Amazon Wades into the Luxury Beauty Market

Amazon added another tributary to its vast marketplace and distribution network -- a Luxury Beauty Store. Consumers can now spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on personal care items without so much as testing them out first. Does Amazon’s move raise more implications for the competition than for the online retailer itself? Does the consumer stand to benefit in ways other than price?

Brands Are People Now

A report from Hill Holliday suggests that companies want to behave more like people these days. People evidently lack faith in institutions, prompting business to take steps to change their images. Is it possible to gain consumers’ trust by demonstrating empathy, talking like ordinary people and “empowering individuals to be the brand”?

Private Label Brands Out-Tasting Household Names

In the Age of Specialty Everything, many private label brands are now winning taste tests – to the point that generic food items are said to taste as good as or better than national brands. How do marketers respond when a major consumer publication like Consumer Reports magazine says that brands those marketers oversee might not perform/taste as well as those from generic issuers?

Media Tips to Master, Not Memorize

C-suiters everywhere scramble for advice about how to walk a fine line with the press while also appearing genuine. The difference in telling a compelling story or spouting about like a drunken uncle at a family reunion often lies in mastering a few critical tips. The key here is “master,” not quickly memorize and begin tap dancing like you’re a millennially hip version of Fred Astaire.

Marketing Trends for 2014

Is digital marketing dead? Or just taking on a different appearance? Here are some pointers and practical advice to get you started on keeping your digital marketing strategy integrated, relevant and real.

CMO vs. CIO: Who’s Got the Power?

Drama. It’s not just for television shows, teenagers or romantic relationships anymore. On any given workday, dramatic tension can be had by a meet-up between those two C-suite rivals: the CMO (chief marketing officer) and the CIO (chief information officer). Is the CIO-CMO battle destined to be fought to the death? Or can the two sides find ways to work together without surrendering organizational clout?

Eyewear Revolution

More than a few eyewear companies, like Warby Parker, have taken the gamble – heresy of heresies – to offer consumers more of what they want for less. These so-called eyewear upstarts are placing realistic, yet far from ridiculous, prices on a complete set of glasses. Yet another example of the customer-centric business model gaining huge ground on the old product-driven one.

Marketing Shampoo Do’s and Don’ts

When it comes to marketing shampoo, much depends on whom the customer is more likely to trust—their hairstylist, or the brand’s marketing department. Why not both?

Instagram Rules Consumer Engagement. So What?

Who needs to economize with 140 Twitter characters or a superbly worded Facebook post when a picture or video is still worth 1,000 words on Instagram? The photo/video sharing service engages potential customers 18 times more effectively than Facebook and 48 times better than Twitter. But with social media responsible for driving less than 3% of website traffic, what is Instagram’s recent social victory worth?

Like Taking Candy (Crush) from a Baby

Smartphone games like Candy Crush have become virtual overnight sensations, prompting game makers to redouble their efforts to feed what seems an insatiable public need to waste time…so long as it’s all done digitally. Apps, and game apps in particular, are big business. But for how long? And on whose terms?