November 3, 2011

November MBF Favorite Picks

The constant 24/7 flow of information makes it very hard to stand out in today’s marketplace. Companies are increasingly challenged to keep their audiences interested. How do you create brand awareness in a world that is constantly evolving as social media and real life experiences influence consumers’ choices?

It is no surprise that more and more companies are starting to think outside the box as they strive to decipher what consumers want and how to speak to them. The question is what “language” will get consumers to respond? For this month's MBF's Favorite Picks, we'd like to highlight a few companies experimenting with their vocabularies.

At the forefront of the retail arena is Uniqlo as their campaigns attract the masses. The label recently uncovered a flagship store on 5th avenue in New York and now they are taking their approach a step further by launching an artistic competition called The Science of Style. Collaborating with Dazed Digital, the project reaches out to the community to draw inspiration from Uniqlo’s technologically advanced fabrics and large customer base by submitting concepts for an installation to be exhibited in London sometime in November. The winning idea will go from paper to sculpture with the assistance of artist, sculptor, and set designer, David White who will be translating the leading submission. Click here to enter your ideas! Good luck!

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Calling all innovators, time to get creative! Another retailer trying to get customers involved is Bed, Bath & Beyond as they assign a team from the company, Quirky, at their Chelsea location to hear shopper’s thoughts, comments, and suggestions for new product ideas. The experts will be stationed in the store’s window compiling the best of the best gadget ideas. If a savvy invention is approved and eventually sold in stores, the innovative customer will be given a cut of the profits. A former inventor of the Pivot Power Surge has already earned over $21,000! Not only is the home products retailer practicing honorable business strategies, but at the forefront of a major shift in the marketplace.

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What better way to kill some time while doing laundry than enjoying some gourmet coffee in a comfy lounge setting? A Munich laundromat has elaborated on this concept by creating the German venture, Wash & Coffee. Not only can customers enjoy on site garment care advice and professional ironing but free wifi, expressos, and scrumptious snacks. "Word of the wash" is the company is set on load Amsterdam!

It seems this isn’t the only type of business trying to capture market share in the food industry. How could we not mention the most recent collaboration between Bloomingdale’s 59th street store and Magnolia Bakery?!?! The bakery sold well over 1,200 cupcakes in its first three days in operation! Not only is the famous sweet shop open before, during, and after hours, but has a separate street-side entrance for those with off hour sugar cravings. While it hasn't been confirmed whether or not more Bloomie's stores will get a taste of this sweet tooth, we think it's the best sugar rush of its kind!

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From auction house to virtual outlet mall, Ebay is always finding ways to rebrand itself. This time, the online site hopes to capture sensible price-conscious fashionistas by offering discounts on more than 200 brands from Furla to Stuart Weitzman to BCBG Max Azria, Elie Tahari, Rebecca Taylor, and the list goes on! Discounts range from 20% to 65% off retail prices. The online shop launched in mid September and while some items are made exclusively for the site, the large array of brands is sure to appeal to everyone’s liking.

photo via Moda Operandi

If any industry has gotten creative over the past few years it’s the publishing industry. From fashion advice to the retail arena, magazines like GQ, Vogue, and Esquire are launching online websites that directly sell the merchandise featured in each issue. The search for the hottest items ceases here with the flip of a page and the click of a mouse. GQ has been in this virtual shopping arena with its e-commerce site, Park & Bond which highlights the magazine’s top picks. Esquire’s September issue invited readers to, a site launching this month selling select items chosen by the magazine staff themselves. Last but definitely not least is Vogue magazine’s website which is partnering with Moda Operandi to let subscribers pre-order looks right off the runway! Until now, the catwalk has never been at such a fast pace!

It’s safe to say it’s really just a game of trial and error as companies continually switch up their marketing strategies to find the best method to increase sales and market share. As these innovative approaches attract customers, we can begin to decipher the language of our audiences. So today we ask what “lingo” do you speak?

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