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During difficult times, brands grow stronger and it’s crucial for CEOs to understand the mechanics of their brand in order to increase revenue or market share, and capitalise on this opportunity.

Times of uncertainty and hardship motivates people to come together and unite around a central message. As the foundations of brand building are the same — connecting with people through identity, preferences, and ideas — the opportunities to strengthen and grow are prevalent.

Building a brand requires a long-term focus and scaled investment as a company grows. …


The less conventional names to keep an eye on.

In a year in which results are predicted to be mixed, retailers are exploring new ways to align with the changing needs and expectations of customers, and inventive ways to reconcile online and in-store experiences.

Established global brands are likely to continue increasing in value, and will be closely managed in 2020. It’s often those on the cusp that is the most provocative and interesting to watch, so let’s take a look at the fashion forward thinkers who are showing early promise across sales, customer growth, scalability, community, and diversity. …


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Gucci, 2019 Gift Giving campaign

In the same way technology is inherent in our hyperconnected lives, fashion impacts each of us daily. Whether it’s fast-fashion, luxury, or vintage, everyday we make conscious decisions on what clothing we wear and how we wear it.

The convergence of the two industries is synergistic in some ways, conflicting in others. In many ways considering the differences between industry models can be a catalyst for improvement. There’s power in ‘borrowing from brilliance,’ and adopting strategies and processes that are different from one another yet comparable on a deep structural level.

Let’s now take a look at what technology can…


Technology is shaping our world, our behavior, and our culture; we spend hours each day with our devices, apps, and platforms. Not only is tech deeply embedded in our lives, but it’s also a driver of change, invention, and growth in business.

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Fashion has long held the wait-and-see approach to innovation and is now playing catchup in areas such as customer experience, convenience, and automation. As industry lines blur and cross-industry collaboration become more successful, let’s take a look at what fashion can learn from technology to go beyond “best practices” to new practices.

1. Tech puts its users first…


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Amazon Go, San Francisco

I recently returned from a month in the US, visiting SXSW in Austin, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco as part of a targeted US business and research trip.

Spending time with US-based retailers and technology companies provided a sense of which market and consumer shifts are set to have the biggest impact over the next two to three years.

AI: From autonomous to humanized

Artificial intelligence is designing our future and will drive economic growth for years to come. It forms the basis of the most inventions as machines learn our behavior, make decisions and provide solutions.


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In recent years we’ve seen retailers herald coffee-fuelled days, productivity hacks, industrious founders — anything related to the #hustle culture.

In 2019, this narrative has been sidelined by a push for people to think more about wellness — and recharge and switch off.

As “crazy-busy” becomes the opposite of aspiration, it’s new territory for brands that have built their propositions on driving productivity — this is pretty much every activewear brand, a technology company, and startup asking us to “do more”, “outsource more” and “achieve more”.

The notion of modern luxury has shifted down gears from conspicuous consumption to increased…


Last month I took part in a debate on the ‘future of technology in retail and whether technology could replace humans….’ Subsequently, I’ve pulled together some thoughts for Inside Retail (also published here).

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For the past decade, advancements in technology have been disrupting what seems like most facets of the human experience. And with what feels like monthly advances in technology, it’s no surprise the retail industry is accelerating globally in innovation and experimentation. According to Gartner, worldwide retail-tech spending will increase by 3.6% to $203.6 billion in 2019, surpassing most other industries with regard to technology spend.

The emerging technologies we’re seeing develop are most often in response to a need for increased efficiency, elevated customer service, or reaching a new, unmet audience.

With customer…


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2018 was a solid year for retailers that were responsive to change. This year whilst we’re expecting accelerated growth in Australian retail (forecasted between 2.6%-2.9%​1​), people will spend more with retailers that are experimental, interactive and personalised.

As new battle lines for product, merchandising and distribution are drawn, emerging technologies will be vital for decade-old and newly launched brands to successfully evolve.


LATEST PRACTICES FROM RETAILERS CHANGING THE GAME

Developed by Sharley Consulting & Retail Express

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MARKET OUTLOOK

The future is set to be polarising for Fashion & Footwear retailers. Global powerhouses Amazon, eBay, AliExpress are strengthening their local presence, overseas players continue to enter the market, and marketplace sites such as ASOS, The Iconic, The Outnet and MyDeal are intensifying efforts to increase their stake in the fast-fashion and offer-driven markets.

In addition, differentiators like same-day delivery, free shipping and personalised communications are quickly becoming the norm for customers.

Whilst these are certainly challenging times, there are plenty of high-impact practices…


One businesses’ failure, is a lesson for another.

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Here are six mistakes to avoid and learn from, to become a better retailer.

1. Failing to be culturally relevant

The Pepsi and Kendall fiasco and their failed attempt to sell product via an important social movement springs to mind, but many others have failed dismally on this front.

Dove, renowned for their ‘real beauty’ approach, recently posted an image on Facebook of a black woman taking off a shirt similar to her skin tone, to reveal that she had turned into a white woman wearing a shirt similar to her skin…

Emma Sharley

Brand & Marketing Strategist | Retail & Technology | Writes about #Brand #Marketing #Technology #Retail #ConversationalAI

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