Monday, August 31, 2009

Sometimes a Great Notion - Aug 31, 2009

The lazy, hazy, last days of summer. The retail muse relaxing in a deck chair, watching the sun set, and musing on the future. Will the fashionista tween boys of 2009 be the college students of 2018? Will guerrilla McDonalds marketing campaigns take over the hallowed halls of academia? How will customers respond to more soap box marketing? All these  are on the Muse's mind as he sleeps single in an Ikea bed and reads, that no matter what is happening in the economy, the class of 2013 is heading to school with full wallets and optimism. 

Happy back to school notions! 

Sometimes a great notion - Week of August 31, 2009 

FASHION (turn to the left) FASHION (turn to the right) 

Every fashion manufacture and retailer worth their due has been chasing the tween girl market for a few years now. But what about those 11-14 year old boys? Is Mom still dressing them? According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, the answer is a resounding no. Tween boys, saturated by skater culture and videos, are breaking out in record numbers, looking for branded, trendy clothes to wear this back to school season. Citing Lacoste, TNT, and Diesel, these boys are looking to stand out and dress well, even at 11. It's an interesting trend to stay on top of. No sweatpants and grubby Ts for this group. Rather, upscale, branded, cutting edge fashion. 

They think about their wardrobes, plan their outfits, and want to represent a social strata. Still, they are not completely without words of wisdom. One tween says that the one thing he would NOT wear is a thong. Words of fashion wisdom for any age. 

When Marketing hits the classroom. 

Students at a recent Boston University marketing lecture, experienced a bit of real world marketing, when their class was interrupted by perky McDonalds reps, handing out free coffee drinks to the class. But the students, happy to get a free mcLatte were the unknowing stars of a new national commercial that McDonalds plans to air nationally in the next two weeks. Hidden cameras recorded the event, editing it into a full blown commercial with the surprised students. Marketing students later did have the opportunity to spend time with the advertising agency, learning how commercials are developed, implemented and edited, but it raises a big question. If this something that campuses will embrace to solve budget shortfalls? You can see the rough cut video here: 

Stand on the soap box. 

Retailers, have for many years, embraced social and charitable issues as a way to resonate with customers. This has not always been successful, when you consider the "green washing" and now "pink washing" comments directed at some retailers and manufacturers. Now, The Body Shop, has launched a campaign to raise awareness and halt global sex trafficking. It's an important issue to be sure, but will customers want to hear about sex trafficking while shopping for aloe? According to Simon Houpt the jury is still out, and Body Shop is taking a fairly soft touch with their awareness campaign. 

Sleeping Single in an Ikea Bed. 

If you ever have rolled your eyes at students sitting around and sleeping on your furniture, then this article is for you! The LA Times recently wrote an article about how much Beijing, China likes Ikea. But, not in the way you think. Instead of sales, Ikea in China (there are 7 stores), has encountered most of their customers visiting the store to hang out and sleep. Customers arrive with a plan to spend 5 hours or more in the store. Snacking at the restaurants, bringing books and stuffed toys for their kids, napping in the beds and generally using Ikea as a vacation site for a Saturday afternoon. Ikea hopes eventually that all these napping  customers will translate into sales, but until then they are letting the sleeping experience continue. 

Confident Class of 2o13 

A recently released Alloy College Explorer survey found that the class of 2013 was heading back to school more concerned, and conservative, than ever before. But, more positive about their personal impact and the future of the economy. 

The survey goes on to mention that while their may be an economic downturn, the 2013 class still has to have it, has the money to pay for it, and wants "it" to evoke "happy" and "trusted" feelings. They see Apple, Target, Sony, and Wrigley as meeting their "happy" needs, while they trust brands like Johnson and Johnson, Microsoft, Nike, and Dell. 

Are they happy with your store? do they trust your store? 

No comments: