The TikTok Effect: How Viral Trends Propel Products to Instant Success

In today's fast-paced digital era, social media platforms have become a breeding ground for trends and viral sensations. Among them, TikTok has emerged as a powerful catalyst for product discovery and promotion. With its vast user base and highly engaging content, TikTok has the ability to propel certain products into the spotlight, resulting in rapid sales and widespread popularity. In this article, we explore the power of TikTok in driving sales for various products across different industries, ranging from food and cosmetics to apparel. 



The feta cheese industry faced an unprecedented shortage when a delectable recipe called "Feta Pasta" went viral on TikTok. This mouthwatering recipe involves baking a block of feta cheese with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and salt, before mixing it all together with cooked pasta. The simplicity and deliciousness of the dish caught the attention of TikTok users, resulting in a massive surge in popularity. With hashtags like #FetaPasta amassing an astounding 1.3 billion views and #BakedFetaPasta reaching 224 million views, the recipe became a sensation. As a consequence, supermarkets struggled to keep up with the soaring demand for this tangy cheese, leaving store shelves empty and highlighting the incredible influence TikTok holds over consumer behavior. 



TikTok has become a thriving hub for beauty enthusiasts, making it a goldmine for cosmetic and skincare brands. One prime example of TikTok's impact on the industry is the rise of Drunk Elephant Bronzing Drops, which gained immense traction on the platform through a combination of paid influencer marketing and genuine user recommendations. Users eager to recreate the coveted sun-kissed look popularized by TikTok creators flocked to purchase the product, leading to rapid sell-outs. Another skincare brand that experienced a significant boom in popularity thanks to TikTok is CeraVe. In the summer of 2021, TikTok users discovered and shared their love for CeraVe products, sparking a viral trend. The #CeraVe tag on TikTok has amassed an impressive 6.4 billion views, showcasing the brand's widespread presence on the platform. This surge in popularity not only translated into online buzz but also resulted in tangible sales growth. In 2021 alone, CeraVe generated a staggering $1 billion in sales, underscoring the tremendous impact TikTok can have on boosting a brand's visibility and driving consumer purchases. 



The Uniqlo Round Mini Shoulder Bag took TikTok by storm, becoming a surprise hit despite its simple design. The crescent-shaped bag, initially seen as basic, gained popularity due to its spaciousness, earning it comparisons to Mary Poppins' magical bag. TikTok users filmed themselves packing and unpacking the bag, showcasing its ability to hold an impressive amount of items. The bag quickly became Uniqlo's best-selling bag ever, selling out multiple times and solidifying its status as a runaway fashion accessory of 2023. The bag sold out 7 times in 18 months in the UK. 



Even the feline world couldn't escape the viral power of TikTok. One product that gained immense popularity on the platform was the "Cat Crack Catnip," a delectable treat for cats. With its irresistible appeal, TikTok users flooded the platform with videos showcasing their cats going wild over this feline snack. The #CatCrack tag alone accumulated a staggering 18 million views, indicating the widespread frenzy surrounding this product. The overwhelming demand for Cat Crack Catnip resulted in the company completely running out of inventory, leaving cat owners scrambling to find the sought-after treat. Even on popular e-commerce platforms like Amazon, the catnip remains unavailable, highlighting the immense influence TikTok holds over consumer behavior, extending even to the world of pet products. 



TikTok users are always on the lookout for affordable yet highly effective products, and The Pink Stuff quickly became a sensation on the platform. This cleaning product, aptly named The Pink Stuff, garnered immense attention and generated a massive following. The #ThePinkStuff hashtag alone has amassed a staggering 766 million views, while #pinkstuff has attracted over 585 million views, showcasing the widespread popularity of this cleaning solution. The TikTok craze surrounding The Pink Stuff resulted in a surge in demand that far surpassed the available supply. Reports from Epicurious revealed that the product repeatedly sold out in the United States, leaving consumers eager to get their hands on it frustrated. Moreover, the high demand led to instances of price gouging, with sellers taking advantage of the scarcity and inflating prices. 

TikTok's impact on product sales extends beyond paid influencer marketing, although partnering with influencers remains a valuable strategy for brands looking to leverage the platform. One effective approach is to collaborate with micro-influencers who specialize in content related to the brand's industry. Micro-influencers, with their smaller but highly engaged audiences, are often perceived as more authentic and relatable than larger influencers. By teaming up with micro-influencers who have a genuine passion for the brand's products, companies can tap into their audience's trust and create a ripple effect of product adoption. 


For example, when a popular content creator on TikTok showcases the benefits of Clinique Almost Lipstick, viewers take notice and are more likely to consider trying the product themselves. This type of genuine endorsement sets off a chain reaction, with users eager to share their positive experiences and recommendations, ultimately driving sales for the brand. TikTok's ability to amplify these genuine recommendations contributes to its role as a game-changer in the marketing landscape. 


The rise of TikTok as a viral sensation has had significant implications for product marketing and sales across various industries. From the food industry, where a single recipe can ignite an international craze, to the cosmetics and fashion sectors, where trends are born and products quickly sell out, TikTok has proven to be a powerful platform for influencing consumer behavior. Whether brands choose to employ paid influencer marketing or harness the organic power of genuine recommendations, TikTok's unparalleled ability to generate buzz and drive sales makes it an essential tool for companies seeking rapid and widespread product success. As brands continue to explore and harness the potential of TikTok, we can anticipate witnessing even more products going viral and selling out in record time. 

From Sport Brands to Mainstream Appeal: the Evolution of High Protein Foods

Ready-to-eat high protein foods have witnessed a remarkable surge in popularity, as both active individuals and those focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle seek convenient and protein-rich options. Notably, brands not originally associated with sports have recognized this growing trend and diversified their product portfolios, aiming to capture the attention of active consumers who prioritize protein intake while seeking enjoyable and convenient options. This article explores the purchase drivers associated with ready-to-eat high protein foods and examines how these drivers differ based on respondents' levels of physical activity and their motivations for engaging in sports. 

Brand Awareness and Usership 

Overall, classic brands have a 14 percent higher conversion rate from awareness to usership than sport brands, although awareness is slightly higher for the latter. This suggests that although sport brands are well known, when it comes to product purchase classic brands with their high protein product lines are better able to translate awareness into actual product adoption.


However, when considering individuals who do not participate in any sport, regular brands exhibit a higher conversion rate than sport brands (52%). This disparity can be attributed to a few key factors. Firstly, sport brands often command a higher price point due to their specialized positioning and targeted marketing efforts. Non-sporty consumers may find these prices less appealing or perceive them as a premium they are unwilling to pay. Additionally, sport brands tend to have limited availability, often being primarily found in specialized stores rather than widely accessible in supermarkets. This limited availability may deter non-sporty individuals from purchasing sport brand products, as they prefer the convenience and familiarity of regular brands that can be found in mainstream retail locations. 


Interestingly, among individuals who engage in daily sports activities, sport brands enjoy higher levels of awareness (96%) compared to the sport lines of regular brands (88%), although it remains outstandingly high. This finding suggests that sport brands have effectively cultivated a strong presence and reputation within the active community. However, despite the higher awareness, the sport lines of regular brands are favored by the average sporty individual when it comes to purchase


Purchase Drivers by Frequency of Sport Activity

Categorizing respondents into three clusters based on their activity levels (Never, Frequently, Everyday), we identified distinct purchase drivers for each group.  



Individuals who do not engage in sports prioritize affordability, tastiness, and price-quality ratio when selecting ready-to-eat high protein foods. This can be attributed to their cost-consciousness, seeking affordable options that fit within their budget, while also prioritizing taste and enjoyment of their meals. They value products that provide a balance between reasonable pricing and perceived quality. Additionally, convenience and ease of incorporation into their daily routine play a crucial role, as they prioritize ready-to-eat options that require minimal preparation and seamlessly fit into their existing meals or snacks. 


Those who frequently participate in sports value variety of flavors, calorie intake, sustainability, and the convenience of finding these products in supermarkets rather than specialized stores. Collectively, these preferences reflect the specific needs and priorities of individuals participating in sports frequently, focusing on optimizing their nutrition, maintaining taste satisfaction, and making sustainable choices while prioritizing convenience in their busy lives. 


Individuals engaged in daily sports activities prioritize ready-to-eat high protein foods based on specific factors. They highly prioritize the use of vegan ingredients. Originality of flavors is important to maintain variety and enjoyment in their diet. Availability in specialized stores is preferred as these stores cater to their specific dietary needs. Additionally, they prioritize product size for portion control and convenience during their active lifestyles. These preferences reflect their commitment to optimal nutrition, supporting their physical performance, and aligning their dietary choices with their active routines. 


Purchase Drivers by Reasons to Do Sport 

Cross-referencing the purchase drivers with our proprietary profiling based on respondents' motivations for engaging in sports, we made intriguing observations: 

  • ABILITY: Individuals focused on improving their skills and abilities highly value protein content but exhibit neutrality towards ease of consumption and tastiness. Factors such as availability, calories, and affordability are of less importance to this segment. 
  • COMPETITION AND AWARDS: Ease of consumption is of paramount importance to this segment, while calorie intake holds lesser significance. Protein content and taste are relatively lower on their priority list. 
  • FITNESS & ANTI-STRESS: Nutritional values, including protein content and calorie considerations, greatly influence this segment's purchase decisions. Taste, ease of consumption, and availability also play key roles in their choices. 
  • JUST FOR FUN: This segment exhibits a more balanced view on various purchase drivers, with a stronger emphasis on ease of consumption, followed by nutritional values. 




The growing popularity of ready-to-eat high protein foods could indeed be seen as a new trend that is gradually replacing the previous focus on "light" and "low-calorie" products. This shift can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, many individuals today are placing greater emphasis on overall health and fitness, recognizing the importance of adequate protein intake for muscle recovery, satiety, and overall well-being. Ready-to-eat high protein foods offer a convenient and accessible solution to meet these protein needs. Secondly, the market has seen an influx of products that genuinely provide a high protein content relative to their calorie intake, surpassing the average protein levels found in natural foods. Ultimately, the rise of ready-to-eat high protein foods represents a shift in dietary trends towards a focus on protein-rich options, offering consumers a convenient and appealing way to incorporate adequate protein into their daily routines. 


Understanding the diverse purchase drivers associated with ready-to-eat high protein foods is crucial for brands seeking to effectively target specific consumer segments. By recognizing the varying needs and preferences of consumers based on their levels of physical activity and motivations for sports engagement, brands can tailor their product offerings and marketing strategies accordingly. For non-sporty individuals, affordability and accessibility are vital considerations, while sporty individuals place greater emphasis on nutritional values, convenience, and sustainability. Moreover, aligning purchase drivers with the underlying motivations for engaging in sports can further enhance brand relevance and consumer appeal. As the market for ready-to-eat high protein foods continues to expand, brands that prioritize consumer insights and adapt their offerings to cater to different target groups will position themselves for success in this competitive landscape. 



Sound Investment: The Power of Podcast Advertising and Successful Campaigns

Podcasts have exploded in popularity in recent years, and so has podcast advertising. In fact, podcast advertising generated more than 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenue as of 2022. This is due in part to the highly engaged and loyal audience that podcasts attract, making podcast advertising a highly effective marketing strategy. In this article, we will examine the power of podcast advertising and provide examples of successful campaigns. 


First, let's consider why podcast advertising is so effective. One of the main reasons is the highly targeted audience. Podcast listeners are often highly engaged and invested in the content they listen to, which means that they are more likely to be interested in the products or services being advertised. Additionally, podcast advertising often involves hosts personally endorsing the product, which can create a sense of trust and authenticity for the audience. 


podcast advertising


Casper Mattresses, Harry's Razors, ZipRecruiter, and HelloFresh are just a few examples of companies that have successfully used podcast advertising to attract new customers and increase sales. Let's take a closer look at each of these campaigns to see what made them so successful. 


Casper Mattresses 

Casper, a mattress company, partnered with several popular podcasts, including WTF with Marc Maron and Reply All. The company offered listeners a special discount on their mattresses, which helped to attract new customers. Casper's advertising strategy was to focus on the convenience and quality of their products. By targeting podcast listeners who value a good night's sleep, Casper was able to reach a highly engaged and loyal audience. 

The campaign was highly successful, with Casper reporting a 20% increase in sales during the campaign. The company's success was due in part to their ability to effectively communicate the benefits of their product to the right audience. By partnering with popular podcasts and offering a discount, Casper was able to create a sense of urgency among listeners and encourage them to make a purchase. 


Harry's Razors 

Harry's, a men's grooming company, sponsored several podcasts, including The Tim Ferriss Show and The Joe Rogan Experience. The company's advertising strategy involved offering listeners a free trial of their razors, which helped to attract new customers. Harry's focused on the quality and affordability of their products, emphasizing the company's commitment to providing a better shaving experience. 

The campaign was highly successful, with Harry's reporting a 60% increase in sales during the campaign. By offering a free trial, Harry's was able to lower the barrier to entry for new customers and encourage them to try their products. The company's commitment to quality and affordability also resonated with podcast listeners who value both. 



ZipRecruiter, a job posting website, sponsored several podcasts, including The Daily and Freakonomics Radio. The company's advertising strategy involved promoting their services to both employers and job seekers, which helped to attract new customers. ZipRecruiter emphasized the convenience and ease of their platform, highlighting the company's ability to connect employers with qualified candidates quickly. 

The campaign was highly successful, with ZipRecruiter reporting a 25% increase in job postings during the campaign. By targeting both employers and job seekers, ZipRecruiter was able to reach a wide audience and position themselves as the go-to job posting platform. The company's advertising strategy effectively communicated the value of their platform and encouraged listeners to give it a try. 



HelloFresh, a meal delivery service, sponsored several podcasts, including My Favorite Murder and Stuff You Should Know. The company's advertising strategy involved offering listeners a special discount on their meals, which helped to attract new customers. HelloFresh focused on the convenience and quality of their meals, emphasizing the company's commitment to providing healthy and delicious meals. 

The campaign was highly successful, with HelloFresh reporting a 50% increase in new customers during the campaign. By targeting busy individuals who value healthy and delicious meals, HelloFresh was able to reach a highly engaged and loyal audience. The company's advertising strategy effectively communicated the benefits of their service and encouraged listeners to give it a try. 



Squarespace's partnership with the popular podcast Serial is also a successful example. Squarespace, a website building and hosting company, sponsored Serial's second season, which followed the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a US Army soldier who was captured by the Taliban and held for five years before being released. Squarespace's sponsorship allowed them to advertise their services to Serial's highly engaged and loyal audience. The campaign was highly successful, with Squarespace reporting a 30% increase in brand awareness and a 7% increase in new customers during the campaign. 


Blue Apron 

Another successful podcast advertising campaign was by Blue Apron, a meal delivery service. Blue Apron sponsored several podcasts, including How Did This Get Made? and The Nerdist. The company's advertising strategy involved offering listeners a free trial of their service, which helped to attract new customers. The campaign was highly successful, with Blue Apron reporting a 25% increase in new customers during the campaign. 


In spite of these successful examples, it’s crucial to remember that each brand needs to evaluate the potential for their own business and whether podcast advertising is the right fit for their specific goals and target audience. Making this decision requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure an effective and successful campaign. By evaluating the following factors, brands can make informed decisions about podcast advertising and maximize their chances of reaching their desired audience effectively: 


Target Audience: 

  • Evaluate whether the podcast's target audience aligns with the brand's target market. 
  • Analyze listener demographics, including age, gender, location, and interests. 


Brand Fit: 

  • Assess the compatibility between the brand's values, message, and the podcast's content. 
  • Ensure that the podcast's tone, topics, and style resonate with the brand's image. 


Podcast Reach and Engagement: 

  • Examine the podcast's reach and overall listenership through audience size and growth trends. 
  • Review listener engagement metrics, such as average episode downloads, social media interactions, and listener feedback. 


Advertiser Options: 

  • Assess the flexibility and creativity allowed for ad integration within the podcast. 


Competition and Exclusivity: 

  • Evaluate whether competing brands are already advertising on the podcast. 
  • Consider the potential benefits of exclusivity or limited advertising slots. 


Measurement and Tracking: 


Long-Term Partnership Potential: 

  • Evaluate whether the podcast offers opportunities for long-term partnerships, including season sponsorships, guest appearances, or co-produced content. 
  • Consider the potential benefits of building an ongoing relationship with the podcast and its host.


Testing and Iteration: 

  • Consider starting with a smaller test campaign to gauge the effectiveness before committing to a larger advertising investment. 
  • Monitor and analyze the results to iterate and optimize future podcast ad campaigns. 


In conclusion, podcast advertising can be a highly effective marketing strategy due to the engaged and loyal audience that podcasts attract. With the continued growth of podcasting, we can expect to see even more successful podcast advertising campaigns in the future.


Walking down memory lane with nostalgia marketing

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion that can transport us back to a time when life seemed simpler and happier. It is a longing for the past that can evoke fond memories of childhood, family, and friends. 


Nostalgia marketing is a marketing technique that aims to evoke positive memories and emotions from the past in order to build an emotional connection between the brand and the consumer. The goal is to tap into consumers' sentimental feelings about the past, often through the use of imagery, sounds, or other sensory cues, and use those feelings to create a sense of brand loyalty and identity. 


In recent years, nostalgia marketing has become an increasingly popular trend among brands, with many companies leveraging nostalgia to create engaging and memorable advertising campaigns.  


The main benefit of nostalgia marketing is that it can be an effective way to connect with consumers on an emotional level. According to a study by the Journal of Business Research, nostalgia can "facilitate the formation of a positive attitude toward a brand, which can translate into higher brand loyalty and purchase intentions" (Cheung et al., 2019). 


So what are some examples of successful nostalgia marketing campaigns? Let's take a look at a few: 

  1. Nintendo's re-release of the NES Classic Edition - In 2016, Nintendo re-released its classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console as a miniature replica called the NES Classic Edition. The console quickly sold out in stores, demonstrating the enduring appeal of classic video games. 
  2. Lego's "Rebuild the World" Campaign - Lego's "Rebuild the World" campaign, launched in 2019, tapped into the nostalgia associated with the iconic toy brand while also promoting creativity and innovation. The campaign included a series of ads featuring classic Lego characters and settings, such as the Lego City and Lego Star Wars. The campaign was a success, with Lego reporting a 7% increase in sales in the first half of 2020. 
  3. Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign - In 2014, Coca-Cola launched a campaign that replaced its iconic logo with popular names and phrases. The campaign was a huge success, generating over 1.2 million tweets and 150 million personalized Coke bottles sold in the U.S. alone. 
  4. Reebok's "Classic" campaign - Reebok has been around since the 1980s, and in 2013 the company launched a campaign to promote its Classic line of sneakers. The campaign included a series of ads featuring classic 80s and 90s fashion, music, and pop culture references, and the sneakers themselves were updated with new colors and materials. The campaign was a success, with Reebok reporting a 5% increase in sales in the first quarter of 2013. 
  5. Hershey's “Hello Happy. Hello Hershey’s” campaign - In 2015, Hershey's launched a nostalgia marketing campaign called "Hello Happy. Hello Hershey's." The campaign featured a series of TV ads that used classic Hershey's jingles and imagery from the 1970s and 1980s. The ads also encouraged viewers to share their own memories of Hershey's chocolate using the hashtag #HelloHappy. The campaign was a hit, with Hershey's experiencing a 7.4% increase in sales and a 13.8% increase in social media engagement. 
  6. Polaroid's "Polaroid Originals" Campaign - In 2017, Polaroid rebranded as "Polaroid Originals" and launched a marketing campaign that played up the company's retro appeal. The campaign included a series of ads featuring Polaroid cameras and film from the 1970s and 1980s, and the company even released a new instant camera that resembled its classic models. The campaign was a success, with Polaroid reporting a 300% increase in sales in the first quarter of 2018. 
  7. Volkswagen's "Beetle" Campaign - Volkswagen's iconic Beetle first hit the road in the 1930s, and in the 1990s the company launched a campaign to revive the classic car's popularity. The campaign included a series of ads featuring the Beetle and its place in pop culture history, and the car itself was updated with new colors and features. The campaign was a success, with the Beetle becoming one of the most popular cars of the 1990s. 


Another example is the resurgence of vinyl records. In recent years, vinyl records have experienced a resurgence in popularity, with sales reaching a 30-year high in 2020.  Despite this growth, vinyl still accounts for only a marginal percentage of overall music sales, with less than 6% of the market share. However, in 2022, Taylor Swift's album "Midnights" made history by becoming the first major album release to have its vinyl sales surpass its CD sales since 1987. By January 2023, "Midnights" had sold over a million vinyl LPs in the US, making it the only 21st-century album to achieve this feat. Ultimately, this trend has been driven in part by nostalgia for the analog sound of vinyl, as well as a desire for a tangible, physical music experience. 


These examples demonstrate the power of nostalgia marketing in creating a strong emotional connection between brands and consumers. By tapping into consumers' fond memories of the past, brands can create a sense of authenticity and trust that can be hard to achieve through other marketing techniques. 


Of course, it's important to note that nostalgia marketing isn't a one-size-fits-all solution for every brand. In order for nostalgia marketing to be effective, it needs to be done in a way that resonates with the target audience and fits with the brand's overall messaging and identity. Hence it shold be used strategically and with care. Over-reliance on nostalgia can make a brand seem outdated or irrelevant, and it's important to strike a balance between the past and the present. Overall, nostalgia marketing can be a valuable tool for brands looking to connect with consumers on an emotional level and stand out in a crowded marketplace. By evoking positive memories and emotions from the past, brands can create a lasting impact and build a sense of loyalty and identity with their audience. 

Cracking the Code: Key Drivers of Easter Egg Purchases in Italy

Easter is a time of celebration and indulgence, and for many Italians, that means enjoying one of the country's favorite spring treats: Easter eggs. But what drives Italian consumers when it comes to choosing which eggs to buy? We at Nextplora recently conducted a study to answer that very question. The results are in, and they offer valuable insights for brands looking to capture the hearts of Italian consumers. In this article, we'll break down the findings and explore what really matters to Italian Easter egg buyers. 


Our aim was to identify the most and least important drivers of purchase for households with and without children, with a particular focus on consumers' attitude towards food and nutrition 


In the first graph, we outlined the drivers of choice for Easter eggs. The taste of chocolate was the most significant factor, with 56% of respondents indicating it as their primary driver. The intensity of chocolate came second (38%), followed by the surprise gift (31%). It's noteworthy that only 9% of respondents indicated the nostalgic memory of their childhood as a driver of choice. Similarly, captivating ads did not appear to have a significant impact on consumer behavior overall. Rather, Italian consumers prioritize taste and "Italianness" over other elements. “Affordability” scored 22% of responses, but so did "worthy paying more”, which suggests that consumers are more conscious of their spending but are willing to invest more if they perceive the product as valuable. Rising prices and inflation may be contributing factors to this trend, but there are likely other factors at play as well.  



In the second graph, we delved into the drivers of choice using a segmentation analysis about consumer's attitude towards food and nutrition. We found that consumers who were "Uninterested" in food had the highest concentration index for partnerships with movies, TV shows, influencers, and sports teams. Their responses indicated a lower priority for "Intensity of chocolate" (83) and "Raw materials selection" (70).  


In contrast, the "Passionate about cooking" segment prioritized "Italianness" (117), "Competence in the chocolate industry" (111), and "Raw materials selection" (117). Consumers who are passionate about cooking are likely to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the quality and origin of ingredients, as well as the processes involved in creating a high-quality chocolate product. This group may also be more interested in the cultural significance of food and the history and traditions of Italian cuisine. 


The "Sweet Tooth" segment emphasized "Taste of chocolate" (117) and "Affordability" (124). This group of consumers is less concerned with the health benefits or premium quality of the product, and instead seeks a delicious, affordable chocolate experience, while the "Figure Watchers" segment cared the least about "Feeling satisfied and fulfilled" (84) and placed greater importance on the "Italianness" of the brand (118).  


Finally, the "Loyal to the brand" segment prioritized "Italianness" (116) and "Worthy paying more" (116) and showed a high index for "Captivating advertising" (120). Consumers in this segment may be loyal to the brand because it holds a special place in their hearts, perhaps due to positive memories or experiences associated with the brand. As a result, captivating advertising may serve to reinforce the emotional connection that consumers in this segment already have with the brand. Additionally, it's possible that consumers in this segment are more likely to be influenced by advertising in general, as they may be less price-sensitive and more brand-focused than other segments. 


Lastly, the "Sustainability-oriented" segment emphasized "Raw materials selection" (135) and prioritized sustainable brands (122) and industry competence (112). 


In the third and final graph, we explored how the drivers of choice varied based on the age of children in the household. We found that taste and chocolate quality became increasingly important as children grew older, while the surprise gift and partnerships became less relevant. As children enter their late teens, their taste preferences begin to converge with those of their parents, leading to greater shared enjoyment of Easter eggs within the family.  


Italian consumers have distinct and diverse preferences when it comes to buying and consuming Easter eggs, with taste and "Italianness" emerging as the most significant drivers of choice across different segments. The research highlights the importance of understanding the unique needs and priorities of different consumer segments, including those with children and those without, as well as those with a passion for cooking or a focus on sustainability. Brands that can cater to these preferences and effectively communicate their value proposition are likely to succeed in the competitive Easter egg market. However, it's important to note that consumer behavior and preferences can be fluid and influenced by a variety of factors, including economic conditions, cultural shifts, and emerging trends. As such, ongoing research and adaptation are necessary to stay ahead of the curve and meet changing consumer needs. 

Harnessing Color Psychology for Brand Success

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about a color? In the world of branding, color can make or break a company's success. From the energizing red and yellow of McDonald's to the tranquil green of Whole Foods, the psychology of color plays a significant role in how consumers perceive a brand. In this article, we will discuss the impact that color has on consumer perception and examine how brands can use color to influence their target audience. So sit back, relax, and let's explore the fascinating world of color psychology in branding. 

As consumers, we are often drawn to certain brands based on their visual appearance. The colors used in a brand's logo, website, packaging, and marketing materials can all have a significant impact on our perception of the brand. This is why color psychology plays such an important role in branding. By understanding the impact that color has on consumer perception, brands can use color to influence their target audience and create a strong brand identity. 


The Impact of Color on Consumer Perception 

The psychology of color is a complex and fascinating subject, and the way that color affects our emotions and behavior is still not fully understood. However, there are some general associations that people tend to make with certain colors, which can influence their perception of a brand. 


For example, blue is often associated with trustworthiness, competence, and professionalism. This is why many banks and financial institutions use blue in their branding. Red, on the other hand, is associated with energy, excitement, and passion, which is why it is often used by brands in the food and beverage industry. 


Other colors have different connotations, such as green being associated with nature and health, yellow being associated with happiness and optimism, and purple being associated with luxury and sophistication. By using these colors strategically in their branding, brands can tap into these associations and influence how consumers perceive their products or services. 


Successful Examples of Color Psychology in Branding 

One of the most successful examples of color psychology in branding is the Coca-Cola brand. The iconic red and white color scheme of the Coca-Cola logo has become synonymous with the brand and is instantly recognizable all over the world. The use of red in the logo is no accident – red is a color that is associated with energy, excitement, and passion, which are all qualities that Coca-Cola wants to be associated with. 


Another successful example of color psychology in branding is the green and white color scheme of the Starbucks logo. Green is a color that is associated with nature, health, and freshness, which are all qualities that are important to the Starbucks brand. The use of the color green in the logo also helps to reinforce the company's commitment to sustainability and environmentalism. 

color psychology


Unsuccessful Examples of Color Psychology in Branding 

One example of a brand that failed to rebrand due to poor use of color psychology is the retailer JCPenney. JCPenney has a long history of rebranding behind it. First founded under the name The Golden Rule by James Cash Penney in 1902, it has changed logos 27 times since then until today, and the name itself has changed from The Golden Rule to JCPenney&Co to Penney's to JCPenney and finally back to Penney's- most recently in 2019. 


In 2012, JCPenney underwent a rebranding effort that included changing its logo and store design. However, the company's use of a bright red color in its advertising and in-store signage was criticized as being too aggressive and not aligned with the brand's traditional values of quality and affordability. The color was also seen as being too similar to the color used by competitor Target 


More changes were also done to the original logo, including new graphical elements and the use of “jcp” rather than the full brand name. Ultimately, studies revealed that although 84% of consumers were familiar with JCPenney's original logo and 76% recognized the minor update in 2009, only 56% of people could associate JCPenney with the logo that was introduced in 2011.  

jcpenney logo evolution

Alas, JCPenney had to backtrack and return to its previous branding elements, only minimally editing the font of the logo. 


Choosing the right color 

When it comes to choosing the right colors for a brand, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration: 

  1. Target Audience: It is important to consider the target audience when choosing colors for a brand. Different age groups, genders, and cultures may have different color preferences and associations. For example, pink may be associated with femininity in Western cultures, but it may be associated with luck and prosperity in some Asian cultures. 
  2. Brand Personality: The colors chosen for a brand should align with the brand's personality and values. For example, a luxury brand may opt for rich and elegant colors like gold or deep purple, while a playful and creative brand may opt for bright and bold colors like pink or orange. 
  3. Industry Standards: It is important to consider the color schemes that are commonly used in a particular industry. For example, green is often used in the health and wellness industry, while blue is commonly used in the financial industry. 
  4. Contrast and Legibility: The colors chosen for a brand should be easy to read and should provide enough contrast for legibility. This is especially important when it comes to choosing colors for logos and other visual elements. 
  5. Emotion and Association: The colors chosen for a brand should evoke the desired emotion and association in the target audience. For example, blue may evoke a sense of calm and trust, while red may evoke a sense of excitement and urgency. 


One thing you might have noticed before is how many popular social media platforms chose blue as the color of their user interface. This is a simple yet effective example of how blue as a color is an idea option for these platforms as it checks all the boxes. 


Firstly, blue is a calming and soothing color, which can make users feel relaxed and comfortable while using the platform. This is important for social media networks, which aim to keep users engaged and on the platform for as long as possible. 


Secondly, blue is a universally liked color, which means that it is unlikely to cause offense or negative reactions among users. This is important for social media networks, which aim to appeal to a wide range of users with different backgrounds and preferences. 


Thirdly, blue is often associated with trust, professionalism, and reliability. This can be beneficial for social media networks, which need to establish a sense of trust and credibility with their users in order to encourage them to share personal information and engage with other users on the platform. 


Finally, blue is a common color used in technology and digital products. This means that users may already associate the color blue with digital interfaces and find it familiar and easy to use. 


In conclusion, color psychology plays a significant role in branding and has the power to influence how consumers perceive a brand. By strategically using colors that align with the brand's personality, target audience, and industry standards, brands can create a strong brand identity and differentiate themselves from competitors. However, it is important to choose colors carefully, taking into consideration factors such as contrast and legibility, and evoking the desired emotion and association in the target audience. As seen in the example of JCPenney, poor use of color psychology can lead to a failed rebranding effort. Ultimately, a brand's success in harnessing color psychology lies in the ability to create a visual language that speaks to its target audience and resonates with them on an emotional level. 

From thrift stores to your fingertips: The future of second-hand clothing

Are you ready to discover the game-changing trend that's shaking up the fashion industry? The rise of online platforms for buying and selling second-hand clothing has taken the world by storm, and we're here to uncover the reasons behind its skyrocketing success. 


Gone are the days of digging through dusty racks at flea markets and brick-and-mortar stores. The virtual world now offers endless opportunities for fashion enthusiasts to build a unique, sustainable wardrobe without breaking the bank. From the early days of Ebay to the emergence of specialized platforms like Depop and Vinted, the second-hand clothing market has never been hotter. 


But the trend doesn't stop there. Big names in fast fashion like Zalando and Asos have also jumped on the bandwagon, offering their own ad hoc sections for pre-loved products. 


So, what motivates consumers to choose between Marketplace platforms and Brand Owner platforms? Our ad hoc research, representative of the Italian population by gender, age, and geographic area, delves into consumer attitudes and market positioning. Get ready to uncover the fascinating insights behind this fashion phenomenon. 


The consumer 

Our data shows that a staggering 25% of respondents buy used clothes more than once a month, with Millennials making up 33% of this group. The trend shows no sign of slowing down either, with 45% of respondents reporting an increase in second-hand purchases compared to last year. 

But what exactly are people buying? Our data shows that bags are the most popular item, making up 45% of purchases, followed closely by jackets and coats (38%) and sweatshirts (35%). Interestingly, young adults (18-34 years) prefer to buy dresses (42%) while seniors (55-65 years) opt for bags (53%). 



Motivations for buying second-hand clothes on online platforms vary by age group. For 18-34 year olds, expressing their personal style and making an environmentally responsible choice are key drivers. They're passionate about self-expression and sustainability, making them the SELF-EXPRESSION ORIENTED segment. In contrast, the 35-44 year old group enjoys the process of putting together unique outfits and supporting good causes, earning them the FUN AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE label. Finally, the 45-65 year old group are all about bargains and savings, with access to higher quality or luxury items at a lower price being the top priority. They're the BARGAIN HUNTERS of the bunch. 



Awareness, consideration, usership 

In our examination of brand awareness, consideration, and usership, we delved into the top players in the Italian market for the Marketplace platforms category (which consists of stores where a third party sells, for example Wallapop, Vinted and and Brand Owner platforms (where the brand itself initiates the reselling of its own secondhand products). Despite being fewer in number, Brand Owner platforms boast an impressive 43% brand awareness, even though they cannot compete with the dominant and established players in the Marketplace category. This holds true for consideration and usership as well, as Marketplace platforms command a significant market share and high values. However, it's important to note that the tide may turn in the coming years as more brands are motivated by consumer demand and the climate change emergency to launch similar initiatives and gain recognition and consideration. Unlike many Marketplace platforms, Brand Owner platforms take the lead in ensuring product quality, which could give them a competitive edge in the long run. 


Brand Image Attributes

Upon analyzing the image attributes of Marketplace platforms versus Brand Owner platforms, we can observe that the former are widely viewed as more Affordable, with a 5% edge, and Youthful, with a 2% edge. On the other hand, Brand Owner platforms are perceived as being somewhat more Secure than Marketplace platforms. Both types of platforms are perceived as equally Reliable, Innovative, and Ethical. Interestingly, Marketplace platforms are perceived to be of lower quality than Brand Owner platforms on average. These findings align with people's overall perception of these platforms. Safety is becoming an increasingly serious concern for Marketplace platforms, which have historically provided less protection for consumers. The perception of lower quality on Marketplace platforms can be attributed to the fact that the seller is a third party, and there is no guarantee that the product that arrives in the mail matches the ad and does not have more damage than described in the product description. 


Bottom line is the rise of online platforms for buying and selling second-hand clothing has revolutionized the fashion industry, offering sustainable and affordable options to consumers. While Marketplace platforms currently dominate the market, Brand Owner platforms are gaining traction due to their emphasis on quality and security. As more brands enter the market, and as these platforms adapt to the changing needs of consumers, we can expect this trend to continue and evolve in exciting ways. 


De-influencing: A shift towards authenticity in the age of skepticism

In recent years, influencer marketing has taken the advertising world by storm. Companies have poured billions of dollars into collaborations with social media influencers to promote their products to their followers. However, in the past year or so, there has been a growing trend of "de-influencing", a movement that challenges the traditional influencer model and pushes for more authenticity and transparency in advertising. 


The de-influencing trend has been driven by a number of factors. One of the most significant is the growing awareness of the potential for sponsored content. Many consumers have become more skeptical of influencers' recommendations, believing that they may not be genuine and are simply a way for influencers to make money. This skepticism has been compounded by several high-profile influencer scandals, which have highlighted the potential for dishonesty and unethical behavior in the industry. 


Another factor driving the de-influencing trend is the economic crisis that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. As people become more aware of how they spend their money, particularly on non-essentials, they are looking for more value and authenticity in the products they buy. They are no longer content to simply follow the recommendations of influencers and are instead seeking out more objective information from a variety of sources. 


Despite the growing trend towards de-influencing, it is worth noting that some of this movement is, in fact, influencer marketing in disguise. Influencers on platforms such as TikTok, for example, may claim to be advising their followers against buying a particular product because it is not worth the money. However, in doing so, they may be promoting a cheaper alternative that they have a financial interest in promoting. 


While the de-influencing trend is still in its early stages, it is clear that consumers are becoming more discerning and are looking for more genuine interactions with brands and individuals. Companies that embrace authenticity and transparency in their marketing efforts are likely to see the greatest success in this new landscape. 


It's important to note that influencer marketing is still a highly effective tool for brands looking to grow their audience and boost their sales. When done right, influencer marketing can generate incredible ROI, increase brand awareness, and build trust with consumers. However, in the current climate of de-influencing, it's important for brands to be mindful of this trend and understand how to tackle the problem. 


One way for brands to navigate the de-influencing trend is to shift their focus from macro-influencers to micro-influencers. Micro-influencers tend to have smaller but more engaged audiences, and their followers often trust their recommendations more than those of larger influencers. Brands can also look to build long-term relationships with influencers, rather than just one-off partnerships, to establish trust and authenticity with their audience. During one of our studies conducted for a well-known agro-food brand, we found that the use of a macro-influencer led to significantly better results in terms of brand awareness, while the difference in results between macro and micro-influencers for opinion, consideration, and preference was less pronounced. However, we found that micro-influencers performed better in the lower part of the funnel, namely intention-to-buy. 


micro macro influencers


A study by Influencer Intelligence found that engagement rates for Instagram influencers with fewer than 1000 followers were 8.8%, compared to 1.7% for influencers with over 100,000 followers. This suggests that micro-influencers may have more engaged audiences and higher levels of trust with their followers. 


Another study by Markerly analyzed over 800,000 Instagram accounts and found that influencers with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers had the highest engagement rates on average. This suggests that micro-influencers may be more effective at driving engagement and building brand awareness than larger influencers. 


Another strategy for brands is to focus on creating authentic content that resonates with their target audience. By showcasing real people and real experiences, brands can build a loyal customer base that values authenticity and transparency. Brands can also invest in user-generated content, which is often seen as more trustworthy and relatable than branded content. 


In terms of honesty and transparency, a study by Stackla found that 90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support. Another study by Edelman found that 63% of consumers trust what influencers say about brands more than what brands say about themselves. This suggests that being honest and transparent with consumers can be a powerful way for brands to build trust and loyalty with their audience. 


Ultimately, the de-influencing trend is a cautionary tale for brands to be mindful of the changing tides in the advertising world. By being transparent, authentic, and focused on building relationships with their audience, brands can continue to leverage the power of influencer marketing in a way that resonates with consumers and drives business results. 


It’s a response to the growing skepticism and demand for authenticity in the advertising world, but it is also a symptom of the economic crisis that has made consumers more aware of how they spend their money. While there may be some disguised influencer marketing within the movement, it is ultimately a call for more transparency and honesty in the industry. Companies that respond to this call are likely to thrive in the new landscape of advertising. 

Scoring big with sponsorships: Choosing the right sport for your brand

Sponsorships are an effective marketing strategy that many brands use to boost their brand image, increase awareness, and drive consideration. However, the results a brand gets from sponsoring a sport or team can vary significantly based on the sport, team, and competitive landscape. In this article, we will make a case for how brands who sponsor certain sports get different results on brand image attributes, awareness, and consideration based on the sport and team they decide to sponsor while also considering the competitive landscape in their industry. 


Exclusive sponsorships and their impact on brand image and awareness 

Let's consider the case of Brand X who decided to sponsor a sport with no other competitors in its industry actively sponsoring sports. As a result, we observed a significant increase in brand awareness during the active season of the sport. Specifically, in the two periods analyzed, brand awareness increased by 70.4% and 96.5% for fans of the sport. Even for those who watch the sport infrequently and are not as engaged as to call themselves fans, the brand awareness was respectively 48.1% and 41.4% higher during the same active seasons. It's important to note that brand awareness for both watchers and fans increased throughout the year, indicating that the impact of the sponsorship was long-lasting and effective on the upper funnel. 


Additionally, the sponsorship had a positive impact on the brand image attributes. The sponsored sport registered a boost in reliability, quality, ease of use, and most notably, distinctiveness. This could be due to the fact that Brand X was the only company in its industry sponsoring this sport, giving it a unique and memorable positioning. There was also an increase in attributes related to being forward-looking, such as being smart, digital, up-to-date, and future-oriented. This demonstrates how different sports can impact various brand image attributes and how choosing the right sponsorship can have a significant impact on the latter. 



Communicating sponsorships and the effects it has on the brand 

Now, let's consider the case of Brand Y who decided to sponsor a popular sport in a highly competitive landscape where many of its competitors also sponsor sports. We analyzed the impact of the sponsorship on Brand Y's brand KPIs after they added the sponsorship to their advertising campaigns, while the other elements in the ads remained the same. 


We observed that the addition of the sponsorship made the ad more attention-grabbing, original, and appreciated by viewers. However, there was nearly no impact on memorability or ad credibility. The new campaign also communicated higher levels of originality, brand credibility, and historicity as the popularity of the sport contributed with its own reputation attributes. 


It's important to note that different teams and sports will likely impact different attributes of a brand image. More niche sports could communicate exclusivity, while usually successful teams could communicate reliability. Sponsoring players, teams, or sports that have been around for a long time and are dear to their fans could communicate a strong sense of closeness to the brand and give a perception of competence. 




Famous case studies 

Research has shown that sports sponsorship can have a significant impact on a brand's image and perception, particularly when the sponsorship is exclusive or when it is associated with a popular and relevant sport. For example, Red Bull's well-known sponsorship of extreme sports has helped to establish the brand's image as youthful, dynamic, and exciting, while Nike's sponsorship of high-profile sports teams and athletes has reinforced its image as a reliable and competent athletic brand. 


According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2017, sports sponsorship can have a significant impact on a brand's performance. The study found that companies that increased their sponsorship spending by at least 10% saw a 7% increase in brand preference and a 6% increase in purchase intent among consumers. Similarly, a 2019 Forbes article stated that sports sponsorship can lead to increased brand equity, customer loyalty, and social media engagement. The article cited a case study of Nike's sponsorship of the NFL's Colin Kaepernick, which resulted in a 31% increase in online sales for the brand thanks to the revolutionary stance he had taken against police brutality and racial inequality, jeopardizing his career for a cause he deeply believed in. In this instance, by sponsoring Kaepernick, Nike chose to align its brand to his values and the company was rewarded by consumers.  


In conclusion, sponsorships can have a significant impact on a brand's image and reputation, and choosing the right sponsorship can make all the difference. Brands should carefully consider the landscape of their industry, their competitors' sponsorships, and the attributes they want to communicate to their target audience when deciding which sports or teams to sponsor. 

Beyond the Blades: A Close Shave of Men's Grooming Habits and the Beard Trimmer Category

Beards have been making a comeback in recent years, and for many men, they're more than just a fashion statement. Whether it's a full beard, a bit of stubble, or a clean shave, the way a man grooms his facial hair can say a lot about him. As a player in the category, you need to stay on top of the latest trends and consumer preferences to ensure your brand stays relevant and competitive. That's why we conducted a comprehensive study on the beard-grooming habits and beard trimmers usage among consumers in five different countries: Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the results of our research and provide insights that will help you better understand your target market and develop effective marketing strategies. 


Cross-Country Consumer Profile

How we defined the perimeter of the research and the outcome of a deep- dive into men’s beard grooming habits. 

Our samples were representative of the population in terms of age and geographical area in each of the countries. For the sake of this research, we interviewed men who have a beard and/or a mustache with the objective of gaining a deeper understanding of the beard trimmer consumer. 




As shown in the graph below, the majority of men choose to grow a beard for aesthetic reasons. According to the data we collected, a cross-country average of 72.6% of men surveyed reported that the main reason they grow a beard is for its visual appeal 


Breaking the “aesthetics” category into individual and specific motivators, further analysis of the data reveals that this trend is particularly evident in Spain and the UK, where 48% and 45% of respondents respectively reported thinking they look better with a beard than without. This is the most predominant reason across all countries. 


The survey also found that Germans believe that having a beard makes them look more "manly" (33%). It's important to note that the concept of "manliness" and its association with facial hair may have different cultural roots in different parts of the world. For example, in some cultures, a full beard may be associated with wisdom and experience, while in others, a well-groomed mustache may be seen as a sign of sophistication. 


Alas, trendiness was also found to be an important motivator for growing a beard in Germany (21%), France (25%), and Italy (21%). 



While aesthetics and cultural expectations were found to be key motivators for men to grow a beard or mustache, the survey also revealed that the "experience" of facial hair was a significant factor for many respondents. In fact, men across all countries surveyed reported that the experience of shaving was often unpleasant or annoying (Average 29.6%; Median 30%). 


In addition to this, the survey found that a strong drive to try something new was also a key motivator for men to grow a beard or mustache, in all countries but France.  


However, it's worth noting that peer pressure was not declared as an important reason for men to grow facial hair. This suggests that while men may be influenced by their cultural surroundings, they are primarily motivated by their own personal preferences and experiences when it comes to grooming.



The utilitarian and hygienic reasons were a close third in the UK. Men in Spain (23%), Italy (23%) and the UK (22%) reported skin irritations and imperfections as a common problem associated with shaving, with many feeling that growing a beard or mustache was a way to avoid these issues. It's clear that many men in these countries see growing a beard or mustache as a way to alleviate this problem and improve their overall grooming experience. 


Interestingly, the survey data also found that 26% of British respondents reported that keeping their face warm was an important reason for growing a beard or mustache. This suggests that there may be practical aspects to facial hair that vary largely from one country to another, especially when weather is involved. As a matter of fact, we could observe Spain (9%) to be the least concerned about how a beard can contribute to facial warmth, as it is also, on average, the hottest country among the 5 surveyed. 


In terms of hygiene, the survey data indicated that this aspect was largely overlooked by most countries. However, in the UK, 9% of respondents reported hygiene as a reason for growing a beard or mustache.  



According to the survey data, men in Germany (28%), France (24%), and the UK (28%) were most interested in growing a beard to look more mature. This is an interesting finding as it suggests that, in these cultures, facial hair is seen as a symbol of maturity and perhaps even authority. 


Although the countries we surveyed seemed more motivated by looking mature, rather than younger, it’s worth noting that this perception of facial hair is not universal. In some cultures, for example, beards are associated with youth and vitality. This can be seen in countries such as India and Iran. In these cultures, growing a beard is often associated with entering adulthood or reaching a certain level of social status. 


It's also worth considering the ways in which the perception of age can change over time. In the past, for example, beards were often associated with old age and wisdom. This is reflected in historical figures such as Confucius, who is often depicted with a long beard as a symbol of his intellectual prowess. 


Overall, this survey highlights the complex motivations behind men's decisions to grow a beard. While aesthetics and experience are the main reasons, more practical, cultural, social, and individual factors also play a role. As attitudes towards male grooming continue to evolve, it will be interesting to see how these trends change over time. 

Our research continues with an in-depth look at brands in the beard trimmer category and its competitive landscape. We measured brands' awareness and salience and conducted a comprehensive analysis of their positioning by comparing it with the most relevant image attributes, thus identifying valuable areas in the industry that can represent a differentiation opportunity for incumbents and new players.

Want to learn more about the most relevant brand attributes for consumer and how strong each individual brand is in relation to them?


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