5 things you need to know this week

With Aldi announcing its first foray into online groceries and Starbucks launching mobile ordering in the UK, it’s been another eventful week in the world of marketing. Here are five of the most important stories of the last seven days.

1. McDonald’s uses vloggers to tackle brand myths in new campaign

McDonald’s has become the latest major brand to utilise vloggers as it uses YouTube stars to talk up its food quality in a bid to change negative perceptions among health-conscious younger people.

The fast food chain’s ‘Good to Know’ campaign will include two TV ads that highlight McDonald’s use of whole British potatoes for its French Fries as well as reiterating that its Chicken McNuggets contain 100% chicken breast meat.

The campaign will see various vloggers, including a mum, restaurant crew members and YouTubers, go behind the scenes to see where McDonald’s food comes from.

Despite its struggles in the US market, McDonald’s has had 37 consecutive quarters of growth in the UK and plans to open up to 30 new outlets a year this decade.

Don’t be surprised if Zoella is chomping on a Big Mac very soon!

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2. Starbucks promises more tech innovation as it brings mobile ordering to the UK

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there… It’s Monday morning, you need that vital coffee injection to get over the weekend blues yet Starbucks has a queue around the block.

Well, those dark days could soon be over for Londoners with Starbucks launching its ‘Mobile Order & Pay’ feature across 150 London stores. Following on from a trial in the US last year, the new feature allows customers to pre-order their beverage and save on queuing time through the Starbucks app.

“As people start to converse with their social networks and on their phones, it made sense for us to extend into that space,” Ian Cranna, Starbucks VP of marketing and category EMEA told Marketing Week. “It will also allow baristas to get to know their customers and build a relationship.”

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3. M&S confirms ‘Sparks’ loyalty card trial as it ramps up personalisation offering

When reports initially broke of M&S launching a plastic loyalty card, the upmarket retailer hardly entertained them. However this week it finally revealed to Marketing Week that it was in the process of trialling the ‘Sparks’ loyalty card among select customers and staff.

The card is a conventional plastic offering that gives customers points in return for purchases across food and general merchandise.

An M&S spokeswoman said: “We’ve said that being more in-touch with our customers is one of our key priorities this year. We are exploring opportunities for greater personalisation and we are currently trialling concepts for a membership scheme.”

Back in June, M&S filed two trademarks for ‘Sparks’ and ‘Sparks: More For You’ with the Intellectual Property Office under the loyalty card category.

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Analysts believe the move to sell wine online is a ‘wise one’ with Aldi’s selection the winner of various awards

4. How Aldi’s move into ecommerce shows it is becoming a more ‘conventional’ grocer

Earlier this week Aldi revealed that it is launching an ecommerce operation as it sells products online for the first time in the UK market.

Starting with wine in the first quarter of 2016, the German discounter will then move to list non-food items – such as electricals and clothing – from its Specialbuys range later in the year.

“Our launch online is another exciting chapter in our story and will enable us to introduce the Aldi brand and some of our bestselling, best-quality and best-value products to thousands more customers across the UK,” said Matthew Barnes, chief executive of Aldi in the UK and Ireland, of the launch.

Aldi’s UK sales hit a record high for the 12 months to December 2014 of £6.9bn, a rise of more than 30%.

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5. Three way brands can learn from John Lewis’s loyalty success

With its loyalty scheme resulting in 1.5 million extra shopping trips by members, John Lewis has talked up the success of the offering.

John Lewis’s head of customer marketing Chris Bates told Marketing Week that the rewards concept has proven successful for John Lewis due to generating an emotional relationship with its customers.

However he says it won’t work for all brands and that marketers must work out their target customers and what will chime with them.

“Its got to feel right for the brand, for us it feels spot on but I wouldn’t suggest every brand copy what we’ve done because it wouldn’t necessarily be right for them,” he said.

“We were trying to make it more emotional than rational, as we do with a lot of our marketing. For other brands the purchase relationship might be a lot more rational and transactional and that wouldn’t be the way to go and money off is.”

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