Thursday, 24 February 2011

We like green

I was reading a piece in WARC News this morning about UK brands reaping measurable, commercial benefits from green marketing.

Kingfisher Group, parent of DIY chains B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt, Screwfix and Koçtaş, believes this segment will be a key growth area in the future and is planning an 'eco-squad' where by green experts will assess homes and suggest energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly enhancements to customers, materials for which can be purchased via group companies.

Marks & Spencer has an M&S Energy arm, which is selling energy services into the £40bn UK energy market and has a head - Mike Barry - of sustainable business.

Unlilever too has been looking at the lifecycle impact of 1,500 products in 14 countries and seeking ways to reduce their harmful effects on the environment through e.g. developing detergents that use less water and energy - according to Gavin Neath, Unilever svp, sustainability.

It's good to see these initiatives becoming core parts of brand marketing with real commercial benefits isn't it? At the IPA we have long-since embraced the benefits of sustainable marketing, We have a partner deal with Envido, whereby IPA members can get commercial discounts on specialist advice on ISO 14001 certification, which enables companies to cut energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions

Our members have also created sustainable marketing campaigns for clients which have been submitted as case studies to our Effectiveness Awards programme. These effectiveness case studies include British Glass, Tesco and, last year, Kenco

We like green, do you?

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Friday, 18 February 2011

City Facts!

Check out these facts about the importance of cities, supplied to me by Pamela Perl, at the IPA:

Just 100 cities account for 30% of the world's economy, and almost all its innovation. Many of these engines of globalization, their enduring vibrancy coming from money, knowledge, and stability, are world capitals that have evolved and adapted through decades if not centuries of dominance (Source: Foreign Policy, August 2010).

Rich in networks and opportunities, these vast hyper-productive, hyper-consumptive centers act as magnets, sucking in talent and spewing out innovation: Hong Kong receives more tourists annually than all of India. Tokyo and New York have an estimated GDP similar to those of Canada or Spain, while London's GDP is higher than that of Sweden or Switzerland. Paris, Lisbon, Brussels, Budapest and Seoul all account for more than 25% of their respective national economies. (Source: UN Habitat, 2010).

In the coming decades, they will be joined by many new and/or bigger cities, and these cities will also be host to an increasing concentration of global and national wealth, talent and creativity:

Indian cities are forecast to generate 70% of new jobs created to 2030, produce more than 70% of Indian GDP, and drive a near fourfold increase in per capita incomes across the nation. By 2030, India will have 91 million urban, middle class households, up from 22 million in 2010. (Source: McKinsey Global Institute, April 2010.)

China's Academy of Sciences estimated that for every 1% increase in urbanization, China can expect a 1.6% increase in the contribution made by domestic demand to China's GDP. (Source: Deloitte, June 2010.)

Shanghai's economy represents over 13% of China's total GDP, despite having less than 2% of the population. (Source: UN Habitat, 2010.)
The number of African households with discretionary income is projected to rise by 50 percent over the next 10 years, reaching 128 million. By 2030, the continents' top 18 cities could have a combined spending power of USD 1.3 trillion. (Source: McKinsey, June 2010.)

Delhi, Shanghai, São Paulo and Moscow are each expected to reach a GDP in excess of USD 500 billion by 2025—more than the GDP of entire nations such as Indonesia or Belgium today. (Source: McKinsey, December 2010.)

The result? A global emerging middle class numbering some 2 billion, who currently spend USD 6.9 trillion a year. Over the next decade, this is forecast to increase to USD 20 trillion, double current US consumption. (Source: McKinsey, July 2010.)

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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Globally sociable

I was reading a piece in WARC News this morning about the world's top brands now using at least one social media channel as a key part of their marketing portfolios.

Burson-Marsteller have updated a study on the Fortune Global 100 brands' use of microblogs such as Twitter, social networks including Facebook and video-sharing platforms like YouTube and corporate blogs - which showed the slowest rates of growth of all of the social media channels covered.

Overall, 84% of the companies surveyed now use at least one of these channels, which is up 5% year-on-year. The equivalent figure in Asia was up 17% but no significant movement up or down in Europe. That's not so surprising given European brands' early adoption of social media marketing and brands such as China Mobile tweeting to catch up!

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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

What makes Maurice Levy tick?

I hadn't realised until I saw the 20 questions piece in the FT last Friday that Maurice Levy had risked his life for Publicis within one year of joining. Apparently, in 1971, a fire broke out in the office and he risked life and limb to save the company's computer records.

His commitment to the company has never wavered. He was approached by financiers in the 1980s to create his own agency, but, after a week of thinking it over, he declined the offer, because he realised that he had no interest in anything else than 'his' Publicis.

No wonder he succeeded the company's then owner and chief executive, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, in 1987, and agreed last year to delay his retirement.

How does he do it? Well, according to the FT, his golden rules are "Learn from mistakes. Consider success ephemeral." Perhaps we should all take note!

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Monday, 7 February 2011

One to watch!

On Tuesday February 8th, at 9pm BBC 2 are putting on a programme investigating the spread of Chinese influence around the world. I shall definitely be watching it.

In parallel I'm reading controversial economist Dambisa Moyo's latest book, reviewed in the Evening Standard last week, entitled 'How the West was Lost; Fifty years of economic folly - and the stark choices ahead'.

She writes: "It's not just China's rising share of world GDP that underscores it mounting economic influence. So too do its notional stock of wealth (i.e. how much money the country has) and its population's per capita income (i.e. the average income per person), which have risen spectacularly thanks to the country's extraordinary growth rates - since 1989 China's growth rate has never dipped below 6 per cent, and sometimes has reached 10 per cent.

In just thirty years China has shifted some 300 million of its people from abject poverty and wretched indigence to economic standards that rival the West's - a feat unprecedented in the history of the world. In the past two decades China has been the world's fastest-growing economy, overtaking Germany (the world's third) in 1982, Japan (the world's second) in 1992, and by 2003 vying to match the USA, representing per cent of America's GDP.

Before the first decade of the new millennium is over, China is already first in mobile phones, cars and internet users, first in exports, second in electricity consumption and first in terms of reserves. In the first seven months of 2009, the UK bank Morgan Stanley reported that vehicles sold in China reached 12.3 million on an annualised basis, exceeding the United States for the first time ever. At the end of 2008, China recorded more dollar millionaires than the UK (364,000 versus 362,000, respectively."

Dambisa's verdict for the west is: "As the world flattens out it will always be inevitable that the West will lose on a relative basis, but it is not predetermined that it has to lose on an absolute basis." I'm reading on to find out more.

As we enter China's year of the rabbit, it's time to rethink the UK's trading strategy with China, and where UK agencies fit in. We're meeting tomorrow with UKTI officials to take the IPA's programme forward for its members.

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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Made in Hong Kong

Those of us of a certain age will remember the 'made in Hong Kong' tag which was marketing shorthand for 'cheap, plastic, shoddy.'

Of course the economic and political landscape has changed over a generation such that Hong Kong and China now occupy a very different place in global marketing. Such easy, lazy disparagement has as much place these days as Britain's car industry leading the world. While it went into reverse, the Chinese hit the accelerator pedals but consider the journey rather than just the destination these days.

All of this comes from an article I read in WARC News this morning. It was entitled 'China set for luxury boom' and details the growth of the luxury goods market in that country including such brands as Louis Vuitton and China's own up and coming luxury brands.

According to the researchers, CLSA, China could account for 44% of total premium products and travel sales by 2020. It's only 15% at the moment. Interestingly, though still male-dominated, spending by female consumers is increasing so global brands such as Gucci and Prada stand to benefit in the short and longer term.

It may once have been a slow boat to and from China but not anymore, now it's a speedboat - and made in Hong Kong.

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