Ana Andjelic holds court on stage | Netlife
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Ana Andjelic: Why visceral storytelling is the next brand-building territory.

Symbolic and visceral, smell is a powerful brand language that convincingly conveys identity and differentiation. It creates a direct, tangible connection between a brand and its consumers.

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Aesop gets it | Aesop
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Marcela Sapone: Smart brands like Aesop have figured out that clever distribution builds brands.

Aesop and others realize that modern brand building lies in meeting today’s new consumer in the places they are: the hotel, the restaurant, the boutique. Now the onus is on CPGs to unlock new channels to break out of stalled growth.

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Ana Andjelic, Jen Rubio, Jessica Graves, and Colin Nagy; Northside Festival panel | Colin Nagy
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Ana Andjelic: The dark side of the direct-to-consumer brand experience.

For every new brand that takes the long view on customer service (fixing a broken product even if it’s the customer’s fault), there are countless more where the customer relationship ends at the moment of sale.

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Alfred CEO Marcela Sapone | Mercedes-Benz
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Marcela Sapone: The modern luxury supply chain is log jammed at the front door of your apartment building.

It doesn’t matter how sophisticated direct-to-consumer brands make their products or supply chains today — if shipments get stacked at the front door of your apartment, that’s a failure. Fortunately, a more thoughtful, seamless future is on the way.

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Goop, for one, has flourished by thinking customer-first | Goop 
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Ana Andjelic: Legacy retailers define strategy in competitive terms. Retail upstarts define it in terms of their customer.

To successfully compete in today’s customer-first context, retailers have to start thinking beyond incremental innovation. They must become comfortable with new models that cannibalize their business as it is right now.

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The Matches Fashion team serves as a perfect case study here | Matchesfashion.com
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Ana Andjelic – Rethinking luxury’s technology gameplan.

Longstanding luxury brands tend to treat technology as a marketing play or a value-add that sits on top of their business models – rather than harnessing technology to actually transform their businesses. Ana Andjelic’s argument: It’s a terrible approach. (652 words)

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"We need air traffic control for the home," says Marcela | US Department of Labor
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Marcela Sapone: “How to leapfrog the smart home trend, and make something consumers actually want.”

Alfred’s CEO argues that the home of the future isn’t some bleeding edge futurist vision. Rather, it’s simply a home — full stop — humming with (silent) new efficiency. And it should be as frictionless as calling an Uber. (838 words)

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LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, eyeing a couple of modern luxury brands | Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images
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Since modern luxury companies are killing LVMH’s cash cow, they’ve set up a fund to invest in them.

MLCs are chipping away at mass market luxury. Given the stakes, it would be utterly foolish for LVMH to continue to ignore them. (686 words)

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Is there any 'there' there for sustainable luxury initiatives? | Naadam Cashmere
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Ben Hedlund: “Greenwashing rightly leaves a bitter taste in many people’s mouths.”

A running sentiment is that many companies treat sustainability as a marketing gimmick, or a superficial box to check.

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Everyone's chasing hygge now | Pete Gamlen
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Ana Andjelic: Ironically, the ‘slowness’ movement shows no signs of slowing down.

Being unplugged has become a status symbol. We’re increasingly accumulating simple (pre-Internet) pleasures in place of actual goods. (566 words)

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