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.


How To Get Your Business On Television For The Right Reasons

How To Get Your Business On Television For The Right Reasons

There are many ways to get on TV nowadays (scandals, PR nightmares, crisis’s of one form or another)- if you’re a business owner; it’s better to be on TV for the right things, rather than the wrong. Getting exposure for your business on local or national television programs seems hard at first, but in reality, it is easy when you have chosen the right public relations partner.

The process of getting your business on TV usually involves purchasing advertisements or commercials. While these seem like the natural thing to do when trying to grow your business, you must remember that these types of marketing campaigns are ones that people will do anything to avoid being bothered by.

For viewers, TV commercials interrupt the show that they were watching, and may not be all that relevant for their interests. If viewers aren’t actively engaged with the ad, there is a chance that they will not remember it at all, let alone frequent your business to help recoup some of the money spent on the campaign.

This type of marketing is expensive, especially for what you get. The opportunity to purchase advertisements on television is attractive at first, but often the budget that a small or medium-sized business can afford on a video falls short of what more prominent and established companies such as Coca-Cola and Home Depot spend on higher quality recordings.

Image marketing consultants public relations interview

Instead of trading off quality (lower quality videos) for quantity (showing those videos on television), consider television appearances that are more natural, especially ones that viewers want to tune into. Rather than trying to get airtime between the shows that viewers are watching, why not get on the shows themselves? Appearing on television segments that compliment your business is one way to gain exposure in front of those that are the most interested, without breaking the bank.

These segments often feature local businesses; products made locally, or promote the newest trend on the market. If your business falls into one of these categories, you are already at an advantage. Tapping into these creative alternatives to commercials is one-way build meaningful connections with potential customers. Naturally occurring television segments on news shows capture the attention of those interested for less money than the alternatives.

Now armed with an understanding of the benefits surrounding appearing on television segments rather than commercials, you can work on securing your appearance slot.

One way the easiest ways to get noticed as a viable candidate for one of these coveted spots is to find a local public relations consultant that is well connected with local media stations. Some media companies do not accept unsolicited segment suggestions- requiring that you go through a third party. This third party should be well connected to secure a prime-time segment spot as well as one or more appearances in other areas as well.

The value of using a person or company like this goes beyond the connections shared with the station. Experts with knowledge in public relations and marketing are able to offer suggestions that will frame your business in the best possible light to promote your goals. One of these techniques may include strategic ideas such as coming up with a promotional campaign that will be featured on the show that allows you to demonstrate your product to the audience, and also track how many customers it generated after seeing your segment.

Once you’ve made it on the big screen, it is essential to understand how your strategy helped to grow your business and this method is one way that can do so in an accountable manner. Regardless of what marketing strategy you choose to gain exposure for your business, make sure that you select a partner who has your business in mind at all times. Forming partnerships with marketing and PR firms that are able to deliver growth and exposure for your company will ensure that you have access to the brightest minds who take your business’s strategic growth to heart at all times.

Image Marketing Consultants is a growth-oriented advertising agency specializing in creating public relations strategies that have helped national businesses beat their sales and marketing goals. If you are interested in having your business featured on local or national television, contact us to speak with a member of our team to propel your business into the television spotlight.

Meet The Team: Our New Intern Katherine

This summer, we have the pleasure of working with Katherine, our newest intern! Katherine lives right down the road, calling Meriden, CT her home. She will be starting her junior year at Endicott College, pursuing a degree in marketing and communications with a minor in business.

We asked Katherine a few questions to get to know her better:

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It’s so hard to believe that my last day as an intern at Image has arrived. Since January, I’ve been a part of such an amazing team and have gained so much knowledge and experience in the field I want to pursue. While it’s a sad moment to be leaving such a great company, I’m looking forward to graduating and starting my life! For this blog post, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned in my few months here.

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A Day in the Life of Our Digital Marketing Coordinator, Amanda!

IMC is comprised of different teams that all come with their individual unique strengths; it’s the root of our success! But this is also where our different titles come into play. IMC is composed of our PR team and our graphic design team, all led by our President (and founder), Kate! In today’s blog, we decided to break it down and take a closer look at what life is like for our PR team- specifically, a closer look at our digital marketing coordinator, Amanda! Do you want to know what it feels like to be a digital marketing coordinator for a day? Let’s take a look at a day in the life of Amanda’s daily routine.

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