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?

Are Pod People Turning Detergent Makers into the Living Dead?

Laundry pods, those compact plastic sacks that contain pre-measured amounts of soap, seem tailor made for people who over-pour and over-use liquid or powdered detergents. Unless you're one of the makers of the pods, the sales of which have resulted in an actual decrease in dollars flowing to corporate coffers. Should product innovation be all about the bottom line – no matter how popular some products might be with customers?

GQ Spring/Summer 2014 Fashion Report

Spring and Summer 2014 fashions, a GQ report suggests, are all about bold – not necessarily screaming -- colors, eye-catching accessories and a fair amount of cheeky snarl. As in Bieberesque, not Brandoesque, snarl. Consider these “must-have” items.

7 Ways CPGs Can Leverage Web and Mobile Communities

Any CPG can set up a Facebook or YouTube page and hope the traffic links in from there. What if you could construct your own online community that could live within your company’s site, where customers could talk to one another as well as the brand, and the brand hands out content ranging from coupons to videos? Here are 7 ways for leveraging the online community.

The Neighborhood Market Returns

Just when Americans seemed sold on big-box grocery stores as the answer to meeting or beating the monthly food budget, along come several national chains that want to sell people on an idea once thought extinct: Buying household groceries from the friendly neighborhood market. Is a significant change afoot? And will product manufacturers need to change their go-to-market strategies?

Brand Mascots: An Endangered Species

The growing trend to ditch the brand mascots of yesteryear – costumed characters, furry animals and/or talking cartoon characters whose playful presence lends a spirit of fun and identity to a brand – has been gathering momentum in recent years. Changing an image is one thing. Erasing an entire brand’s populist/institutional memory is another. What gives?

What’s on the PR/Social Media Horizon for 2014?

And how can your company take practical advantage of those forecasted changes? Like now? Here’s PR blogger Jessica Lawlor’s suggestions for action.