Friday, March 4, 2011

Pop-up store to test market potential

Many advertisers choose to test new approaches to communications in smaller markets before they invest in a national campaign. This gives marketers the reassurance that they won’t be wasting their finite budgets and also allows planners to inject consumer learnings into the larger roll out. This is an example of a small business testing their market potential through the use of a pop-up store. Tokyo Bike is a shop all about bikes. They set up a store in an empty space and made the “office furniture” out of cardboard boxes.

Tokyo Bikes pop-up store has proven a cheap way to establish themselves within the community before investing in permanent assets. I like the authentic nature of this ‘test’. It allows the brand to get amongst the people who are ultimately likely to benefit from the product whilst raising awareness through buzz generation. The key to the success of pop-up stores is making them novel enough for people to take an interest whilst extending distribution in areas that the existing assets don’t cover.

Creating pop-up installations around new products before they hit the supermarket shelves could help beauty brands create demand for products via word-of-mouth. Further, beauty brands might take advantage of overseas success that filters into the Australian market via blogs & editorial, and make the products available via pop-up stores prior to launch.

Check out Tokyo Bike’s pop-up shop here

And Tokyo Bike’s blog here

Using their owned assets

In case anyone didn’t notice, Valentine’s Day occurred earlier this week! Whether you’re a believer or not, it is easy to be entertained (and sometimes delighted) by the crazy things that people do for love. Telstra executed this great activation using the digital billboard on the outside of their building in Melbourne. They gave people a number to sms through their name and their Valentine’s name. The message of love then went up in lights on the billboard!

Tactical media activity always helps to demonstrate that a brand has some personality and ‘real’ people working behind it. What I love about this activation is that Telstra employed their owned assets, and technology to make it happen. The only downfall here was that once you had entered your names and been sent an MMS, the version that you could view online couldn’t be instantly shared. If they had allowed people to share the images in social media directly from their site they would have turned what was a nice engaging, tactical activation in Melbourne, into a broader reaching fun campaign that generated more buzz.

Once again, this demonstrates the importance of amplifying your most engaging activity.

See more here

Lee: Practising what they preach

With the relevance of eco-friendly initiatives increasing every day, Lee wanted an innovative solution that would display their affiliation towards the same and also spread the message amongst their customers. To drive the message home in a fun and effective way, Lee went for something a bit more inventive than just a bag made of recycled paper. The ‘Never Wasted’ shopping bag – a bag that can be used and reused in one way or another. Some for fun, some for function, but nothing ever goes into the bin. Not only did this make the idea longer-lasting and interactive, but also conveyed the message in a fascinating manner.

This is a fantastic example of ‘practising what you preach’ it takes the ‘green’ message and delivers it in a new way whilst creating talk ability at the same time. The execution matches the brand’s fun & edgy personality and further, demonstrate a great use of owned media sets.

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The internet is scary

Whilst I’m sure we’re all tired of hearing about how ubiquitous the internet is, there are still times when the audience numbers that it produces, absolutely blow me away. This Counter is activated when you land on the website and it shows “how active & dynamic the Social Web, Mobile Industry and Game Business is”. It counts the number of interactions in various spaces that are occurring by the second.

More than ever this demonstrates that if you’re not active in this space, you’ll be left behind. Consumers are engaging in various platforms online and the speed at which emails are being distributed (shown in this counter) demonstrates that, the innate ability of the internet to afford creation.


The first tablet specific newspaper launched

Rupert Murdoch & Steve Jobs announced a first of its kind partnership this week – The Daily. A tablet-specific newspaper that can be purchased through the app store for 99 cents per week or $39.99 for a year-long subscription. It is a general interest newspaper (US national) that will be updated daily with ‘short-bite’ content and lots of interactive features. It is an attempt by Murdoch to engage an audience - expected to be 50 million strong in the US by the end of the year - that has long abandoned traditional newspapers.

The implication for advertisers is greater pressure on agencies to produce engaging advertising. The temptation will be to replicate print advertising in apps but the reality is the audience who subscribe to content via this channel expect that it will provide a better experience for them, tailored to their desires.

For the beauty industry, consumers will demand instantaneous product information and instructions for replicating a celebrity’s look as soon as it hits the red carpet – the opportunity will be to harness m-commerce and close the loop between engagement and sales.

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Private Label V Big Brands

Future growth is expected amongst private label beauty products according to Euromonitor. We have already seen this trend start to emerge in Australia with Cole’s recent focus on ranging health & beauty products, and their launch of the Derma Q10 range which garnered huge popularity in the UK.

Given that many of the retail brands launching into this space have no prior beauty experience or credentials, they are primed to respond to consumer demand. This is evidenced by H&M’s organics range in the UK. Their ability to start from a clean slate will mean that ‘traditional’ beauty companies will need to innovate in response to consumer demand and localise to keep up with the emergence of new competitors. If they are unable to do this, consumers will be looking for added value to rationalise the higher price point of more traditional beauty brands.

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See Euromonitor’s 3 minute video opinion here