People are concerned about their safety, but they are not as worried about being hacked or their phone not working, but rather about “feeling” unsafe without a wallet on them. However, after the experiment, most of the participants were surprised to discover that they felt safer just having and paying with their phones than they previously thought, and even sometimes safer than with cash or cards
Strategic Planning Portfolio - Julie Lubbers
STRATEGIC PLANNING PORTFOLIO
Julie™ sees different.
I am madly in love
Especially the strange ones.
For it is ever so beautiful to be strange.
To see things in a new light.
To do things differently than others.
To me, that is gold I carry.
This portfolio contains 4 case studies I completed while working at agencies in
New York, Boston and Shanghai.
It also includes the marketing case study through which I was awarded the YMA FSF Scholarship.
They all represent a team effort of wonderful people I have been fortunate to
work with and learn from.
All cases are the result of thoughtful research, critical thinking and creative planning.
They are the result of seeing and doing things differently.
But more importantly, they are the result of a strong understanding of people.
After the case studies, there is a short section about my life and previous experience.
1. Bank of America (Hill Holliday, Boston)
2. Kuhn Rikon (The Good Agency Asia, Shanghai, China)
3. North Carolina Sweet Potatoes (Padilla, New York)
4. Bud Light (JBS Marketing Case Competition, Brandeis IBS)
5. Birchbox (YMA Fashion Scholarship Foundation)
Bank of America is a 225-year old banking and financial services company. While it prides itself on its heritage, it also knows
the importance of staying current and evolving with the modern consumer in order to stay relevant. Therefore, in these past
years, Bank of America has been making efforts to offer more mobile payment options for its consumers. Nevertheless, it has
noticed that consumers are not making use of this modern forms of payment. In a stride to better understand its current and
potential customers, Bank of America turned to Hill Holliday to help them better understand why and how people are or are
using mobile payment services as a way to purchase products and services.
Hill Holliday realized that to truly tap into the consumer’s unconscious beliefs and uses
of mobile payment services, it needed to go further than having surveys, focus groups or
interviews. Therefore, Hill Holliday created a study / social experiment called “No Cash,
No Cards: A Week in the Cashless Future.”
“A Week in the Cashless Future” was a study in which a young couple, a student, a
middle-aged professional, and an elder woman participated in separately. These four
groups had their wallets taken away and had to spend a week using their phones as their
only form of payment in their daily lives. They recorded their experiences living without
cash and cards by filming daily short videos and sharing them with us at Hill Holliday.
After the week, we conducted in-depth interviews with the four groups to analyze their
● People feel vulnerable and “naked” without their wallets
● People feel awkward and silly paying with their phones
○ As Sam described it: “I feel like he’s rolling his eyes when I pay with my phone. Aesthetically paying with my phone doesn’t fit
at a store like a butcher shop. In general, it just feels like a silly and awkward transaction. They’re giving you a real product or
service - doing a real thing - and you pay them in such a surreal way.”
○ They are missing a human & social interaction, which is greater when paying with cash or cards
Through the “No Cash, No Cards: A Week in the Cashless Future” we found very interesting results
(summarized in a table in the next slide). Among the most interesting insights that we discovered
are that the greatest reasons why people are not keen on using mobile payments are:
Participant Cash Debit &
( BEFORE experiment)
RESULT & CHANGES IN USAGE OF
MOBILE APPS (AFTER EXPERIMENT)
Young graphic designer
Enjoys spending time with friends
Does not use cash often;
Is mindless about cash,
thinks of as “free money”
than with cash
Only uses for reward programs
Views as easy and “magical,” but remains
skeptical and believes it is unsafe
Uses more money with mobile apps than usually,
especially to get more rewards
Mid-20s software engineer working
at tech company in Cambridge
Very tech savvy
Does not use cash often
Mindful about cash,
“easy to track”
pay, easy and
More mindless spending, “only one click
Open to the idea of a future with no wallet
Thinks of as secure
Makes him more hesitant to spend money, more
Feels vulnerable and “naked” without his
Lives in Downtown Boston with
husband (investment banker) and 2
Loves to play golf and try new
Does not use cash often
Mindful about cash,
“easy to track”
Thinks of as
Does not use often
Does not think about it often, but is open
to trying new things and being up to date
with future trends
Not sure whether mobile payments are
Makes her feel younger and hip
Feels more secure paying with her phone,
since she realized that she and her
daughters are more attached and less likely
to lose their phones than their wallets
Waiter in Cambridge bar
Uses cash very often;
Mindless about cash,
“uses it like water”
only credit card
Easy to use
Has only used a few times
Feels “weird” using mobile payments
Feels limited in how much he can do or places he
can go, since not all accept mobile payments
Feels “silly and awkward” using phone to
Waiter in Cambridge bar
Uses cash very often;
Mindful about cash
Does not use
Has never used before
Not used to the idea of paying with a phone
Surprised to find how many business accept
Feels uncomfortable asking to pay with
Feels safer and more secure
The results of the study were presented at the MediaFWD 2016 Conference in Boston.
Watch it here by clicking on the image below:
YouTube: “mediaFWD 2016 // No Cash No Cards: A Week In the Cashless Future”
Since we found very interesting insights through this social experiment, we decided to not only use those insights
for the MediaFWD Conference, but also for future Bank of America campaigns that relate to mobile payments.
We developed 2 potential strategies:
1. A “touchy, feely” strategy - empathising with the awkward and vulnerable side of the
consumer and trying to make them feel as like paying with your phone does not necessarily
have to be an awkward and silly experience.
2. Address the “awkwardness” that people feel when using mobile payments head on, by
saying: “the most awkward (but easiest) way to pay”
Through the “A Week in the Cashless Future” study, we discovered that there
is not yet the right infrastructure for a “cashless” society, as many stores do
not accept mobile payments. This means that people feel and will continue to
feel awkward and uneasy with this form of paying for a long time until the
infrastructure is created and mobile payments are normalized.
Therefore, we decided that strategy #2 would be the best way to encourage
consumers to make more use of more mobile payment services at this time.
Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss luxury kitchenware company. It is particularly well-known for fast cookers under the brand name Duromatic, which
is often used in Switzerland as a synonym for a steam cooker.
Kuhn Rikon entered the Chinese market to tap into the great purchasing power of the wealthy Chinese consumers that are emerging as a
result of the country’s booming economy. However, despite the market showcasing great demand for high-quality, luxurious European
kitchenware and it marketing itself as a luxury kitchenware brand, Kuhn Rikon had so far not been doing well in China among the
high-class Chinese consumers, showing low sales. Thus, it asked The Good Agency Asia for help by developing a new marketing,
advertising or branding strategy.
At The Good Agency Asia, we conducted extensive primary and secondary research to better understand the wealthy Chinese consumer and
its attitudes towards kitchenware and the Kuhn Rikon brand specifically. This included online market research via several databases of
information about high-income consumers in China, surveys, focus groups, in-depth one-on-one interviews, and an ethnographic exercise.
High-income Chinese consumers favor high-quality, luxurious European brands when purchasing
kitchenware. However, interestingly, they were not attracted to the Kuhn Rikon brand and its
products because the products’ style is very Northern European - minimalist, functional and simple.
While in Europe consumers interpret this style as being high-quality and luxurious, Chinese
consumers were not educated about this style and brand, therefore, they interpreted it as not
having the “high quality” or “luxury” elements that they looked for when purchasing kitchenware.
STRATEGY & WORK
Chinese consumers favored kitchenware products that were European, high-quality, and luxurious.
However, since they were not educated about Northern European style, they normally did not consider Kuhn Rikon as a choice.
We needed to find a new way to educate the Chinese consumers about the Kuhn Rikon brand, its products and the style.
While high-income Chinese consumers did not associate the Northern European style with luxury and high-quality, they did have strong
associations with the “Made in Switzerland” trademark. To them, it denotes luxury, as they associated it with products such as Rolex.
We recommended Kuhn Rikon to attach to its branding, marketing & advertising efforts its
procedence from Switzerland, as a way to educate Chinese consumers and give its brand the
European, luxurious and high-quality association that wealthy Chinese consumers were looking
for (see new logo to the right)
The results were extraordinary.
Sales grew already in the first month, and Kuhn Rikon quickly became a known kitchenware brand in China.
The North Carolina SweetPotato Commission is a nonprofit corporation made up of over 400 sweet potato growers along with the
packers, processors and business associates that support them. The sole purpose of the commission is to increase sweet potato
consumption through education, promotional activities, research and honorable horticultural practices among its producers.
Sweet potatoes have long been a special treat dotting our holiday tables. Everyone has his or her own special recipe. Yet, in the early
2000's overall consumption began leveling off. In response, the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission (NCSP) asked Padilla to help
break this trend and develop a strategy to create more demand for sweet potatoes.
When examining the sweet potato consumption patterns of the past years, we noticed that demand
and sales peaked during holiday times and the winter season, but were low the rest of the year.
Sweet potatoes contain more fiber, Vitamin A and potassium than white potatoes, and still maintain a
good, sweet taste to them. Like regular potatoes, they can be baked , mashed or roasted and used in a
variety of year-round meals.. Nevertheless, people were not considering sweet potatoes as an
ingredient choice in their daily meals (except during the winter) - we wanted to know why.
At PadillaCRT, we conducted extensive quantitative and qualitative research that made use of
commercial reports such as Nielsen and techniques such as ZMET, focus groups, laddering and
We found out that consumers — especially from the Baby Boomer and older generations — strongly associated sweet
potatoes with the dishes their grandmothers made for them in the winter at family dinners during American holiday
meals such as Thanksgiving. They thus thought of sweet potatoes as an ingredient for somewhat unhealthy holiday
dishes such as pies and casseroles. Also, they associated it to “cold” and “winter.”
● Most of the participants were not aware that
sweet potatoes could be bought and used in
● Even those who were aware said that they did
“not know how or in what dishes to include sweet
potatoes in their daily meals”
STRATEGY & WORK
In order to make sweet potatoes a year-long staple food instead of a holiday dish, we needed to educate them about the different
ways one can use sweet potatoes in their daily meals all year long - from salads, to soups and even breakfast toasts. To increase
consumption, it was especially crucial to reach new audiences to create new associations with sweet potatoes among the younger
generations. Gaining acceptance among millennials would require a digital strategy, which had never been attempted by the NCSP.
1. We completely re-engineered NCSP's website experience from the bottom up.
New architecture, SEO, fresh content and an inviting design helped to bring in a wave of new visitors.
2. We launched a full social media and blogger relations campaign to educate and drive awareness
of this tasty tater. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube were all utilized to
deliver new and innovative sweet potato recipes to younger, more food-savvy audiences.
3. Sponsorship & partnership with PBS’ “A Chef’s Life”
4. The "SweetBytes" blog was also added to the website to provide owned content and
update members to the tune of a 487% increase in web traffic in the first year.
New NCSP Website“How to make a Spicy Sweet Potato Salad” segment by Chef Vivian Howard for
PBS TV show “A Chef’s Life” and for the NCSP online campaign
One of the most successful elements of our strategy and campaign was the marketing, advertising & PR of the “Sweet Potato Toast”
● Site traffic, Google search and social media numbers all shattered
campaign goals – some by as much as 480%
● For these growers, what really matters is consumption.
We delivered on that, too.
○ In just 2 years, per capita sweet potato consumption soared
more than 35%.
■ It reached an all-time high of 7½ pounds in 2014 – a 60%
increase over five years.
Bud Light is an Anheuser-Busch beer brand and the best selling beer in America. Much of its success is attributed to its marketing efforts.
Its most successful campaign up to date is the “Up for Whatever” Campaign. Targeted mainly at millennial consumers, this campaign was
meant to invoke feelings of a spontaneous, fun night out with friends. What is more, it successfully linked the Bud Light brand to the
creation of friendships, experiences and memories.
The campaign included TV commercials (aired during the Super Bowl), the “House of Whatever,” social contests on YouTube, Facebook,
Instagram and Tinder, advertisements on all platforms, and special labels on its beer bottles. The “Up for Whatever” campaign was a huge
success: it accounted for roughly 60% of Bud Light’s social conversion, with most of it being positive and aspirational.
As part of Bud Light’s #UpForWhatever campaign, beer cans were printed with the slogan:
“The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”
The label immediately received a huge backlash, since it was interpreted as encouraging rape culture.
It was particularly problematic, as this was at a time of public outcry over rape on college campuses.
Because of this incident, Bud Light fell flat (especially) among women, the demographic Bud Light was desperately trying to attract.
At Brandeis Intl’ Business School, we were asked to present our recommendations for the best way for Bud Light to respond.
The picture of the label was first posted on Monday April 26, and went viral. In the first week:
- Bud Light received 8,500 campaign mentions vs. earlier average of 5,500 mentions per week
- 6,600 tweets about Bud Light vs. 3,900 last week
- Trending hashtag on Twitter: #UpforConsent
- Bud Light’s “buzz” score fell from 6 on Monday to 0 on Thursday; among women, score fell from 5 to -3
- Top three emotions associated with the “Up for Whatever” campaign 3 months ago were “success, ”“desire,” “love”
vs. that week: “stress,” “remorse,” desire for the brand to recall the bottles
- The company’s stock price fell 4% that week
- Negative image and reputation associated with the brand
My recommended strategy consisted of two parts. Firstly:
- Change the label immediately
- Call back all beer bottles with the label
- Apologize to the public
This is in fact what Anheuser-Busch did, and what all the other participants in the case competition also proposed.
The difference is that my proposed strategy did not stop there: it recommended Bud Light to use this incident as the
ultimate opportunity to attract female consumers.
While others saw this incident as a huge problem for Bud Light, which it arguably was, I also saw it as an opportunity.
All the attention was on Bud Light, especially the attention of women. It was the perfect chance to turn the incident in an opportunity to
differentiate itself in the beer industry by presenting a new concept of “women & beer,” and in this way attracting the female
demographic that it had been desperately trying to attract.
My recommendation was to create a counter-campaign, a second part of the “Up for Whatever,”
only this time “Up for Whatever” would be all about EMPOWERING individuals, both men and
(especially) women. It would encourage women not to ever be afraid or feel powerless, and
instead encouraging them to be fearless, stand up for themselves, and keep fighting for what they
want and deserve – in this way being “up for whatever.”
This campaign thus gives “up for whatever” a brand new meaning. It would make use of the
trending hashtag #UpforConsent, and turn its negative associations with the brand into positive
ones by stating that Bud Light believes: “#UpforWhatever means #UpforConsent”
● Donation to charities and organizations that stand for women’s rights,
empowerment, help & opportunities (i.e. rape crisis centers, WOW)
● Increase number of women in the Bud Light’s board of directors
● Advertisements on different channels that promote:
- #UpforWhatever means #UpforConsent
- a new concept of “women & beer” in the industry
● Get popular female inspiring spokeswoman for the campaign
(i.e. Beyonce, Gisele Bundchen)
● Programs in college campuses creating awareness around how to drink responsibly while having a good time
● Create a discussion on social media on what #UpforConsent & #UpforEmpowerment means to you
● Contests on YouTube, Facebook & Twitter to attend the “Up for Empowerment Town”
RECOMMENDED INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM
1. MARKET - Young women
2. MISSION - Build brand equity & attract more female consumers
3. MESSAGE - “Up for Whatever” = “Up for Consent”
“Women are fearless and powerful” - new concept of “women & beer”
4. MEDIA - TV, social media, events.
5. MONEY - 60% of total “Up For Whatever” campaign budget
6. MEASUREMENT - “buzz,” likes, posts, sharing on social media,
surveys, focus groups among women,
impressions, click through rate.
RESULT: With this case study, I was honored to win the JBS / Brandeis International Business School Marketing Case Competition
Birchbox is a online monthly subscription service that sends its subscribers a box of 4-5 selected samples of makeup, or other beauty
related products. The company currently has a limited brick and mortar operation with a key flagship, select leased locations and several
pop up shops. The case competition asked to:
● Develop an expansion strategy that leverages the strengths of the existing business model to acquire new customers
● Select 2 innovative partnerships for distribution that will attract new customers while appropriately representing Birchbox’s
● Create a marketing campaign to support your new acquisition strategy, including marketing tactics and timing.
● Provide a detailed financial plan for your expansion and marketing strategies. including expected revenue and expense over a 6
month time frame from August 2016-January 2017.
● Identify the size and value of the potential new customer base given this distribution strategy.
○ Provide detail on your market size analysis.
○ Provide detail on your CLV (customer lifetime value) analysis.
BUSINESS CASE COMPETITION · YMA Fashion Scholarship Foundation
I was honored to be awarded the YMA Fashion Scholarship Foundation Award 2016
based on the following business case study (company analysis & recommendations).
CLICK on the image below to access it:
Search for: “YMA Case Study - Julie Lubbers”
Being from the Netherlands, raised in Spain, having lived in China, currently studying in the
US and having travelled all around the globe, I am fortunate to have all my life been in
contact with people of very different cultures, languages, ideas, values, attitudes and
This has made me fascinated by human nature and people’s stories, and hungry to better
understand the outlooks on life of those who are different to me. It has made me to want to
constantly question everything and to challenge the facts given, and often allowed me to
generate new and original ideas and solutions in order to raise the standard around me.
When I was a young girl, I often found the fact that I see things differently than others to be
problematic, as I never seemed to fit exactly in just one box. However, throughout my life
and work experiences, I have come to realize that my understanding of human behavior
across cultures and ability to look at things from different and multiple perspectives not only
makes me different, it gives me the chance to understand and fit in many boxes – and that is
far more exciting.