware Bring the Nail Salon to the Living Room

Posted by Katie Conneally on July 10, 2014 06:17 PM

It used to be that you could spot bold nail polish colors, elaborate nail art and sparkling gel manicures on hands left and right. But after several years of unparalleled growth, the nail polish market has slowed down, with retailers like Coty (which owns OPI) noting a four percent drop in sales at the end of 2013. 

So this year, it’s no surprise that nail polish brands are turning to new, innovative partnerships to reposition nail polish as not just a beauty product, but a key part of consumers' aesthetic lifestyle, in an attempt to drive sales and attract new customers. 

OPI is leading the way through a collaboration with Clark+Kensington, a line of house paints from Ace Hardware. Together, they’ve developed three new color palettes of house paint that match some of OPI’s most illustrious colors. Each palette contains 6 shades and is designed to reflect consumers’ personalities with names like "The Artist," "The Wild Heart" and "The Romantic."Continue reading...

retail watch

All By Myself: Brands Let Products Do the Talking in Hands-Off Sales Style

Posted by Isobel Oliphant on July 8, 2014 06:17 PM

For a while, after realizing that they could, most brands loved to talk; to customers, to other brands, to anyone who’d listen, really. Then they figured out how conversation worked, that theirs wasn’t the only voice to be heard and that being a good listener would win a lot more admirers.

What we can assume they heard when they started to listen was, “I can do it alone.” 

Back in 2012, Clinique, one of the largest makeup and skincare brands operating in the US, gave itself a mini-makeover, transitioning into what retailers call an “open-sell” environment, a place where shoppers can browse, buy and be in peace—an experience that some might say is the physical manifestation of online shopping with the only difference at checkout, when everything you’ve “added to your basket” must now be piled on the counter and rung up the old-fashioned way: by a human being. 

Its "Service how you like it" concept took the brand's products out of the box and put them on display for customers to play and experiment with, either with or without the help of a sales associate. The concept was pioneered by Sephora, which openly displays its products and piles on the free samples. With increased sales and continued market success, Clinique seems to have hit the nail polish on the head.Continue reading...

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