Keeping it Simple

Haagen-Dazs FIVEIn May 2009 Haagen Dazs FIVE all natural ice cream with only five ingredients was introduced. My favorites so far are the Ginger and Mint flavors and they deliver a taste experience that fits expectations. There’s nothing more assuring than choosing food that’s the real deal with a familiar and pronouncable ingredients list. In a world where complexities abound and revelations are emerging about food re-engineering maybe more companies can make a difference consumers value by taking the guesswork out of making choices at the shelf.

A Hybrid of a Promotion

Gawker Media, publisher of popular sites like Sci Fi favorite io9.com, feminist Jezebel.com and gossip hotspot Gawker.com is running an especially innovative promotion with Toyota’s Prius Hybrid. Registered commenters (it’s free) can create their own, personalized Hybrid site, combining content from any or all of Gawker Media’s eight websites. What do you think of this unique way to leverage a brand’s imagery into a media sponsorship?

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The End of the Affair?

Two recent stories caught my attention: the New York Times’ “Shift to Saving May Be Downturn’s Lasting Impact” and a report from the Pew Center “Luxury or Necessity? The Public Makes a U-Turn”.

Both highlight a potential long-term change in consumers’ behavior. The NYT article summarizes several reports indicating that Americans’ current increase in savings may outlast the recession and become permanent. The Pew Center’s report focuses on how increasing numbers of American shoppers are viewing items (microwaves, A/C, etc) previously seen as household necessities, but now are more likely to be seen as luxuries.

So what does this mean for our love affair with overconsumption? Which product categories will survive? What will happen to “mass upscale” brands like Coach, Burberry and Starbucks that depend on consumers’ willingness to spend a little extra for more status?