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Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea’

Ski-chic Strategy – Moncler, North Face & Canada Goose

Interesting video from the FT on Moncler, above. London’s more tony neighbourhoods of Chelsea and Belgravia have seen an explosion of thick down jackets over the past three years, mostly colourful, all with the same logo on them. They are worn as much by macho Eurotrash as Yummy Mummies. The brand is seemingly reaching a tipping point, where exclusivity leads to a bling reputation, where mass acceptance is quickly followed by mass exodus. La Martina has done a good job of steering clear of such waters, as we reported on in a state of retail article. While Moncler considers its IPO and a strategy for selling hot coats in Hawaii, North Face takes a completely different tack, embracing its mass appeal while still communicating an aspirational feel by showcasing the demanding professionals who use their apparel. Canada Goose, another recent entrant into the winter sportswear / city chic market, has also seemed to have had a burst of popularity recently. Zeitgeist saw no fewer than a dozen such coats around Soho and Chelsea this past weekend. An interview with the CEO of the company earlier this year described the strategy thus: “By focusing on the made-in-Canada, used-in-Canada story behind the coats, people would clamour for them.”

monclerbling

Twitter activity already points to Moncler having a ‘bling’ reputation. Investors will be hoping this can this be nipped in the bud before it is too late.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Canada Goose as it develops; whether it will try to emulate the more ritzy path of Moncler or the performance-related one of North Face. Zeitgeist doesn’t see many people in Europe on the ski slopes wearing Moncler, and doesn’t see many players on the polo field wearing La Martina (unless they are a sponsor). North Face, on the other hand, seems to have a deeply-seated place among hikers and skiiers, particularly in North America. Time – and a sound strategy – will tell whether Moncler retains its exclusive airs.

Who’s Your Audience?

February 18, 2011 2 comments

“The King’s Speech” helps reflect the importance of knowing your audience. This example illustrates that sometimes, as counter-intuitive as it might be to do something, if it will cater to your target demographic, it’s worth the risk.

It might seem silly to bother paying people to staff the till, bar and manage the projection room at 10.30 in the morning at an art-house cinema, opening far earlier than usual. But when the film appeals to an older demographic (who make up an increasing part of the movie-going audience, as well as the country), in a London borough like Chelsea that skews old, with traditional mindsets that enjoy Merchant Ivory films and a low opportunity cost of time [they're retired], it makes perfect sense.

Paddy Power’s on to a winner with charity shirt offer

February 7, 2011 2 comments

The importance of having a brand attitude.

In categories where the offering is essentially the same, a brand’s positioning and the way it behaves become all the more important as means of differentiating them from the competition.

One such category is online gambling.

In essence, all of the companies offer punters the chance to stake some of their hard earned cash on all manner of sporting and cultural events. The market is extremely crowded and with sites like oddschecker.com enabling gamblers to find the best odds on a given bet, building loyalty can be difficult.

All of which means that acquiring new customers is essential and online bookmakers must stay front of mind in order to be considered. For brands with large budgets, oft-pursued routes include high profile sponsorship, advertisements and idents.

One brand with a smaller budget that manages to maintain a high profile is Paddy Power.

Their novelty bets, early payouts, refunds and risky communications have helped them carve a niche position amongst their rivals. Ranging from the Last Supper reworked as a casino table to a poster seemingly offering odds on which old lady would be hit by a car to sponsoring Tongan rugby player Epi Taion to change his name to Paddy Power by deed poll for the duration of the the 2007 World Cup, their activities are marked by a rebellious streak and a desire to generate as much free publicity as possible.

Their ability to respond quickly to current events helps keep them in the public eye, the poster at the top of the article greeted visitors to Ireland immediately after they’d been knocked out of the World Cup Play-off by France and Thierry Henry’s imfamous handball. The stategy of capitalising on current affairs is as strong as ever has as evidenced by a couple of recent viral activities.

The first was an opportunist game, turned around in under 24 hours, which invited users to ‘slap’ former SkySports pair Richard Keys and Andy Gray. Capitalising on the furore caused by their sexist comments the game was passed around by football fans and feminists alike.

The second is a great piece of activation.

Following the high profile deadline day transfers of Fernando Torres from Liverpool to Chelsea and Andy Carroll from Newcastle to Liverpool, the bookmaker offered distraught fans the chance to trade their old hero’s shirt for a £50 bet.

Better still, the unwanted shirts will then be given to Oxfam and sent to Africa.

That's £50 you're setting fire to there sunshine!

Both activities will have been relatively cheap to implement, but their relevance both to current events and their target audience ensured that they were shared virally, thus saving a fortune in media costs.

Paddy Power’s long history of courting controversy and clearly defined brand personality distinguishes them from their myriad competitors and allows them to continue to engage their audience in such a distinctive style. Each stunt serves to raise their profile in the short term while further reinforcing their brand identity in the long term.


Their behaviour might not appeal to everyone and their stunts often cost them financially, however so long as no one used their £50 wager to bet on a draw after Arsenal went 4-0 up at St. James Park on Saturday, the Irish bookmaker will look back at a couple of weeks of good work courting publicity and living up to expectations.

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