Buying Behavior From The 2018 Holiday Season

Buying Behavior From The 2018 Holiday Season

Isn’t it fascinating to watch our shopping habits change year after year? It’s easier than ever to get what you want, fast. Buying gifts in-store is pretty different than it was ten years ago. You can research stores with the best deal on a pricey item you’re looking to buy your dad. Use your go-to coupon app to see which discount you can apply to it. Purchase it online and pick it up on your way home from work—all in the same day (if not hour)!

The International Council of Shopping Centers (known as ICSC) has collected data from the busy Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period in 2018 to record new trends and growing statistics, categorized widely by age. We’re here to break down the numbers for you.

We’re Shopping Differently:
It’s obvious that nearly everyone that shopped for holiday gifts made a purchase in a physical store this year (87% to be exact). More than half of all shoppers purchased online for some of their gifts. And they love being able to “buy online and pick up in-store” later that day—something that 37% of all shoppers took advantage of. You avoid the cost of shipping and get your goods the same day (and there’s no worrying if it will get lost in the delivery process).

We Still Love Shopping In-Store:
The #1 reason: we can see the item in-person. Why else? We get the item immediately; can use exclusive in-store discounts; we avoid shipping costs; and we can cross a few gifts off our list all in one stop.

We Increased Our Budgets:
Consumers reported that they spent more on holiday gifts this year than last year. Why? Number one, they’re increasing the number of people they’re shopping for. No longer single like you were last year? That means you’re buying presents for your significant other, and maybe their family, too. Number two, the items are just more expensive, especially if you’re upping your gift-giving game and spoiling your family with the newest tech or pricey designer clothes. And number three, when we see an item on sale, naturally we have to get one for ourselves too, right?

How Much We Spent:
The research team at ICSC looked at this in terms of how much Millennials (currently aged 23-38), Gen Xers (aged 39-53), and Baby Boomers (aged 54-74) spent, on average. Gen Xers spent the most out of the three groups, with an average spend of $1,119 to get their holiday shopping done. Next were Millennials (whose bills averaged $1,053), followed by Boomers (with an average of $1,038).

Where We Shopped:
Discount stores like Walmart and Target take the cake, as 71% of all shoppers made a purchase at this type of store. It’s easy to see why: these retailers tend to sell everything under the sun, for a good price. And as we learned earlier, when you have a longer list of people to buy for, you’ll naturally be on the hunt for bargains. Secondly, we like to shop at department stores like Macy’s and Kohl’s, where we can get an Instant Pot for our mother-in-law and Nikes for our brother, all in one stop. Runner-ups included dollar stores (where 24% of people shopped), electronic stores, off-price retailers like TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack, and sporting goods stores. Once in these stores, 73% of shoppers used a mobile device as a resource to compare prices, look for coupons, and check inventory, compared to the 66% of people who used one in 2017.

What We’re Gifting:
ICSC reported that 68% of all shoppers purchased a gift card over the holidays, making it the most popular gift category in 2018. Baby boomers purchased the most expensive gift cards, averaging out to $123 per gift card. Next up: apparel and shoes (which half of all shoppers bought), then toys and games at 46%. Finally, about a third of all shoppers purchased accessories and cosmetics, and foodie gifts like chocolates or pre-packaged food baskets. Do these items add up to what was on your shopping list?

The retail world is a busy, profitable, and ever-changing industry, especially from Thanksgiving to Christmas. When do you plan to wrap up your list this year? 47% of people started shopping before Thanksgiving in 2018. So if your “nice” list is growing this year, it might be wise to start buying now; Black Friday will be here before we know it.

Tips to Successfully Rebrand

Tips to Successfully Rebrand

Companies rebrand to keep up with current trends and modernize their business. Rebranding can be a great way to generate buzz for your company.. if it’s done the right way. A logo is essential for any business because it defines your brand and shows some personality. Your consumers recognize your brand and what you’re all about from your logo. If you’re thinking about rebranding and launching a new logo, there are steps to be taken to avoid customer confusion. We’re all used to seeing McDonald’s golden arches, Nike’s swoosh and Target’s red bullseye. Imagine how odd it would be if these widely known brands launched a new logo with no warning. Here are some pointers for rebranding (the right way).

Know Your Company’s Purpose

First, understanding your company from the core is essential. Become fully aware of your company’s tone and style. How do you want your brand to be displayed to consumers? Image Marketing Consultants’ brand is professional, bold and a little feminine. We’re an all-women agency, after all. Plan how you want your business to retain customers and attract new ones. Will you have a fun and playful tone, or be more serious? If you’re creating a new logo, you want this to imitate the brand’s visual tone and personality.

Who Is Your Audience?

It’s important to know your audience to find out how to appeal to them. Carefully come up with a list of your audience’s attributes. They should align with your company’s tone. If your brand appeals to a younger generation, having a bland and serious logo will lead this market to become disengaged. Try to find out what will engage your audience versus what will detract them from your brand.

Take it Slow

Hype up your customers before the relaunch! Launching your new look all at once will confuse customers. What we recommend is the trickle effect. Slowly introduce your company’s new vision. Drop subtle hints that your company is changing certain aspects. For example, slowly introduce your logo’s new color scheme into some of the content you’re sharing. Speak out about some logos you’re loving lately. Drop hints without overwhelming your audience; they’ve already become familiar with your current look.

Make a list of all the materials that need to be changed to correlate with the new brand image. Everything from your business cards to sign out front will need to be updated. Ensure all team members are on board with the rebranding process and keep the launch date a secret!

The best way to prepare for a relaunch is over social media. About 77% of the US population has a social media account, so it’s no doubt using a social platform generates hype. Posting photos on Facebook and Instagram will allow consumers to comment and think about your company’s image.

Launching

Get the media involved. More people will see how you have changed your image and won’t get confused in the process. Have a local writer do a piece to announce that you’re changing your look. You want to get your new logo as much press as possible for people to see and become familiar with. Maybe even throw in an Instagram story with a poll after the launch to see how consumers like your rebranding.

Contact

If you’re looking to rebrand, contact Image Marketing Consultants. Our graphic design team can work with you to create a new look that’s on par with what your company is all about. We’ll help with the rebranding process from start to finish– we’ll even alert the press! Connect with us today to learn more about our services for you to get the best experience out of your relaunch.


Attainable New Year’s Resolutions

Attainable New Year’s Resolutions

Now that the new year is here, you’re more inclined to see advertisements attributed to changing your diet and working out. While a good amount of people set these as their New Year’s resolutions, they often jump in too quickly and easily fall out within a couple of months. Starting off small can lead you to success in the New Year. This applies to your business as well. Here are a few attainable (and out of the box) New Year’s resolutions to help get you started:

Learn Something New

Instead of being unrealistic with workout resolutions, try exercising your brain power. Becoming trapped in the same tedious routine can make your work seem monotonous after time. Learning one new thing can prevent this repetitive cycle. Constant stimulation is even proven to be beneficial for brain growth! This resolution gives you the excuse to follow your dreams and pick up that one hobby or language you’ve been wanting to learn. Listening to Podcasts or taking an online course can help you start to expand your your knowledge and become an even more valuable team member.

Our Digital Marketing Coordinator, Amanda, has a goal to develop more skills around SEO as it continues to prove its value in the marketing industry. She wants to be able to use this additional knowledge to better assist our clients’ digital presence.

Be More Organized

Can’t find that number you wrote down a while back that you swore to yourself you would remember? It can be easy to fall out of organization, especially when there’s a million other tasks to be completed. Avoiding simple routines can start to become a routine in itself. Create a checklist every day to keep you on track and feel more productive. Carry around a journal to make this easier and write additional notes that you need to remember throughout the day. Follow a routine to keep you on track with your to-do list by making a general guideline for your day. This will allow you to automatically complete the tasks right away instead of procrastinating and waiting. Put that essential phone number you had to quickly jot down in a designated place right away. This will ensure that you will be able to locate it when you need it.

Take More Risks

Taking risks can often lead to a variety of successes. This may seem contradictory because the idea of risk can sometimes be related to the fear of failing. Failure is essential for growth- both personally and professionally. Uncertainty is always there, but overcoming your fear of failure will give you a confidence boost. With great risk comes great opportunities, which can help you to build your company or career into a bigger picture.

Image Marketing Consultants creates goals year-long to achieve greater growth within the company, with clients, and as professionals in the field. If you’re looking for your company to have a higher brand image and online presence, connect with us today!


How To Make A GIF For Instagram With Canva

How To Make A GIF For Instagram With Canva

Videos are quickly becoming one of the best ways to keep your followers interested and engaged in your content on Instagram. We’re here to tell you it’s simple to keep up with the growing trend when you use canva.com. If you’re not familiar with the term, GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. It’s essentially images that move. You might be wondering what’s the difference between a video and a gif? Well animated GIFs and videos are the same concept, but they differ in implementation. GIF started out as a normal image, and the animation was tacked on later. An animated GIF is a series of frames. Also, no sound. A video, on the other hand, can use a large variety of formats with sound. Some video formats show only the pixels that have changed from frame to frame.

GIF videos are fun, interactive, and allow you to say a bit more to your audience online with just one post. You can choose to make an illustration look animated or make your GIF more text based! It’s up to you to decide how customized your post will be. Get creative with it!

“Sports Illustrated, People Magazine, and TIME have seen almost 90 to 100 percent increases in their video output from May 2016 to May 2017. When Instagram first launched video, there was a 15 second time limit. Now, Instagram videos can be as long as 60 seconds, giving publishers more time to make an impact.”

(https://www.newswhip.com/2017/06/photo-vs-video-on-instagram/)

If you have a Canva For Work account, you can choose to download your design as an animated GIF or movie. Keep reading to find out how you can make your first GIF for Instagram just like the pros. 

Step 1: Select the social post format you’d prefer. In this case it’s Instagram!

Step 2: Upload the image you want to use for your background (it will be static in the back of your moving elements). There are some gorgeous free images on pexels.com or unsplash.com.

Step 3: Resize it to the size you’d prefer.

Step 4: A GIF is made up of multiple different layers. Click on the “elements” option – and then you can drag the corners of whatever shape you choose to resize it! You can also change the shapes color.

Step 5: Click on “text” next and play around with the various options. Remember to use the same font if you want your GIF to be consistent.

Step 6: When your graphic is done, click on download and make sure to select Animated GIF/Movie. This will convert your images from flat and static to an image that’s moving.

It’s important to preview your GIF to make sure it’s working to your liking. Download and get ready to convert your file for Instagram!

It’s simple with an app called GifLab. Click on GIF for Instagram once you’ve opened the app and select save and share on Instagram. It’s really that easy. 

4 Ways To Get Your Business Ready For Small Business Saturday

4 Ways To Get Your Business Ready For Small Business Saturday

If you’re a small business with BIG goals, Small Business Saturday is a day you won’t want to miss. It’s a day founded by American Express to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. You might have noticed it’s becoming an essential part of the holiday shopping season for entrepreneurs across the country. Keep reading to find out how you can get your store and even your whole neighborhood ready for a day of shopping small.

Now that over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017, it’s never been easier to find nearby small businesses where you can use your Card, #ShopSmall, and support your community. (americanexpress.com)

  1. Plan to host a shop small event at your retail location to bring everyone together! Come up with a special deal for your customers – like 50 percent off if you show a receipt from another participating shop in the area. Collaborating with other stores will only increase your sales and allow you to make valuable connections, too.
    Create a Facebook event and make sure to mention all that you’re offering customers.
  1. Give out Shop Small swag. Tote bags, posters, balloons, and so much more are available for any small business to enjoy. Grab some shop small merchandise from your local “neighborhood champions.” These are essentially ambassadors in your community ready to spread the word about all things Small Business Saturday. You can find the champions in your area here.
  1. Make sure to promote your business on social media leading up to the day! Let everyone know that they should #ShopSmall during their holiday shopping this year. Create your own marketing materials using the Shop Small Studio for free. It’s an amazing tool where you’ll be able to design custom graphics with Shop Small branding.
  1. Work on freshening up your checkout area. It’s important for customers to feel that they have a clear path to where they need to go. It sounds simple, but can be absolutely essential for an influx of shoppers. Put out some type of greenery for an organic and inviting vibe. It also helps to light a large candle with the warm holiday scent of your choice. You won’t regret making this space comfortable for your new clients!

If you’re shopping on Saturday, you’ll want to use the American Express Shop Small Map to find all the participating businesses near you. Join organizations across the country in supporting your local small business! Where will you be shopping this year? 

Interested in promoting your small business after Small Business Saturday? Contact Image Marketing Consultants to get the results you want this year and beyond.