Tag Archives: new york

How Authentic is your brand? Firefish study helps you steer these waters

The concept of authenticity has real relevance to the people who buy your brand and, as such, it is an important selling point and driver of value for brands themselves. However, the exact meaning of it can be elusive and hard to define.

Insight consultancy, Firefish set out to help brands navigate this space, and recently published a report defining its characteristics so that brands can take better control of their own authenticity:

‘ Navigate authenticity to make it more tangible in their offering and communication
‘ Demystify the term in order that it can be used more meaningfully
‘ Locate their true source of authenticity and demonstrate it with integrity.

You can find links to a detailed summary, including their ‘ten commandments of authenticity’ over at http://firefish.ltd.uk/our-world/making-sense-of-authenticity

Check out which brands ranked in the top 50 as the most authentic, how these eight values; the abilities to be genuine, original, unique, expert, visionary, passionate and honest, and finally integrity, comprise ‘authenticity.’ As well eight rules and ten commandments for authenticity, followed by the Brand Authenticity Checklist for practical steps to becoming more authentic.

Firefish is an award-winning, independent, strategic insight consultancy based in London, New York & Amsterdam. They combine deep understanding of people with expertise in Brands, Communication and Culture, to inspire and deliver insight, ideas and strategy to some of the world’s leading brands on all continents.

Fashion Involves Marketing Research too!

Who thought marketing research could apply to fashion week?

As reinforced in my complete article on the topic, Fashion Weeks off late have astounded me with the level of
social media acceptance and usage that has been a catalyst in making
fashion so much more accessible. Retailers and designers alike have
truly harnessed this power to create nothing short of a racing

week shows today consist of a construction of minutely segmented
moments of a collection, a speech, a look, a sentiment, an accolade and
much more, all of which are instantaneously photographed, retweeted,
shared on a social media platform, and bulge up to relay a magnanimous
sense of real-time brand equity.

To think fashion week is classically an event for media and buyers,
who often forget that the ultimate wearer is the consumer. To that
benefit alone, social media can take credit for bringing fashion glitz
and glamour straight into the lap of its owner. The mainstream consumer
can now scratch the surface of fashion week, and even indulge into
wholesome bites of the world of haute.

And this has been more the case this year than any other. While fascinating to recap the measures taken by designers and
brands alike, my thoughts with the upcoming shopping season is this: how
much brand loyalty has it really created?

Fashion week is a glittering example of Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenburg‘s
economics-class-driven idea to boost consumer spending by engaging
customer interaction with their favorite brands and brand endorsers,
namely drool-worthy and idolized celebrities who grace the streets in
the flesh to share the air with their fans. While shared across 700
countries, it is now an excuse to have a party, with stores carding at
entrances and serving cocktails and offering live performances amidst
littered clothing and accessories. From Armani Exchange’s tee
distressing bargains to Kenneth Cole’s personal kick off amidst
paraphernalia, brands lure and endure simultaneously.

In an upcoming post I’ll speak of specifically how social media and consumer behavior marry to fashion in order to bring truly research based insights into the world of haute.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on

Idea Gathering: T-Mobile Stops Selling Contracts

“The Uncarrier” no longer offers contracts

Not just hearing but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leaders. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspiration with business relevant actions and have been one of our most highly rated features in the past.

Here on the blog, we’ll be presenting weekly idea gathering wrap ups of some of our favorite customer experience strategy, design and alignment news and views.
T-Mobile recently announced that it would stop selling traditional two year contracts with its phones, a move setting them apart from the other big names in the cell phone industry. In a public event T-Mobile CEO John Legere blasted these carriers including the company that just months ago almost acquired T-Mobile, AT&T. Legre stated that “Customers don’t need another AT&T, customers need someone to stop acting like AT&T’.
It’s no secret that people don’t like the long term contracts big carriers make you sign. Many people do it just to have access to the latest phone, as Legere said ‘Customers love smartphones, everyone hates contracts’.  These two year contracts originally came around for carriers to subsidize the cost of the phone upfront but customers are beginning to wonder if they’re really worth it.
Cellphone contracts are something which many consumers have begun to grow wary of and according to the New York Times the percentage of no-contract phones is expected to increase from 18% in 2008 to 30% by 2015. What’s the driving force behind this change? The biggest issue is definitely cost. 
Consumer Reports compared the costs of owning a 16gb iPhone 5 on a two year contract with big carriers or pre-paid with no contract and month to month charges. The winner of the competition was Smart Talk, a company which specializes in pre-paid, no contract cellphones. The initial cost of the phone was a whopping $650 but with two years of unlimited data at $45 a month the total cost was $1,730. 
Sound like a lot? 
It’s actually a savings of $1,110 compared to AT&T, who also caps data at 4 GB per month instead of providing unlimited data like Smart Talk. For a Verizon plan which would cap data at 2 GB per month the cost is still a little less then a thousand dollars more over two years.
Also just the idea of being locked into the same phone and company for two years is something difficult to get excited about.  Logan Abbot, president of MyRatePlan.com explained that in a no-contract system the carrier knows you can easily be gone the next month making you more valuable as a customer which (should) make customer service better.
It will be interesting to see how T-Mobile fares and if more customers begin to take Mr. Legere’s words to heart and end their contracts for the freedom and flexibility of pre-paid phones.

Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs atFordham Nights and can be reached at JMarino@iirusa.com.