Month: January 2014

A Perspective On Branding

This week, I wanted to share a few thoughts on branding. Our channel works with a lot of brands and as an industry, retailers appear to be trying to create brand identities to differentiate themselves in the market. Given the nature of our market, branding is clearly a challenge in our channel and I will share a very typical conversation that I frequently have to demonstrate it. The Typical Conversation I always find meeting new people to be a great way of learning more about our channel especially when that inevitable question (So what do you do?) comes up. The conversation normally goes like this: Them: “So what do you do?” Me: “I help airports, shops and brands by showing them how to make a lot more money” Them: “Oh. That sounds interesting”… they pause… “is that duty free shops?” Me: “Yes, that’s right” Them: “So you tell them where to put things then?” Me: “Yes, that is part of it. What do you think of airport shops?” Them: “Ah, I always have a look, see what is there. Some of it can be expensive. Captive audience though aren’t we. No choice but to pay higher prices for things like bottle of water” Me: “Last time you flew, did you buy anything?” Them: “Yes I did actually. I picked up a bottle of perfume. Cheaper than the high street.”...

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Shoppers Are Missing The Obvious

I have a question. Have you ever gone into the usual cupboard in the kitchen to look for the salt [or another item] and couldn’t find it? For me, the salt is normally in the cupboard at the end. Middle shelf. Right hand side. BUT – there are days when you scour that cupboard and you become convinced that someone has clearly moved it. Sometimes an argument follows with other members of the household and it can escalate into a full blown “Why can’t you just put stuff away!” rant as you wander around the house in search of the missing salt. Of course, it usually ends with my wife saying “Here it is!”. Yes, you guessed it, she is at the usual cupboard pointing to the shelf below! In order to soften the blow to your pride you might respond with something like “Well… who put it there?!?” like it is a million miles from where it should be. Of course, you know that actually you have had what some might call a “senior moment”. We all have those moments but why is it that we can sometimes fail to see something right in front of us? Retail Application This weekend I was chatting to someone who works in an O2 store. For international readers, O2 is a leading mobile phone service provider. He told me a variety...

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So did you do it? – The Small Step That Will Create A Giant Leap in Understanding Shoppers

Firstly, may I wish you a very healthy and happy 2014. A fresh sense of optimism is quietly gathering momentum in the travel market and green shoots appear to emerging around the world. Of course, there is also a sense of cautiousness but 2014 promises to be an interesting year. As the title of this post suggests, I have one key question. So did you do it? In 2013, I posted an article about taking a small step to deliver a giant leap in understanding the shopper. I talked about adapting the EPOS system to capture Gender. When a...

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Lost In Translation? A Cultural Divide in Travel Retail

I recently had a great conversation with someone regarding retail from a domestic perspective and the airport perspective. We had both come to the same consensus – that sometimes, the retail or product offer seems to get lost in translation. Now, I am not talking about language here – I am talking about the entire experience. What is it that makes this happen? An Example I have mentioned my disappointment before regarding Banana Republic. I had a fantastic experience in the states, just brilliant service, well executed stores etc. When Banana Republic arrived in the UK, I was very excited. My expectations were set at the level my american experience gave me. Unfortunately, that expectation wasn’t met. Nowhere near. The brand, the experience, the essence had somehow got lost. Moving to Airports The same can happen in airports. The shift from high street to airside can create a different shopping experience. It may be beauty consultants, store teams or simply in its execution and design where the change happens. Of course, there is the argument that you might need to tailor your offer and standards according to new market/audience. However, if you have a winning formula in the domestic market, it pays to ensure that the allure or sparkle translates across into the airside environment. Another example would be Apple. If they decided to enter the airport market, they...

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