Tag Archives: marketing

Google’s Year of Search for 2021

Marketers need to constantly be scanning the environment, particularly how consumers behavior; their wants, needs, and habits are critical to effective marketing. Consumer insights give marketers information such as product reviews, recommendations, complaints, competition, and many more valuable data points.

Even a year-in-review gives us insights and information about behavior. One great source is, of course, Google. Google processes two-out-of-three Internet queries made each day for an average of 3.5 billion search queries per day. These queries give marketers a snapshot of trends around the world and the research gives us a good idea of what people are thinking and wondering about.

People search for many things in life – we search for love, happiness, health, and search for answers to the questions of our times. We all wonder WHY.  What did the world wonder “why?” about in the year 2021? In 2021 we searched about “how to heal.”

Trend categories:

  1. Together again.
  2. Entertainment, evolved.
  3. Powering Potential.
  4. Big moves.
  5. Life calculus.
  6. Sustainable living.
  7. Redefining normal.

Google tracks searches on an individual country basis as well as globally. Lists are based on search terms that had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year. Globally, some of the most searched for topics in 2021 included doomscrolling, COVID-19, affirmations, sea shanties, mittens (remember Bernie Sanders at the inauguration?), body positivity, poet, vaccination, juneteenth, and much more.

What did you search for in 2021? And, what will you search for this year?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Before showing the Google results, poll students as to what they think the top searches were in 2021. Why those topics? Is this the same for different countries?
  2. Next, show the Google site and video of the top searches:  https://about.google/stories/year-in-search/
  3. Monthly list of top searches is fascinating:  https://about.google/stories/year-in-search-2021/
  4. Discuss the importance of market research. What are sources that can be used? Why is tracking trends important?
  5. Divide students into teams and have each team examine a different topic. What are the trends from that topic?
  6. How can these trends be used to develop new products and services?
  7. Debrief the exercise by listing the ideas from each team.

Source:  Think with Google. Year in search 2021.

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The Rise of Used Clothing Purchasing

There is no doubt that the pandemic changed shopping habits – both what we buy as well as how we buy. Work clothes such as suits and ties are trending down, and more relaxed and casual clothes are trending up. But that’s only part of the story. Sustainability in clothing is also on an upward trend.

To learn more about this, a survey by Adweek-Morning Consult surveyed 2,200 U.S. adults about where they buy clothing, and how they dispose of clothing they no longer want. Among the survey results findings was that 70% of Americans think sustainability is at least somewhat important when deciding how to get rid of unneeded clothing. And, 65% said that sustainability is at least somewhat important when selecting clothing to wear.

Other findings:

  • 79% have purchased used clothing at some point.
  • 20% buy used clothing most or all of the time.
  • 30% of Millennials buy used clothing most or all of the time.
  • 18% of Gen Z buy used clothing at least most of the time.
  • 72% of Gen Z and 74% of Millennials said sustainability was at least somewhat important.
  • 79% said they considered donating clothing as a sustainable option.
  • 59% felt selling clothing was sustainable.

While the numbers are promising, the proof is in the implementation for clothing companies. A recent agreement between Madewell and clothing resale platform thredUP aims to capitalize on this. Madewell (owned by J. Crew) will have a dedicated microsite the its website and will offer a curated selection of used (or ‘preloved’) Madewell jeans.

Old jeans can be brought to Madewell stores, which then assesses the condition of the clothes. If the clothing can live on, it is sold to someone. If the jeans are a little too worn to be sold, they are recycled into housing insulation through Blue Jeans Go Green. The lower price of Madewell jeans on the resales website also opens up sales to a market that is unable or unwilling to pay the high price of new jeans.

What did you buy lately?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What types of clothes do they buy? New or used? Where? Why?
  2. View thredUP’s 2021 resale report: https://www.thredup.com/resale/#resale-industry
  3. Show thredUP website: https://www.thredup.com/
  4. Show Madewell preowned site: https://madewellforever.thredup.com/
  5. Show Blue Jeans Go Green site: https://bluejeansgogreen.org/
  6. In teams, have students go to these websites and browse clothing items.
  7. Have them consider price, style, etc.
  8. Now that they have viewed resale websites, have their attitudes about buying and clothing changed?
  9. How can sustainability issues be addressed by other clothing manufacturers and retailers?

Source:  AdWeek

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No More Cash or Credit Cards. Instead: “Do you take palms?”

When you shop, how do you pay? Do you use cash, credit/debit card, check, or mobile? And, when you enter campus buildings or work, do you use an access card or code? Ever wish there was an easier way to do these things so you don’t have to worry about carrying a wallet or cards?

Well, if Amazon One gets adopted in the marketplace, then you can pay for items and access buildings using just your palm. Yep, that’s right. Put your hand right there and access is granted.

Amazon is now using its palm-scanning payment system in a Seattle (Wash.) Whole Foods store. This expand the testing of Amazon One beyond Amazon Go and Amazon Book stores, and the company says thousands of customers have signed up to use the new service.

How does it work? The palm-scanning device analyzes “the minute characteristics of your palm – both surface-area details like lines and ridges as well as subcutaneous features such as vein patterns” to identify customers and use palms to pay. But first, customers must register their palms at a kiosk in the Whole Foods store and link a credit/debit card to the payment. Easy. Since palm prints are unique, and your hands are attached to your body, only you can unlock the payments. And, in the times of contagious diseases such as Covid-19, the payment is truly contactless – you don’t touch a thing at checkout.

Amazon is also exploring selling the technology to other companies, so perhaps you will see this at a store (or office) near you next year. However, there are concerns about security and privacy as the data is stored on a cloud.

Raise your hand if you’re willing to use palm recognition systems.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How do they pay for most of their shopping? Cash, check, credit/debit card?
  2. How would they feel about using palm prints as payment/recognition systems?
  3. Show the Amazon One website and video: https://one.amazon.com/
  4. Show news video: https://youtu.be/rf7por-57yI
  5. Discuss the importance of developing a clear, concise message for launching new products.
  6. Use a pyramid model to build the key messages: Top of pyramid – most important message that the customer wants to hear. Middle of pyramid – how the product achieves its value for the customer. Bottom of pyramid – proof points used to validate claims.
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a key message pyramid for Amazon One Palm Payment service.
  8. When debriefing the exercise, make sure to emphasize to students the difference between what a company wants to tell the market, and what a customer wants to hear about the product.

Source: Reuters; The Verge; other news sources

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