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The U.S. Middle Class: Losing Some of Its Luster Globally

22 Apr

The income of the U.S. middle class is still among the world leaders — but the lead is narrowing.

According to, David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy, reporting for the New York Times:

“The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades. After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.”

“Although economic growth in the United States continues to be as strong as in many other countries, or stronger, a small percentage of American households is fully benefiting from it. Median income in Canada pulled into a tie with median United States income in 2010 and has most likely surpassed it since then. Median incomes in Western European countries still trail those in the United States, but the gap in several — including Britain, the Netherlands, and Sweden — is much smaller than it was a decade ago.”

Click the chart to read more.
 
Global Middle Class

Source: New York Times/Luxembourg Income Study analysis

 

L’Oréal Ups Its Product Mix in China

20 Apr

L’Oréal is a leading global beauty-care company: “For more than a century, L’Oréal has devoted itself solely to one business: beauty. It is a business rich in meaning, as it enables all individuals to express their personalities, gain self-confidence, and open up to others. L’Oréal has set itself the mission of offering all women and men worldwide the best of cosmetics innovation in terms of quality, efficacy, and safety. It pursues this goal by meeting the infinite diversity of beauty needs and desires all over the world.” The firm’s annual sales are nearly $30 billion worldwide.

Among L’Oréal’s leading brands are L’Oréal Paris, Lancôme Paris, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Maybelline, Cacherel, and Garnier. According to the firm’s 2013 annual report, these are its top cosmetics markets as forecast for the year 2025.

Loreal global

 

With the rapid growth of the Chinese market, L’Oréal is greatly ramping up its efforts there. For example, Laurie Burkitt reports for the Wall Street Journal that:

“As part of its shifting China strategy, L’Oréal recently closed on its €636 million deal ($882.9 million) to acquire Magic Holdings International Ltd., the Chinese owner of the MG brand of beauty products. MG sells 167 different kinds of paper-peel and mud masks across China, ranging from chamomile allergy-relieving to red wine complex whitening. L’Oréal will first look to expand MG masks in the brand’s home market, where the French company is refocusing after pulling its mass-market Garnier beauty-products brand amid intense competition.”

“‘If you are a beauty company, you need to have a Chinese skin care brand,’ said Alexis Perakis-Valat, executive vice-president of L’Oréal’s Asia Pacific region, in an interview. ‘Skincare is to China what makeup is to the U.S.’”

Click the image to read more.


 

What Motivates Car Buyers Around the World?

18 Apr

There are many different reasons why consumers buy specific car types and models — even in the United States. But, how different are purchase motivations around the world?

To answer this question, Nielsen recently conducted a large-scale online survey in 60 countries:

“’Linking global automotive demand with consumer sentiments and media habits is vital to developing marketing strategies that connect the right consumers with the right automotive brands,’ said Pat Gardiner, president of Nielsen Automotive. ‘The Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions, as expected, represent large areas of growth opportunity for the industry, but capturing this opportunity hinges on marketers successfully identifying, understanding’ and effectively connecting with the needs and desires of these buyers.’”

“One key to unlocking the demand drivers is discerning what role a car plays in the consumer’s life. Is it for utility — simply a mode of transportation to get you from one place to another? Is it to express status — a symbol of the success you’ve achieved in life? Or is it more purely emotional — you just love to drive? While each of these sentiments may play a role in the car-buying decision process, connecting with the emotions that pull at the heartstrings draws consumers more powerfully along the path to purchase.”

Click the image to read more.

 


 

Adidas’ View of the World Cup

6 Apr

The upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil will the world’s most viewed sporting event of the event of the year — yes, more viewers than for the Super Bowl.

As with other major sporting events, the technology involved in creating a better customer experience for the World Cup continues to be cutting edge. This year’s innovation: a camera embedded in the soccer ball.

Raymond Wong, reporting for DVICE.com, notes that:

“Created by adidas, the brazucam is arguably the most high-tech soccer ball ever conceived. The custom soccer ball is equipped with six high definition cameras (GoPros, if you must know), which will be used to record the game from new angles. What kind of angles and views can we expect? How about views from the ball flying in the air before it gets kicked by another player? Or views of the ball coming right into the goal? Adidas plans to release a new video on its YouTube channel every week as the ball travels around the world and ends up at the World Cup in Brazil.”

Take a look at the adidas trailer on YouTube: “I am brazuca, traveling around the world on my way to the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. Come join me as I meet some of the world’s best players, attend matches, and play with fans. With six eyes and 360º views, I will see and share the love of football around the globe like never before. Follow my journey on Twitter: http://twitter.com/brazuca. #allin or nothing .”

 

 
And, of course, there is an official brazuca World Cup soccer ball for sale – at $159.99. Sorry, this version does not include any cameras. But it is the soccer ball they will be kicking this summer!
 

Clever Billboard Ads from Around the World

4 Apr

Billboard (outdoor) advertising can quite powerful.

In a recent HubSpot article, Sam Kusinitz identified 15 great examples (complete with photos and video clips). Here are two of them. The first is an ad from Nationwide Insurance’s “life comes at you fast” campaign. The second is a video of a comparative ad campaign by Audi and BMW.

 


 

 

Digital Advertising Continues to Soar Worldwide

3 Apr

As we know, digital advertising is growing strongly, often at the expense of print and other traditional media.

According to eMarketer, worldwide digital advertising was nearly $105 billion in 2012, representing about 21 percent of total media spending. In 2018, it is expected that worldwide digital advertising will reach $204 billion, about 31 percent of all media spending.

Click the chart to read more.
 

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Who Dominates Four Key Industries Globally?

27 Mar

For a number of industries (such as banking, media, food and beverage, and oil), a few large companies dominate globally. Here is an interesting infographic from www.internationalbusinessguide.org.

Click the infographic to access data on the firms cited in the chart.

 

 Source: InternationalBusinessGuide.org

 

Private Brand Sales Booming in Europe

25 Mar

In the United States, private brands account for less than 20 percent of all retail until sales. We love our branded products more than we want to save money. :-)

But in Western Europe, the story is much different. More than one-third of unit sales involve private brands.

As Nielsen reports:

“Price is one factor helping bolster private label growth in Europe. Notably, private label can be as much as 30 percent less expensive than brands across the Big 5 Countries. Across categories, private label has a price index of less than 60 percent in health, personal care, and home care, compared with 90 percent in perishable fresh foods, where the average prices are much closer to those of brands.”

“However the success of private label isn’t just about cost. Retailers in Europe have also created new demand, particularly by offering new premium private-label lines and by launching dine at home meal offerings with bistro or restaurant quality foods, a trend that is most evident in the U.K.”

Click the Nielsen chart to read more.

 

 

Lego Mania Goes Viral

6 Mar

The Lego Movie has turned out to be quite a global phenomenon. Click the image to visit the movie’s Web site.

According to Box Office Mojo, through March 4, 2014, the movie had grossed $333,000 worldwide — $212 million in the United States and $121 million in foreign markets. And, unlike some other blockbuster movies that cost much more to make, The Lego Movie cost $60 million to produce, making it highly profitable.

But The Lego Movie mania goes far beyond the popularity of the film itself. There have been a lot of promotional tie ins (see this article, for example). And Toys “R” Us even set up special displays for Lego movie figures.

Separate and apart from the recent movie, there is also a Lego “YouTube Spotlight” with a number of “fan-made” videos based on Lego characters. Many of the videos preceded the introduction of the movie — nonetheless, they extend Lego brand recognition and continue to be highly viewed. The most popular Lego movie in the spotlight is Battle of the Brick: Built for Combat, which has been viewed nearly 17 million times.

All in all, it’s a great time for Lego.

[Note: The video below, Battle of the Brick: Built for Combat, is 27 minutes long.]
 

 

The Rise of the Phablet

27 Feb

As smartphone technology evolves and competition becomes more intense in that market space, innovations are not only focusing on features but also on phone size. Thus, we now have still another new marketing term — phablet. [Yes, just what we need another new term. :-) ] A phablet is a combination of a phone and tablet, a full-featured smartphone with a much bigger screen.

Will this trend continue? Will it be successful? Will it slow the growth of tablets?

As Brian X. Chen reports for the New York Times:

“Smartphones are going against one of the long-held rules in portable electronics, that smaller is better. Year by year, computers, storage devices, and music players have shed size and weight. And for decades, it has been happening with cellphones, too. But now cellphones, and smartphones in particular, are going the way of the television: They just keep getting bigger and bigger. And people keep buying them.”

“The trend became even more apparent this week, as handset makers introduced a number of big-screen smartphones — from five diagonal inches to more than seven inches — at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. Samsung Electronics, Sony, and the Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE, among others, are all betting that consumers find images and video to be more vivid and engaging on a bigger screen, and that they may prefer to carry a larger phone instead of both a smartphone and a tablet.”

Click on the image to see a video on the phablet.

 

 

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