STATE OF AMERICA
Rise Of Self-Gifting In A Me-Centric Society – We’ve all heard that it is better to give than receive. During the holiday shopping period, there’s a new twist to this old adage: the rise of “self-gifting”. Many consumers are clearly big fans of the idea of giving – to themselves. The “self-gifting” trend, which has been gaining in popularity over the years, will reach all-time highs this year. According to the National Retail Federation, the average shopper who is honest enough to admit they plan to spend on themselves over the holidays will drop $237 on “self-gifts.” That’s a 27% jump in five years. Younger consumers are especially game to embrace the idea that the season of giving is the perfect time for self-gifting. “It looks like young adults have the ‘one for you two for me’ mentality about the holiday season this year, which is surprising given that this is also the age group that typically doesn’t have the income or ability to splurge,” said Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director for BIGinsight. Millennials are not more selfish than other generations though. But because they grew up at a time when society placed a stronger emphasis on caring about oneself, self-gifting seems more natural to them, without the negative connotations felt by older generations.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
The First Multi-Screen Holiday Shopping Season – Multi-screen behavior has pervaded many aspects of consumers’ lives, and that’s certainly true when it comes to shopping. Google commissioned Ipsos MediaCT to find out how people plan to get their holiday gift-giving done this year and found that while just over half will research online and buy in store, a growing number plan to visit stores first and then look for bargains on the item online. Most shoppers also plan to switch devices while researching, relying on links, search and shopping carts to pick things back up. 4 in 5 shoppers will use devices simultaneously to help with shopping. 85% will shop for a gift by starting on one device and finishing on another during the shopping process. The most popular combinations being a computer with smartphone (55%) and a computer with tablet (20%).
Target & Neiman Marcus’ Holiday Collaboration Wins With Story Within A Story Campaign – Anyone who watched Sunday’s mid-season finale of “Revenge” got a heavy dose of Target and Neiman Marcus marketing as the retailers promoted their limited-edition holiday collection. Target and Neiman Marcus were the sole sponsors for the telecast, running five long-form commercials that totaled roughly 10 minutes of airtime during the hour long episode. The spots featured the cast of the popular ABC drama in a “story within a story” that was modeled after the show itself. The unique partnership even enlisted “Revenge” writers and set designers to ensure the ads would appeal to the show’s fans.
Block Friday – New York based sustainable goods manufacturer and retailer Holstee took a novel approach to the Thanksgiving sales period last year. On Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), US retailers traditionally slash prices to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping period, but Holstee took the drastic step of shutting down its website temporarily. For Holstee, Black Friday typically accounts for 10-15% of their annual revenue, but they began realizing the hustle around driving consumerism on that day was exactly the opposite of the mission they’d set out to achieve. As a reaction, Holstee shut down their online store for the day, blocking it with a note kindly reminding their customers of the real purpose of the holidays. Visitors saw a black curtain over the homepage and a note: “We are shutting down the shop to refocus on what is important to us, and it turns out that it cannot be bought at an Early Bird Special. We hope you will join us. : )” Thus, the concept of #BlockFriday was born. This year, Holstee, in partnership with a large number of other retailers, is transforming that single act into an entire movement. What are you blocking off Friday to do this holiday season?
ON THE RADAR
Try This Snack: Retailers like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have come out with seasonal items each year, and this month Pringles made its foray into the growing holiday snack market with the debut of the following limited edition Pringles holiday flavors: Pumpkin Pie Spice, White Chocolate Peppermint and Cinnamon & Sugar. Initial consumer reactions are mixed, but if novelty is a strong enough selling point, you’ll be able to try these flavors yourself at your local Walmart.
Holiday Observation: “It’s estimated that 2 billion apps will be downloaded during the week of Dec. 25 – Dec. 31.”
FastCompany | Nov. 12, 2012
Watch This: The people who brought you Rebecca Black’s “Friday” have deemed it necessary to present to the world another work of art in a song titled, “It’s Thanksgiving.” This song is sung by teen Nicole Westbrook, includes singing into a turkey leg as if it were a microphone, and features a montage as well as a chorus of all major holidays leading up to the “give’em thanks ya’ll” holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!