Normally at this time of year, I take a few small steps to counteract a slight wane in energy levels caused by the reduced light and temperamental weather. This being 2020, I am trying to amp up focus on taking even stronger actions. In the face of our situation where we have such little control over so many things, the big things we can control are our attitudes and our actions.
One of those actions is deciding to make this “the feel-good issue” of MarketWell. We’re shining a spotlight on stories such as:
- Happiness, cow hugging and H&M giving back
- Potential for breadfruit
- Making grocery shopping fun
- What information makes consumers feel good
These are all stories we want to hear, about information that makes us feel good. This includes knowing what information we don’t want to know and how much “good” information is actually too much information. So we’ll help you discern this, too. This is an important framework to think about in the context of your brand’s audience.
What small—or bigger—steps are you taking to make the most of this fall season?
Wellbeing from around the web
Is cow hugging the new wellness trend?
During a time when there’s likely a shortage of touch in most people’s lives, “koe knuffelen,” or cow hugging, is gaining popularity. It’s a therapeutic practice, started in the Netherlands, that increases oxytocin levels. You might say, it’s a mooo-ving experience. What experiences are your consumers missing that can be recreated in safe ways?
The state of happiness in a COVID world
Do you feel as happy this year as last? According to Ipsos, despite the pandemic, the same percentage of people—63%—across 27 countries reported feeling as happy this year as last. What people are grateful for has changed though—relationships, health and safety rank highest. In Canada, however, happiness has dropped to 78% from 86%. It may be among the most significant declines worldwide, but hey, that’s still a B+. Here’s looking to an upswing for the 2021 ranking. What do your consumers value right now?
H&M machine knits shoppers’ old jumpers into new ones on the spot
H&M improves the wellbeing of closets in Stockholm with a machine that turns old clothes into new knits. What a great tool to help H&M customers do good while benefiting personally as well.
The plant-based protein market is growing and is projected to rise from $10.3 billion this year to $14.5 billion by 2025. And while vegan meats are popular, we’re excited for the introduction of breadfruit into the North American market.
Breadfruit is exactly what it sounds like: a starchy fruit. It grows in tropical and South Pacific regions. Although it has been a staple food for thousands of years close to where it grows, its nutritional value was only studied recently. Researcher Susan Murch, PhD, from University of British Columbia Okanagan led studies on this filling fruit, discovering that the fruit is incredibly nutritious. Breadfruit is high in complex protein, carbohydrates and fibre and is low in fat and cholesterol. It’s also gluten-free and is often dried and ground into flour.
While the fresh fruit is already available in some Canadian grocery stores, Murch foresees breadfruit will enter major markets “in a big way” in the next decade. Want to get ahead of the trend? Look into breadfruit as your next superfood ingredient.
Have you tried breadfruit? We’d love to know.
No Frills has gone from budget grocery store to trendy, millennial-friendly grocery hero brand in the last few years. Their new focus: haulers. Playing off the “haul” videos produced by influencers about their purchases or the free swag they receive, No Frills gave the term “hauler” a definition of its own:
- Someone who cares not for frills.
- Someone who is frugal, and proud of it.
- Someone who hauls. Hard. (See definition of haul)
- Someone who shops at No Frills. “Linda’s such a hauler she needs a stretch minivan.”
First launched in 2019, Aisles of Glory relaunched last month for a limited time. It not only featured characters wearing masks but also the opportunity to earn PC Optimum points and new virtual products to collect in the game. These include their most prominent brands like Yoplait drinkable yogurt, Cavendish frozen foods and Klondike products.
We’ve done a check-up on the No Frills video game by applying our 5-Step Rx for marketing well.
Step 1: Use meaningful language
While the language used to describe the game and its rules really only applies to No Frills, it’s fun and makes saving money feel exciting and even more rewarding than simply, well, saving money. For instance, “Get the groceries. Dodge the frills.” Frills include icons like diamonds, a champagne tower and a limousine.
Step 2: Rethink what wellness looks like
Aisles of Glory characters include mostly people of colour—wearing masks! The game also rethinks wellness by placing value on saving money and passing time playing video games. In a pandemic world, a little distraction and a little saving can be a good thing.
Step 3: Leverage real influence
Although No Frills doesn’t appear to use influencers for Aisles of Glory social campaigns, fans of the brand are encouraged to share their hauls on social media, making everyday people the real, powerful spokespeople.
Step 4: Offline is the new online
Aisles of Glory strikes a beautiful balance between online and offline, offering real world rewards (PC Optimum Points and in-store deals) as well as visible, hauler-emblazoned swag acting as symbols to help haulers show off their pride.
Step 5: Own your conversation
Adding another avenue, in the form of a game, is a great way to extend No Frills’ relationship with their customers. “Hauler codes” that could be used in the game, were available through store receipts and social media and featured products available in stores.
MarketWell editor Vanessa Grant had the pleasure of attending a University of Toronto Rotman School of Management livestream featuring Cass R. Sunstein speaking about his new book Too Much Information: Understanding What You Don’t Want to Know.
The jacket of the book reads: “How much information is too much? Do we need to know how many calories are in the giant vat of popcorn that we bought on our way into the movie theater? Do we want to know if we are genetically predisposed to a certain disease?”
The answers, according to Sunstein, lie in whether the information will significantly improve people’s lives. Of course, predicting people’s reactions to different types of information isn’t easy. And when it comes to brand perceptions, figuring out what information should be shared and what should be left unsaid, feels even tougher.
Sunstein gives some general guidelines in the book:
For starters Sunstein quotes Red Auerbach, the late coach of the Boston Celtics: “It’s not what you say; it’s what they hear.”
Consider warning labels as an example. Although genetically modified organisms (GMOs) haven’t been proven harmful, forcing food producers to disclose when ingredients contain GMOs gives the impression to the consumer that the product may be dangerous. Consumers intuit (or hear) “danger”, even if the intention was simply to share information.
Sunstein explains that consumers’ perceptions of products following disclosure of new information is influenced by three factors, which we’ve paraphrased here. Here’s a 3-point checklist to consider before updating your messaging.
- How do consumers currently see your brand?
- How accurate will consumers consider the new information?
- What will consumers believe to be the motivation behind releasing the new information
Too Much Information is a fascinating read and one that can help inform your marketing plans. You’d better know: What does your audience want to know? And what do they NOT want to know?
As the nationwide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health. The work they are doing is even more important now, than ever.
To your wellbeing,
Founder and President
Felicity [Inspiring Communications]