March 19, 2024

Cuppa 3: Why aren't more brands selling feelings?

Shope Delano
VP Marketing

Welcome to the latest issue of Cuppa, a quick-fire newsletter for internet-first brand builders. Filled with analysis on the art, science and culture of building breakout brands in a digital age, it's quick enough to read over a cuppa. (Or something stronger, if you need it. No judgement). To get it direct to your inbox every other Monday, subscribe here.


KFC' celebrates their community in fan-focused campaign

To celebrate the return of indoor dining, KFC launched a campaign that celebrated their most engaged fans (including the diners that called 999 when KFC ran out of chicken.) It's sharp, funny, and even the title ‘your chicken could never' speaks to the cooking fatigue we all experienced in the height of lockdown.

Sweetgreens partnership with Naomi Osaka is great timing

Naomi Osaka recently withdrew from the French Open, citing the damaging impact that press conferences have on her mental health. An honourable move. And one that casts a great light on Sweetgreens, a challenger health food chain, that just closed a multi-year partnership with her.

Come Thru, a series commissioned by Nike

The content x commerce playbook continues to gain momentum. A new series by Nike, called Come Thru, explores the experiences of black women in business. It's nothing to do with sports, but everything to do with what a decent chunk of their target customers will find entertaining, engaging, and enriching.

Fellow brand builders, it's time to get into our feelings.

Shope here. VP Marketing at Charlie Oscar. Let's talk feelings.

Decisions are more emotional than they are rational.

This isn't a matter of opinion, but rather scientific fact. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio studied people with damage in the emotion-generating part of their brains, and made the groundbreaking discovery that these people were unable to make simple decisions as a result. Emotions drive action, not reason.

Let's think about this in terms of our purchases. Think about the last non-utility purchase that you made. Mine was a class at Barry's Bootcamp.

Now think - what made you pull the trigger?

For me, there was some logic involved.

Reason 1: It's a great, energising workout.

Reason 2: My lower body needed some conditioning after a sedentary, boozy weekend.

Reason 3: It's much closer to my office than my normal gym.  

But really emotion got me over the edge. Pounding it out on a treadmill with dark, moody lighting and big beats makes me feel strong, powerful, and like I can achieve anything. That's what made me pay the price of my monthly gym memberhip on x1 45-minute class.

And that's what Barry's - and every other modern brand - should be selling me. How I'm going to feel as a result of using their product.

Yet so many brands are still focusing on logical, pain-point driven messaging. Pain points are great for investment decks and B2B pricing pages. They're not so great for…most DTC marketing touchpoints.

A best-in-class example. Glossier released a new product a couple of weeks ago - Ultralip - and described it as “the (cashmere) sweatpants of lipstick.” They say “it feels luxe, plush, and so comfortable (like pulling on a buttery-soft, well-loved cashmere sweater)—and immediately cocoons lips in smoothing shine and color.”

I'm not sure who wouldn't want to feel like their lips were wearing cashmere sweatpants. (I bought two.) Go forth and review some of your marketing materials. Are you selling a rational solution? Or an emotional state?

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Decisions are more emotional than they are rational.


The TikTok of e-commerce

When it comes to discussing China as an e-commerce innovator, we're all pretty familiar with Pinduoduo, JD, and Alibaba. Very rarely do we hear about Shein. Described as the TikTok of Ecommerce, they've got incredible ‘wardrobe share’ with Gen Z shoppers, and have essentially built their own category of retail. If Zara created ‘fast fashion’, Shein created ‘real-time fashion’.

14 trends changing beauty tech

If we're to believe that a post-pandemic ‘roaring 20’s' is on the horizon, the beauty industry will be one of the first to bounce back. Covid-19 saw big beauty ramp up acquisitions, pivot from makeup to skincare, double down on underserved markets, and invest in previously fringe technologies like waterless beauty.

Google doubles down on it's open commerce ecosystem

With just a few clicks, Shopify retailers can sign up to appear across Google's 1 billion shopping journeys each day. This move is one of many that sees Google investing more in it's commerce offering. Online shopping carts were introduced on Chrome last week, too.

Figs - the economics behind a profitable D2C IPO.

Figs is a US-based company that offers comfortable, stylish and functional scrubs for healthcare professionals. They hit $263 million in annual revenue and $49.7million in profits last year, and IPO'd at $4.8 billion. This piece digs into the economics behind their success.


Yoox is taking on Depop with Gen-Z platform

Is there anyone or anything that isn't trying to target Gen-Z? (As of this morning so is Etsy, with a $1.6BN acquisition of Depop). Aptly named ‘Hi Guyz!’, the platform curates emerging designers and sustainable brands in a bid to triple the number of teens that shop on the platform.  

Hypebeast culture has cross-category learnings

People queuing for hours and hours isn't a behaviour reserved for hypebeast sneaker drops, but also…junk food. Last Crumb sells cookies for $120 a pop, and they sell out in minutes. Baking exclusivity and mystery into your product release strategy (no pun intended) is smart business - regardless of the category.

Millennials are growing older, but struggling to ‘grow up'

Millennials are a generation delayed. Living through multiple recessions means they delay having kids, buying houses and getting married. Traditional markers of ‘adulthood’ no longer apply, which presents an interesting opportunity for brand builders. What products/services/messages resonate throughout adulthood 2.0?

To read Cuppa over your cuppa, every other Monday, subscribe here.

Shope Delano
VP Marketing
charlie oscar