We have a lot to be thankful for this year. BSTRO was recognized on both the Top 100 Women-owned business this year and in the Top 20 LGBT-owned Bay Area businesses by SF Business Times. We also developed marketing programs for 10 new clients, deepened our long-standing relationships, and continued to love helping our clients look better, sound better, and sell more online. With 2018 almost behind us, we thought it would be fun to share some of the most common themes we heard and that will continue to influence marketing into next year.
Let’s take this online
2018 has seen e-commerce brands make more and more news. Stats show us that global e-retail sales now account for almost 14% of the total retail sales and this number is only set to increase as more companies are taking their businesses online. With online supergiants like Amazon and relative newcomers like Allbirds test driving physical pop-up shops, we’re super excited to keep building our e-commerce clients and help them make the leap to omnichannel selling.
Instagram is of course using this trend to its fullest advantage. Online shopping is now featured in Stories and feed videos, and the ‘Shopping’ channel has been introduced to the Explore feature. Instagram has joined forces with 34 brands this holiday season to bring you the #InstaGiftGuide. Drawing #inspo from 6 of the most popular hashtags of 2018, Instagram has created a series of stories to make stocking filler shopping even easier. You can get the puuur-fect gift for your #CATSOFINSTAGRAM-loving friend in this one-stop shop found in their stories. Last minute gifts anyone?
The Rise of the Savvy Shopper
The boom in e-commerce has also paved the way for a generation of savvy shoppers, with consumers favoring sustainable and transparent companies. Smart storytelling, especially in social media, has resulted in consumers seeing their hard-earned cash as votes they use to show their support to smaller, ethical and purpose-driven brands.
Local and ethically-sourced products are not the only thing sustainable shoppers are looking for in a purchase; supply chain transparency is also becoming more and more important for consumers. As a result, we’ve seen brands respond to this trend by providing honest and open insights into their product- supply chains. With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report suggesting radical change is needed to slow down global warming, this new way of shopping smart is a trend we’re fully on board with!
Everyone Wants a Toke
In October, Canada became (officially) 420 friendly! And whilst not everyone is running to their local dispensary, we have seen a huge increase in companies looking to take a toke on the CBD industry. From breweries to beauty products to special ‘pet blend’ tinctures, everyone has seen the smoke signals resulting in a massive variety of companies looking to incorporate CBD oil into their products.
Coca Cola recently reacted to rumors that they are considering a ‘Coca Cola Cannabis’ wellness drink. Even if the product doesn’t launch, the motion adds a layer of credibility to the CBD conversation, proving pot has officially left Stoner-Ville and is now a hot-topic in boardrooms across North America. Will the rest of the world follow?
The Future Is Female
If BSTRO being recognized as one of the Top 100 Female-Owned businesses isn’t big enough news for you then let’s just reflect on all the other fantastic female accomplishments 2018 has seen.
US Congress now boasts a record number of female change makers with 112 women winning seats this year. This isn’t just a symbolic victory though, with more women in Congress, the increase in women’s health-related policies being raised – and passed – increases tenfold. With more women running and winning seats, many previously overlooked communities are becoming politically charged, helping shift the world of politics to a more inclusive and level playing field.
Companies also saw an increase in the number of women sitting on boards which has proven to improve business performance. By shining a spotlight on gender inequality issues that have plagued companies in recent years we can begin to forge a new future. Tech and newer industries, such as e-commerce and cybersecurity are still a man’s world with female directors still being few and far between, but acknowledging the problem is the beginning of the solution.
Here’s to seeing a 2019 filled with new opportunities!
From Roots to Riches
With the rise of the savvy shopper, 2018 has also seen consumers going Sherlock on company’s founders. The story of a company is much more than the chronological history of a company. People are becoming more interested in the face behind the brand as well as the brand itself. A story well told allows entrepreneurs to personally and emotionally bond with their customers. 2018 has seen more and more business owners sharing the story of their company and making more genuine connections with the people that keep them in business.
Don’t believe us? Well podcasts like the brilliant ‘How I Built This with Guy Raz’ has been in the top 100 podcasts for North America since its release last year. And, of course, the Vancouver hosted TED Talks is still a hugely popular source for aspiring entrepreneurs and smart shoppers to understand the driving force and initial bloodline of the most well-loved companies and brands.
Curious about our story? What started as a conversation at a kitchen table in San Francisco back in 2004 became an ever-evolving collaboration between clients, writers, designers, strategist and technologists in cities across North America. The diverse range of projects, industries, and problems we have been able to solve is a reflection of the diversity that serves as the foundation of our story.