Merry Marketing

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During the holiday season, businesses have the opportunity to make or break their end of year sales. Typically, this is the time customers are buying more that any other time of the year. It is crucial that company’s nail their holiday promotions to get the most out of eager yuletide shoppers worldwide. Expanding marketing efforts internationally can nearly tripe the amount of sales generated during this season. It is important to keep in mind that countries will react differently to the same marketing campaign. In addition, learning which holidays are celebrated in each location and what their dates are. This will be key as well in knowing when to launch holiday advertising.

Shoppers are always enticed by a sweet deal. Offering things that are low cost to the company best. Things such as flat-rate, express, or even free shipping are a great way to draw shoppers to a website. While offering a shipping in general is great, it is often even more profitable to give shoppers an incentive to spend a certain dollar amount, say $50, before they can get the shipping deal. International shipping fees tend to skyrocket so this is a nice way to make shoppers happy and more likely to spend.

Next comes  the actual message you are sending globally to customers. A clear message is necessary to make a lasting impression amongst the many other holiday advertisements. It also needs to align with your current brand. A company does not want to change the message they’ve been sending all year so consistency to this point is key. It is also important to include any sales or deals. Customers need to know the facts and that includes the deadlines to receive their gifts before the big day as those will differ depending on the country.

Reaching the market through the television or physical advertisements are only one aspect of a successful campaign. Reaching customers by email is key. This is a low cost way to keep buyers up to date with what the company has to offer. Keeping these email informative on the products while also having some entertaining material will be the difference between a quick glance and someone taking the time to read the email. A company will not only survive the holiday season but come out on top with unique and globally entertaining advertising.

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Mulberry Chooses the Wrong Strategy

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Slow economic growth and political instability in China, Russia and the Middle East has led to a clampdown in spending which in turn has had a catastrophic effect on luxury brands. Consulting firm Bain and Company recently stated that this slowdown will put the brakes on the global luxury goods sector for some time, with many brands reigning in any rapid expansion plans. Of course, some of these brands will be effected more than others.


Mulberry is one of the companies in real danger. It has issued numerous profit warnings in the last two years and retail sales in the UK have slumped by 12% in the past two quarters. This could be due, in part, to the loss of their creative director Emma Hill and the subsequent leadership of Bruno Gallion. He arrived from Hermes aspiring to take Mulberry down a more traditional luxury route, concentrating on high end expensive handbags. This strategy immediately backfired, as it placed the brand in direct competition with global giants such as Louis Vuitton. As a true example of the 4 Ps of marketing, the PRICE adjustment was the true flaw in the new strategy. Not only could the brand not compete with the dominating competitors, increasing its price point put the brand out of reach, which alienated its core consumer. Mulberry doesn’t have a strong enough brand to justify their price increases, and as a result consumers started opting for the more established luxury labels.

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However, now Godfrey Davis is now at the helm, and the brand is seeking to reposition themselves back in the middle market, all while they are still looking to appoint a new creative director. Though it is still possible for them to turn around, to succeed Mulberry needs to keep its core customer at its heart. The strategy should aim to appeal to its core market, which for the brand is an upper-middle class female. By trying to change their marketing strategy to move their image from a domestic luxury brand to a global one, they have failed to maintain a valued high-end image in most markets. Can Mulberry move back into their original market share, or is it too late?

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Minted goes Global

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Sometimes, for a new business venture, the only place someone needs to turn is to their significant other. Norwest Venture Partners’ Jeff Crowe first heard about Minted, an online marketplace for curated stationary, decor, and art, it was through his wife, who had been shopping from the site for the past few years. Norwest led Minted’s new round of $38 million, which the company is using to expand into the home textile vertical and new international ventures.


Minted, founded by Mariam Naficy and Melissa Kim in 2007 in San Francisco, is an online marketplace that sources its designs through contests. Winning designers get to have their entries manufactured, marketed, and sold through Minted’s website, which is a lifesaver for independent designers for whom handling all of these operations can be overwhelming, inefficient, and likely very costly. “I think the artisan community is segmented, and a lot of people don’t have time to make and ship product. They spend 50 percent of their day negotiating with vendors and manufacturers,” Naficy told VentureBeat in an interview.

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Minted is expanding internationally  in another important way too: It’s giving many of the winners of its design contests mini-boutiques within its marketplace and will manufacture and sell anything they submit. Minted has already created about 1,000 designer boutiques since soft-launching a couple of weeks ago. These design challenges bring a built in word of mouth marketing campaign to their website, as local artisans promote their wares and forward sales directly through the e-commerce platform. The community of designers also assist in blog writing, found directly on the website. This, attached to a variety of social media handles, makes up the bulk of Minted’s marketing efforts.

Other companies such as BloomNation, for example, also provide online mini-storefronts to their independent florists, giving them the advantages of the parent label’s marketing, customer base, and operational tools. BloomNation, however, lets its florists white label these tools and sell their wares under their own brands, while Minted keeps everything under their brand name.


International expansion is next on the Minted agenda, though it’s currently available in 40 countries, the site is looking to further international expansion, which will not only help with their brand awareness, but will also assist in sourcing more artisans to create entries to be manufactured through the website. This will create even more diverse designer boutiques in more countries, helping the company gain market share in the US and into their expanded regions.

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Growing Internationally in a Healthy Way

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SC Johnson is a well used brand for cleaning products in the United States. Americans use these products, often times, without thinking of how much they take these supplies for granted. For developing countries outside the U.S., fighting diseases is an everyday battle. There are few supplies, if any, available to buy and many families can barely afford to pay for food and shelter.

A new program was launched to offer cleaning products for communities in Ghana. Having each family pitch in, they would be able to buy supplies from the company at a discounted price. The program is called “WOW” and includes a bundle of products that would help prevent the spread of malaria, a deadly disease that is common in Ghana. The package includes: bug sprays and repellents, cooling packs, multi-purpose cleaners, and insect killers. Luckily, malaria is a preventable disease and having basic cleaning products can be highly effective. In addition to offering these products at a discounted price and in a bundle, customers can use their loyalty points to earn other discounts or free products.

With the support of Cornell University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, SC Johnson has been able to move forward with this program. They are starting in the right place with the right products to fight against malaria. Yilo Kribo, a district of Ghana will be the first place they unveil the program. They have even altered some of the products to be more appealing to the Ghanaian people. This includes different scents and the look of their packaging.

In addition to having salesmen on location in Yilo Kribo, these sales people will also be there to help advise families and coach them on other ways to help prevent disease. The idea is for the families to spray their homes with insect repellent and killers around four to five times per year. Doing so will keep malaria at bay. Each spray can last anywhere from three to five months. With every additional house spraying, the risk of contracting malaria drops steeply. The salesmen are there to also educate and encourage this continuous usage to show them just how effective it can be.

SC Johnson has found a way to not only branch out internationally, creating more sales, but has also become a player in the awareness for public health.

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Birchbox Assists in Entry to the US Beauty Market

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One of the fastest-growing European beauty brands, Rituals Home and Body Cosmetics, founded in 2000, has launched its first two US boutiques this year in Manhattan. The Dutch company, now comprised of over 300 international stores and 450 shop-in-shops, has additionally solidified its US presence by rolling out in 18 Barneys New York stores. Its award-winning concept incorporates six core collections, which encompass beauty and grooming products for both personal and home care.

Their targeted consumer is one who can appreciate the sophistication, and the approachable luxury of the brand. Their strategy to break into the US market began with appealing to influencers in the entertainment industry through gift bags at all major awards shows, such as the Golden Globes and the Grammys.
Other marketing strategies that have proved successful include brand partnerships with influential beauty sampling companies. The main firms, Birchbox and Glossybox, feature monthly gift boxes filled with sample sized versions of products, for a small fee to subscribers. Subscribers can then buy the full sized versions directly off of their websites. These models have proved to be the path of least resistance for new beauty brands looking to gain market share and brand awareness quickly. Ritual’s marketing strategy is focused on allowing consumers to experience the products firsthand, allowing them to develop their very own “rituals.” This strategy allows the consumer to incorporate the brand into their everyday life practices.

Ritual is also following trends in the market, paying close attention to the increased interest in men’s grooming products. To stay on trend, they have launched a streamlined men’s collection, which has already proven successful. So what is next for this quick moving brand?! Targeting consumers in high-end department stores and through e-commerce all over the US, but most specifically on the West Coast. Also, a launch to appeal to ingredient conscious consumers through a mineral makeup collection is set for this November/December. Just in time to make it into holiday stockings!

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