Tag Archives: Marks and Spencer

Marc Bolland’s departure from M&S leaves behind an omnichannel legacy

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Marc Bolland’s announcement yesterday has certainly generated some negative press towards the departing CEO of a UK institution that remains one of the country’s biggest and diverse retailers. With many offering “sage” advice to the perceived problems which contributed to a dip in the share price following a full day’s trading, let’s not forget that where other big retailers have spectacularly failed over the last six years, Mr Bolland and the M&S team haven’t done so bad.

Whilst GM (General Merchandise) sales may be down 5.8% in the last quarter and across the year, Mr Bolland did what he set out to achieve six years ago; to a save the retailer which had no digital strategy.

This included three core objectives: food, infrastructure and online presence for the retailer. Each and every objective has been completed and exceeded with M&S food up 3.7% despite not being a grocer in the traditional sense or having an online home delivery food service which helps to bolster trading.

The infrastructure has avoided any embarrassing PR disasters, unlike many competitors, by maintaining adequate stock of core lines and delivery timescales, but more importantly it’s the M&S online presence, managed by Bolland appointee Laura Wade-Grey, that the exiting CEO should be proud of and praised for.

The omnichannel experience is exemplified with click and collect accounting for an impressive 62% of online orders, revealed by Bolland himself on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, a statistic which is far higher than many rivals. It accounted for only 17.7% of the industry’s orders in 2014 and is forecasted to rise by 20% in 2015, far below what M&S has managed to actually achieve in 2015.

M&S has successfully created an omnichannel experience which has embraced a digital platform as not merely an add on, but a standalone experience which lends itself neatly to the M&S customer profile, predicted to be an older customer, to convert them into a satisfied online shopper.

This was perhaps facilitated by avoiding the same levy to customers as main rival John Lewis implemented in 2015, adding a £2 click-and-collect charge on purchases costing less than £30, with Tesco recently following the same course. Many users have complained about the change, and let’s also not ignore that there were a few issues surrounding stability and data protection.

However it can’t be ignored that as an e-commerce site which is easy to navigate and use across any device, M&S has created a true omnichannel experience. Offering a consistent brand identity for consumers and a digital platform which works, sales were up 20.9% over the festive period and served to drive footfall into traditional retail, no doubt to the benefit of other retailers and UK plc.

 

Read more at: http://wallblog.co.uk/2016/01/08/marc-bollands-departure-from-ms-leaves-behind-an-omnichannel-legacy/

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Rebuilding that Emotional Connection with Your Consumers

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With declining food sales mirroring the retailer’s fashion decline, it has appeared that Marks and Spencer, under the reign of Marc Bolland, has been spinning into terminal decline. But hang on. Our much loved M&S where, with little exception, we have either worn or eaten their wares over the decades, has suddenly bounced back with a vengeance. The launch of a new food campaign set to an instrumental version of the Clean Bandit track Rather Be has succeeded where recent fashion ads have failed – driving an emotional connection with those consumers who have fallen out of love with its style, format and quality. Capitalising on food’s current status of being on trend, the retailer has returned to a less cheesy format than recent advertising using a “go on, try me” kind of approach has done in the past. In my opinion, this will go some way in helping to rebuild the emotional connection with disaffected M&S shoppers, tempting them to return in-store and try a treat or two again.


Its fashion ATL has also wisely taken a change in tact, ditching the leading ladies in favour of a simpler execution with the Ed Sheeran track Sing, designed to strike a chord with everyday customers, who aren’t impressed or swayed by celebrity endorsement. The clothes or food might not be to everyone’s taste or appeal to a specific age group, but this ATL campaign brings back the emotion this much loved UK brand badly needs to reconnect with their customers and compete with the other household brands. I am impressed and genuinely like this approach. This may just work and evolve into a spectacular Christmas ATL campaign re-establishing the M&S brand.


Another long standing representative on the British high street, McDonald’s, seems to be succeeding in re-marketing themselves to a wider, more health conscious audience. Considered by many the antipathy of healthy eating, even perhaps the pariah of fast food only one step up from the generic chicken shop, McDonald’s sat closely with its counterparts Burger King and KFC, with very little to distinguish them apart – until now. Their new ATL is taking a step back in time, reminding us how great we thought McDonald’s used to be, how much of a treat it was and the special occasions that we had long forgotten during which we chose to feast on McDonald’s. Roll up the new look and feel of McDonald’s, at least portrayed by its advertising, that will entice some of us to go back and revisit that memory of our first McDonald’s. Perhaps even make a child’s first experience of McDonald’s a seminal moment like it was for us, rather than what it has perhaps become as a soiled moment tinged with guilt. Maybe we should all be a bit more carefree, a little bit of what you like as a treat on occasion is alright.

 

Read more at: http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2014/10/06/rebuilding-that-emotional-connection-with-your-consumers/

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