Monday, September 24, 2018

Growth of the Experience Economy

"The experience economy" is a 20-year-old phrase that refers to a premium, differentiated experience perceived as higher value (by consumers) than, say, service delivery or products alone.

According to the classic Harvard Business Review article about this phenomenon, marketers can "wrap experiences" around traditional goods or services (or both) to enhance the offering. The key benefit of experiences is that they are memorable.

The consulting firm McKinsey notes that spending on experiences has increased much faster than spending on goods. And, McKinsey says, millennials are leading the way in spending on entertainment and fitness-related experiences, for instance. Think about the rise of experience-heavy offerings like the Museum of Ice Cream, which began as a pop-up retail experience in New York City and has sparked spinoffs, extensions, collaborations, and sponsorships.

Growth in the experience economy is a global phenomenon. A cultural event space in Manchester, England, found strong demand for its diverse experience offerings, from theater to music to art and food. "The big change to what I call experientialism is more about finding happiness and status in experiences instead," says author and trendspotter James Wallman.

Does this mean materialism is dead? The lesson from the experience economy is that goods alone may not be the best or only way to satisfy a consumer need, especially for key consumer groups.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Dr Pepper Targets College-Age Consumers


More than a century old, Dr Pepper (now merged with Keurig) aims to make itself the soft drink brand of choice for college-age consumers. This market segment tends to be interested in diverse flavors and differentiation, as well as being heavy consumers of soft drinks.

No wonder Dr Pepper is a big sponsor of college football, and is very active on social media (420k Twitter followers, 539k Instagram followers, 14mm Facebook likes, 26k YouTube subscribers). And no wonder the company promotes "pick your Pepper" limited-time designs to catch the eye of variety seekers.

This year, Dr Pepper is trying something new with a soap opera-like series of commercials/episodes that will tell stories coming to an end as the college football season is over in January, 2019. The integrated campaign includes social media plus traditional media to attract attention and increase interest in the story line.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

What Is the Most Popular Color for Logos?

A recent study shows that a few colors tend to be most popular for particular types of brand and company logos.

Here's a hint: At left, the retailer Uniqlo's bold logo. In a sea of mall stores or downtown storefronts, the logo is designed to stand out. Think of Target's red-and-white bull's-eye logo, easily identifiable from the far distance of a highway or across a crowded city street. Or look at Macy's red star, a simple and quick identifier. That's why the most popular color for retailer logos is red.

For companies in the fields of marketing, public relations, healthcare, and technology, blue tends to be the most popular color, according to the study, because of associations with "knowledge, tranquility, security, and trust."

The Cigna Health Insurance logo is mainly blue. So is the logo of Anthem. So is Progressive. And Geico (yes, the gecko is green, but the logo is blue).

Next time you see a retailer's or company's logo, think about why it chose its color(s) and how color contributes to positive marketing associations.