#24 – The power of fear, the state of retail, the problem with ego and your next Starbucks order
This is the 24th issue of Strategy Bites’ Six Links of Inspiration and this week we’re exploring the entry points that live sports can offer to brands, the current state of physical retail, the power of fear, how to use share of search, a bizarrely huge number of Starbucks latte combinations, and why boosting our egos doesn’t make us happy.
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Enjoy the clicks:
The game beyond the game: live sports has more entry points than ever for brands. In this piece, my colleague Joel reveals the many new ways brands can engage in and around live sports. (Category entry points, everyone!) You might be surprised by some of it – but not by the fact that the path for curious brands leads down a neat alliteration: endorse, experiment, expand.
A Teenager, a Mom of 3, and an Octogenarian Walk into a Mall. The death of bricks and mortar retail has always been a favourite among doomsayers – this article by Rob Engelsman shares some findings from 18 visits to shopping destinations in six states during Back to School season. Yes, the retail landscape has been impacted by e-commerce, changing consumer preferences, and the COVID-19 pandemic – but there are still things to be gained from the physical experience of going to a mall. I like the Alexandra Lange quotes that describe the ideal role of malls as “create[ing] community through shared experience (Thrills! Tastes! Tunes!)”
Are you geared for growth? How to apply Share of Search as a strategic diagnostic. In this article, James Hankins explores the concept of Share of Search (SOS) as a strategic diagnostic tool for businesses and generously shares various analysis techniques and key takeaways on how to apply SOS effectively to the daily work of marketers. There’s a lot to dive into and it’s not a light read – but it’s more than worth your time if you want to understand how analysing the relationship between SOS and other data gives insights into a brand's performance, growth potential, and category dynamics.
How fear has shaped human affairs. This one is a bit of a counter intuitive share for me, as I’ve been brought up in an (work) environment that mostly believes in the power of optimism. This piece reviews a book by Robert Peckham that delves into various historical events, such as the witch hunts and the Black Death, to illustrate how fear can be manipulated for political purposes. It argues that power often depends on instilling fear in others and examines the role of fear during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, highlighting how the Catholic Church's monopoly on fear was challenged. Luckily, Peckham emphasises the importance of humour as an antidote to fear and a means of challenging authority – which lets me reconcile all of this with a touch of optimism. Phew.
Why Your Starbucks Wait Is So Long. I’m not a frequent visitor of Starbucks, only really buying coffee there when I’m waiting at an airport. But I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the brand for their idea of establishing “Third Places” in a culture that is so devoid of them. The reason I’m sharing this article, though, is a bizarrely unfathomable number: the growing demand for customised drinks at the chain with various squirts, shots, and cold foams means there are now more than 383 billion different possibilities for just a latte. Which means a third of customers is now waiting up to five minutes from placing an order to being served. (Still sounds faster than my local barista, to be fair.)
Why Self-Compassion Works Better Than Self-Esteem. This is a bit of an older one, being published in 2016. But it felt timelessly relevant, considering how many of us still seem to try to boost our own ego to make us feel better. The article challenges the belief that boosting self-esteem is the key to happiness and success, arguing that it can lead to negative outcomes such as narcissism. Instead, the Olga Khazan suggests that self-compassion is a healthier approach that can promote well-being and resilience. She provides insights into why self-compassion is so important and how it can be practiced our daily lives.
This is it for this week. If you liked what you read, why not share this with with your friends and colleagues?
See you next week!