As they say, knowledge is power. That’s why our team of experts is curating a monthly roundup series, aimed at capturing the latest trends, insights and brand news to fuel your creativity and spark big ideas.

In March, we saw a theme where Breakout Brands tapped humor, technology and affinity partnerships to create emotional connections with customers. Here are five examples of how companies in such diverse sectors as hospitality, e-commerce and food & beverage took their CSR and customer service initiatives to new heights through creative, out-of-the-box thinking.

TRENDS TO WATCH

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Millennials may expect it, but all generations seem to prefer digital customer service.  In fact, 81% of consumers indicated that their expectations for digital customer service are higher today than a year ago.   Take a look at how Southwest Airlines has gone digital…talk about connected service on-demand! (via AV News and Travel Market Report) 

EVOLUTION OF THE FRONT DESK—AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR HOTELS

As technology continues to transform the hotel industry, one fixture remains a puzzling constant: the front desk. With travelers desiring and expecting more “convenience” via technology, like mobile customer service and keyless entry, it’s no surprise that hotels have finally began to transform their front desk into more than just a venue to check-in guests and answer questions. Here are tips and 10 responsibilities that the position entails. (via Skift)

CAMPAIGNS TO WATCH 

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ZULILY GETS REAL WITH ‘SOMETHING SPECIAL’ CAMPAIGN

This wildly popular e-commerce site for women has a new ad campaign that presents silly situations and crackpot comedy. The ads feature the delight that shoppers experience when discovering deals on the site, highlighting that relatability is key to connect with consumers. (And they are funny!) (via AdWeek) 

A NEW TAKE ON ‘YOU’RE NOT YOU WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY’


Snickers has turned its ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’ into ‘you overreact when you’re hungry,’ and it’s hilariously accurate. By building on a theme that already works, Snickers is feeding its brand personality and using the right ingredients—no pun intended. (via AdWeek)

BRANDS TO WATCH

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NOW AMERICANS CAN RUN ON DUNKIN’—LITERALLY


By introducing a line of sneakers with Saucony, this sweet F&B giant is giving a new meaning to its famous slogan “America runs on Dunkin’.” The two companies have teamed up to take advantage of the athletic shoe fashion trend, creating a perfectly timed platform to marry PR and marketing. (via USA Today)

Simply put: Small yet creative solutions can help your brand shine in a sea of fierce competition. We hope you enjoyed this month’s insights and innovations—stay tuned for next month!