The Normal Company is thrilled to announce a partnership with The Hut Group (THG), and their word-class tech and e-commerce infrastructure that powers their brands, and also supercharges other retailers looking for global growth, at speed.
Best in class for tech, infrastructure, fulfilment and operations at scale, THG is the brand owner of considerable e-commerce giants such as MyProtein, Illamasquaand ESPA, online marketplace owner for the likes of Lookfantastic and Coggles, and has long term e-commerce centric partnerships with Coca-Cola, Hotel Chocolat, and Nuxe to name just a few.
A considerable partnership for The Normal Company, allowing THG’s Digital Strategy and portfolio of brands to have access to The Normal Company for end to end paid advertising, and fully managed digital solutions when it comes to our media buying capabilities which include primarily Facebook, Google and TikTok Advertising strategies and fully managed execution for e-commerce brands.
With our performance marketing expertise, and the vast demand for such expertise from The Hut Group’s brands, marketplaces and partners, it has made for a natural synergy between entities, to assist and manage the end-to-end servicing for clients with paid advertising.
Additionally, our clients now have direct access through this partnership to a world class fulfilment partner. Logistical support, warehousing scale, top tier e-commerce platform builds fully backed and managed by THG.
THG Ingenuity is the end-to-end platform that The Hut Group has built in order to service their own 80 brands and marketplaces, as well as long-term partners depicted below.
The premise is simple; by bringing absolutely everything in house within THG, it cuts costs and lead times, thus making everything easier for brands who are serious about mass scale, and best in class fulfilment to get to the next level.
Regardless of what a brand needs, the THG Ingenuity structure allows brands to get it right, with the very best.
With 16 years of global direct-to-consumer expertise, driven from proprietary tech, operations, brands and data, THG has the solution that eliminates all disproportionately expensive third-party technology providers, and seamlessly allows for the integration of everything needed end to end. Now, THG is the partner of choice for the world’s leading brands and those looking to grow at a global scale.
Having scaled THG’s own brands into global market leaders who drive over $2bn of annual sales, THG Ingenuity as a service and platform, is the proven peer-to-peer service provider able to solve business growth challenges and growth ceilings brands fall victim to at both a global and local level.
We are extremely excited to officially be working with THG, and integrating our expertise at The Normal Company with theirs, to assist one another with brand growth on an all encompassing format.
Adidas has officially announced they are deep down the rabbit hole of the Metaverse, partnering up with considered blue chip NFT projects Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Punks Comic in what they consider to be “one of the most exciting developments in digital”.
On the back of their tweet, a link will take you directly to a page which states:
“It’s happening. Gmoney, Punks Comic and the Bored Ape Yacht Club lead Adidas into the Metaverse. Let’s go.”
In addition to this, Adidas have changed their profile picture on both Twitter and Instagram to a 1of1 Adidas X Bored Ape Yacht Club pfp (profile picture), falling in line with the NFT space, and how members of the NFT space all have their owned NFT’s as their profile pictures, displaying their unique identity and virtual metaverse clout.
If this is all new to you, think of an NFT and changing your pfp to one, as being much like a ‘digital flex’; similar to how some may wear a Rolex or wear designer.
In addition, NFT’s allow the holder extensive utility and perks; which vary from project to project.
This comes as many Celebrities have joined the Bored Ape Yacht Club over the past month, changing their profile pictures as they do so, displaying how they are a part of one of the most elite NFT circles out there.
Some celebs in the BAYC include: Post Malone, The Chainsmokers, Jimmy Fallon, Logan Paul, Mark Cuban.
The list at this point is only growing and those A listers are just the tip of a very big iceberg not only for the BAYC, but for the NFT space alike.
It was also reported that Kylie Jenner DM’d a member of the BAYC asking what their price was to sell their pink Bored Ape, to no avail.
Adidas purchased Bored Ape Yacht Club #8,774which was last sold for 46ETH ($156K at the time of settlement). The BAYC has heart-shaped sunglasses, a gold hoop for earrings, a “bored” look, a fisherman’s hat, and blue fur. In the recent Adidas tweet, the company has the BAYC sporting a yellow Adidas jacket with the classic three-stripe design.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club currently, at the time of writing boasts a ‘floor price’ (cheapest you can obtain a Bored Ape on the secondary market for) of 50.6ETH, or $231,000.
So, what can your brand do?
If your brand can begin to understand this new emerging world of digital flex, private circles, and how NFT’s provide their owners with exclusive utility, it could be a whole new way of bringing your fans into your world, and making them feel a part of something entirely exclusive.
Just this week, Budweiser released their NFT collection and also now own the domain ‘beer.eth’. Simultaneously changing their Twitter name to this URL in tandem.
There’s no doubt that the Metaverse is coming, and will be a fundamental keystone of our lives in years to come and as web3.0 begins to take full flight.
If you as a brand are advertising on Facebook right now, you’ll be a part of this shift inevitably, as Facebook announced their name change to ‘Meta’ whilst also demonstrating their vision for how their platform will evolve into a full Metaverse in the future.
The world is changing, and this presents an opportune moment for brands and those who can follow the breadcrumbs to where this is all leading.
We at The Normal Company are working hard on the tech side of our business to keep our brands at the very forefront of how this is all unfolding, and have already made steps with a small handful of our clients to guide them on their Metaverse & NFT brand proposition, with some in early stage development as we speak.
We now look to potentially build out a fully done for you service ‘DFY’ when it comes to creating smart contracts, and building out NFT collections on the blockchain for brands that want to be a part of this web3.0 shift.
Within 24 months, Kim Kardashian’s shapewear brand has been built up into a $1.6 BILLION company.
In this blog post we are going to skim over SKIMS, and what has made the label such a success in a short space of time.
SKIMS launched in 2019 and instantly sold out of all stock at the time. In the past, Kim had loved wearing shapewear but realized there was a huge void when she couldn’t find anything that really worked for her.
In turn, this created her market.
According to Grandview Research, the global shapewear market size was estimated at USD 2.26 billion in 2018 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 7.7% from 2019 to 2025.
Kim had experimented with a lot of shapewear before launching her own brand, most of it probably coming from Spanx.
Kim identified her market fit, and brought a twist to this market. She offered unique colors of shapewear, plus-sizes, and the shapewear was made to compliment women’s outfits, and not so much to shape one’s body.
A product she clearly wanted, which didn’t quite exist for her own personal needs. She harnessed her social prowess to catapult it to where it is, yes..
However, the products really do hold their own when you look across the board within women’s fashion.
They have visible USP’s, interesting colour ways which stay true to Kim’s personal colour palette, and they offer a unique angle not exploited by other brands that sell shapewear.
After rinsing through their custom-coded website, stats for those who like to get ‘nerdy’ on the back end:
After heading to their best-seller section, We found the average price of their top 4 best-selling products is $30. They also offer free USA shipping on orders over $75. Based on this, we would predict that their AOV is in the $60-70 range.
It’s high-quality shapewear, but at a reasonable price when benchmarking against the likes of Zara’s AOV. It fits in well with mid-tier brands, but with a ‘luxury’ touch, as it embodies Kim.
This makes for an easy impulse buy sale. Kim could have easily taken a steer from Kanye’s ever succesful Yeezy, and hit price points which could take her AOV beyond $100, as her name can pretty much do as she pleases, however when it comes to the scale she is seeing, it’s easy to see why when priced so competitively, and with it fitting in with the impulse buy notion.
According to SimilarWeb, SKIMS receives 3.7M monthly visits to their website.
What’s next, is the most interesting part to take away from SKIMS success.
Let’s predict SKIMS’ revenue with our simple equation:
5M website visits x 2.5% CVR = 125,000 orders/month 125,000 x $60 AOV = $7,500,000 revenue per month!
But remember, Q4 and BFCM weekend is a whole different story for ecom businesses. We would estimate a $10m minimum month for the brand across Nov & Dec.
Not bad, Kim!
According to NY Times, SKIMS reported $145 million in sales during 2020, and expects to roughly double sales to $300 million this year in 2021, and based on the data we are seeing, we also expect this to hold true.
$150M in one year, selling simple shapewear and comfy loungewear.
TikTok. The most downloaded and highest grossing non-game app globally in the first half of 2021, hitting just shy of 383 million first-time installs and an estimated $919.2 million in spending via the platform.
Users tripled between Q1 2020 and Q2 2021.
Additionally, as Apple’s opt-out rates continue to climb in light of ios14 changes, the success and reliability on Facebook’s ads management platform, continues to decline.
As an agency, brand wide we are executing an omnipresent strategy when it comes to maximising budget output for our brands, and the key tool for us right now driving the highest impact?
The opportunity is ripe when it comes to just how early the new the platform really is. Compared to Facebook being the ‘go-to’ for advertising within e-commerce over the past 5+ years, a platform that launched way back in 2004, TikTok only came on the scene in 2017.
Just like Facebook when it first came out, and just as much when something new comes about, it is always filled with doubt, uncertainty, and the usual ‘does it fit my demographic’questions..
If we have understood anything from working in this space almost all of our adult lives, it’s that the early adopters, win.
& those that don’t act, always do… eventually.
AFTER the opportunities have already been seized, and then they are just playing catch up and trying to stay competitive.
How did the fashion labels that are entirely e-commerce only, that boast millions of followers, crazy high engagement rates and legions of fans..
The brands that were set up in a bedroom with nothing more than a dream, a supplier and a wi-fi connection that are now worth $100M+ get to where they are?
They simply got in when no one else was, and took an opportunity to have first mover advantage.
Our guess is, you didn’t have an Instagram page for your brand in 2010 when Instagram first came on the scene?
Well, imagine if you did…
Building a Shopify store and running Facebook ads to it with stunning creatives was the advice to take for mass scale 6 years ago. This still works today, however the brands who did this back then had first mover advantage.
Brands such as MVMTwho got in early, made strides ahead of anyone else and took the bull by the horns, created a brand which had a $100Million exit.
Their watches are now very commonly replicated, and ‘InstaBrands’ have saturated their market.
Arguably, if they started again today they couldn’t replicate their success.
Timing was everything.
TikTok now presents that opportunity to brands once again, and it’s one that doesn’t come around often. The chance to strike fast, act early, test, learn & grab market share before your competition even consider setting up a TikTok page.
Getting ahead of TikTok’s opportunity is what brands like MVMT saw in the early Instagram days. If you can make viral, authentic, native TikTok content on the platform, and execute this correctly with the right back end advertising set up, your brand can win big.
100k+ audiences can be achieved within weeks, and store sales can rocket like BFCM on steroids.
From our research, (this was shocking to discover) we have found a plethora of household beauty and fashion names that are dominant on almost every other platform, without a TikTok account!
In our eyes, this just shows how early we are..
..& how early you can be.
Conversely, high AOV luxury power players are adopting it. Such names like Louis Vuitton & Gucci have amassed a large following, and have been running paid ads to great effect.
Additionally, we have seen companies such as Qatar Airways and even Aston Martin running ads on the platform.
Still yet to see the opportunity?
TikTok outlined three new e-Commerce integrations that are coming to the app:
– A tool that lets the most popular users share links to products and automatically earn commission on any sales
-The feature for brands to showcase catalogs of their products on the platform
-“Livestreamed” shopping, a mobile phone version of television shopping channels, where users can buy goods with a few taps after seeing them showcased by TikTok stars.
Essentially with the Livestreamed shopping, the T.V. shopping channel will soon be a thing of the past and be an obsolete business model, as TikTok is democratising it.
You now have the ability to have your own e-commerce shopping channel, but interactive AF!
Look Fantastic ran an interactive e-commerce LIVE just last week, and it popped off…
The Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin already generates the majority of its income from in-app commerce, as opposed to branded ads. So, as TikTok heavily invests in the shopping space, soon you’ll be able to click from your favourite brand, directly to checkout.
What’s the strategy?
When it comes to TikTok ads, the front end just like any other advertising platform, is just as important as the back end ads strategy.
The success of TikTok resides in how inclusive it is as a platform. It’s a positive platform, a happy place for creators and scrollers.
While many brands opt to get a ‘polished’ look and feel to their brand through their Instagram feeds, Facebook creatives and often editorial aesthetic, where everything has to be ‘just perfect’, TikTok is a pattern interrupt to this trend.
Brands now have to rethink what is considered to be ‘on brand’, as TikTok completely flips the dynamic you may have had in mind, on it’s head.
TikTok is where your consumers are there to interact with you on a more personal level. If you keep this in mind when thinking up your creative strategy, you’ll win.
TikTok themselves have released the statement:
“Don’t Make Ads. Make TikTok’s.”
This is a fundamental rule to keep in mind. If you are running the same creatives that have worked for your brand on other platforms and are expecting them to convert in the same way, you will likely run budget to the ground.
A user is on TikTok for a reason, and therefore your ad, needs to be inclusive of this reason; they want to feel inspired, find a ‘life hack’, or be taught something new in a short 10-15 second clip.
When crafting your creative, it’s paramount you understand how TikTok works, and how content on there goes viral, before you start.
Our advice is to create content which is as native as possible to the For You Page, aka the ‘FYP!’, add a trending track or VoiceOver, and get creative with it.
Generate content which will endear your audience, make them bond with you, or give them an ‘ah-ha!’ moment of realization that they need your product in their life.
Prepare to disrupt any previous thoughts you had about advertising, and how your brand will integrate with this platform, TikTok is very different to anything else.
…If you want it to work, that is.
What Are The Ad Types?
An ad is shown on the app launch screen. Prior to landing on your “For You” pages and starting your daily scroll, you’ll be greeted with a short and sweet ad. These will either be a 3-second static image or a 3-5 second video without audio. Given the format, these ads are best suited for awareness campaigns but advertisers should expect to pay premium prices for this spot especially since TikTok will only show one Brand Takeover Ad to a user each day.
These are the easiest way to think about TopView ads is just as a slightly delayed Brand Takeover Ad. They are 60-second videos designed to target your audience in the most effective way possible. These placements are guaranteed to be the first thing your user sees and will most likely interact with.
Similar to ads you’re familiar with on Facebook or Instagram, but they’re a part of your daily “For You” feed. The ads that most will run as a core element of their strategy, this ad format can run up to 60 seconds of video with sound and blends seamlessly into your scrolling and exploring. The ones we see the best conversion rates with, and allow us to retarget your audiences nicely.
Overall, on a TikTok advertising level we have been piloting TikTok ads since the turn of the year, and since then have had a wide range of brands do incredibly well. Seeing massively low CPM’s, high CTR’s and handsome ROI.
Our strategy in light of ios14 has very much been an omnipresent and budget maximisation strategy to ensure budget goes as far as it can for our brands, and that we move proactively for the highest returns and sustained scale possible for our partnerships. With this being said, TikTok is leading the way with where we allocate the bulk of that budget, being as much as 70% in some cases.
Our typical structure looks something a little like this:
On a brand level, it’s very clear that for any brand regardless of industry, the opportunity is a colossal one when it comes to TikTok, you just have to nail the strategy, and get moving before it passes you by.
We mentioned in the title of this blog post that TikTok is the number 1 opportunity of the year.
Yesterday, (22nd June 2021) Mark Zuckerberg has announced some fresh new changes coming that will present major opportunity for brands that are quick to act.
In this blog post we will highlight each of these new changes, and, whilst these have been kept brief so far by Zuck, we will be detailing our thoughts on these, and what they could mean specifically for e-commerce brands.
Feature 1: Instagram Visual Search.
“Helps you discover products based on images that inspire you (I’ll use it to find more grey t-shirts)”
In our eyes this is an update which probably solidifies Facebook’s position when it comes to creating a more engaging shopping experience on Instagram. A platform of late which has allowed brands to be uncovered by being fine tuned to a user’s interests, and utilising the ‘explore’ and ‘shop’ areas of the platform.
Zuck hasn’t eluded to much here on exactly how this feature will play out, however if there is an integration whereby users can find products similar to an image they have found, and perhaps a ‘look’ they are seeking to replicate when it comes to fashion, then this could be huge for brand discovery.
Feature 2: Shops on Marketplace: “More than 1 billion people use Marketplace each month, so we’re making it easy for businesses to bring their Shops into Marketplace to reach even more people.”
Again, a great way of developing the current Marketplace feature within Facebook to be more user friendly, whilst also allowing brands to be discovered once again. This has had it’s fair share of negative comments of late, and this still remains an under leveraged area of the platform for both Facebook and brands alike.
Right now, Marketplace is a second hand thrift shop, dominated by users selling their cars, right through to random household items for pennies, so not the right avenue for most when it comes to e-commerce strategy.
For us, this elevated way of curating Shops on Marketplace could allow the smaller brick & mortar, traditional retail outlets to step into the online world in a more seamless fashion if they have found the likes of Shopify and a more strategic play when it comes to e-commerce being too difficult to get traction with. It could allow small companies with low volume stock to do what eBay did with SME’s.
3. Shops on WhatsApp.
“Soon you’ll be able to view a Shop in WhatsApp so you can chat with a business before buying something. Businesses only need to set up their shop once to have it work across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.”
Most definitely the update in which we are taking most note of. If this is rolled out ahead of Q4, this could make for a considerable strategy when it comes to customer nurture, and decreasing abandoned carts for the peak buying phase of the year.
If you have an SMS strategy in place already, or better yet have a live chat system in place which works in tandem with this, the WhatsApp Shops feature could elongate this into new levels.
Oh, and this also means something else to us: ADS!
You can bet that this feature will allow your brand to be advertised on the WhatsApp platform, with direct links for consumers to speak with you directly, there and then. If Facebook gets this one right, it could be huge for e-commerce.
This is a general announcement we have sent out to all of our brands today following recent updates from Facebook, and additional learnings we have seen over the past couple of days as we continue to stay at the very forefront of the environment for our brand partnerships benefit
We also thought we should make this a blog post for two reasons..
1. This stuff is killer content and deserves to be put out there, so why not.
2. Navigating ios14 has been a battlefield for everyone these past couple of months. In particular, we want to help the smaller brands that may not be able to afford an expert agency that has access to this type of information, and could really do with it to just stay afloat and survive in such times. We know it can help, and hopefully it does!
There are two main points to raise as an initial FYI:
1. IOS adoption has went up significantly with their latest forced IOS 14.6 update causing a higher opt-out rate causing a decrease in performance.
2. Starting June 30th, Facebook have CONFIRMED a positive update will be taking place. Facebook shall be expanding their use of conversion modelling to include it in their 7 day click default attribution setting. The inclusion of these new modelled conversions may result in a noticeable increase in 7-day click conversions, and overall ad account performance. Facebook are continuing to improve their machine learning models and expand their coverage of these new modelled conversions, in order for the platform to have greater transparency, of which has largely been lost of late, impacting our capabilities to scale budgets effectively.
With point 2, we certainly see a light at the end of the tunnel. The next few weeks will be bumpy but hopefully we’ll see a drastic improvement in July as anticipated since March.
In line with the above, we wanted to share what is working right now and shed light on a case study which could be modelled similarly for your brand..
The clients who are performing significantly well right now are releasing either new offers, promotions, collections/product ranges or re-structuring their offer/landing pages/sales process.
One brand of which has already hit $400k this month, due to some revamping and restructuring of offers.
A lot of this is driven by a sale that finishes end of this month.
They also don’t run sales often so the urgency/desire is very much real, and has caused a stir with their audience who want to fully take advantage of this FOMO inducing campaign.
It’s worth us mentioning that a nice portion of these returns have come from our email campaigns we put in place (money is, has been and always will be in the list long term – this is fully owned by you, and is one of the biggest assets a brand can have when software companies take the control away with such things like ios14). A well nurtured email list will always be a good weapon against change. (Of course with $0 attributed marketing spend to any returns seen here is also a huge plus point)
Here is a separate campaign which went out today for a completely different brand, which goes down a ‘secret sale’ avenue, with added benefits for taking part – something this brand has also never done, so causes high intrigue and uptake.
A lot is changing right now and we need to lean into it in every form we can.
– Borders, the world, physical businesses all opening back up
– Weather globally is getting warmer so less time spent online. General market seasonality always seen at this part of the year.
– Money being spent locally again instead of online.
Therefore, creativity will play a huge level of importance this month…
We suggest to find genuine reasons to run sales, promos or campaigns right now to boost conversion rate and sales:
1. Fathers day
2. Summer sales
3. Revenge travel hype
4. Flash sale (72 hours/1 week only)
Evergreen is 100% taking a hit right now. It’ll only get worse before it gets better, so we are encouraging as above, to get creative with your strategies to make the most out of what we can right now, and drive performance to be as high as it can.
*Photo of brand performance for June thus far – can clearly see when the campaigns went live*
We would encourage you to utilise this information as much as possible, and use it to get creative with how your brand could strategise this period.
Extra point of notice:
We have noticed performance drop offs across accounts on 1st June. Since then there has been over a 40% increase of users updating to IOS14.5. Adoption rates are increasing fast as you can see:
Therefore, this really is a time to be thinking different, rather than sitting around hoping to ride the wave.
Your ROAS will continue to be in a downtrend, your marketing budget will be stretched thin, and ultimately you will be leaving opportunity on the table.
We hope this helps, not only to help your brand survive ios14 and the multiple updates Apple are putting out there onto brands, but ultimately we hope this helps your brand thrive, and outpace your competition in such volatile times.
Puma. A brand we are all familiar with. Founded in 1948, they have been an ever-present in the sports scene, adorning sports shops worldwide and boasting heavy endorsement deals over the past 3 decades in multiple industries.
For Puma, basketball was and still is, a key facet of their brand.
However, their first attempt at the lucrative scene of NBA fell way short of competitors, and sent Puma down the pecking order of consumers minds, against the likes of Nike and Adidas, who conquered for years.
Before Nike popped up onto the scene, Puma was the power player, almost untouchable as they represented some of the NBA’s top players at the time.
They had one small issue with this however, much like a lot of current brands in today’s market with keystone influencers and the marketing budget allocated to human endorsement; They couldn’t turn a profit on this area.
And so they shut down the division, enabling Nike & Adidas to take over and storm the market, whereby you’ll still find around 75% of NBA players wearing Nike shoes when they enter court.
More importantly, as NBA increased in popularity, Nike’s brand thrived financially as they ride the wave of basketball popularity and fan-demonium.
Nike US Revenue
Here’s a key take away from this that you may not have known: The basketball shoe business isn’t a lucrative one when it comes to profits. The typical profit margin within this sector all things accounted for is just a 5% profit margin. This proves that for the power players who have been around for generations, it’s all about the cultural influence (which is leverage and huge brand equity in consumers minds), rather than making quick returns on the short term.
With revenue dropping sharply by 10% from 2012-2014, Puma knew changes were needed, and fast to remain competitive.
Who did Puma seek out first to join them on this climb?
None other than Rihanna herself.
Rihanna was named creative director of Puma Women. With women’s sales ramping up a heavy 92%, Puma saw immediate results from the introduction of RiRi, to no surprise. Of course, the brand leverage from this was also something to be accounted for.
Did they stop there?
No, Puma had their sights on taking things back to where they wanted to be within the basketball arena. To do this, they looked to someone of equal measure when it comes to influence, a true G.O.A.T by the name of Jay Z.
Given his cultural appeal and connection to sports biggest stars through Roc Nation, it was a no-brainer for the brand to bring in such a mogul.
Thereafter, Jay Z became the new Creative Director of Puma Basketball. Upon this announcement, one of his conditions was that he wanted a Puma Jet.
Jay felt that creating a fully Puma branded private jet would set the brand apart, and of course it did just that.
The brand wasn’t playing around, fully investing into every facet possible to ramp up brand image, set itself apart from the competition, and launch an attack on the markets it wanted to be a big player within.
They even personalized the tail number for Jay Z:
N: Country code
444: Jay-Z’s album title
SC: Shawn Carter
It’s not just a gimmick either, players routinely mentioned their ability to use the “Puma Jet” as an advantage.
Word was getting around, and Puma were becoming a heavy hitter once again, and no longer in the shadows of Nike and Adidas.
Where they could have easily backed down or tried to get on a level with competition, Puma always went one step further, attempting to break the market and leapfrog competition to be the best they possibly can be, crafting their own image, on their own terms for domination of their sector.
Outside of basketball, Puma has routinely continued to delve into celebrity image. Recent brand partnerships from celebs range from The Weeknd, right through to Victorias Secret model Adriana Lima.
From Victorias Secret they then go to other sports, notably F1 and Football with Lewis Hamilton and Neymar Jr.
This for us, proves the point that standing alone, doing different and thinking different, leads to different results. Brands can learn a whole lot from Puma’s approach when it comes to endorsement and driving up company profits and value. The message is clear; think outside of your current thought sphere, and delve into new spaces.
Still in doubt?
Here’s the figures..
After seeing their annual revenue decline for two consecutive years, Puma’s all out celebrity strategy has skyrocketed their growth to phenomenal levels.
Revenue 2012-2014: $3.8B to $3.5 (decline)
Revenue 2014-2019: $3.5B to $6.5
Oh and also, their stock has gone from $22 to $99, and rising.
Today, with the focus on cultural influence embodying the brand, Puma is now more relevant than ever before, proving that when a brand can pivot and reach out to new areas, it can often pay off if the execution is strong.
This shift for Puma changed the direction for their entire brand, and for the better as they are poised to remain a heavy hitter in multiple industries for many more decades.
BFCM. The time of year all brands, customers, and agencies have firmly imprinted in their minds as the cooler months roll in..
The time of year when some brands can accumulate in a SINGLE DAY what they may accumulate in several months leading up to it.
As a consumer, you will be hit from all angles, often by brands you had never even heard of, all vying for your attention, and your hard earned cash.
It’s the time your inbox receives an onslaught of “Our Cyber Monday sale!” emails, sales announcements, and your Instagram turns into a boxing match between your favourite brands.
It’s an epic time of year, absolutely. One of which we absolutely buzz off and get a thrill like no other when we see 6X, 7X, 8X+ ROAS at top of funnel. And then of course, we get all hands on deck to scale the living sh*t out of it as each hour goes by, with us chomping away to try and hit record sales months for our brand partners.
However, there is a flip side.
A big flip side which can be disastrous, and put your brand in a tricky place if not methodically thought out.
Riding on the hype train of Black Friday, Cyber Monday is a potentially disastrous decision if you follow every competitor’s lead without sensitivity to what your audience expects and wants to hear from you, and one of which if not carefully curated ahead of time, can leave you scrambling away with a lacklustre campaign that fails to hit the hype.
It’s a mega traffic time of year, which can lead to endless unsubscribes, unfollows, and potentially even bad feedback scores and ‘spam’ hits on your ads. …We aren’t about that life.
This year, these tactics provided will do exactly that once again, and possibly even to larger effect than what was seen in 2019.
This year, we will provide 3 tips to ensure you don’t get it horribly wrong when it comes to your BFCM strategy..
1. If It Feels Wrong, Don’t Do It.
If you’re planning out your BFCM outreach right now and it feels slightly uneasy as a brand, or you straight up feel like you’re only doing it because it’s BFCM, we would recommend putting on the brakes.
If you have those negative feelings about your outreach, it’s likely that your audience will feel that way too on the receiving end.
There’s nothing cooler than a brand that thoughtfully decides not to follow the herd on a very herd-inducing stretch of days like BFCM.
This is not to say don’t do anything however, because if you do nothing you will undoubtedly miss the moment on what could have been an epic sales busting week for your brand. But rather, what I am trying to get across here is that you can dare to do differently. It doesn’t have to be a blanket site-wide sale (although for the majority, these work a treat) There is no ‘need’ to do high discounts if your brand isn’t totally aligned to that and it feels wrong, would hit the margins way too much, or maybe you just don’t need to do them; this is pretty much only if you are Christian Dior. Most brands reading this however, should be doing something.
Some food for thought here is to think around how creativity can induce larger volumes of sales, such as bundling, or tiered discounts based on amount spent.
If it doesn’t feel right to you to hop on the BFCM train in the way you think it should be played, get creative and think through what your audience does want to receive from you on a day when they’re traditionally asked to give. This brings me to my next point..
2. If You’re Going To Do It, Do It Right.
By this, we mean don’t be stingy.
A measly 10% off or a ‘free shipping for BFCM’ promo is not a promo for BFCM.
This is like turning up to a Halloween party with a scream mask and a bin bag, you may as well not have even turned up.
The discount needs to pack a punch, be ‘wow’ worthy, and something in which will entice a buying rush like when Yeezy drop a new pair.
The trick here, is to do something that will get your audience processing orders faster than they ever normally do, in a FOMO inducing state.
It’s easy to know if you’re winning when it comes to this, because within 15 minutes of you putting the offer live, your jaw will be dropping to the floor with the amount of ‘dings’ you get from Shopify.
If you haven’t experienced this, the chances are your BFCM of last year failed to hit the hype levels required to pack the right punch, and you don’t want to miss the opportunity once again in a year in which e-commerce will hit all time transaction highs.
When thinking through your business’ BFCM plan, I challenge you to backtrack and ask yourself if your audience would debate the offer being strong enough, or something they could easily pass on and move on to a competitor.
As a business, your primary responsibility is to produce income, and so knowing your customer and your demographic is fundamental here to knowing how to play BFCM, and how to get the adrenaline flowing from your customers when they see that glossy ad served up to them on their Insta feed.
Be the business that listens to its audience year round, and you will know what would be the best bet.
3. Don’t overcommit. (Don’t be that brand)
Only produce what you can keep up with.
A lot of email and social media ghosting happens on BFCM; brands that have barely sent any emails, do 1-3 IG stories a day throughout the year all of a sudden bombard you with emails on BFCM and have an IG story that looks like Tetris. As soon as BFCM is over, like a ghost, they disappear from your inbox as quickly as they came and you get little to no value throughout the other months of the year.
Using your email marketing purely as a tool to make announcements is old school, and completely useless for today’s consumer, and one of which will dwindle your subscriber list faster than you brought them in.
There is enough clutter in people’s inboxes – if your emails have no utility to audiences other than as bait for them to spend money, they will sense this, and you’ll lose them. Especially so with this point, you need to ensure that if you are to send a ton of promotional content, you are ready to keep this up to a similar level once the hype settles and the period is over.
As soon as the middle of December rolls around, you need to ensure you keep it up in a way that is true to your brand.
One saying we have at The Normal Company is that LTV is the master metric. Do not jeopardise your long term stature for the short term shiny dollar, ensure you can carry everything out in a moderation that suits you, suits the brand history of marketing, and the future in which you plan to continue the distribution.
If you want to captivate and engage with your audience in a meaningful way, start off by sending useful content in your emails and boosting its intrigue for your audience.
Does your audience want to receive brand updates, funny memes, helpful information about sustainable fashion, a cause in which you back as a brand, or useful advice that suits why people buy your product?
Show up to your customer in a way in which best reflects your brand, the tone of voice in which you wish to be perceived with, and a manner in which you would be proud of seeing when looking at it’s content, context and value to the audience.
Selling your products or services, especially on BFCM requires a nurturing process more often than not. Don’t think that just because you’re giving out a once-in-a-year discount that your audience will let you skip over the fundamentals of what makes them want to buy from you.
Create a vibe, an aesthetic unique to you, a feeling which your customer is a part of, and you will forever have an audience which is actively on the lookout for your discounts, and ready for you to drop that email bomb on them as they not so patiently press refresh every 10 seconds on November 27th. What I have described here, is that high LTV brand which dominates it’s market.
When you have an audience like this, you have what we call a superbrand.
Before BFCM comes around this year, start sending the emails and doing the work now to build an engaging conversation between you and your audience. Well, tbh you should have been doing this way before now, but creating a hyped and engaged audience is the firepower you need which will front-end-load your campaigns before you’re even thinking about them. It’s the surefire way to boost the success of any BFCM play you put out there, in a way in which your competitors could only dream of keeping up with.
Ads on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are today deemed the most annoying.
This is according to Business Insider Intelligence’s recent Digital Trust Survey.
Well that’s simple.
People don’t like being advertised to, especially when they want to scroll and find new inspiration from their favourite bloggers, escape for 10 minutes on a lunch break, play the latest Justin Bieber music video, or see what those they love have been up to.
It’s irritating, and a primary barrier to what they are on the platform to see, and experience.
The results of this survey should come as a wake-up call to marketers and brand owners alike still unsure about native content, or focussing more on the natural, stripped back approach to marketing vs the glossy magazine cover-esque pieces of creative.
So, what’s the solution?
Based off our recent results across our brand partnerships and client portfolio, the fuel for the most recent ROI experienced has been user generated content.
In the last 3 months especially, this has been the primary driver behind results both on an engagement, organic level, but also on the paid advertising front.
Our ethos is simple, and the types of conversations we have been having recently looks a little like this..
Integrate with content your target customers love to see, and be a part of the reason they are on the platform.
Don’t be a 1990’s yellow pages advert plastered in the middle of an Instagram feed.
You’ll lose out.
If your marketing is in a designated advert, in between your target customer and the content they want to watch, undoubtedly it will be glanced over or not given attention. Your CTR will be sky high, even on the editorial you spent hours on end in a studio developing, tweaking and editing.
Not to mention the cost for producing your glossy ad.
It just won’t generate interest, and your marketing spend will be wasted because you are going against your consumers’ psychology and frame of mind at that given moment.
Integrate your message into user generated content, and become an intrinsic, flowing piece of the platform experience.
Here’s our top reasons why UGC is the way forward for brands that want to scale:
1. It’s the human touch
As above, people don’t want to be advertised to. They don’t want to be bombarded by marketing messages and they most certainly don’t want your ad interfering with their user experience on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.
User generated content goes against ‘marketing’.
It’s a natural, aesthetically on point piece of content that creates a feeling.
A feeling that is in line with who your customer wants to be, how they want to feel, and the desire they have when it comes to the ‘why’ they would buy from your brand.
Here’s the thing: People trust people.
People want to relate with people.
This has been one of our key mantra’s when it comes to strategy calls of late with our clients, especially those in the fashion space.
Those that have adopted this strategy and nailed in on the UGC space to their advantage, have seen all time high conversion rates and revenues reported for the months of July and August consistently.
Instead of scrolling through websites that only tell you their ‘halo’ version of the product, people now prefer a natural, vibey conversation coming through from what they see from brands.
What they crave, essentially, is the human touch to an otherwise lifeless, staged, over-edited piece of content. UGC content provides precisely that – the human element.
It shows the product for what it is, the brand for the feeling they create with a no holes barred approach, and the customers for the community they generate.
Seeing a similar person to you, or a respected influencer wearing the new line is the best way to demonstrate your product to would-be-buyers. It’s the pairing of valuing perspectives of their fellow customers, hand in hand with an unfiltered view of your product in a real world use, often in a real world environment.
This is what UGC provides your brand: The much needed, and much desired help that prospective customers understand the product inside and out, and they get to know what to expect before they even land on the product page.
2. Customer Experience Is Accentuated
Consider that you have been using the same angles of content for the past 6 months.
Your ads may very much be experiencing ad fatigue, because your product only shows so much.
It shows one angle, repeatedly: Your angle as those behind the brand day to day.
You have yet to mix this up and twist things into the angle you really need to be portraying as priority: Your customer’s view when they have the product.
When this switches up, your intended customer will see something a little like this…
They open up Instagram, scroll along and then get hit with a native ad that speaks the same language as those in which they follow, almost as if the ad they are seeing has been posted by one of their close friends.
Immediately they have minor emotions tied into the creative, and they are getting a sense of feeling with your brand.
The piece of content shows your brand in a native and natural form, and in a way studio content just cannot relay in the same way.
Suddenly, the product has new life to it, a new portrayal, and a new value proposition in the eyes of your consumer.
A different view, creates different reactions.
They are now viewing someone experience the product in real life and validate all its claims, as opposed to just hearing them.
In short, your consumer is already experiencing the product, and in turn they get convinced that it’s as good as you say it is, and it does exactly as what that customer would expect from a product.
User-generated content adds a dash of authenticity and reverberates with the customer in the most natural form.
It’s a buying accelerator like no other.
3. It Converts
User generated content drives sales like no other.
When people see for themselves how a product has impacted the life of someone else, and someone they identify with, they begin to find ways the product can help them, and starting selling the product to themselves.
In turn, this creates a higher CTR and traffic generation from this type of content compared to any other because it’s so identifiable.
The metrics align perfectly for any brand looking to scale, because UGC generates interest and more ‘scroll stopping’ than an ad that doesn’t look like it belongs.
It’s why people skip the adverts immediately when they come on T.V. between their favourite show – they know it’s not going to be relevant or personally tailored to them.
It’s another annoying barrier before they get to what they really want to see, and the reason why they are watching T.V. in the first instance.
However, if those adverts were people you adored and identified with showing off their latest buys in the most natural way, you may just hear them out.
Brands get far more bang for their spend, because their spend isn’t being wasted on people scrolling past, but rather the spend on the content is now getting clicks, and clicks create conversions.
You may end up buying something you do not need at all, or find something you may have passed up on initially, because it directly impacted you on an emotional level – it’s not just another advert.
User-generated content consciously and subconsciously alters buying patterns and increases eCommerce sales twofold with brands who have lacked in that department historically.
Every marketing metric that aligns to sales, rises in all the right areas, and it’s clear to see why.
UK ‘Giant’ clothing store Primark made a grand total of £0 this month on the back of four weeks of closure, and over 60,000 furloughed staff due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Primark’s usual £650m months have plummeted to rock bottom due to their lack of diversified channels, in a world which is changing around them, and one of which they have ignored for many years.
With stores across the world forcibly closing due to the UK lockdown, Primark has been unable to sell any products due to its non existent online presence or diversified channels. In the past, the store has tried to justify this by saying it would not be able to keep prices low if home delivery were an option.
But, this in our eyes is an all too familiar phrase and string of excuses similar to that of brands and stores that we have seen fall at the hands of a digital first world over the past 18 months.
Primark however, like many physical stores have now had the shock which would have been inevitable regardless; adapt to e-commerce, or face a harsh reality check at some point.
Chief executive George Weston said: ‘ABF has been squarely in the path of this pandemic. At Primark we have 68,000 of our people receiving furlough payments from governments across Europe, without which we would have been forced to make most redundant.
‘From making sales of £650m each month, since the last of our stores closed on 22 March, we have sold nothing.’
With this highlighting how George Weston and his board have failed to acknowledge and take action on what it means to have a digital strategy, the company and their staff are now paying the price of an ‘adapt or die’ retail world.
George added: “In time we can rebuild the profits. We can’t replace the people we lose.”
Shortsightedness can prove to be a killer even at the best of times and when business is booming, however at this current time especially, the so-called-giants will face a harsh reality which could see many household names pay the ultimate price.
The value of diversification for brands and stores is becoming apparent, as it always will when it becomes too late, but always pushed aside when times are good.
The question poised on Primark and their Directors is now this: Should we shift to e-commerce as a priority?
The answer, is undoubtedly so, but equally it took a worldwide pandemic for them to emerge out of a cave, and ask what should have been a question they answered with tenacity when they had an opportunity to thrive, rather than merely scrap to survive.