Breaking Bread With The British

October 03 2012

I just can’t get enough of London this season!  In addition to my very exciting talk at the Association of Photographers in London, I will have the pleasure of presenting a half-day seminar for Dairy UK on ‘How to Become a Successful Brand: Learn How to use Branding to Expand Your Market Share.’

As I’ve continued to expand my own business into the British marketplace, an associate of mine recently sent me a link to a very posh shared workspace in Knightsbridge, near Hyde Park.  Shared workspaces are all the rage in my hometown of Brooklyn, and the amenities can vary anywhere from a half dozen private conference rooms and free coffee and tea, to an in-house full service shared printing and copying center.  But what caught my eye about the Knightsbridge office is that not only do they give you access to a temporary receptionist staff, but they also offer in-house organic caterers, who are happy to tailor their menu to your needs!  Cool!   

The potential for this niche market is brilliant, and very much on trend with the strides the British have made not only in the organic food realm, but in how they communicate the sources of their food.  More and more, packaged foods in England are labeled with both the ingredients they contain, and where they are sourced.  It’s reflective of a larger ground swell of commitment and pride in that what they produce and consume is made in Britain.  In the US, the luxury of having organic catering at a business meeting is extremely rare, and yet with our own farm-to-table movement is on the rise, (fingers crossed), shared workspaces here at home will be offering similar amenities, perhaps (fingers crossed) our shared workspaces here at home will offer similar amenities, which would be a way for them to uphold the ‘community’ aspect of their brand.

For more information on ‘How To Become a Successful Brand: Learn How to Use Branding to Expand Your Market Share,’ at Dairy UK, click here.

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The Divine Miss M

April 08 2011
Courtesy of Blavish

Lately I’ve been thinking about Kate Moss. Her boyfriend, Jamie Hince, part of the indie duo The Kills, has just released a new album and is getting lots of press coverage.  Miss Moss is always mentioned in these articles, particuarly as the press is inevitably more interested in Kate than they are in Jamie, despite his cult-like status. What particularly interests me about her is that her own brand supercedes everything else that she touches, and that her brand, despite the trouble she’s seen, always remains super cool and kind of unshakeable. Think back to the time after she was busted for cocaine use, and lost a number of her lucrative and most visible brand relationships. Twelve months later, she was bigger than ever, winning contracts for major advertisers like Rimmel, Agent Provocateur, Virgin Mobile, Calvin Klein Jeans, Longchamp, and Burberry. According to Forbes, Moss has earned more money since her cocaine scandal than ever before: her 2004–2005 earnings were $5 million, 2005–2006 earnings were $8 million, and in 2007, with  earnings of $9 million, she was the second highest paid model in the world.

Courtesy of London Evening Standard

Kate is also legendary as an influential fashion individualist, someone whose personal style and ability to mix fashion trends with vintage and personal pieces is constantly reported on in the fashion press. So here is where another part of the brand piece comes in. She designs the Kate Moss collection for TopShop, the major British high street retailer. It’s not upmarket, folks, but smack in the middle so that it is accessible and aspirational at the same time. Her next fashion designs were for Longchamp, where she designed a line of bags with prices that were a bit higher on the food chain, but not stratospherically priced like other couture bags.

So it’s once again the perfect brand of high/low that we saw in the Olson’s work as well. Women want to dress like Kate so they can be cool, too! They want to buy into HER brand — not something perceived as being fabricated by a designer, but emanating from Kate herself.

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Anglomaniacs Unite!

February 22 2011

What is it with those Brits? Everyone wants a piece of them these days.They’ve got the whole heritage thing going on, and then for the past fifteen years or so, they’ve re-emerged as a center of hip, smart, ironic and fine design. They’ve also got the whole high/low thing down pat, so that you can feel just as good buying a luxurious and fun Vivienne Westwood rug (a whimsical take on the Union Jack)

Vivienne Westwood for the Rug Company

to buying a candle in the shape of Big Ben,

Candles from BlissLiving Home, T-shirt from the London Underground shop

or a Union Jack throw pillow that can be found at every stand on Portobello Road. This is apart from their ongoing infuence in the world of architecture, fashion design, food (hello, Jamie Oliver), literature, publishing and photography. You get the picture. I don’t see this trend going away very soon, so stock up on your tea and biscuits, set your ipod to Lily Allen, and crack open your coffee table book on Sir Norman Foster. Cheers!

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