Earn a complimentary All-Access pass to the #1 recognized shopper-focused event in the world by serving as a guest-blogger. As a guest blogger, you’ll have access to the amazing visionaries, authors, academics PLUS retailers, manufacturers, industry authorities and explorers. With four track sessions, cocktails and even an All-Star baseball party – you’ll learn and have a great time and this premier event.

Responsibilities will include attending specifically assigned sessions and blogging live or same day. You must have industry experience within CPG, retail or consulting in those fields. In exchange for guest blogging, you will receive an all-access pass to the event $3,000+ value. Guest bloggers are responsible for their travel and lodging.

Apply today by sending your name, company, biography and links to your blog directly to Conference Director, Amanda Powers (apowers@iirusa.com). Deadline for submissions is Friday, July 2 at 12pm EST. Early submissions encouraged.

Shopper Insights in Action
July 11 -14, 2010
Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile

Learn more: http://bit.ly/SIA_Blog10
Brochure: http://bit.ly/SIA_Brochure10
Register: http://bit.ly/SIA_Reg10

Registration is still open for Shopper Insights in Action. The event is expected to sell-out, but we have a few spaces available. Don’t wait – register today with code SHOPLINK1 and receive 20% off the standard rate.

Two New Panels Added to the Program:

Kraft, Wendy’s and Turtle Wax Incorporate Customer Participation and Transform What it Means to Listen
*Daren Herbert, Director, Consumer Insights, Turtle Wax
*Jan Trent, Manager, Consumer Insights, Wendy’s
* Chris Hjorth, Scale Marketing, Kraft Foods
Moderated by Bill Alberti, Communispace

Common Ground for Shared Retailer & Manufacturer Growth
Cindy Casper, Sr. Director Insights & Research, Sam's Club
Katie Pollock, Divisional VP, Customer & New Growth, Family Dollar
Moderated by John Dranow, SmartRevenue

We hope to see you in Chicago!
Calling all Retailers...

This is the ONE event you cant afford to miss.
The Private Brand Movement is the largest retailer-led event that showcases strategy, design and execution of store brands across almost every retail channel.

According to Nielsen data from April 2010,

- Store brands now represent 21.8% of total dollar volume, yet only make up 10% of total items in stores.

- Store brand unit share increased 25.3% in 2009

The power has officially shifted to retailers. Consumers are looking to you to deliver consumer-centric brands. Make sure your store brand succeeds post recession.

Get inside the minds who are shaping the future of retail...

Annie Zipfel
Director of Owned Brands

Moe Alkemade
Divisional VP & GMM Private Brands

Nancy Cota
Vice President Innovation, Consumer Brands

Plus, Sam's Club, Kmart, Office Depot, AHold USA, Philips, Meijer, Family Dollar Stores, Victoria Secret Beauty, McDonald's, Starwood Hotel & Resorts, L.L. Bean, Ace Hardware, Golfsmith, Bloom, Sensibility Soaps and more. See speaker list.

PLUS! Take advantage of our special discounted rates for retailers!

This isn't just a conference, it's a catalyst for collaboration. Come together to share, learn, debate and co-create the future of private brands at retail.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Registration Information:
Online: Click Here
Phone: 888.670.8200
Email: register@iirusa.com

Success in online advertising for large brands is usually determined in equal parts by having an idea that creates revenue or brand buzz and the ability to execute it in a way or on a platform that no one has ever done before. Those two things are linked because when you pioneer a new media or platform it translates into millions of dollars in free press which translates into brand buzz which translates into revenue. It’s a trend in advertising that is unique to the digital world because TV, radio and print ads live within the strict parameters of their mediums and don’t have the ability to create new advertising platforms that can connect with consumers in a totally new way. So as a result huge amounts of ad agency and client time are spent in the constant race to find the new shiny platform that will help set their brand apart from all the others in the increasingly crowded digital landscape.

Because modern branding is about having a conversation with the consumer and social media doesn’t require each brand to build their own unique platform to have that conversation much of this effort recently has been focused on that medium. The challenge for marketers is that you can see a trend over the evolution of social media where we need to participate less and less in the social media platforms to generate content. For the majority of society social media started with Facebook and it’s a long form check-ins and the ability to let you determine the list of friends that could see your updates. Twitter then shortened that check-in to just 140 characters and removed approval process so anyone could see your updates. Four Square then removed the need to type anything to create a check in by making it all location based and split the approval process so you can have some friends who see all your check-ins but at the same time anyone can see a check-in for a specific location.

So where do we go from here? What is the next evolution in social media? I am going to bet that we are going to continue to see the trend I outlined before continue and we are going to move from location based check-in to a more product focused approach with object based check-in. Enter StickyBits which launched at South by Southwest Interactive in March. It’s an iPhone and Android based application that lets you associate videos, photos, text or audio to real-world objects through barcodes.

Stickybits made the very smart decision to base their platform on something that that every product in every store already has. North American consumers aren’t as accepting of new technology like what you see in Asia. When you used a QR code you first had the challenge of having to create awareness among your consumer base to what the code is and then how to use it. From there the technology was hindered by never having an internal unified platform and each experience varied wildly after you scanned the code. You would usually receive some form of simple mobile experience that was very light on content instead of the rich content you get with Stickybits.

You download the free StickyBits app and scan a barcode which is either a unique codes obtained from StickyBits or from barcode already on a product. The application processes the code and then you can upload a geo-tagged piece of content that is tied to your social media profile or view what others have already uploaded. The problem with this when it first launched was that there was no ability to differentiate between brand and user created content and content was simply listed in the order in which it was posted. That problem was fixed the week with the release of their updated application that can distinguish between the two types on content and now lists ‘branded bits’ accordingly. PepsiCo has signed up to be the first sponsor to take advantage of this new feature so when you scan can of Pepsi you now get a video about the Pepsi’s Refresh project before seeing all the bits associated with that object. Other Pepsi products like Lay’s potato chips will soon be joining in as well.

So while no one can predict the future, I think the combination of using barcodes as a universally available entry point, rich media content and having packaged goods clients means this technology has the potential to explode far faster than what we have seen with other recent social media darlings like FourSquare.
As outdoor paint sales have dropped during the recession; interestingly, indoor paint sales have had a slight uptick in sales. In a cocooning effort, homeowners are holding on to their wallets by opting to repaint a wall or two instead of the whole home. Valspar decided that this was an opportunity to switch their branding focus from depicting itself as a DIY paint fit for Weekend Warriors to something with a little more "je ne sais quoi." Paint becomes an experience, an emotion and a way to connect more fully with one's self and one's walls.

The New York Times writes, “What you see in almost every paint commercial is couples in blue jeans and flannel shirts holding rollers and going up and down on the wall and whistling while they work, and Valspar didn’t need to go there,” said Steffan Postaer, chief creative officer at Euro RSCG Chicago. “We don’t show people painting walls, or interiors, or any of the kind of mundane aspects of the chore. It’s more about the mind-space of the consumer — we’re talking to their imagination and emotions.”

By connecting with the brand on an experiential level, do you think they have a fighting chance at more grounded, less frills paint options? What in-store designs could they construct to keep this experience consistent within the local hardware store?
7-11's Game Day Beer, Duane Reade's New York Spring Water are just two of the private brand beverages competing against brand names. Private-Label-Foods.com reports that Game Day Beer was named for the natural affinity between beer and sports and will be promoted as a great-tasting premium lager beer at a below-premium price. Game Day is sold in Lite and (higher-alcohol-content) Ice varieties in both 12- and 24-ounce cans. It retails for $6.99 to $8.99 for a 12-pack, and $1.49 and $1.89 per can. In New York, retailer Duane Reade has positioned and designed its product offerings specifically for the New York shopper. With the help of a strategic branding company, Duane Reade has carried through their brand positioning of “New York Living Made Easy” to their private label line of products with iconic New York style.

The next time you're at a convenience store, will you try the retailer's private brand beverage offerings? If you do, you won't be the only one. During the recession, more customers chose private brand and preliminary research shows that they'll continue to purchase private brand goods.

Learn more about private brands at The Private Brand Movement event this September 27-29, 2010 in Chicago. The 2010 event provides the forum your industry is seeking to discuss, debate and explore ways brands are managed and delivered at retail. An unprecedented 30+ corporate retail and national brand leaders take the stage to share back stories, real stories and best practices in brand strategy, design, packaging innovation and new product development.
Whether you call it soccer or football, we're getting closer to the World Cup. Although South Africa is hosting this year, they aren't the only ones touting their country's greatness. The 2010 event promos chose to showcase one country or player per ad. Pride is brimming as we get set for this epic tournament.

So what's your favorite poster? We've wrangled up a few of the greats:

Check out the full list here.


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