Go Forth! Mercurylab in London (Part Two) | They (and we) Love to Eat

July 29 2014

Farmer's Market Marketing

Whether based in Brooklyn or London, good farmer’s markets not only bring a sense of the native culture and some delicious foods, but also offer great marketing opportunities for the vendors.

Broadway Market, Hackney (Left, Popino, based in Hampstead, and their homemade savory tarts and pies; right, artisan cheeses from all over the UK)

The markets provide a great atmosphere and the chance to sell not only your product, but your brand. These small business owners and artisans foodmakers often build their brands at markets, gaining a following that allows them to begin to wholesale or maybe even open their own shop. These days, in the artisan sector, a successful food brand will always bring together a combination of market sales, wholesale and retail. The sellers at the market level are in a unique position to get feedback about their products straight from the horse's mouth (so to speak). Sellers can interact with customers, create a relationship, and put a face to the food. It's all very organic (mind the pun). The UK has been forward- thinking in providing provenance for local foods, and the local food movement has taken hold and flourished here for many years, far in advance of the US.

There is an incredible interest in locally sourced food. Cooks and consumers want the Real Deal. Organic. Healthy. Ethical. Local. Lucky for market stalls, eating and ethics all get rolled up into one concern that points to more sales and exposure.

Heavenly Andina, where we set at the kitchen counter and coveted everything coming out of the kitchen

Adina, an amazing Peruvian spot we went to a few nights ago in Shoreditch, is one of many restaurants to feature fresh, local, GMO-free ingredients. They call out their sourcing right on the menu. Even the beverages are based on “Peruvian Super Fruits,” and the fries are not potatoes, but are actually healthy root vegetables typical of traditional Peruvian cuisine. Anyway, it was all delicious, and everyone in the busy kitchen wanted to share their enthusiasm for the food. YUM!

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Go Forth! Mercurylab in London (Part One)

July 25 2014

Hello all

This summer Mercurylab is working (and playing) in London. Since opening our new studio in Battersea last year, we've slowly but surely been building up our brand in the mother country (as they say). For the next couple of months, we'll be keeping this blog up-to-date on our findings and observations, what we're up to, and what we're thinking, seeing and enjoying. Oh, and what we’re working on!

In the time we've been here thus far, we've spotted some pretty neat things. At 221b Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes, Dr, Watson, and studio manager Kyrie on the case (left); a magic alleyway, off Kensington Church Street – this is how they live in tony Holland Park (middle); and a 
mysterious painting through a window in the village of Victoria Park (right). I’m so curious to know the who and why of the woman in that painting – it’s so naïve, and very beautiful, situated in its formal red room.

Cool "now" brand Nuji may need to rethink their billboard locations.

While walking down the streets we saw this advert for Nuji, super chic and trendy British-bred website. Nuji allows users to go internet window shopping, and then add all their findings to one massive and organised wish list. Seeing this vibrant billboard surrounded by industrial waste creates a major brand disconnect. "Trending fashion" and "lifestyle products" is a hard sell when the face of your product is popping out of a garbage bin!

Make sure to stop by every week and catch up with our British escapades. There are countless opportunities for beauty, life, trends, and brand analysis. You just have to know where and what to look for!

XO Beth

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America Apparel & Dov Charney

July 04 2014

I was momentarily shocked when I first read that American Apparel’s board of directors (finally) ousted CEO and founder, Dov Charney. Shocked, but not at all surprised. Or perhaps a bit surprised that it actually happened at all. Dov Charney has been accused of harassment, misconduct, sexual assault, discrimination, and general smarminess for years. The brand was built around the uber-hip attributes he projected, and the success of the brand’s sexy, modern, “too cool to care” image seemed to leave the CEO untouchable.


So, what is leaving him so vulnerable this time? Is the company perhaps becoming aware that the 15-20 year old crowd is like, totally in their mid-20s now, and don’t want to support this kind of behaviour? Or maybe, and more realistically, the board of directors is finally realizing the negative effect that Charney’s actions are having on sales? Reports have noted that the sales numbers significantly drop around a new scandal release. At this point, it may be too risky for company sales and stock to keep him at the helm.

What happens when a CEO‘s brand attributes still align with the company he founded, and yet over time he becomes too much of an albatross, both financially and in terms of public perception of the brand? You got it, folks. He gets kicked to the curb, because in the end, American Apparel will survive just fine without him. Despite this week’s desperate stock grab for power, it may be the moment in which American apparel as a brand is better off disassociated from his persona and shenanigans. After all, they have a finely developed sense of who they are, and will continue to stay relevant unless a new CEO and Creative Director come in to tinker with their brand and design aesthetic.

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