Do You Drop? Luxury Players Now Join In On These Exclusive Product Promotions

Do You Plan on Using Drops for Your Product Promotions?  Luxury players are really getting in on this channel.  Check here how to keep drops fresh- and out of the hands of those that engage just to over-buy and resell precious limited edition merchandise.

It started with online flash sales.  That was easy.  It was electronic.  Promote the heck out of it and add a count-down clock with some limited inventory and –whammo– an e-commerce retailer had a fantastic limited time offer event.  It created a sense of urgency while offering scarcity.

Barney everybody cheering
Attended @Barneys The Drop LA Turnout  and Enthusiasm Was Impressive! 

But wait.  Brands also wanted to offer buzz and control their messaging.  Niche cult fave Supreme keeps its anticipation way high among fans with an entire strategy based on drops.

“In many ways, if you think about it, drops operate on the same principle as does home shopping or bidding on Ebay.  These are all timed events and once product is gone or the promotion is over thats it. ”                                       says The Christine Report

Change has arrived.  The luxury players with mainstream availability are now getting in.  Moncler, the must-have luxe winter outerwear brand describes a recent concept for their Drop called the “Genius Project”.   Its as much a drop as it is an art installation.

Moncler Genius Project Installation
Moncler Drop as Art Installation courtesy @Moncler

Luciano Santel, executive director of Moncler explains their approach: “The amount of business we plan to develop under the Genius Project is not particularly significant as compared to the rest of our business,” Santel said. “But…strategically, from the brand, from the communication point of view, from the design, from the product, it is an extremely important project.” 

Burberry also recently announced they are also engaging in drops.  The changes mark “the beginning of a new way of conversing with our customers across product, communication and experience,” says a brand spokesperson……

Drops, as cool as they are, have two major challenges.

adult-beautiful-clothes-291762

Just as technology has enabled brick and mortar to leverage the promotion of their drop, it also inevitably produces the dark side.  Those with the tech know-how unleash bots to scoop up excess merchandise beyond the normal capacity of a single consumer.  Then, that merchandise gets resold online for many, many times over the original price.

Defeating the bots created extra promotional opportunities for Nike.  They developed additional human interaction requirements via gamification.  In recent coverage by Draper’s Online, they described the successful drop for the SB Dunk Hi Momofuku sneaker in collaboration with restaurateur David Chang.  Participants had to locate multiple Nike posters placed around NYC that featured 3D capabilities.  Via their smartphone, up popped a full interactive model of the shoe which then they could go on and purchase.

David Chang
David Chang with Nike’s SB Dunk Hi Momofuku courtesy @Nike

 

Secondly, Don’t Create Drop Dreary Consumers.

belt-belts-business-1023937
Don’t Over Saturate With Too Many Drops or Too Much Sameness

 

 

Too many drop events can create a level of over-saturation and remove the interest.  As in Moncler, keeping the edge on creativity is key.  The gamification of drops and other more sophisticated engagements will also come into play with more interesting technology applications.  Luxury brands are also increasing the exclusivity factor. For example, Louis Vuitton is doing drops with little to no promotion and keeping it extremely fresh- as word only gets out the old fashioned way- peer to peer and mouth to mouth.

Every brand will have to evaluate for themselves the value of drops, can they manage them properly and will the sales enhance relationships with their customer or just cannibalize them?  Keep the drops real, but also keep them away from the bots!

Stem Cell Scientist Hans Keirstead Battles Crow’s Feet And Vies For A Congressional Seat

ROOT OF SKIN Brand Launching This Month!  Check Our 1st Press Piece From The Wonderful Beauty Independent Site and Daily Newsletter. By Rachel Brown.

Hans Keirstead is campaigning for good looks and good government: the first with new skincare brand Root of Skin and the second with a congressional run.

An outgrowth of AiVita Biomedical, the brand is launching after four years of stem cell exploration to help finance the clinical research company’s efforts to develop cancer therapies. Priced from $48 to $57, its three debut products are the 1-oz. Revitalizing Face Serum, .5-oz. Revitalizing Eye Renewal Lotion and 1-oz. Revitalizing Tinted Renew Primer. Formulas rely on the so-called SourceCode Technology combining a cellular communication system with 52 skin-enhancing ingredients.

ROS PRODUCT For Beauty Independent

“The vast majority of skincare on the market is versions of fillers, hydrators and light reflectors. I decided to take an entirely different approach,” says Keirstead. “As a pioneer of the stem cell field, I recognized that all of the stem cell skincare products were marketing ploys rather than reality. We have generated a product that’s a true innovation. Try this stuff. You’ll see the effect.”

As a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, Keirstead is more familiar with a laboratory than skincare marketing. Prior to founding AiVita Biomedical, he was a professor at the UC Irvine School of Medicine and sold the company California Stem Cell for $126 million.

Explaining Root of Skin, Keirstead gets rather technical. He shares, “We took human stem cells and pushed them to become pure populations of human skin precursors. My team is the best in the world at generating pure populations of stem cells. We generate populations that are 99% pure, the next best are 70% pure. That’s a big deal because, if you are generating something that’s 70% pure, you have to ask yourself, what is the other 30%?” He stresses, “We are not adding anything life doesn’t create naturally.”

Root of Skin is far from the only skincare offshoot of a biotech company. The brand Algenist was founded as part of TerraVia, which used to be named Solazyme, and its fellow Sephora offering Biossance is a branch of Amyris. Beauty businesses offer these companies the promise of short-term returns as they chase scientific breakthroughs taking longer to materialize.

Cool Chick For Beauty Independent

“If I make more money than I burn, then I don’t have to raise money,” reasons Keirstead. “The skincare product is projected to generate far more money than I require to run my clinical trials. That’s tens of millions of dollars. Skincare products are very widely used and are high revenue generators, and we are pouring that money back into treating women with cancer.”

To improve its chances in the beauty segment, privately-held AiVita been amassing skincare expertise through a scientific advisory board that includes Michael Gold, Mary Lupo and Zoe Draelos. The company also hired Christine Oddo, formerly of Cristophe Products Inc. and the defunct Kardashian beauty brand PerfectSkin, as chief marketing officer.

Aimed at both men and women, the unscented Root of Skin products will initially be sold online. Medical offices are also potential points of distribution. AiVita has produced a professional edition of Root of Skin that’s pricier than the general retail line and amplifies the active components in the formulas.

AiVita’s skincare business doesn’t rest solely on Root of Skin. The company is promoting its active ingredients broadly to companies for applications in their skincare products. Keirstead divulges AiVita has been in discussions with nine skincare firms considering harnessing the ingredients.

ROS PRODUCT For Beauty Independent

Meanwhile, the budding beauty executive is challenging 18-term Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a strong supporter of President Trump who has been under scrutiny for close ties to Russia, to represent the 48th district that stretches along the Southern California coastline in Orange County. Keirstead, originally from Canada, argues the time he’s spent in the trenches of scientific discovery and policy gives him an understanding few members of Congress have of healthcare in this country.

“We need field experience in Congress. The vast majority of congressmen are lawyers. The deficits in our society are a direct result of that lack of field experience,” he says, continuing, “Our healthcare system quite frankly is a mess, and I intended to fix that. My mission is to facilitate the development of 1,000 companies like mine and to better everyone’s healthcare. Right now, I’m working on cancer, but I would like to facilitate treatments for multiple human diseases.”

 

headshot-from-christmasChristine C. Oddo is the Chief Marketing Officer for ROOT OF SKIN™ cosmetic and skin care products, author of The Christine Report blog and founder of               Madison Luxe Group; a beauty and luxury product retail sales and digital strategy agency.

Inquiries to christine@madisonluxegroup.com

 

Launching 1st Truly Gender-Inclusive Clinical Skin Care

Reporting the upcoming October 2017 launch of a clinically based and incredibly exclusive skin care formula.
It is INTENTIONALLY designed for equal & effective use for both MEN & WOMEN.

“As the new Chief Marketing Officer of this amazing new brand,

I am so pleased with the opportunity to be able to share aFront Panel Showing For Men and Women

truly gender inclusive and effective skin care product.”

Christine C. Oddo
CMO, ROOT of Skin
Our new brand is named

ROOT OF Skin

ROS Logo

Gang Rendering

The product was researched and developed in our private medical grade research facility. We also manufacture the core active ingredient complex-
SourceCode Technology
and it is only available exclusively within our product.
Expect new product applications coming soon in 2018!

RootSkin_RFRSerum

 

Blame Amazon? Not Me. Just Ask Mid-West Department Stores!

It happened a couple months ago.  It was one of my typical very early mornings watching CNBC.  When I heard that Amazon was buying Whole Foods, yes, I let out the stereotypical huge gasp.

On August 24th, the Federal Trade Commission approved this nearly $14B deal.

Jim Cramer also gasps when he breaks the news that Amazon is buying Whole Foods.

Once I got over my initial early morning caffeine-stoked shock, I came to the same understanding as the rest of the world.  OK, this is finally, finally, finally it.  Now do we all get it?  It really is mobile 1st and digital always from here on out.

But Wait.

Technicolor memories of my retail career then started to ramp up.  Growing up in the Mid-West, shopping was everything. There were tons of amazing department stores based in Chicago. Consumer products became my career of choice.  Then, all the department stores started to disappear.  These were massive stores.  They were institutions.  One by one, they faded away.

The non-stop disappearance of these amazing department stores started to happen long before Amazon came around.  To illustrate the point, all we have to do is look at the biggies that were once the fabric of Chicago’s famous retailing.

Check out the timeline below for the disappearance of some of Mid-West’s biggest retailers:

Stores out of business timeline
The Disappearance of Chicago’s Best & Biggest Department Stores

As you can see this started happening waaaaay before Amazon came around.   I loved these stores, but I could see the writing on the wall, even back then.  Maybe I am lucky. I always felt I knew digital was the forecast of consumer products. Maybe me and my retail career have been primed all along for this tectonic shift.

“I loved these stores, but I could see the writing on the wall. Sure, we are where we are now because of the Amazon might.  However, I argue this a bit differently.  I say we are where we are now because the consumer decided it so. “   

 

People vote clearly and loudly with their purchases choices.   See the yellow line below in the graph?  Look to the far right and you will see the Amazon growth acceleration, especially since September 2015.  In all, Amazon’s market share grew 5x since 2013.

Blame Amazon Not Me. Department stores have been disappearing long before Amazon started taking market share.
Amazon Grows Market Share 5x Since 2013

 

If you are in marketing, you know this already- Ultimately, the consumer is always the boss.  So, while Amazon is the latest key player, they are not the total reason.  It is, as always, all about the consumer.

It’s always been this way and it will always be this way.

Madison Luxe Group is an innovative beauty, fashion and lifestyle luxury brand retail sales distributor and marketing consulting agency founder Christine C. Oddo and Madison Luxe Group
Christine C. Oddo founder Madison Luxe Group, author The Christine Report Blog christine@madisonluxegroup.com

Maximalism vs. Minimalism. What Meme Is Right for Your Brand?

Maximalism versus Minimalism.  If you created a campaign using a meme, which way would you go?  Which visual style is more representative of your brand?

More than ever before, visual impact takes the lead role in brand presence.  Memes are an excellent tool for delivering incredible visuals while identifying with your target consumer.  In the not-to-distant-past campaigns relied heavily, and successfully, only on their creative and production capabilities.  Our digital media world has changed all that. Creative is no longer perceived and judged just as award-winning art-for-art’s-sake.  It now has to be conceived with the notion that it can go viral – and we all know that creating the magic of going viral is the killer hack in digital branding.  Now not only does creative have to be flawless and fitting, it must also be able to go into full viral motion.

Memes are a leading way to instantly deliver your brand message.

So, will you go with the Maximalist pow and deliver eye candy straight between the reader’s eyes?  Or, is it more fitting for your brand to play it cool and draw them in with a I-couldn’t-care-less-about-how amazing-I-look-‘tude?

Gucci’s latest Watch campaign is obviously continuing their trend in Maximalist fashion.

Check out some of their recent campaign memes.  The copy is critical too!

Gucci Meme 1Gucci Meme 2Gucci Meme 3

Want to understand how Gucci is utilizing memes into their campaign?

Read Australian Vogue’s article here.

Vogue Australia with Karlie Kloss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you have experienced Maximalism, let’s see the difference with Minimalism. What Vetements just did is simply way too cool.
Vetememes the Vetements Meme Jacket Sold Out
Vetememes the Vetements Meme Jacket
Burberry’s Art of The Trench campaign is iconic for its minimalist imagery and impact. They further capitalized on their viral success with a flawlessly linked execution via brick & mortar and engaging user generated content.
Burberry's Art of The Trench Campaign Utilizes Memes, Brick & Mortar and User Generated Content
Burberry’s Art of The Trench Campaign Utilizes Memes, Brick & Mortar and User Generated Content

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Burberry’s did is extremely important.  It illustrates the opportunity for how a brand can lead an entire robust campaign with a single piece of developed creative.

We now know the importance and opportunities of memes.  So what will it be- Maximilism or Minimalism?

 

headshot-from-christmasChristine C. Oddo is the founder of Madison Luxe Group a beauty and luxury product retail sales and digital strategy agency and author of The Christine Report blog.

Inquiries to christine@madisonluxegroup.com

 

Ho-Ho-Ho Yo-Yo-Yo How Did It Go-Go-Go??? How Were Your Holiday Sales?

So, how did it go?  Now that we’re getting through January, for sure you have already done your 2016 Holiday Sales review.  So, how did it go?  If you are not happy, hard to believe, but we now only have about 8 calendar months to implement change.  Can we do all that needs to be done in time, this time?

The key question for most brands and stores has become incredibly apparent-

Where did my customer shop?

Did I have a brand presence there?

Was my customer’s experience consistent?

In Other Words

ARE YOU UNIFIED???

Unified Commerce.  It’s not just Omni-Channel.

What does UNIFIED mean exactly?  It means that presence or performance is no longer about where one can buy a product or find their retailer.  As marketers, we call each of these a channel.  Do you know what your customer calls it?  NOTHING.  Sorry to be so blunt.  That’s right, they refer to it as nothing.  Why?  Because our customers really don’t care what a channel is.  They only care about where they are and if they can easily purchase something.  We also need less emphasis and planning around “channel optimization”, “tracking” the target consumer, or “omni-channel” anymore, too.  Technically these efforts will remain, but it is really all about the right marketing mind set and goals.  Its time to truly begin to understand and implement brand transaction strategies from the consumers’ viewpoint.

Unified Commerce.  It’s Technology and It’s Your Consumers’ Brand Experience.

brp-graphic
2016 projected $30B spend on commerce unification software 

 

 

It is about a product or a brand transaction being seamlessly and instantly present across every platform.

 

Why Omni-Channel is Not The Same as UNIFIED

Here is a perfect true life example of my experience with an exclusive department store-           This retailer is definitely Omni-Channel but definitely not Unified.  When I fly into this city, I always look forward to shopping at this amazing destination.  When I purchase something that won’t fit my carry-on, I have to ship it back.  The brick and mortar purchase process will not allow it to be shipped to my PO Box.  So, the sales associate has to physically release the order at the exact right time so that it meets me at my house upon return from my trip and not sit on my front porch while I am away.  Then, I have to worry about my purchase sitting at the retailer for sometimes a week or more, depending on how long I am away. But, when I order online from this store, they will ship my package anywhere- including my PO Box. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Dior Tribal Earrings My Must-Have Item Ordered Via Text Unified Commerce Needed Here
Dior Tribal Earrings My Must-Have Item Ordered Via Text

Most surprising to me was when I needed some extra help buying some incredible just-had-to-have runway earrings and I wanted a couple different pair to collect all at once. 

I called the store long distance and during this experience, I was able to order these pricey earrings from the sales associate literally via texting but, get this- they were not available for order via their website.  

Very confusing.                                                                    

 

 

 

 

Unified Commerce Needed Here The ECommerce, In-Store and Phone Ordering Brand Experience Completely Different
Unified Commerce Needed Here The ECommerce, In-Store and Phone Ordering Brand Experience Completely Different

 

So, time has come where the point of sale is no longer just about technology capability, channels or physical location of the purchase.

THE NEW POINT OF SALE IS THE CONSUMER THEMSELVES

Unified commerce means that no matter where or when a consumer decides to buy, they can seamlessly, readily and easily transact their purchase AND to them, the transaction feels, looks and acts the same.  The consumer experiences little differences in their transaction options and brand interaction.  Also anyone in the organization that may be assisting in the transaction has the same information access and in real time.

Unified Commerce by National Retail Federation
Unified Commerce by National Retail Federation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time flies.  Our consumer continues to expect more unity in their experience.  Can you be totally ready by the next holiday season?  Can you get Unified?

 

 

Madison Luxe Group Where Luxury Meets Reality www.thechristinereport.com www.madisonluxegroup.com

Christine C. Oddo is the author of The Christine Report blog and founder of Madison Luxe Group; a beauty and luxury retail sales, product development, brand curation and digital strategy agency.

Inquiries to christine@madisonluxegroup.com

Circ Cell Dew Perfector Treatment Tonic

Dew Perfector Treatment Tonic by Circ Cell Skincare Reviewed by Sleekhair Panel On Stage at Stylecon 2016

Sleekhair Executives: Joan Ngo COO & Christina Krasch, Marketing Coordinator, Speak at Stylecon 2016

The Expert Product Review Panel Reporting on Dew Perfector at Stylecon 2016.

“What This Does It Creates A Harmony On Your Skin and It Creates a Natural Balance of Oil and Water Without Stripping Anything Natural”, says Christina Krasch.

More info www.circcell.com

headshot-from-christmasChristine C. Oddo is the author of The Christine Report blog and founder of Madison Luxe Group; a beauty and luxury retail sales, product development, brand curation and digital strategy agency.

Inquiries to christine@madisonluxegroup.com

www.madisonluxegroup.com