This is issue no. 97 of 180. Last letter saw a 41.41% open rate with 9.26% going to this article on the 25 most innovative consumer brands of 2016.
BREAKING: Wal-Mart in Talks To Acquire Jet.com 😶. Key figures: 22M monthly visitors and ~ $500M raised, the well-marketed startup will sell for $3B. Wal-Mart receives: talent, consumer data, and negative gross margins.
INNOVATION: Uber’s agreement to sell its Chinese operations to local Chinese on-demand ride leader Didi Chuxing is a blow to Grab and fellow members of the “anti-Uber” alliance, Lyft in the U.S. and Ola Cabs in India. As part of the deal, Didi put $1 billion into Uber, money that helps Uber to fight those other companies. The remaining members of the alliance and their investors have to decide whether to continue to fight Uber or sell themselves.
ECOMMERCE: Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) apps, such as Starbucks and Chick-fil-A, dominated the food service app category for downloads in the US during the first half of 2016, according to App Annie. On average, app downloads in this category grew at an average annualized of 35% between the first half of 2014 and the first half of 2016. This growth indicates that brands are recognizing the importance of engaging with consumers beyond the in-store experience.
MEDIA: Facebook has been trying to copy Snapchat for so long it has become a kind of running gag in tech circles. The social networking giant started trying to duplicate the ephemeral-messaging app’s core features even before it offered $3 billion in a failed bid to buy the company in 2013. And the reason why says a lot about what makes the service so powerful.
MOBILE: Silicon Valley has long been the world’s tech capital: It birthed social networking and iPhones and spread those tech products across the globe. The rap on China has been that it always followed in the Valley’s footsteps as government censorship abetted the rise of local versions of Google, YouTube and Twitter. But China’s tech industry — particularly its mobile businesses — has in some ways pulled ahead of the United States.
ARCHIVES: Clymer, Hodinkee's founder and CEO, told GQ that he wanted to take the sometimes-frustrating middleman out of selling an older watch."Your options now are really, go to a dealer where they're going to push you down so hard that you'll get a small fraction of what the watch is actually worth; go to an auction house where it's the same thing, and on top of that you won't receive your money for six months; or go with a private party and you just don't know who you're dealing with," he said.
BRAND: Consumer tastes and preferences in related product categories can also provide companies with a more complete picture of their customer. Fashion designer John Varvatos has long aligned his brand with rock and indie musicians. According to Scott Lux, VP of digital and e-commerce, looking at what’s trending outside of one’s industry can provide worthwhile insights. “We met with a potential partner a couple weeks ago, that pulls in all type of pop culture data and affinity to that.
BRAND: When the Jordan Brand was offered as part of the deal with a call from Jordan to Jim Harbaugh, the U-M coach recalled: “He had me at hello.” Jordan’s goal, Harbaugh said, is to make Michigan the Jordan Brand’s flagship program, just as Oregon is the flagship for the whole Nike stable of schools. Fast-forward to this afternoon, when Woodson, Harbaugh, Michigan players and Nike administrators helped reveal the Jumpman uniforms, coaching attire and other gear at a private event in Detroit.
BRAND: Aligning marketing strategies with emotion has already proven to be successful, but tapping into fond memories can be an invaluable tactic, especially for engaging millennials. From fast food and breakfast cereals to gaming systems and everything in between, smart brands are engaging through retro roots — and it’s called nostalgia marketing. Here’s a glimpse into this powerful new marketing trend: what it is, who’s doing it well, and a few tips.
MEDIA: Now, Google has announced that it plans to expand the delivery of AMP links beyond that carousel to all mobile search results. So when you search for a story and an article from an AMP publisher shows up in search results, clicking on that blue link will take you to the AMP version of the story instead of the traditional website. When a webpage has an AMP version available, it will be represented by a small lightning bolt next to the search result. (For now, Google is offering a "developer preview" of AMP pages).
BRAND: Marketers spend a lot of time trying to nail down abstract concepts. They're tasked with turning brainstorming sessions and comments sourced during focus groups into campaigns that sum up everything about a brand's identity in a neat, tidy, and most importantly, interesting way. But what if a consumer could walk into a room and fully experience your brand with all their senses? Pop-up events offer just that -- the chance for consumers to get up close and personal with their favorite companies in a truly immersive setting.
Last Word: Nike Moving to a Direct to Consumer Business