Millennials Are Today’s Food & Wine Tastemakers

November 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

3040348-slide-s-4-meet-the-brand-that-got-millennials-hooked-on-sparkling-wineMillennial foodies are the new “tastemakers”. What Millennials want in food today is what the rest of the world will soon be asking for. This savvy generation loves lots of informal celebrations, intense flavor profiles, ethnic cuisines, more natural foods and lots of snacks. Champagnes like Chandon are courting Millennials as an irreverent celebration alternative to their parents’ brands and are designing bottles to fit their occasions.

Restaurants are working hard to cater to millennials as their incomes and spending habits grow.   Here are some important facts to understand.

  1.  They eat out more often.  53% of the group goes out to eat once a week, compared with 43% for the general population. They eat out more often in all categories – quick serve, casual dining and fast casual.  While they all eat fast food, millennials don’t want to admit to eating it.  They are the least likely to recommend fast food to others.  Fast casual is their favorite.  Millennials compose 51% of fast casual customers.
  2. They want healthy food which means fresh, less processed and with fewer artificial ingredients.
  3. They want food that comes from socially responsible companies.  Types of companies that they like include those who have principles around fair trade, sustainability and fair wages.   Companies that exhibit these qualities include Starbucks and Chipolte.
  4. They like to support local restaurants.  Again this means higher quality food, social ethics, ethnic foods and flavor profiles.
  5. They want convenience which translates to easy online ordering, stellar apps and rewards programs. Starbucks has scored big with their new app revamp for pick-up orders.
  6. Sriracha is on everything.  It is stocked in 9% of American households and in 16% of those under 35.
  7. They celebrate a lot.  According to CEB Iconoculture, Millennials are celebrating more than just the traditional holidays. Super Bowl Parties, May the 4th Be With You celebrations (for Star Wars fans), and single girls’ gatherings for Valentine’s Day are just a few ways Millennials are celebrating outside of traditional holidays.
  8. The line between snacks and meals is blurring. According to research by Barkley and BCG, Millennials tend to snack far more than older generations. It is very common for Millennials to regularly have snacks in the mid-morning, mid-afternoon and late at night.

On the alcohol side of things, Chandon reports that 27 percent of adult millennials now choose beer as their favorite alcoholic drink and a lot of that beer is craft beer.   But beer consumption is down from 33 percent in 2012, leaving room for other products including vodkas, wines and sparkling wines.  Millennials like craft brands and made-for-me brands.  Chandon has targeted Millennials with its “celebrate everyday” strategy, moving sparkling wines from only end of year special occasions to everyday occasions.  Since Chandon is technically not Champagne since it is from Napa Valley, the wine has become Americanized.  Chandon has been able to reimagine how sparkling wine can be consumed—and by whom.  Chandon typically sells for a lower price point as well.

But price alone is not enough to lure young adults.  They seek an experience.  Chandon has given the classic champagne bottle a trendy makeover and creates seasonal designs for its bottles.  Last year Chandon put out three limited-edition bottles that are scrawled with the phrases “The Party Starts Here,” “Bring on the Fun,” and “I am the After Party.”   Ideally, consumers can pick out the bottle that matches their personality.  Their marketing also matches this new look with a heavy dependence on social media using image heavy social platforms like Instagram.

“Any marketer will tell you that it is very difficult to change consumer behavior,” Cristian Yanez, VP of Estate and Wines at Moet Hennessy USA, Chandon’s parent company says. “But with sparkling wine, we’ve found that a simple approach works best. I know it sounds a bit basic, but just giving people another excuse to drink a bottle of sparkling wine is sometimes all we need to do.”

 

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Plus Size Fashion Continues to Grow

November 9, 2015 § 1 Comment

SHEVA-Ashley-TiptonIt’s no secret that the average American woman is a size 14. And it seems that American fashion is beginning to take note.

Several things have happened recently to amp up the plus size movement.  Project Runway celebrated its first plus size fashion designer win last week.  Ashley Tipton is only the second designer on the show who has specialized in plus sizes.  Her unique collection celebrated her Mexican heritage, a nod to Frida Kahlo and a fashion forward plus look.  Recently Melissa McCarthy launched her own clothing line which is carried at retailers like Nordstrom’s and shopping network HSN.

According to market research firm NPD group, sales of plus-size clothes grew five percent in 2014, making it a $17.5 billion industry.  What’s more the study defined ‘plus-size’ as U.S. size 18 and up, whereas in the fashion industry it starts at size 14, meaning the growth may well have been significantly larger.

Over the past two years, plus-size sales within the e-commerce category have grown 31%.  Online shopping seems to take a larger share of plus size shopping. Even traditional retailers have more plus size options online.

The Opportunity

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Most plus-size women feel that their body size is not sufficiently represented in fashion and retail.  A recent study from ModCloth found that 46% of plus-size women ‘never or rarely’ find clothing that flatters their body.
The online retailer surveyed more than 1,500 women to determine how they feel about the current state of the plus-size market.  They found that most women are dissatisfied. Some 81%  said they would spend more on clothing if there were more options available in their size.

 

Marketing to Women: Why Shopping Local is Important

December 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Linda Berry, Bella Linea Owner

Linda Berry, Bella Linea Owner

Shopping local is more than a trend. It is growing for several reasons. Shopping local is good for business, good for the environment and good for our desire to find one-of-a-kind, meaningful products.

Good for Business

Local shopping is not insignificant. In a world of online shopping and big box retailers, the 23 million independent stores in America account for 54 percent of sales. These independent stores provide 55 percent of jobs, and 66 percent of all net new jobs since the 1970s.

One study says that local business generates 70% more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail. Keeping dollars in the local economy has been the rally cry for small business. My friend Linda Berry, owner of fine linen store Bella Linea in Nashville, Tennessee, recently shared some of the facts with her customers to reinforce the importance of keeping dollars in her community. She shared statistics showing that for every $100 spent at a locally owned store, $45 remains in the local economy, compared with about $13 per $100 spent at a big box and almost zero for online shopping.

A movement around Shopping Local has begun. American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010 to encourage consumers to visit small businesses in their community as part of the after Thanksgiving shopping. This year shopping local has grown double digits. A report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express – the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey – revealed that 88 million consumers “shopped small” this year, up 14.9 percent from just a year ago.

Good for Our Need for One-of-A-Kind Finds and One-of-A-Kind Experiences

Shop-Local-This-Christmas-300x278Many retailers like Linda Berry also talk about the importance of meeting needs for today’s shoppers. Linda spends time traveling to find and create one-of-kind products that her customers can’t find anywhere else. Services like free designer consultation and free gift wrapping make small businesses like Bella Linea stand out among the mass marketers.

Trends like eating local and the Maker Movement also continue to provide unique goods and experiences that meet the desires of today’s consumer. The Maker Movement really captures the group of people creating individually made pieces for the home, small-batch food products, hand-knit, handmade and hand crafted items that can’t be mass produced.

Food has gone local with independent restaurants, local food purveyors, handmade food products and farmers markets proliferating.   Beyond the food, food experiences have become custom as well. There are food tours, hands-on cooking lessons and small batch wine classes.

Good for the Environment

And, surprisingly, shopping local is also good for the environment.   Shopping locally helps cut down on processing, packaging and transportation waste, leading to less pollution and less fuel consumption.

So, with just a few days of the shopping season left, visit a local store and make a difference in your community.

Marketing to Women: The Power of Storytelling from Kurt Vonnegut

April 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Stories are the playbook for life.  Stories are the way we teach, the way we communicate, the way we entertain, and the way we impart value. Some marketers have known the value of story for many years.  Researchers tell us that a story is the only way to activate parts of the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own idea and experience.  Those of us who know the iconic J. Peterman catalogues read them for the mesmerizing value of their stories about where their exotic products were discovered and the effect of wearing their products.

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Kurt Vonnegut, American Writer

Recently, as a literary & anthropological experiment, Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn decided to see if they could resell cheap knickknacks (avg. cost $1.25) on eBay and turn a significant profit by adding personal stories to the item descriptions.  Their hypothesis was that creative stories would increase the perceived value of each object and create an incremental profit on each item sold.  With the addition of colorful anecdotes, their $129 purchase of thrift store items was sold for nearly $8,000.

The Harvard Business Review reminded us of the power of the story as told by Kurt Vonnegut.  It seems that Vonnegut devoted his master’s thesis at the University of Chicago to studying the shapes of stories.  Vonnegut not only exhibits a great understanding of story, but is an entertaining storyteller.  He tells us there are basically three types of stories that we humans find irresistible.  The three stories are Boy Gets Girl, Man in Hole and Cinderella.  He tells his audience that the Cinderella story is “the most popular story in our Western civilization. Every time it’s retold somebody makes another million dollars. You’re welcome to do it.”

What you see in this short film is the endless fascination that the human mind has for story.  As marketers, we need to be students of Vonnegut and the story, and make all our marketing a powerful story for consumers.

Marketing to Hispanic Women: The Power Grocery Shoppers

January 23, 2014 § 1 Comment

Hispanics are a growth target for consumer product brand marketers.  A new eMarketer study finds that Hispanics do more grocery shopping than the average US shopper and they spend 20% more during routine trips.  For marketers, it is also important to know that they are heavy online users as well.

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Hispanics have a strong family culture.  Some say that 75% of  their families have a traditional sit-down meal every day.  And Hispanics also take their friends and family with them when they shop.  Hispanics grocery shop with family or friends on nearly 80% of their shopping trips.

1460998_737861562909145_449029842_nTheir social nature also extends to social media.  eMarketer estimates that in 2012, 68.9% of Hispanics were using social networks, compared with 66.2% of the total US population. They are also more likely to post reviews and participate with brands.  A Post brand manager for Honey Bunches of Oats reported that their Spanish Facebook page garnered more than three times the engagement levels of their non-Hispanic page.  Currently the page has 211,000 likes.

Mobile is also an important part of their digital profile.  Their use of mobile and smartphones while shopping is higher than any other ethnic group.  They are more likely to compare product prices, call or text a family member about a product and look for a coupon.

Are you leveraging your Hispanic audience?

Marketing to Women: The Female Shopping Brain

October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

male-female-brain-300x183The difference between male and female brains has long been acknowledged by most of us.  But now there seems to be scientific truth to the idea.

Women are hardwired to shop – a desire to provide for our families that might be traced to the earliest hunter-gatherer times.  So maybe we aren’t looking for soft buffalo pelts, mastodon meat and twigs for fires.  But for retailers to appeal to women, advertising and marketing need to resonate with the female shopper.

Nielsen NeuroFocus research has found that the female brain is hard-wired with evolutionary patterns that create a very unique shopper whose purchasing prowess has never been stronger.

Research from Nielsen NeuroFocus tells us that women’s brains are designed for:

  • Big-picture thinking
  • Multitasking
  • “Gut” reasoning
  • Social and verbal skills
  • Worry/empathy

 But men’s brains are hardwired differently for:

  • Concrete thinking
  • Goal-oriented tasks
  • Logical solutions
  • Competition/defense

Getting a woman’s attention is the first step toward intent and brand loyalty.

Second women must retain the information we are providing.  Women remember more and differently than men do, so marketers must talk to both her emotional and rational sides and acknowledge her attention to detail.   The combination of emotional decision-making opportunities and rational information increase purchase intent and have strong “sticking” power.

We women have better memory for detailed information than do men, while men tend to have better spatial ability and the ability to build systems. This means that marketers need to get product design, packaging, pricing, branding, messaging and more in sync with how the female subconscious mind receives and processes information, and directs behavior.

According to Nielsen NeuroFocus, the female brain is programmed to maintain social harmony, so messaging should be positive and not focus on negative comparisons or associations.

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Marketing Football to Women: Touchdown Time!

September 24, 2013 § 2 Comments

thumb.aspxFor marketers, football is almost as important as the holiday season.  The all round appeal to both men and women has made football one of the most efficient delivery vehicles for marketing messages.  Instead of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Football Holidays are the start of the season, the big game match-ups like the Manning Brothers Bowl, Alabama v. Anybody, the BCS and of course, the Super Bowl.

Part of the allure is the real time benefit of live sports.  According to Tor Myren, president and chief creative officer at the Grey New York division, “It’s one of the few things America watches in real time, together and, as a result, the airtime is very valuable.”

Super Bowl cocktail party fact:  Fox has already sold  85 to 90 percent of the commercial inventory for the 2014 Super Bowl, at a price of $4 million for every 30-second spot.  Because of the major investment in television, the brands are extending their reach with social media, ala the famous Oreo blackout tweet.

More women (50.4 million) tuned into last year’s Super Bowl than watched the Oscars (24.5 million), Grammys (23.8 million) and Emmys (8 million), according to Nielsen. The Super Bowl’s female audience has more than doubled from only five years ago, and the last three Super Bowl broadcasts have set records for being the most-watched shows by female viewers.

Female football fan fact:  If you are marketing to women, listen up.  The NFL counts 185 million Americans as fans (60% of the US population) and 45% of those are women.  About half of all fans are either avid or casual.  Among avid fans, women compose one-third of fans, and are a slight majority of casual fans.  (And this doesn’t include college football!)

For women, Marie Claire had an extra 16 page NFL insert in their September issue titled “The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Football.”  There were five full-page ads for women’s apparel from the NFL’s Women’s collection, fashion tips, recipes and some football terminology.  The insert was just one part of the NFL campaign that included print advertising, television and pop-up clothing boutiques at stadiums.  The new apparel is not based on the traditional “pink it and shrink it”  approach, but rather on jerseys cut for women and accessories made for women.  Is it working?  The sales of women’s apparel has tripled in the past four years.

Click here for this year’s NFL fashion show.

Tailgating is also a female sport with approximately $20 billion estimated to be spent at sports and non-sports events this season.

There is also another new term – “homegating” – which refers to all the entertaining merchandise needed for the Saturdays and Sundays at home watching games with friends and family.  And of course, that customer is also female.

So if you think football, remember it’s not just a men’s event anymore.

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