This Week in Business and Brands: Banking Billions, Bonding Builders, and More

drilling home project

Retail Highs: Winning with Singles

Cyber Monday, Online Shopping, Shop, E-Shop, ShoppingSales record smashed: Alibaba processed 812 million orders within 24 hours equating to $25.3 billion in sales this past Single’s Day. For perspective, that is over 7 times the record $3.45 billion sold by all retailers in the U.S. during Cyber Monday last year. And the sales frenzy is now bigger than just Alibaba. What drives the heavy consumption? How can brands tap into the sales opportunity? It’s all about understanding Chinese millennials’ behaviors and their “preference for unique purchases as an expression of their individuality; an extension of […] being the center of attention in the family and a means to stand out among their peers.”

Leadership Lessons: Best of Both Worlds

Are you a visionary who embraces high-level thinking or an operator who gets things done? To face today’s challenges, brands need leaders to do both. Yet recent research shows that only 8% of company leaders possess both qualities. Don’t despair. According to this Harvard Business Review article, we can all take steps to move towards a well-rounded leadership profile. Start by building a bold but executable strategy, and ask “What are we great at?” and “What are we able to achieve?” before jumping to implementation. Next, ensure resources can support the change, and link the budget closely to the strategy. Finally, make sure the entire organization is motivated to go the journey. It’s never easy to marry the best of both worlds, but the payoff is bringing visionary ideas to life that outperform competitors and truly deliver on big promises to customers. So, marketers: what path are you on?

Talking Tactics, Tête à Tête: Leading with Principles

There’s wisdom to be learned from a 106-year-old – especially when that business is a beloved brand with net sales of almost $35 billion and 100,000 associates. And Mars CEO Grant Reid has a tip or two on maintaining relevance and cultivating corporate culture:

  • On staying relevant: “The secret to our longevity is that we have remained true to the principles the founding Mars Family members instilled – while embracing constant evolution.”
  • On employee engagement: “One of the hallmarks of Mars as a work place is the concept that we are all Associates – not just employees. Every job is important. Everyone should feel like their opinion counts. That drives engagement and makes us a better company.”
  • On company culture: “Our culture encourages each of us to bring our points of view and our best ideas forward. Some fabulous product and business ideas have come from unexpected places!”

Video Victory: A Crafty Escape

That’s all for this week! Our teams recently challenged each other to an Escape the Room challenge, so we couldn’t resist this look at how Lowe’s leverages a modern phenomenon and DIYers…