Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

The Consumer Lab is the consumer insights and brand strategy group at Alcone Marketing Group, a consumer activation company.

‘Sex/City’ Poised To Become Era’s ‘Feel-Good’ Movie

Look for Americans to embrace and buy merchandise related to pre-Sept.
11 nostalgia across many product lines and services as a way to weather tough
times, trend spotter Faith Popcorn says. Brand guru Robert Passikoff says the
movie will cause a life in fashion sales, as did the TV show.

~A

MediaPost Publications – ‘Sex/City’ Poised To Become Era’s ‘Feel-Good’ Movie – 06/02/2008
Brands looking to sweep consumers off their feet to escape the recession, global warming and the war in Iraq might want to take a closer look at Carrie Bradshaw and friends.

Filed under: advertising, celebrity, Consumer, fashion

Apparel, Entertainment Top Mom’s Spending: Survey

The report, “Kids’ Share of
Wallet,” by The NPD Group, looks at how and where mothers spend theor
discretionary income on their children and gives manufacturers and retailers of
kids’ products an inside look at those factors and how much kids influence what
is spent.

~A

Apparel, Entertainment Top Mom’s Spending: Survey
When it comes to discretionary spending, moms drop the most (23%) on a single category—apparel. But nearly half (48%) of every dollar is used on entertainment items, including toys and board games, leisure activities, books, music movies videos games, electronics and concerts, according to a recent report.

Filed under: clothing, Consumer, families, fashion, Games, Moms, Women

Harper-Collins, SAK Team Up For Year-Long Book Bag Promo

Books and handbags? Sounds like a women-targeted program to me! Harper-Collins and SAK are teaming up to promote summer books and summer bags. Since women spend a significant amount of time on the computer shopping or browsing, this promotion makes sense.

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MediaPost Publications – Harper-Collins, SAK Team Up For Year-Long Book Bag Promo – 05/07/2008
Summer’s coming, and the time is right for … reading on the beach?

Maybe beach reading isn’t something Martha and the Vandellas would have sung about, but the “light summer reading” season is upon us. A leading publisher and a trendy handbag maker have joined forces to create a “novel” campaign designed to promote summer books and summer bags.

Filed under: Consumer, digital, fashion, Internet, Promotions, shopping, websites, Women

A Girl’s Life, With Highlights

Hair treatments like full-color dye plus highlights, once reserved for
women with salaries and mortgages, have increasingly become the norm
for pre-pubescent girls.

~A

A Girl’s Life, With Highlights – New York Times
LEXI JAMES, 11, a sixth grader in Hope Mills, N.C., had been asking for a hair treatment, any hair treatment, ever since her older sister, now 13, first had her hair chemically straightened by her mother three years ago.

“Lexi’s hair wasn’t the right type for that treatment because it was
too curly,” said her mother, Lisa Stasser, a cosmetologist. “It just
drove Lexi crazy. Lexi found her own hair so boring so I gave her a few
highlights and for a while, that was fine,” she said.

Filed under: Consumer, fashion, Gen Y, Moms

Marketers Ready To Address 45% Of Super Bowl Audience

Experts say there are two reasons behind the switch. The first is the writer’s
strike. “There is nothing else out there,” says one. And even in a good year,
the Super Bowl beats the stuffing out of the Oscars for reaching women. But
also, there is a shift among the types of women watching the game. Baby Boomer
women are a growth audience, with women 55-plus up 25% since 2003.

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MediaPost Publications – Marketers Ready To Address 45% Of Super Bowl Audience – 01/22/2008
WHILE A WOMAN-FRIENDLY SUPER BOWL may sound as farfetched as, well, Eli Manning getting a ring, Super Bowl XLII is shaping up to be one of the girliest TV events in some time–and maybe, for some time to come.

At least, big-time marketers think so. Victoria’s Secret, which has been missing on Game Day since 1999, is back this year, using the game to kick off its big Valentine’s Day marketing effort. Procter & Gamble has bought a spot for Tide to Go, a stain remover. And Unilever will use the game to showcase a spot for Sunsilk, a hair-care product aimed at young women.

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Filed under: advertising, clothing, CPG, fashion, sports, TV

Thinking Twice About That $400 Handbag

The phenomenon earned many nicknames — mass affluence, new luxury,
masstige — and posited that Americans with household
incomes of $50,000 and above tend to “trade up” to high-end products in
categories like kitchen appliances or bedding that are emotionally
important to them, while perhaps pinching pennies elsewhere to
compensate.

But trading up was always a fragile phenomenon. It rested, in large
part, on consumer psychology — a feeling of wealth derived from soaring
home values and the steady growth of real income, that is, income
adjusted for inflation.

Today, any growth in real income is all
but canceled out in consumers’ minds by falling home prices and rising
energy costs. Michael J. Kowalski, the chief executive of Tiffany,
calls this “the wealth affect.”

~A

Thinking Twice About That $400 Handbag – New York Times
IT was a retail juggernaut that swept through America’s shopping malls and bedroom closets, rewriting the rules of class and consumption.

But affordable luxury is not looking so affordable — or sustainable — anymore.

During
the 2007 holiday shopping season, the middle-class consumers who spent
the last decade splurging on $300 saucepans and $600 scarves, tightened
their purse strings in the face of slipping home prices and rising
energy costs.

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Filed under: advertising, Consumer, fashion, living target, positioning, trends

Trendspotting: Fashion E-Tailing Gets Personal

Expect companies that continue to try and find fit solutions to do well, even if
bigger companies can’t. “There is definitely a frustration among women that one
size is not the same from brand to brand, and with sizing in general,” says Ciri
Fenzel, of Breathe Retail Consulting, based in Washington, D.C.

~A

MediaPost Publications – Trendspotting: Fashion E-Tailing Gets Personal – 01/21/2008
CUSTOM-MADE CLOTHING USED TO BE reserved for the rich–think pretentious executives craving perfect shirts. Or the unfortunately shaped–picture your local tailor, gently letting out waistbands all around the neighborhood. Or else it is something pursued by slightly zany fashionistas, including all those nonconformist teens arduously gluing tiny crystals to their iPods, cell phones and sneakers.

For the most part, however, every time a mass marketer has tried to reach out to these individualists, it hasn’t exactly caught fire. Burger King may let customers have it their way, but most clothing marketers can’t pull it off.

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Filed under: Consumer, Customization, fashion, online retail

Ecofashion makes the catwalk, helps farms

Designers of so-called sustainable fashion are not only thriving this
winter, many also are providing farmers with new markets for their crops.

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Ecofashion makes the catwalk, helps farms – USATODAY.com
SAN FRANCISCO — In a workshop in the city’s Mission District, Ally Beran’s team of fashion designers is sprawled out over buttons and spools of thread, hoping to stem global warming by stitching new outfits from thrift store finds. A brown lace applique from a scrap bin could make last year’s castoff cashmere pop, Beran muses. Or, she reckons, swatches from a tattered leather jacket could double as chic epaulettes on a high-end used sweater. Designers of so-called sustainable fashion are not only dominating New York catwalks and urban boutique racks this winter, many also are providing farmers with new markets for their crops.

Filed under: Consumer, eco-friendly, environment, fashion, trends

A Beer and a Game of Pool With That Manicure?

A new breed of salons for grooming-conscious men are cropping up in more places than you’d think. Don’t think you’ll find flower shaped emory boards or pastel-colored walls. Instead, these salons feature wood floors, black leather couches and pool tables.

~A

A Beer and a Game of Pool With That Manicure? – WSJ.com
Men looking for a decent haircut and shave have generally had two options: Head to the local barber or brave a female-focused beauty salon. Now, some new shops for men aim to offer salon pampering in a guy-centric environment — complete with ESPN and scotch.

These manly salons also allow men to indulge in treatments once taboo, such as manicures and facials — but all with a distinctly male tenor. Instead of pastel-colored walls, there are wood floors, black leather couches and pool tables. Some also offer private areas for more blush-inducing services, such as hair coloring and body waxing.

Filed under: Beer, Consumer, fashion, Men, trends

Shoetube.tv Gears Up For Valentine’s Day Launch

The site, which targets women 18 to 44, will be ad-supported, allowing sponsors
to buy video ad overlays, ShoeTube Boutique microsites, banners, and contest and
polling efforts. So far, Nine West has signed on to promote its 30th anniversary
as well as the launch of its fall 2008 boot line.

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MediaPost Publications – Shoetube.tv Gears Up For Valentine’s Day Launch – 12/26/2007
BETTING THAT THERE IS NO end in sight for American women’s obsession with shoes, Powderhouse Productions is getting ready to launch ShoeTube.tv, a web channel devoted to nothing but shoes. (okay, there will be a little bit about boots, too.)

Programming for the site–scheduled to launch on Valentine’s Day–includes eight regular segments, says Marcy McCreary, director of new media, marketing and sales for the Somerville, Mass.-based company. “Pimp my Pump,” for example, allows women to show off their own shoe embellishments; “Walk on By” features woman-on-the-street videos shot in major U.S. cities, and “Real or Deal” invites contestants to decide whether a designer shoe is real or a knock-off.

Filed under: Branded Entertainment, clothing, Consumer, digital, fashion, living target, Media, trends, viral, VOD, websites, Women, Young Adults

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