Marketing News Roundup - August 5, 2011

What should you be paying attention to this week?

So many coupons! Photo: Flickr user sdc2027.
Google has purchased daily deal aggregator Dealmap. There are now more than 400 providers of daily deals, a sector that may grow to $6.1 billion by 2015. (New York Times)

Your takeaway: Keep an eye on these daily deal sites, but be wary. The bottom line is that you’re almost always going to have to discount your product by at least 50%, and consumers are loyal to the deal site brands (like Groupon or LivingSocial), not your brand. Do your homework before you commit. More information here.

The Washington Post reports that everyone is rebranding, from Honest Tea to non-profits, to the DC Water and Sewer Authority. (WaPo)

Your takeaway: In my experience, changing a visual brand (your logo, color scheme, tagline) is almost never worth the expense and headache, especially if you’re a brick and mortar business (just imagine purchasing new signage for hundreds of stores). But it CAN be worth it if there’s good reason to change. If you need to disassociate your brand story from a PR nightmare, or your visual identity is simply outdated, give some serious thought to what it would take, and what it would cost to rebrand yourself. Just read this story about the Gap’s experience before you jump in.

The most important story this week:

Remember how Obama lowered FICA by 2% as part of his economic stimulus? FICA is shorthand for the social security tax the government takes out of employee paychecks each pay period. In 2011, people collecting a paycheck received a 2% reduction in their FICA withholding, so paychecks got a bit bigger, whether folks received raises or not.

Unfortunately, as part of the recent debt ceiling debacle, this tax cut won’t be held over for 2012. This means that in 2012, the government will begin taking that 2% out again. The result? Workers collecting a paycheck will have more tax withheld starting January 1. People who don’t get a raise will have smaller paychecks, to the tune of $10 billion a month, or about $1,500 per working family for year. (Business Insider)

Your takeaway: That’s $1500 these families can’t spend on your product. What’s your plan to deal with this? You’d better start thinking now - about how to market more meaningfully (and less expensively), and how to stay relevant. Is your product a "want" item? Make it a need. Even if you’re a B-to-B outfit, if your customers sell to consumers, you’re still going to be affected.

What's on your mind this week? Please tell me in the comments.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!

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