Retail’s Mysteries Revealed: JC Penny
The brand-breaking challenges JC Penney has had are in no way inevitable, Forbes magazine says, in this discussion of predictive analytics. By harnessing the power of mathematics, we’re told, retailers can significantly reduce the risk of going catastrophically off-brand, alienating your best customers, and losing market share. Does Forbes have it right?
Yes and no.
Yes, because statistical analysis of previous customer behavior provides retailers with tremendously valuable information. Objectively examining what has happened in your stores over the course of time can be a very revealing exercise. Retailers who engage in this type of analysis often discover things about their operations that they never otherwise suspected. READ MORE.
What Makes Customers Choose You?
Some zaftig mannequins are getting serious love from shoppers all around the world. More than 16,000 people have shared the image you see here, enthusiastically embracing the new profile on display at a Swedish retailer. ““Finally, mannequins showing how clothes fit on real women. I’m changing where I shop!”
What’s behind this enthusiasm?
It’s easy to forget that something as ordinary as a mannequin is a messaging vehicle. Fixtures are, almost by definition, made to be taken for granted. But as retailers, we can afford to leave no aspect of our operations unexamined. The typical mannequin used in America is a size 4 or 6. Some brands don’t even bother with that—they use strategically arranged poles and hangers to display their wares. READ MORE
Skip the Hurricane Discount
A bit of timely advice comes this morning from the Adland blog in Hurricane Sandy’s wake: “During tragedies, if brands want to send some heartfelt thoughts and condolences, by all means do so. But your straight sincerity is all that’s really needed. And it will go a lot farther than a coupon.”
It’s a quote responding to three pieces of advertising from the Gap, American Apparel and Brooklyn Industries. The former two used the storm’s onset as an opportunity to suggest its customers use the time inside to do some extra online shopping. The latter, to communicate and offer information and condolences… and a coupon. We harp a lot about how your customers know you know they know, so while I’d like to believe Brooklyn Industries’s message is sincere, the “30% off!” footnote at the bottom still smacks of a cash grab. And while American Apparel and the Gap’s ads are, to put it charitably, tactless, at least we know they’re being honest about their intentions. My advice? It’s probably best to skip the “Hurricane Discount” altogether.
One of the world’s most iconic fashion brands gave their Web site an awesome makeover this morning – If you visit Burberry.com, you’ll notice fewer pictures of skirts, scarves and and blouses, and more video of the company’s collection in action. If you want to see it on the runway, there’s an option for that. But if you’d rather see it glossed up via Hollywood, and imagine yourself in the role, there’s that too.
What makes Burberry’s new campaign stand out is that it’s an example of shoppable content. Visitors can watch a video, click what they like, and instantly have their favorites in a shopping cart. The common adage in marketing these days is “content is king,” but it’s tough bringing someone who’s interested in that content to a purchase decision. When the content and the purchase sit this close together though, the bridge becomes that much shorter.
A Conversation w/Jeff Staple
Getting a chance to pick the mind of Jeff Staple was special experience. It’s not everyday you get the chance to learn about the inner-workings company that has managed to expand their brand across many different yet related disciplines. You can read the full interview HERE. Enjoy!
A Conversation w/Aaron Draplin
Aaron Draplin started The Draplin Design Company in 2004 after working as a senior art director at the Cinco Design Office of Portland, Oregon and as an art director with SNOWBOARDER magazine. Since open the doors of the DDC Aaron Draplin and associates have worked for Coal Headwear, the Union Binding Company, Snowboard Magazine, Field Notes memo books and the list goes on and on. I really enjoy and appreciate the clean no frills design aesthetic and how much hard work this man put’s in each and everyday. You can read the entire conversation HERE.
Personal Branding via Pinterest
Branded correctly, products can evoke certain feelings, and make us envision particular colors or styles. And people aim for the same thing every day: We brand ourselves through the clothes we wear and the way we carry ourselves. In the past, brands have had traditional advertising to broadcast their identities, but most people couldn’t do the same. Social networking has made “personal branding” a widely-realized concept, however, allowing us to share ourselves with the entire world.
Pinterest probably has the greatest potential for personal branding. With 11.7 million users, mostly 18-35 year old women, creating “boards” based on events, hobbies, and interests that are filled with self-uploaded photos, or “repinned” content from other users, it’s a visual means of self-expression that text-based sites like Facebook or Twitter can’t achieve. Pinterest caters to each user’s personal brand, enriching our generic information with the many facets of our personalities that make us unique.
Sephora’s Social Media Makeover
Though I can’t speak from experience, female acquaintances have made it clear that picking out the right shade of foundation, blush, and eye shadow isn’t a task easily undertaken on Amazon.com – Which is why the experience of trying on makeup has fueled brick-and-mortar cosmetics shops for decades. So as shopping from home has become a near-ubiquitous practice, retailers in the business of making people look beautiful have struggled to keep up.
As of this morning, they at least have a good case study to follow. Sephora has rolled out a new Web site featuring 25 tags for each of its 15,000 products, full integration with Pinterest and a native iPhone app, and synched shopping lists that let you pick out your regular purchases on your way to the store. That gives customers more ways to share what they like, and more time to spend shopping around for new favorites, helping to turn loyalty into community.
Ting London is making flooring out of recycled belts now, which is awesome. Not only is recycling as cool as ever, but I can imagine that if these are installed instead of the regular hardwood in an apartment above mine, I won’t have to humbly request that my high-heeled neighbors throw down an area rug so as to not wake me at 6:00AM when they get up for work. I’d probably request they keep the white stripes out as much as possible though – I’m more of a “rich mahogany” kind of guy.
Nailed: The History of Nail Culture
Take a look at the picture on the left real quick. That’s not photoshopped, but actual fingernail art – part of a collection of photographs by Chicago-based artist Dzine. The new book, Nailed: A History of Nail Culture captures a variety of adornments representing a movement that is now as much a meticulous vehicle for self-expression as it is mainstream fashion.
The Jacket As An Icon
Checking out at the grocery store became infinitely more tolerable when the world began stocking tabloids next to the register – Those 15 minutes in line are far less irritating when one can laugh at the poor fashion choices of the rich and famous. But it’s funny how the tables can turn when the right piece is paired with the right person at the right time. Take Michael Jackson’s red jacket worn in the music video for “Thriller,” now on sale for a cool $2,350 on Amazon. Or the cheap Korean souvenir Ryan Gosling wore in this summer’s Drive. Worn at different times, in different media, clothing that’s now almost as famous as the stars that wear it might have been branded fashion “don’ts” instead of “musts.” As timeless as we like our pop culture to be, it always seems the best stuff comes down to context.
The Look & Feel Of Wood
Aluminum is recyclable and flexible. Steel is cold and hard. Then there’s wood. Wood has a character unlike any other material. Wewood channeled all the excellent aspects of wood, the grain, its natural feel and its hypo-allergenic properties, and paired it with an analog Miyota movement to turn it into one of the most unconventional watches we’ve ever seen. We won’t say it’s the best thing to happen to man since bottled beer, but we wood say it’s pretty damn close.
It’s been 7 months since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Tokyo, Japan, and while it will take some time for them to rebuild what the natural disasters destroyed they are a resilient and creative people. Palladium Boots & Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and producer Pharrell traveled to Japan to film a 5 part series about what it was like during “3/11″ and what the future looks like for them.
Back 4 the Future
Sneaker junkies rejoice! The day we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived…if you’re willing to pay a pretty penny. But hey, it’s for a great cause. Nike has teamed up with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to auction off 150 pair of the 2011 Nike Mag a day starting on September 8th for 10 days. That’s 1,500, an ultra limited supply. Fox wore the futuristic shoe in the year 2015 as Marty McFly in the classic Back to the Future film. If my calculations are correct you have three days left to make your dream a reality. Good Luck! All proceeds go the the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Jay-Z Interview: Gwyneth Paltrow
Short, sweet, and to the point is how I would describe the interview Jay-Z conducted with Gwyneth Paltrow as well as the one Gwyneth conducted with Jay. You can view both here and here.