Friday, March 23, 2018

Marketing Insects as Food?

Here's an interesting marketing trend in the world of food: Eat bugs.

In Canada, Loblaw's is marketing Cricket Powder, made from ground-up crickets. It's not just full of protein, it's an environmentally-friendly approach to eating. "By making products like Cricket Powder widely available in our grocery stores, we are giving Canadians the option to not only try something new, but to also make a conscious decision on what they eat and how it impacts the environment," says a Loblaw vice-president.

In fact, cricket flour is being incorporated into a range of products. Chapul specializes in cricket-protein chocolate bars, among other edibles. Cowboy Cricket Farms produces 20 million crickets yearly and makes cookies from cricket flour. Chirps chips are made from, yes, cricket flour.

Today, insect-based protein foods are niche products. Do they have the potential to become mainstream products in the not-so-distant future?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Newly Updated: Links to Resources for Your Marketing Plan

Writing or revising a marketing plan? Click here to see more than 60 links to news, ideas, and sources of data for developing or refining a marketing plan.

The links include these categories:

  • Info about the marketing environment, customers, and markets
  • Info about businesses and competition
  • Info about social responsibility, ethics, and sustainability
  • Info about marketing tools, processes, and analytics
  • Trends in retailing and marketing channels
  • Trends in mobile marketing and online retailing
One link I check often is Knowledge @ Wharton, where experts analyze timely trends in business and nonprofit marketing. Take a look and see what you can take away that will help you with your marketing plans.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Marketing Makeup for Men

Makeup for men is gaining increased marketing attention worldwide. "Makup for men is a thing now" read the headline on MarketWatch last August, and it's even more of a thing in 2018.

For instance, David Beckham has a new men's grooming brand, House 99, marketed by L'Oreal. Just launched--and already its Facebook page has more than 11k followers.

MMUK Man opened the first retail store specifically for men's skin-care products only a few months ago. The five-year-old brand is growing rapidly and showing bigger brands that this is a niche worth watching.

Another startup, Ava-J, is also leveraging men's interest in skin care by marketing grooming products and looking for boutique distribution, not supermarket distribution.

Cosmetics for men are a major trend in China these days, where global brands like L'Oreal, Nivea, and Clinique are especially prized.

Watch for more major brands to launch product lines targeting men and create distribution deals to ensure that men know where they can find these new products in retail channels.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Most Reputable Brands in 2018

Which brands came out on top in the recent Harris Poll consumer survey about reputation? Harris asks about six dimensions affecting reputation, including products, social responsibility, emotional appeal, workplace environment, financial results, and vision/leadership.

Hint: The same company has topped the list for three consecutive years. In other words, this company's reputation has remained the highest among surveyed consumers.

Here's the list of top 10 most reputable brands in 2018:

10. Aldi (deep-discount grocery retailer)
9. Patagonia (retailer of outdoor apparel and equipment)
8. Publix Super Markets (major grocery retailer)
7. UPS (package delivery service)
6. HEB Grocery (Texas-based grocery retailer)
5. Walt Disney (entertainment company)
4. Chick-fil-A (fast-food restaurant chain)
3. Tesla (automotive and solar energy firm)
2. Wegmans (grocery retailer)

and the top firm in this year's poll is . . . . . .

1. Amazon (pioneering online retailer)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Marketing Coca-Cola

Passing through Atlanta, Coca-Cola's home town, I noticed this vending machine chock full of the company's sodas, waters, and juices. The Cherry Coke caught my eye. This traditional favorite was introduced 33 years ago, and now comes in regular plus zero sugar versions.

What also caught my eye is the recent news that Coca-Cola is launching an "alcopop" beverage in Japan. The new beverage is a low-alcohol drink designed specifically for that market. In fact, Coke experiments with up to 100 new products in Japan every year, gearing its marketing to consumers who enjoy variety and eagerly snap up limited-edition and limited-time (seasonal) products.

Tempting variety-seekers is a wise strategy for mature markets. The company's recent financial results show that fizzy-drink sales are flat, but water, tea, and coffee beverages are scoring well with consumers.

To reignite interest in sodas, Coke is introducing different flavors like peach and raspberry Coke in America. Extensive marketing research showed the appeal of these "vintage" varieties so reminiscent of local flavors mixed up by soda jerks behind the soda fountains of a bygone era. The company is also adding varieties like Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Peach in UK and beyond.

Watch for more new products as Coke continues to be guided by its 2020 mission of refreshing the world, inspiring happiness and optimism, and creating value.