Tag Archives: starbucks

Autonomous cars are coming. Are marketers ready?

Every passing day brings new stories about advancement in the realm of self-driving vehicles.  Just this weekend, Ford announced that it had appointed the head of its autonomous vehicle unit to the CEO post (Automotive News, subscription required).  Now that a pillar of the auto industry has made a major step to prying our fingers off the steering wheel, how should marketers respond?

Courtesy of the Ford Motor Company

As always, remember your Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Don’t Panic!

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Let’s Mess with Starbucks: A Datajacking Primer

Pity poor Starbucks.  Coffee snobs, a demographic that Starbucks all but created, love to hate them.  Whenever the American right wants to take a swipe at liberal values, they try to pull some stunt at Starbucks, such as mixing Berettas and cappuccinos.  Across the pond, British activists use the House of Mermaid as a stand-in for globalization and/or Yankee imperialism.  Since SBUX CEO Howard Schultz proudly supports Israel in his private life, some anti-Zionist organizations have suggested boycotts.

(On a personal note, I suggested a counter-boycott at the time and recommended that my Zionist friends buy multiple espressos in support.  Those were some very hyperactive Jews.)

Now I invite you to jump on the bandwagon and help me turn Starbucks cafes into rattling dens of death metal by messing with Starbucks’s data.

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Behind the Numbers: 39% of us Totally <3 Big Brother!

I, for one, welcome our new wearable overlords!

Wearable

In my case, I think I could put several brands to sleep with my “lifestyle”

Accent Marketing Services recently shared a survey with eMarketer about consumers’ interest in wearables.  As the market evolves, I’m sure these will change, but one figure really stood out: nearly four out of ten respondents interested in wearables (smart watches, fitness bands, glasses, codpieces, etc.) said they wanted to give “brands more insight into [their] lifestyle.”

Come again?

surveillance-156028_1280

Wear the Apple Watch for your Protection, Please

The one thing that most of my friends of all political stripes can agree on is that they don’t want private companies or the government collecting more information than they need to collect.  Interestingly, the number doesn’t decline much with age (see chart above).

However, the deeper story really underlines what we generally know: people will exchange data if they get value in return.  A little additional information from the survey provides some context: nearly three quarters of respondents “think wearable tech will change how they engage with fitness providers and 22% say in-store and online shopping.”  [emphasis mine]

So, as I let my blood pressure drop to a reasonably healthy level, I think the numbers make more sense. People don’t mind (or even like) tracking when they see a direct benefit.  So:

  • Exchange data for better fitness: YES
  • Exchange data so you can buzz my wrist when I walk past a Starbucks: NO

On the other hand, The Ministry of Truth would like to have a word with the one-in-five of you who want retailers to have wearable data.

Get Your Mind out of the Gutter and into the Toilet

When we set out to solve marketing problems, we often try modeling, as in “how would another brand solve the problem?”  More often than not, I think we use sexy brands–Apple, Nike, Starbucks and so forth–because they usually get their marketing right.

However, I suggest that you stop thinking about what’s sexy.  After all, most marketers don’t have the resources of these brands nor can they always take the big risks that those brands have taken.

So, instead of sex, try toilets.

toilet-513045_1280

 

Challenge Accepted!

As in, ask yourself, “what would we do if we were trying to sell toilets instead of our brand/product?”  Turning your strategy exercise into an exercise of selling toilets has three key advantages:

1.             Toilets have clear use cases.

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