This is issue no. 130 of 180. The last issue had a 🚀 42.19% open rate with 6.96% of you going to this article on Nike's pursuit of Reebok's stake in CrossFit® sales. Unilever purchased their latest CPG startup.
ECOMMERCE: The Honest Company, reportedly in talks to sell at more than $1 billion, may not be able to fetch high enough multiples to match the valuation of its last fundraising round. But investors are protected against losses, and some have guarantees of significant gains. And that suggests Honest Co. deserves a lower multiple than, say, a company like Dollar Shave Club, which is changing razor sales by selling through a monthly subscription. Dollar Shave Club sold recently to Unilever at a price that translated to five times this year’s expected revenue.
MEDIA: Media investor and former public relations executive Ken Lerer has bet big digital media news startups that use social media to reach millennials. That means he is exposed to the potential for a shakeout among the crowded sector. It was an important moment for the earnest millennial news site, Mr. Altchek said. Although the check that Mr. Lerer’s venture firm, Lerer Hippeau, sent wasn’t that big, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the message it sent was outsized. The digital media company was now Lerer Approved
MEDIA: Facebook today is debuting a system called "dynamic ads for retail" that will, in theory, eliminate the above pain point. These new ads are designed to allow merchants to only serve Facebook promos of products that are actually available in a chain brand's location. They come just in time for the holidays, as brands finalize their fourth-quarter ad budgets. "We are basically plugging into the bricks-and-mortar inventory and showcasing products that are available at a location close to the person seeing the ad," said Maz Sharafi, director of monetization at Facebook.
BRAND: When Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto stepped on stage at Apple’s iPhone 7 event in San Francisco earlier this month, he made 80s kids’ dreams come true. When Super Mario comes to iPhones later this year, the lovable plumber will for the first time grace a platform outside of Nintendo’s own ecosystem. What’s most interesting about the news for me, as creative lead for a VFX studio, is a reminder of Mario’s influence not just on pocket money but on a business’s bottom line—with Nintendo’s share price soaring following the announcement.
BRAND: Despite the changing of the guard, it will still fall to Mr. Bailey to manage the crisis in the near term. His replacement, Marco Gobbetti, chief executive of LVMH brand Céline, isn’t slated to join until next summer. Meanwhile, several of Burberry’s key senior executives have one foot out the door: Chief Financial Officer Carol Fairweather steps down in January and Chief Operating Officer John Smith will depart next summer. Andrew Maag, Burberry’s head of Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa, left recently.
MEDIA: Facebook has emerged as newspapers’ public enemy number one. Hardly a day passes in which there is no negative article about the social media website that is luring away “our” readers and advertisers. In the past couple of weeks, there has been something of an overload of criticism on a range of topics. There was the blocking of the image of a girl fleeing a napalm attack in Vietnam. It generated outrage from, among others, Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg in the Guardian, Jane Fae in the Daily Telegraph and Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times (an excellent piece).
ARCHIVES: Over the last few weeks and months there has been increasing alarm that today, September 16, is a critical one for publishers — and by critical, I mean the diagnosis that most publishers will soon be in critical condition. After all, today Apple releases iOS 9 with support for “content blocking extensions” which will effectively enable ad blockers for Safari, iOS’s default web browser. That it’s Safari is important; the concern about ad blockers is, for now.
ECOMMERCE: One day recently, we visited Amazon’s website in search of the best deal on Loctite super glue, the essential home repair tool for fixing everything from broken eyeglass frames to shattered ceramics. In an instant, Amazon’s software sifted through dozens of combinations of price and shipping, some of which were cheaper than what one might find at a local store. TheHardwareCity.com, an online retailer from Farmers Branch, Texas, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating, was selling Loctite for $6.75 with free shipping.
MEDIA: Fall is the easily the most Instagrammable time of year. With the white hot days of summer over and your seersucker stashed in storage, turn your attention to what really matters: Garnering more likes than the next fall-ready rando. This is the golden age of digital moveable feasts, and if you're not on top of your game you'll be making pumpkin spice latte jokes with the rest of the masses. To adequately prepare yourself for this seasonal marathon of personal branding, arm yourself with the appropriate preppy staples and location scout as necessary.
MEDIA: Despite social media maturing as a platform, online services—mostly Twitter—are plagued more than ever by trolls looking to cause emotional distress in individuals. Yet while we think of trolling as a problem for individuals, brands are increasingly being targeted by trolls, too. Some forms of brand trolling can be harmless and humorous, but there are also more malicious attacks, which if not dealt with properly, can potentially harm a brand.
ECOMMERCE: Shopify stores feature fully-secure checkouts that allow retailers to start taking payments instantly, while Shopify Shipping takes the legwork out of order fulfillment (it can manage the whole process for you – seriously). Shopify can even handle your marketing by automating email and creating targeted social campaigns on your behalf. In short, Shopify makes it as simple as possible to start and grow an e-commerce business. I
ECOMMERCE: Sales in the U.S. eclipsed $97 billion during the second quarter of 2016, which marked almost nearly 16% year-over-year (YoY) growth, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This was the greatest YoY increase since Q3 2014. More importantly, U.S. e-commerce growth has regularly outpaced the total retail market over the past six years, and e-commerce made up 8.1% of the total retail market in Q2 2016, up from 6.4% two years earlier.
ECOMMERCE: Today, the popular handmade-goods site Etsy announced it has acquired a startup called Blackbird Technologies, which developed algorithms for natural language processing, image recognition and analytics — similar to those used by Amazon and Google for product and other searches — and then “democratized” them to be used by any company of any size. At Etsy, the tech will be used to improve its own search features.
BRAND: For leading brands today, it’s not just about who you are and what you do, it’s about the purpose you serve and the problems that you solve for your brand communities. Under Armour was born as a solution to a problem that guys who play football all experienced—sweat soaked T-shirts that were wet, heavy and uncomfortable, and got in their way when they were trying to play. Taking inspiration from the wicking in women’s lingerie fabric, Kevin Plank, a football player himself, designed a T-shirt that stayed perpetually dry and fresh.
The Price of Eating Out
As services like Postmates and UBEReats continue to take precedence over home cooked meals, here is a great study into the differences in pricing (via Datafiniti).