Since most of the agencies I work for are Shopper Marketing focused (welcome to Leeds!) I always keep a close eye on the Grocery sector, as do most of my agency mates. Grocery is knee-deep in challenges at the moment (the Discounters, provenance, excess floor space, trying to make Online pay, wafer thin margins, Marmitegate, … Continue reading they Asda to have a plan, right?
Last May, a couple of days work unexpectedly dropped out so instead I researched and wrote something on Christmas 2016 trends, thinking it might come in handy for my work with agency retail clients. Since Christmas 2016 planning is now a distant memory for agencies (last month I was working on shopper marketing for Father's Day 2017) I thought I'd share … Continue reading Christmas 2016 trendwatching
With the news that BHS is set to close it's final store on 20th August, I've been wondering who will be the next BHS - a business that dies because everyone knows their name, but no-one actually buys anything from them anymore. yep, this London branch was trading with signage from two rebrands ago I get the feeling that Marks & Spencer … Continue reading who will be the next BHS?
In May 2014, Guardian writer Oliver Burkeman wrote an excellent article titled Everyone is totally just winging it, all the time. It was a very reassuring piece for anyone who suffers from a touch of imposter syndrome from time to time: We're all mini-New York Timeses or White Houses, energetically projecting an image of calm proficiency, while … Continue reading *everyone* really is totally just winging it, all the time
Recently I've been writing a lot of powerpoint presentations - short, to-the-point presentations of course because in my time I've lived through hours of Boardroom Powerpoint Hell and have no wish to inflict that on anyone else. I said I've written a lot of presentations recently - but I didn't design them. I'm a reasonably good … Continue reading why don’t we treat powerpoint like a piece of creative communications?
I changed opticians a couple of years ago - after a very minor eye problem that my high street opticians backed away from in horror and swiftly packed me off to the local eye hospital, I decided that I needed eyecare that was a little less commoditised. So my Dad referred me (as his mate had previously … Continue reading CERM is the way forward when marketing service industries
update 22/7/16 - you can also read my (brief!) thoughts on this topic in Campaign here from March and here in July. On Monday Tesco launched seven new 'brands' across fresh food, all bearing the names of fictional farms and 'exclusively at Tesco', i.e. Own Label in branded clothing. Essentially, Tesco are pulling their 'everyday value' ranges across meat, fruit and … Continue reading Tesco’s new Farm brands – smart move?
Update 25/04/16 - BHS has now filed for administration, with 164 stores and 11,000 jobs thought to be at risk. This morning's (03/03/16) news reports that UK retailer BHS have started insolvency proceedings (or 'announced a groupwide turnaround plan' according to their own website) by filing a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). BHS' first go at asking their institutional … Continue reading BHS – the end gets closer?
I've been working as a freelance for the last five and a half years and marketing agency types often sidle up to me on the quiet and mutter that they're thinking of going freelance and would I recommend it? I've always answered that it depends on your circumstances and here's why: Is there any work out … Continue reading Should I go freelance? Important questions for marketing types
I increasingly feel like Planning as a discipline/specialism within agencies is over-complicating things. Never mind thinking about what's changed since Planning's inception in the 1960's, so much has shifted in the UK even just the last 20 years. Back in the 90's (yes, I've been a Planner for that long), clients liked seeing the thinking behind the Big Idea - in pitch … Continue reading Planning needs to go back to the Old School