Finance

How to get Quality into your Brand Growth Planning 2018

Key learnings of 30 years strategic planning. A plea for enhanced quality and tips how to improve your planning, today.

In January, Reuters reported that 38 % of 406 major US companies prepared for 2017 with a zero-based budget (ZBB) approach, and cites a respective 2016 Bain study. How lifestyle brands had planned for 2017 is unknown, but in the light of the US retail environment, many brands had to apply major cost cutting exercises to adjust earlier plans.

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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…)

Disarmament of Brand Performance Metrics – a Small Task Creating Big Impact

L4L, Share DTC, Mark Downs, Space Density, 4W-Contribution, … there were far too many brand performance metrics to manage brand distribution easily. And now with social media & the internet arriving, another set of 10 KPIs are supposed to be important.

Next year’s planning arrives soon with many new priorities for your business agenda 2018. It’s likely you have already far too many topics to focus easily, but allow me to suggest one more topic. I promise it will be done after a day, or will create you some enlightenment towards your true needs & priorities. All you have to do is ask 10 members of your team one question. Their answers will give you the key to a year with better focus, an increased performance and potentially 50% less management reports.

So what do you have to do?

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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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Driving Brand Growth with Private Equity

Brand private equity investments have increased, but not all have been success stories. So how can PE & 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. Working as a CFO in that environment, I’d like to share some learnings on how brands can grow successfully within that environment. (more…)

Brand Retail Strategy: Retailers are from Mars, Brands are from Venus

Hundred fifty years of brand retail strategy, yet still many big brands trial & error to grow successful. We explain why experience is no guarantee for success.

A look back at around 150 years of brand retail strategy reveals a path paved with unsuccessful attempts to grow. Brand retail strategies were diverse, but annual reports tell a familiar story: none of the major midmarket brands have really made it. As Polo Ralph Lauren (retail launch 1971), Nike (1967), Levis (1983) or Esprit (1986) can attest, even experience is no guarantee for success in retail, nor does it offer exemption from crushing setbacks. And more recently Hugo Boss, Gerry Weber or Tom Tailor joined this list.

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Brand Restructuring in 20 Minutes

LEGO’s recovery from bankruptcy is a most convincing example of brand restructuring. In an excellent 20 min interview LEGO’s CEO explains how they did it. And more, you will find him somewhat singing at an investors conference.

If you believe Apple may have had the most convincing brand turn around of all time, then you should broaden your perspective by reading about LEGO’s recovery. The story is not as prominent, but has at least the same number of interesting brand strategy learnings. LEGO’s strategy mistakes and turnaround are a must-know for every brand executive. (more…)

KPIs is not All – Learn to read your Brand Retail DNA!

Brand retailers have many KPIs, but still can’t guarantee expansion success. This article shares how to read a brand’s retail DNA and lower expansion risks.

Imagine you are CFO or Finance Director of a successful wholesale brand – a brand that sells home interior items, chocolate, toys, or BBQ grills. You have a portfolio of more than 100 own and partner stores. You are a strong brand in your segment, but your forays into retail show mixed store P&Ls. Unlike wholesale profitability, the performance spread of your store is huge. Your organisation offers many explanations and excuses. But you can’t really ‘read’ why sometimes retail works and sometimes it doesn’t. (more…)

Multichannel Growth: Wholesale is our Favourite

Multichannel growth is the brand growth strategy of the century. We are creating a scenario where wholesale will experience a revival in 2020.

Multichannel growth has been the daily business of brands since the 1990s. In fact, multichannel competence was the key success factor for many best-practice growing lifestyle brands. But the term ‘multichannel’ became common when internet distribution entered the scene. Though 10 years before, many brands distributed via multichannel already; in wholesale, shop-in-shop, franchise stores, catalogues (all wholesale distribution), concession, own full-price stores or factory outlets (retail distribution). (more…)