Keeping it Green, Keeping it Real

May 25, 2008

DISCUSSION TOPIC

Consumers Buy Green. Do They Understand It? 

TOPIC SUMMARY:

Green products are in high demand these days as many consumers seek, in ways big and small, to use their purchasing power to make the world a cleaner and healthier place to live.

According to a study by Mintel, the number of green products rolled out in 2007 was more than double the launches of similar items in 2005. Mintel is looking for 2008 to produce roughly 1,000 additional green items over last year’s total of 5,933.

Mintel found that 36 percent of adults claim to regularly buy green products, triple the number from 16 months ago. At the same time, the numbers of Americans who never buy green products went from 20 percent to 10 percent.

Lynn Dornblaser, director of CPG trend insight at Mintel, said consumers’ desire for green products and their lack of knowledge left them vulnerable to fraud. She told Brandweek about a paper towel that promoted itself as “100 percent cellulose.” All paper towels are 100 percent cellulose, she said and then added, “That’s like an orange juice saying ‘100% orange juice.'”

Discussion questions:  Is consumers’ apparent lack of understanding of terms such as sustainability an impediment to sales or does this lack of understanding actually enable marketers to more effectively move products branded as green? Do you see consumers becoming more savvy about green issues and conversely greenwashing activities or are they largely waiting on some other party (the media, government agency, etc.) to alert them when a marketer’s claims do not pass the smell test?

My post:  The green movement has hit its stride and become quite mainstream.  There is a danger that it may become passé and our youth may move on to the next trend.  However, I believe the trend is so powerful that corporations and governments will continue to drive universal acceptance of sustainability because of both social and profit based motivations.  It is important to keep the teens and young adults engaged since they drive most innovation.  Culling fraudulent products is important to ensure their engagement continues.

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist

www.OsorioGroup.com

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Go to the full discussion at RetailWire.com:
http://www.retailwire.com/Discussions/Sngl_Discussion.cfm/12976   

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ICSC RECon: Good News for Retail Development

May 25, 2008

DISCUSSION TOPIC

Retail Development Prospects are Promising

TOPIC SUMMARY:

There are no doubt challenges to deal with but, by all reports, the mood at this week’s International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon event was upbeat as developers spoke about real estate prices moderating and the credit crunch showing signs of easing.

Stephen Kieras, senior vice president of development at Taubman, told Shopping Centers Today, “There’s no slowdown. In fact, we’re seeing a lot of opportunities come to us.” Taubman is pursuing projects both domestically and abroad.

Discussion questions:  What does the upbeat mood of real estate project developers say for the retail industry moving forward? What trends (size of projects, geography, green building, etc.) do you see having the greatest impact on retail real estate development companies going forward?

My post:  I am quite excited about the future of the retail industry.  Significant downturns flush out weak performers and redundant concepts and allow the innovative and the strong to find great opportunities for concept development and growth.  Taubman is in a unique position due to international development that helps it weather the US domestic problems.  They and others will continue to invest in great projects and we will see the credit crunch ease and good deals will get done.

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist

www.OsorioGroup.com

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Go to the full discussion at RetailWire.com:
http://www.retailwire.com/Discussions/Sngl_Discussion.cfm/12982    

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Thank you for visiting my blog!  Please subscribe using the RSS button and comment on my postings.  Comments are the life-blood of any blog and I appreciate yours!


Dress like Lindsay Lohan (or your pick)

May 1, 2008

DISCUSSION TOPIC:  Shopping Online to Look Like a Celebrity

TOPIC SUMMARY:

Online fashion retailer asos.com has built its business on one simple principle: helping consumers dress like celebrities. The idea, as The Guardian explained, is to have models parading down the catwalk wearing outfits similar to those seen on the famous so that the not-famous can choose a style they would like to emulate at a fraction of the cost.

The site actually links fashion looks to faces. Customers can click on their favorite celebrity/pop star and view clothes that look a bit like things they have been pictured in. Victoria Beckham, Lindsay Lohan and Jennifer Lopez have proved to be particular favorites. Another unique feature is the ability for consumers to then see the item on models parading down the catwalk.

The site now carries 250 brands including big names such as Balenciaga and YSL. Targeting women aged 18 to 34, Asos claims some 1.7 million registered users, according to The Guardian, with 180,000 potential customers browsing each day and 200,000 orders at an average £60 each month. Menswear makes up 15 percent of sales, beauty and cosmetics three percent. Each of the 8,300 items is photographed and stock turned (replaced) every nine weeks.

Discussion questions:  What do you think of asos.com’s use of celebrity connections and catwalks to sell fashion apparel? Is Asos taking celebrity connections to online fashion retailing to a new level? Should department stores and fashion boutiques pursue similar techniques to capitalize more on celebrity and designer connections?

My post:

I just spent some time on this fantastic British site.  I can clearly see why it is so successful.  The ability not only to see clothes that a preferred celebrity either wears or might wear, but also to see it modeled on a catwalk with music is very cool.  The brands shown are good quality and the sections with premium brands and independent designers take it to another level.  There are site navigation issues, but overall it is a great experience and one which clearly resonates.  A version to be seen in the US soon?  I think it could work with a retailer already thought of as cool, but maybe even Macy’s or Penney’s should give it a try.

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist

www.OsorioGroup.com

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Go to the full discussion at RetailWire.com:
http://www.retailwire.com/Discussions/Sngl_Discussion.cfm/12931    

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Thank you for visiting my blog!  Please subscribe using the RSS button and comment on my postings.  Comments are the life-blood of any blog and I appreciate yours!