5 things you need to know this week

From an evening menu served up by Starbucks to Pixar’s advice for brands, catch up on all the most important news in marketing this week.

Asos is dialling up personalisation to boost sales growth.

1. Asos is rolling out a loyalty scheme to UK shoppers

Asos is introducing its loyalty scheme to UK shoppers over the next six months as it hopes to build a deeper emotional connection with consumers. Mobile and content will be at the heart of the retailer’s marketing strategy as it promotes the new service.

The ‘Rewards’ scheme, which was trialled last year, will allow customers to build up points on purchases that are converted into vouchers for use on the site. The scheme will also reward customer engagement, according to CEO Nick Beighton. If a customer, for example, posts a photograph of themselves on Instagram in an Asos outfit with the #asseenonme hashtag they will earn points.

“We have to be awesome on mobile,” said Beighton. “We have to make the experience more personal to compete with all the other apps and content so useful that it feels like a best friend recommending you try something new.”


2. What brands can learn from Pixar’s approach to filmmaking

From Toy Story to Monsters Inc, Pixar has no problem making grown men cry. And Matthew Luhn, story supervisor and instructor at Pixar animation studios, believes brands can learn a lot from the Disney-owned studio’s creative process.

“On Toy Story we worked with a psychologist and we worked with neurologists to really study the brain’s emotional response for Inside Out,” he explained.

“We found out that humans are capable of making 10,000 different expressions, 3,000 of those are tied to emotions. If a brand does the same sort of research it can connect more deeply with its creative.”

The inside of the St Martin's Lane store, including virtual screens.

3. Starbucks is opening an experiential store in London that will serve an evening menu

It seems like Starbucks is officially taking on the evening economy with its very first experiential store aimed at luring in theatregoers.

The London store, which is based in the West End and is branded as ‘Starbucks Reserve’, aims to bring together three key factors in the consumer experience: convenience, customisation and discovery.

There will be an evening menu offering freshly made hot food such as truffle mac and cheese with the option to also purchase beer and wine. On the tech side, the store will include virtual screens, wireless charging and hand-held payment units.

The move follows Pret A Manger, which, as revealed by Marketing Week, recently started a trial of its own for evening dining.

4. BuzzFeed opens it up its video platform to UK advertisers

In the US, BuzzFeed’s video division is racking up just under 3bn views a month. And the brand is next entering the UK market, with Costa the first brand to partner up.

In terms of platforms, the videos will primarily be hosted on BuzzFeed, but will also be available to view on YouTube and Facebook.

BuzzFeed UK and Europe’s general manager Kate Burns told Marketing Week that the brand wants to form on-going partnerships with brands.

“We are hoping to ultimately build long-term relationships with advertisers. The most important thing that we want from brands is a willingness to work together. I tend to find that the more freedom we have, the better we do,” she said.


5. McDonald’s hails its improved customer relations as its Q3 results show progress

Sales at McDonald’s stores open for at least a year were up 0.9% (global sales, meanwhile, increased by 4%) for Q3.

The UK, which is one of McDonald’s lead markets, continues to see strong growth, which CEO Steve Easterbrook put down to a “robust planning process and taking actions to meet consumer needs”.

He cited recent marketing initiatives as key to the UK’s sustained growth, as well as understanding the products consumers want to buy.

“Strong quality campaigns, core classics, successful promotions and new menu items have all driven growth in premium products,” he explained.


New Asos CEO will inherit a strong brand

Thomas Hobbs

Despite Asos’ co-founder Nick Robertson stepping down as CEO and being replaced by COO Nick Beighton with immediate effect, Asos is in good brand health according to the latest YouGov BrandIndex figures.


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