In a move to make their brand appear more authentic, American Eagle’s spring campaign will feature photos and videos from customers in their own environments rather than professional studio locations. The 10 “cast members” selected were discovered through their social media posts. You can read more about this campaign and the #AExME cast from American Eagle’s press release. This is the next step in their #AExME campaign that started in Fall 2018 with actual customers and a store associate in musical and creative environments. Gen Z expects their brands to be more socially conscious, depict more images of diversity, and support their own identities and personal values according to this Marketing Dive article.
Archives for February 2019
This 5 minute news video covers some very interesting pricing strategies employed by Target. Using location awareness, Target will change prices within their app making products more expensive when you walk into the store. The video includes an interview with a University of Minnesota marketing professor who provides his hypothesis for why Target might be using this variable pricing model.
Beyond showing a more sophisticated pricing strategy, this is an opportunity for an ethical discussion with students as well. Is it okay for Target to behave in this manner? When you load the Target app it asks if it can track your location so it can keep track of your favorite store and help you navigate the store. Should they have to disclose that they may change product prices based on your location as well? If they did so, would that make it okay?
This Guardian article, “‘Urinoir’ furore: Paris residents peeved at eco-friendly urinals” is a few months old but I thought it was still worth posting because it touches on several topics that we don’t come across every day. The gist of the article is that Paris has been struggling with a public urination problem and their solution has been met with a fair amount of controversy. The city of Paris has decided to introduce open-air public urinals in areas where they’ve had the most trouble. The hope is that this will incent men to use the urinal instead of the street when they need to relieve themselves. However, there has been a great deal of public backlash to the idea. Residents object to the urinals being placed close to historic buildings and some have even claimed they are discriminatory since they are only designed for men.
I thought this was interesting for a few reasons. First, it deals with a public relations issue from a public policy decision rather than a corporate entity. Students don’t often think about cities and states having to do marketing just as corporations do. Second, it brings up the issue of controversy and having to manage a controversial product roll-out. Finally, it’s an interesting solution to a problem but probably not the only possible solution. If you’re covering the product development process, this can be a great topic for discussion.
In case you missed it, McDonald’s lost it’s Big Mac trademark protection in the EU. The ruling was based on the EUIPO’s ruling that McDonald’s had not demonstrate genuine use of the trademark within the EU. That itself can be a great discussion when you cover brands and brand protection in class. However, Burger King in Sweden decided to take advantage of the situation by releasing a menu of “not Big Macs”. Burger King has a history of edgy marketing campaigns and it looks like the most recent is poking fun at their competitor’s recent misfortune.
Online shopping continues to challenge traditional retailers. Less adaptable retailers like Sears lose the battle and go out of business but others, like Best Buy have found ways to adjust and enhance their value proposition to maintain relevance. The same dynamic is affecting drugstores and Walgreens and CVS are experimenting with added services to keep customers coming in. This CNBC article talks about some of those efforts. CVS is running a pilot with SmileDirectClub to fit people for invisible braces in-store. Walgreens is experimenting with opening a dental office inside a few of their stores. Walgreens is also experimenting with shifting their segmentation focus to double-down on seniors.