Posted by Paula Oliveira on November 29, 2013 02:02 PM
One year ago, speakers at the Sustainable Brands Conference in London focused on three key themes: unified vision, collaboration and simplicity. In 2013, many speakers addressed the same themes once more. Does that mean nothing has changed? Or have we lost our imagination?
In fact, things have changed. Fewer business professionals question nowadays if sustainability (or triple bottom line, social responsibility, corporate citizenship, or whatever you want to call it) is good for business, and it is now more intrinsically linked to business strategy. More sustainability advocates are capable of proving with strong business cases that the investment pays off.
For instance, UK retailer Marks & Spencer says in its annual report that the net benefit generated by Plan A (M&S’s commitment to sustainable business) was £135 million, an increase of 29 percent over the previous year, and during the conference, Adam Elman, M&S Global Head of Delivery, said Plan A has delivered 193 percent return on investment. Not bad, is it? Another example is Kering (formerly PPR, owner of brands such as Gucci and Puma), which pioneered a methodology to value the ‘ecosystem services’ it uses to produce Puma’s sports shoes and clothes. But it's not all about costs: “At Kering, sustainability is seen as an opportunity. Sustainability creates value and stimulates innovation," said Marie-Claire Daveu, the company's Chief Sustainability Officer, who joined the business due to its CEO’s strong commitment to sustainability. “Leadership commitment is everything in this area."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 20, 2013 07:12 PM
John Lewis’ 2013 Christmas campaign in the UK, a seasonal rite of passage, is “a £7m multi-media festive extravaganza,” animated by Disney's Lion King artists and costing £1m alone.
It’s just one example of how high (and early) the bar is being set for branded holiday ads this year as shoppers around the world, weary from escalating costs-of-living and economic challenges, plan to spend only $800 this holiday season on gifts, down from $854 last year.
And so retailers are pulling out all the stops to get attention from consumers, hoping to draw them in with witty and charming ads and deep promotional discounts. UK advertisers alone are set to spend nearly $630 million on ads in the last three months of the year, while American brands got a head start, with Kmart airing its first holiday-related ad one-hundred days before Christmas. Indeed, advertisers seem to be heading back to the small-screen while maintaining a solid presence on social media to get the most out of holiday promotional efforts.
And that has led some brands to go above and beyond. From Kmart's controversial "Show Your Joe" ad to Best Buy and Marks & Spencer's celebrity-heavy campaigns, brands are working hard to get the attention of shoppers.
Here's some of the most extravagant holiday ads we've seen so far:Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 18, 2013 11:12 AM
Gap has put its own spin on holiday cheer with this year's #MakeLove campaign featuring artists and activists who are making a difference in the world.
The retailer has received praise for featuring a diverse group of personalities in its print and digital adverts, from rapper Q-Tip to artist and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte, and music celebebrities including Tony Bennett, Kenna, Cyndi Lauper and Billy Porter. It has especially received attention for featuring the face of Indian-American designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia in all 866 Gap retail stores in the US, online and on social media, in which he wears a traditional Sikh turban.
Ahluwalia has become one of the most prominent Sikh celebrities in America through his House of Waris line and appearances in films such as Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic and Spike Lee’s Inside Man.
Consumers have reacted positively to the inclusive campaign on social media:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 6, 2013 06:33 PM
British retailer Marks & Spencer wants to keep a sense of exclusivity about its products, so, like many luxury brands and purveyors, it plans to limit access to some of its stock. Company CEO Marc Bolland confessed that the retailer indeed held back inventories or popular products so as to not saturate the market.
“Some garments, you do not want more than 3,000,” he said, according to the Telegraph. “You do not want 40,000 of the same coats walking around. That is probably not the way to also create some of the stylishness.”
The retail strategy is used across many different sectors, especially among car brands like Ferrari and Audi, which choose to preserve their brand's extra-special quality by only making sometimes a handful of a high-end model, no matter the demand.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2013 09:22 AM
Starbucks commits to recruiting 10,000 veterans and Army spouses while Walgreen offers military-only discount on Veterans Day.
Nokia swipes at Samsung with lower-priced phablet.
Cargill begins labeling its "finely textured" beef aka "pink slime."
Abercrombie & Fitch expects weak holiday sales.
Acer ousts CEO as another victim of iPad.
Apple adds suppliers to boost iPhone and iPad production as it claims fifth place in China mobile market.
Boeing plans to build 777x jet in Washington State.
Brides Magazine wants its new app to take on dress counterfeiters.
Burger King plans to bring back Big Mac copycat.
CNN turnaround runs into heavy viewer indifference.
Deadline.com severs ties with Nikke Finke.
Goodyear glides with US ski association.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 13, 2013 09:33 AM
Bangladesh plans to raise pay for garment workers and allow unions.
ABC veteran Barbara Walters announces 2014 retirement as Disney plans to live-stream ABC programming via app and cloud.
Yum! sales in China fall 29 percent in April.
ABB says CEO plans to resign.
Audi outsells BMW brand globally — again.
Bloomberg admits use of its terminals for data snooping.
CBS chief touts TV over digital engagement.
Cisco tries reinvention in tough time.
Danone sets deal to acquire Happy Family brand.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 06:48 PM
The social media airwaves are alive with fury as a seven-year-old comment reignites a firestorm over positive body image and branding.
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries made his position clear back in 2006 and has stuck to it ever since. “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
Jeffries' prejudice was reignited after a blog post reminded the public that the brand doesn't carry sizes XL or XXL in its women's products, a decision that is not only outdated but one that is being challenged by direct competitors like American Eagle and H&M, both which carry extended sizes for women and men.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 22, 2013 05:49 PM
Consider retailing a two-pronged challenge: On the one hand, retailers must accommodate the increasingly mobile consumer. On the other hand, the traditional retailer can't ignore the need to drive that consumer to a physical store.
As highlighted in our previous post on the future of retail, there is a flurry of activity surrounding online retail initiatives right now, with particular emphasis on mobile. Mobile payments in particular are getting a lot of attention as retailers figure out ways to transfer the shopping experience to every sort of handheld device.
But there is an equally intense effort to reinvent the traditional store. In fact, many retailers are beginning to realize that rather than close stores, they can sustain them by giving them a much-needed facelift. More than a surface makeover, however, reinventing the store involves a thorough rework that often includes a growing trend: creating a "brand story" to engage and involve a consumer in the shopping experience.Continue reading...