January 7, 2020

The holiday season is the most important time of the year by far for the nation’s retailers, with many earning as much as 40 percent of their annual sales during that period. Fortunately for them, 2019’s holiday sales increased by 3.4 percent compared to the previous year. Retailers are especially relieved since Thanksgiving arrived six days later than it did in 2018, which took away crucial time that companies could have used to drive sales. 

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December 17, 2019

During December, the Hallmark Channel’s schedule is chock full of Christmas movies to keep the holiday spirit strong throughout the month. But last week the usually jolly TV network behaved more like Ebenezer Scrooge in the eyes of many fans and users on social media. The controversy began when Hallmark received a complaint from an advocacy group whose stated mission is to “fight against indecency.” The organization complained about four ads that featured same-sex couples from a wedding planning company Continue reading

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December 5, 2019

Although gum companies like Wrigley have been in business for more than a century, today’s consumers aren’t nearly as interested in chewing gum as past generations. From 2010 to 2018, gum sales dropped by 23 percent in the U.S. and 4 percent globally. “Chewing gum is becoming less socially acceptable,” said Mondelez Foods CEO Dirk Van de Put. As the maker of brands like Trident and Dentyne, Mondelez and its competitor Wrigley are trying to convince consumers that gum can Continue reading

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December 3, 2019

Analysts at Adobe estimate that consumers spent more than $29 billion online last week between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Although brick-and-mortar sales rose slightly as well, e-commerce sales surged to record highs as consumers increasingly turned to online retailers for their holiday shopping needs. In fact, experts predict that companies like Amazon earned as much as $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday alone. 

But while Amazon enjoyed another successful start to the festive season in the U.S., the e-commerce giant Continue reading

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November 22, 2019

Yesterday, we looked at how video game companies earn billions of dollars annually by selling virtual products to an ever-growing market. Inspired by the success of this unusual industry, some clothing companies have started selling digital outfits that don’t exist in the real world. For instance, the fashion label The Fabricant recently sold a virtual dress for $9,500 to the wife of a San Francisco tech executive. Although she cannot actually put on her expensive new outfit, she can Photoshop Continue reading

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October 22, 2019

The last couple of years have not been kind to brick-and-mortar retailers: since 2017 more than 50 companies have gone bankrupt and 21,000 locations have closed across the country. Instead of heading out to stores, many modern consumers now depend on Amazon for their shopping needs. Along with providing convenience, the e-commerce giant also offers everyday low prices as well as major sales events like Prime Day. In response, many traditional retailers have started offering deep discounts in an effort Continue reading

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August 29, 2019

On August 12, Popeyes announced that it was adding a new chicken sandwich to menus across the nation. The first of its kind at the fast food chain, Popeyes said this was its biggest product launch in more than 30 years. The sandwich soon became a hot topic on social media and grabbed the attention of more than just hungry customers. In the days following the launch, Chick-fil-A started a social media feud with Popeyes over which chain had the Continue reading

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August 22, 2019

With more than 1 billion photo-obsessed users, Instagram has become a trusted destination for marketers looking to get their products noticed. According to a recent study, though, people on the picture-sharing platform don’t trust ads that look like “ads.” Instead, they prefer promotional spots that seem like something that their friends would post. For instance, a brand like L’Oreal would likely get more attention with a selfie of an influencer applying makeup rather than a  glamorous, magazine-like ad.

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July 30, 2019

From free finger food at Costo to complimentary mini-sized makeup at Sephora, companies have long depended on free samples as a powerful promotional tool. But as the clothing retailer Forever 21 recently learned, this time-tested strategy can backfire when paired with the wrong type of product. 

Forever 21 routinely includes sample items when shipping out orders to its customer base of young women. Last week one of those products was a free Atkins-branded lemon granola bar that encouraged customers Continue reading

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For more than a decade, the British chef Jamie Oliver has been world famous for his global empire of restaurants and campaigns against junk food. But while he remains committed to using his platform to promote healthy eating, his name doesn’t appear to hold the same branding power as it once did. A few weeks ago, the celebrity chef announced that 22 of his 25 U.K. eateries would close after the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group filed for bankruptcy protection. Although Continue reading

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