Friday, May 26, 2017

Will turning their shoe department into DSW bring Millennials back to Macy's?

According to a 2016 study from iModerate, 82% of Millennials like to shop in stores.  (That's more than their Gen X counterparts (69%) and Boomers (65%); Gen Z too (80%)).  More here...

The study goes on to say that Millennials like efficiency when they shop.  So when I read this week that Macy's experiment with a self-service shoe department was a success I wasn't surprised.  (Zumbach, 2017)  After all DSW has been doing it for years.  By July the approach will be expanded to all Macy's stores. 
But with both stores on the "grab your wallet" boycott list, I wonder if it will even matter.  I'm sure it's not a coincidence that both companies missed their profit expectations in the most recent quarter. (Kapner, 2017) (Kilgore, 2017)

Zumbach, L. (2017, May 23)  Self-service shoe departments coming to three Chicago-area Macy's stores.  Retrieved May 26, 2017, from

Kapner, S. (2017, May 11)  Macy's says 'we're not dead' after earnings miss.  Retrieved May 26, 2017, from

Kilgore, T. (2017, May 23)  DSW misses profit expectations, but sales beat.  Retrieved May 26, 2017, from

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sorry Mass Mutual, I don't think Millennials will respond to your new campaign. Assuming they were even your target.

Maybe it's just me.  But when I watch this new commercial from Mass Mutual I am confused.  According to the company, the insight that led to the campaign is that interdependence is our greatest gift.  And based on this they have chosen to try to persuade Millennials through their parents.  Or are they trying to persuade parents to buy more insurance to help their kids?  (Pasquarelli, 2017)

When I look at this ad, I think that unfortunately they are trying to do both, and as a result they are doing neither well.  Rule #1 in marketing - know who your target is. 

Take a look and see what you think...

Over the past several years we have seen a couple of insurance companies trying to engage Millennials.  According to my students, Prudential, who uses "social proof," i.e. the need to belong, to persuade was the most successful.  And some appreciated the humor in the NY Life spot, which uses "liking" to connect with the target.  You can read their thoughts here...

But I can't help but wonder what they would make of Mass Mutual's effort.  In all likelihood, they won't even notice it.

Pasquarelli, A. & Stein, L. (2017, May 15)  Finances Are Family Affair in MassMutual Campaign.  retrieved May 19, 2017, from

Friday, May 12, 2017

Note to Dove, no one notices packaging until it goes wrong - just ask Tropicana.

That's not entirely true of course.  Graphic designers notice.  But for the rest of us, packaging changes come and go and are rarely acknowledged.

Unfortunately mistakes transcend complacency.  When Tropicana changed their packaging in 2009, sales dropped 20% in less than two months.  (Zmuda, 2017)

Of course their situation was a bit worse since their packaging change meant that I could no longer recognize my favorite product on the store shelf.

But do I really need to be reminded of my figure flaws every time I moisturize?  That doesn't sound very empowering to me.  And for a brand that prides itself on appealing to real women?  What were you thinking?   

The consumer insight for this brand was that only 2% of women think they're beautiful.  Based on this Dove said they wanted to expand the definition of beautiful.  How does this move accomplish that?  Seems like a clear case of body shaming to me.

At least it's a limited edition, in the UK.  But that didn't stop Twitter from weighing in.

You can see the tweets here...

Now we'll let the market decide.  I can't wait to see what happens.

Zmuda, N. (2009, April 2)  Tropicana Line's Sales Plunge 20% Post-Rebranding.  retrieved April 3, 2009, from

Beer, J. (2017, May 8)  Dove Matches Its New Body Wash Bottles To Your Body Type - UPDATE - And People Hate it.  retrieved May 12, 2017, from