Ypulse Essentials: Apple's Steve Jobs Steps Down, Department Stores Are Digital Leaders, Selena Gomez' Fan Inspired Fragrance

Apple, the hottest brand among Millennials, is changing hands (Steve Jobs — one of the most visionary leaders in marketing and technology — has stepped down as the company’s CEO, and Tom Cook, the former COO, will take his place. We have Jobs to thank for some of the most influential products today including iTunes, the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad, so what does this mean for the future of Apple? Not much…he’ll still be very involved and the company probably won’t change. In other tech news, children rarely watch TV without using other devices simultaneously. In fact, according to a UK survey, they use up to five screens at a time!) (NY Times) (Huffington Post) (The Telegraph)

- Department stores have high digital IQs (because of their impressive social media strategies, sleek site designs, and engaging mobile campaigns. Macy’s ranks as the most digitally driven retailer, followed by Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom, and Sephora. To remain digitally-savvy, however, brands should institute F-commerce, so customers can purchase products directly on Facebook. In other fashion news, teenagers prefer brands that value self-expression and aspiration, rather than ones with homogenous styles. They like to customize clothes and reflect their own values) (WWD) (Customer Management IQ)

- Rather than just creating another celebrity fragrance (since there clearly aren’t enough of those already, Selena Gomez has a smart strategy: she’s letting fans pick her perfume. They’ll vote online for their favorite ingredients and the most popular ones will be mixed together. She’s also giving away free samples to the first 50,000 people who vote. Between the customization, online engagement, and rewards, this has all the makings of a successful marketing campaigning. We wonder if it will do…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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