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Coffee Break is a personal project that I started to learn something new every day.

I curate only the most exciting articles and insights that give you a glimpse into how marketing and consumer behaviours are changing and the forces driving that change.

My daily top 10 recommendations are curated from 50+ publications to give you a broader perspective on marketing, retail, technologies, public policies and consumer trends.

Thank you for reading!

What did 2020 do to retail?

"The world of retail was already going through extreme turbulence, driven by a number of factors. The first is consumer behaviors and demographic changes — more single parent households, more people living alone, more urban living. This is a 20-year trend.

On top of that, you have changing expectations — for more quality, more convenience, more speed, more choice, more value, all at the same time. That creates an impossible economic equation for retailers."

Continue reading //Harvard Business Review
Tech platforms vowed to address racial equity: how have they fared?

“The bar is high, and the real focus now is seeing what is going to happen beyond the public statements,” said Yumeka Rushing, chief strategy officer at the NAACP. “This isn’t a moment, it’s a movement, and it’s going to take a lot of effort to move the needle on systemic racism.”

Here’s which companies are doing and not doing to follow through on their commitments to diversity and antiracism in 2020."

Continue reading //Guardian
‘Don’t care about those perks’: Employees are no longer staying at companies for a cool culture
“When the pandemic hit and everyone decentralized, what I heard from hundreds of my clients is that people don’t care about those perks,” said Josh Wand, founder and CEO of recruiting firm ForceBrands, adding that his New York City office had been among those to offer free lunches, beer and cold brew on tap and a ping pong table as he believed the physical space was a draw for talent. “People want to feel connected. They want to feel valued. The little things become the big things. It’s not about the free lunch or the extra perks — it’s about growth opportunities, visibility and transparency.” 
Continue reading //Digiday
Neural’s AI predictions for 2021
Humans will turn their attention to “why” AI makes the decisions it makes. When we think about the explainability of AI, it has often been talked about in the context of bias and other ethical challenges. But as AI comes of age and gets more precise, reliable and finds more applications in real-world scenarios, we’ll see people start to question the “why?” The reason? Trust: humans are reluctant to give power to automatic systems they do not fully understand. For instance, in manufacturing settings, AI will need to not only be accurate, but also “explain” why a product was classified as “normal” or “defective,” so that human operators can develop confidence and trust in the system and “let it do its job”.
Continue reading //The Next Web
The jig is up: The end of the identity workaround
"But the real trouble starts when the desire to avoid a reckoning leads to a refusal to grapple with the evidence. And the evidence so far points to a future where third-party cookies and mobile identifiers are blocked or limited by browsers and devices. It should be uncontroversial to say that Google and Apple have every right to protect the privacy of their consumers. After all, they’re the ones responsible for those people. Yet years of workarounds spotlight the way in which the ad industry has been in denial about this moment ever arriving. In the wake of their announcements, Google and Apple left the market with little doubt over their plans and the lack of workarounds to them. "
Continue reading //Digiday
How China’s swift recovery boosted it to fashion capital status
"And it’s not at the top level where China’s influence in fashion is growing. From the bottom up, fashion trends are starting in China and spreading to the west in a way they never did before. In July, a wave of Chinese street style videos swept through Anglophone TikTok — they were taken from the Chinese version of the app and posted by American users. It exposed many American users to China’s fashion world and popularized Chinese influencers outside of China overnight. One influencer, who goes by @ergoozhang, jumped from 140 followers on Instagram to more than 70,000 within a month. Non-Chinese brands and retailers may be desperate for a piece of the China pie, but from top to bottom it’s clear that the shift is larger than just business interests."
Continue reading //Digiday
How 2020 killed the Instagram brand
"Minimalistic aesthetics are rejected in favor of bright, clashing colors and oversized lettering. Edited photos that evoke a carefree way of life have been replaced by imperfect vignettes from home. And instead of positioning their products as ones that could swing open the gates to a breezy, minimalist lifestyle, brands are increasingly trying to stand for something bigger, centering their social media strategy around busting taboos or reaching customers that have historically been overlooked."
Continue reading //Digiday
Some early observations on the Google December core update
"Google’s December 2020 Core update was a big one according to many of the data providers. Our job, day in and day out, is to analyze Google updates and determine what the commonalities are so that we can advise our clients on how to improve their websites. Now that the core update is done rolling out, as of December 16, 2020 and while we do not have the December core update figured out completely, we thought we would pass on some interesting observations that we have made so far."
Continue reading //Search Engine Land
Sorry, Facebook. iOS changes aren't bad for small businesses
"Apple’s policy will take a bite out of surveillance capitalism, and will hand that excess profit back to traditional media and advertising businesses that will offer small businesses a greater diversity of opportunities to get the word out about their products and services. A more meaningful number for Facebook to report would be how deprecating ad-targeting options correlates, if at all, to the overall commercial success of small businesses—not their sales rates on Facebook itself. Facebook can research and eventually report the former, but it is well aware that such a study wouldn't yield a useful number for their purposes."
Continue reading //Wired
Boxing Day bots: Threats to e-commerce and how to stop them
"As 2020 comes to an end, there are a number of fraud models that both retailers and e-commerce companies should be aware of, each presenting different threats. These threats siphon thousands of pounds every day from leading retailers. What’s more, they have a dramatic impact on the way retailers are perceived by current and potential customers. When a consumer fails to complete a transaction because of a bot-based fraud scheme, it’s not the fraudster they blame, it’s the retailer."
Continue reading //Tech Radar
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Copyright © 2020 Aliyar Hussain, All rights reserved.

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