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Most Read 2012
J Walker Smith
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New world order for global brands
J Walker Smith, Andrew Curry and Stokes Jones, Market Leader, Quarter 1, 2013, pp. 24-27
Since the shock of the 2008 economic collapse, there has been profound questioning of things that were previously accepted as gospel, such as globalisation.
Since the shock of the 2008 economic collapse, there has been profound questioning of things that were previously accepted as gospel, such as globalisation. Now, some of the key features of globalisation are being called into question, particularly those that affect the future of global brands. The authors outline the history so far of global brand building and explore the potential models of the future, embracing co-creation, the importance of meaning and the need for future brand managers to be culturally and contextually adept.
10 trends in sustainability
J Walker Smith, Warc Trends, September 2012, pp. 14-15
Green issues might well have the attention of business leaders but McKinsey's most recent global survey of corporate executives finds sustainability initiatives being expected to move beyond corporate reputation to operational efficiencies and new markets and products.
Green issues might well have the attention of business leaders but McKinsey's most recent global survey of corporate executives finds sustainability initiatives being expected to move beyond corporate reputation to operational efficiencies and new markets and products. Yet, as its influence appears to be growing in the way it shapes more organisations, it has yet to find a firm footing in bottom-line sales growth. More attention and visibility has been a blessing and a curse for sustainability. A higher profile means greater focus, but with it comes greater accountability. To be taken more seriously, sustainability needs to not only support growth, but become a source of growth. This new sustainability imperative is the subject of a recent Future Perspective from The Futures Company and this piece summarises ten stand-out learnings.
10 routes to growth in China
J Walker Smith, Warc Trends, June 2012, pp. 14-15
Rapid GDP growth is China's strength but also its vulnerability. Environmental degradation, pressure on resources, production capacity gluts, real estate spikes and inflation are all threatening China's future prosperity.
Rapid GDP growth is China's strength but also its vulnerability. Environmental degradation, pressure on resources, production capacity gluts, real estate spikes and inflation are all threatening China's future prosperity. However, the author of this article argues that these obstacles can also present opportunities as the steps needed to address them and the markets created when these steps are completed will provide sectors and brands with strong growth potential. The global downturn has called into question the old ways of doing business and this article outlines ten ways for companies doing business in China to take advantage of the next phase of the country's development.
Quickening the pace: What a slow-growth west demands of brands
J. Walker Smith, The Futures Company Trends, Future Perspectives, February 2012
This report from The Futures Company, part of its Future Perspectives series, examines the sources of growth for brands in a global economy where the middle class in developed countries has been squeezed by the financial crisis.
This report from The Futures Company, part of its Future Perspectives series, examines the sources of growth for brands in a global economy where the middle class in developed countries has been squeezed by the financial crisis. Marketers will have to re-assess their approach since the consumer mindset has changed in many ways. Consumers are searching for contentment ahead of material possessions, looking down in fear rather than up with aspiration, sharing rather than buying. They're priortising those things they want then trading off everything else to afford them. The over-50s market will also become more important as an ageing population is faced with having to work for longer at the same time as youth unemployment rises.
10 trends in global brands
J Walker Smith, Warc Trends, February 2012, pp. 14-15
All brands are local at heart, with the potential to be global. The history of globalisation can give a hint of where brands are headed in a global market where uncertainty has become a key to shaping consumer decision-making.
All brands are local at heart, with the potential to be global. The history of globalisation can give a hint of where brands are headed in a global market where uncertainty has become a key to shaping consumer decision-making. As the BRIC countries continue to expand and more affluent nations are trapped in the debt overhang of the economic crisis, BRIC-based companies are likely to add brands to their portfolios. Another trend will see iconic brands decline as, in the future, there will be too many brands chasing too few possibilities. Uncertainty will redefine global brands from the bottom up.
We are family: Process over product and the kinship economy
J. Walker Smith, WPP Atticus Awards, Highly Commended, 2011
Consumer attitudes have changed in America as a result of the economic recession and continuing unemployment.
Consumer attitudes have changed in America as a result of the economic recession and continuing unemployment. As a result of the downturn the economy is smaller, more volatile and driven by scarcity. In response, consumers have become pessimistic about products and are more interested in processes – that is to say, relationships. They place an increased value on personal relationships, hence the term "kinship economy". In order to be relevant brands need to focus on making themselves part of the consumer's family through processes such as treating customers fairly, respecting their privacy and solving problems.
10 truths about Millennials
J Walker Smith, Warc Trends, April 2011, pp. 18-19
The report 'Unmasking Millennials: The Truth Behind a Misunderstood Generation' corrects prevailing misunderstandings about Millennials, including the ten truths set out in this article.
The report 'Unmasking Millennials: The Truth Behind a Misunderstood Generation' corrects prevailing misunderstandings about Millennials, including the ten truths set out in this article. For example: Millennials are not eternally optimistic or naive teens; their open, pro-social mindset is closing as they mature; technology is their defining characteristic, which they use to create new spaces and invent new ways to play, share and consume; and they are redrawing geographical boundaries in unexpected ways - for example, Millennials in Argentina and France are more like each other than their respective neighbours in Europe and LatAm.
10 consumer trends for 2011
J Walker Smith, Warc Trends, February 2011, pp. 16-17
The year to come promises to be a big one, not only because big things are unfolding, but because marketers need for big things to happen.
The year to come promises to be a big one, not only because big things are unfolding, but because marketers need for big things to happen. They will be doing everything possible to create something big, Coming trends will include increased demand for fresh, unprocessed food; tactile products, from gadgets to textiles; health diagnostics via smartphone; and growing protest by consumers over financial inequality, particularly aimed at the banking sector.
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