How to Measure Omnichannel Retailing Success

Brand growth management already has many KPIs. What  omnichannel retailing KPIs do you use to measure the payback of your investment?

Summer time is brand strategy planning time, when brand managers prepare for battle with their KPIs to prepare for new recruiting and securing a higher share of next year’s investments for their channel. But consumers have fundamentally challenged that profit centre logic. Perhaps it’s also time to rework your brand investment planning and the KPIs that measure brand growth success?

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Driving Brand Growth with Private Equity

Brand private equity investments have increased, but not all have been success stories. How can PE and brands work together successfully?

Over the last couple of years, brand private equity (PE) investments have increased strongly. Brand investments were very attractive, PE investors had a positive influence, but not all PE investments have been success stories. From my experience as a CFO in that environment, I’d like to share some learnings on how brands can grow successfully with private equity. (more…)

How to Benefit from Bestseller Management Immediately

Bestseller Management is one of the most important processes to improve sell-through and mark-down in the consumer goods industry. What KPI helps identify bestsellers and make smart decisions about them?

Some companies like Zara, Kennel & Schmenger or s.Oliver excel at managing bestsellers. While Zara works with sophisticated analytics to alter bestselling styles by fabric, color or detailing, s.Oliver masters  bestseller management to a degree that endangers its potential to innovate.

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Dior, Bihor & A Free Business Idea for You

Dior creates a traditional Romanian jacket – and is called out for plagiarism by local creators who launch their own collection Bihor Couture in response. Don’t be Dior, be inspired by Bihor!

Dior vs. Bihor Couture

For centuries, indigenous people and traditions around the world have produced great and creative examples of textile craftsmanship. They are the creators of their very own, exclusive collections that they preserve and develop through their culture. Each collection comes with a clear and unique selling proposition. The people and their fashion identify with individuality, and their brand essence is their authentic cultural identity.

From time to time, international brands find inspiration in such unique pieces of indigenous apparel and adapt or include them as highlights in their collections. Like Dior, who recently created a hand-made and embroidered jacket, confusingly similar to a style from the Romanian region of Bihor and offered it for sale at the hefty price of 30.000 Euro. The Romanians in turn described the design as plagiarism and demand credit and a share in sales.

Dior Bihor

(Photo: bihorcouture.com)

In response to Dior’s display of cultural appropriation, the people of the Bihor region launched a YouTube campaign for their own label, Bihor Couture. Here, the same jacket – with an original Bihor label – can be bought for 500 Euro (less than 2 % of the Dior-price), custom-made to order, as a true piece of couture. Which one is the more ‘authentic’ product? One of the seamstresses from Romania even made it to Paris Fashion Week this spring to promote the Bihor Couture brand.

My Vision:  A World Couture Brand

This example reminds me of a vision I had in the 1990s, when I wanted to study ethnology and linguistics rather than work as a buyer for luxury men’s fashion as I did at the time. I dreamed of travelling the world to create a fashion label that brings the most beautiful designs of indigenous people onto the catwalks of the big cities and into designer shops. I was inspired by Romeo Gigli, Dries van Noten and other designers of the time with their so-called ‘ethno’ influences. The idea for the brand ‘World Couture’ was born.

Dior Bior

‘World fashion’ from Romeo Gigli, Dries van Noten (Photos: Pinterest)

Fair Trade and Appreciation

The idea included just one collection per year, each drawing on a range of cultures from around the world. Tailored to the target market in cut and fit, it would highlight the stories of the original creators with appropriate credit and marketing.

The traditional craft makers would be named and they would be involved in design and manufacturing processes. Revenues should flow directly back to the region that inspired a piece. It was conceived as an early fair-trade model that, at the same time, ensures that indigenous people receive appropriate credit and appreciation for their designs rather than further marginalising them by appropriating their culture for fashion.

Since it is unlikely that I’ll realize ‘World Couture’ on my own, it may serve as a spark of inspiration for others here – in the hope that someone will one day make it happen. The concept clearly still meets the zeitgeist, as the most recent example with Dior goes to show. And the values that inspired me at the time remain equally relevant. Dior should be ashamed.


About the author

Alexander has never studied ethnology and linguistics. Life intervened. However, he still believes in ‘World Couture’ as a strong brand. You can contact him directly via email or via his LinkedIn profile.

Empowering Shoppers and Brands: The Latest Trends in Online Fashion Retail

Fashion shoppers and brands demand more than monotone ‘scroll and buy’ experiences. New trends are already redefining online fashion retail, are you following them?

Shopping for fashion online has become widespread, especially for millennials who now buy 20% of their clothing on the internet, according to WWD.

And the big online retailers, led by Amazon, deserve credit for having found ways to offer reliable and trustworthy shopping experiences with easy and secure payments, flexible deliveries and often free returns. By establishing this trust in the online shopping process, a big milestone has been reached that allows online fashion retail to leave its infancy. (more…)

Update Your Brand Management Reading List

As the summer holiday season kicks in, we’re here to help you get your brand management reading list for all those long flights up to date.

Choose from our curated reader favourites from this past quarter for topics as diverse as the latest trends in edited retail, high and low tech fashion size finders, an update on fashion retail in India, creating memorable store experinces or Adidas’ Global Cities strategy. We’re sure there’s something for everyone. (more…)

‘Treasure Trucks’: Amazon’s Road to Omni Channel Retail Success?

While most brands and retailers are building and expanding their online stores, Amazon is investing in brick & mortar: a surprising update on Amazon’s omni channel retail status.

Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re running a billion-dollar brand. Last year’s net expansion of stores was negative (not counting a recent acquisition) and your share in online sales remains below 5%. Can you already feel how analysts and journalists rip you to shreds over your unconvincing omni channel retailing?

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The Paul Smith Store in Berlin

Paul Smith has just opened his first Berlin store, and it wouldn’t be Paul Smith (or Berlin) if the store and its location were just ordinary.

Sir Paul Smith is a British designer of extraordinary fashion for men, women, children, and accessories. He has been for some 40 years, and in various collaborations he designs pretty much anything that can be designed. In an interview, he recently described himself as a ‘strange designer’. A few weeks ago, he opened his first small but nonetheless great Paul Smith store in Berlin. (more…)

Adidas Best Practice Brand Distribution Strategy

Aiming for the world’s most affluent consumers in highly competitive environments: Adidas’ ‘Top City Strategy 2020’ is at halfway, what is best practice and what can you learn for your business?

It’s widely known that consumer markets and brand distribution channels have fundamentally changed over the past 25 years in more ways than anticipated. Fact is, the internet as a distribution channel grew from 0 to commonly 8-15% of sales. But far more relevant from a commercial and strategic perspective is that many formerly emerging countries, especially China and countries in the Middle East and Central Europe, grew to 30-40%  of total sales and profits in lifestyle brand distribution.

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Size Matters! 4 High and Low Tech Solutions for Fashion Size Finding

Fashion size finding remains a challenge for retailers and consumers. Choose the right fit for you from our shortlist of size finding technologies.

Finding the right size is of course crucial when shopping for fashion. It is therefore no big surprise that failing to find the correct size or fit is the reason that consumers mention most frequently for aborting a shopping experience, both online and in brick and mortar stores.

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Branding in 3D: How Edited Retail is Catering to the Attention Economy

Technology and new expectations have made confident, purposeful ranging a more valuable asset than ever before. In the attention economy, edited retail rules!

Utah is, perhaps, one of the last places you might expect to find achingly trendy sneakers and urban wear. Yet for KITH, the arid terrain of Canyon Point UT is much more than a lookbook location. (more…)

7 Key Success Factors for Excellence in Tourist Retail

Affluent tourists are sought after shoppers and a retail market’s most attractive segment. What does it take to grow your tourist retail sales?

Those of you working in travel retail know Global Blue. The company services tourist retail around the globe with VAT refund services. In this way they collect valuable information about a very precious consumer group. With more than 30 years in that business, they have collected a lot of valuable consumer information. Global Blue have shared some of their insights together with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). This post takes an in-depth look at an example of these insights: the habits of Brazilian consumers and their luxury spending. (more…)

What’s Hot in Global Market Expansion

Global market expansion as a strategic project is constantly evolving. What are the latest trends in terms of country mix, location, and digital disruption?

Despite significant political and economic uncertainty, retailers continue to cross borders into new markets and pursue a global market expansion strategy. However, significant industry and macroeconomic challenges remain for retailers, forcing brands to proceed with caution on their expansion course. While what questions to ask and what choices are best always depends on your particular expansion focus, country mix, location, and digitalisation are factors to take into consideration.  (more…)

India’s Fashion & Retail Sector: An Overview

Private consumption driven economic growth, a population of 1.3 billion with huge linguistic and social diversity… amongst other challenges and opportunities to consider before entering India’s fashion retail market!

A € 575 Billion consumer retail spending, growing to reach €975 Billion by end of 2022 and very favourable demographics make India one of the world’s most promising and exciting retail markets for years to come. With India’s fashion retail segment at about € 52 billion in 2017, and poised to cross €85 billion by end of 2022, India offers great opportunities for European and other international brands.

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Offline Retail: Get Out of the Comfort Zone!

An open letter to all offline retailers on how to attract new customers in the face of online competition (if you’re not too tired for a pillow fight).

It’s a sunny afternoon and I’m on a business trip somewhere in Bavaria. As the phone rings, a local German radio station wants a short interview. ‘Tomorrow is the Day of Online Shopping …’, they say. ‘Did you proclaim it?’ I ask.  ‘No, it is a conference in Berlin. We want to report on it and would like to get a statement from you on what e-commerce means for physical retailers and how they can attract new customers’, explains the editor, and we arrange a second call later that day.

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