Cultural sensitivity can help to increase profits, claims new research

muslim meal timeWith British Muslims celebrating the festival of Eid al-Fitr over the coming days, new research suggests brand owners may be missing out on the sales opportunities presented by this and other cultural events. According to an online poll of 1,000 UK adults by creative agency Haygarth, nearly 30% of Asian or British Asian respondents intend to go shopping for Eid and Ramadan, the month of fasting that precedes it.This amounts to 3% of all UK consumers, leading Haygarth to warn that the retail calendar is becoming increasingly complex because of changing demographics, cultural trends and marketing techniques.

It found another 3% of UK respondents intend to shop for the Jewish festival of Passover, 7% will do so to mark the Chinese New Year, and 2% (or 26% of Asian or British Asians) wil...

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End of 150 years of history as London’s buses go cashless

Omni busEarlier this month Transport for London (TfL) that runs London buses announced they’re no longer accepting cash. TfL said dwindling numbers of passengers using money to pay for their journeys had prompted the change.

Research shows that 99% of customers use Oyster, prepaid tickets, contact-less payment cards or concessionary tickets. TfL says the transition should be trouble free because passengers who have run out of credit on their Oyster card are now allowed to make one more journey.

Mike Weston, TfL’s director of buses, said: “The way our customers pay for goods and services is evolving, so we need to ensure our ticketing evolves too...

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Will Cameron’s shuffling of the pack give Tories a winning hand in the General Election 2015?

davidcameronBritish PM David Cameron is an effective communicator although perhaps not in the same league as Tony Blair. However, Cameron did learn his trade whilst working within the public relations industry as director of communications for Michael Green at Carlton Communications. I remember it well. I once had a meeting with both men. So it’s probably fair to assume that Cameron recognised the PR challenge that was starring him in the face.

The fate of the Tories in winning the next General Election remains in the balance despite the resurgence in the fortunes of the UK economy as evidenced by a recent spate of research and statistics that show Britain’s economy is growing faster than any other large advanced economy this year.

However, until ordinary people start to feel prosperous again,...

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When bankers cry

croc tearsThe recent out of court deal between US authorities and the French bank BNP Paribas have raised eyebrows within the global banking community about whether the punishment for providing banking facilities to the totalitarian regime in Sudan is proportionate with the billions of US dollars that the bank must now pay out to settle the matter – equivalent to about a year’s profit.

Perhaps not one of its finest hours, the French bank has been forced to admit helping the Sudanese Government sell oil, clearing proceeds through New York in direct violation of US sanctions.

At that time, Sudanese Government-backed militias in the region of Darfur were massacring innocent civilians on an industrial scale; hardly the backdrop for providing banking facilities and making a handsome profit in the pro...

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Paradise Lost?

BaghdadA thousand years ago the great cities of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo took turns to race ahead of the Western world. Islam and innovation were twins. The various Arab caliphates were beacons of learning, religious tolerance and trade. That’s a far cry from the state of Arabs today.

As The Economist reports, as Asia, Latin America and Africa advance, the Middle East is held back by despotism and is convulsed by war with Israel, which is a completely futile cause and never likely to create an outcome that the terrorists of democracy dream about.

There needs to be massive resurgence where moderation and the respect for other nations, cultures and religions once again becomes part of the Arab psyche rather than the illiterate and evil doctrine of those who profess to be Muslims and who are simp...

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Evidence of cultural stereotypes holding back innovative new business and marketing opportunities for British companies

halal meatThe recent food labeling controversy where supermarket meat products were halal but not labelled as such threw a spotlight on the choices as consumers we want to make not just about the quality of our food but also the method of its production and manufacture.

We live in a world of infinite choice and it’s absolutely right that as consumers we are given the choice of eating halal or non-halal food which is why labeling is so important.

Taking that one step further, when flying long-haul, many airline passengers will be asked for their food preferences ahead of such a journey and of course many Muslim travelers will choose halal food to be served to them on the flight.

But Muslim consumers are just as discerning in their choice of food as anyone else.

So it won’t come as any surprise that...

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What the arts can learn from sport when it comes to sponsorship

QB15This isn’t a one-way street of course. There’s a lot that sports can learn from the arts – for example creating unique experiences that reach desired audience and customer segments in a precise way that’s memorable and doesn’t suffer from ‘sponsorship clutter’ that often afflicts much bigger property types such as a premier league football club.

However, the arts sector needs to become much more commercially savvy in helping itself achieve anything like the success achieved by sports rights owners over the last 40 years that has generated billions in support of sports and entertainment that relies on sponsorship income for its existence.

Earlier this week, UK arts charity House of Illustration opened its doors as the world’s first gallery celebrating illustration in all its f...

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Are you connected with your shoppers 24 hours a day?

shop around the clockRetailers that simply try to appeal to shoppers during waking hours may be in for a shock, according to new research from the US by brand strategy consultants Vivaldi Partners Group.

There’s a new breed of consumer that can’t actually be reached through traditional marketing channels and marketers need to have deployed strategies in order to reach this group who are active at any time of day.

And it’s not enough to break your customer base down into groups according to age and gender – marketers need to build up the fullest possible picture of each customer in order to target them with highly individualised messages.

The days of traditional bricks and mortar, 9am to 5pm shopping habits haven’t completely disappeared but increasingly consumers are now comfortable shopping in the tw...

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Nike’s ambush marketing of FIFA World Cup sees increase in sales

Nike ad 2014According to Nike, this year’s spike in sales of its merchandise can be attributed to its World Cup marketing platform ‘Risk Everything’ campaign that’s helped it achieve a 13% increase in sales to £4.34bn in the three months to 31 May.

Nike is not a sponsor of the FIFA World Cup and these rights are held by rival Adidas.

Nike ramped up its marketing spend in the period, spearheaded by ambassadors Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr ahead of the start of the World Cup in Brazil.

The company didn’t strip out marketing spend but said that a 36% increase in ‘demand creation’ expenses was driven by marketing support. Quarterly revenue figures from sales of its football products were not published but the company said revenue for the 12 months to 31 May increased 21% to £1...

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Sponsorship works!

adidasAdidas has posted £1.6bn in global sales of football shirts, shoes and balls largely as a result of the exposure delivered by its sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014.

The company says it’s “definitely” on track to break trading records this year having registered strong sales figures pre and during the current World Cup. Adidas has been gradually building demand for its shirts, boots and balls since last November to try and ease the pressure on its retail network during the tournament trading period.

As a sponsor of nine national teams, Adidas has sold more than 8m shirts, a significant increase on the 6.5m shirt sales it achieved for the 2010 World Cup...

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