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Five Fashionistas That Are Thriving

27 Apr

Although many fashion firms are undergoing difficult times, there are some bright spots among specialized fashionistas  and related companies.

Fast Company has identified five of them:

“The following five companies illustrate the power of building a brand atop an authoritative editorial voice, whether it’s in the form of viral videos and lifestyle blogs or influencer ‘grams and disappearing Snaps. They’re also fostering conversations with consumers—sneakerheads, fashionistas, and beauty obsessives alike—that inform everything from product design to distribution and marketing. In their hands, content has become a robust engine for commerce.”

  • CLIQUE MEDIA GROUP — “For parlaying fashion advice into retail gold. Clique Media leaped out of the digital world and into the physical one in January 2016 with a clothing line for Target. The millennial-minded Who What Wear collection offers runway trends at big-box prices ($34.99 for velvet pants, $44.99 for a cape blazer) and keeps up with the frenetic pace of fashion by committing to 12 updates a year. It’s a natural evolution for the company, which grew out of the Who What Wear blog started by Elle magazine veterans Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr.”
  • GLOSSIER  — “For collaborating with customers to create cult cosmetics. The beauty industry has generally flowed in one direction: Executives in glass towers decide which products they’re going to put on shelves, and women buy them (or don’t). Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss has turned this process into a two-way conversation by asking readers of her beauty news and reviews website, Into the Gloss, to weigh in on every aspect of her skin-care and makeup company.” 
  • HYPEBEAST — “For uniting sneakerheads into a lucrative demographic. ‘In the world of hype, in the world of cool, you need to be the coolest platform selling the coolest products,’ says Kevin Ma, the unflappable founder of the Hong Kong–based streetwear site Hypebeast. Championing edgy brands such as Raf Simons, Vetements, and Hood by Air, Ma’s site has grown from a simple sneakerhead review hub (created in his Vancouver bedroom) to a multifaceted arbiter of all manner of urban fashion and culture that includes Hypebeast, the year-old female-focused Hypebae, and an online marketplace called HBX that sells everything from Yeezy Boosts to Leica cameras.” 
  • KENZO — “For ripping up the seams of fashion marketing. When actress Margaret Qualley shot lasers from her fingers during a dance routine in the Spike Jonze–directed short film Kenzo World, that’s likely when marketers went slack-jawed. Commissioned to celebrate the launch of the French fashion house Kenzo’s Kenzo World fragrance, the spot (which went viral) and won a top industry award, led to a wildly successful soft launch of the perfume — no paid media or marketing required. (Parent company LVMH cited the campaign as helping drive the 8% growth in its perfumes and cosmetics division in 2016.)”
  • REWARDSTYLE — “For giving influencers a must-have accessory. Founder Amber Venz Box has channeled her frustration as a fashion blogger who wanted to make more money into a full suite of back-end publishing and tracking tools. Today, RewardStyle allows her and her fellow bloggers and Instagram personalities the chance to earn commissions on the products they promote. ‘Our mission is making [influencers] as economically successful as possible,’ she says. Users who like a RewardStyle influencer’s ’gram receive an E-mail on where to buy the featured look.”

 
Click the image to read more about these five firms.

“There [is] no reason to be shy. The world is hungry for new things,” says Kenzo co-Creative Director Carol Lim of the approach she and Humberto Leon take to content marketing. [Photo: Pari Dukovic]


 

What’s the Most Expensive City in Which to Live?

29 Mar

Believe it or not, worldwide there are many cities that are more expensive than New York City and San Francisco — or any other U.S. city — in which to live. The most expensive U.S. city (New York) only ranks as the ninth most expensive.

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently published “Worldwide Cost of Living 2017: A ranking of the world’s major cities”:

“Singapore retains its title as the world’s most expensive city for a fourth consecutive year in a top ten that may have a familiar feel to it. Not only has Singapore stayed top but Hong Kong remains second, closely followed by Zurich. The latest survey has also seen a return to the top ten most expensive cities for Tokyo and Osaka. The Japanese capital, which was the world’s most expensive city until 2012, has moved seven places up the ranking owing to a sustained recovery in the strength of the Japanese yen.With Japanese cities returning to the fold, Asia now accounts for half of the ten most expensive cities ranked. Western Europe accounts for a further four cities, while New York City is the lone North American representative. The Big Apple, which rose to seventh place last year, has fallen to ninth owing to a slight weakening of the U.S. dollar, which has also affected the position of other US cities. For New York, this still represents a comparatively sharp increase in the relative cost of living compared with five years ago, when New York was ranked 46th.”

 
Here are the 10 most expensive cities in the world as charted by Statisa.
 

 

Glassdoor’s Best Employers for 2017: Multiple Rankings

27 Mar

Each year, career services firm Glassdoor publishes various lists of “best places to work,” based on feedback from those job seekers and employees providing feedback to Glassdoor. By clicking on the image shown below, you can access Glassdoor’s 2017 “best” recommendations.

 

 

What makes Glassdoor’s lists especially valuable are the number of different perspectives that are available:

 

What Type of Autonomous Car Is for YOU?

6 Mar

As we get closer and closer to the commercial launch of autonomous (self-driving) cars, one key factor has not been addressed enough: What is an autonomous car — because one type of car does not fit all? The answer is not simply “a car that takes over all/most driving functions for you.” The possible configurations of cars complicates things for both manufacturers and potential customers!

Here is a very good list of the types of autonomous driving experiences, from Lauren Flanigan (writing for The American Genius) that are ahead. Which type is best for YOU?

“From self-parking to collision avoidance, there are an array of different features that will be made available to consumers. But before you start saving for your next dream, take a look at which kind is best for you and your futuristic needs.”

Level 0 (zero automation) — “Your car is most likely a zero automation car. A human driver is required to operate and fully control the vehicle.”

Level 1 (driver assisted/function specific) — “These cars are for those who don’t trust automobiles with their lives. They still require a driver to operate the vehicle, but act as an aid to the driver, providing [specific] intelligent features.”

Level 2 (partial automation/combined autonomous functions) — “At this level, a self-driving automobile can perform two or more simultaneous tasks like steering, lane keeping, and speed maintenance while in cruise control mode.”

Level 3 (conditional automation/limited self-driving) — “The car assumes more than just partial control, and acts instead as a co-pilot. Although the driver can relinquish a lot of tasks to the car, the driver must to be ready at all times to resume control.”

Level 4 (high automation) — “These cars can perform all safety-critical driving functions while monitoring environments in defined-use cases without human intervention. Drivers enter the destination and navigation details and the car does the rest.”

Level 5 (fully autonomous) — “This car does not require any effort or driving on behalf of the human owner. There is no driving equipment in the car, which is designed to resemble comfortable environments like lounges and offices. The vehicle is in full control.”

 
Click the image to read more.


 

Is the Stock Market Over-Exuberant for Snap?

3 Mar

Snap Inc. is a U.S.-based technology and social media company that was started in 2011 .Products include the popular Snapchat app and Spectacles eye wear; it also owns the Bitmoji app.

Yesterday (March 2, 2017) was a big day for Snap Inc. and the tech industry overall because of Snap’s highly anticipated IPO (initial public offering) on the New York Stock Exchange. Some analysts are excited at the popularity of this IPO; others wonder whether investors are being overly exuberant. What do YOU think?

As reported by CNBC:

“Snap soared as much as 45% when it opened for trading at $24 a share on Thursday. Market makers at the New York Stock Exchange indicated the stock was set to open from $23.50 to $24.50 a share. At 200 million shares, Snap raised $3.4 billion and was valued at nearly $24 billion as of its pricing. Sources had told CNBC earlier this week that investors were expecting a pricing of $17 to $18 per share, above the $14 to $16 per share range originally given by the company. The IPO is 12 times oversubscribed, sources said Thursday morning, meaning that there were 12 times more orders for than there were shares offered. Some managers told CNBC they got as little as 2 percent of what they were asking for.”

 

Yet, Felix Richter commented thusly for Statista:

“Snap’s IPO valuation of $24 billion is quite a tall order for a company that has never turned a profit and warned investors that it never might. The company is now valued at 59 times its total revenue for 2016. Even for a fast-growing tech company that is a lot. Facebook in comparison has a price-to-sales ratio of around 14. As our chart illustrates, Snap is valued considerably higher than many American household names. That includes companies such as Ralph Lauren and Harley-Davidson that have been around for decades and probably will be for decades to come.”

Infographic: Snap Is More Valuable Than These Household Names | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

 

Be Careful in Making Promises to Customers

2 Mar

In the current highly competitive global marketplace, marketers face a difficult balancing act. On the one, they must promote their goods or services as superior to other firms’ offerings. On the other hand, if customers become unhappy because they buy something that does not meet their expectations, they may be lost to the overpromising firm forever. What we should do? Here’s one perspective from a company dealing with high-value clients.

As Joshua Hebert (CEO of Magellan Jets) writes for Fortune magazine:

“We know that everyone stumbles, and when that happens, the most important thing to do is minimize the damage and turn the mistakes into a positive. One of our most memorable setbacks was with a private travel customer who wanted us to help out when one of our competitors let her down. This was no small deal — one of the top celebrities in the world had a mechanical issue with her jet, and needed us to get her from London to New York overnight. What we did next wasn’t the best idea: We promised the world. Although we didn’t quite have everything lined up, we said we could make it happen on a moment’s notice. When we put the pieces together for the flight, we found the pilots would have too much time in the air that day. That would violated safety standards, so we had to tell them we could not complete the flight.”

“Here are a few things to keep in mind when big mistakes feel like the end of the world. Don’t delay bad news. If you don’t let people know about an issue, you’re hurting them and potentially creating an even bigger problem. Trust yourself When you make a mistake and say, ‘Here’s what I’m willing to do to fix it, and here’s what I’m not willing to do,’ it lets people know what’s most important to you. Being honest and only committing to submit high-quality work are examples of standards to stick by, even in tough situations. Institutionalize your lessons. It’s important to prevent mistakes from reoccurring. After the celebrity incident, we added a new flight support element to our team. Now, when “ASAP” trips are booked, we call customers every 15 minutes within a few hours of the flight for updates on their upcoming flight. Even if there is nothing to report, we touch base so there is no miscommunication.”

 

Click the image to learn about Magellan Jets.

 

Ransomware: A NOT So Humorous Look

15 Feb

As we’ve reported before, the ransomware threat has many negative effects. Ransomware “is malware. The hackers demand payment, often via Bitcoin or prepaid credit card, from victims in order to regain access to an infected device and the data stored on it.” [Ransomware: The Smart Person’s Guide, by James Sanders]

How pervasive is the threat of ransomware in our everyday lives? Check out this rather scary cartoon from Joy of Tech. It was inspired by the recently published Ransomware: Defending Against Digital Extortion by Allan Liska and Timothy Gallo! [Click the image for a larger version of the cartoon.]
 

 

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