Most of us try to keep up on the marketplace. But it is a challenge to keep up with which brands are crushing it – and which are perhaps overrated. It helps to know what insiders think. This article, “It’s A F*cking Burger”: Execs Dish About Their Favorite And Least Favorite Companies,” (Fast Company, August 14, 2017) provides that insight. Four executives anonymously offer opinions and answer some interesting questions. I found it helpful to read which companies they think get branding right, which are overrated, and the major challenges facing marketers today. The article suggests some new examples you might be able to salt into class a lecture or class discussion—particularly when covering marketing strategy planning, branding, and promotion.
Most industries report a decline in the effectiveness of advertising as a means to tell customers about their product. As we note in chapter 16, customers tend to place more faith in what real people say about goods and services they might buy. Apps, including the online review site Yelp and social media site Instagram, offer customers an easy and fast way to hear about other customers’ experiences.
Restaurants have long benefited from word-of-mouth (telling a friend about that “great meal you had at the new bistro”). Today, some restaurants are looking for ways to be more “Instagrammable.” Read more at this trend in “Instagram is pushing restaurants to be kitschy, colorful, and irresistible to photographers,” The Verge, July 20, 2017.
This article could be discussed at many different points in the semester. It offers an interesting example of customer value (chapters 1, 8 and 17); for some target customers, improving the “shareability” of an experience enhances the experience. For many young people, sharing the experience is part of the experience. It also suggests how consumer behavior (chapter 5) with social media (chapter 16) can impact new product development (chapter 9). After sharing this example in class, students could be asked: why are these businesses doing this? They are likely to immediately get that it fosters word-of-mouth, but may not readily connect with other benefits.
Marketing managers have to acknowledge, most consumers are looking for ways to avoid advertising. While there is more advertising these days, there are many more tools to help us block or skip advertising or pay for ad-free content (e.g., Netflix). So advertisers need to get more creative to figure out how to deliver their messages.
This article and video from the Wall Street Journal, “Advertisers Try New Tactics to Break Through to Consumers” offers some great examples. I will show this video in class to stimulate a discussion on this topic and to introduce a new chapter in Essentials of Marketing 15e, “Publicity: Promotion Using Earned Media, Owned Media, and Social Media.”
Last Friday we also posted on the music industry — a student favorite. Making it as a musician is tough these days. Streaming services don’t pay most musicians very much. It is essential for musicians to build a fanbase. To do that, many musicians turn to social media to build their brand and attract followers.
This USA Today article, “How young artists turn tweets into album, ticket sales” (August 26, 2016) describes how artists like Lindsey Stirling, The 1975, and Halsey use Snapchat and YouTube to build a following. It is particularly important for these up-and-coming artists who are not the “big names” that can drop a new song or CD and instantly get airplay on the radio and buzz among friend.
The animated gif here is Lindsey Stirling — I did not know her before reading this article, but just streamed a few songs from Spotify. I like her sound.
When we were researching and writing chapter 16, Snapchat was a somewhat distant 6th place finisher in the social media race. Just one year later — which shows how fast this space is changing — Snapchat is a real player, especially when targeting Generation Z (those born since 1995). More importantly for marketing managers, Snapchat appears to have figured out an advertising strategy — while Twitter and Instagram continue to struggle in that area. Hubspot’s Marketing blog identifies “10 of the Best Brands on Snapchat Right Now (And Why They’re So Great)” (April 27, 2016).
This article is long – so read the first section and then choose to review 2 of the 10 examples. Explain why you think each “works.” Consider what you learn in chapters 13 – 16 about promotion objectives, target markets, and message.