Why Direct to Consumer Brands Need TV Ads

Direct to consumer brands are winning market share from brick and mortar retailers – but they need the power of legacy TV to take the next step.

Direct to consumer (DTC or D2C) companies have taken full advantage of paid social and paid search to bootstrap growth. The dominant digital ad trio of Instagram, Facebook and Google has allowed DTC brands to reach vast audiences on a fairly limited budget.

Yet if DTC brands want to maintain or even exceed their early growth trajectory, they need to look beyond direct to consumer marketing to a legacy channel: Television.

Why DTC + TV is the growth equation for brands

According to data from the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), TV spending among DTC brands is rising. The Bureau tracked Nielsen research data from 125 DTC brands and found that they spent $3.8 billion, collectively, on TV ads in 2018.

The more interesting statistic, however, is this: 70% of these DTC brands were spending ad money on TV ads for the first time in 2018. Top spenders in the DTC TV ad category include prominent names such as Chewy, Smile Direct Club, Purple and Peloton, all of whom spent more than $100 million in 2018 alone.

Purple, a mattress company, was particularly notable, spending $140 million after spending almost nothing on TV ads in 2017.

In many cases, this was money well spent. Peloton, for example, doubled its sales to $700 million in 2018 after increasing its TV ad spend by 48%.

Overall, DTC brands increased their total spending on TV ads by 60% in 2018. Total ad investment by all brands in the category reached $3.8 billion last year.

What’s behind the increased spending?

There’s a reason why DTC brands are pumping money into TV in unprecedented numbers: They need to scale, and quickly. DTC companies have, in most cases, validated themselves and their model within the market; now they face heightened competition from other DTC brands and traditional retailers who are rolling out their own DTC strategies.

This trend is supported by changing consumer behavior. According to a study from YouGov, 64% of Internet users say that 20% (or more) of their total purchases will occur through DTC brands. Businesses are staking out territory now to capture this revenue.

TV is playing a critical role in this process, as DTC brands seek to leverage its vast reach to drive viewers into the online marketing funnel, as shown by VAB data:

  • Turo, a car sharing startup, increased online video views by 5,100% after increasing its TV ad spend.
  • GrubHub increased its online video views by 1,100% after tripling its TV ad spend.
  • Poshmark saw online search queries increase by 6,900% after increasing its ad spend by 8,400%.
  • Barkbox witnessed a search query gain of 824% after increasing its ad spend by 726%.

Current data also shows that viewers are receptive to this strategy. Research done by Telaria showed that DTC shoppers who are shown both linear and connected TV ads are twice as likely to buy. 

Overall, DTC brands are using TV to exponentially increase exposure and awareness, which results in massive increases in search interest, online engagement and, ultimately, sales.

Another factor influencing DTC growth is cost. While digital advertising is still much less expensive than TV, the cost of advertising on Facebook and other platforms is rising. 

The takeaway

DTC brands have used a digital-first approach to grow and win market share while operating on relatively small budgets. 

That strategy, however, is becoming less relevant as DTC brands mature. In order to reach the vast new pool of consumers outside their digital sphere, it becomes necessary for DTC brands to enter the TV market, where potential buyers can be engaged and guided to online channels. 

At BIGEYE, we’re experts at helping DTC companies reach their full potential through savvy media buying and strategy. We can help you scale and reach new audiences with creatively inspiring new campaigns, smart media buying strategies, and advanced audience analysis and market intelligence.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to learn what a truly great marketing campaign can do for your brand.

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Why Direct to Consumer Pharma Ads Remain a Global Anomaly

Direct to consumer prescription drug ads are everywhere in the US — and almost unseen everywhere else. Here’s why.

In the U.S., consumers are bombarded with ads for pharmaceuticals — so much so, in fact, that the very form has become a cliché (think about “active seniors” pursuing their favorite activities while a narrator rattles off a list of side effects). If you work for a pharmaceutical advertising agency that isn’t based stateside, it’s an entirely different world, however. 

The U.S. is the only large market where direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertising is permissible. Only one other country (the ‘tiny by comparison’ New Zealand) allows the practice — and that nation has seen repeated efforts to ban consumer prescription drug ads.

Let’s take a closer look at why direct to consumer drug marketing works, and any changes that could lie ahead.

The Power of Direct Advertising

While direct advertisements for pharmaceuticals are now inescapable, the truth is that they’ve only been around for 22 years. The practice of marketing medications to consumers was made legal under the Clinton Administration in 1997, immediately unleashing a torrent of new advertising on the public in a previously unseen category.

The rationale behind this move was simple: When people suffering from a certain affliction would see an ad for a product that treats their symptoms, they would ask their physician about the product, opening up an important dialogue about their health in the process.

However, the reality hasn’t always proved so simple. When direct advertising certainly works in terms of generating brand awareness and sales, some physicians have raised objections about the role it plays in patient health.

In a Food and Drug Administration survey, 65% of physicians reported feeling that direct advertising sent confusing messages to patients; a smaller number of physicians reported feeling pressure to prescribe as a result of direct ads.

This has occurred against a backdrop of massive expansion in direct pharma advertising dollars. According to a Journal of the American Medical Association study, total direct pharma ad spending grew more than 360% from 1997 to 2016.

The reason for that ad spend is simple: It results in sales, and lots of them. Another federal study showed that for every $1,000 pharma companies spend on direct advertising, they add 24 new patients. Pharmaceuticals supported by direct consumer ads add patients at a rate seven times higher than drugs without ads.

Alternative Approaches to Direct Ads

One alternative to direct pharma advertising that has gained traction in recent years is the Disease Awareness Campaign (DAC). This model eschews product-specific direct ads in favor of a less commercial advertising approach that aims to heighten awareness.

Gilead, one of the world’s leading drug developers, has used the DAC approach in support of its new hepatitis C treatment. The ads encourage people to seek testing for the disease without getting into the merits of Gilead’s product. 

Ultimately, it is unlikely that we see a move to significantly restrict direct pharmaceutical advertising in the US. In fact, it seems likely that other nations may follow the lead of the U.S. and New Zealand and loosen regulations. The European Commission, in fact, has undertaken hearings to explore that possibility, though any approved ads would likely be much less promotional in nature than what is seen in the U.S.

If you’re running a pharma brand or a pharmaceutical advertising agency, perhaps the best approach is one of moderation. Take advantage of the reach and efficacy of direct advertising, but make sure it’s done in a way that stresses awareness and maintains a sense of professional ethics. 

Ultimately, drug companies, physicians, and patients all need to pull in the same direction to create better health outcomes.

The Takeaway

At BIGEYE, we believe that a great pharmaceutical advertising agency offers its clients three things: Domain expertise, advanced technological tools, and a sophisticated understanding of the existing marketing landscape.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about what BIGEYE can do for you.

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Use These Tactics to Advertise Like Chewy.com

DTC brands are known for their clever, original, and on-trend ads. Read what we can learn from the pet product marketing tactics Chewy.com uses to connect with audiences.

In a few short years, DTC (or D2C) brands have gone from a novelty to an essential part of the lives of most consumers. They’ve also inspired corporate heavyweights to follow their lead. Nike plans to reach $20 billion in direct to consumer sales by 2020 — a 300% increase from five years earlier.

Many of the newer DTC brands who have become household names have used highly memorable and creative direct to consumer marketing approaches to gain traction. One such example is Chewy.com, a DTC pet brand. Let’s take a closer look at how Chewy.com advertises, and what we can learn from their pet product marketing approach.

Using a savvy DTC ad strategy to build market share

This Chewy.com ad cleverly targets the new parent demographic. One of the primary benefits of Chewy’s direct to consumer marketing model is convenience — it delivers toys, chews, food, and treats directly to a consumer’s home, in a box.

For new parents, saving a trip to the local brick and mortar pet store is a significant draw. Chewy’s ad shows how its service can ease the burden of new parenthood, often one of life’s most overwhelming experiences.

Chewy’s ad is smart for another reason: It targets a large and growing demographic. Pets are often regarded as “training babies” by millennials, who are delaying the rituals and milestones of adulthood longer than earlier generations. Because younger people humanize their pets and treat them as family members, they are more willing to pay for premium products and services. Focusing on the “new parents with a dog” market is a smart move for Chewy.com, given their passion and willingness to spend.

Chewy’s ads also make an economic case familiar to DTC or D2C brands. This ad stresses that all the products offered by Chewy are not only cheaper than those found in a brick and mortar retailer, they also come with free shipping.

It’s a powerful ad because today’s “pet parents” want to do more for their animals, but they may be constrained by lack of income (a particular problem for younger pet parents). Chewy’s ad maintains that it’s possible to buy the best for your animal by opting for their low overhead DTC model.

Chewy.com also released ads focusing on the ease of the delivery and exciting experience of “unboxing” a collection of dog food, treats and toys; an ad showing how Chewy.com customer service reps can assist with helping find food for dogs and cats who are “picky eaters”; and ads that feature specific owners and their dogs, all enjoying Chewy.com boxes.  

All of the ads are upbeat, brief and colorful and feature lots of testimonials and images of happy pets. Additionally, all of the company’s pet product marketing messages highlight at least one aspect of Chewy.com DTC value proposition: Cheaper products, easy delivery, the boxing experience, etc.

Experience-based advertising and marketing, Chewy-style

Chewy.com has also “clawed its way into the public consciousness” by creating memorable experiences for its customers (and their pets) to share.

Chewy operates on the premise that consumers only share two types of experiences online: Great ones and terrible ones. So Chewy, obviously, strives to generate the former.

The company has drawn notice for sending flowers and condolences to a customer who called to cancel an order after a pet’s unexpected death. The customer was stunned and appreciative and later shared the story on social media.

Chewy is also known for sending handwritten notes addressed directly to its customers’ pets — a whimsical touch that plays extremely well in an era when most of us humanize our animals.

The takeaway

DTC brands seeking to build awareness, attract new audiences, and engage with their existing customers would do well to consider Chewy’s direct to consumer marketing, DTC advertising, and customer service model.

Chewy’s ads are not high concept; instead, they hammer home the core value proposition of the company’s DTC model and show plenty of happy and excited pets.

At BIGEYE, we have the experience and expertise to create top drawer DTC ad campaigns such as those created by Chewy.com. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you reach your goals.

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How Direct to Consumer Brands Can Market Creatively

Direct to consumer (DTC or D2C) brands are capturing the public’s imagination — and also their dollars. Here’s how your brand can market creatively.

The ripple effects of the Internet and social media are responsible for countless changes to the way we work and live. Yet the impact these technologies have had on business is no less profound. Today, direct to consumer brands can reach new audiences at a fraction of the cost associated with legacy marketing approaches.

In order to do so, however, they need one thing: Creatively inspired marketing and advertising, supported by sophisticated technology and consumer insights.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at three creative marketing tips for direct to consumer brands.

Unlock the full potential of influencer marketing

Direct to consumer brands have bootstrapped their way to growth by leveraging search tools and social media. Instead of expensive (and poorly targeted) TV campaigns, brands cultivated their audience through digital advertising and social outreach.

The results have been impressive, as direct to consumer brands continue to take a larger and larger slice of the overall consumer pie.

This marketing approach, when done well, comes across as more organic and less mediated. It allows brands to build a grassroots online audience of loyal fans and brand ambassadors. 

Influencer marketing can play a critical role in this strategy. Influencers are perceived as more authentic than legacy ads and they often already hold sway over a large segment of a brand’s target audience.

The influencer economy also developed organically — it wasn’t dreamed up as some mad experiment in a Madison Avenue ad shop. Given these attributes, it makes for a natural pairing with direct to consumer brands.

Growth in the influencer economy continues to be robust — 320 new influencer platforms and influencer-based agencies were launched in 2018. Dealing with influencers one-to-one can be tricky (many aren’t fully professionalized), so it makes sense to use an agency with expertise as a conduit.

Focus on simplicity

Consumers — and people, generally — dislike complexity. Sometimes the best marketing and advertising messages are most simple and straightforward.

This is particularly applicable to direct to consumer brands. Many companies in this category have made a name for themselves (and earned substantial marketing share) by offering a simpler, better take on an existing product.

Consider the example of Harry’s. This direct to consumer razor company began with a simple idea: cheap razors are terrible to use, but high quality razors are absurdly expensive. Harry’s entered the market with an excellent razor sold at a mid-range price and began stealing market share from Gillette.

Direct to consumer pants seller Bonobos succeeded with an equally simple premise. They realized that men hate shopping for pants, and that most mass market pants fit poorly.

Bonobos offered well-fitting pants that found a middle ground between style and comfort — and they sent them directly to consumer doors. The idea was so simple — and successful — that the company was eventually bought by Wal-Mart.

This commitment to simplicity isn’t constrained to product designs or marketing opportunity. Direct to consumer brands such as Harry’s, Chewy.com, Bonobos etc. have historically kept their marketing messages simple. They offer a laser focus on the product’s core value proposition, and relay it to consumers in elegantly simple terms.

Take advantage of the most powerful tools and platforms

TV advertising may offer reach, but digital advertising allows you to target with precision. Direct to consumer brands should take full advantage of programmatic buying when pushing a campaign. 

One of the advantages a direct to consumer brand often has over brick and mortar retailers is the closeness of their relationship with customers. Because DTC brands deal with consumers directly, with no middleman involved, they have an opportunity to create meaningful personalized experiences.

They also have the opportunity to collect an enormous amount of actionable data, which can help them show more relevant ads to their audiences.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we’ve got the experience and domain expertise to help you craft direct to consumer marketing campaigns that get results. Don’t wait to contact us today for more information on how we can help your DTC brand stand out.

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Precision and Reach: Why Streaming TV is a Powerful Weapon for DTC Brands

TV streaming is more intricate than you or your watching habits probably realize, which is why you need a video production services company.

When it comes to advertising and marketing, Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands is best known for sponsored social media posts and banner ads. This makes perfect sense, given their low overhead and brand-focused business model. Yet many of these brands are migrating to a new channel — streaming TV — and partnering with top video production services to create compelling content designed to connect with a younger, mobile-first audience.

Why DTC brands are choosing connected TV as a channel

New research from Hulu and Telaria (a video adtech firm) underlines the potential impact streaming TV can have for DTC brands. Roughly 70% of DTC consumers indicated they spend more time watching streaming TV each week than they spend on social media. These consumers reported spending approximately 13 hours watching streaming TV each week — a figure 20% higher than their reported consumption of traditional broadcasting.

As a recent piece in Adweek maintains, this shift in media watching patterns is now being reflected in the retail sector. Brands are cognizant of this reordering of viewing habits and seeking to benefit from it. A recent report from the Video Advertising Bureau showed that the top DTC brands spent roughly $2 billion on streaming ads in 2018, a figure that likely represents just the tip of the iceberg in terms of ad spend in coming years. In just the last two years, DTC brands doubled their total streaming ad spend.

Why DTC brands are choosing streaming TV

Traditional broadcast TV isn’t an ideal fit for many DTC brands for two reasons: It’s expensive, and it targets a general audience. Streaming services, however, offer DTC brands the ability to target audiences with much greater precision. As Adweek notes, this gives DTC brands the benefits of TV (spectacle, sight, sound, motion through excellent video production services) and marries it with the precision of digital advertising.

How much of an impact does this added precision have? According to the Hulu/Telaria study, shoppers are twice as likely to purchase a product after seeing it in a streaming ad as opposed to a traditional ad. Study respondents also indicated they found streaming TV ads to be more relevant than traditional TV ads — hardly a surprise given the scattershot nature of conventional television advertising.

By focusing on streaming ads, DTC brands also gain much more insight into the purchase cycle. Gaining insight into ad placement and audience targeting allows these brands to better define conversion rates and customer acquisition costs.

Ultimately, streaming TV ads formerly came with a major trade-off for brands — audiences were much, much smaller than those watching traditional, linear TV. However, that state of affairs is rapidly changing. As streaming audiences grow, the value of advertising through this channel grows in parallel.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we understand the value of a highly targeted, creatively inspired, and well-executed streaming ad campaign for DTC businesses. Please reach out to us today to learn more about how our video production services can enhance your DTC successes.

The science of restaurant menu design and what you need to know

It’s no secret that restaurant branding – specifically in terms of restaurant menu design –  is truly an art form. Be it unique, exquisite, quirky, or reminiscent of the latest fad in bringing the scrumptiously delicious to life, there’s much to be appreciated about menus that possess that special quality. Think of it as a certain creative ingredient (or perhaps an entire recipe) that only serves to elevate a pleasurable dining experience – even if from the very first brand interaction.
Below, we bring you 5 outstanding restaurant menus, and why we believe they’re prime examples of complete culinary design genius at work:

Brass union

I love everything about this concept! I’m such a mark for industrial-style design and you can’t get much more industrial than menus made to look like invoices straight out of a 70’s-era brake pad factory. The layout is straightforward and easy to navigate, and the descriptions of the items aren’t too long and complex. Overall, this menu doesn’t look very daunting when it’s first presented to you. For authenticity’s sake, I hope these menus are printed on a dot-matrix printer.

Brass UnionBrass Union

 

Some burros

Who doesn’t enjoy bright and friendly colors paired with bold, hand drawn lines? This menu design makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I like that the only actual menu descriptions are specific to this brand’s speciality items. It definitely helps to keeps the clutter to a minimum – and let’s be honest…it’s Mexican food. If you don’t know what a taco is, then I pity you.

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Black tap


It’s so easy to get minimalist design wrong, but this team got it oh so right. The flow of this design is great because what this restaurant does best is placed front and center. I’ve been to so many restaurants that bury their signature items deep in the menu, and I’ve never understood why they do so. If you are known for a signature dish (or even have it in your name), then it makes perfect sense to ensure that it’s a cinch to locate on the menu.

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Made

The ingenuity of this menu is to be applauded. The design team kept the actual look of the menu simple so that the experience of going through the menu is what stands out to the restaurant patron. It’s so intelligently thought out –  brunch, side items, and drinks take up the least amount of room so they are up front, while lunch has a larger selection, followed by dinner (which typically has the largest selection overall). This menu just begs to be explored, no matter what time of the day you are visiting the restaurant.

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Salty’s

When I’m going to a seafood restaurant, this is the kind of menu I want to see. The illustrations are great, and the overall feel of the brand definitely reminds me of the beach. The menu being rubber-banded to the wood backing board is a nice touch, too. Overall, the presentation is an inexpensive, easy way to make a customer feel perceived value in their meal, all while enhancing their dining experience.

saltys_PHOTO_05 saltys_PHOTO_03

Do any of these menu options whet your appetite to further bolster your restaurant’s brand to create a positive dining experience to make your customers take notice – and come back for a second helping? Contact our team of uber-talented creative design experts today to determine how we can help you achieve your goals!

Restaurant marketing strategies to encourage real reviews

Social media, travel, and review sites can be a great testament to your business’s credibility, customer service, amenities, and experiences. The problem is, most people only write reviews when they’ve had a shockingly horrific experience, or were completely blown away by something. But how do you encourage the masses of happy, satisfied customers in between those two spectrums to write reviews? A great place to start is with a well-devised approach- be it in terms of marketing your restaurant, or promoting your hotel, resort, or tourist attraction.

The formula is simple. Whenever you make a request of your customer – whether it’s asking for an email address or seeking a review – you must be certain that you give them something of equal value in return. Simple campaigns that exchange real value for real reviews will bring your existing customers closer to your brand, while in turn, generating new reach within your target audience. Here, BIGEYE shares the following quick and easy recommendations – in case you were in need of a little added inspiration:

For restaurants and bars

If there’s one thing you need to know, it’s that locals are truly your best friends. Use this to your advantage by employing restaurant marketing strategies that encourage local reviews. Attract your seasonal audience by engaging restaurant review sites such as Yelp and OpenTable. Host “locals’ nights” and offer a free appetizer to anyone who writes a review. Invite reviewers to preview new menu items or cocktail variations on the house … in exchange for a review, of course. Chances are, your reviewers will want to come back for more … tell their friends … or maybe even spread the word to those random tourists they bumped into on the street.

While some restaurants and bars host trivia night. Take things to the next level with your approach to restaurant marketing by hosting your very own branded “social media night.” Tweet-ups, meet-ups, and other social gatherings are hugely popular. Get people in the door by offering discounts, free bites, or some form of entertainment. Plan these activities on your traditionally slower evenings to boost business you wouldn’t otherwise have  – and to encourage all your guests to review, post, and Instagram away. Possible prize offerings may be awarded for tweets and reviews, or simply let people generate their own buzz around your business.

For hotels and resorts

Offer customers a deep discount or give them one night free for a good review. Chances are, your guests will stay longer than one night, and will be so pleased with their “free” vacation they’ll be more inclined to make up the difference in food and beverage costs or on-site amenities. If you’re worried people will “game the system,” put straightforward terms and conditions around the offer to limit one freebie per household. (This will ensure that the reviewer was a visitor within the past six months.) You’ll get a great review  – and some extra business in the process.

Another option is to create a brand ambassador program. Use a point or discount system to reward guests for meaningful social media posts, photos, and reviews. This strategy may promote quantity over quality, so consider using an “application” process that asks potential brand ambassadors why they’d be a great fit, and what unique social media skills they bring to the table.

For tourist attractions

Most travel destinations boast a host of unique activities. You can’t miss swimming with the dolphins in Mexico. Wine tasting in France or Surfing lessons in California. And most of these activities are prime photo opportunities. But as you might have experienced for yourself, even the most seasoned selfie-taker has trouble capturing these moments from the perfect angle. At the end of each activity, guests begrudgingly head toward the photo stand, where professional photography of their adventure is on display. Sneakily, some guests may attempt to covertly snap a copy on their phone, while many visitors simply choose not to purchase these photos on principle. If you offer one digital copy in exchange for a review (which can be easily emailed after the review is verified), you are creating a currency your customers genuinely value. There’s no overhead cost to you, and consequently, plenty of opportunity for gain. 

Because most tourist attractions are one-off experiences that come with a premium price tag, providing discounts on future visits may not be the best strategy. Most often, this is due in part to the low volume of repeat customers. Instead, let your guests give the gift of their memories to others. Let them know that when they write a review, they have the opportunity to share a meaningful discount with a friend. This technique perpetuates your business and makes your customers feel good for reviewing you, while also sharing something with their friends and family. That’s what we call a win-win.

Did these strategies peak your interest when it comes to encouraging your valued customers to share more about their dynamic, memorable experience with your brand? To continue the conversation by uncovering additional opportunities to engage with your target audience, and develop repeat clientele through reviews, contact our team of advertising professionals today!

To Target: Retail lessons learned from the Lilly Pulitzer collab.

Bonafide “Lilly Lovers” arrived in droves in the wee hours of the morning. Decked out in shades of varying pastels, they came, they shopped, they conquered.

A lucky few were even fortunate enough to walk away with coveted pieces from the recent Lilly Pulitzer for Target collaboration. Others returned to their local stores’ packed parking lots – many after waiting in lines reminiscent of Black Friday electronics extravaganzas – without a preppy, patterned shift dress in sight. And that was just the brick and mortar side of the story.

Online, shoppers set alarm clocks, filled social media group chats in anticipation, and highlighted favorites from the pre-launch release of the Lilly “look book” at Target.com, long before the much buzzed about website launch on April 19, 2015. The moment the site went live – at approximately 1:00am EST, a similar fashionista frenzy ensued.

Admittedly, that was yours truly. In my pj’s, hardly able to sleep a wink – MacBook in one hand, iPhone in the other, trying to take it all in (and with a little dose of Lilly luck, hoping to end up with at least one Nosey Posie printed item in my shopping cart). And my lust wasn’t limited to women’s and children’s clothing – also included in the collection were a bevy of cute collectible housewares, ranging from pillows to folding beach chairs, and oh, did I mention cosmetic cases? So, why all of the hullabaloo surrounding an existing brand’s capsule collection? Moreover, why the unbridled excitement for a brand that was founded six decades ago?

AdWeek hit the nail on the bow-adorned head when it comes to retail lessons learned, “Target may have partnered with high-end brands in the past, but Lilly Pulitzer is the first old-guard, social-register brand to sign on, and that makes a big difference.” You’ve got that right. It might just be the brand’s iconic status, and Jackie Kennedy-inspired longevity that actually helped to generate the social buzz to begin with. While some fans – many willing to pay full price in a retail store – were none too pleased at the thought of their treasures potentially “degrading the brand” with a wholesale-style partnership, most “bargainistas” rejoiced wholeheartedly.

In case you find yourself scratching your forehead in full-on preppy puzzlement, here’s a little backgrounder on The Lilly Story. Pulitzer, the brand’s founder and namesake was a prominent socialite who, in 2013, passed away as an heiress to the Standard Oil fortune, after first marrying into the renowned Pulitzer publishing family. According to AdWeek, Pulitzer found herself, “stranded and bored in her Palm Beach manse in 1959, and decided she needed something to keep herself busy, so she opened a fruit juice stand on Worth Avenue. To hide the stains from the oranges and grapefruits she was squeezing, Pulitzer found some colorful cotton prints and made a shift dress from it.” And there you have it: a fashion success story is born. Palm Beachers embraced the printed frocks, the brand soon expanded, resulting in store openings throughout South Florida, and eventually spreading across the East Coast. Shortly thereafter, Jackie O was photographed in a custom Lilly, only further catapulting the company’s popularity.

Return to current day, and “Pink Sunday” as it was affectionately labeled, and the marketing success of the Lilly for Target collab just simply cannot be underscored. According to Roy DeYoung, senior vp of creative strategy for PM Digital, “History is the reason people lined up—they want the Lilly Pulitzer at a good price, and they know it’ll be good, if not exceptional quality, with Target for the price point,” said DeYoung. “But they also know it’ll go fast. Target makes an event out of doing these deals and collaborations every couple of years, and to sell out like this, it’s a circus.” Cue the “under the bigtop” theme music.

Starting with the initial online reveal via Refinery 29, and culminating with the aforementioned “look book,” Target rounded out the juggernaut with a commercial spot featuring “the most lavish pool party ever, complete with the likes of Jay Gatsby.” Take a gander at the commercial – (featuring Chris Noth, or Mr. Big for all you SATC fans) – here. I mean honestly, who wouldn’t want to attend a lavish Lilly shindig…or at least look perfectly polished and impeccably dressed like the attendees?

Given the buzz, not only did fans line up by the hundreds outside of Target locations nationwide, but racks were emptied in mere minutes. Those waiting in the wee hours at home in their jammies didn’t fail to disappoint either. As a result, the company’s website was not equipped to handle the mass hysteria of online traffic, inaccessible just moments after the mere early leak of links to merchandise went viral. Feverishly clicking on anything and everything that they could (present company included), frustration peaked quickly – and spread voraciously – across social media circles, forcing the retailer to issue repeated apologetic tweets to the frantic masses.

With such an overwhelming response – most certainly any retailer’s dream come true – the hot pink elephant in the room is definitely whether or not the laws of supply and demand apply for a limited edition, capsule collection. Is the budgeted retail marketing build-up and buzz worth the potential to upset shoppers (many of whom possess money to spend) when limited product supply leaves so many empty-handed, – making it more the norm that the exception? With no limit to the number of items a consumer was permitted to purchase, the only restriction for Lilly for Target shoppers in this case included a limited 14-day return policy for pieces from the collaboration.

According to USA TODAY, this reaction is not atypical of past collabs, as items included in these “for Target” collections are often seen as collectors’ items, fetching more than double the regular retail price on auction sites such as eBay. Not so coincidentally, when Target launched its Missoni line in 2011, the Italian designer’s fan base reacted in the exact same fashion (pun intended), lining-up, clearing shelves, and crashing the retailer’s website as quickly as items flew off the in-store racks. Shortly after the launch, Lifestyle blogger Stacy Geisinger summed it up bluntly: “Target failed,” she said. “Their website crashed. So much promotion and not enough product. They could have made a fortune. Instead they have many disappointed customers.”

From a fiscal perspective, does a short-order offer in limited supply, with perceived value well beyond the price tag, really make it worthwhile to both the retailer and the consumer? It clearly does if you’re a seller on eBay. For example, Lilly Pulitzer beach towels, retail priced at $25 each, were listed on the ecommerce site for a starting bid of $50, or a “buy it now” price of $250 for a set of four. Yikes.

Buyer backlash hasn’t ended there – soon after Pink Sunday, a movement started on Facebook to boycott such inflated prices. The group’s profile reads: “Boycott eBay sellers who are marking up Lilly by Target after clearing shelves of merchandising only to turn a profit.” Just like the Missoni launch, limited Lilly supply caused gross consumer demand, with shoppers hoarding as many items as possible into a single shopping cart. Make that more than one in some cases. I can attest to groggily waiting in line prior to my store’s opening, making small talk with a married couple behind me, and listening in as the begrudging husband was given a mandated Lilly housewares “honey-do” shopping list. Who needs to be limited to a single cart?

While some may disagree, I think the reward might just outweigh the risk, or perhaps that’s because I emerged victorious both online and in-store. To paraphrase a tweet from a fellow Lilly Lover, “I might not have scored every item I’d been eyeing on my Lilly for Target wish list, but I did wake on Monday feeling triumphant in the spoils of my labor.” Amen, sister. Amen.

Would I allow myself to subsist on a mere two hours of sleep again in the name of fashion? Maybe not. Well, I guess that all depends on Target’s next designer collaboration. As Lilly herself once said, “Anything is possible with sunshine – and a little pink.”

In search of more tips and tricks to navigate the retail marketing landscape – hype included? Contact our experienced team of brand strategists today!

Differentiation and retail consumer packaged goods design

With great packaging, comes great power.
We may have butchered the Spiderman quote just a bit, however when referring to retail consumer packaged goods design, these truly are wise words for a brand to live by.

When analyzing consumer behavior, and contemplating the all-important psychology behind a buying decision, it might seem relatively obvious, but prospective consumers will tend to notice a product’s packaging first; and arguably, a product’s packaging is just as important as the product itself. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve willingly skipped over, or perhaps even overlooked, a potentially great product, simply because the packaging seemed inefficient, cluttered, or just didn’t catch my eye. As the old adage goes, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – but if it saves me money, and prevents the opportunity for me to unknowingly taking home an inferior product, I’ll likely stick to my gut, and the lasting first impression of a brand as it’s been initially instilled in my brain. And did I mention that if delivered in a manner that is enticing enough to match-up with a product’s perceived value, it’s hard to resist temptation? Many retailers are well aware of this game – and have it completed mastered – although some have taken heed of how to maximize the effectiveness of retail consumer packaged goods design concepts and strategies.

Keeping this type of compelling design in mind, nearly every aspect of a brand’s packaging must be determined by the brand’s overall identity. The game-changers in the field of retail consumer packaged goods design are those who know how to sufficiently intertwine the presentation of how the package and product should appear to the eligible consumer. Think about this example from Silicon Valley: Apple has practically made unboxing a new iPhone an art form, likely because of the sleek, minimalistic packaging – no pesky plastic to break apart or cardboard to cut – and this is reflective of the iPhone’s sleek design and uncomplicated interface. It’s just so much fun opening that clean, white box with the expectation of what awaits. While it may not be your first iPhone, the attention to detail and extent to which the package becomes a part of the buyer’s brand experience is undeniable. And while enjoying the sheer bliss of unwrapping my iPhone 6 Plus earlier this year, I couldn’t help but ponder the fact that I’ve been a long-time customer of the Apple brand, and the experience – as matched appropriately with the functionality and capabilities of the mobile device – keep me coming back for a newer model year-over-year.

While possessing some degree of retail consumer packaged goods design differentiation undoubtedly has its benefits, attaining the iconic status in packaging that retailers Apple and Tiffany & Co. have mastered, and as mentioned in our previous blog, doesn’t happen simply by chance. [quote]Achieving such branding perfection begins in large part with the presence of strong brand identity, a dose or two of creativity – and immense knowledge of your ideal consumers’ expectations. (And capitalizing on those expectations.) At BIGEYE, we’ve compiled three key tips to consider when developing your own captivating retail consumer packaged goods design concepts, in an effort to ensure that each has the potential to resonate with your target audience on an iconic level:

1. Know your audience. What issues does your ideal client complain about most when it comes your product type? What aspects do they praise? When seeking to create sleek, beautiful, or practical packaging, the responses to these simple questions are a thought-provoking launching point. For example, it’s absolutely crucial for make-up companies, to listen to women’s reviews on products – especially on packaging. Studies prove that women are almost overwhelmingly turned off by the lack of a pump on a foundation bottle, regardless of the product’s quality; while in other instances, women have reportedly – and more often than not – impulsively purchased expensive lipstick simply because the tube was gilded and gorgeous – with an often prominent logo. Listening to what your consumers both need and want from retail consumer packaged goods packaging design can honestly make or break a perfectly great product – even if the vibrant shade of said lipstick is undeniably perfect for the season. Madame Coco Chanel, I’m talkin’ to you.

2. Give experiential packaging a try. While not conceivable for all products, the consumer’s experience with a product’s packaging doesn’t have to come to an abrupt end when the item has been successfully taken out of the box. HBO’s dark-humored drama, Six Feet Under, released a beautifully designed “complete series” box set a few years back that corresponds with the show’s somewhat grim subject. A tad tongue-in-cheek, the top of the boxed set features fake grass and a grave marker, displaying the name of the series and the date it began and ended, while the sides of the box resemble dirt. Taking it one step further, the box containing the series’ DVDs stands at 6 inches tall. Equally creepy and stunning, the smart design correlates with the show itself (and doubles as outstanding Halloween decor).

Take a look at how BIGEYE took an established coffee chain, Barnie’s Coffee, and modernized their packaged goods design. 

3. Explore the benefits of going green. Research proves that it’s often worth it to ensure that your brand is perceived as “earth-friendly.” Nielsen’s 2015 Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility shows that 66% of global online consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. What does this mean for your brand? It’s simple: packaging a product in recyclable, reusable, or sustainable container is a consistent reason for consumers to choose your product over a competitor’s. For this reason alone, socially conscious initiatives are not only beneficial to Mother Nature, but might also prove lucrative to your bottom line. And admit it, that’s a real win-win.

Truth be told, whether a brand’s retail consumer packaged goods design lends itself more on the side of quirky over stunning, or simplistic over creative, its popularity in a competitive buyer’s market truly boils down to a unique selling proposition. Your brand must communicate its product and benefits in a manner that is equal parts functional, entertaining, and enthralling. Apple watch, I can’t wait to see what your packaging holds in store.

If you’re looking for ways to unleash the power of your brand’s identity though innovative retail consumer packaged goods design, contact us today! We’re poised to provide the necessary expertise to conceptualize a myriad of new and innovative solutions to ensure that your product is this season’s (and all of those that follow’s) must-have.

Iconography and retail consumer goods package design

Ever taken a moment to really think about the goods and service we use everyday? How about the retail consumer goods package design of the products we embrace most frequently? If you haven’t guessed it, we are a highly visual and emotional species. It’s a hugely interesting exercise to contemplate why we’re driven to make certain purchases, and to have preferences and leanings toward specific brands. Well, the choices we make are due in large part to the look and feel – the tangible presentation elements – of our favorite products, and the emotions they evoke within us as consumers.

[quote]Our product-buying decisions, and a significant portion of that emotional response, come from the invaluable  art and science of effective retail consumer goods package design.[/quote]

Our product-buying decisions, and a significant portion of that emotional response, come from the invaluable  art and science of effective retail consumer goods package design. Here at BIGEYE, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the most iconic, recognizable retail consumer goods packaging, and what makes each so highly memorable – and hugely popular – among the buying public.

Tiffany & Co

Typically, sales packaging like a box holding a new necklace wouldn’t garner much attention. I, for one, usually rip open a package without any hesitation (or ladylike grace) if I’m expecting some glittery, golden goodies. However, it doesn’t take a novice to note that Tiffany’s robin egg blue box is almost as valuable as the jewelry it contains. The coveted box, wrapped up in a luxe satin ribbon, has inspired wedding decorations, cakes, and centerpieces – the company even has it’s own blue box charm that sells for $250. In fact, empty boxes have even been known to be hot commodities on eBay and Etsy. The distinct color, some say, was chosen because turquoise was a popular jewelry color at the time, although no one is entirely certain of its iconography. In any case, the robin’s egg color (also known as No. 1837, representing the year the company was founded) is instantly identified with Tiffany’s; while the box still says Tiffany & Co., it certainly doesn’t need to. And for those of us who obsess over the origin of specific colors from a design aesthetic, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of The Pantone Color Institute, says, “It evokes positive thoughts and reactions, and this, combined with the status that Tiffany has assigned to it, makes for perfect packaging.” Our inner-gemologists would tend to agree.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s. Mickey D’s. Nothing seems to instill excitement in a child at dinnertime quite like a McDonald’s Happy Meal box. Perhaps it was because my brother and I were only treated to those tasty chicken nuggets and fries on special occasions (like getting good grades, or when our mother just really didn’t want to bother with dinner), but that feeling of pure joy experienced whilst waiting in the drive-thru line is something that continues to resonate with me today. And the anticipation of knowing there is a prize waiting inside that red and yellow box? That was only half the fun. While the images on the box may change, and the promotional campaigns surrounding the tasty alternatives to mom’s cooking have evolved over time, the feeling it elicits in a child still remains. At BIGEYE, we’re still lovin’ the effective use of retail consumer goods package design for our beloved burger and fries.

[quote]Take a look at how BIGEYE took an established coffee chain, Barnie’s Coffee, and modernized their packaged goods design.  [/quote]

Amazon Box

No time for a trip to the mall? Thanks to the juggernaut that is the online shopping phenomenon, our lives have become ever-influenced by the ease and simplicity of making purchases via the wonders of the Internet. As an adult, that same sense of excitement I felt when getting a McDonald’s Happy Meal is now provoked by seeing that distinctive package on my porch. While the price point of my online treasure is surely much higher than a value meal, that doesn’t prevent me from feeling the sheer thrill and delight I experience upon seeing my order arrive on my doorstep. There’s just something different about the Amazon box—and I think others can agree. In fact, the simple cardboard box with the Amazon logo is raved about so enthusiastically on Twitter, you’d think it was the online equivalent of the Tiffany box. Ponder for a moment about how that simple arrow on the side of a basic cardboard package makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside – and how easily you can return to your computer to make it happen all over again with the few simple clicks of your mouse. Sheer bliss, indeed.

Chanel No. 5

I’m not certain what people are more interested in when purchasing Chanel No. 5: the perfume, or the bottle. The sleek curved glass, single white label, and black sans serif type is modern class at its most exquisite. Beloved for generations, the design is sophisticated, timeless, and has even sparked Chanel to design a plexi-glass clutch version of the iconic bottle. Who wouldn’t want to take a little of Madame Coco – and all her finery – with them as a compliment to their favorite ensemble? Santa, are you listening? I know it’s early, but clearly, the list above covers all my “wish list” items accordingly.

Based upon the examples above alone – and there are so many we’ve left off our list – it’s fairly safe to say that the the power of packaging is far more important than just practical design, although that is certainly necessary, as well. The design needs to speak to the brand advocate’s needs and emotions equally, and directly, in the effective promotion of a product to really illicit the appropriate reaction, and to positively impact buyer behavior. The end result: brand elements that fully support your overarching objectives, and perhaps even attain that iconic status we marketers revere.

Looking for award-winning retail consumer goods package design strategies for your product that will resonate with your target audience? Contact us today to get the conversation started!