Yesterday whilst on our travels around the city, we felt the Valentines love with some great window displays from the high street. Here’s a few of our favourites.
Peggy Porschen Cakes in Belgravia gave a stunning floral entrance to their beautiful cake parlour.
Birchbox on Carnaby Street also styled an uplifting pink balloon archway inviting you into the store.
Liberty of London took a trip back to the summer of love with their ‘A Liberty Love in’ rainbow window features, plus they never fail to impress with the floral entrance on Great Marlborough St.
We were rained off in the afternoon so took to instagram to see what’s happening elsewhere and found a couple of gems that made us chuckle.
Ginko Florists in Dublin made us laugh with their Trump and Putin ‘bro-mance’ story.
Everyone loves an estate agent right? William H Browning Estate Agents even jumped on the Valentines band wagon by luring in their customers in to help them find their Dream Home.
Freed of London dance shoe specialists shared the love with a beautiful heart shaped display of red silk ballet shoes– inspired by Matthew Bournes ‘The Red shoes’ show. Admittedly this was last year but we still love it!
Have a great St Valentines day, with love from Identica.
Our continued involvement in the world of luxury goods has helped us build a good understanding of how brands relate successfully to their audiences, and what’s changing in this world. Here are five insights you might find useful. We’d be happy to share our wider thinking with you.
The number of ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals, or those with $30 million (£23.58 million) in assets or more, grew by 3.5% to 226,450, according to a new report by Wealth-X. Particularly for those who have made rather than inherited their wealth, a new dynamic is emerging, which is much more celebratory about wealth, and less concerned about restraint. Lamborghini’s latest campaign ‘Dare Your Ego’ taps directly into this new perspective, challenging the customer to state if they are a true match for the brand.
The traditional strategies of small batches, limited editions, and long waiting lists (Hermes reputedly have a six-year waiting list for its Birkin bag), are being built on by shutting out some consumers, and limiting exposure to the brand. Fashion House Proenza Schouler previewed its pre-autumn range to the press but banned outside photography or reviews until the clothes and accessories ranges were in-store. And being attitudinally robust is also not ruled out – as Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, once said: “If you’re not pissing off 50% of people, you’re not trying hard enough.”
Making an item exclusive through customisation is increasingly popular, particularly now that digital technology can allow the commissioner to watch the crafts person working their magic. Perhaps the purest expression of this is Bentley Mulliner, who tell us ‘in the world of Mulliner, anything is possible. In our Mulliner workshop – your dreams become reality. Indeed, the only limits are your imagination.’ At the hipper end of the scale is Garage Italia. Check out the Fiat 500 they created with a paint job based on illustrations from the Karma Sutra.
Whether it is one to one appointments or exclusive, personalised and bespoke offers to individuals, or even ingenious packaging and wrapping, Luxury Brands need to think about what will add the extra layer of spice to the package. You can’t simply rely on the product and its presentation, however dramatic, to speak for itself. A great example of this is Porsche, which innovated the delivery process of its cars by allowing customers to pick up their new car right off the assembly line in Germany, and Harrods where the store showcases a select handful of the world’s most exclusive and precious luxury perfumes.
As millennial women gain more affluence and influence, their potential buying power cannot be ignored. In addition, the tidal wave of change sweeping aside how women are regarded and depicted in all forms of communication is creating dramatic change in branding norms at all levels.
Tapping into key influencers and giving a voice to female brand co-creators and co-owners will be crucial for luxury brands marketing to women. For example, in a series of videos, Chanel explores the female experience in the workplace, hearing from a variety of prominent woman from tech gurus to supermodels to designers. Each woman shares her own advice on how to make it in the world, with a resounding theme of perseverance.
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Radical Innovation, or Work Until We Drop?
We all know the stats – By 2040, nearly one in seven Britons will be over 75. Almost a third of people born today can expect to live to 100. In 2014, the average age in the UK exceeded 40 for the first time and this will only rise. Boomers command a high proportion of the nation’s disposable income and many are sitting on property assets in addition to have inherited from previous generations.
Match that with the world facing the generations that are following. Let’s start with employment.
These days the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times (with an average of 12 job changes) during his or her career. This number is expected to rise as Millennials mature, bringing with them their non-linear approach to their careers and life, in general.
Not only that, many are working in the gig economy, where pension provision is probably a relatively vague concept. The Social Market Foundation found that more than 14 million working-age adults were not currently saving any money at all, and more than 26 million adults did not have adequate provisions for retirement or even a rainy day.
To put it in numbers, depending on varying individual circumstances, a pension pot of
£100,000 would only provide an annual income of about £5,000 in retirement. The size of the average pension pot in the UK currently stands at nearly £50,000, according to Aegon. Men have saved an average of £73,600, compared to just £24,900 for women. You do the math as they say. So even though we know have Workplace pensions, it’s by no means the whole answer.
Is education a part of the solution, or adding to the problem?
Students in England are going to graduate with average debts of £50,800, after interest rates are raised on student loans to 6.1%, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. With pressure on the housing market, they are less likely to accumulate property wealth in the same way that Baby Boomers and Gen X were able to.
The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) has been tracking graduate outcomes and reckons that for those who left in the 2015 university year, 48% ended up in non-graduate jobs six months on.
Lizzie Crowley, the author of the report, says: “Unless we actually see degrees creating value for the economy, it is a big problem.” She says 77% of students will not pay their loans back in full.
If future generations are to be looked after and not find themselves working until they drop (as already predicted by experts), radical innovation is essential. We need to start getting proactive maximising our available income, now and especially in the future.
This might imply that future generations would have to return to their flatmate / house-sharing days with their families, or friends, well into their later life, in order to share living costs and prevent isolation. Could / should this be encouraged? Is the construction sector for retirement housing already considering this possibility?
Should Baby Boomers be expected to pick up the tab? Or is it imminent that their wealth will be chewed up by care costs in later life?
At the other end of the retirement-living rainbow, there’s shuffling off this mortal coil to be considered
In a recent press coverage, a GP talked about how patients in their late sixties, who are all diligently keeping fit and eating well, are finding it difficult to accept how the ageing process is inevitably affecting their bodies. Yet, the inevitability of death faces us all no matter how carefully we look after our bodies.
So, is it now time to open the debate on how we leave this world, in addition to how we make the most of our time here?
Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said: “The British public overwhelmingly support a change in the law to give terminally ill, mentally, competent adults the choice of an assisted death.”
An interesting debate is in the making – Should we be also thinking about ‘radial innovation’ about how we die? Crank that creative thinking up a notch and have ourselves, as well as a life, a ‘death’ by design?
Step forward brands
As branding specialists, the question we’re looking to answer is – which current and future branded businesses and third sector organisations are best place to martial this debate and drive change – beyond the usual suspects who offer to help us maximise our finances across our lifetimes, to a broader debate about how we choose to live and die, and help to balance the ethical with the commercial issues involved? The ultimate innovation challenge we believe!