Tag Archives: M&S

What is your favourite Christmas Ad of 2016?

The Christmas season is in full swing now all the major brands have served us their 2016 Christmas ad specials.

According to the Mirror and the Metro’s reader polls, Sainsbury’s ‘Mog’ appealed more than any other ad last year. But which will be your favourite be this year?

Vote below and see how your views compare with others. Another mince pie anyone?

2016

 

Enjoy the vote. Enjoy the ads. Enjoy Christmas 2016.

And then bring on 2017, when we expect to see an even greater ROI expectation from your Customer Experience endeavours.

If you need support in any area of CX in 2017, please get in contact.

We will listen to your challenge, explain how we’ve helped others and share how we will be able to help you as we have done so for clients such as The Co-operative Bank, Visa, UCL, Syngenta and Ladbrokes in 2016.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Christopher Brooks | Lexden Customer Experience Consultants | The Courtyard | Wind Hill | Bishops Stortford | Herts | CM23 2ND | 01279 902205

 

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Black Friday; a confusing customer experience

Bar humbug – the cost of Black Friday on sustainable profit from customer experience.

So Black Friday 2 came and went without YouTube videos of bun fights over discounted flat screens or Asda and Tesco staff fearing for their safety as iron boards are wrestled over. As it passed relatively unnoticed, I wondered who actually benefits from this rather distasteful annual event?

Black Friday03

Do the increased short term blip of sales stack up against longer term brand reputation impact for instance? The British Retail Consortium reported a drop of 0.4% sales on 2014 so it’s not delivering on sales it would seem. For many shoppers, stores didn’t drop prices as low as had been apparently expected. Online sales did go up. Is this because the fear of having to confront a hardened Black Friday’ bargain hunter type has put the rest of us off the high street. A sort of retail ‘no go zone’. Instead we, and perhaps even the bargain hunters have retreated to the safety of the online bargain battle zone where physical confrontation has been replaced by clicking frenzied spells?

The worry is, will these shoppers now stay away more often citing Black Friday bruising’s as a reason to abandon the high street more often, or altogether? Will this be an unintended consequence for retailers perhaps? These being the very same environments where the majority of the magic of their customer experience comes alive the rest of the year.

I passed a series of Black Friday shop window displays, in a cab. The cabbie said to me, they should call it ‘because we rip you off the rest of the year sale’. He felt if prices were that cheap and they made a profit, retailers were taking customers for a proverbial ride. Has consumer confidence, trust and appeal for some been damaged a deal too far? According to a research poll of one in that taxi, the answer was yes! I only hope the ‘quick BF buck’ was worth it considering the long term relationship damage it could cause.

Does Black Friday destroys long-term brand equity?

I’m quite a conventional shopper when it comes to Christmas with most of it completed in December in a few favoured stores, notably M&S and John Lewis. Often I take in the hussle and bustle of Oxford Street as part of my Christmas shopping experience.

I find Black Friday a fuss too early and a risk of probable compromise on the customer experience I’ve grown to value from my trusted stores. I value them for service not sales, but fear if they have decided to prioritise sales over service by participating in Black Friday my experience will be diminished.Black Friday01

Here’s an example of what I mean.  2015 campaign Black Friday signage was sprayed across our local M&S turning its facia in to something which resembled a looted shop! When is that ever going to be a good look? Where did the inspiration come from for that window dressing – the Croydon riots! That’s a connection I never thought I’d make with M&S – but it’s what Black Friday does to us conventional consumers.

As I write this I realise I haven’t been to either of these stores for my Christmas shopping as much as I have in previous years. Their engagement has potentially impacted my consideration. So the successful brand investment made over several years to gain my loyalty has been unpicked. I believe Black Friday has damaged my preference for these and other retailers who think it’s okay to cheapen themselves at this time and expect me to forgive them. I’m sure I will get past it, but I wont forget.

Black Friday is a ‘promotional platform’ which retailers interpret to suit their own performance strategies, like January sales only grubbier. It’s certainly not the kick-start to Christmas some report it as. It also can’t be owned – unlike the brand reputation and customer experience brands who normally avoid ‘sales sensations’ avoid (which I personally value much more). Hopefully JLP and M&S to place their marketing budget next November.

Mad Bad Friday

There are also some interesting/odd takes on the BF promotion – The 99p Store use it to sell products which cost a few pound more and Starbucks confusingly combining BF with BOGOF.

Also whilst Friday has always been a day long in my mind, M&S has extended the time paradigm to a weekend whilst Dorothy Perkins managed a week long Friday!

I’m sure these promotions are not aimed at me, so I should pipe down, but it certainly has made me think twice about something I previously certain of – my preferred retailers.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Customer Experience Consultant, Lexden

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For further information on how we can help with your customer challenges contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call M: +44 (0) 7968 316548 or T: +44 (0)1279 902205. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or read client testimonials and case studies at Lexden Group.

The Best of a Marketer’s Diary (March 2012)

Since May last year I have been capturing ads which have made an impression on me and tried to explain why. I look around all the time for marketing messages (it’s part of my job) and attempt to choose one each day which really stands out, to me. At times, the pickings are pretty lean. But on occasions true gems emerge. Each month I publish the previous month’s highlights.

In March I have found a mixed bag. The deluge of disappointing Olympic executions continue to underwhelm. Fortunately, there are some really smart media placements and clever emotionally engaging ads out there at present to restore the quality balance.

In the ‘oh my goodness, did they really do that’ bracket we find soft toy incentives in exchange for credit card take up and José Mourinho’s brand continues to be butchered by an asset management company. 

But at the other end of the quality scale, the following are at the top of my crop:

Best alternative pricing message – Marks & Spencer

This isn’t just pricing. This is M&S pricing.

Who else can pull this off? They are bundling product and selling it cheap and yet we still look at it as a ‘Saturday indulgence’. With many brands looking to move away from fruitless pricing strategies, this is a prime example of how to do it without compromising the brand.

Best use of a celebrity asset – Vitamin Water / Jessie J

So let’s get this straight, it’s not about the price tag. Jesse J is hot sponsorship property at the moment and she doesn’t mind playing the game. From tights to flavoured water, she’s helping brands get some bang for their marketing buck. With her music on teenagers ipods, her face all over the billboards and personality arriving on BBC prime time she’s a short cut for what’s hot for the mainstream late thirty somethings. Vitamin Water have done more with the property than most linking the Olympics tie up of P&G with a party and a specially designed bottle. Not quite brand activation in the league of B&Q (our current favourite in this space), but a country mile more sophisticated than slapping Jose’s face on your ad and calling your asset management business ‘the other special one’ (sadly a true story).

Best innovative use of a conventional media – Sky Atlantic/ MadMen

This is as much for the 60s ads that ran in the first episode ad breaks as for the posters. Such an impression have Stirling, Draper and the gang made on us that we need only a straight shot of a character to start drooling over the anticipated new Mad Men series. Bit too much of a sepia wash for my liking on these – it’s as if we were going back to the 40s rather than rushing from the 50s into the 60s (but given it’s Mad Men, they are forgiven of course).

And the significant PR coverage from this stunt hasn’t escaped my notice either. With one commentator perfectly stating how the ad break can often ‘rip’ the viewer from the mood and atmosphere created by a period show back to the present. But not on this occasion, the ads respect the show!

April 2011 will be the last monthly post before the Best in Marketing Communications 2011/2012 grand final. Until then, I hope you enjoy these March highlights. For the full March selection visit the flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/66864671@N00/

Posted by Christopher Brooks.

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which achieves cut-through propositions for our clients. To do this we look beyond the familar towards the unordinary. 

To find out more about what we do and if that might be of interest to you please visit our website lexdengroup.com

Or contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123.