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The holidays may be over, but marketing campaigns to reach new customers aren’t over just because the decorations are down.
In January, many people seek to kickstart healthy habits and self-improvement for the new year. Brands are looking to meet customers on this journey, while offering perks and some new content along the way.
Below we take a look at five fresh January marketing campaigns putting wellness at the center of their pitch, and offer a few thoughts on how they’re taking an opportunity to debut new experiences at the same time.
Here’s a look:
Equinox: ‘We don’t speak January.’
\u201cIt\u2019s not you, it\u2019s January. #ItsNotFitnessItsLife\u201d— Equinox (@Equinox) 1672581894
The New Year brings resolutions, and that in turn leads to a flurry of new faces at gyms around the country.
But this year, Equinox made a bold choice to temporarily stop taking any new members at the start of the year. More than a policy, this became a statement about January in its own right. Under the heading, “We don’t speak January,” the luxury fitness club temporarily stopped taking new members on New Year’s Day. It described why this way:
“January is a language we don’t understand. A fantasy, delivered to your door in a pastel colored box. It talks about change. It wants you to start something when you should be in the middle of it. It thinks time is on its side. It needs a new outfit before it can begin. Stalling, short-cutting, giving up.”
The policy and accompanying marketing generated controversy on social media, propelling the conversation about it well past the New Year’s Day pause. Equinox President Scott DeRue told Yahoo Finance that the company was taking on the entire marketing complex of January “gimmicks” and “fads,” and making a statement that wellness is about “long-term commitments.”
Sweetgreen: ‘Green January’ rewards
Melissa Wood-Tepperberg. (Courtesy of Sweetgreen)
Sweetgreen is looking to encourage “small, healthy” habits in the new year. The fast casual salad chain unveiled a rewards program through its website and app to start 2023. It also has a partnership with Melissa Wood-Tepperberg, founder of Melissa Wood Health, to create a new bowl and offer a free subscription as part of the rewards offering.
The January campaign offers Sweetgreen with the opportunity to take its rewards program wider. It piloted the app-based program over the summer. Centered on healthy habits, the goal is “to drive customer frequency and restaurant volume through additional customer value and engagement.”
Martha Stewart + Tito’s: DIY January
January is famous for Dry January commitments, in which people take a break from alcohol after indulging over the holidays. While this could be read as a trouble spot for alcohol industry sales, vodka brand Tito’s chose to take a playful approach that joined in on the event.
Tito’s is running a campaign with Martha Stewart that turns Dry January into DIY January. In a 60 second ad, the Living legend demonstrates ways to use Tito’s that don’t involve taking a sip, such as cleaning, shining shoes, tenderizing meat or steaming lobsters. If signing on Martha Stewart wasn't enough, Tito’s proved it was committed to the bit by launching bottle toppers for the uses illustrated in the ad, NBC’s Today reports.
The toppers may not become best sellers, but Tito’s is taking a tongue in cheek approach that shows it is meeting customers where they are at this moment, even if that means less vodka flowing this month. Tito’s is playing the long game: Show up during the slow months, and there’s an increased chance that customers will remember when they’re ready to pick back up again.
Partnership: One Brands + XPonential+ streaming fitness
There’s no better way to start the new year than making new connections. That’s on view in a partnership between protein bar One Brands and on-demand fitness platform XPonential+. By purchasing a four-pack of One protein bars from a retail location, customers can receive access to a six-month subscription of the platform, which has content from Club Pilates, YogaSix and CycleBar. Even the purchase of a single bar results in a two-month subscription.
It shows how like-minded brands can join forces. For people interested in wellness, nutrition and fitness go hand-in-hand. By offering a subscription, XPonential+ stands to offer a taste of its offerings to a wider audience that consumes the Hershey-owned brand’s products.
Chipotle: Wellness-inspired Snapchat lens
Chipotle's Lifestyle Bowls. (Courtesy photo)
Fast casual chain Chipotle rolled out a new lineup of Lifestyle Bowls to start 2023. Taking a step beyond encouraging healthy eating through menu choices, Chipotle is also debuting an augmented reality lens through Snapchat. The lens offers exercises and meditation prompts to help people keep up their healthy habits. Launching on Quitter’s Day of Jan. 13, Chipotle said it’s the first time a restaurant brand is promoting physical activity through Snapchat. Chipotle is also offering rewards: 100,000 people who participate (10K a day from Jan. 13-23) will receive free guac.
It shows how complementary content can help to encourage and inspire customers, and create a full experience around a new launch that goes beyond promoting new items. At the same time, Chipotle is using augmented reality technology to reach customers on a platform where many already turn in a way that goes beyond advertising. Make content useful, and people will have a reason to view it, and come back.
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The cuts amount to 4% of the ecommerce platform's workforce.
eBay is set to become the latest ecommerce platform to conduct layoffs.
The company announced plans on Tuesday to lay off 500 employees, which amounts to about 4% of its workforce. Layoffs were set to take place over the next 24 hours, the company said Tuesday evening.
In an SEC filing, CEO Jamie Iannone said the decision to make layoffs came after consideration of the macroeconomic environment and where the company could best invest for the long-term.
Iannone said the moves “are designed to strengthen our ability to deliver better end-to-end experiences for our customers and to support more innovation and scale across our platform.”
“Importantly, this shift gives us additional space to invest and create new roles in high-potential areas — new technologies, customer innovations and key markets — and to continue to adapt and flex with the changing macro, ecommerce and technology landscape,” Iannone wrote. “We’re also simplifying our structure to make decisions more effectively and with more speed.”
eBay is one of the oldest ecommerce platforms, and remains an active marketplace for both new and resale items. The San Francisco-based company has yet to report results for the fourth quarter of 2022. In the third quarter, the company said gross merchandise volume was down 11%, and revenue was down 5% year-over-year.
Yet the company has also continued to invest. In 2022, it acquired collectibles platform TCGPlayer and myFitment, which provides parts and accessories for automotive and powersports. It also opened a secure vault for trading cards, and launched livestreaming.
eBay is also seeing a boost from advertising, with revenue driven by promoted listings up 19% in the third quarter.
With the layoffs, eBay joins other tech companies that provide the infrastructure of ecommerce in making layoffs. Amazon, Shopify, Salesforce, BigCommerce and Wayfair have all recently announced layoffs. Technology giants like Meta, Google and Microsoft have also made job cuts.
It comes as inflation is weighing on consumers’ discretionary spending, and the return to more in-person shopping throughout 2022 led to a correction following aggressive hiring during the pandemic.