Why Amazon's economists are a competitive advantage | Apple's new TV spot touts iPhone data privacy | Garmin unveils high-end MARQ watch collection
March 15, 2019
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Why Amazon's economists are a competitive advantage
Amazon employs more than 150 economists to identify risk, forecast market demand and help design better products. "The work that I do has clear value that you can see right away -- it's not just hypothetical," says Daryl Fairweather, who worked at Amazon from 2014 to 2018 and is now Redfin's chief economist.
CNN (3/13) 
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Companies in the News
Apple's new TV spot touts iPhone data privacy
Apple's new TV spot touts iPhone data privacy
(Apple/YouTube)
Apple has launched a 54-second TV spot that spotlights the importance of privacy using a variety of humorous scenarios, including a man at a urinal and a conversation quickly pausing between two men in a restaurant when a server comes over. The ad finishes with the line, "If privacy matters in your life, it should matter to the phone your life is on," before showing a padlock transform into the brand's logo.
USA Today (3/14),  U.S. News & World Report/Reuters (3/14),  Fast Company online (3/14) 
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Garmin unveils high-end MARQ watch collection
Garmin has unveiled a new line of smart watches designed for adventurers; the watches range in price from $1,500 to $2,500. The MARQ collection is aimed at pilots, explorers, athletes, ship captains and other individuals who need information on things such as wind speed, fuel use and tides.
Engadget (3/14) 
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Consumer Engagement
Lessons from brands on social meme success
Brands have unintentionally or intentionally found themselves at the center of viral social memes, such as IHOP's rebrand to IHOB, which resulted in confused outrage, and Balenciaga's intentional creation of clothing that costs a fortune to inspire memes from its audience. Michelle Greenwald offers tips on how advertisers can win in the risky meme world, including demonstrating an understanding of pop culture, their audience and, most importantly, their sense of humor.
Forbes (3/14) 
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Why brands are going after a smaller, loyal base
Brands occasionally must disavow short-term gains in follower numbers to grow a smaller but more loyal base, Danny Parisi writes. "The benefits of a brand staying true to its core beliefs far outweigh the potential loss of loyalty from consumers who don't align," Cary Smith of North 6th Agency says.
Glossy (tiered subscription model) (3/14) 
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Online Retail Trends
Tmall sees beauty brands bloom with online shops in China
China's Tmall marketplace will launch 1,000 new online shops from homegrown and global beauty brands this year. "We've seen high-end luxury beauty brands enjoy immense success on our platforms, but shoppers are looking to Tmall as the platform to connect with mass brands and local brands," said Jason Chen, general manager of beauty.
Glossy (tiered subscription model) (3/15) 
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Emerging Technology
Smart speakers will encourage WW dieters
WW dieters can now get voiced encouragement and advice from their Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant smart speakers. The company, formerly Weight Watchers, built the feature as part of a broader digital transformation focused on increasing the ease of dieting.
Marketing Land (3/13) 
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Shop.org Spotlight
Retail sales rebound in Jan.
Retail sales recovered in January after the unexpected drop in December, reinforcing a positive start to 2019. January retail sales were up 1.3% seasonally adjusted from December and increased 3.6% unadjusted year-over-year, according to the NRF. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. Read more.
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Shop.org SmartStat: March 15, 2019
About 65% of retailers surveyed said having inventory-planning systems that forecast cross-channel demand is a challenge. Source: NRF's State of Retailing Online study.
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Next Generation Scholarship offers $25,000 to top students in retail
The NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship is the top scholarship for students interested in pursuing a retail career. This opportunity is open to students of all academic backgrounds at an NRF university member school who have demonstrated leadership skills and have previous retail experience and a passion for making an impact. Apply by March 29.
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