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Aston Martin Targets ‘Femennials’

The 2016 Geneva International Motor Show has been going on for the last two weeks, unveiling new models and car concepts for the year to come. Now in its 86th year, the Swiss auto show has become a who’s who in terms of car brands, ranging from Audi and Honda to Maserati and Tesla.

The crowd favourite however was the Aston Martin DB11, which CEO Andy Palmer calls “dynamically gifted” combining “exceptional design with the latest technology throughout”. Palmer elaborates that the DB11 is “not only the most important car that Aston Martin has launched in recent history, but also in its 103-year existence”. This reflection comes as no surprise due to the luxury automaker’s chequered past. In fact, Aston Martin has slid into bankruptcy seven times during its 103 years and has failed to turn a profit since 2010.

The DB series, named after onetime owner Sir David Brown, was arguably popularised due to its association with James Bond, appearing in 12 out of 24 Bond films. This love affair between two British icons positioned the DB as a bad boy’s car of choice, but has had negative connotations in the form of alienating a female demographic. It has been reported that out of an estimated 70,000 sales, over its entire history, only 3,500 Aston Martins have been sold to women. Therefore, the DB11 will mark a new era for Aston Martin as it introduces a new strategy to broaden its customer base.

Enter Charlotte, a young, attractive and wealthy female buyer-persona which the DB11 is targeting. While at the convention in Geneva, Mr. Palmer further proclaimed that “when you start on a new car, you start with your customer in mind” and thus “the DB11 has been designed for a young lady, sophisticated and rich”. This customer-focused view was ratified by Laura Schwab, President of Aston Martin’s Americas Division, who affirmed that “the car has broad appeal” and “is very approachable, regardless of your age or gender”. But how exactly does Ms. Schwab purpose to reach these ‘femennials’? With a cocktail of experiential events and personal word-of-mouth.

Even before Geneva, Schwab set her plan in motion by sending exclusive DB11 material to existing customers for a first glimpse of the female friendly supercar before the rest of the world. And, as of last week, physical DB11s are currently being hauled across America where Aston Martin teams are hosting parties for their past customers to experience the newest edition to the DB bloodline in person. These parties are being held in settings such as the country club a customer belongs to, and at times even in a customer’s home, where said customer is invited to come along with 11 guests to celebrate the DB11 in style. Not your average test drive huh?

Ms. Schwab believes that for a rarefied brand “to attract new customers, you start with who you know”, and in Aston Martin’s case she seems to have got it right as the DB11 already has 1,000 orders. Although it has not been released yet how many orders have come from so-called ‘femennials’, Christopher Cedergren, of consumer behaviour consultants Iceology, is optimistic. Cedergren claims that the promotional styling of “beauty and performance” is the perfect combination for capturing young and affluent consumers, particularly female.

This repositioning is supposedly just the beginning as Aston Martin hopes to move beyond sports cars and introduce crossovers and full size-size sedans over the next decade. For now however, the newly targeted DB11 has definitely left crowds at Geneva shaken and stirred.

Harry Winston Diamonds: Find The One

After having witnessed Triumph, a “triumph” of an ad, featuring Frozen star, Anna, searching for “The One”, it is time to look at how jelewers use the ultimate symbol of love, the diamond ring, to represent marriage and “The One”, eternal love. What Triumph’s and Harry Winston’s communications strategies have in common this spring is the hashtag #FindTheOne and the search for the true love. What Harry Winston offers is the diamond and the sparkle of love.

#FindTheOne, diamond, or husband? Harry Winston reminds us that when you have found The One, you have to find the right ring. Spring is here, and May is the start of the official wedding season. Harry Winston reminds us that the time has come to find that perfect ring… and that should a be a Harry Winston ring. Anyone interested in proposing?

To officially commemorate the start of wedding season, Harry Winston has invited all social media followers to the Harry Winston Bridal showcase on the 14th of April. This event might make some of the men reading get goose bumps. but it will surely make the women daydream and deeply engage with the Harry Winston brand.

To support that, last year Harry Winston launched two unique twin rings. The fronts is classic, small and elegant. The sides, on the other hand, form a “H” and “W”. Do these initials stand for “Husband” and “Wife” or “Harry” and “Winston”? I would say both. The message is simple, clear and clever. The rings look more branded than ever, traditional yet personal and bold.

‘I pronounce you Husband and Wife’. Catchy? Traditional? Cliché? And how have diamond rings become THE engagement ring? It is believed that the tradition dates back to Roman times, when women wore rings attached to keys to show their husband’s ownership. In 1477 the first diamond ring was created. Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave it to Mary of Burhundy. This is how it all begun, diamonds became popular among the European Aristocracy. Today, we would like to believe that rings are not about ownership, but about feelings, and somehow diamonds have turned into the international symbol of love.

 

 

 

Will you say “YES” to Tiffany?

Tiffany. So many things come to mind when we hear this magical word. Love. Passion. Romance. MARRIAGE. It is every girl’s dream to one day say “YES!” to a Tiffany ring (and to a very special guy) and start an ever-lasting love story of their own. For decades, Tiffany has been aspiring to this image and focusing its marketing image towards enhancing this image in consumers’ minds. This is no different with the new “WILL YOU” campaign launched a week ago; however, there is a new twist in this story, that to me and I guess, to most of you, makes this campaign so different to any other Tiffany has launched before.

What makes this campaign so special and unique is, undoubtedly, the incredible diversity of love stories and the intimate connection each of them holds. It captures the fact that every love story, despite the differences between them, starts with one question, and Tiffany, as a symbol of love, emotion and trust, will be there to live this moment with you. The campaign captures simple facts in life that altogether shape and create true love in its essence.

But, also, unlike any other campaign Tiffany has ever released before, “WILL YOU” campaign, for the first time in the brand’s history, features same-sex couple. To me, this decision has modernized the brand and shifted Tiffany’s image from “traditional” to “modern”, while still capturing the true essence of the brand and its iconic heritage. As a Tiffany spokesperson commented, love today comes in a variety of forms and Tiffany, as a brand, aimed to display and capture this variety in its latest campaign.

Apart from making a progressive statement, we believe that Tiffany made a great strategic move in its campaign to attract new customer segments. The ever-increasing market of same sex couples and the rising legalization of same-sex marriage across the globe creates a new segment for jewelers to target, which Tiffany has successfully managed to court.

The new “Will You?” campaign truly depicts what a Tiffany ring represents: affection, love and endless commitment, that, altogether, make this ring the most desirable thing every girl (or guy) would wish to see in their lives.

Atlas magazine: the face of modern fashion

When business meets passion, miracles happen. This is what happened for Olivia Bossert and Megan Breukelman, founders of Atlas. Having started in 2012, the girls undertook a long journey from their first online issue to their high street, printed magazine. Atlas revolutionised the fashion magazine industry by providing a platform where young photographers and writers can exhibit their work, giving the younger generation a chance to share their passion with world in an editorial space. I had the great pleasure of speaking with Olivia about Atlas magazine and her vision of the fashion industry.

How and when did you come up with the idea for Atlas?

It all started 2.5 years ago, when I became friends with my partner, Megan, through Facebook. Although we lived in two different parts of the globe, we both loved photography and fashion magazines, and decided to do something with it. We never thought it would be a viable business, but rather a fun project to do. So, we started getting in touch with brands and photographers and after 2 months published our first issue.

You managed to collect funding for Atlas on Kickstarter within only 6 days. Today, with relatively easy access to funds through online platforms, what do you think shapes a successful entrepreneur?

I believe the key thing for an entrepreneur today is to have a good understanding of people; the [different] ways people work and the ability to utilise this effectively. Also, an understanding of the Internet and social media can oftentimes be the best driver for your business, just like in the case of Atlas.

So, what role did social media exactly play in Atlas’ growth?

I would say that our entire growth is thanks to social media. Most of our marketing activities happened and are happening there; most of our writers come from social media. In today’s world, images speak louder than words and this is why social media is the best way of marketing for Atlas today, also being a great potential revenue stream in the future.

atlas fashion they dont love you2

Atlas operates in a highly fragmented market with established players, like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, that have a great heritage. What do you think helped Atlas break into fashion magazines industry and become successful?

I guess our naivety helped us a lot. In the beginning, we did not know what we were doing, just having fun with it. We never planned for Atlas to become the business it is today. We just followed our shared passion, which is working with people who are as excited about imagery as we are. What also helped us is Atlas’ attainability: clearly, it is every photographer’s dream to work for Vogue, but oftentimes photographers just don’t have access to Vogue or are scared to even contact them. Atlas gave an opportunity to all fashion photographers to simply share their content with people through our platform.

In the past, people used to buy fashion magazines to get inspiration for their shopping. Now that all of online retailers have their own fashion issues, what do you think customers expect from a fashion magazine?

I believe that the fashion magazine industry today is split into two main parts. The first one, which [has] existed for years now, is the magazine that people go and buy to see beautiful images and get inspired, browse and enjoy the wonderful editorial. The second one, which ASOS serves today, is designed for shopping. [Where] customers browse for specific items that they would want to buy further on. Atlas magazine never intended to fall into the second category; rather, what we wanted to achieve is a beautiful magazine that customers can draw their inspiration from.

People today start to increasingly use their devices to see fashion rather than buy printed issues. Do you believe that print is dead or will be dead, and, if so, how do you see Atlas’ future in this perspective?

I believe that print is not dead and will not be any time soon. People today still want to hold a magazine in their hands. Especially now, when all work is device-based, they want to have a differentiation between their work and leisure. Even I enjoy reading a real book or magazine, touch it and enjoy it in my spare time. However, there is clearly a market for devices. Our goal in Atlas was to make the editorial available to as many people as possible. For example, people in Zimbabwe may not have access to our print issue, so we aim to provide the content in any form possible that can be accessed from anywhere. Also, with the increasing desire for free content, digital plays a significant role in any magazine’s growth. In Atlas, we satisfy this desire by providing more content in our social media pages and our blog. Digital is never going away; rather it works as a collective item with our print issue.

What is your long-term vision for Atlas’ growth?

We continuously aim to create the best version of Atlas, which means producing the best content and giving access to as many photographers and writers as possible. We want to continue our development in the print market, whereas focusing on our budget and gaining funds through attracting advertisers to Atlas.

Atlas magazine can be purchased at 50 London shops/newsagents, including Selfridges and Magnum, or retrieved online at Atlas official website and the magazine’s Facebook and Twitter pages

Music + Fashion = Maison Kitsuné

Fashion and music have always gone hand in hand. The 1960s ‘youthquake’ saw teens shedding social norms and rebelling against society, expressing themselves through their apparel and the music they listened to. Since then, artists like Madonna, David Bowie, Pharrell, and Lady Gaga have bridged the gap between the two art forms. But can fashion brands successfully link the two? Well, if you’re Maison Kitsuné, the answer is yes.

Launched in 2002 by former Daft Punk manager Gildas Loaëc and Japanese architect Masaya Kuroki, this Paris-based hybrid music and fashion label has established itself as a credible brand in both spheres. On the music side, run by Loaëc, the label has signed artists like Two Door Cinema Club, Digitalism, La Roux, and Boys Noize. The fashion line, designed by Kuroki, is sold in over 300 stores, including Bergdorfs, Colette, and Dover Street Market. There are also three Kitsuné stores in Paris, two in Tokyo, and one in NYC, with other openings planned in Hong Kong.

 

But what’s the secret to this match made in heaven? Well, the most obvious answer seems to be that both halves are run independently from one another. Rather than being a music label that does fashion, or vice versa, both sub-brands have dedicated teams, improving the credibility in both markets. As they fall under the same brand name, they remain interconnected: the fashion collections are designed with influence from signed artists, while these artists often wear Kitsuné apparel in their music videos. However, what’s ironic is the mismatch in brand images. The music label is a pioneer in electronic music, with a very forward-looking approach to the tracks and artists associated to it. Contrarily, the fashion line features classic and timeless silhouettes, described as “Parisian goes to the Ivy League”. So, what’s the connection?

Electronic music is often (mis-)associated with neon, glow-stick wearing ravers. And this French/American prep style usually goes along with … who knows what type of music preppy kids listen to. Needless to say, on paper, this match wouldn’t seem to work. But, in reality, the brand has earned over $15.9 million in annual revenue… so, it apparently does. What it comes down to is that Maison Kitsuné has created two modern labels, one of which targets hip younger customers with a good taste in music, and the other a wide range of individuals aged 15-60 years old. Since the two halves operate separately, the older target market continues to purchase the high quality, classic pieces without being bombarded with loud, bass-thumping tracks. And the younger consumers tend to be exposed to the fashion label through the music brand, which has such a strong following and aura around it that they can’t help but show up to the Kitsuné-thrown parties in a branded t-shirt.

What Maison Kitsuné has managed to do is understand the dynamic between music and fashion, and utilise its music label as a marketing tool for its fashion brand. Loaëc used to manage Daft Punk – he’s well established in the electronic community and has managed to launch the careers of some of the most talented artists in the field. A successful fashion brand, however, is very difficult to build, and requires much more investment. The successful music label has helped finance the development of the fashion collection, which now operates 80% of the company’s overall revenue.

Maison Kitsuné has not limited itself to music or fashion. It has created a lifestyle that its customers believe in. But why stop there? Coffees, fresh pressed juices, and patisseries are now available at a Café Kitsuné near you.