5 things you need to know this week

From the rebirth of the Mini car brand to sexist tweets from the Football Association, Marketing Week rounds up the best news of the week from the world of marketing.

1. Mini is reinventing a brand icon

The mini is a bit of a British institution – even if its most famous appearance was in The Italian Job.

However, as was made apparent by Marketing Week’s cover feature this week, the car brand is going through a bit of a marketing evolution.

The brand is seeking to position itself as a more serious and socially-conscious car marque with the launch of a new visual identity and brand philosophy.

This includes a simpler version of its logo and a move away from its humourous, tongue-in-cheek approach to brand communications in favour of a more practical, product-focused tone.

“Society has changed dramatically – consumption is less of a priority [now] and people are questioning more and more the purpose of everything and the benefits [of products], for ourselves and for society,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board director who has responsibility for the car brand.

“People are more focused on ‘the essential’ and I believe that no other car brand is better positioned than Mini to meet this new focus on things that count.”

2. FA boss defended a ‘sexist’ Women’s World Cup tweet

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With FIFA’s dodgy dealings continuing to take up the media spotlight football has been getting a bit of a bad rep recently. This week it was the FA’s turn after a tweet sent out celebrating the return of the England women’s team from the World Cup in Canada was criticised for being sexist.

The FA’s boss Martin Glenn, speaking at ISBA’s annual lunch in London this week, said the tweet had been taken out of context.

Glenn said the tweet, which has since been deleted, had been sent as a “140-character summary” of a press release it put out saying that the players were looking forward to coming home to their families.

“The defence from the [content editor who wrote the tweet] said it was taken out of context, it was just a mistake,” said Glenn.

3. Is this the beginning of the end for free click and collect?


On Monday (6 July) John Lewis made a ‘brave decision’ to start charging for click and collect purchases under £30.

However despite its decision it looks unlikely that other retailers will follow suit with rival Marks & Spencer’s announcing plans to expand its free click and collect service to 100 more of its Simply Food outlets operated by third parties such as Moto.

Industry observers believe others will be looking at John Lewis with envy.

“Charging for click & collect will be an interesting test of John Lewis’ brand vitality and if it is successful others will watch with a mixture of awe, envy and mimicry,” says Clive Black, head of research at Shore Capital.

4. ‘Brand loyalty based marketing is nonsense’ according to Les Binet of adam&eveDDB

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With everyone from M&S to Harvey Nichols set for loyalty cards, Les Binet, head of effectiveness at adam&eveDDB, raised eyebrows this week when he claimed that loyalty based marketing was ‘nonsense’.

Binet – speaking at the IPA’s Commercial Conference 2015 – said that loyalty campaigns were “ineffective and a recipe for declining sales”.

He says brands should instead push emotional messaging citing John Lewis’ 2013 “Bear & the Hare” Christmas ad, which was created by adam&eveDDB and generated £8.90 for every £1 spent, according to Binet.

He said: “Loyalty campaigns are ineffective and a recipe for declining sales. The most efficient and profitable campaigns don’t just speak to certain groups or regular consumers but encompass everybody through feeling. John Lewis has done a good job at that.”

5. P&G is nearing the end of its brand cull after forging a beauty deal with Coty


It’s fair to say it has been a bit of a busy week over at FMCG giant P&G.

It revealed that its long muted brand cull is “effectively completed” as it merges 43 of its beauty brands with Coty, leaving it close to its aim of having 65 brands in 10 categories where it believes it can “create value”.

CEO AG Lafley says the deal represent a “significant step forward” in the company’s plans to cut its portfolio to 10 categories and 65 brands.

In separate news, P&G also announced a partnership with TED as it rolls out the next phase of its Always ‘Like A Girl’ campaign with a global video.

The “Unstoppable” video, which received over two million views in its first 24 hours of going live in 25 markets globally, is part of an effort to “drive the change further” following the massive success of the empowering “Like A Girl” campaign.


Women’s World Cup shows how marketers are undervaluing women’s sport

Alison Millington

With the recent success of campaigns such as Sport England’s “This Girl Can”, the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada this week comes at a time when interest in women’s sport is growing. However, while broadcasters and industry bodies are making moves to tap into the opportunity many brands, including FIFA sponsors, have been slower on the uptake.