Monday, September 28, 2009

What's new in Old Town?

The second installment of brand news from Norfolk includes the discovery of Old Town. Located in Holt - a town popular with Guardian reading, posh b&b staying, organic muesli munching, suped-up 4x4 driving Londoners - Old Town fits in perfectly as a purveyor of "blingamalist" clothes for the guilt-ridden rich. With its wooden floor boards and letter-pressed business cards, the shop stocks only samples. Once the customer has selected their cut, fabric and size, a new one is made specially for them and delivered within 6 weeks. As we emerge from our binge on fast-fashion and mass consumption, shops like Old Town are the zeitgeist for a new era of "better and fewer".

But, in branding terms, Old Town does not stop there. It also produces a newspaper which serves as a brilliant guide to the area for the aforementioned tribe not wanting to risk mixing with the riff-raff on Holkham Bay. The newspaper groans with on-trend nods - from the heavy organic paper it's printed on to the achingly nonchalant name-checks to other "blingamalist" establishments like Fernandez & Wells - the Soho deli for tv execs who like their steak sandwich at twice the price and with a side of smug.

Reading these paragraphs makes me seem as though I'm perturbed. I'm not, it's genius. If the future is de-branded, austere and route one in its approach then other luxury labels would do well to learn from the unassuming simplicity of Old Town. If I'm perturbed it's because I know that Tribe Organic-Box-and-two-kids-at-Bedales will get such a kick out of it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Visual Merchandising and Viral Marketing in North Norfolk

Following some crazy times at work, I decided to unplug and head to the North Norfolk coast. However, you can take the girl away from marketing, but you can't take marketing away from the girl.

Within an hour of arriving in Blakeney, I overheard this conversation in the local fisherman outfitters...
Norfolk lady 1: Oooh, look at this lovely jumper *brandishing hideous purple monstrosity*
Norfolk lady 2: Ooooooh, that is beautiful
Norfolk lady 1: And it's on the mannequin in the window
Norfolk lady 2: Oooh

Translated into London speak...
Norfolk lady 1: @norfolklady2 check out this jumper
Norfolk lady 2: Niiice RT @norfolklady1 check out this jumper
Norfolk lady 1: Posh Spice has one just like it
Norfolk lady 2: I'm gonna blog that later!
It's been quite a while Camilla Store lovers. I've been otherwise engaged in running the social media campaign for A Brand for London - an open pitch by Moving Brands in response to Boris' call for an agency to create a brand for London. We didn't get through but won the hearts and minds of London via our blog, Twitter, press (London Lite, London Paper and Evening Standard), and 50,000 visitors to our site. So, good times.