The 2021 holiday season was a time of great celebration as families and close friends were finally able to (carefully) get back to spending the festivities together post-COVID. This year, it appears that people are ready to kick that up a notch as they get back to larger parties and other holiday events with bigger groups. As recently reported by ModernRetail.com, 77% of people plan to gather in groups this season, up significantly compared to 65% planning to celebrate only with immediate family in 2020. Additionally, 29% of those surveyed are planning to host a party and 61% answered “holiday parties” when asked what kind of celebrations they missed the most.
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You can’t throw a proverbial rock at marketing and strategy publications these days without hitting an article about customer-centricity. And for good reason. In today's marketplace, the customer is firmly in the driver's seat - switching brands and services at a rate like never before - and companies that put their customers at the center of their business are seeing an increase in customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall lifetime value. Forbes recently reported that 64% of companies with a customer-focused CEO are more profitable than their competitors.
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With anxiety around the COVID virus on a downturn, shoppers were back to hitting the stores in person again earlier this year - until, of course, inflation hit a 40-year high this spring. Retail sales were less than expected in April and fell by 0.3% in May. As summer heats up and consumers grow anxious to return to leisure travel again, experts predict consumers will pull back on big-ticket retail items, like electronics, appliances, and clothing in order to afford rising gas and food costs. As prices increase with the temperatures, consumers will have to make some sacrifices and it looks like the retail industry may bear a lot of the brunt of impending customer spending cuts.
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If there is even a chance that your customers think that your company spends more time and money marketing how socially responsible it is than actually investing in such efforts, this post is for you. There has been a lot of attention in the press lately on businesses that are suspected of greenwashing, or “CSR-washing”, and it would be wise for companies to take a deeper look into their sustainability and ethical practices and investments before they themselves land in the negative spotlight.
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In these increasingly challenging financial times, it will be hard for companies to not offer some sort of incentive or discount option and still maintain customer loyalty. More and more loyal customers are leaving their favorite brands in search of a better deal, leaving businesses scrambling to find ways to keep them.