Posts tagged ‘brands’
I’m working on a couple of fashion led projects (yay!) at the moment and I suppose in fashion more than anywhere else, targeting is a real issue.
Do you design and market aimed at the demographics of your current core target audience? Target the younger end of your audience because that might attract in the next generation of brand loyalists? Or target at the older end because that’s where the spending power is?
Problem is, you’re always going to upset somebody, somewhere. I read a great piece recently (god knows where…) pointing out that all the 18 year olds would like Topshop back please because its full of 30-somethings who spent their teens shopping there and aren’t ready to give it up quite yet.
I would definitely categorise myself as ‘too old for Topshop’ (google the phrase and you get 7,000+ results), I also don’t have the legs for Karen Millen or the bank account for Reiss. And as the Telegraph puts it, Dorothy Perkins has its moments – but the last, alas, was in 2002.
Where’s a girl to shop? Like (it seems) every other not-very-funky thirtysomething I end up hitting the yummy mummy brands – Boden and Monsoon. Add in some bling from Designers at Debenhams and basics from Next, Gap & M&S and you might not have the world’s most inspiring wardrobe, but at least it fits and flatters. On the other hand, I saw the most amazing dress on ASOS this morning…
So I suppose all this leads me to concluding that fashion brand allegiance is more about mindset, finances and body shape than age – but that’s very hard for brands to put into a database.
On my newish extra ‘day off’, among other things I’ve recently been working on a submission for a horsey magazine. I have to report that (based on this experience), magazine editors are much better than the average client at understanding and communicating their brand effectively.
This particular editor managed to condense her brand and its values into six words. I’m sure she has brand onions, pyramids and/or personalities knocking around her office somewhere too, but it’s a nice change from most clients I come across who cop out and send you a 10MB powerpoint presentation instead…
Katie Price (aka Jordan) is about to launch her own ‘KP Equestrian’ range of riding gear. It would be fair to say that this has divided the horsey world into two camps:
2) pink and sparkly things!!!!
For any woman whose riding wardrobe (and that of their horse too) is based around a pink-and-girly theme (and trust me, there are quite a lot of them out there) this is great news. I tend to fall into the anti-pink camp as my colour scheme is black and white, which given my big, black horse does occasionally result in my being mistaken for a mounted policewoman, but that’s surely better that than channelling Barbie Goes Riding.
However that’s not the real reason everyone is huffing and puffing – Ms Price is apparently going to do a Dressage to Music demonstration at this year’s Horse of the Year Show. She has a very talented horse, but its widely acknowledged that she’s not that experienced a rider. Despite what the tabloids might tell you, I’m about as likely as she is to make the 2012 Olympic dressage team.
The cause of all this t’interweb grumbling seems to be that just because she has a new brand to promote its OK for a sub-standard rider to be allowed to perform at this very high profile event. Its like putting Hermione-off-Harry-Potter’s A-Level Art coursework in the D&AD annual.
So its going to be very interesting to see how this new range does in terms of shifting product. I’m sure Jordan/Katie will get lots of publicity for her new brand (and the book/underwear/perfume/reality TV juggernaut that is her career) out of it, but I’m not sure how many women want to ride around living the brand in glorious velour neon pink.
However one post on a horsey forum did suggest that perhaps she’ll solve the eternal problem of finding a really supportive bra to ride in…
I’ve been wondering – when was the last time anyone launched a new tobacco brand? Since the government got all hardcore on marketing fags, (from the point of view of a non smoker) it looks like its become very difficult for to do any kind of brand based activity in this sector.
So if the alcohol industry is forced down the same road, unless brand owners also happen to have a controlling stake in a huge chunk of the on premise and/or are in the grocery multiples’ good books, they’re going to find it challenging when it comes to getting NPD flying off the shelves or back bar.
Carling already seems to be pre-empting this with their ‘Belong’ campaign which never actually names the brand. But to do this you already need a brand with lots of equity behind it.
The only good news is that in the on premise its all going to become about decision making at the point of purchase – one of my specialist subjects :-)
Somewhere, deep in every brand statement/ pyramid/ onion/ anatomy/ iceberg/ essence/ journey/ vehicle is an answer to the question ‘what are we passionate about?’
But I don’t think that brands make a big enough deal about passions in general.
Passions in truly great businesses (and brands) tend to be about things like delivering a great customer experience or totally user focused NPD rather than making more widgets for a lower price per unit.
An end-user’s passion for a brand is far more likely to be based on brand experience, usability or all-round gorgeousness than the latest BOGOF deal or the thingumydigit technology behind it all.
The ideal scenario would be to make the businesses behind brands passionate about doing whatever it takes to excite their customer’s passions.
logo from says-it.com
There’s been a lot of fuss this week on t’interweb about whether Ad X is a ripoff (or homage) to Ad Y and if Campaign Z is actually any good.
But what are we all going to blog about when all this media fragmentation, CRM and digital malarky gets its act together and means that enormous campaigns could be running and we’d never know about them?
Because if done well, communications will only interact with the precise audience they’re targeted at, rather than anyone who happens to switch on the telly at 9pm.
I suppose its Stealth Marketing. As a brand you could, in theory, be as provocative or offensive as you like because so long as it doesn’t offend your target audience, no-one else is going to experience it…
We quickly got round to talking about Howies at last night’s Northern Planners in Manchester. First off Andrew confessed to buying the majority of his wardrobe from them. Then there were lots of positive comments about how the strength of the brand hadn’t really been diluted by Timberland buying them. The overall consensus was that Howies was a very cool and credible brand.
But I had to butt in with the observation that I know several 30something blokes in Howies’ target audience that consider the brand to be worn by “poncy left wing tree huggers” and wouldn’t be seen dead in it.
Now you could argue that the whole point of a cool brand is that it only appeals to a certain niche audience, but my overnight view is that its all very well appealing to the Coolerati, but if the affluent mainstream doesn’t understand your brand, you’re precluding growth.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Trust recently.
In an planning/agency context, there’s a lot of Trust needed, between Planners and their Account Directors (please involve me but don’t try and micro manage my relationship with your client) and between Planners and their key client contacts (I really do have the best interests of your brand and business at heart).
And that’s important, because what we’re trying to achieve as an agency/client team, is to get consumers/retailers/employees/stakeholders to trust (and therefore engage with) their brands.
I’ve been revisiting Jeremy Bullmore’s great 1972 speech ‘the consumer has a mind as well as a stomach’, where he talks about brands needing to demonstrate what they are saying – in his example, telling a funny joke rather than simply saying “I am funny” and expecting consumers to believe it. Which (I think) all comes down to having to earn trust.
Which seems to bring me back to a thought that as Planners we have to demonstrate our trust-worthiness (both agency and client wise) in order to be given the free rein we need to do our best work. Which is where carefully selected dropped-into-conversation/ credentials APG and IPA Awards mentions and case studies came in.
But I’m wondering if in just a few months there will be such a lot of Planning ‘thinking’ out there on the internet that it will only take a quick google for a client or colleague to establish whether a Planner is ‘trustworthy’, in the same way that you can currently google brands. Add in a quick search of (the suddenly ridiculously expensive) WARC and brandrepublic and we’ve got nowhere to hide…
I sent a client off to check out another agency’s blog recently. Actually, I sent them off to read a speech from 1972.
No, I’m not trying to lose the account – I pointed my client towards Jeremy Bullmore’s 1972 address ‘ the consumer has a mind as well as a stomach’, hosted on the Staufenberger’s blog.
(update 09/03/11 – the Staufenberger blog seems to have been taken down, but you can get a copy of Bullmore speech here instead)
If you haven’t read it, its a really pertinent piece looking at the difference between shouting your message and understanding, respecting and engaging the consumer. Its easy to forget that not every client has read what you have or has access to the same ammunition when they’re fighting internal battles.
Maybe part of Planning’s role is to be some kind of human google for our clients?