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This year has been brutal, so we certainly wouldn’t blame you if you’re counting down to a fresh start in 2021 by now. However, we have to get through the all-important holiday season, which is arguably the single-most significant time of year for brands and their marketing departments. There’s no rest for the weary, right? Nevertheless, you might be wondering if any high-tech solutions might ease the burden of at least some of the day-to-day…

The U.K. flower and plant market is collectively worth about £2.2 billion ($2.9 billion). Across the pond, Americans spend around $6.2 billion per year on flowers — but they’re not buying more bouquets. In fact, taking population figures into account, the average person in the U.K. actually spends more than double on flowers each year, or $43 per person versus $19 in the U.S. Two direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands in this marketplace, Appleyard London and Blossoming…

For consumers, the new normal looks like masks, social distancing, and working from home. For brands, the new normal looks like a string of high-profile bankruptcies, empty storefronts, and an increased reliance on e-commerce. And for researchers, the new normal is even more grim — more and worse pandemics, increasingly tough business conditions due to global warming, and disruptions from political instability. All of a sudden, the world looks like a much scarier place than…

Some people consider coffee a utilitarian drink; they wake up in the morning, get ready, and jumpstart the day with a fresh cup of coffee. Others enjoy discussing bean origins with their local baristas and can discern the subtle nuances between different types of roasts. Volcanica Coffee — a specialty retailer of exotic gourmet coffee from volcanic regions worldwide — wins with both types of coffee drinkers. They understand that connoisseurs and non-connoisseurs have the…

Do you know what Away, Quip, and Glossier have in common? Sure, they’re all hip, D2C companies targeting millennials and Gen Zers, but there’s a surprising fact you may be unfamiliar with — all of them rely heavily on direct mail marketing.  Yes, direct mail is no longer associated with antiquated power washing service flyers or supermarket coupons. Instead, with all the focus on social media, influencers, and other forms of digital marketing, the old…

Did you know the first-ever credit card dates back to 1950 when businessman Frank McNamara paid for a meal in New York with a small cardboard card, later known as a Diners Club Card? The concept didn’t take long to catch on. Three years later, it was accepted internationally. By 1959, Diners Club boasted 1 million users. Now, we’re seeing a similar shift in payment preference. It’s called Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL). Today, the…

You’ve walked past his stores, seen his iconic bobble-head ads, and perhaps even worn his shoes — but do you know his story? In the documentary Maddman: The Steve Madden Story, viewers witness how Steve Madden built his formidable billion-dollar shoe empire, step by step. Here are five things we learned from the Steve Madden brand, beginning with the designer’s early days followed by his meteoric rise to success and even a stint in prison. Passion,…

It’s Black Business Month — and as black-owned businesses continue to be hit hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to show support. Enter Virgil Abloh: DJ, artist, architect, designer, and first person of African descent to lead artistic direction at a French haute couture house. Abloh grew from humble origins as the son of Ghanian immigrants to dominating an industry famous for its lack of diversity. Abloh’s story is more than…

In this week’s episode, we chat with Aaron Contreras, Volcanica’s Director of Coffee, about all things manufacturing, customer retention, and automation. To say that Aaron is a “coffee connoisseur” is an understatement — he’s been an active part of the family business since the age of six. And in this episode, he delves into the family story behind the brand — starting with how they built the company from the ground up in their garage…

The dawn of 2020 was the start of a bright new decade. But it turned out to be a most challenging year. A global pandemic created a massive shift to e-commerce. Consumer spending habits changed. Demand in several consumer verticals fluctuated wildly. Amid all this, the global retail industry stands at the frontline, always ready to embrace new tools and tactics to get ahead in a sometimes confusing marketplace. What are the expectations and forecasts…