Thursday, 19 May 2011

Brand toys

Always like visual methods to represent complex marketing love Brand Toys from advertising giant, JWT. This brand visualistion tool takes Neilson's BrandZ study, applies design principles and creates weird and wonderful toys. Love the compare function - very illuminating identifying the differences between the top 4 supermarkets!

Brand Toys

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Bring back the High Street

Interested to hear that Mary Portas has been asked by the Government to look at how the UK's High Street's can be rejuvenated. Hope that Mary makes the radical recommendations that are needed to prevent our High Streets from falling into terminal decline.
If I may offer some talking points:
  • What is the role of the High Street in a multi-channel world? How can the High Street embrace how customers' shop - using a mix of channels to help them make their decision and purchase their item?
  • Should the High Street necessarily be mainly about shopping anymore? How can the High Street become the heart of the community, providing leisure, culture and meeting opportunities?
  • How can local authorities encourage use of the High or subsidised parking being only the opening salvo,
  • In some towns, the High Street is a no-go area at night for most people as they become the preserve of the binge-drinkers and all the associated problems too much alcohol consumption brings - how can the High Street become more inclusive at night?  

I love late night shopping

Living just outside London for 15 years left me blase about shopping. Need a bottle of wine or deli nibble at midnight, no problem, just mosey on down to the local 24 hour supermarket....and be spoilt for chice with any one of the big three to choose from.

So as you can imagine, moving back up north to the countryside was a real shock to the system, with most shops shutting at 5.30pm (although the fabulous community-run village shop does keep open until 7pm!)

However, the times are a-changing. After a long meeting in Preston last night, I was in need of a supermarket - I had promised my husband that I would buy all the ingredients for his forthcoming soup kitchen event, and as had forgotten to book his train tickets earlier that day, successfully completing this task was crucial to restoring marital harmony.

After finding my usual supermarket closed, my trusty phone said that there was a Sainsbury's open until 11pm a couple of short miles away. 10.30pm found me in a pristine Sainsbury's with the run of the store, empty save for staff who were stock-taking and giving me strange looks. At one point I was convinced one of them was going to tell me to leave, the shop was closed, but undaunted I sped down the (clear) aisles filling my trolley without screaming kids or harrassed shoppers with ankle-bashing trolleys to hamper my night's shopping I've had in ages!

ps. found out at the checkout that I was their "late night shopper" this was the first night they had opened until 11pm and I was the first/last one over the threshold...I'm a celebrity!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Blake - shameless milking of connections with the Royal Wedding

Aaargh - wasn't quite quick enough with the TV remote, and found myself alighting on the Alan Titchmarsh show (not a normal destination) in time to see the shameless marketing package that is 'Blake' performing what is quite possibly the worst 'wedding' song ever, written by Simon May (whose past crimes include the Howards' Way theme - say no more). Naturally, this song will now grace every wedding you have the misfortune to attend FOR THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS!
Once the bile induced by hearing said tune had receded, I couldn't help but admire the marketing machine behind this group....

1. Blake are four good-looking classically-trained posh boys of which two are 'acquaintances' of Kate Middleton so, lots of sofa mileage in embellishing this connection in the run-up to the wedding,

2. They are carefully cardigans - whilst this will have any sane woman under 50 running for their copy of Slipknot's latest CD in retaliation, the granny brigade will love them...and the CDs they will be bought for Christmas/birthdays from uninspired family members, ker-ching!

3. Everyone knows that the way to guarantee lots of royalties from your music for the rest of your life is to write a Christmas, funeral or wedding song - see Noddy Holder for his crimes against the festive season 30+ years on!

4. This song has been around for a least a year, however with a clever bit of re-promotion using the Royal Wedding as a hook will create demand for downloads!

On a related note, couldn't help but notice how anything with the happy couple's face on was flying off the supermarket shelves this week - whatever happened to understated taste and elegance?!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Claiming my blog

Today have listed with Technorati so need to claim my blog

Monday, 28 March 2011

Destination Liverpool....and Primark

Took 12 teenage girls to Liverpool for a weekend of culture, sight-seeing and, more importantly in their eyes, retail therapy!
On returning from their shopping expedition, I did a (v. un-scientific) survey of where they'd been - and, to a woman, all  twelve had a Primark bag in tow....along with war stories from the changing room and till queues!
Peer pressure remains alive and well...with one group of four friends all sporting a bag from the teenage brand of the moment - Hollister.

Meawhile, I braved the sales in Next and Gap - big cuts, lots of people browsing but not much till action....took one look at Primark and fled - the massive four storey outlet in Liverpool is surely the modern definition of Dante's circles of hell! 

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Facebook Adverts....unconscious endorsement?

We all know that personal recommendation is one of the strongest drivers to purchase and is a key advertising tool, so no surprise that Facebook has got in on the act.

What concerns me is that when someone has clicked to 'like' a page, Facebook takes that action and infers that it is an endorsement of the product/company to their network of friends - the advert is worded to say, for instance "Sam likes Denver Sushi".

As many people click 'like' when they don't have any strong feelings about the company/product, haven't ever tried it, or click 'like' on a whim (we've all done it!), they could be unwittingly endorsing products/companies that they wouldn't consciously choose to!

In good  'ole Facebook style, the default setting is to allow Facebook Adverts!
Prevent the devaluation of your recommendation - change your account settings now!