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Will the European debt crises affect American luxury spending? – Luxury Daily – Commerce

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All luxury marketers will be hit by the debt crises plaguing European countries such as Italy and Spain, but diversified brands that practice customer retention have the best shot of surviving.

Since many luxury brands are headquartered in Italy and Spain, there is a chance that the productivity will be hindered if the countries are not bailed out. Furthermore, affluent consumers in Europe, as well as around the world, could take this as a sign to slow down luxury spending.

“I have one term: customer retention,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York. “The luxury industry loses customers who will not purchase again in the next 10 months.

“Brands need to gear up for a dramatic effort to make sure customers who buy continue to buy,” he said. “Marketers have been negligent in terms of customer retention and they need to get more serious because it may help them thrive in recessions.

“The debts will definitely have some impact, because there is not a question that there will be some economic repercussion not only for Italy and Spain directly, but for the marketers in the European Union.

“Everyone will have to contribute to make sure that not only Spain and Italy, but Ireland, Portugal and Eastern Europe stabilize.”

Continue via Will the European debt crises affect American luxury spending? – Luxury Daily – Commerce.

Written by Kees Winkel

August 9, 2011 at 11:47

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How luxury brands can benefit from location-based mobile apps

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Luxury retailers such as Marc Jacobs and Four Seasons have seen immense response in using location-based mobile applications to drive in-store traffic.

Using applications such as foursquare, SCVNGR and Gowalla, brands can curate an experience for the consumer to increase CRM. Brands largely see an increase in transactions and traffic to their retail locations as a result.

“Brands first have to recognize what they are trying to create for the consumer and where they want the experience to occur,” said Andy Ellwood, New York-based director of business development for Gowalla.

“Once they have their perspective on what a luxurious experience should and could be, they can create an experience for the consumer,” he said. “Like most things in social media, what you put into it is what you get out of it.”

Checking in
Four Seasons used the Gowalla platform to curate experiences for customers at its Beverly Wilshire location in Beverly Hills, CA.

The hotel’s concierges created experiences at venues surrounding the hotel and encouraged customers to go to them.

If customers went to enough places, they had a chance to win a $100 gift card to the Four Seasons spa at the location.


Four Seasons on Gowalla

“They saw a lot of positive feedback and tremendous response from patrons and people staying at the hotel, as well as users of Gowalla who were in the area,” Mr. Ellwood said.

Additionally, Marc Jacobs used foursquare during both September and February Fashion Weeks (see story).

Consumers followed the brand around New York, Britain, France and Italy and could check in at any Marc by Marc Jacobs store.

Consumers unlocked the brand’s “Fashion Victim” badge when they checked in at enough places.

Also, consumers followed brand creative director Marc Jacobs and president Robert Duffy for tips, such as going to the Mercer Street, New York store and saying hi to Robert Rich.

Four random participants won tickets to the Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 runway show and a VIP meet-up on.

“The new badge for Feb. 11 Fashion Week was a two-week offer,” said Daniel Plenge, Webmaster for Marc Jacobs International, New York.  “At 2:19 a.m. the day the badge went live, I opened up foursquare and saw that 74 users had already checked in to our Mercer Street store, even though it wouldn’t be open for another eight hours.

“The first week, 4,000 users had unlocked the badge and by the end of the second week, over 7,000 users had unlocked the badge,” he said.

Seeking out customers
Luxury brands can also further engage customers with scavenger hunt apps such as SCVNGR, which increase CRM in addition to driving in-store traffic.

For instance, high-street-focused Dylan’s Candy Bar engaged consumers with an in-store scavenger hunt called “Capture That Candy” that used mobile image recognition technology in index mail addresses and awarded mobile coupons.

The company posted clues in its retail locations that prompted consumers to locate specific items within the store.

The consumers took pictures of the items with their mobile devices and emailed the pictures for a chance to win coupons.

Dylan’s saw great success with the campaign, as well.

The entire point of location-based ads is that consumers have a seamless experience. In doing so, it will enable them to build a relationship with the brand and possibly purchase things while they are in retail locations.

“We value that fans of our brand voiced their excitement by mentioning us in their Tweets, their Facebook updates and their blogs before, during and after Fashion Week,” Marc Jacobs’ Mr. Plenge said. ”Personally, I was very happy to meet and chat with the ticket winners at the Marc by Marc Jacobs shows.

“We love building online connections with our fans and aim to nurture those relationships offline,” he said.


Marc Jacobs received much feedback, including Tweets, from the Fashion Badge initiative

Location-based apps will also give them a positive experience, hopefully making them willing to return to the retail location or hotel.

“A lot of folks have seen that location-based apps open up a new way of engaging with people,” Mr. Ellwood said.

“You have to realize that the way people consume information on mobile is different than on the Web, because mobile is on the go,” he said. “Therefore, you have to make sure that it’s a smooth, quick experience that customers shouldn’t jump through hoops for.

“The whole experience should be socially serendipitous and, as a result, the brand will get credit for crafting the experience in a fun and engaging way.”

Final Take
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York



Rachel Lamb is associate reporter on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, arts and entertainment, education, food and beverage, fragrance and personal care, government, healthcare, home furnishings, jewelry, legal/privacy and nonprofits. Reach her at rachel@napean.com.

Written by Kees Winkel

July 8, 2011 at 13:01

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How Do You Measure the Value of a Branded Web Series? — Online Video News

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Liz Shannoin Miller has a great story on the value of branded web series. Although it is about the typical American situation (Leap Year is featuring on – currently US only – Hulu), it may soon be the matter in Europe (and Holland in particular) soon. Read the whole story via How Do You Measure the Value of a Branded Web Series? — Online Video News or check out the first words here.

In the web series world, creators often rely on brands to get their content funded. The level of branding in a series varies wildly, from characters on The Guild occasionally using Sprint phones to Illeana Douglas working at an Ikea, but much like in the early days of television, the “Presented By” tag is ever present.

It’s not hard to see how creators benefit from this relationship, as partnering with a brand means a reliable source of cash to put a project into production; it’s not a gamble like many independent productions can be. But I’ve often wondered why brands sign up for these series — and, specifically, how those brands measure their return on investment. Can you put a price on word-of-mouth? Turns out the answer is yes.

Wilson Cleveland of CJP Digital has made a name for himself as a producer of branded content; his first show, The Temp Life, is heralded as one of the first-ever branded web series, and since then he’s produced shows for brands including Trident, the Better Sleep Council and Spherion.

via How Do You Measure the Value of a Branded Web Series? — Online Video News.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 5, 2011 at 16:16

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Chris Harrison: Consumer Confidence – Without It, Brands Suffer – PSFK

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In the USA, the University of Michigan publishes a monthly consumer confidence index. According to the BBC Business website ‘every blip and dip of the University of Michigan’s monthly consumer survey… is chewed over obsessively by market pundits.’Here in Africa we don’t get this sort of information on a regular basis. So when it comes, it’s worth a quick read. And marketers who do so, should ponder whether or not to adjust their forecasts.Consumer confidence is the degree of optimism consumers feel about the overall state of their economy and their personal financial situation. Having read a number of these surveys in the last week, it is clear that the latter strongly influences the former. Particularly in markets where the general public are not well informed about macro-economic trends. Or the realities of business performance.Africa is a large and diverse Continent. We have to keep saying that for the benefit of those folks who still think we’re a country. And in such a place, there are bound to be very significant differences in consumer attitudes. Right now in Ivory Coast, people are less concerned about economics than they are about being hit on the head by a French missile.

via Chris Harrison: Consumer Confidence – Without It, Brands Suffer – PSFK.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 1, 2011 at 18:24

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How to create new engagement for abandoned apps – Mobile Commerce Daily – Columns

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There I was, staring at my computer screen. Confused. Then it occurred to me, I was trying to find an iPad application – on my computer. My mobile life had collided with my computer life.

My brain was trained to seek the quickest way to the content I was seeking and that was through an app. This simple capture error made me notice something else.

As tethered to my phone as I am, I am still not using the bulk of my collected apps. I have abandoned them.

Lowdown on download

As I swiped through my iPad to get to the desired app, I sorted through the clutter I have made of my screens.

Folders stuffed with apps, favorite apps sitting proudly alone, and downloaded and rarely used apps increasingly pushed further from my app life ground zero.

I can swipe for pages through all the colorful and cool apps I have downloaded, and rarely used. All neatly stacked and abandoned.

It might be out of sight, out of mind for me.

But for brands, the occurrence of app abandonment can mean the loss of a critical touch point with an audience.

Just as site metrics are no longer about unique visitors, but rather the level of engagement, the same criteria are now being asked of apps. Not how many apps were downloaded, but how many were used on an ongoing basis in a relationship.

As documented by Localytics, a mobile analytics company, roughly a quarter of the time, apps were used once and abandoned.

If consumers were motivated enough to take the time to download an app, how can they be recaptured for a second attempt – this time to establish relevance and relationship?

via How to create new engagement for abandoned apps – Mobile Commerce Daily – Columns.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 1, 2011 at 10:04

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180˚. Eureka, a thought about changing consumer behavior

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Again I was walking the dog and came up with an interesting thought. I was contemplating on my thesis – Harry and I are working on it, as it will be my ultimate research goal for the next couple of years. The current title is “What is the influence of cross media on the relationship between consumer and company? And/or, how does the relationship between consumer and company change under influence of cross media?” Somewhere along the thinking path, I came across 180˚. For me this seems quite obvious. The questions above imply a certain C2B; consumer to business approach.

C2B Is probably a new thought. I got the idea from Harry who gave me “Brand to community” and in our talks, it became clear that there is a tendency of consumers shifting their paradigms to receiving them to giving propositions to brands, companies, organizations. We all know the old B2C marketing and we even understand that there is a C2C; consumers to consumers, telling the world about their favorite brands. But consumers telling brands what they want – giving propositions to brands – that’s new.

I set upon the task of worming myself into these thoughts and came up with the work title 180˚. I can identify certain weak signals that consumers want to tell the brands what they expect of them. It’s not so new. The automotive industry enables individual buyers to adjust their car to their own standards. Nike and K-Swiss offer people to personalize their sneakers. And, as far as I am concerned, this trend is just the beginning of what I now call 180˚. Everything will change.

In my book Vision, Mission, Compassion, I talked about the rotation dynamics in society. And now I see that those words, given by Hans Dijkstra, are becoming reality. The rotation dynamics, or better Dynamics of Rotation is: explained as follows: Normally, the dynamics of rotation in the triad of the Mission is clockwise, from Master plan to Requirements to Concept, unless we reverse directions, i.e. move from Concept to Requirements. This dynamics – moving reversely – is hardly ever practised in organisations currently. Organisations and the people who operate within them commonly remain in the vicious circle of rules and regulations. This results in over-regulation, both in our organisations as it does in society; rule after rule (Requirements) is apparently needed to structure our living together (in broader terms, our Doing (Concept) until people are fed up by over-regulation and will, mostly collaborately, protest en act: reverse the dynamics. This dynamics of reversal will not move to Requirements but to Kernel, the start of the next phase, that of Participation. We make a very relevant reverse move; from Concept to Kernel. Kernel is the first foundation of the compassion statement. This reverse in dynamics is in fact the move we make from the Planning phase (Master plan, Requirements, Concept) to the Participation phase (Kernel, Targets, Identity). Thus, this reverse dynamics is a true milestone in the processes of Communicative Strategy.

If you have not read the book, this may sound abracadabra. No sweat. What it means is that people are constantly fed with new rules, ideas, thoughts, you name it. What happens is that we don’t see the benefit anymore. There is no added value in new things around us, whether they are rules or new things. We seem to accept new things as a given fact. But instead, we react to all these changes in a way nobody seems to be able to anticipate on; we act differently. We do so by turning things around. 180˚ in a constant pace, just like we fill a bucket with drops of water time after time, until it flows over; the tipping point.

I believe that one of the most important factors of this collaborative behavior comes from being given the opportunity to be informed and actually do something with the information given through modern media; we know so much more than before there were cross media. This idea implies that cross media (the new ones, I must insist) actually change our behavior. Let’s find out.

Written by Kees Winkel

May 1, 2008 at 22:14

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