That Works Weekly provides an alternative take on the week’s marketing and branding news. In Episode 4, ASOS profits boom, LG cease smartphone production, Stella tip bar staff for us and Toms shoes are on the front foot in business ethics.
Take-off for ASOS
Online fashion retailer ASOS has announced a huge increase in profits over the last six months, with sales of £1,919.9m and a gross profit of £890m. That £330m Topshop acquisition didn’t take long to pay off did it? These figures are hardly surprising – online retailers have benefitted from this pandemic even more than Matt Hancock’s rich chums. The closure of physical stores, a furlough-induced increase in free time and people ‘working’ from home online has created a recipe for success for e-commerce companies, of whom ASOS are a major player. A quick, or long, retail therapy session has become part of a lot of people’s daily routine; wake up, shower, quick scream, boring Zoom meeting, spend the day’s wages on unnecessary clothing, take the dog for eight walks, eat due to boredom rather than hunger, boring Zoom meeting number two, track order manically until it arrives on one of the doorsteps in the postcode, and repeat. 365 times.
LG ditch smartphones
In equally unsurprising news, electronics company LG have taken the decision to end production of their smartphones, largely because approximately three people on the planet own one of them. The South Korean firm announced losses in the segment of around £3.2billion, which their competitor Apple probably spend weekly on developing the next iPhone which will turn out to be identical to the previous three models. There is a surprising element to this story, however; contrary to popular belief (or maybe just my belief), LG actually stands for Lucky Goldstar rather than Life’s Good. Who knew?!
Stella’s stellar lager
Belgian beer brand Stella Artois is aiming to capitalise on the re-opening of outdoor hospitality next week with a new double-pronged marketing campaign. Their ‘Stella Tips’ scheme will see a £1 tip donated to hospitality staff for every pint sold in the month starting from April 12th. If beer demand is as high as anticipated, their £500,00 budget for this scheme will likely be used up by 3pm on Monday, never mind stretch a month. The campaign’s second prong is the return of their classic ‘reassuringly expensive’ tagline, which Stella used as their advertising slogan from 1982 until 2007. I wonder how many people took comfort from that slogan during those 25 years of being overcharged for a pint of lager. Having said that, nothing will come between the Great British public and a pint in a beer garden when they re-open next week; some will probably even settle for a Fosters. Desperation really has set in.
Volvo’s climate change challenge
Swedish motor company Volvo has launched a new advert to underline its environmental concerns and its subsequent ambitions to become fully electric by 2030. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature ABBA cruising around in an electric hatchback harmonising to Mamma Mia and no, they haven’t teamed up with IKEA for a match made in Swedish commercial heaven by lugging some flat-pack furniture around in a spacious hybrid (@Volvo, you can have these ideas for free). Instead, it shows a Volvo car safety test, in which a car is dropped from 100ft (realistic test, then) being interrupted by a falling glacier in the background of the shot, therefore portraying climate change as the biggest challenge they, and indeed we, face. Credit where credit’s due, it’s a pretty nice ad.
We’d all rather see the ABBA road trip though, wouldn’t we?
Toms put their best foot forward
This week’s ‘good news’ feature highlights the tremendous community work being carried out by footwear brand, Toms. Founded in 2006, the company have somewhat gone under the radar since the fashion craze of the early 2010s which saw any trendy male under 25 donning their famous slip-on shoes with beige skinny chinos. Maybe a scarf, too. Anyway, the company is this year celebrating its 15th anniversary with the announcement of a plan to donate at least one third of their net profits towards good causes. Having already given away over seven million shoes and $4.4m in grants, they will now focus on supporting projects involved with mental health, access to opportunities and ending gun violence. Bravo, Toms.
Another worthy ‘good news’ mention is the obvious fact that as well as beer gardens, Monday will see the reopening of gyms, non-essential shops and barbers. A quick look around at some of the hairstyles currently on display should be enough to determine that it doesn’t get much more ‘good news’ than that.