IT’S ABOUT ACCESS

For years, brands have been striving to help people get more value from the products they are purchasing. Today, people often turn to brands for access to something beyond the product itself. As marketers, thinkers, and innovators, it is often easy to think through the lens of “what will this product physically do for the consumer.” While that is no doubt an integral piece of the puzzle, the surest way to true brand admiration gives consumers something well beyond a set of product attributes. A good example is Hellman’s recent campaign in Brazil.  Hellman’s connects consumers with chefs for cooking advice on recipes incorporating Hellman’s mayo. Read more about here.

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THE SHIFTING SANDS BENEATH AMERICAN MIGRATION

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Whether it was seeking freedom or gold, the very foundation of our country lies upon migration. Until recent years, it was economic necessity that typically fueled migration. Today, things are different; we are seeing migration dictated by lifestyle choices in addition to economic factors. People are starting to consider everything from the cultural landscape and political leanings to the weather and interests when considering where to move. NPR explores this trend in the series of podcasts, "The Sorting of America," which takes a look at extreme examples of individuals moving to a new area based on lifestyle preferences and needs.

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BRICK-AND-MORTAR BUSINESSES BORROW FROM STARTUPS

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From funding to disruptive innovation, brick-and-mortar businesses are looking to emulate practices of the start-up world. Rather than starting with a small business loan, these brick-and-mortar stores, like start-ups, go through multiple rounds of funding. This approach requires new businesses to prove that they are not simply looking to join the existing competition, but rather disrupt the current competitive landscape. When brick-and-mortar business rethink the traditional structure, this creates a foundation for truly innovative ideas to succeed. Read about the stories behind Dig Inn, Sweetgreen, and Ministry of Supply here.

-Julie

A Sad Excuse for a Human

The dominant belief among brand strategists is that we must humanize and even personify the brand in order to make it more relatable and therefore, appealing to consumers…otherwise known as humans. But what if that’s counterproductive? What if what we really want are helpful, human-friendly assistants? 

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Gareth Kay makes a brief but compelling case in a recent 3-minute read on Medium, which was sparked by an MIT OpEd on robotics. The thinking is that humans are quicker to accept robots that do jobs, essentially like friendly assistants (e.g. Roomba) and tend to reject human-like robots that simply fall short of being, well, human. 

At Egg, we’ve long espoused that truly successful brands have a brand vocation — they do a job for consumers. It’s simply a matter of identifying, articulating and making good on that vocational promise in order to win over the customer. Many brands have certainly lost sight of that fact, opting to woo through emotionally charged, highly conceptual ideas intended to mask the fact their vocation has become commoditized. Take a look at what Gareth has to say and consider that it might be a time for a brand vocation audit. 

- Jessica

BUSTING MYTHS ABOUT BRAINSTORMS

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We do a lot of brainstorming here at Egg…brainstorming about behavioral trends, new products, brand visions, how the M&M’s in the office disappear so quickly. Important stuff (mostly).

This article argues that true creativity and effective brainstorming is actually a series of small steps rather than eureka moment out of the blue. We  agree. If you’ve ever participated in a hatchery (Egg’s ideation sessions), you might observe it is part art and part science. A healthy dose of inspiration, a few analogies to stretch the brain, and an open door for ideas can go a long way.

Next time you’re looking to get the creative juices flowing, keep in mind that a series of seemingly small ideas might just be the foundation to spark something much bigger.

-Julie

A STORY BEHIND THE SALAD DRESSING

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These three brothers took their mom’s homemade salad dressing from their family dinner table to the shelves of Costco and Whole Foods. How did they do it? With minimal experience, infrastructure, or support, their story embodies the modern brand success story: authenticity

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Growing the Pie

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Late last week fabled auto-brand Tesla made a splash by opening up all 200+ of their patents for their Electric Vehicle Supercharger stations (the equivalent of gas stations for electric cars).  In the blog post announcement, CEO Elon Musk invites and encourages everyone (even competitors) to use Tesla’s knowledge to further advance electric vehicle refueling technology.  

This is a brilliant move that’s aimed toward a big, grandeur vision for the category: Get more electric cars on the road.  Underpinning the move is Tesla’s realization that being the category leader and the acting leader of the movement it must follow a different type of strategy.

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A TRANSPARENT TEST MARKET

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Consumers increasingly want more transparency from brands while companies are hesitant to broadcast operations in their entirety. Is it is possible then, to have a successful business plan that capitalizes on the transparency consumers say they want? This supermarket concept, that clearly states all product information, could expose whether full transparency is truly a sustainable business model where consumers will pay a premium for the facts to make informed decisions, or whether consumers simply want to feel trust for a brand while still having the bells and whistles of traditional push marketing to help make the “right decision.” Read all about it here.

-Emily

ANALYTICS 3.0

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What will advertising look like in 2020? From wearable devices to mobile homes, it’s no secret that there’s an incredible amount of data generated by the devices around us. Included here are some interesting thoughts around how will this data be leveraged to create unique products and experiences. Most importantly, this article begs an interesting question: In a world where we are willing to share a lot more our lives in order to be served more personalized experiences, where do you fall on the spectrum of the “advertising ecosystem value exchange”? How far will it go? And does the potential benefit outweigh the risk? Read more here.

-Adrienne

Responding to Consumer Needs

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Recently, Coke and Ogilvy & Mather China developed a campaign featuring a variety of caps that can be screwed onto empty coke bottles to be re-purposed for functional (or fun!) purposes. Old bottles become soap dispensers, bubble makers, paint brushes, pencil sharpeners, water guns, or even dumbbells.

At the intersection of creativity and sustainability, this campaign exemplifies a brand listening to consumers. Consumers are aware of the wastefulness of plastic bottles, and here, Coke addresses that. Rather than turning away from consumer concerns, Coke creatively approached this problem with tact and imagination. It’s a little whimsy, a lot of choices, and a good dose of practicality. Read more here.

-Julie