Monday, June 18, 2018

Amazon’s Waterloo?


Ex-Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, warned Amazon that its expansion into grocery would be “Amazon’s Waterloo.” 

Oops! Not so much.

Not only is this more of a “Wellington Victory” for the brand, but the acquisition has forced grocery retailers in particular, and suppliers, manufacturers, heck, anyone that sells anything, to make fundamental changes to their strategies, supply chains, and customer service.

It’s been reported that Whole Foods’ customer traffic is up 3%, always a pretty good leading indicator of sales and profitability. And while not as “mainstream” as other U.S. grocery chains, brands like Trader Joe’s and Sprouts Farmers Market should be wary of a coming cleanup in Aisle 1.

Back in March 2016 we measured customer loyalty in, what was then, considered to be the roster of Natural Food markets. Trader Joe’s was #2, Sprouts was # 3, and Whole Foods? Well, they were #5. That’s out of 5 brands tracked. As our metrics always correlate with positive consumer behavior, we weren’t surprised to see that Whole Foods store traffic was down at that point by nearly 4%! Yikes!

But that was, of course, before the Amazon acquisition.

Interested in what happened and how? We invite you to listen to “The Marketplace of Everything” in this year’s recording series, “What Happened?”  

"Waterloo,” you said, Mr. Mackey? With store traffic up, sales up, and profits up, that’s the kind of “defeat” any brand would be glad to make part of their history!



Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.




Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Does Celebrity Brew Political Ambitions?

Howard Schultz is leaving Starbucks this month. The company announced he’s “thinking of a wide range of options. . . from philanthropy to public service.” “Public service” has become the code word for “politics.” Will he be missed?

Well, Schultz retired once before to the detriment of the brand – then came back, and the brand has been growing, but not like it has in years gone by.

There have been a number of ill-considered Starbucks social programs. The “Holiday Cup” debacle, the “Race Together” cup debacle, and the arrest-of-two- black-men-waiting-for-a-friend-in-a-Philadelphia-Starbucks debacle. Oh, and they’ve raised prices. Again.

Brand Keys tracks Starbucks in its Customer Loyalty Engagement IndexThere have been brand ups and downs, but current numbers show it to be #2 (in rankings by their own customers), with the out-of-home coffee category looking like this:

1. Dunkin’
2. Starbucks
3. Tim Hortons
4. McDonald’s

As these rankings always correlate (.80+) with consumer behavior, it’s not surprising to us that Starbucks growth has slowed dramatically and investors are underwhelmed by the company outlook.

For more insight in what Mr. Schultz’s departure will mean for the company and the brand, we invite you read Reuters’ story, “Starbucks investors mourn end of an era as Schultz exits.”
  
The company is hoping China will be its salvation. It’s looking to triple revenue there over the next five years.

And maybe that’s why politics are looking like a real opportunity for Mr. Schultz.



Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies. 










Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Emailing Can Be Bad For A Brand’s Health

Email marketers claim that emails are all about building relationships. Well, they would, wouldn't they? It’s what they do for a living after all.

What Brand Keys does for a living, on the other hand, is ensure that brands better engage customers, grow, and profit, whatever platform they use.

But based on a new survey we can safely say too many emails can be bad for a brand’s engagement health.

BTW, we’re not talking about SPAM. Everybody hates SPAM! No, these insights are according to 1,806 consumers who requested they receive emails from the retail brands they cited and evaluated for us. So to be clear, not SPAM.

For more details about emails you’ve invited into your mailbox, we invite you to read Nina Lentini’s Marketing Daily article, “Many Brands’Emails Frequency Sours Customers.”

What we can say unequivocally is while there may not be a perfect formula for planning email marketing for your brand, there is a proven method to measure how emotionally engaging a brand’s email program is going to be.

And, happily, it can also inform your brand planners how often they ought to reach out to consumers, without also disengaging them.




Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies. 



Monday, May 28, 2018

Millennials Share, But Boomers Buy

If you think all the Baby Boomers are retiring, it might be wise to keep in mind that Baby Boomers have a different philosophical view when it comes to “retirement.”

Maybe that’s because the average Baby Boomer feels nine years younger than his or her actual chronological age.

Or that Boomers – age 55+ – account nearly half of consumer spending, up 2% YOY.

Sure, 61% of Millennials tweet, so a lot, but Millennials, currently only account for 11% of consumer spending, which is down 3% YOY. This doesn’t mean marketers should ignore them, of course, but they shouldn’t become a marketer’s obsession either!

There’s more, so take a look at what we had to say in Laurie Petersen’s Whole Foods Magazine article, “Don’t Call Us Old! Reaching Boomers Where They’re At.”

Oh, one more thing marketers should keep in mind; Age is no barrier when it comes to buying.


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies. 


Monday, April 30, 2018

The Secret of Victoria’s Secret’s Sag

If you ask leading questions whereby respondents tell you what they say they think, instead of telling you what they really think, the result will be unfavorable scores.

Oh, and you can’t blame #MeToo for everything.

Read more here.




Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.:

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Why Retail is So Hard

You'd think that between the Internet, pricing apps, fast-fashion, and just-plain smarter consumers, Retail would have enough to deal with.

But no, it’s never that simple. Just when a sector thinks they have it figured out, another paradigm shifts and you have to start all over.

Happily, emotional engagement metrics can help to identify shifting category values 12 to 18 months ahead of traditional research. Retail being no exception.

What new value-based barricades does Retail have to storm now?

For an answer we invite you to read, Total Retail’s “How Politicsand Hashtags Changed the Face of Retail.”

We also think you’ll enjoy one of our What Happened? recordings, “Who Killed Retail?” The insights were based on predictive, emotional engagement measures. The outcomes? Well, let’s just say not every brands pays attention to important and shifting values.

If it helps, think of emotional engagement like a predictive tracking system for your category. 

Because values like these should always be on your brand's radar.


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Are Demographics Dead?

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “demographics” as the statistical characteristics of populations, such as age, gender, education, and income to identify markets.

They’re still very useful. Particularly for media targeting, but not so much for marketing any more.

A lot of marketers seem to think that if you get someone to engage with your brand at the start of their consumer lifecycle ­– barring some sort of brand or marketing disaster – you’ll keep them forever.

But that theory no longer works. Certainly not as well as it did 40 years ago. Or even 20 years ago.

Communication, customization, and context have changed the way consumers interact with brands. Their attitudes toward brands have changed. Their access to brands has changed. How consumers behave toward brands has changed. Hell, everything you knew has changed.

Well, everything but emotional engagement. That’s only gotten more important. Consumers respond more to the emotional than the rational and using emotional engagement to “define” audiences has been proven to boost brand consideration, ad effectiveness, and sales.

Want to see how?

We invite you to read a new study published in AdmapDefiningAudiences in the Fast Casual Category,” that shows how advertisers can more successfully segment audiences via emotional engagement and create more effective advertising. In most categories, up to six times more effective!

Unilever CMO Keith Weed recently called for brands to market “in segments of one.”

That one most important segment?

Emotional brand engagement.


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.