Thursday, November 16, 2017

Beyond Turkey: Retailers and Consumers Face Choices

It's November. And that means consumers and retailers have some interesting choices to make.

Walmart is one of a handful of stores that will be open all day on Thanksgiving Day. Other retailers, like Best Buy and Macy's, will open later on Thanksgiving to attract shoppers who want to start their gift buying after enjoying a holiday meal.

Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving) is, of course, traditionally a big shopping day for many consumers who seek bargains. But outdoor retailer REI is promoting an alternative for the third consecutive year. As shown above, it uses the hashtag #OptOutside to encourage consumers (and employees) to enjoy nature rather than crowd into stores and plunk down money. This unusual campaign has differentiated REI from every other retailer and endeared it to brand fans and employees alike.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is now known as Small Business Saturday. Created by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is a day for encouraging consumers to choose to support small and local businesses. There are nearly 3.5 million Facebook likes for Small Business Saturday's page, featuring #ShopSmall as the hashtag.

Then comes CyberMonday, a day when online retailers promote deals to attract buyers galore. This has become a major tradition as online buying grows in popularity. Especially given the big push into ecommerce by Walmart and other store-based retailers, CyberMonday will continue to be an important day for dueling discounts (and the consumer wins).

Finally, Giving Tuesday is the youngest of these "holidays," a day that encourages charitable donations, volunteerism, and support of good causes. Founded in 2012, #GivingTuesday is a good reminder of the many ways consumers and groups can make a difference by giving of their time, talents, and money.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Black Friday Expands to Black November

Not so long ago, retailers would plan "door buster" deep discounts for the Friday after Thanksgiving, aiming to entice shoppers who wanted to get a jump on their holiday gift purchases.

These days, Black Friday isn't just a single day--or even a single week. Nope, it's several weeks long. Above, Amazon posts new discounts every day on its "countdown to Black Friday" page. Best Buy already has Black Friday specials.

So does Walmart, which is also planning to open many of its stores on Thanksgiving and feature deep-discount Black Friday deals at 6 pm on Thursday evening. For online shoppers, Walmart will kick off Black Friday all day on Turkey Day, as shown here on its website.

Walmart is trying something new this year: in-store parties to demonstrate products and create a special experience for shoppers who choose to buy in person. The plan is to throw some 20,000 parties nationwide, inviting shoppers to come on in and try new products, taste new foods, or watch new demonstrations--get in a festive mood and buy!

Monday, November 6, 2017

What's New at Legoland

Legoland theme parks in Florida and California attract millions of visitors every year. Now Merlin Entertainments, which operates the parks, is planning a Legoland in Goshen, New York, within an easy drive of big cities like the Big Apple and Boston. Merlin anticipates this Legoland will welcome more than 2 million visitors annually when it opens in 2020 or so.

Already, the company has a FB page for Legoland New York. It maintains separate social media accounts for each theme park. Legoland Florida's Twitter account, for instance, has 23k followers, while the California Legoland Twitter account has more than 60k followers.

Legoland parks target families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. To boost profits, Merlin is planning more hotel and resort rooms, as a way of capturing more vacation dollars from Legoland visitors. This could be a good marketing opportunity now that theme park visits have been affected by external concerns in the marketing environment such as extreme weather and terror threats.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Marketing the 2018 Winter Olympics

Although the 2018 Winter Olympic Games are still a few months away, marketing has been in full swing for some time. Already, the list of global marketing sponsors for the PyeongChang Games is posted on the official website.
  • Official Olympic partners include Coca-Cola, Alibaba, Atos, Bridgestone, Dow, GE, Intel, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung, Toyota, and Visa.
  • Official Winter Games partners include McDonald's, KT (Korea Telecomm), The North Face, Korean Air, Samsung, Hyundai/Kia, SK, LG, Lotte, and Posco.
The official Twitter page has 200k followers; official FB page has nearly 500k followers; official Instagram account has 33k followers; plus there's a Weibo account for the many hundreds of thousands of Asian fans.

NBC is selling advertising for the televised games...and sales are quite strong. The advertising world has changed a bit since the Sochi Winter Games, so viewers are likely to be exposed to many more 6-second commercials than last time.

NBC is also segmenting the market for coverage: "We are getting deeper into the mindset and motivations of Olympic viewers … we are not looking at demographics, but leaning more toward psychographics," says the CMO of NBC Sports Group. With content tailored for each segment, NBC expects better viewer numbers (which helps advertisers reach the people they're trying to reach).