Technology has, and increasingly continues to, drastically change the way consumers interact with brands and products. No industry has been more impacted than retail. The “death of brick and mortar” is a hot button topic and we continue to see brands, both big and small, place their bets on digital. Additionally, nascent technology- AR, AI, VR- is a curiosity that brands are furiously trying to tackle with, unsurprisingly, the major tech players such as Amazon and Google ahead at the forefront. If you’re a brand these days, how are you supposed to keep up? If you don’t have the access or capital like the big guys, what do you need to be thinking about in order to remain relevant and competitive?
In gearing up for our second #StraightTalk event with Ben Running, Director of Innovation at Jet.com (Are you coming? Feel free to RSVP here), we decided to tackle a few questions in advance. Here are his thoughts on the future of the retail landscape:
1. The current retail landscape is one that looks vastly different from that of ten years ago or even five years ago. What is your take on what’s currently happening and why people are […]
At CBX, we come across some of the sharpest minds in a myriad of industries; from food, retail, life sciences and beyond, we’ve been able to count these industry leaders and disrupters as both clients and friends of CBX. In our new “Q&A with…” series, we turn the spotlight on them. We speak with these experts in their respective fields to get their thoughts on their industry, how technology and societal behaviors have influenced them, and their reflections on our fast-changing cultural and business landscape.
For our launch Q&A, we wanted to explore innovation and design. The public’s understanding and appreciation for design continues to skyrocket as more everyday products are being sophisticatedly and discerningly designed and packaged. From innovative tech products to household pantry items, mass awareness of design has never been higher. Names like Jony Ive and Marc Newson have entered mainstream conversations similar to how tech heroes such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are now common topics. We kick off with “Q&A with David Dombrowski,” in which we speak with David Dombrowski, Director of Industrial Design and Innovation at Pfizer to discuss the impact of design on consumer behavior and mindset.
Last week, it was announced the company known as Coach Inc, would be re-named Tapestry, Inc. There is a distinction to be made – Coach (as its often referred to by its many fans) is the namesake fashion and accessories brand line and Coach Inc is the namesake “holding” company that actually owns Coach along with other brands including Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman. Confusing? Probably why the name change.
Tapestry’s CEO, Victor Luis stated the name change was intended to signal the company was a multi-brand entity that owned many unique brands and that no sole brand should be singled out. It is a move that mimics many of the European fashion conglomerates such as LVMH, Kering and Richmont, which are all holding companies that own multiple luxury brands. Tapestry’s bigger business goal is to perhaps, go directly after these companies with a similar business structure.
If so, the name change is strategically aligned and is reminiscent of many corporate brands especially in CPG. For example, The Clorox Company, Campbell’s, Nestle, Smucker, and PepsiCo have been successful in expanding their portfolios beyond the titular brands. However, do their corporate names, tied to one brand, limit perceptions […]
Last week, I attended “Future of Connected and 5G,” a talk from Verizon in partnership with NYC Media Lab Summit and Alley. Presented by Verizon Open Innovation, a group within Verizon that collaborates with outside partners to explore challenging technology issues, the panel discussion and workshop focused on 5G technology and its ability to empower and revolutionize digital media and brand behavior.
According to GSMA Intelligence, the mobile data analysis website, 5G will be available within the next three years. By 2025, 5G will cover one-third of the world’s population. The transfer rate of 5G networks will run at 1GB per second, which is essentially instantaneous speed. It will be interesting to see how IoT and emerging technology such as AI, AR and VR utilize the newfound speed. Interestingly, “previously-emerging” technology was brought back in the form of QR.
When QR codes first debuted, many brands adamantly tried to incorporate the technology into their consumers’ purchasing experiences, seeing it as an opportunity to bridge the online and offline. However, due to a myriad of barriers – to name a few, the clunkiness and unreliability of mobile connectivity, the fact that QR technology was not pre-installed into phone devices- QR never […]
Our client services intern, Lindsey Case, shares her Millennial lens on “old” brands coming back in style.
Marketing to Millennials is a hot topic across brand positioning and retail promotion. With lives founded in instant gratification and individuality, we’ve become a hard to reach demographic. What do we want? Where are we now? Millennials may be illusive, but are critical: now controlling half of all purchasing power in the United States, the engagement of young consumers is essential for success. As a 90’s kid, I set out to understand one youthful phenomenon in particular: Millennial obsession with what was, and how brands are repositioning things of the past for modern success.
Nostalgic marketing efforts strategically tap into romantic notions of old things . In building brand resilience with a particular audience, this is usually accomplished through wistful examples and emotions. More and more, in seeking to attract the attention of Millennials, brands are innovating products and perspectives. What was considered “old school” now reads on-trend. Outlined here are prominent Millennial preferences, how some reputable brands revamped, and how their work exemplifies the influence of reminiscence with Millennials.
Styles from the previous millennium are cycling back around. The apparel […]
At CBX, we create brand experiences designed for cultural and commercial impact. What does this mean in our ever-changing landscape of evolving business, technologies and consumer interests? On a daily basis, we’ll continue to investigate and explore this notion through the brands and leaders we both work with and are inspired by. In a more straightforward and IRL experience, we decided to dig further into this via our first event series, #StraightTalk.
Plain and simple, we see #StraightTalk as an opportunity to connect with disruptors and provocateurs in their industries to converse on all topics relating to business, culture and commerce. #StraightTalk is our way of facilitating an exchange of ideas from people spanning the spectrum of industry. We will be experimenting with different formats, video content and unexpected guests along the way. We don’t necessarily know where the road is headed but we promise, we’ll keep the talk straight and everything else crooked as hell.
# 1: The Catch 22 of Big
In a recent study from CB Insights, global food and beverage funding since 2012 has added up to $5.9 billion across 1300 deals. Take a look around your grocery store and you’ll see hundreds of new […]
Every summer at CBX, we welcome a talented group of interns to work across our design, strategy and client management departments. Alongside working on client projects, we task our interns with a group project to work on autonomously together. We ask them to combine their individual department expertise and work on the project as if it were a real-life client brief. Our ask: Develop a product and brand experience marketed to the C-suite.
Here’s a recap from the group themselves. Thanks to our class of Summer 2017: Sarah Mitty, Marie Daigle, Megan Brown, Eric Higgins, Darby Philbrick, Lindsey Case, Rachel Bergmann, and Emily Schaefer.
Phase 1: Assessing the ask
As a group that joined CBX eager to learn about as many aspects of branding and design as possible, we were excited about the broad and intriguing ask. Specifically, the opportunity to tackle an all-encompassing brief that would allow each of us to participate in duties beyond our departments. After our initial briefing, we collectively agreed the biggest challenge of the ask was how to market a product to a group we knew very little about. As a group of Millennials, we had few insights about C-suites, and realized our best […]
As legacy brands continue to expand into different verticals and technology offering more choice and points of purchase for consumers, brands in all industries must reckon with the old adage faced in the modern business era: What comes next?
The concept of disruption is not a new one. But typically, it refers to a brand attempting to make waves in a market it exists in. However, some of the biggest innovations in the past decades have been brands willing to foray into creating products and services not in their direct wheelhouse- who would’ve thought a computer hardware maker would have disrupted (and possibly saved) the music industry so massively and drastically? The act of disrupting your own brand- your value proposition, your core offering, your target demographic, the list goes on-is a harder path for brands. Understandably so, why would a brand risk the equity they’ve accumulated over the years in their category? Because, as Ted Minnini points out, “If a brand stakes out its ground as a disruptor, it has to build a culture that will keep on disrupting. Because if it doesn’t, another brand will come along and disrupt the disruptor.”
Our strategy intern, Sarah Mitty recounts her most memorable sessions at the Northside Festival.
Our culture is constantly evolving. Each day is a whirlwind of new consumer behavior trends, technological achievements and political updates. Keeping up with our world is challenging enough, how are brands supposed to ensure their output is culturally relevant? Last week, I attended the Northside Festival where some of the brightest minds in innovation discussed how to accomplish this feat.
Think Tech The amount of exciting new technology discussed at the conference was mind blowing. From artificial intelligence to augmented reality platforms, a hyper-technologized future seems very close to the horizon.
Alex Chung, the CEO of GIPHY, was confident that augmented reality would be standard in four years. This means it will likely be integrated into all parts of life from music (a hologram Justin Bieber performing a concert in your bedroom) to sports (player statistics popping up in front of your eyes) and beyond. This leaves the question: What is the cultural value that AR technology will provide? The panelists, Alex Chung (GIPHY), Sofia Dominguez (Svrf), Raj Advani (Viro), Bill Marino (Uru), and Matt Hartman (Betaworks) debated the ideals of communication versus entertainment. […]
At the Northside Festival, Shutterstock, the stock photography company, sponsored master classes by experts in the technology, design and production industries addressing different facets of content. The sessions we attended were taught by Lauren Reddy, Director of Audience & Development of T Studio (of The New York Times), Theo Ernstsson, CEO of Alpha, and Jason Schickle and Jesekeena Hahn of Shutterstock. The main takeaway from the sessions was the importance of creating content that would truly add value to a user’s lives. While each speaker represented different vantage points, courtesy of the industry they were speaking on behalf of, it was unanimously agreed upon that content is the future of marketing.
1. Be useful Nowadays, as a consumer, we have our pick of options. Any product or service, no matter its obscurity or location, is within arm’s reach due to the advances in technology. As technology continues to impact and shape a consumer perception and loyalties, how is a brand supposed to stand out in its value proposition? By being consistently useful. Theo Ernstsson’s session, ‘How to Cut Through Bullshit to Create Great Products,’ proposes that experimentation and execution was the path to usefulness. He believes that by rapid iteration […]