For a quick summary, this week’s featured stories include:

  • 20 luxury brands that millennials most want to own
  • Why CEOs are slowly losing confidence in their brand’s Digital IQ
  • NY agencies are gaining more empathy for Middle America
  • What Elmer’s glue can teach you about the ROI of social media
  • How Chinese and American consumers describe a creative product
  • A creative solution to a common problem nonprofits face

How Agencies Are Embracing Trump’s America

One of the few undisputed things about the past US election is that it illustrated a gap in culture and attitudes between the East + West coasts and the area of the country often called “Middle America.” Rather than continue this us vs. them mentality, some NY based agencies are choosing instead to help their staff understand people unlike themselves by actually going to some of those so-called “Red States.” It is a perfect example of the kind of curiosity-induced empathy that the world badly needs more of.

The Bizarre Instagram Fad Causing Elmer’s Glue Shortages

You can make all kinds of slime out of Elmer’s glue – and it is officially a big deal on Instagram. There are retail shortages of glue thanks to the fad. The most interesting part of this story, though, is whether better social media monitoring could have helped the brand to predict this fad and ramp up production to anticipate it? This is exactly the kind of connection between social media and supply chain management that needs to happen more often to better illustrate the real business value of social media beyond just counting likes or followers.

Chinese + Americans Disagree On What Makes A Product Creative

In this interesting story sharing the survey results of asking Chinese versus American consumers about what makes a product truly creative or innovative – one big point stood out. For Chinese consumers, a product that had gone mainstream was more likely to be seen as creative … whereas in the US, going mainstream was not a necessity and in some cases may even create a disadvantage. The conclusion? Artisanal, small batch, limited edition products may work in the US market, but perhaps not as well in other markets like China where mass appeal is seen as adding more value rather than indicating that a product had “jumped the shark” as the American expression goes.

Can a Color Changing Video Attract More Charitable Donations?

One of the biggest challenges for nonprofits is to use urgency to drive donations. In this innovative video from nonprofit Little Mended Hearts, the color slowly changes in the video as viewers click a button to donate … literally bringing more color into a little animated boy named Max’s world. It is a great example of using creativity to solve the problem of how to give someone an instant payoff if they donate right now.

CEOs Lose Confidence In Their Company’s Digital IQ

While it is easy to assume that most companies are slowly investing more into digital and thereby getting smarter – a new survey featured in this article may challenge those assumptions. The PWC survey found that only 52 percent of companies rate their “digital IQ” as strong, down from 67 percent last year. What is causing the downturn? A skills gap, marginal increases in investment and a lack of good execution were cited as the most common reasons.

The Luxury Brands Millennials Most Want To Own

81% of millennials and teens in a new report from Ypulse say that showing off luxury purchases on social media is not cool. Instead, they gravitate to words like “high quality” and “durable” rather than “high end” or “luxury.” In addition, the report shares that this surveyed group of 13-34 year olds “often value travel and experiences over costly jewelry, shoes, and bags.” To read more and find out what the top 20 brands they most want to own are, click the link above to read the full article.

How Are These Stories Chosen?

Every week I review more than a hundred data sources to curate the best and most under appreciated marketing stories of the week. The aim of this email is to spotlight these “non-obvious” stories, along with a quick take on why they matter for you. I hope you find this email interesting and useful … and am always open to your suggestions on how I might make it better!

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