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Cereal Continues to Lose Its Popularity

20 Sep

Are you a cereal eater these days? Did you used to be? What can marketers do today to increase your cereal consumption? :-)

As Stephanie Strom reports for the New York Times:

“Cereal consumption peaked in the mid-1990s, according to the NPD Group, a consumer research firm. Still, some 90 percent of American households report buying ready-to-eat cereal, which remains the largest category of breakfast food with some $10 billion in sales last year, according to Euromonitor, down from $13.9 billion in 2000. And the consumer research firm estimates sales will fall further this year to $9.7 billion.”

“The cereal business has been declining, as consumers reach for granola bars, yogurt, and drive-through fare in the morning. And the drop-off has accelerated lately, especially among those finicky millennials who tend to graze on healthy options — even if Cheerios and some other brands come in whole-grain varieties fortified with protein now.”

 

Click the New York Times’ chart to read more.
 
Cereal
 

Women Entrepreneurs Still Facing More Hurdles Than Male Entrepreneurs

18 Sep

As we have noted before, there are a number of resources available to help women entrepreneurs level the playing with their male counterparts.

Nonetheless, as Mathilde Collin — co-founder and CEO of Frontapp, a collaborative E-mail app — observes for the Wall Street Journal:

“There’s a huge gender imbalance in the entrepreneurship world. For all the strides women have made in launching startups and driving the economy forward, they face persistent obstacles that hamper their progress — as documented in a recent Senate committee report that shows how far women lag behind men in areas like access to capital.”

The following two charts, both from the Wall Street Journal, highlight (1) the characteristics of female versus male entrepreneurs and (2) the disadvantages that women entrepreneurs face.

Click here to read more about this subject.
 

 

 

Social Media Maturity: An MIT Infographic

9 Sep

Some firms and individuals have reached a level of maturity with their use of social media — based on their levels of experience and activity. Others are still at the early or developing stages of social media use.

Recently, MIT’s Sloan Management Review did a global study on this topic: “The findings from our July 2014 global study on social business indicated that ‘social business maturity’ is related to the level of results that companies achieve. A new infographic illustrates how social business creates value, and outlines the primary drivers for companies seeking to advance toward social business maturity.”

Here is that infographic.
 

 

In What Country Are People the Happiest? (Hint: It’s Not the U.S.)

7 Sep

The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) currently comprises 34 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

The OECD regularly conducts surveys in its member countries to determine the Life Satisfaction there:

“Life satisfaction measures how people evaluate their life as a whole rather than their current feelings. It captures a reflective assessment of which life circumstances and conditions are important for subjective well-being. When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, people across the OECD gave it a 6.6 grade. Life satisfaction is not evenly shared across the OECD, however. Some countries – Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, and Turkey – have a relatively low level of overall life satisfaction, with average scores of less than 5.5. At the other end of the scale, scores were higher than 7.5 in Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Switzerland. There is little difference in life satisfaction levels between men (6.6) and women (6.7) across OECD countries. Education levels do, however, strongly influence subjective well-being. Whereas people who have only completed primary education across OECD countries have a life satisfaction level of 6.2, this score reaches 7.2 for people with tertiary education.”

According to the OECD’s most recent survey, the United States rates 17th in Life Satisfaction among the 34 countries: “In general, Americans are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 75% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc.) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc.). This figure is lower than the OECD average of 76%. The top five countries in Life Satisfaction are Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Canada, and Iceland.

Click this link, then click the “Countries” tab, and choose a country to learn more about “How’s Life” in each of the 34 countries in the OECD survey.

And for a fun interactive Web site on the “Better Life Index,” click the chart below, look at the responses in the individual countries, and enter your own answers. [Note: Click "Create your index"]

 
Better Life Index
 

Sensory Marketing – Strengthening Brand Perception by Appealing to All the Five Senses

5 Sep

This guest post was written by Ram Kumarasubramanian. After working for several years,  Ram graduated from Hofstra University’s Zarb School in 2012 with an MBA in Marketing and membership in the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. He is currently a Master of Science in Information student at the University of Michigan School of Information specializing in Human Computer Interaction. You can connect with him via Twitter or LinkedIn.

Ram
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Sensory marketing or sensory branding refers to the attempts made to indulge and appeal to the senses of the customers while promoting a product, by adopting a multi-sensory brand experience approach.

While brands have always placed an emphasis on providing cues that are geared towards creating the intended perception in the consumers’ minds, multi-sensory marketing aims to step up the experience by engaging all of the five senses or at least a majority of them. Sensory marketing (SM) has come into focus in recent times because of the increased competition for consumer attention. It is yet another weapon that brand strategists are looking to add to their arsenal to keep their products on top on the consumers’ consideration set.

Sensory Marketing is particularly relevant in segments such as luxury goods, retail, and food to name a few.

Take the example of Abercrombie and Fitch that uses a strong masculine scent in its stores, a particular type of lighting that is not too bright, store associates who look like model,s and loud music to resonate with its target market of young consumers.

Australian supermarket Coles uses multi-sensory marketing to induce customers to shop more. Here is a video explaining the techniques adopted by the supermarket to engage all the senses. These include an open layout for the store, access to watch the bakers and butchers in work, allowing customers to handle products without any barriers, and,use of specific scents as well as free product sampling.
 

 
Heinz Beans Flavor (launched in 2013) espouses sound, taste, and smell, touch and sight in unique ways. Food architects Sam Bompas and Harry Parr walk us through the creation of the product that leverages the idea of multi-sensory marketing in this video.
 

 
Applications of sensory marketing can be found in the most unexpected of products. Take the case of tennis balls. Holland-based Vennootschap onder Firma Senta Aromatic Marketing is one of the pioneers in this area and registered the “smell of cut grass” for tennis balls.

A Harvard Business Review study notes that retailers such as Apple have designed stores that allow customers to touch products to enable them to experience a feeling of ownership. The study also notes that the tactile sensation provided by something as trivial as the hardness of the chairs in which shoppers are seated alters the tendency and extent to which the consumers negotiate.

Examples of multi-sensory marketing in food industry are fairly common. Oxford University professor Charles Spence worked with British Chef Heston Blumenthal to create a dish called the “the sounds of the sea.” The dish served at British restaurant ‘The Fat Duck’ is best enjoyed when accompanied by the sounds of ocean waves. Professor Spence also recently noted that global FMCG companies are looking to leverage mobile applications to improve taste perception of their products in addition to changing the color, shape and size of the products without altering the actual formulations.

Although the notion of appealing to the senses to sell products is not new, it is evident that the future belongs to companies that create more than just products or services. It lies within the grasp of brands that are willing to innovate and create buying experiences that take advantage and charm for all of the five senses – touch, taste, sight, smell, and sound.

 

How Healthy Are We? Perceptions Vs. Reality

2 Sep

In this era of consumer self-awareness, marketers are interested in health-related questions such as these: Do you think YOU are healthy? If yes or no, what criteria are you using? Are you being truthful or rationalizing? How would you describe your eating patterns and level of physical activity?

Recently, Nielsen conducted in-depth research on this subject. Here are some meaningful conclusions:

“Despite the recent explosion of the health-and-wellness industry, one-third of American adults remain clinically obese. According to findings in the Nielsen/NMI Health and Wellness in America report, we literally want to have our cake and carrot juice — and eat them, too. For example, while 75 percent of us say we feel we can manage health issues through proper nutrition, a whole 91 percent of us admit to snacking all day on candy, ice cream, and chips. So, why is there a disconnect between our what we know is healthy and what we actually do? What are the perceptions around ‘health foods’ that prevent us from making better choices? And how can retailers help bridge the gap?”

Click the image to access the Nielsen health-and-wellness report.
 

 

What Would YOU Do If You Won $100,000?

29 Aug

Well, this is not like winning a $100 million lottery. However, it is a good sum of money for [most of] us to have to spend. As marketers, we’d like to know if answers to this question differ by age group.

According to recent research by Harris Interactive, as reported by eMarketer:

“2014 polling by Harris Interactive asked US internet users what they would do if they won the lottery or received an inheritance of $100,000 and found that 18-to-36-year-old respondents were most likely to pay off any existing debt or loans if they were to get so lucky. Millennials were also relatively likely to save the money for a rainy day fund or unexpected expenses, cited by 43% of respondents from that age group. However, they weren’t so hot on planning for retirement, with around one-quarter saying they would do that with the money. This was on par with 18- to 36-year-olds using the $100,000 for big purchases: 27% said they would buy a house, while 25% would get a car.”

Click the chart to read more.
 

 

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