Target and Walmart have lost their mojo. Same store sales and earnings have been flat or down for Target over the last year and Walmart recently posted six straight quarters of traffic declines and five in which same-store sales declined.
Digital technology has changed marketing to such an extent that most brands still struggle to adapt. What once was a massive land war in which the biggest army had a distinct advantage, has become more like a guerrilla insurgency. To win now, you have to own the villages.
I’ve written about product contagion – the weird ability of one product to “infect” another with its properties (or its “cooties“) when they touch in a shopping cart – but there’s a related phenomenon that is, if anything, even stranger.
I should be delighted to see an increased interest in marketing to older consumers. For the past ten years I have been pleading with companies and agencies to face reality and dump their obsession with youth centric marketing.
In the popular TV show, Game of Thrones, the denizens of the North often repeat the mantra, “Winter is coming” to remind themselves and others that they must continually prepare for the challenges ahead.