This Week in Business and Brands : Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

bowls of salad on table

This week got off to a rough start, and all of us here at Vivaldi are still in mourning after losing one of the greatest musicians of our time. Fortunately, the late David Bowie left behind much more than just a tremendous catalog of music, film, and theater: this week we found inspiring this recap of his sage words, which he applied to his art just as much as his business. Meanwhile, the show must go on, and the rest of the week has shown once again that innovation in business and brands is always on the rise.

Modern (Eco) Love

Tesla, Tesla Model X, Charging, Supercharger

It is said that if you can’t be first, be better, and GM shows us that when possible, be both. After announcing its partnership with Lyft last week, the company beats Tesla to developing the first electric car for the mass market. With this one-two punch of ridesharing and eco-friendly vehicles, the auto giant leaves the competition in the dust of Digital Darwinism, driven by the ever-rising demand for sustainable practices.

The car industry isn’t the only one catering to an environmentally-conscious consumer, as restaurant chains like Taco Bell beg the question: does “fast food” by another name taste as delicious? From cage-free eggs to fair-trade palm oil, “casual dining” establishments are changing their menus to meet the demands of their new customers. Looks like it’s a step in the right direction for McDonald’s, who’s seeing US sales increases for the first time since 2013; as well as for Chipotle, who hopes to leave its food safety scandal behind once and for all.

(Mobile) Space Oddities

Staying on top of these quickly evolving consumer demands remains marketers’ greatest challenge. They need quick ways of testing all the content they’re creating like the latest facial-recognition technology posed to transform measurement of campaign efficacy. But the further difficulty lies in keeping a finger on the pulse of one’s audience, and findings ways to do so without getting too close for comfort. HBR explains how customer-tracking takes advantage of the Internet of Things without being too creepy about it. Or if subtlety isn’t your thing, you can take a page out of Gatorade’s book by installing microchips directly into water bottles.

Given our extensive work in mapping customer behavior and building growth strategies based on a deep understanding of consumers, we were thrilled to see MSI’s piece about how mobile is becoming a ubiquitous touchpoint in the consumer journey. The research they conducted regarding active diary entries validates our own research methodologies.

(C-Suite) Heroes

Mobile devices are sure to be the focus of marketers’ attention for a while, given their growing role in social media aspect of engagement. Forbes shares some good tips on turning social platforms into “customer experience” channels and keeping all ears open.

And yet we’re reminded this week that the best marketing fodder can come from internal company culture. When every employee is a brand ambassador, the positive effects of corporate benefits can spread to consumer audiences as well. And when 95% of marketing leaders agree that the perceived culture of a company affects consumer buying decisions, perhaps it’s time for CMOs to start offering those in-office yoga classes…

CMOs aren’t the only ones facing new responsibilities like the above – it looks like musical-chairs in the C-suite also affects CFOs, who may be best to handle strategy in the long run. While the power of the purse strings might earn final say, the most beneficial tactic will always be to have all chiefs working together in harmony. Good luck!

That’s all for this week! As we look ahead to Super Bowl 50 (not L, mind you) right around the corner, we’ll leave you with this advertisers’ playbook for the most coveted airtime of the year.

The Vivaldi weekly roundup keeps you up with what’s going down in the world of marketing. Sign up to have it delivered to your inbox every week.