Abe Sauer from Brand Channel provides an interesting example of brands looking to be on the bleeding edge of cool who otherwise become completely untethered from reality.
Creative pitch sessions go off the rails and devolve into a feedback loop of hip, where relativist style means there is no longer any such thing as good or bad taste. Only later, in the daylight and the fallout, does the insanity of the concept become clear. That is about the time a brand finds itself muttering, “We never intended…”
MAC Cosmetics has found itself in just such a place with its latest collaboration.
“We never intended to make light of this serious issue and we are truly sorry,” went the crisis management statement from fashion brand Rodarte, the National Design Award-winning clothing line, after announcing a line of cosmetics inspired by the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez.
The problem was the product names in the line, such as “Factory” and “Ghost Town.” Ciudad Juárez is considered the most violent municipality in Mexico, the site of widespread drug violence, and the epicenter of hundreds of murdered women in the last few years.
Fashion brand Rodarte has little to worry about, as its brand operates at the highest levels of fashion, where poor taste is often meaningless. MAC, however, is a different story. As an Estee Lauder-owned brand targeting a wide swatch of consumers (and women), a positive public perception that promotes women is of huge importance. More on this story on Brand Channel.
Posted in BrandTravel, Uncategorized
Tagged Allyson, Allyson Stewart-Allen, Brand Channel, BrandTravel, business, crisis management, cross-cultural insights, International Marketing Partners, MAC, MAC Cosmetics, market research, marketing, Rodarte
With Starbucks 2008 US sales performance forcing the return of founder Howard Schultz to the company, we are seeing a similar performance for Starbucks in the European marketplace.
Although Starbucks is seeing profits grow in other markets, it is having difficulties meeting the needs of European consumers, which is evident in its lower sales over other markets.
In response, Starbucks has many plans for the European market to revitalise its stores. Soon we may see Starbucks products on planes, trains and vending machines. The brand will also open 300 new stores in the UK alone over the next five years. But what is most impressive, is Starbucks recognition of the importance of brand localisation. According to Louise Lucas in her recent FT article (5 Feb 2012), offerings will include “a lighter espresso in France, cheaper cappuccino in Greece and a double shot of espresso in lattes for the UK.”
Poppy Trowbridge from Bloomberg Television also recently reported on Starbuck’s plans for “European domination” as they try to bring the Starbucks experience to European consumers.
But Starbucks isn’t the only one who is increasing efforts to localize product offerings in the European market. McDonalds will be offering a McBaguette starting this April in France. According to Daily Mail’s Jill Reilly, the Fast Food Brand is trying to “appeal to more upscale diners by mixing their famous beef burgers with French-made Emmental cheese and mustard.”
Posted in Allyson Stewart-Allen, BrandTravel, Uncategorized
Tagged Allyson, Allyson Stewart-Allen, brand localisation, brand travel, BrandTravel, Britain, cross-cultural insights, insights, International Marketing Partners, localisation, localization, Starbucks