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  • Posted by: Dominiek Post on Thursday, May 15 2014 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

    Ugg Creative Council - woman with child

    In 1978, Brian Smith landed in Southern California with a bag of sheepskin boots—but the UGG brand would never again be just a sheepskin boot. People either love or hate UGG Australia, but everyone has an opinion of the brand. Since its humble beginnings, the brand's magical combination of functional benefits and emotional appeal quickly spread around the globe. I, for one, never saw myself as a big UGG fan, but I have to admit that I secretly admire the company for its successful brand strategies, thoughtful product portfolio extensions, and the creative new brand experiences it offers. The UGG story and the evolution of the brand is an inspiration for all retail brandsand a good example of how a brand's identity can transcend all platforms.    

    To its credit, the UGG brand has always had a recognizable brand proposition. However, to stay relevant to consumers over its 36-year history, the brand has had to evolve quite a bit. From a symbol of laid-back southern Californian culture to a luxurious global lifestyle brand for active people, UGG has always been able to embody both comfort and luxury, which it embraces as core values. These values had always been consistently reflected in UGG's brand mission statement and in everything the brand does, but in the digital age, a clear mission and close alignment between its values and brand expression was no longer enough. Now UGG is taking a different strategic approach to flex its brand expression and integrate digital touchpoints to further extend its brand image in the digital space. Specifically, UGG is breaking new ground by fusing brick-and-mortar with online channels and cultivating a thriving online community.

    Give influencers the spotlight

    With the online universe being as extensive as it is, a brand cannot attempt to assert its own voice among all channels without the risk of diluting the authenticity and inspirational qualities of its brand image. To expand its social media footprint and build awareness of its brand and productswithout losing authenticityUGG set up the "Creative Council." A disparate group of influencers, with strong personalities and a sense of style, will share their passion for the UGG brand and its products in their own unique way. The blog posts will live on each blogger's site, but will also be part of UGG.com. 

    Lead the conversation with authentic content 

    In a world in which consumers now trust on-line tastemakers more than they trust brands, this is a very smart moveand a clever way to market through content without UGG itself having to create it (something brands aren't always good at). Instead, the brand will be delivering the content to the digital world, while the bloggers share their individual opinions and real points of viewwhich will ensure more authentic content. Since this is marketing after all, UGG will obviously be influencing the influencers to write positive things about the brand but, the fact is, UGG cannot actually control what the bloggers write. It may be difficult for companies to let go in this way, but brands can no longer grow in isolation. Instead, brands need to focus on influencing and engaging people in the hope that consumers will shape "what the brand stands for today" in the best possible way. 

    Use digital to create a seamless shopper experience

    The aim to deliver a seamless customer experience across all available shopping channels, is a goal that is supported by UGG’s parent company, Deckers Outdoor. In fact, the corporation opened a brick-and-mortar "innovation lab" store with integrated technology offerings to improve its omnichannel strategy. The next generation retail store will serve as a testing ground for new technologies and merchandising approaches. You can now walk through the store, educate yourself about the UGG brand with the provided tablets, order your favourite pair of UGGs that are just out-of-stock and have them delivered at home, or even customize your own pair of new footwear. Regular UGG stores are also at the forefront of new generation retail, allowing customers to order out-of-stock goods online on in-store mobile devices. To stay relevant, brands need to integrate digital touchpoints into their physical retail environment, as customer journeys existing entirely in the physical world are history. 

    As these examples illustrate, UGG is forging new ground and flexing its brand expression across touchpoints to move with the world. By facilitating real dialogue, giving influencers the spotlight, generating authentic brand-associated content, and leveraging brand-led conversations across all platforms, brands can not only increase exposure, but reach the consumers who truly value what you have to offer.

    Ugg Creative Council - fashion images

    Dominiek Post is an Analyst at Interbrand 

    You can follow her on Twitter @DominiekPost  

    Photo credits: Images courtesy of UGG's corporate website

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Tuesday, April 8 2014 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

    Best Retail Brands 2014

    Interbrand has released the Best Retail Brands 2014 report. The report examines 150 of the world’s most valuable retail brands across four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

    In addition to ranking the top 50 North American retail brands, the top 50 European retail brands, the top 30 Asia-Pacific retail brands and the top 20 Latin American retail brands, the Best Retail Brands 2014 report also provides readers with key digital trends, global insights on enhancing in-store experiences, regional overviews and a close examinations of seven sectors within the retail space: Apparel, Electronics, Department Store, Drugstore, Grocery, Home Improvement, and Mass Merchant. Exclusive and in-depth interviews with executives from top retailers such as CVS/pharmacy, Darty, The Container Store and PriceMinister are also available.

    This year, Walmart is the most valuable retail brand in North America (and across all four regions) with a brand value of USD $131.877 billion. Looking beyond North America, the following brands ranked as the top retailer in their respective regions:

    H&M – USD $18.168 billion (Europe)

    Woolworths - USD $4.948 billion (Asia-Pacific)

    Natura - USD $3.156 billion (Latin America)

    As the role of digital revolutionizes the world of retail, leading retail brands are adapting more quickly and successfully than others. From mobile shopping to virtual fitting rooms, the world’s most valuable retail brands are proving that reimagining the customer journey through a digital lens is the path to success.

    “The structural shift from physical to digital retail has not been painless—and reinvention is a must,” notes Interbrand’s Global Chief Executive Officer, Jez Frampton. “But we know that extraordinary retail brands will not only survive the transition—they will become more extraordinary because of it.”

    Click here to read the 2014 Best Retail Brands report in full or follow the conversation on social media by using #BestRetailBrands.

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Friday, February 14 2014 05:55 PM | Comments (0)

    We Heart Retail

    Tonight in Long Beach, California, the Queen Mary will go pink for Valentine's Day and the launch of MIXIM Greek yogurt in the US. The brand hopes to set a new Guinness World Record for the number of couples feeding each other and plans to set off pink and purple heart shaped fireworks later in the evening. Online retailer Infibeam is having its delivery people serenade customers in cities in India like Bangalore and Mumbai while delivering its cakes, chocolates and flowers. What innovative ideas have you seen from your favorite brands this Valentine's Day?

    Interbrand Design Forum has been celebrating this day dedicated to honoring love sharing their love of retail. "We’re a diverse group of creatives, thinkers, planners, shoppers and strategists, all unified by our love of retail," they note.

    Team members shared their own retail brand love stories. From Target to Starbucks to Patagonia, stories of brand loyalty thanks to brands' commitment to Corporate Citizenship, effective digital communications and rewards programs were shared.

    Interbrand offices around the globe got into the fun conversation.

    What's your favorite retail brand? Tweet with #WeHeartRetail to join the conversation.

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Tuesday, February 21 2012 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

    Jez Frampton

    In this edition of Demand And Desire we look at the future of retail, to combine with Interbrand’s Best Retail Brands 2012 report. Humans are social creatures hungry for experience. As much as we love to research and engage online, it’s easy to forget that there’s still a special place in our lives for the retail store. in this podcast you’ll discover:

    Why green is good for spearmint.

    What you’re thinking of when you write ‘batteries’ on your shopping list.

    Why folks will decant one detergent into the bottle of another.

    In a volatile market, innovation should come to the fore, both in the virtual landscape of digital and the sensual world of the store. Stores are where we learn what’s new, find inspiration, and see other purchase choices we may not have found online. As ever, it’s all about building the brand experience…

    Jez Frampton, CEO of Interbrand is joined herein by Bruce Dybvad, CEO of Interbrand Design Forum and of Interbrand Cincinnati, and also by Interbrand’s Global Executive Director for Consumer Packaged Goods, Fred Richards.


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  • Posted by: Scott Jeffrey on Wednesday, November 24 2010 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

    Black Friday has nearly become a holiday unto itself, for both shoppers and retailers alike. For many retail brands, Black Friday is a crossroads: it can either pave the way to greatness or be a harbinger of disappointment for the year to come. 

    Preparations for the event start months in advance, from deciphering assortments and juggling trends, to developing communication strategies and fuelling shopper interest. The stores get stocked, emails and flyers are sent, the staff is mobilized and suddenly everyone holds their breath while feasting on turkey and dressing. The day arrives and it either works — or it doesn’t. 

    The most heartbreaking part is this: Because it is hard to change strategies during the holiday melee, if what is deployed doesn’t work, brands are stuck with waiting a full year before correcting their mistakes. I am consistently mystified by how quickly the numbers get assembled and how immediately the brands know what to expect for the rest of the season. All in all, so much work hangs on this single day in the life of a retail brand.

    And that’s just from the retailer perspective. Each year, from the consumer perspective, the noise about Black Friday grows louder. Never have there been so many ways to reach a shopper as we have at our disposal today. From traditional media and print, to the digital and mobile realm, to the stores themselves, the customer is subject to a variety of branded messaging.

    This holiday season, I have been bombarded with “Black Friday Now” emails, all trying to tap into a little of the authentic madness.  Some are simply letting me know in advance of all the fun things they have planned — from doorbuster maps and coupons, to introductory prices.  All brands are trying their hardest to posture for that must-have, better-get-it-early item.

    The one thing the emails aren’t disclosing, however, are that pallets, racks, and boxes of all sizes and sorts have taken up store aisles. A trip to Kohl’s today was met by aisle spacing so close only a single person at a time could pass. Interesting that a day when you expect the most people in the store, you have the maximum amount of merchandise and the minimum amount of space for them. Queue lines snake away from cash wraps in anticipation of being completely overflowing. It’s madness — and perhaps the strangest part of it all is that some shoppers love it!

    You probably know of someone who will rise at three on Friday morning, throw on some clothes and happily stand in sub-zero weather to get an additional five percent off a coffee maker. I know that some folks see this as their shopping Super Bowl of sorts: Their resolve and endurance is rewarded if they are done with their list by 8:45 a.m. that same morning. Some go for the event, and see it as the true kick-off to the holiday season — a time to go and catch the holiday spirit. Others go for the social aspects or traditions.  Some go to watch other crazed shoppers in their natural habitats. Then you have the deal seekers, who show out in force. Regardless of the reason, the day has come to be as symbolic as Thanksgiving itself for many shoppers.

    And yet, as important as Black Friday is to most retailers and many consumers, it is important to remember that just one day isn’t going to be the real dealbreaker. In order to make Black Friday and the rest of the season a success, retailers must focus on doing a good job delivering on their brand throughout the entire year — not just one day. That’s because a strong brand can overcome the deal mentality that is so important for that initial wave of holiday shoppers. If the brand has been taken into account all along, a retailer or item can become the one that consumers seek out, regardless of price.

    All in all, Black Friday has become a complicated equation for many brands, with many factors and considerations to be met. I sincerely hope that this year’s retailers will reap the rewards of their efforts, the long planning sessions and the many meetings spent orchestrating the event.  Let the madness begin!

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