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issue 06. With retail in the doldrums, like-for-like sales down 2.4% in May compared with the same period last year – retailers need to start rethinking their approach.

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issue 06
issue 06

With retail in the doldrums, like-for-like sales down 2.4% in May compared with the same period last year – retailers need to start rethinking their approach.

‘Simple’ is a select range of brands created in close collaboration with a tight band of designers. It eschews the traditional seasonal game. Instead, Oki-ni introduces products on a monthly basis and invites feedback and participation about its creations from its audience of fashion-forward customers.

But you don’t need to be cutting edge to recognise that product and brand innovation comes from unleashing deep consumer insights from your key audience. Austrian supermarket chain Adeg has developed a mall specifically for the grey market. Adeg used consumer insight to identify the needs of seniors rather than rely on patronising stereotypes. The result is a simpler, more rewarding shopping experience where comfort and convenience come first. The stores include reduced glare lighting, slip-proof flooring and magnifying glasses attached to shelves to make shopping more enjoyable.

The insight is appropriate to many other categories. Take Vodafone with Vodafone Simply. It says it all. It has used segmentation and deep consumer insight to develop ‘Simply’, its new ‘only-what-you-need’ handset, which is designed specifically to perform just a few things effortlessly well. It’s aimed squarely at 35-55 year old consumers, which we identified as wanting de-complicated lives and simpler products. Our insight and brand positioning enabled Vodafone to capitalise on the opportunity and develop a consumer and market-oriented, rather than technology-oriented product.

The potential for simpler, more personal brand experiences is a growing trend – and one which we believe applies to almost any market.

KEY TREND: Simplicity

KEY TECHNIQUES: Ethnography – deep insights borne from intimate observation of needs, wants and desires.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Nicola King, Grappa.

Shopping Made Simple

While retailers have always understood that targeting the right product to the right audience is key to building sales, loyalty and footfall, great consumer segmentation isn’t enough in the current climate. Savvy retailers/marketers need to open their eyes and ears to what their consumers want – not only just to create better marketing that filters out the noise – but to build better experiences that can stimulate desire.

The expression ‘less is more’ is hackneyed and clichéd – but it’s a trend with genuine currency; consumers can’t compute with the breadth of choice. For marketers it is hard to adjust. They are so used to adding more – more products to the range, more services to the experience – as they battle to maintain differentiation. And as a consumer how do you resist the logic of getting more for your money, not less? Well, and here’s the rub, for an increasing number of consumers less is more. Less has more value: greater relevance and potentially more personal an experience for consumers, giving them what they really need.

In London’s Savile Row, independent retailer-cum-design group Oki-ni, produces a limited number of garments and products to enshrine their rarity. Choice is simple, but intensely personal. Order online and you can customise the product to your taste.