McDonald’s top marketer becomes UK boss
Around 14 months ago McDonald’s reversed course on scrapping the global CMO role, appointing Alastair Macrow in the revived role. Just over a year later and Macrow has now been promoted to take over as CEO of the UK and Ireland business.
Thankfully this time around there has been no talk of eliminating the top marketing job, with current US marketing boss Morgan Flatley set to take on the global CMO position.
In the US, Flatley is credited with having “strategic vision and acumen for building iconic brands” and playing an integral role in advancing the company’s customer growth strategies and building the brand’s digital, data and insight capabilities. Which gives an inkling to where the golden arches is heading with its marketing.
She will report into Manu Steijaert, who has recently taken on the newly created chief customer officer role and has ambitions to construct a leadership team with “deep brand experience”, as he sees marketing and innovation as being key for growth.
The fast-food giant seems to be moving to make marketing even more central to its strategy with its latest executive reshuffle.
Coty repositioning pays off
US beauty firm Coty is brimming with confidence it can return to being a “beauty powerhouse” after the company beat internal guidance for Q4 thanks to its comprehensive plan to reposition brands to reattract key demographics.
In 2019 the company introduced a strategy to back “fewer, bigger and better” brands, which have enough momentum to take market share.
As such, Coty “stepped up marketing investments” and repositioned Rimmel and Max Factor in the UK, which is now seeing early results.
Rimmel’s marketing shift resulted in the brand achieving its highest market share in 10 consecutive months according to Nielsen stats, enabling it to remain as number one makeup brand in the UK market. Meanwhile Max Factor is in the early stages of its repositioning.
Coty chief executive Sue Nabi said: “The new positionings of our iconic cosmetic brands such as CoverGirl, Rimmel, Max Factor and Sally Hansen assures us that our portfolio of mass makeup is well-positioned and covers the key trends across core markets.”
Key to the brand house’s revival was acknowledging it was losing appeal with vital demographics, millennials and Gen Z, the largest consumers of makeup.
Coty’s CFO Laurent Mercier added: “We have a multipronged multiyear gross margin attack plan in place while we also expect to benefit from positive channel, category and regional mix shifts. This will, in turn, allow us to continue reinvesting behind our brands and simultaneously deliver a strong profit expansion.”
Peloton slashes prices after plunge in sales
Peloton seemed a guaranteed bet to come out stronger from the pandemic. Gyms shuttered and people were forced to stay at home, but the desire and need for exercise to keep one sane remained.
Peloton’s proposition of high-quality bikes, treadmills and home workout plans were in massive demand not long ago and the company reported stock issues on its more popular products. But that initial desire has now dried up with governments relaxing restrictions.
With the mist of uncertainty slowly fading away, Peloton’s expensive price tags became very visible to consumers who can not only visit fitness and health centres but spend money elsewhere.
Consumers can’t get over the massive price hurdle the brand demanded, which it now acknowledges. The company announced a loss of $313.2m (£228m) during the fourth quarter to 30 June, despite revenue growing by 54% to $937m (£682m).
In response to dismal financials, Peloton will slash prices across its portfolio to gain the brand more mass appeal. Its original bike product will be reduced by around 20%, a longer 43-month 0% interest financing plan will be introduced for its Bike+ and Tread products, which equates to approximately $59 (£43) per month.
The company says it acknowledges its product prices “remains a barrier” and wants its most popular products to be at an “attractive everyday price point”.
There was not a lack of effort on the marketing side it seems, with spending 24.5% of total revenue or $229.3m (£167m) on sales and marketing in the quarter.
Marketing leaders must support apprentices
Fresh ideas and innovations are what keeps industries and companies pumping. Without new perspectives and thinking any brand, no matter how large, or how much value it holds, will eventually die.
The School of Marketing is urging marketers to raise awareness of apprenticeships before the end of a government grant on 30 September. Employers can gain £3,000 for taking on apprentices as part of the government’s Kickstarts scheme.
It offers 16- to 14-year-olds on placement for six months the chance to become full apprentices which will net employers £3,000.
School of Marketing founder Ritchie Mehta said there is no better time to take on fresh young talent than now, particularly with the financial incentive available.
To raise awareness the school is asking marketers to record a 30-second video to explain the importance of apprenticeships, why they can help often lost young people find direction and opportunities.
Young people have had a tough run during the pandemic, with 26% of students losing an internship and 28% having their graduate job deferred or rescinded, according to data from graduate career specialist Prospects.
But major brands such as Unilever, Henkel and Britvic continue to see the value fresh young talent can bring to their organisations.
“There is no better time to employ a young person as an apprentice than right now,” said Mehta. “There are loads of super talented young people looking for great opportunities and it just feels like the time is right to act if you want to help the industry and help your organisation.”
Cannaray looks to lead CBD market in the UK
Becoming a leading provider of the nascent cannabidiol or CBD market is the ambition for Cannaray, which positions itself as a health and wellness brand.
Marijuana still holds a lot of stigma in the western world but public opinion seems to be shifting in its favour. The plant has been associated with being able to treat symptoms relating to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, alleviate stress and calm crippling anxiety.
CBD comes in the shape of oils, capsules and gummies and crucially is not a psychoactive, so does not sedate or alter the mind.
In the UK it is only worth £300m but in the US it has exploded to be a $10bn (£7.2bn) industry, with tobacco companies looking to gain a slice.
CBD is also gaining legitimacy in the UK with the Food Standards Agency now regulating it. This led to Tesco stocking Cannaray, which CMO Tim Clarke describing as a “really big step to normalising the category.”
He added: “It’s quite a big move. CBD is moving away from being a health food speciality and ecommerce play, to becoming more mainstream.”
“We’re at the start of the second wave, which is a regulated market and retailers coming in, and also the move towards creating brands.”