Our Marketing Blog

Our industry is ever-changing. Get insights and perspective from our experts as we share our knowledge and experience on how to successfully navigate the marketing landscape.

Molly Alderson

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Twitter's New Profile Means New Strategy for Brands and Users

This past month, social media darling and now publicly-held corporation, Twitter, announced an upcoming redesign of its user profiles. The updates were first unveiled on select VIP profiles, including equally cool First Lady Michelle Obama @flotus and band @Weezer. The changes are now being rolled out to all users. How can you adapt your personal or corporate brand? Follow these 4 simple step. Focus on visuals & video Profile photos and header images receive much more real estate on the new Twitter page. User photos are now 400-by-400 pixels, and the header image is recommended to be 1500-by-500 pixels ' larger than even Facebook's cover. Videos, too, are gaining prominence. Now, video content can be filtered and exclusively searched by users. More image and video space means that individuals and brands must use higher-resolution visuals to maintain a professional image. As social media content quality improves, the strategy behind it must improve as well. Companies should curate visuals to accurately and clearly represent brand message, given that this material is most prominent on the page. Now that both Facebook and Twitter showcase large graphics, it may seem efficient to use the same images for both.  However, brands should differentiate content strategies for each platform in order to keep both micro-bloggers and social networkers intrigued. Aim for engagement Twitter has also shifted away from equal post display to showcase each user's most engaging content. Tweets that generate more activity in the form of retweets, favorites and @replies now appear slightly larger in your feed. Twitter's new sizing puts more emphasis on a brand to have an engaging content calendar. Teams must now plan for marketing opportunities during big events and strategize larger social media campaigns. Otherwise, it will be easy for users to identify a lack of engagement with the audience. Recognize your strongest messages Twitter is slowly moving away from its steadfast practice of showcasing tweets in reverse chronology. Users can now manipulate their accounts and pin a preferred tweet to the top of their profile, in an effort to build more engagement around important messages. Tweet pinning gives brands an opportunity to highlight their most important messages, particularly timely news such as sales or promotions. Pinning also allows users to make a second impression with the audience. If an important message was overlooked, it can now be reestablished it at the top of the feed. This may eventually eliminate the need to focus on posts' timing; however, brand and individuals must continue to monitor top performing tweets as only one tweet can be pinned at a time. Know what you're looking for With over 645,000,000 users on Twitter, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Twitter's new profile allows viewers to better organize their viewing experiences by filtering others' tweets. Tweets can be viewed alone or with replies, and tweets with photos or video can be organized separately. Twitter's filtering process again places emphasis on engagement, rather than content generation. Brands should continue  to engage with their audience in the form of retweets, @replies, and ongoing dialogue. These interactions will not only build brand loyalty, but may also invite other customers to begin a conversation with the brand. What's your Twitter strategy given the new layout? Share with us in the comments section below.    

Where Can't we Take Tech?

There seems to be a stream of new technological innovation lately: Google glass, a plethora of smart-watches, and an increasing availability of tablets- just to name a few. We are no longer confined to desks, keyboards, and screens to access the digital world. Now, we can enter the online realm via our wrists, using our voices, and even with our facial cues. With all of these new digital portals, how will our socialization adapt? We're used to constant connection- everyone has a smartphone and/or laptop that's proven to be a reliable companion. But with these wearable innovations, we are integrating technology even more into our lives, for better or for worse. Imagine walking down the street- as you stroll, a friend's message pops up right before your eyes, your wrist starts to vibrate to alert you to a new email, and your trusty smartphone is ringing to let you know of a sale going on in the store you just passed. This could be a true reality (albeit slightly exaggerated) as more wearable and portable technologies are produced. This evolved connection could be quite fun. As Google Glass becomes less of a gimmick and more of an in-demand accessory, developers are looking to integrate Glass into their offerings. For example, a new game from Mind Pirate called Global Food Fight allows users to play both on their iPhones and on Google Glass, one of the first interactive and social games to do so. Users can play this game in real-time with friends, and, if using Glass, will be transported into this virtual world right before their eyes. Imagine hanging out, in a food fight, with friends while actually at home. This innovation takes video gaming to a whole new and transportive level. This connection could also go even further. As the digital world wonders what, if anything, Facebook's acquisition Oculus will bring, some are already putting the device to use. KO-OP Mode has created an app called Facerift that lets you 'scroll Facebook...with your face.'? The app is described as 'the dream of the 3d web'? that will make friends 'more real'? and claims: 'you'll never Facebook without your face again.'? Facerift allows users to wander around Facebook in a 3-D virtual world, literally placing users inside of the social network. This type of innovation is exciting- and possibly a little scary. By placing users in sucha virtual environment, how will this impact our interactions in actual reality? Will the lines between real-reality and virtual-reality blur further? Only time will tell how new wearable and portable technologies will impact our socialization. For marketers especially, we now must think of the entire user experience, not just traditional ads or promotions. Ads and campaigns will have to be more integrated, more responsive, and more seamlessly transitioned from on- to off-line environments. As users can connect and communicate more readily, brands will also have to find ways to socialize with users online. In the end, for marketers content will likely still prove king, but presentation will certainly require new creativity. So, whether we're ready or not, it's time to say hello to the wearable, portable, and transportive technologies of our future. Which are you ready to sport?

Get 'Gramming

As a user, I see Instagramming as a true art form. I love how the social platform allows users to display snippets of everyday life in a unique and artistic way. Scrolling through my newsfeed brightens my day, as I get to peek into the beautiful little moments that those I follow are experiencing. With such emotional pull, it's no wonder that marketers and advertisers are instinctively drawn to Instagram. The platform offers an array of opportunity for brand promotion and consumer engagement. Further, due to Instagram's social nature, it's also a great tool to use for real-time marketing and campaigns. So, with all of its branding glory, why do marketers and advertisers still struggle to use Instagram effectively? The conundrum lies in a few areas: Everything's Manual: Instagram offers no APIs to schedule or monitor posts. Although marketers can use APIs to receive hashtag and location parameters, there's still nothing akin to HootSuite or Facebook's scheduling feature on the app. Their New Native Ads are Risky: With the limited launch of Instagram's advertising program (with companies including Ben and Jerry's and Levi's), it's still unclear how users will receive these in-stream ads. The ads are disruptive and, within an app that can be deeply personal and connective, could dissuade users if not done correctly. Hard to Connect: It can be markedly difficult for brands to gain followers and interest on Instagram. If a brand lacks unique content, consistency, and/or fluency in Instagram tagging, an Instagram account can quickly become an afterthought in a brand's social arsenal. Even with these hang-ups, Instagram can still be a great social tool for brands to leverage. The platform is highly engaging, as it offers brands the chance to further cultivate their identity and integrate into users' everyday lives. But, with such barriers, how can marketers move forward? Here are a few Instagramming tips: Stay Consistent: Content and timing are key for Instagram success. To truly engage, brands need to actively post throughout the week. Brands also need to keep content aesthetically consistent and appealing. Make it Special: Simply recycling content from Facebook or Twitter will not do. To truly engage users on Instagram, brands need to actually spend time creating content unique for the platform. Thankfully, Instagram is a simple app in nature, so once themes are in place, feeds can easily be filled with meaningful and unique images. Remember the Point: Let's face it. We all want to see pretty pictures at the end of the day, and brands need to keep this in mind when 'gramming. Posting bland product shots or boring office photos just for the sake of content won't engage a consumer. Overall, the best Instagram accounts offer unique images that capture special moments, big and small. There is no one formula for success; however, as with any successful campaign, brands need to first know their consumers, their brand story, and how these two things align. Then, brands can deliver consistent and thoughtful content that stays true to both of these points. When good branding and Instagram-savvy align, marketers can create meaningful connections that simply cannot be found on other social platforms. Have any tips for Instagram success? We'd love to hear! Share your comments.  

What Google Secure Search Means for Marketers

WHAT IS GOOGLE SECURE SEARCH? On September 23, 2013 Google announced that they would be moving to a fully Secure Search model; which means that Google will no longer be passing keyword level data related to organic search queries on to third party sources. Google claims that the change is connected to protecting user privacy as search results are becoming increasingly personalized. The transition began in May 2011, when Google started redirecting users logged into their Google accounts to a secure version of their webpage (https vs. http). Traditionally, SEO professionals have relied heavily on the keyword queries report obtained through Google Analytics. This report was used to identify high traffic-driving keywords, as well as valuable keyword themes for the creation of new web content. With this change, secure searches began appearing within keyword queries reports as 'not provided'. At the time of the announcement, Google representatives assured brands and the SEO community that 'not provided' keyword volume would likely remain in the single digits. However, that percentage has been steadily increasing over time, especially once default searching within Firefox was pulled under Secure Search as well. Our team is embracing Google's change to Secure Search, as we are focused on approaching SEO from a more holistic view of your brand's complete online presence ' SEO, SEM, content marketing, display media, social, mobile, local search, and more. There are a number of additional resources at our disposal and we are utilizing most already. Provided within this POV are the various SEO tools and how we utilize each for our SEO measurement and analysis. We feel strongly that measurement should not be left until the end of a contract or project, but instead considered and implemented early in order to continuously drive results and achieve your business goals.  OTHER RESOURCES TO UTILIZE? Google's New Paid & Organic Report Brands that are utilizing Google AdWords as part of their SEM plan now have the ability to view paid and organic keyword traffic side-by-side with Google's 'Paid & Organic report'. This report links Google AdWords and Google Webmaster Tools accounts to generate a keyword traffic comparison. This report is pulled within the AdWords interface and identifies the following: Overlap in SEO and SEM keywords New keyword opportunities for SEM campaigns Share of clicks for individual keywords across both channels  Google Webmaster Tools In addition to linking to Google AdWords for the 'Paid & Organic report', Google Webmaster Tools is continuing to provide a three month view of the top traffic driving keyword queries to your site, as well as the number of impressions, clicks, click through rate (CTR), and the average position for a particular query. Our team is able to analyze this data by landing page or by keyword. Other tools commonly utilized in Google Webmaster Tools are site health and internal/external link analysis. Bing At this time, the 2nd most popular search engine is continuing to pass along keyword data. While the pool of data is smaller than that of Google's, Bing still represents a significant sample of keywords to capture valuable insights from. Moz Moz uses a proprietary algorithm to determine domain and page authority by considering an array of SEO and social factors. This tool pinpoints the high value pages of your site as well as pages that need further content and SEO optimization. Also available is the ability to compare your site's domain and page authority to that of your direct competitors. Site health, an SEO Report Card, and linking analysis are also available within this tool. Landing Page Data Rather than focusing on the successes of individual keywords, we can zero in on the performance of keyword specific landing pages ' where the content exists. By analyzing landing page traffic and finding themes, we can determine which type of content is performing best. In addition, we can tie landing pages to the keywords targeted on the page to determine which types of keywords are generating the most traffic. This approach paints a more holistic view of your site's performance rather than fixating on a singular ranking or traffic volume for a single keyword. Measuring Content Engagement Highly relevant, fresh content is vital to remaining competitive in organic search results. Interesting and useful content can help keep visitors on your site longer, which indicates to search engines that your site is both informative and authoritative ' a key factor in Google's algorithm. To measure the success of the content on your site, our team focuses on visitor engagement. Using metrics such as time-on-site, bounce rates and exit pages to help determine where users are staying and leaving when they come to your site. This analysis also identifies opportunities for new content, as well as conversion path improvement. Social Reports Social media is playing an increasingly important role in organic visibility as search engines are utilizing social signals to identify site relevancy and authority. Examples of these factors include: How often social media users are linking to your site How users engage, and how often they engage with your content How often content from your site is shared By ensuring social share buttons and proper social analytics tracking are implemented for your site, our team can measure your social presence,  including conversions/actions. Video Content Search engines provide video content within their blended search results. By implementing best practice optimizations for your YouTube channel and video library and by analyzing user interaction with this video content, we are able to identify what performs strongly/poorly, and in-turn identify high value keywords and opportunities for fresh content. Conductor Searchlight Through the measurement platform Conductor, we can continue to monitor and report on keyword rankings. We can identify strong performing keywords by segmenting keywords into categories such as Brand, Non-Brand and targeted themes. In addition, Conductor can provide us with specific recommendations for expanding targeted keyword lists and even provide keyword phrases that your direct competitors are ranking on. Conductor is also launching True Traffic, a metric that calculates search traffic based on online visibility, consumer demand, and behavior models. SUCCESS MEASUREMENT SEO measurement is one component in AMP's evaluation of each client's measurement strategy. It is important to first gain an understanding of current measurement metrics and desired website goals, both short and long-term, to align needs with measures of success. Our team takes a broad look at how individual marketing channels fit together in order to tell the story of your brand's digital marketing strategy. Once goals are established, our team provides recommendations on how to measure against your established KPI's and organize them in a way that answers your core business questions through a measurement audit. VISIBILITY VS. RANKINGS ' THINKING HOLISTICALLY Gone are the days when ranking on individual keywords are the key to success in SEO. With the introduction of Secure Search, Google is pointing brands in the direction of creating highly relevant and informative content in order to improve organic visibility. Today's quality content marketing has become a blend of content that gratifies search engines and captures searchers' interests. The objective is to create and share valuable content to attract and convert prospects into consumers, who will then become repeated visitors and converters. Search engines are in the business of providing the most relevant search results for any given user query. As SEO professionals, we need to think in terms of creating a holistic online presence and optimizing the various marketing channels accordingly.

Millennials: Generation Collaboration

During the month of October, we're exploring content focused on youth, specifically millennials and the Class of 2016. For our second post, we asked one of our interns, aka a millennial, to provide perspective on how she views her generation. Read Angelina's thoughts below. My millennial generation is the collaborative generation. We are LinkedIn, groupon-ed, and ready to engage our friends, family, and heck, even strangers in meaningful collective experiences. Our generation pioneered the transition from Disney's Little Golden Books to LeapFrog learning tablets. We mastered typing on keyboards before our stubby little fingers could manage cursive, and thank goodness for that because some of us even went on to transform Internet realities across the globe. Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook at the ripe old age of 19; David Karp began working on Tumblr at 20. My fellow millennials redefined the traditional model of community, brought our lives online, and in doing so created a whole new notion of collaboration. Shared experience'we live it every day.   Childhood Games For me, it all started with'I kid you not'Neopets, the virtual pet community. I adopted my first Neopet in the second grade and that was my ticket into the newest frontier: the World Wide Web. I quickly learned that navigating Neopia (the Neopets utopian online universe) solo was not quite satisfying. Soon enough, I was playing caretaker to a legion of little creatures. I bartered and traded within the community for goods and Neopoints (the currency in Neopia), and was involved in several online groups and guilds. The site called for mass participation from the physical world; real-life friends and siblings forged alliances for the greater good of our pets, our homes, our guilds, and our communities. And so through virtual reality games'Neopets for me, perhaps World of Warcraft for others'my millennial generation witnessed communication and collaboration transcend spatial, temporal, and cultural boundaries. The world somehow seemed smaller and more manageable, and with infinite possibility. Remix Culture As I entered my teenage years, I traded Neopia for Myspace and then very quickly switched over to Facebook. The once-prized magic Neopian paintbrushes and faeries were swapped for Lolcats and other crowd-sourced Internet memes. Eventually, I discovered musical mash-ups and believe me, the jump from Spice Girls to Girl Talk was a profound one. Mash-ups in music are essentially assemblages of two or more tracks cut up, overlaid, and mixed into one song. The end result is a composition born of many creative iterations, sprung from the talents of many. Remix culture'engaging and immersive as it was'drew from various facets of pop culture and caught my interest at an early age. Collective Knowledge Through high school, my peers and I mastered the art of the Google search and referenced Wikipedia for almost everything. Collective knowledge became my knowledge. Then in 2006, WikiLeaks launched and altered the landscape once more. Social (Media) Activism Five years later, the Egyptian Revolution successfully forced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak out of office, partly due to the use of social media platforms to coordinate protests and broadcast news to a global audience. A few months after Mubarak stepped down, controversial contemporary artist Ai Weiwei was arrested by the tight-lipped Chinese government. Once again protestors, human rights activists, and art enthusiasts flooded social media'particularly Twitter, where Ai had been most active'and mobilized the masses, including even the highest order of museums: the London Tate Modern and the Guggenheim New York. In a short span of a few years, I felt the power and potential of the Internet seeping into our offline world, the energy pulsing through contemporary culture. The millennials created this culture. We joined, we linked, and we shared. We blogged about political turmoil halfway around the world. We retweeted to give an artist-activist a voice when he was silenced by his government. We raised an entire global community on the creative juices of tech nerds and entrepreneurs, and somewhere along the way, we discovered a new definition of collaboration. No borders, no time zones, no barriers that could not be overcome'just people and their big ideas and aspirations. We are, collectively and collaboratively, the millennials. Interested in learning more about millennials? Make sure to register for our MITX Future M session on 'How the Class of 2016 Will Change the World of Marketing?

Change is the Only Thing That Stays the Same

Every year at Back to School time, parents head out in droves with armfuls of children attached to themselves in search of the latest and greatest fashion and gadgets. Some spend a lot and some spend a little, but in 2011 parents said they spent about $606, down from $612 in 2010. So, what does that mean? It means Mrs. Smith bought one less three-ring binder than she did the year before. It's a change that researchers and retailers are extremely mindful of because when you think about all those un-bought binders, you realize just how much they can add up to. But it's not just important to think about how much money parents spend during this time, it is also important to think about why they spend it. Back to School time brings about change. Change in the leaves, change in the temperature. Kids grow older, taller, chubbier, and more or less popular. They look to form new ideas and new identities. While this change may be exciting for parents (or depressing!), it is something they have no control over. One thing parents do have control over, however, is what they buy for their kids. The desire for control urges them to buy, but also means they are part of their kid's experience. Because as it turns out, going to class with them isn't going to happen. Bottom line? Allowing parents to be a key part of the Back to School process is even more important. This means retailers should implement a variety of tactics including sales and promotions making shopping easier by calling out the products kids need and merchandising them in a way parents and kids can navigate. Parents want to be part of the story and have a little control over it. Give them at least that!  

Gettin' My Missoni On

Well, I don't have any of my purchases on yet, but Tuesday morning at 5:30am, I 'got my Missoni on' at Target.com. I logged on in my bathroom, hair still wet, teeth not yet brushed. I nervously and excitedly clicked away and chose a dress, swimsuit, and four scarves. The last time I felt such Internet excitement was when, again from my bathroom at 6:00am, I finally got Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way'? video premiere to load. Minutes later, after updating my Facebook status to share the news of my purchases, I was even swapping texts with a fellow fashion-obsessed friend. I was telling her what I scored online, and she was sending me pictures of the pre-opening scene outside a local Target store. I was one of the lucky hundreds of thousands of self-proclaimed fashionistas to snag some of the Italian designer's mass-market goodies before the site crashed later that morning. 'We are suddenly extremely popular,'? was the unfortunate message shoppers were met with as they were made aware of the site's unexpectedly high traffic. Although the collection was sold at mass retail, Missoni was able to maintain its high-class, designer status by keeping the event fairly secret, and very separate from the main designer brand. It was teased in a blog called 'All The Way Up Here'? where the author described herself as an elementary-school-aged porcelain doll. There were no actual mentions of the brands' collaboration by Target or Missoni in the blog, only a doodle in the margin reading, 'I love these guys! Target and Missoni. I can't believe I'm working for them and they're sending me to New York Fashion Week! So Cool!'? Weeks later she blogged, 'The Target and Missoni partnership wants me, yes, your doll, to take my blog to NYC and continue blogging everything Missoni, Target, and fashion from the style frontlines.'? The collaboration seemed official and on August 10th, the blog posted sneak peeks of merchandise, confirming the rumors. I should share that I was a little skeptical of this overdone, designer-at-mass-retailer concept. Shallow as it may sound, I believe that designer fashion is a status symbol. Why would I spend even a little more on something that isn't easily recognized as 'designer'? without checking the tag? Collections from Paul & Joe, Isaac Mizrahi and others at Target have been barely recognizable as pieces by the designers. Missoni patterns, however, are recognizable and timeless. A print from 1960 is still relevant and fashionable today. This identifiable look and timeless value is what appealed to me. In an economy where labels have become less important to the once label-conscious, Target made me care again. The excitement continues as I eagerly await the arrival of my fabulous purchases!

Why I'm Loyal to Getting Pamper'd

All I needed was to see this Pampers ad and my heart melted. As a mommy of a two-year-old little princess, I'm completely consumed by the to do's, to don'ts and general insanity of temper tantrums, glass slippers, 'beautiful dresses,'? and chicken-nugget eating-defiance. But the images in this ad are peaceful, tender, and bring me right back to that moment when I held her for the first time. If there was a brand that Cialis overnight delivery I believe 'gets'? moms, it's Pampers. The number one thing I do not want to happen as I trek to the grocery store or long-awaited shopping spree (I say that because of the time shortage, not the loose spending), is a wet kid. If she's comfy and dry, I'm worry free. My single, baby-free coworkers laugh at me when I 'talk diaper,'? but any mom can relate. The Pampers Miracle campaign recently launched as the brand celebrates its 50th anniversary. The Miracle campaign kicks off with donations of hundreds of care packages to infant ICUs. At this time, monetary donations have been put aside in lieu of tangible gifts that moms, dads, and babies can actually see and experience. At such a trying time as having an intensely sick baby, it's a touching idea to say to parents that Pampers doesn't just know your baby needs to be comfortable, but Pampers knows your baby should be safe and healthy ' and the brand is there to help make that possible. Competitor brands like Huggies have been distributing diapers to kids in need for quite some time, but the runner-up brand hasn't shown its philanthropic efforts to the public the way the Miracles campaign does. Huggies's'Every Little Bottom'? campaign is a hidden jewel. Bringing it to the forefront at this point would look copy cat, but would it be worth it? Diaper-champion-philanthropy mega battle? Maybe not, but it's more evidence as to why Pampers is not only number one in loyal moms' wallets, but truly number one in their hearts and heads. We know that brand loyalty is harder to obtain than ever before, whether it's diapers or gum. In AMP's recent Inside the Buy study, we found that only 3% of consumers say they are loyal to a brand and never buy anything else. This 'Contemporary Loyalty'? means consumers are somewhat loyal to a product, but open-minded to similar products that are 'new'? or 'better'? ' claims diaper brands make all the time. As a consumer insights marketer, I know the importance of making an immediate emotional connection with a consumer when it comes to positioning 'new'? and 'better'? products ' especially to moms. A brand that understands and relates to a consumer can make them try a product, buy a product, and absolutely build 'Contemporary Loyalty.'? Diaper sales is a competitive market to live in, but the heartfelt connection the Pampers Miracles campaign is building adds to the reasons moms and dads keep Pampers in their consideration sets.

Engaging the Common Couch Potato

The ways in which brands engage consumers digitally are constantly changing. Online, brands are conversing with consumers through social media. In print, consumers are interacting with brands via QR codes on their ads. But there is one behemoth in the media world that has been very slow to accommodate a society that enjoys instant interaction: television. Brands are just starting to realize the potential of engaging consumers though TV advertising. Over the past few months this has become misoprostol more noticeable. Cable companies are beginning to offer interactive ads to brands. Here's how an interactive ad works: a commercial will start playing and shortly after, a prompt will appear at the bottom of the screen allowing viewers to decide if they would like to see more information. Brands can also choose to offer product samples, coupons, or other types of perks for the consumer. For example, recently, Comcast customers in Pennsylvania were able to use their remotes during Hershey's commercials to opt to receive coupons for Hershey's candy. There are also ways to engage with television viewers without going through cable companies. Old Navy, after killing their 'Supermodelquins'? campaign, is partnering with Shazam, a music recognition application for smartphones, to interact with television viewers. While Old Navy ads play, a notification appears in the corner of the screen prompting viewers to pull out their smartphones and 'Shazam'? the song playing during the ad. When they do, they are directed to 'secret goodies, song downloads, style tips and more.'? Utilizing methods such as these can provide brands with quantifiable results as to how many consumers actually took the time to interact with their ads - this will aid in gauging the effectiveness of their media spend. In my opinion, television advertising needs to become less 'traditional'? and more innovative if it wants to better compete in the new media market for many reasons. First, viewers are usually engaged in other activities while watching TV ' they are more than willing to multi-task. Second, with the saturation in the market of video game systems like Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect, and PlayStation Move, consumers are becoming more accepting of interacting with their television. Finally, if brands don't start engaging viewers via television, they won't appear as technologically savvy as their competitors. We as marketers work in a multi-screen, multi-tasking world and we need to constantly adapt. The possibilities for instantly engaging consumers via television are endless, and worth figuring out.

The Best $96.98 We've Ever Spent

For the past week it feels like every day I've encountered new ways to contribute to the relief efforts for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Today, I made my tiny difference. I put forth $44.60 as I shopped at my favorite (that's an understatement) fast fashion retailer ' Forever21. The Forever21 brand is donating 100% of every dollar spent on Forever21.com today to the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. We're used to hearing that a percentage of proceeds will go to a cause, but when was the last time you heard that a brand would give up everything it earned? Forever21 has broken the mold when it comes to bringing fashion trends from the runway to the real way, and now the brand is breaking the mold again with a powerful model of giving. Millennials ' Forever21's most frequent and valued consumers ' are looking for strong, solid relationships to be built between themselves and the brands they buy. Millennials will support brands that tackle a cause and make a difference based on ideals similar to their own. They praise brands who position themselves authentically. "What you see is what you get" is a must in this generation's mind. Brands that profess to understand who Millennials are and what they want, fail. Brands that do understand these things, succeed. Millennials love brands that just 'get them.'? Today Forever21 'got'? me and four of my Millennial coworkers as we bought fashion that will support Japan. We pooled our purchases to reach the free shipping mark ' $50 of merchandise ' and spent $96.98. We donated almost $100. Frankly, that's awesome. Today, Forever21 really is forever. It doesn't get more authentic than that.

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