Email Marketing Adjustments

Earlier in October, Google’s Gmail (email service) had one of its’ bigger updates in recent times. What are the changes? Gmail introduced a “Inbox Tabs and Category Labels”. The default tabs are “Primary”, “Social”, and “Promotions”. An example of a primary email would be ones from friends, family and business. For “Social Emails”, emails that are related to social media are categorized into this lab. Lastly, “Promotions” tabs contain emails that are promotion for companies and stores. For example, Banana Republic’s emails would be considered a “Promotional” email as it is notifying the user of clothing sales.

Realizing the Gmail update, companies such as Banana Republic (BR) now understood that their emails are no longer inboxed under the “Primary” tab, meaning the customer will not see their emails as easily which contains deals and offers. This update essential affected BRs reach to the customer, To combat this, BR sent an email to all Gmail users which included instructions of how to move BR’s emails from the “Promotions” tab to the “Primary” tab.

I am most impressed by the reaction and the quickness to action by BR marketers, as this email (pictured above) was sent only a few days after Gmail implemented their new email layout.

If you want to find out more about Gmail, you can follow this link here: http://www.google.com/intl/en/mail/help/features.html

Marketing Ethics: Energy Drink, anyone?

“Red Bull gives you wings!”, a well recognized company slogan that belongs to the company Red Bull which specializes in the sale of energy drinks. Red bull is seen almost everywhere – Dedicated Red Bull fridges in grocery stores, Red Bull cars on street corners handing out free samples, and the sponsorships of sport teams, events and crazy stunts. Haven’t seen any of Red Bull’s stunts or videos? Have a look at here:

While not sponsored by Red Bull, this video is partly sponsored by Monster Energy Drink:

How exactly does an energy drink differ from coffee or tea? And should energy drinks be targeted at youths and young adults?

An energy drink not only contains caffeine, but a mix of other stimulants that are marketed as providing the consumer a higher order of mental and physical stimulation (ingredients include taurine and glucuronolactone). While some studies demonstrate that this is true (read the abstract here), there have also been studies demonstrating potential health hazard to adolescents and young adults due to the over-consumption of these drinks (caffeine over dose).

While I must admit that there were some nights where I turned to a Red Bull to jump-start my mental state, I personally think that the culture that Red Bull is indirectly promoting is unhealthy and potentially damaging lifestyle for youths and young adults. While coffee has the same amount of caffeine dosage as a standard 250mL can of Red Bull, Red bull can be more easily consumed at “social” events, and is seen as a go to caffeine substitute next to coffee. While Red Bull is not explicitly marketing its image as a “party” or adrenaline-seeking energy drinking brand, the athletes that Red Bull does sponsor as well as the events it hosts seem to drive that perception – so what is Red Bull’s true image then? What image are they striving for? Perhaps Red Bull should take a step back and analyze what impact its market has on the youth population.

Energy drinks in moderation, like anything else in this world, is alright. It shouldn’t be viewed as the drink to cure sleep deprevation, but at the same time it shouldn’t been seen as a vice for the “social” culture. ¬†There have been studies that have shown the benefits of energy drinks, while other studies have shown potential health risks to youths and young adults. Certainly, the best option is to consume energy drinks a “normal” level, and it is ultimately up to the consumer to realize what is best for their own health and interests.