Guido Schild

Guido is the initiator & curator of "Brand Growth Inspiration". Prior to launching the industry platform, he worked 30+yrs as brand & retail manager. Guido’s passion is performance and growth, for what he was engaged from retailers & brands in Europe, Asia, US and the Middle East. Today Guido works part-time, travels the world for projects, coaches start-ups and grown-ups and engages in education in his hometown Berlin.

Future in Brand Wholesale Distribution: The Cash Cow is dead. Long live the Cash Cow.

Wholesale distribution managers knew it all along, traditional brand wholesale wouldn’t last forever. And 2020 saw an acceleration of change that began long before the pandemic: the termination of mediocre businesses.

But turmoil in wholesale distribution isn’t over yet; ahead lie at least one to two more years of trouble and possibly major strategy changes at online pure players.

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Brand Distribution Best Practice Post Covid

Our research and industry dialogue ‘Future in Brand Distribution’ has been off to an enlightening start. Four weeks in, executive talks and our online survey have already returned much valuable inspiration on the future of the lifestyle industry.

The sentiment we encountered in the industry dialogues was generally positive and energising, even though many still find themselves in lockdowns. It seems as though the Covid-19 pandemic not only gave a boost to digital transformation but also liberated some of the brand industry’s best creative thinking.

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The Future in Brand Distribution – in Search of a 1000 Minds

“2025 retail rents will be like 2020 flight routes: back to the 1980s.”

“The future is social commerce, digital market places are an interim hype, for brand industry’s e-com latecomers.”

“In five years, an office workspace and business travel will be recruiting incentives.”

“Grandpa tells me, his company used to pay him for sourcing travel to adventurous rural locations.”

How are these snapshots for a future in brand distribution? If you think that’s outrageous, how did your 2020 forecasts from around this time last year pan out?

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Post Covid: Best Read in Brand and Retail

22,144 readers, 3 new authors, updates from China, India and Europe, and 14 greatly diverse posts. It is great to be back with our best quarter ever. Thank you to all for contributing, reading and promoting. Post Covid, the best read in brand and retail.

We are living in-between most interesting times

As we wrap up our post-lockdown publishing, we realise the industry mood is somewhat in-between. In-between first and second lockdown. In-between a return to office or of stay at home office for good. In-between going on international travel or staying put. Slowly we start to see, in-between could be the new normal for some time to come.

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Post Covid Industry Best Practice in Retail & Online

The Covid-19 pandemic is devastating for those with pre-existing conditions. But it also mobilises the best in all others: unforeseen creativity, outstanding personal engagement, true loyalty and support among many more qualities.

There is no way around acknowledging that the situation is grim wherever you look and listen across the brand and retail industry, in parts even online. But if we pay close attention, we can also observe new brand industry best practice emerging.

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Everything Will Be Alright Dear Brand & Retail Industry

This is about an expert pandemic, future pacing, a little bit of motivation and no bad news at all. From your blog’s curators.

Before this post reaches you, it went through five different incarnations in six weeks of lockdown. It started out very German in tone ‘this will get very dirty before it is over’, to shift to ‘how to stop your cash bleeding’, until it gradually reached its current Italian mood, ‘andrà tutto bene’.

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How Patagonia built a most Sustainable Fashion Brand

This story is about earth beauty and why engaging in sustainable fashion makes for beautiful brands. It’s not a romance story, we are talking serious brand strategy business!

We have 2020, pre COVID 19, online and multichannel have long become your daily bread and butter, and building sustainable fashion brands is the next big brand strategy priority. (more…)

Brand Sales and Distribution 2020: New Ways to International Sales Growth

International Sales Growth remains mostly dynamic in 2019. But as financial reports show, growth rates have decreased for many. Be it in the US or in Europe, especially domestic-bound retailers and brands stumble.

Global expansion in sales and distribution competence has become a lifesaving strategy feature, but allow me a personal question first:

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Good Workmanship & Best Practice Management Are Key to Growth

The speed of global brand growth has been slowing down. While fast-movers pay a high price for restructuring, successful brands continue to grow with brand best practice management.

Whether Tommy Hilfiger wins over Zalando buyers with a digital showroom, Rapha thrives thanks to their tight-knit membership community, or Lululemon enters new markets on grassroots values – brand best practice management enables brands to outgrow competitors. (more…)

Strategic Brand Management at its Best

Shoppers love unique products and great brand stories. If on top you sell upcycled products, are a niche company from a small country, that makes all the ingredients for a great brand story. For us that delivers great learning on strategic brand management.

If someone had told you in 1993 that someone would manage to turn truck tarps into it bags in Seoul by 2019, and create a best practice brand development story in the process, you may have questioned their judgement.

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Rapha is not a brand, it’s brand community management at its best

How does a small UK cycling apparel brand become the global benchmark for brand community management? Here’s why brands around the world use Rapha as a best practice case study.

In case a cycling jersey isn’t yet part of your casual wardrobe, this story about brand community management may change that when bike apparel may well set trends in mainstream clothing by 2025.

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Global Retail Best Practice

The likes of Amazon and Alibaba open tech-heavy brick & mortar stores, but best practice commercial brand retail still happens elsewhere.

Early sales reports indicate that 2018 was a good year for large parts of the lifestyle brand industry. Almost 4/5 of the top 100 European and US American lifestyle brands had a growth year, and for the most part did better than in 2017. This was despite a global department store fallout and online growth and was largely based on store growth.

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Brick & Mortar is the new Online: E-commerce Trends 2019

Amazon just released sales numbers for 2018 and the details indicate that the mother of all e-commerce is confronted with new growth realities.

And Amazon is not the only one.

  • GLORE, the stock index for global online retailers stayed far behind old economy stocks.
  • E-commerce became ‘weather sensitive’, had bankruptcies and major players missed sales forecasts by far.
  • Almost all online pure players are working on brick & mortar concepts, already leading to over 20 stores in Berlin.

So let’s look at the fundamentals behind the e-commerce trends 2019 that indicate a new direction in growth.

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How to Measure Omnichannel Management Success

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

Summertime 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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Amazon on the Road to Omnichannel 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 omnichannel 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 omnichannel retailing?

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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 brand 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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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…)

Engaging Associates: Best Practice Retail Operations at Polo Ralph Lauren

Your KPIs, dashboard and performance management are in place, but your retail operations are missing that final touch? This best practice story shows how new technologies can help you win at associate engagement too.

Put yourself in the shoes of a senior vice president of outlet retail for a lifestyle brand in Europe who runs a few stores across several countries. Your stores are commercially successful, and your brand is an anchor tenant for many landlords. But you observe that you could do even better by becoming more engaged in retail operations. Are you tempted to push that old KPI and performance management button to reach your full- and part-time store associates? And, how well has that worked out for you in the past?

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Best Practice Brand Retail Flagship made in Berlin

A unique brand story from a small Berlin Brand and inspirational example that excellent retail flagship are not just created by multi billion corporations.

A couple of decades apart, two designers cross Berlin streets and leave their mark. The first designs a lasting cultural icon for a nation behind the iron curtain. The second saves it from oblivion by turning it into an iconic brand.

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