This is issue no. 133 of 180. The last issue had a 42.16% open rate with 7.16% of you going to this article on Instagram marketing best practices. All, I'd like to apologize for no letter going out on Friday. Last week's (awful, awful) flu has been defeated and if my health was a newsletter, It would be back to an 90% open rate.
MEDIA: Nasty put-downs, fact-challenged assertions, and lots of bluster. They won’t just be evident up on stage at Hofstra University during tonight’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They’ll also be ubiquitous on Twitter, which is live-streaming the event for its millions of opinionated users around the world (it’s also available via the Wall Street Journal app and Facebook Live, among others).
MEDIA: It’s been 18 months since BMW hinted that it was exploring the idea of BRAND: They are bringing back its BMW Films series, which elevated branded entertainment to an art form and height it hasn’t quite regained. And now, it’s back, and with the franchise’s original star. BMW USA has released a teaser trailer for “The Escape” — directed by Neill Blomkamp and starring Clive Owen, a sequel 15 years in the making.
BRAND: Airbnb and GoPro entered the top 20 for the first time, taking 12th and 18th place respectively. Other new entries include make-up brand M.A.C, Harley Davidson and Sony PlayStation. The latter two have re-entered the top 20 after a five-year absence. However, fashion brands have generally lost out this year, according to CoolBrands. Notable fallers include Alexander McQueen (down seven places to 13th place) and Chanel (down eleven places to 19th place). Ray-Ban also dropped down 18 places to 20th position.
BRAND: With a lot of fanfare last July, Converse released a more expensive version of the classic Chuck Taylor, the first major overhaul of the world’s most iconic and best-selling sneaker. The big pitch was a more comfortable shoe, with Nike’s patented bouncy foam in the soles, and a slick new look. After a little more than a year, the upgrade has been a flop. Converse couldn’t make a persuasive case for the premium price, and demand for the shoe has fallen short of expectations, according to people familiar with sales figures.
BRAND: A $5 billion valuation would put Yeti at a steep 36 times its 2015 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $137 million. The company is growing quickly, however, and will be basing its proposed value on newer data and forecasts. With U.S. stock indexes near all-time highs and economic growth subdued, the companies behind hot products are trading for high prices relative to their earnings.
ECOMMERCE: It was part of a play to boost the e-commerce cred of the former at a time when the firm is coming under pressure from the likes of Amazon, which carries an estimated four out of every five items that Bed, Bath & Beyond does, but at lower cost. Whether buying out One Kings Lane is necessarily the answer remains to be seen, given that the online retailer was scarcely a major success story in its own right. As Brad Thomas, a retail analyst at Keybanc Capital Markets, snarked:
ECOMMERCE: According to Gartner by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human and at the close of 2018, customer digital assistants will recognize customers by face and voice across channels. Investment-wise, in 2014 there were more than $300 million in venture capital invested in AI startups according to Bloomberg. Brands are on board and are using AI to build smarter platforms they hope will create a better online shopping experience for the consumer.
ECOMMERCE: The business, which was founded almost 60 years ago, launched its first ecommerce site in Canada in 2015 and said it has since observed growing demand for its products online. It chose the UK and France for its launch into Europe because they are its fastest-growing markets on the continent. Canada Goose has 95 wholesale stockists in the UK, including Harrods and Harvey Nichols. The company said there are no immediate plans to open bricks-and-mortar stores in the UK.
ECOMMERCE: The Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten is intensifying its play for shares in the massive American market for online shopping through a new deal with FinTech company Payoneer. The deal between the two aimed to open up access to Rakuten’s American platform, Rakuten.com, for international vendors. Like fellow e-commerce giants Amazon and Alibaba , Rakuten’s e-commerce platform is open to third party merchants.
ADTECH: As for the lack of venture capital, it wasn’t necessarily intentional. Instead, it was more a byproduct of Foroughi having enough personal resources to bootstrap the launch, and then the company’s immediate success. “I couldn’t find anyone to give us an investment at what I thought was a reasonable starting point valuation (maybe $4 million or $5 million) and, by the end of our first year of operations, we were profitable and doing over $1 million a month in revenue,” he explains.