Publicis’ Margaux Logan explains how brands can show their value to customers this holiday season
1 December 2022 | By Matt Miller, Sr. Copywriter
This is My Best Advice, a series that asks advertising experts to share key learnings from their career journeys, the best advice they’ve ever received, and insights to help grow brands and businesses.
With the holiday season just around the corner, Margaux Logan, SVP Head of Omnichannel and Emerging Marketplaces at Publicis Commerce, says Q4 is when brands want to be spreading a little extra cheer to prove their value to consumers.
And that value starts with one word: why.
“If you can nail the ‘why’ for a consumer, and you can answer why your product serves their needs, that’s how you build brand loyalty,” Logan explains. “If you can make sure that’s very clear, I think that will help going into this season.”
Amid ongoing supply-chain challenges and an evolving economy, brands have a number of factors to consider while trying to connect with consumers this holiday season. That’s what makes this “why” so important right now, Logan says.
“Going into this time where maybe consumers are cutting back a little bit, they’re going to be much more choosy about what they’re purchasing,” Logan says. “You need to explain why your brand is relevant for them. You have to build up that loyalty and make the messaging very clear.”
Logan now works as an advertising expert, helping clients navigate the world of commerce, with experience in marketing and communications at brands like Unilever and Amazon. Below, Logan shares her best advice to marketers going into the holidays and how brands can understand their “why”.
To start out, can you tell me a little bit about yourself, your career and how you got to where you’re at now?
My origin story is that I was in college, and I was like, “Wow, I love sociology and anthropology because it’s about people and why people do what they do.” The translation to a business role for that interest for me was marketing. I went to business school and got my MBA, and went and worked at Unilever for a long time and really learned how a business is run. Then I joined Amazon as a consultant for sellers to help them understand how to work with Amazon. I learned a ton there, and then Publicis was looking for someone to fill a role as their Amazon expert on what was then their new Commerce consultancy. That was an amazing next step for me, because I’ve seen all the sides of the solution. I know what a consumer thinks; I know what a client thinks; I know how a brand thinks. So, now I’m at the nexus of all of it.
That’s a great intro to our advice portion of the conversation. So, Margaux, what’s the best piece of advice you have for marketers today?
Find the “why” of what you’re doing and know why you’re there. When I was moving across teams or to new roles or to different brands and agencies, the best course of action is to determine why I’m there and why do people want to hear from me. What is it I need to help them with? Why do they have a need for my expertise? It all goes back to that consumer mindset, too. Is my consumer the client team, or the brand owner, or is it the consumer who is buying the product? This helps me keep a focus on what I’m doing day to day. Why am I here? What are we doing this for?
That’s a really interesting perspective on your job and marketing in general. Can you explain a little bit about how you’ve used this way of thinking throughout your career?
For me, this helped crystallize what I do and what drives my decision-making. It’s about staying focused on what I’m trying to accomplish. What do I need to do? What is the “why”? It’s helped me from a personal standpoint and from a business standpoint to understand how to be someone who brands or agencies can approach to help figure out a problem that needs to be solved. All brands need to understand why they’re there on a shelf and why a consumer should care about them. There are lots of brands to pick from, so why is your brand the right one for them? What is it that you stand for? And, for the consumer, how are you solving a problem or a need that they had? What is it that you are offering that matters, and how do you focus on that authenticity and purpose?
You brought up a great point about how this creates value for the consumer. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Yes, I think if you’re a brand that is offering something to consumers that addresses their need, your messaging is following in a way that says, “This is why you need Brand X.” That is where you can really hone in on getting it right. I think what you’re going to see with the holidays coming up is that there are a lot of economic trends that people are talking about. Consumers are going to be making purchases and trying to figure out why they need this particular product. So it will be about getting the right message out there about the product.
We’ve talked about your experience from both the brand side and the agency side, so with that background, can you discuss how this advice feeds into brand loyalty and why that is so important right now?
For a consumer, if you can nail the “why”, and you can answer why your product serves their needs, that’s how you build brand loyalty. If you can make sure that’s very clear, I think that will help going into this season. Going into this time where people might be cutting back a little bit, they’re going to be much more choosy about what they’re purchasing. You have to build up that loyalty and make the messaging very clear. When consumers are spending money, it’s difficult to spend hard-earned dollars on things that aren’t proven. If it’s a brand that you trust and you know will deliver a product that is going to fill your needs, you can feel good about the money you’re spending. I don’t think this is going to be a time that people are going to be looking to take chances on where they’re spending dollars.
Yeah, I am curious, with consumer habits changing and everything going on in the last few months in general, what kind of trends are you seeing going into the holiday season?
I think brands are very cognizant of supply chain and shipping costs. That is certainly a challenge. And when you’re going into the holiday season, these are all things you have to watch out for. I’m going to be very closely watching to see how people are using live commerce and livestreaming and shoppable socials to drive different ways of shopping. I think that might be a place where the money might be worth it, showcasing usage or a live review – especially if it’s a holiday thing.
Since we’re talking about the holidays, do you have a favourite holiday campaign you’ve worked on in your career?
Back when I worked on Hellmann’s, Thanksgiving was/is a huge holiday because of leftovers and turkey sandwiches galore, which typically has mayo as a star ingredient. It was a very consumer-focused insight, and from a messaging standpoint, it was a very specific campaign that was around leftovers and how you make them fun and interesting. We had a clever campaign with a celebrity chef who thought up recipes to make mundane leftovers more exciting.