BEAUTY CARE

Emerson Group’s Industry Day offers roadmap to capturing lightning in a bottle

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — What if? What if you could break down the process of capturing lightning in a bottle into its base components — the key ingredients that you could combine to be successful over and over again?

Colleen DeCourcy, chief creative officer for Wieden+Kennedy — which AdvertisingAge has described as “the world's most creatively-awarded agency” — joined the Emerson Group in late September to discuss how to keep catching that lightning in a bottle. Wieden+Kennedy is the small agency that DeCourcy said should never have landed the Nike contract that produced the widely successful "Just Do It" campaign. But they did, and its success offered insight into how to make a successful campaign more than a fluke. 

Capturing lightning in a bottle starts with being relevant — something DeCourcy said her agency helped Nike do with its Breaking2 effort, a quest to help an athlete run a marathon in less than two hours. 

"This idea of what does a consumer want comes down to [asking] ‘What do people want?’" DeCourcy said. "People want to see a brand take a risk. They want to see a brand do something that they're not sure they can do. To see human beings try; to make a claim that we're pretty sure we can all do better, it worked for them,“ she said. ”It exploded and redefined [Nike], that they were not an untouchable, weird brand in the echelon of giants. It was just a runner trying to run faster in a very improbable race.”

And that relevance is typically realized by something incredibly obvious, in hindsight.

“This is what we do when we're doing it right. It's usually based in truth,” she said. ”It's profound, it's huge and it's elusive. And when you can capture that lightning, and you can hold it long enough to show to the world, the world will go 'Ahhh!' And that's how you become relevant. … That feeling they feel when it happens is inextricably entwined with the way they feel about your product and the possibilities they have in the universe," DeCourcy said. "Creativity is about connecting things."

And if capturing lightning in a bottle begins with demonstrating relevance DeCourcy said, it ends in delivering on what the consumers want — and not even necessarily by creating the ever-elusive the better mousetrap, but by delivering on how the consumers want to feel when they're engaging with your brand. 

"People want to feel like they're winning again," DeCourcy said. That was best exemplified in the Chrysler commercial below; the campaign taps into the resurgence of Detroit. "When it comes to luxury, it's as much about where's it's from as who it's for," the narrator dictates. "We're from America, but this isn't New York City or the Windy City or Sin City. And we're certainly no-one's Emerald City. This is the Motor City and this is what we do."

But even if companies can be relevant and deliver on how a consumer feels about their brand once, how do they replicate it? 
 
"We are finding that when you go out into the world and actually make experiences for people, and give them things they want to connect to their desires on a fundamental level, that great creativity, that lightning in a bottle, it scales itself," she said.

Once you've captured lightning in a bottle, however, DeCourcy warned against getting too comfortable.

 
“Beware of a strong culture,” she said. “I come from a company that's all about its culture. What I started to notice is that culture became a way to exclude people, temperaments and ideas that were different from ours. That winning had a certain structure to it. Culture is your guide. It's not your output.”

DeCourcy’s talk was part of the Emerson Group’s 10th annual Retail Industry Day, hosted in late September to a packed room of hundreds of merchants eager to discover how to better proposition their products for tomorrow's ever-evolving consumer.

Every day this week, Drug Store News will be featuring content connected to the Emerson Group's 10th Annual Retail Industry Day. The first presentation emphasized the importance behind connecting with people, including employees, colleagues and consumers, in an effort to get at the heart of business with CNBC's Marcus Lemonis.

 

And up next is Musab Balbale, VP and general manager for Walmart e-commerce, who discussed how Walmart and Jet.com endeavor to capture consumer attention in an increasingly digital world.

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CNBC’s Lemonis stresses connection with customers at Emerson Group event

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA  — The Emerson Group in late September hosted its 10th Annual Retail Industry Day to a packed room with hundreds of merchants eager to discover how to better proposition their products for tomorrow's ever-evolving consumer.

They weren't disappointed.

"It's a really dynamic time in our industry right now," said Emerson Group EVP marketing Matt Poli, who reflected on the decade the Emerson Group has been delivering provocative content as part of this event. "The world we live in, brick-and-mortar physical retail, over the last 10 years square footage in our industry has grown 23%. I know that runs counter [to what's been happening recently] but the small format has more than doubled their share of retail square footage and now represents 20% of the retail square footage in the United States. If you look at [these players], these are not retailers where we have widespread distribution."

Consumer shopping behavior has also evolved significantly in the past 10 years, he said. "It creates a lot of complexity. It's dynamic," Poli said. "We have to understand how the consumer is changing. The way we like to define it is 'Connection Capital.’ "The return on 'Connection Capital' is truly understanding how to build loyalty in today's digital environment at a profit."

Leading the all-star lineup of Emerson's 10th Annual Retail Industry Day was Marcus Lemonis, the retail "fixer" who hosts "The Profit” on CNBC, which features Lemonis' attempt each week to turn a failed business around by going back to the basics and making the front-line, customer-facing employees the heroes of each story.

"I don't believe that the key to business is actually our intelligence, at least the learned experience," Lemonis told attendees. "I don't believe that our success in business is based on some empirical data that we learned in business school. I really believe that the connection between people, and understanding how people think and how they're motivated, how to get them to react and how to get them to respond and how to manage with inspiration without intimidation is really the key."

And building a true connection with people means being vulnerable, Lemonis noted. "Business is not about spreadsheets. … It is about your ability to connect with people," Lemonis said. "[The Profit] is really not about business. It uses business as a backdrop, as a vehicle, to get the message across. The show is really about [people]."

That focus on people is the true differentiator for small business, he added. It's how successful entrepreneurs break through the clutter.

"I chose small business because small business for me looks like how I felt [starting out], a little bit of an underdog, limited resources, not the sharpest tack in the shed. That was me as a human," he said. "I've always wanted my legacy to be how do we get people to think differently about business and attach a personal perspective to it. How does that, over time, not level the playing field with 'big business,' but how does the small business owner get an edge?"

Lemonis will be returning to prime time in November when CNBC’s popular hit series “The Profit” returns for a fifth season.

Every day next week, Drug Store News will be featuring content connected to the Emerson Group's 10th Annual Retail Industry Day, starting with an overview of how to capture lightning in a bottle not once, but consistently with Wieden+Kennedy chief creative officer Colleen DeCourcy.

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ShopRite partners with Pantene for its Care Beyond Hair Tour

BY Michael Johnsen

KEASBEY, N.J. — ShopRite on Tuesday partnered with Pantene for its Care Beyond Hair Tour, exclusively at ShopRite, to donate hair and raise funds for Pantene Beautiful Lengths Fund, a program created in partnership with the American Cancer Society to provide free, real-hair wigs to women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

“We are honored to partner with Pantene for the Care Beyond Hair Tour,” stated Cathy Magistrelli, VP health and beauty care at ShopRite. “ShopRite is committed to giving back and supporting key causes, and we understand the great physical and emotional toll cancer takes on women battling the disease. With support from our generous customers and great team of associates, we hope that we can make a difference through this campaign to create real-hair wigs for people fighting cancer.

From Oct. 3 – Nov. 16, the Care Beyond Hair Tour will make stops at close to 40 ShopRite stores throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, offering a way for people to share their strength and donate their hair to the Beautiful Lengths Fund.

Each tour stop will feature a pop-up styling station staffed with an onsite beautician, allowing girls, women and men to donate their hair for the creation of real-hair wigs that will be distributed to women battling cancer, with the goal of 200 haircuts to create 25 wigs. For every hair donation, Pantene will pledge an additional $50 to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Fund, up to $10,000.
 
Campaign ambassador Tiki Barber officially kicked off the Pantene Care Beyond Hair Tour at the ShopRite of Greater Morristown on Oct. 3, sharing his personal experiences in dealing with his mother’s breast cancer battle and encouraging donations to the campaign.
 
“We’re so thankful to ShopRite for its support of the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Fund through our partnership for Care Beyond Hair,” said Robert Stetts, marketing manager with P&G. “This program allows us to help women going through grueling cancer treatments to feel a little bit more like themselves every day and inspire the confidence needed to keep fighting. We are so grateful to our generous donors who continue to make the creation of these wigs possible, and we look forward to successful campaign for a great cause.”
 
 

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