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Lidl’s Middle Class Wine Drinkers

We were blown away with the scale of our campaign for Lidl. To drive trial into a more mainstream ‘middle-class’ demographic we used Lidl’s outstanding and previously unheralded wine selection to make newspapers and magazines reconsider quality and upmarket credentials. The story went viral appearing in all national newspapers, and rippling out into digital channels and international media.

Digital forecasts significant growth by 2026

Juniper’s new study from has found that the total market value of digital content will reach $432 billion by 2026; rising from $211 billion in 2021. This represents a growth of 105% over the next 5 years. This value takes into account pay-per-download revenue, in app content spend, subscription revenue and ad spend over digital content.

This may come as no surprise but it does focus the mind for brands on continuing to produce quality digital content organically, but also in continuing to spend advertising pounds online.

Digital games is the sector that is going to generate the highest revenue by 2026; accounting for 45% of the global market value. Juniper predicts that, as subscription services increase in popularity, digital games providers must differentiate their services through unique content. It also highlighted the immediate need for partnerships between digital content platforms and niche content to best position services for future growth.

Other key growth areas include:

Maximising the Value of Subscriptions

The report forecast that there will be over 3.3 billion games users by 2026; rising from 2.7 billion in 2021, and urged games publishers and digital marketing to capitalise on this growth by offering subscriptions that leverage extensive content partnerships to provide regularly updated content libraries that justify ongoing subscription costs.

Report co-author Saidat Giwa-Osagie remarked: ‘Over half of digital content spend will come from smartphones. However, as subscriptions become increasingly competitive, niche areas, such as augmented and virtual reality, will need to be considered when onboarding content partners.’

Content Consumption Habits Will Evolve

The report identified 2 key device channels for digital marketing that are anticipated to provide new revenue opportunities over the next 5 years; immersive reality headsets and smart speakers. It predicted that digital content revenue attributable to these device categories will grow from $2.4 billion in 2021, to $8.1 billion by 2026; representing a growth of 275%.

However, the research predicted that North America & Europe will account for over 50% of revenue from immersive reality headsets and smart speakers by 2026, and anticipated that high device ownership will result in these regions providing the most opportunities for monetisation and digital marketing over the next 5 years.

NHS enters the 100 Most Connected UK Brands Index

After an unprecedented year for the NHS it enters the UK’s most connected brand index for the very first time. Results show that the NHS brand is a crucial, indispensable and loved institution for British people.

The NHS enters the Index for the first time in 2nd place – ranking higher than Google, Netflix and Apple. Redefining what people think of brands, it ranks in the top 3 brands across all key measures, and holds 1st place in the dynamism and emotion measures.

Amazon continues to hold 1st place as it became a lifeline for older consumers who needed to shield.

Disney ranks 22nd, up 11 places from 2020, as the brand launched Disney+ just in time for the first national lockdown.

Tesla enters the Index for the first time as sustainability continues to hold a place in consumers’ consciousness.

Opinium today unveils the Top 100 Most Connected Brands in the UK. Now in its fourth year, the ranking is the first ever Index to be compiled by exclusively from consumer feedback. While Amazon tops the ranking for the fourth year, the NHS is a brand new entrant at second place, highlighting how influential it has been to consumers this year.

Opinium interviewed 6,000 consumers, collated 5,514 spontaneous brand mentions, and facilitated 46,256 brand reviews to identify the 100 Most Connected Brands in the UK: those that have succeeded in becoming indispensable to consumers’ daily lives. These brands challenge conventions build unbreakable bonds and define how consumers interact, whilst remaining true to themselves.

Wez Eathorne, Research Director at Opinium comments: “It has been a long and intense year of on and off lockdowns. Social limitations and closures of many places have greatly affected all our lives. In all this, it has been heart-warming to see how the NHS, a previously unmentioned competitor, has parachuted into 2nd place in the Index, ranking top 3 across all key measures.

“A previously undervalued brand that brought entire communities together each Thursday in applause, making everyone appreciate the dedication of those working on the frontline, the NHS rose to the challenge in the face of a global pandemic, doing all in its power to save lives. This ranking shows that this year consumers, now more than ever are looking for brands which offer safety and security.”

Top 10 Most Connected Brands in the UK

Why the NHS ranked so highly – and other chart toppers

The Most Connected Brands Index this year shows how the global pandemic has touched every facet of consumers’ lives. Forcing us to adapt how we shop, socialise, communicate, and work, it has coloured and shaped fortunes of entire sectors and brands.

A previously unmentioned competitor, and traditionally not considered a brand, the NHS has been a guiding light for the nation through this pandemic and has been at the forefront of nationwide campaigns. The NHS enters the Index this year in a strong position in 2nd place, ranking top 3 across all measurements and the highest out of all brands on the Index’s Dynamism and Emotion measures. For ten weeks in the original lockdown, the nation took to their doorsteps every Thursday to applaud the key workers saving lives and keeping the country going. As well as grass roots initiatives, the NHS was a key theme of the government messaging for the spring of 2020, where the nation was urged to “Protect the NHS”. In addition, the Government has been reported to have spent more than £184 million on Covid communications and advertising in 2020 alone. The emotional importance of the NHS to the nation can be clearly seen if we look at the emotions that people relate to the brand, with it achieving the highest score for belonging, hope and pride.

Meanwhile, Amazon continues to hold its 1st place on the Most Connected Brands Index. Along with Google, the brand has dominated the Prominence measure over the past 3 years, continuing to rank 1st place in this area. It also leads the way in Distinction, especially for those over the age of 50, as Amazon became a lifeline for older consumers who needed to shield.

Netflix keeps 4th place, making its way into the top 10 in terms of Prominence, increasing its position six places from 2020 and 48 places since 2019. While “Netflix and chill” might have become an illegal activity for those not in the same household in the past 12 months, alternative entertainment options have dwindled and by the summer of 2020 Netflix had 26 million new subscribers. It is among the younger generation (18-29) year olds where Netflix is most prominent and ranks second out of all brands, only just following Apple.

Disney ranks 22nd on the Most Connected Brands Index, up 11 places from 2020. Launched just in time for the first lockdown, Disney+ brought a new excitement into the competitive streaming service landscape, contending against Netflix’s $1bn UK budget.

Reflecting the events of this past year, new entrants in 2021 include Gucci, Tesla, National Trust, Mars, Curry’s PC World, Spotify, Etsy, FitBit and Xbox.

Alexa Nightingale, Research Director at Opinium comments: “Most Connected Brands was first published in 2018 – born out of the lack of brand rankings available, that simply asked the people who have the power to build, define and sometimes destroy the brands that marketers create: the consumers themselves. Fast forward four years and the idea of asking the people, and reflecting the human, lived experiences of the pandemic has never been more relevant.

“This year’s ranking is forged in the collective shared experiences of lockdown and loss, but also resilience, hope and opportunity. As restrictions start to ease across the UK, our belief remains that building connection has never been more important. Whatever your political, economic, or social viewpoint, 2020 has been a year of unprecedented rapid change that shows no sign of abating. The ability of people, brands and businesses to create lasting connections has become fundamental to both personal and professional success.”

Brand connection in the time of coronavirus

Changing how we work and where we work Arguably, the most influential change the pandemic has brought has been to our working lives. Even though our freedoms have been stripped away by the pandemic, we have never had greater freedom to determine our working patterns and routines. The requirement for non-essential workers to forgo their daily commutes and embrace virtual working has meant that the tools required to support this have therefore never been as important nor as high profile. This has led to a marked increase in the rankings for technology providers.

A health and wellness bug alongside a nation comfort eating A second trend has been the explosion in health and wellbeing as people found themselves anchored to their local areas with physical exercise one of the few pastimes available to them. This has led to brands like Nike and Fitbit surging up the rankings. Ironically confectionery brands have also benefited from the pandemic with a nation eager for a slice of happiness and distraction that can be bought over the counter.

A nation desperate for entertainment, escapism, and distraction Unsurprisingly, the pandemic and associated lockdowns have seen the entertainment sector thrive. Whilst it is easy to think that people have been living on a diet of Netflix boxsets it is not just streaming companies who have benefited. Brands such as Waterstones and the National Trust have powered up the rankings as consumers seek to escape the confines of their living spaces and look for screen-free sources of entertainment.

Signalling the death of the high street or just ‘non-essential’ shops? For retail, the term non-essential has become the difference between a thriving business and unemployment and store closures. Brands that were less affected by restrictions such as M&S and Boots have proven far more resilient than those deemed non-essential, with retailers like Primark and New Look facing an existential crisis as the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online shopping.

Forcing people off public transport, with a greater environmental awareness One positive consequence of the first lockdown in March was the environmental impact as air quality dramatically improved with travel restrictions and reduced commutes. However, optimism that this would have a lasting effect on our relationship with the planet was quickly checked when the first lockdown finished. The public’s concerns over the safety of public transport coupled with the desire to escape their local areas meant car manufacturers surge up this year’s rankings. Nevertheless, sustainability has not been banished from consumers consciousness, with brands such as Tesla entering the Index for the first time.

The FULL Most Connected Brands 2021 ranking

  1. Amazon
  2. NHS
  3. Google
  4. Netflix
  5. Cadbury
  6. Apple
  7. Heinz
  8. Samsung
  9. Microsoft
  10. Boots
  11. Walkers
  12. Marks & Spencer
  13. Lego
  14. Tesco
  15. Aldi
  16. eBay
  17. Sainsbury’s
  18. Kellogg’s
  19. BBC
  20. Coca Cola
  21. Lidl
  22. Disney
  23. WhatsApp
  24. Sony
  25. Dove
  26. Dyson
  27. Ikea
  28. Morrisons
  29. Argos
  30. Nike
  31. John Lewis & Partners
  32. Lindt
  33. B&Q
  34. McDonald’s
  35. Mars
  36. Bosch
  37. Asda
  38. Nivea
  39. Nestlé
  40. b&m
  41. Curry’s PC World
  42. Nescafé
  43. Iceland
  44. Greggs
  45. Panasonic
  46. Sky
  47. Costa
  48. Adidas
  49. Ford
  50. hp

Experts predict a mass exodus from WhatsApp

We’re not sure how we feel about this because we love WhatsApp but the experts are predicting a mass extinction event.

A new national survey has revealed the full extent of the WhatsApp mass exodus, with 12.6 million Brits either having deleted the messaging app or planning to do so, as concerns about data sharing with parent company Facebook seemingly reached a peak before the 15 May terms agreement cut-off date.

The fully-representative survey of 2,000 people across the UK, commissioned by YEO Messaging and carried out by OnePoll, found that 19 percent of respondents – 12.6 million people when the percentage is extrapolated to the whole nation – are either planning to stop using the app (11 percent) or have already abandoned it (8 percent).

Of those people, 31 percent say they took the decision because they don’t trust Facebook, 30 percent say it’s because they don’t want their data misused or sold and 26 percent stated they had read a news article about the Facebook data controversy and got concerned.

Facebook’s chat app has been trying to get users to accept the new policy for months. But on May 15, the grace period ends – meaning that millions of users will either accept the terms or be locked out of it.

The survey revealed that Gen Z youngsters suffer the most when it comes to messaging privacy breaches.

Four in ten (40 percent) of 18 to 24-year-olds say that someone used a picture or text they sent on a messaging app to harm them – more than double the 16 percent national average.

Almost half of Brits (49 percent) have avoided sending information to friends and family over social media or messaging platforms due to concerns over how they collect and use private data – and this figure was much higher for Gen Z respondents (61 percent).

Alan Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of YEO Messaging said: “Our survey shows that there is a real hunger for apps such as ours which allow everyone to take control of their own messaging privacy, safe in the knowledge that their personal data is not sold for a profit or misused.”

The research also revealed that 46 percent of people would be happy to communicate with their doctor or bank via a messaging app if the business or people were verified as legitimate.

There was a gender divide on how much privacy is valued, with 62 percent of women stating they very much value privacy when using messaging apps, compared with only 54 percent of men.

The survey is not great news for Telegram, as 61 percent of respondents stated they would not trust a Russian owned messaging app with their private messages.

Protesters look to hurt Man Utd sponsors where it hurts most $$$

In a really interesting cyber protest Man Utd fans are intensifying their campaign against owners, the Glazer family by racking up fake clicks on sponsors online ads.

Digital analysis of United fans’ #NotAPennyMore campaign suggests online targeting of sponsors’ Google Ads could rack up millions of pounds in online overspend

Manchester United’s club sponsors could be facing digital advertising bills running into the millions, according to new evidence.  

Global brands like Adidas, Chevrolet and Tag Heuer are being dragged into the #NotAPennyMore anti-Glazer fan campaign, which comes off the back of the Glazer’s attempt to become founder members of the failed European Super League.

Now protestors are appealing to fans to click multiple times on any of Manchester United’s 50 listed sponsors’ Google Ads. The action of clicking on the online ads immediately threatens to rack up worrying bills for the club’s sponsors, which one digital specialist says could very easily run into ‘millions of pounds.’  

Mediaworks, the future facing digital marketing agency headquartered in the North of England, has been analysing the digital impact of the action from the Manchester United anti-Glazer protesters, which has turned its sights on the club’s commercial partners.

CEO and founder at Mediaworks, Brett Jacobson said: “When looking at the digital evidence, it’s very easy to see how this could very quickly start costing Manchester United’s sponsors a lot of money. This could easily run into sums comfortably into the millions.

“We’ve already seen one major sponsor pull back from a new deal this week and this move by the fans to light the match on some digital dynamite as a means to remove the Glazer family as owners of the club has every possibility of having the desired effect. There could be some very awkward boardroom conversations between United and their sponsors if this plays out as the fans hope.”

Digital specialists at Mediaworks have evidenced more than 51,000 uses of the #NotAPennyMore hashtag on social media platforms, with daily use rocketing 62% to peak at more than 7,000 mentions a day.

At the same time, assessment of Google Trends data suggests that popularity of searches for just five of Manchester United’s key partners – Adidas, Chevrolet, Tag Heuer, Kohler and AON – have doubled in the last 48 hours just in the UK alone.

Using freely available Google Ads data to calculate what that could mean to advertising costs for these brands, Mediaworks says it paints a bleak picture for the marketing budgets of those in the firing line.

Brett Jacobson explained: “We’ve looked at the top end cost per click data for just those five brands, a price they could reasonably expect to be charged by Google for this type of fan activity. Generously assuming that only one quarter of those choosing to look up these sponsors in the last 48 hours decide to click just once on their Google Ads, that could be an eye-watering bill in excess of £1.2m they could be collectively facing this month alone. And that figure could easily skyrocket.

“Manchester United has 50 listed key partners and sponsors that the #NotAPennyMore activists claim they’ll target. As Glazer’s Stateside accountants might be nervously whispering right now, ‘you do the math’.

“With The Hut Group withdrawing from a rumoured £200m, ten year deal to join the list of sponsors for the club for fear of the negative associations, you do fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg for the Glazer’s fan troubles.”

Sampling is eternal and here’s why…

Benefits of giving out free samples

You might be a little reluctant to give away free samples or demonstrations of your products and services. After all, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see a return on your investment. However, isn’t that the same for any other form of marketing? Promotional merchandise is all about raising brand awareness and associating your brand with generosity.

When you’re giving out samples or demos of your product itself, however, it can seem like you’re throwing your money away. It’s what you do best, and you know it’s a worthy product or service that should be able to prove its worth, so why should you give it away for free? However, free samples can work if they’re given out thoughtfully and in the right quantities. We’ve compiled a list of some of the benefits of giving away product samples for free:

1: Spreads the word

If you’re giving out free samples, you’re immediately increasing awareness of your brand. Work out the best way of getting free samples to your target market and let them spread your brand with others in their friendship group.

2: Shows your generosity

Giving out free samples shows that your firm is generous. You’ve given out free samples with no strings attached. You don’t expect feedback, a tip or a future purchase – you’re just trusting them to use or consume the product and judge it for themselves.

3: Gets feedback

Of course you might not expect feedback, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get any. If you’re giving out free samples in person, you might be able to receive some instant feedback. Include a hashtag or your Twitter handle on the packaging, and it’s likely you’ll get some online feedback. You can retweet the most positive endorsements that your product receives, further improving brand awareness.

4: Tries out potential new products

Once you’ve undergone a rigorous testing procedure for new products, you might want to produce some samples for your target market to try out before you commit to mass producing the product. If you hear great feedback, it might be all you need to get the go-ahead from the manager to order the new product for bulk manufacture.

5: Tempts existing customers

Why not tempt your customers to spend a little more by offering free samples when they spend above a certain threshold? The samples could be for new product lines or related products – anything that’ll tempt them to buy that product in the future.

6: Receives publicity

If your free demos or samples are given out in a particularly noteworthy way, you might receive some press coverage or internet buzz about your company and your products. Obvious publicity stunts don’t always go down well with the public, however, so be subtle.

7: Shows confidence in your product

If you’re willing to give out free samples of your product, it shows that you expect to hear only positive feedback in return. Companies that have no confidence in their products are hardly likely to want to stop groups of people on the street, only to hear that they don’t like the product.

Of course, free samples are just another form of marketing. They might not work for your company, but they are particularly effective if you’re selling food, drink or cosmetics. 

Prognosis

It is great to see the latest issue of Prognosis out again. Here’s a message from Julian Best of the Howard De Walden estate:

“After what has been a very difficult year for everyone, it is great to be back with this new digital issue of Prognosis, showcasing the progress that has been made in the Harley Street Medical Area (HSMA) in recent months.

Challenging as things were in 2020, the important work of the HSMA did not grind to a halt. This remained an active hub of clinical excellence and cutting-edge research. Despite the lockdowns and restrictions, work continued behind the scenes to ensure that the area’s medical facilities were in the best possible position to serve their patients the moment that conditions allowed.

While some strategic plans for the expansion of facilities in the HSMA have been impacted by the pandemic, the teams involved have worked hard to ensure that any delays have been kept to a minimum. In this edition, we talk to Shams Maladwala of The Royal Marsden about the fantastic new Cavendish Square cancer diagnostics facility, which is showcasing how trusts – and patients – can benefit from an integrated model of independent and NHS care. We also talk to Dr Brian Donley from Cleveland Clinic, whose new outpatient centre in Portland Place within HSMA is set to open in September followed later in the year by their hospital at Grosvenor Place.

In our centrepiece interview, Professor Roger Kirby, the new president of the Royal Society of Medicine, explains why conversations about global health must include the effects of climate change, and how the global pandemic has highlighted the need for reform, both of the RSM itself and of the wider medical community. We also, as ever, offer a patient’s perspective: Sean Cannon tells us how after years of relying on powerful medication to control constant, debilitating pain, he underwent deep brain stimulation treatment at The London Clinic, led by London consultant neurosurgeon Mr Tipu Aziz, and is now on the path back to a normal life. This issue shows that, however challenging the circumstances, the work of delivering the best possible services to our patients has to – and will – continue. Despite the present difficulties, the HSMA and the wider medical community can still look forward with optimism.

To read Prognosis Issue 8, please click here.”

What is 369 manifestation method on TikTok?

One TikTok trend that has garnered considerable traction over the last few days is the 369 Manifestation. It is reportedly working for a number of TikTokers, giving them money, fame, and more!

What is 369 Manifestation method?

Believers claim that this method allows practitioners to tap into the power of the “universe,” helping them fulfill their dreams and desires. The method is inspired by Nikola Tesla’s “Divine Code” 369, which states that the occurrences of the universe can be mastered by carefully studying the three digits.

There are many interpretations of Tesla’s “theory.” However, the most common one asks practitioners to pick a thing of their desire, write it down three times in the morning and say them out loud. The process is then repeated in the middle of the day — now six times instead of three. Finally, you’re required to do it all over again — nine times, now — before going to sleep. That’s all. After 21 days, they should start to manifest.

The TikTok interpretation

The creator of the 369 Manifestation method, Karin Yee, has combined Tesla’s philosophy with Abraham-Hicks’ 17 seconds-rule. According to Abraham-Hicks, if you focus on a thought for only 17 seconds, divine energies start working on the idea. Hold it for 68 seconds, and the “manifestation” shall begin.

How to practice the 369 manifestation method?

The method generally tells you to concentrate on the things you want out of your life and jot them down, three times a day. Yee advises her followers to write their goals down three times in the morning, six times around mid-day, and finally nine times before hitting the hay.

She also asks the devotees to be as expressive as possible, to let the universe know how they want to feel. You’d also need to make your sentences at least 17 seconds long and pour your heart and soul into them. The stronger your feelings are the more likely it is for the universe to pick it up. Make sure not to let in any doubt or insecurity while you’re trying to manifest. Those 17 seconds are extremely important for the manifestation and need to be handled with utmost dedication.

Whether you should practice the Manifestation method is still a question that needs to be answered.

Yes, jotting down your goals is still a great exercise, as it gives you a clear idea of what you’re working for. However, hoping for divine intervention, especially in this day and age, might not be the way to go.

Still, all things considered, if you have a young heart and are impossibly hopeful about the mysteries of the universe, you should definitely give this method a shot.

The apps that you need in your everyday stack

Whatever stage your business is at you need a stack of apps at your fingertips to engage your audience efficiently and creatively.

One thing all start-ups know is that it takes money to make money. When you are trying to get your company off the ground, it seems like every tiny move you make comes with fees or charges. The great news for start-ups, especially web start-ups is that there are tons of great free apps and tools online that can make things run a lot smoother! Some of these apps save you time, some save you money, and some even make you money. 

Checkout these six free apps that every start-up should be using!

Logo Creator

You can skimp and cut a lot of corners, but you aren’t going to make it without a logo. A logo is a prominent focal point of your marketing images. The truth is that you don’t need to hire an expensive graphic designer to create the perfect logo for your brand. You can easily do it yourself with a free online tool like www.logocreator.io. Your brand’s logo should be a reflection of your brand and a representation of what you brand is about. It is great if you can personally design this element so that it is authentic and tells your story.

Canva

Canva provides you with free online graphic design tools and templates. This will allow you to cut costs by doing lots of small marketing tasks in-house, such as designing social media posts and creating great graphics for flyers and newsletters. You can even use some of these tools to refresh images and graphics on your site. Using high quality templates will give your graphics a more professional look and help to build the credibility of your brand. 

MailChimp

This is an awesome service that takes old school direct mail marketing and moves it into the virtual market place. MailChimp can take your email list and help you automate direct emails that will increase your brand awareness and bottom line. MailChimp does offer premium services, but the free service will work fine for beginners just getting started. Once you learn the ins and outs of email marketing, you will be able to make a clear decision on whether or not you think paying for the premium services would be a worthwhile expenditure for your brand.

Trello

If you are looking for a secure place online where your team can all collaborate on a project then Trello might be just what you are looking for! Trello allows you to build teams and create and share boards and lists with team members. It is great for organization and is a good tool to use if you have several team members working remotely. 

SurveyMonkey

Just like its name implies, SurveyMonkey lets you make surveys you can use on your website or on social media. The importance of this tool, if used correctly, can not be overstated. Customer feedback is king! Anything that gives you better access to your customers and what their needs and preferences are should be considered priceless and used wisely. Aside from just the information this makes available to you, using surveys can create interactive social media which will help build brand awareness and brand loyalty as well. 

It’s just not easy getting a start-up off of the ground. You should use every tool and advantage that you have available to you. Your brand is your baby, and in a lot of cases do it yourself can be a good thing. You will love your brand more and have a better idea of what you want than anyone you could ever hire. So, if you can do it yourself and do it for free, why wouldn’t you?

What is a non-fungible token (NFT)?

What is an NFT – the ‘new bitcoin for art’?

Grimes, Beeple, Logan Paul, the creator of Nyan Cat, and many other artists and celebrities are making huge amounts of money selling the ownership of digital images.

Grimes sold 10 images of digital artwork, the most expensive for nearly $400,000, to someone who wanted ownership of the online goods. Its not a marketing trend – it is genuine artwork.

These artworks are called NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens”, and they exist on a similar blockchain technology to bitcoin as a way to prove “ownership” of them.

Or is it just a marketing trend?

The idea has exploded into popularity recently based on the rise of cryptocurrency technologies, and the desire for digital artists to have greater ownership – and monetisation options – over their craft.

A non-fungible token (NFT) means a digital item that belongs to the person that purchased it. In economics, fungibility is the property of a good being interchangeable, or replicable. For example, if you shared a photo from your phone to another person over a text message, the data and image would be replicated.

The NFT does not stop that replication – you could still take a screenshot of a digital artwork or share a Nyan Cat GIF – but it does show who ‘owns’ an original image.

While NTFs exist on a blockchain, like the cryptocurrencies used to buy them, there are a number of other differences: NFTs are indestructible on the blockchain, cannot be divided, and can always be traced back to the original creator.

Some examples of NFT:

The CryptoKitties game, where players traded digital kittens on the Ethereum blockchain, was very popular in 2017. Different cats – or images of cats – had different characteristics and users swapped them to collect varieties of different digital animal.

Image: Cryptokitties.co

For some artists, NFTs are a way to make money from digital art. Royalties can be built into the artwork directly, so that each time the artwork is sold the creator receives a cut. It’s much more than a marketing trend. For potential meme dealers who want to make money out of the images they create, this can be an attractive prospect.

“It gives power to the creator,” Chris Torres, the creator of Nyan Cat, has said. “The creator originally owns it, and then they can sell it and directly monetize and have recognition for their work.”

Depending on how easy, or difficult, it is to create artwork, it can also be a fast way for celebrities to make money. Grimes sold $6 million worth of digital artworks in under 20 minutes.

These artworks have such a high value for the same reason physical art has a high value – the scarce nature of NFTs, and the thick wallets of people with enough cryptocurrency to purchase them.

The volatility of the market, where NFTs can surge and drop vary rapidly, means that only people with enough disposable income to be protected from a bad investment. This, once again, puts it in favour of the rich. Maybe its just a marketing trend but who knows!

Gucci Ghost

This last sold for $3,600, but the current owner is asking for $16,300. GIF by Trevor Andrew

What’s the point of research in a locked-down world?

There’s new research out today from data company, Stravito, in conjunction with independent polling company Censuswide that tells us that two-thirds (66 per cent) of UK companies have commissioned market research in 2020 which has never been used due to the disruptions and delays caused by Covid-19.

The main reason that research has been dropped is because the data is being immediately rendered out of date because of societal changes caused by the pandemic.

I don’t know why, but I really like it that consumers are getting harder to read, and are breaking free from the demographic standard boxes which have captured them. I like to think of myself as not an average consumer, I like to think that I am different and that my consumer behaviour can’t be predicted by algorithms.

Its good news too for us marketers who employ less broad stroke tactics and more engaging and tailored communications strategies. We know that people, ultimately, have a need and that they buy their products because they are good and fit for purpose.

But in the long run people love their brands because they make them feel… something.