Monday, June 08, 2009

Branding outside the Box
(previously posted on the Moving Brands blog - one girl, two blogs, too much!)

Economic and environmental change means brands really have to think, and act, outside the box if they are to enchant nervous consumers. Two new launches this past week exemplify this so-called ‘wild-sky’ thinking which draws people in emotionally. The first enterprise can be found at London shopping mall, Westfield. There, alongside Louis Vuitton and Gucci in The Village – the luxury section of the mall – a charity shop has been set up by retail guru Mary Portas and Grazia magazine. Stocked with donations from Grazia readers, celebrities and high street and designer stores, the ‘Living and Giving’ shop re-positions charity shopping as an exciting, chic and sustainable alternative to buying new - making second-hand clothes as aspirational as the latest ‘It’ bag.

Across London, in Battersea, another ‘pop up’ takes the form of the Doodle Bar. Tapping in to consumers’ desire to personalise and interact with their environments, the Doodle Bar invites patrons to draw on everything from the walls to the furniture sourced via the recycling website, Freecycle. Billing itself as a “recession-proof credit crunch cafĂ©”, the Doodle Bar aims to develop the local community through a series of events over the summer.

Mary’s charity shop made nearly £4,000 in its opening hour, while photos of Doodle Bar’s opening night show it packed out. From luxury chazzing to caffeine-fueled doodling, innovative retail brands are discovering how ‘being’ the change, rather than simply dealing with it, will engage customers and ensure success in the long-term.