Nordstrom is not ‘the everything store’ — it wants to win with high-quality brands

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Nordstrom co-president Erik Nordstrom

In other words, Nordstrom doesn’t want to be Amazon.

Amazon is known as “The Everything Store.”

Nordstrom, Amazon’s Seattle neighbor, is not. It doesn’t sell commodities. It sells big brands to fashion-conscious consumers. And that’s how it says it’ll win.

“[Amazon has] been very helpful in forcing us to get sharper on who we are and where we can win,” said Erik Nordstrom, co-president of the retail company, from the stage at Recode’s Code Commerce event in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. “We’re not a price promotional retailer. … The products we participate in, they’re not commodities, and brands matter. There’s a lot of retail that’s gone to commodities, and the brand value’s been taken out of it.”

Nordstrom says that he still thinks of his retail stores — and his digital services like Trunk Club — as places where people discover new products and new brands they didn’t even know existed. That’s not Amazon’s forte; most people go to Amazon because they know exactly what they’re looking for.

“Being that place of discovery — which means curation, means personalization, means having a differentiated product offer, things that you cannot find everywhere — those things are very much in contrast to the sweet spot of what Amazon’s model is,” he added.

So would Nordstrom like to join Amazon? The company is often mentioned as a possible Amazon acquisition target, and Nordstrom wouldn’t need to go very far — he can see Amazon’s construction cranes from his window.

“I’m not going there,” he chuckled.

Nordstrom shared the stage with Don Kingsborough, the CEO of OneMarket, a Nordstrom partner. OneMarket, a spinoff of Westfield, which owns a bunch of major malls, is hoping to change the way brick-and-mortar retailers use data.

Kingsborough’s plan? Encouraging retailers to share data insights about customers so that there’s a more central repository of information on brick-and-mortar shoppers.

“It’s a difficult concept for retailers to embrace at first,” he admitted. “A retailer’s data is very valuable, but it’s usually just in that retailer. But the consumer shops at lots of other retailers.”

“So the idea is you don’t share any one individual retailer’s information with anyone else,” he continued, “[but] you essentially aggregate that … so they get to understand the customer more holistically, as if they were shopping on a digital platform that had tens of thousands of retailers on it.”

Also discussed Tuesday, albeit briefly: Nordstrom’s recently failed attempt to bring his company private. News broke earlier on Tuesday that a possible deal fell through after the parties involved couldn’t agree on a price.

“The mission stays the same,” Nordstrom said.


Recode – All

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Marketers Take Heed: Brands Must Show Loyalty to Earn Loyalty

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MMW was privy to a first look at new data this week in a freshly completed report from Alliance Data.

NextGen consumers are leading the retail industry to a new view on loyalty, according to Alliance Data’s card services business, a provider of market-leading private label, co-brand, and business credit card programs.

The newly released study, “The Rules of NextGen Loyalty,” reveals how Gen Z and Millennials have been empowered by unique experiences, technology, and the power of choice to engage brands and experience loyalty in truly new ways.

“This study really unpacks the shopping and loyalty preferences of today’s youngest consumer segment,” said Shannon Andrick, vice president of marketing advancement for Alliance Data’s card services business. “One-to-one conversations with real people supported by in-depth research has provided a unique view into the mindset of today’s youngest generations and what they expect from brand relationships. The loyalty landscape has truly shifted from brands driving loyalty to brands earning loyalty.”

Conducted by Alliance Data’s Analytics & Insights Institute, “The Rules of NextGen Loyalty” study used a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods including mobile diaries and digital app tracking to determine behaviors, follow-up one-on-one Skype conversations to provide context, and a survey to identify the differences, perspectives, and preferences among younger generations.

Some highlights from the report:

  • Loyalty is earned. Understanding the role of and influences on choice is more important than ever before: 63% of younger consumers agree they have many choices of where to shop, so a brand must show them loyalty to earn their business. Once brands recognize the unique motivations of Gen Z and Millennials, they have taken the critical first step in building deep brand connectivity and earning lasting loyalty.
  • Loyalty is complex. Traditionally, loyalty has been viewed as one-dimensional. Yet, loyalty is anything but simple. Research shows when it comes to life loyalty and brand loyalty, a continuum emerges spanning a range from functional to emotional. Different types of loyalty span the continuum from traditional, mostly functional loyalty, to brand love, emotional loyalty. Re-thinking a brand’s approach to loyalty means understanding that true loyalty requires a combination of function and emotion.
  • Loyalty is fragile. Today’s younger consumers are increasingly unforgiving. They are empowered by instant access and greater choice to want more and “put up” with less. In fact, 76% of younger consumers only give brands two to three chances before they stop shopping them. One in three consumers said nothing could be done when asked what a brand could do to win them back.

To check out the full report, click here.

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Will take Android brands two years to catch up with Face ID, say key parts manufacturers

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Parts shortages mean that it will take Android brands two years to catch up with Face ID, according to suppliers of key components used for 3D camera modules.

This is in part due to Apple’s R&D lead, they say, but also due to its tight control of the supply-chain …

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IAS Launches Mobile In-App Solution to Protect Brands in Programmatic Environments

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Integral Ad Science, a measurement and analytics company, has just announced the availability of first-to-market technology that allows programmatic buyers to target mobile in-app inventory that is brand safe, fraud-free, and expected to meet a given viewability goal.

Through key integrations with top programmatic platforms, IAS is increasing transparency to a channel that has become increasingly attractive to advertisers.

Eight in 10 US mobile digital display ads are traded programmatically, an amount that will rise to 85.2% by 2019 [eMarketer]. However, the advantages of programmatic can only be fully realized when traders are armed with the ability to protect brands in digital environments and optimize towards quality inventory – brand safe, fraud-free, and viewable.

Until now, there have not been controls in place to address these key areas when advertising on mobile apps. The ability to target environments that are not only aligned with their brand values, but also provide opportunities to be viewable to real consumers, is critical to fulfill final business goals.

IAS’s mobile in-app pre-bid segments have solved for that for the first time. Their technology allows traders to define the content categories they need to be protected against based on customized risk thresholds, and then only target the apps that meet those brand safety expectations.

“Programmatic offers advertisers powerful opportunities to make the most of their digital dollars and, for many years, buyers have been able to easily optimize those opportunities across web-based campaigns with IAS data,” said David Hahn, CSO of Integral Ad Science. “Now, by offering mobile in-app segments to our customers, we’ve extended that flexibility and control to drive more of their automated buys, and keep up with the momentum in the marketplace towards in-app advertising.”

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Apple tops list of most ‘intimate’ brands among millennials

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Apple has claimed the top spot among millennials in a survey designed to discover the most "intimate" brands, according to marketing firm MBLM.
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Philips Lighting, Acuity Brands and OSRAM leading IoT for lighting market

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Philips Lighting, Acuity Brands, Eaton, and OSRAM are among the leading players in the Internet of Things (IoT) for lighting market, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

The report, which can be found here, assesses 16 vendors in total, including larger vendors, such as Cisco, Intel, Schneider Electric, and Siemens. These players are all placed as challengers, as opposed to contenders or leaders.

Navigant Research argues that the total global market for IoT lighting is set to hit $ 5.5 billion by 2027, up from $ 808.2 million this year.

The research firm defines IoT for lighting as ‘adding value beyond illumination.’ “Connectivity and communication can happen between devices within the lighting system and between lighting devices and non-lighting devices,” it adds. “Within lighting systems, such communication can be accomplished through lighting controls. Networked lighting controls achieve many of the aspects described in this definition of IoT lighting solutions.”

The report assesses a variety of questions, including the drivers pushing ahead the IoT for lighting market, global revenue forecasts, and the strengths and weaknesses of each company.

“The leaders within this report have separated themselves from the competition through a broad solution portfolio, strong partner relationships, and advanced technology development,” said Krystal Maxwell, Navigant research analyst. “Contenders and challengers in this market will need to improve in various ways, from expanding their solution offerings, to increasing sales, to differentiating themselves through unique features and applications.”

In terms of how smart lighting equates to the IoT, a blog post from OSRAM explains the link. “Currently, we are at the infancy stage of what the IoT will enable – today we are seeing just a sliver’s worth of applications from a very big pie of potential applications,” the blog notes. Smart lighting is playing a pivotal role, unlocking the power of the IoT and smart building applications.

“Lighting is ubiquitous throughout all buildings and every luminaire is connected to a source of power,” it adds. “It is the perfect conduit for collecting data on what is happening in the building at any given time.”

You can read the Navigant synopsis here.

iottechnews.com: Latest from the homepage

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IAB Research Identifies Opportunities for Brands to Engage with Consumers Throughout the Day

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today released research that shows how consumers are creating their own “personal prime times”—points of highly concentrated engagement throughout the day, which offer valuable advertising opportunities across a range of content verticals and digital screens.

Entitled “Personal Prime Time,” the report demonstrates that brands should no longer expect a single, universal moment of greatest engagement. While audience size might shift between different times of day, every daypart is ripe for meaningful consumer connections.

The study looks at the consumer journey through the lens of seven diverse content types—Episodic Shows, Music, News, Podcasts, Short Videos, Social Media, and Weather. In each case, the report acknowledges audience density in specific dayparts, but then provides findings to reveal that “traditional reach” metrics miss the consumer perspective on the “need state” that drives them to turn to content at any given time. Diving in further, the research begins to take a range of consumer attributes (e.g., age, parental status) and device usage into account, to allow for better targeting across dayparts and platforms.

For example, while majorities of both Millennials and Boomers check social media regularly, the research identifies key differences between these two generations:

  • 82% of Millennials report that they check social media during various dayparts or all day long, while 66% of Boomers report the same
  • The top “need states” driving Millennials to check social media are to “pass the time” and “be entertained,” versus Boomers are looking to “connect with others”
  • Device choice differs as well, with Millennials preferring mobile devices and Boomers opting to check social media on their computers

“In the age of ‘big data’ it makes no sense for advertisers to place their focus solely on big numbers, when they can take advantage of insights that can help them pinpoint the right customer, the right way, at the right time,” said Anna Bager, Executive Vice President, Industry Initiatives, IAB. “This report only scratches the surface of what contexts, drivers, and modes will lead to optimal brand engagement—and we plan to delve even further to shine a spotlight on opportunities for marketers and publishers.”

“Personal Prime Time” was released at “IAB and dmexco @ Mobile World Congress” and is available for download at https://www.iab.com/personal-prime-time.

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Smartphone security comparison gives Apple top billing, only two Android brands do ok

An analysis of security updates for different smartphone brands unsurprisingly gives Apple top billing, with just one criticism. When it came to Android brands, however, only two managed halfway decent ratings, with many big brands being rated poorly …

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Acuity Brands acquire Lucid Design to gain share in smart home solutions market

Acuity Brands, an Atlanta based electronics manufacturing company announced its acquisition of Lucid Design Group, a provider of building analytics and business intelligence platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Acuity looks forward to unlocking the value of the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities in buildings by combining Lucid’s software platform with Acuity Brand’s networked sensors.

Based in Oakland, CA, Lucid provides a SaaS-based BuildingOS platform that enables users to gain insights into the operations of their buildings. Lucid has built integrations into over 180 different building data systems and services, including systems tracking utility data, building automation systems, work order systems, and property management solutions.

“We are excited by the opportunity to leverage Acuity Brands’ broad IoT and control capabilities to deliver a complete solution to our customers,”Will Coleman, CEO, Lucid Design Group, Inc.

Acuity Brands, a leading provider of lighting and building management solutions hit $ 3.5 billion in sales in 2017. While the acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on the financial bottom line of the company this year, it will fuel growth for Acuity in years to come.

“Lucid’s technology will allow us to extend the power of our digital networked lighting, building management and IoT solutions,” Laurent J. Vernerey, President of the Acuity Technology Group and Executive Vice President of Acuity Brands, Inc.

Over the past few years, Acuity Brands is transforming from a traditional lighting manufacturer into a state-of-the-art software solution provider within the IoT domain. In July 2016, Acuity made a similar acquisition of 100 percent equity stake in San Francisco-based DGLogik Inc., a provider of innovative software solutions for efficient energy usage and facility performance to enhance its portfolio of holistic IoT solutions.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Stayhealthy Leverages Pop Culture to Achieve Healthier Outcomes for Brands and Consumers

As difficult as it may be for some companies in the industry to admit, healthcare can be perceived as being exceedingly boring — especially for those of us needing to take appropriate steps to improve our own health.

Despite the fact that apps and mobile devices are now cornerstones of human entertainment, most apps and digital resources pertinent to healthcare somehow manage to suck all the fun and coolness straight out of our apps and mobile gadgets.

The vast majority of digital tools produced for our benefit simply aren’t entertaining or engaging enough to hold our interest. In the absence of games, celebrities, or cute cats, can you blame us for losing interest? Unfortunately, however, when we lose interest, we also tend to lose our chance at making real and lasting progress.

Thankfully, not every healthcare focused tech innovator on the scene is tone deaf on matters of entertainment, pop culture, and gaming.

Leading the charge for change in how modern consumer technologies are used to promote better health awareness and engagement, stayhealthy Inc. is putting more than twenty years of experience to use with their latest web and mobile based resources.

So if you’re expecting more of the same unremarkable and uninspired platforms and tools, you’re in for a surprise here.

To be sure, stayhealthy’s interactive health apps do precisely what you would hope a quality offering in the space would. If you’re needing to keep tabs on basic vitals, physical activity, and nutrition, stayhealthy lets you measure and track no shortage of stats, numbers, and other realities pertinent to your health in route to improving them. But remaining engaged in the modern world of fleeting attention spans requires more than a quality health tracking and management platform. Quite simply, you need to be better entertained to remain fully committed.

One of the primary ways in which stayhealthy is shaking up the unimaginative mobile healthcare space is through cultivating a social atmosphere that not only engages users but connects them with peers for the purpose of sharing stories, swapping motivational tips, and celebrating progress.

Beyond receiving encouragement from peers, stayhealthy is also facilitating opportunities for users to participate in celebrity backed activity-based challenges to win prizes. For example, major studious have committed access to some of their top-tier artists and many other perks to be used in the stayhealthy sweepstakes and challenges, including signed memorabilia, VIP concert tickets and even band/artist meet and greets.

Without question, the company’s innovative focus on edu-tainment gamification as the basis of encouraging a steadfast commitment to monitoring and improving one’s health is helping stayhealthy to attract and forge key partnerships that stand poised to enrich their resources further in the year ahead.

In effect, stayhealthy is engendering not only healthy outcomes for consumers but healthier marketing outcomes for advertising and branding partners.

Stayhealthy’s burgeoning program is prepped and ready to leverage celebs, opinion leaders, influencers, brands, retailers and corporations to create opportunities that beckon new partners seeking to co-produce and collaborate on influential/viral pop-culturally relevant content and brand awareness campaigns.

Influencer marketing may be among the trendiest buzz words in the advertising world today, but the number of companies leveraging influencers, pop culture, and social media to facilitate improved health and wellness for millions of consumers is frightfully small. This is yet another bright spot for stayhealthy as it continues to set itself apart from other companies in their industry.

“Brands and marketers have recently grasped how Influencer marketing is helping their bottom line and continuing to implement additional campaigns,” according to a recent report by Adweek, which cites research revealing that 67 percent of marketers think influencer marketing campaigns “helped them reach a more targeted audience, thus leading to more impactful results.”

Through their recent coupling with Augumently, Inc., stayhealthy is even set to harness the power of augmented reality to both dazzle users and entice brands into new and expanded partnerships. The arrival of AR in the healthcare space will unleash a torrent of create potential previously unheard of and unthought of, even in the modern mobile age.

“Our goal,” Paul Ring, head of stayhealthy’s marketing, explains, “is to help make your current and future customers healthier as they interact with your brand daily and use more of your products or services. While viewing these videos through their in-app camera, all users will be prompted to record or take pictures of your Brand’s AR experience and campaign, and share on social media with friends & family, further expanding your message in engaging and innovative ways.”

In the age of mass content, impersonal material that fails to resonate by feeling real will fall short of delivering an impactful experience to consumers and a lasting positive impression for brands. To that end, stayhealthy is rewriting all the rules for mobile-driven health and wellness resources. And the prognosis couldn’t possibly be better.

For an early invitation, please visit www.stayhealthy.com

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