Brand Positioning

Goats on a Roof! And What’s Your USP?

As far as unique selling propositions go, goats on a roof are pretty unique. And this offline-only retail location on Vancouver Island has turned them into a long-term success story without selling a single goat.

Once upon a time there was a tiny fruit booth near the Trans-Canada Highway that served Vancouverites en route to their weekend and summer houses as well as tourists exploring an island full of natural beauty. That was back in the 70ies when Kristian and Solveig Graaten, who had migrated from Norway 20 years earlier, decided to start a small retail business on Vancouver Island.

In the meantime, this little fruit stall has become the queen of retail locations and one of the most frequented tourist attractions on Vancouver Island: The Coombs Old Country Market.

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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…)

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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Don’t Trust Your KPI Expectations!

Explore how to keep management and organization committed if your KPIs for international expansion don’t meet the expectations.

This post shows how KPIs in new markets can differ enormously from your home market. When starting international expansion, reporting often needs to be reviewed to make sure that you get the full picture and give a new market its fair chance. This is part 6 of my series on international expansion, catch up with my previous pieces here.

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Research For Brand Store Growth? Retail Expansion Software May Help!

Looking for retail expansion that really works? Smart software may be one tool out of many to find the perfect store location for your brand.

Reading the press, there isn’t a day without various brands and retailers unveiling and opening new stores in diverse locations all over the world.

According to the 7th edition of CBRE’s annual report “How active are retailers globally?”, retail expansion is continuing by brands to expand their physical store networks, despite several challenges. (more…)

Lululemon vs Under Armour: Is it Barbie vs Ken or about Qualitative Brand Growth?

In the competitive sporting goods industry, not many brands succeed in reaching the top, but Lululemon and Under Armour have.  We outline how they created brand growth and whether they have the potential to stay on top.

Over the last couple of years some sporting goods brands have managed to gain visibility and market share and two of them – Lululemon and Under Armour – have shown an outstanding brand growth development. (more…)

How to Drive International Expansion Without Escalating Complexity

Customise or standardise? This is the question! Maybe THE most important one whenever a brand starts its international expansion!

Depending on who you ask, you will get different answers. If you ask your brand and marketing management, they will vote for as much standardisation as possible.  If you ask your sales force – well the answer will be quite the opposite!

They will come up with a long list of issues that need to be addressed before you can successfully launch into an international expansion and you know what? They are all RIGHT!

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Abercrombie – the Beach Models are Gone, It’s All Down to the Business Model

If you are a great brand and plan to grow in international retail, make sure you have a competitive brand business model. It takes more than six packs to be successful.

As the beach boy six packs are no longer in action, what is the brand’s competitive edge? Can you remember any new store opening hype lately for Abercrombie? In 2011, at the height of Abercrombie & Fitch’s international expansion, we looked for the first time at the brand’s P&L and its retail KPIs (see retail intrapreneur). In 2011 alone, US$230m in capital expenditure was spent on expansion in Asia and Europe. The US management was counting on the success of the brand’s international expansion. We questioned whether the business model was ready for European growth.

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