It takes just one quick look at the year’s best-read stories in the realms of retail, beauty and apparel to realize Marketing Daily readers are bullish on brands. They want to know more about how to protect them, how to polish them and how to use digital technology to get them in the hands of new audiences.
Name Brands? Consumers Like 'Em Less Than Ever, for example, detailed Deloitte’s extensive research on the persistent inroads private-label products are making, with nearly 9 in 10 consumers expressing a preference for store brands. Gen Y Is Just A Different Kind of Brand Loyal also got plenty of clicks, with its closer look at the expectations Millennials bring to brand consideration. Data from L2, the luxury think tank, on the varying power of social platforms covered in For Luxury Brands, Instagram Blows Pinterest Away generated lots of attention.
And the way retailers are using different digital channels to ring up sales continues to intrigue readers, with Mobile, Social Driving 36% Of In-Store Sales, also based on research from Deloitte, coming in as the year’s second-most read story in the category.
Of course, readers also wanted to know about specific brands and the marketing strategies that worked best. Among them: Planet Fitness’ social party celebrating its 5 millionth member, and Procter & Gamble introducing “Your Best Beautiful,” a new umbrella campaign for its Olay brand.
Readers also wanted a peek under the hood of marketing engines of big retailers. Those include stories about how Walmart continues to tinker with its different store formats in an effort to overcome slowing sales at its bigger stores, and woo younger, more affluent and digitally savvy shoppers to its newer formats, which are smaller and more nimble. And a story about how Macy’s is simultaneously expanding its private-label strategies and its mobile capabilities to win over Gen Y also struck a chord.
But of course, who doesn’t love to read about what not to do? OfficeMax's 'Dead Daughter' Gaffe Torpedoes Big Data, which recounted the story of one of the most ghastly direct-mail screw-ups ever, was also among the year’s 10 most-read stories.
But the best-read story? In a twist that surprised us at Marketing Daily, where we tend to focus much of our reporting on the largest advertisers, it turns out that the most popular piece named three brands that do little to no national advertising, and yet are beloved by consumers: Trader Joe's, Publix, Aldi America's Best Grocery Brands.