Marketing pressure under questioning: do loyalty program must consider consumers’ well-being?

Here is a well-established knowledge: loyalty programs compete hard to find the idea that will retain and conduct consumers to conclude their shopping.  For instance, gifts offered through the Flying Blue program of Air France can be obtained only under certain conditions based on an amount spent within a given time framework. Promod or Yves Rocher brands give access to “points” that expire after a certain time delay. Also, as Sephora loyalty programs, numerous brands use the threat of downgrading status providing certain privileges if the customer does not meet the purchase requirements. Yet, as underlined by Virginie Pez, Raphaëlle Butori and Aïda Mimouni Chaabane in their article published in Research and Applications in Marketing, the common denominator in these commercial practices is the introduction of constraints that create pressure on customers’ shoulders.

The golden prison syndrome Continue reading

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Word burden…or image burden?

The one who never doubted of the reliability of his or her quantitative questionnaire, or never thought that his or her qualitative study was with difficulty generalizable, casts the first stone! What if hybrid methods, marrying quantitative and qualitative data collection, could conciliate both approach’s advantages?


How does the online images’ wall work? Continue reading

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Marketing of Ethic or Ethical Marketing?

Nike sport shoes produced by children of 10 years old or by sweatshops (wherein workers are slaves exploited within immoral conditions), isn’t it ringing any bell? For 20 years, the brand is at the heart of controversial critics and has become unintendedly the symbol of the necessary fight against these inhuman practices. These attacks have been effective: seeing their image being damaged and their turnover diminishing, Nike has no other choice than adopting a more ethical marketing.

Yes, but what is “ethical marketing”? Continue reading

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« Death Dealers »: how professionals legitimate their practices in these controversial sectors.

Legal restrictions keep popping-up within controversial sectors considered as harmful to health such as tobacco and alcohol. In line with numerous regulations issued from the 1991 Evin law (i.e. prohibition for smoking in public areas or for any form of advertising related to and favoring, directly or indirectly, tobacco), since January 1st 2017 in France, only neutral cigarettes packaging can be sold. As well, the development of these regulations come with a public opinion’s will, and at a worldwide level, to reinforce the coercive characteristic of well-established policies. In 2017, after the release of the 10th report, the Quebec Ethical Council for alcoholic drinks industry blames once more the Quebec government for its permissiveness regarding the practical application of the law. In Belgium, several health related consulting room urge for an ambitious Alcohol Plan.


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To shock to incite donations, how far can we go?

The end of the year represents a particular time framework for communication campaign since it brings to light social causes next to Christmas advertisement. This year, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Médecins sans Frontières’ (Doctors without Borders) ads with trash images of battlefield and refugees’ camps were sharing our favorite magazines ad pages with Santa Claus and glasses of Champagne. However, is the old strategy of choc, of which “Action contre la faim” opened the way in France in the 90’s, nowadays still worthy to use to initiate donations?


Stimulating emotions to generate reactions? Continue reading

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Back to the future: when brands use the past for future profits.

Consumers and brands…at a crossroad

When Lacoste presents the edging attached to its clothing as an allusion to its tennis heritage, or when Samsung claims to create an emotional connection with its consumers by emphasising on its heritage, these two brands rely on their past to add value to the present, namely their brand heritage. But what is it? Not that easy to distinguish between heritage, authenticity, nostalgia, or retro-marketing. And how do brands construct their heritage? For what use? Here are a few questions raised by Fabien Pecot and Virginie de Barnier in their recent paper published in Research and Applications in Marketing.

Brand Heritage… Continue reading

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Creative crowdsourcing: in search of memorable moments

How do you speed up the development of the first connected toothbrush when you are the biggest name in hygiene? Procter & Gamble Oral-B responded to this challenge by calling upon eYeka, a platform dedicated to creative crowdsourcing with some 300,000 users worldwide. Within three weeks, Oral-B had received 67 ideas from 28 different countries. P&G’s marketing director, Stephen Squire, summarised the benefits of creative crowdsourcing: “We knew time was critical and the company that could launch the first product would have a huge first-mover advantage. The eYeka community gave us the head start needed and helped us anticipate some of the problems that we had to consider in the development of the product; especially the importance of content, gamification, family interaction and socialisation” (eYeka website).

Creative Crowdsourcing

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Goodbye my dear castle…or how to innovate with wine bottle design

Do you know Badoit Rouge or Vittel water bottle with a red cap? What a color for just a mineral water! Isn’t it? Yet, these two products represent a real success of two brand strategies aimed at standing out from the crowd by choosing different visual codes commonly used in this category. It particularly aims at being more visible in the retail place, catching the consumer’s attention and arousing his curiosity, being more memorable, and finally communicating a different image from the competitors. However, how well do you remember Essensis from Danone and its pink packaging inspired from cosmetics? And how about, from the French wine market, the e-motif, Chamarré or even the Rock’n’Rhône? Probably nothing, but it is not a surprise. These products with a supposed innovative packaging have been quickly withdrawn from the market due to a strong rejection or ignorance from consumers.


How do we make consumers accept new visual codes for a well-known product category?

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