Giffgaff, M&S, Apple: Everything that matters this morning

Good morning and welcome to Marketing Week’s round-up of the news that matters in the marketing world today.


Giffgaff launches new brand positioning and gains B Corp status

Mobile phone network Giffgaff has put its newly achieved B Corp accreditation at the centre of its brand positioning as it looks to market itself as a brand trusted to use connectivity for good.

The new positioning – ‘We’re Up To Good’ – looks to align with audience and market insight that reflects consumer demand for companies to be better, with people increasingly looking to business to help lead positive change.

The first campaign to launch under the new positioning is ‘Ode To Bad’, which has been created by Neverland, focusing on the positive lessons to be learned from bad behaviour in order to change for the better.

The campaign is built on research from Trustpilot that shows 94% of consumers believe a brand’s honesty and transparency is important to them: two values closely linked to its new B Corp certification which it revealed alongside the new positioning.

The B Corp is a non-profit network that promotes companies that meet the highest standards of performance, accountability and transparency when it comes to the social and environmental impacts of its business practices.

There are more than 1,000 businesses with the accreditation in the UK with giffgaff becoming the second mobile network to be granted it.

Alexa Ponking, joint head of brand and advertising at Giffgaff, says: “Giffgaff’s new brand positioning comes at a key time for consumers when pricing is no longer the only driving factor when looking for a new product; they’re looking for value and values from the businesses they put their trust in.

“We’re Up to Good, complemented by the Ode to Bad creative, provides a range of angles to demonstrate the positive lessons we’ve learnt from bad behaviour. It also represents an evolution of Giffgaff’s core beliefs while continuing to put our members at the heart of everything we do by connecting to our key values.”

B2B firms see positive results from investing in omnichannel, research finds

McKinsey & Company’s latest B2B Pulse has revealed market share winners have invested in omnichannel strategies.

The research, which analysed responses from nearly 3,800 sales and marketing leaders across 13 countries, reveals that omnichannel is now a must-have requirement in B2B marketing and sales.

It shows companies that invested in five specific omnichannel strategies – hybrid sales teams and capabilities, personalised marketing, advanced sales technology use, third-party marketplace strategies and ecommerce – saw a 10% increase in market share and were twice as likely to gain market share than companies who only used one.

Drilling down deeper into the figures, the benefits of adopting these strategies are revealed. More than half (57%) of growing companies are now using hybrid sales teams. In a shift from traditional methods, the report shows 35% of B2B decision-makers now view ecommerce as their most effective sales channel. And more companies (77%) are investing in direct one to one personalisation with those that go a step further to hyper-personalisation seeing even stronger results.

“It’s a defining moment for sales and marketing leaders,” says Candace Lun Plotkin, partner at McKinsey & Company. “Companies that are defying the odds and going all in on critical investments and growth levers are realising market share gains at a faster clip. What this means for those who are looking to emerge stronger, is that growth – even in this difficult climate – is attainable. It comes down to charting that path and taking decisive action.”

Consumers turning to frozen as cost of living bites

Source: Shutterstock

British consumers are swapping fresh food for frozen as the cost of living crisis continues to hit families income.

Research from Kantar shows frozen items are outperforming fresh items in supermarkets, with frozen chicken, ready meals, pizzas and chips among the most popular, the BBC reports.

Waitrose, M&S, Iceland and Tesco all told the BBC they have noticed the trend and the data supports it with volumes of frozen chicken up 5.9% and other frozen prepared food up by 2.6%.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s joined Tesco in confirming it will lower the price of a pint of milk by 5p to 90p – and while the supermarket chain did not give a reason for the price drop – many analysts believe it suggests that food inflation may finally be easing after hitting its highest level since 1978.

READ MORE: Shoppers swap fresh for frozen as food bills rise

M&S involved in trademark dispute with Craft Beer Co.

Marks & Spencer is embroiled in another trademark dispute and has been forced to remove a T-shirt from sale after a London pub chain accused the retailer of “ripping off” its trademark.

The offending T-shirt prominently featured the name of Craft Beer Co. in a graphic on the front and back of the shirt – something the pub chain was quick to point out it hadn’t been consulted on.

“Can we expect a royalties cheque in the post?! Surely one iconic British institution shouldn’t be ripping off another,” it tweeted.

M&S quickly removed the item from sale, saying it would “investigate further”, adding it takes “intellectual property very seriously”.

Speaking to the BBC, London Craft Co. founder Adam Hayes said of the dispute: “I’ve got a lot of respect for M&S. It’s an iconic British business and I think somebody’s just made a bit of a boo boo really, but I’m sure it will be sorted out.”

He also confirmed that the company wouldn’t be taking legal action.

“We’re a relatively small business so I don’t think we’ll be taking on a PLC. This isn’t Aldi versus Marks & Spencer,” he added.

This was in reference to the 2021 legal action M&S took against fellow supermarket chain Aldi over its Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake, which it said infringed its Colin the Caterpillar trademark. The two companies reached a settlement in the case last year.

Not one to miss an opportunity to have a cheeky dig at its rivals, Aldi was quick to tweet out on Thursday night: “Oh how the tables have turned.”

READ MORE: M&S removes T-shirt after being accused of ‘ripping off’ pub

Apple expands use of recycled materials in products

Apple has announced it expects to use 100% recycled cobalt in all its batteries by the end of 2025.

The tech giant has also confirmed that by 2025 all magnets in Apple devices will use entirely recycled earth elements and all Apple circuit boards will use 100% recycled tin soldering and gold plating.

This is all in service of the company’s stated aim of eventually making its products with only recycled and renewable materials and helps towards its over-arching environmental goal to be completely carbon neutral by 2030.

“Every day, Apple is innovating to make technology that enriches people’s lives, while protecting the planet we all share,” says Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“From the recycled materials in our products, to the clean energy that powers our operations, our environmental work is integral to everything we make and to who we are. We’ll keep pressing forward in the belief that great technology should be great for our users, and for the environment.”

Thursday, 13 April


Luxury LVMH brands shrug off cost of living worries

Luxury products group LVMH, which is parent to brands such as Christian Dior, Tiffany & Co, Fendi and Givenchy, has recorded record revenues for the first quarter of 2023.

The group saw revenue of €21bn, an increase of 17% compared to the same period last year.

The group says sales were strong in Europe and Japan, and steady in the US; sales in Asia rebounded as health restrictions were lifted.

LVMH’s Selective Retailing division saw an especially strong performance, with revenues up 30%. An “exceptional” performance from Sephora saw it continue to gain market share.

Meanwhile the Fashion & Leather Goods division saw 18% organic growth, and the Perfume & Cosmetics business grew by 11%.

The group’s full year results for 2022, released in January, recorded revenues of €79.2bn for profits of €21.1bn, both figures representing a 23% increase on 2021.

Holland & Barrett eyes up Planet Organic

Health food chain Holland & Barrett is considering a last-minute deal to buy the brand and intellectual property of retailer Planet Organic, which is on the verge of collapse, reports Sky News.

It is understood that any deal would still mean job losses among Planet Organic’s 360-strong workforce, as the agreement would not include the chain’s 13 physical stores. Talks with other companies, including Waitrose, have already stalled.

Planet Organic was founded in 1995. Sales suffered during the Covid pandemic, and from the reduced city centre footfall that has been a trend since.

READ MORE: Health foods chain Holland & Barrett develops taste for Planet Organic

Chocomel runs first UK TV ads

Chocolate milk drink Chocomel will be running its first UK TV ad from tomorrow. The brand – which is more popular than Pepsi in its home market of the Netherlands – has been available in the UK since 2019, but this represents its largest marketing investment here so far.

Parent company FrieslandCampina is aiming to reach 80% of the UK population eight times with the campaign, which will be airing on a range of terrestrial and digital TV channels, supported by ads on TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. The creative, by Digital Natives, playfully encourages adults to keep Chocomel to themselves for an indulgent and
luxurious experience.

“For nearly 90 years, Chocomel has been a firm favourite in the Netherlands. Since launching in the UK in 2019, Chocomel has captured the imagination of UK shoppers with its great taste and vibrant packaging,” claims FrieslandCampina marketing manager NPD Gabriella Sudall.

“Currently Chocomel is driving the growth of this category, growing 31% year on year, and is worth £8m. Our latest investment ensures Chocomel remains front of mind with those looking for a deliciously indulgent, premium drink.”

Modibodi campaign highlights product testing

Absorbent apparel brand Modibodi has launched a new campaign to highlight how thoroughly its period underwear is tested.

The digital-first ‘Will It Work’ campaign, developed by Kitchen, features four hero films that provide a creative interpretation of the lab tests the products have endured before going on sale. The Shot Glass Test, The Stack Test, The Passport Test and The Flame Test each demonstrate key strengths and attributes.

“Before our products get to our customers, our period and leak-proof undies go through a series of scientific tests to triple-check their powers of absorbency, durability and comfort,” says Modibodi CMO Liana Lorenzato.

“We wanted to create an imaginative campaign that brought Modibodi’s patented technology to life in a fun, vibrant and modern way while communicating our performance credentials and product efficiency. We wanted to show consumers that when they ask will our products work, we can answer with a resounding: Yes, they absolutely will and we have the tests that will prove it.”

ONS publishes advertising export figures

The UK exported advertising and market research services worth £15bn in 2021, according to the Advertising Association’s analysis of new figures released by the Office for National Statistics. The country imported services to the value of £12bn over the same period, meaning the sector contributed £3bn to the UK’s balance of payments.

The figures represent a bounce back from 2020, with a 32.5% year-on-year increase representing the sector’s best performance since industry think tank Credos began tracking export figures in 2018.

“It is terrific to see such strong growth figures from the UK’s world-leading advertising and marketing services,” says Advertising Association CEO Stephen Woodford. “We prepare now to support the next decade of UK advertising growth, through our productive partnership between the industry, through the UK Advertising Exports Group, and the Department for Business and Trade.”

Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for the Department of Business and Trade, says: “The advertising industry is one of the UK’s strongest exports and these record figures provide a great boost as we aim to sell £1trn of goods and services to the world by the end of the decade.”

Tuesday, 11 April

Mothers’ Day boosts consumer spending

Retail sales in the UK last month were boosted by Mothers’ Day, as shoppers searched for items like fragrances, jewellery and flowers.

Like-for-like retail sales increased by 4.9% in March, versus a decline of 0.4% in the same period last year, finds data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG. This was above the three-month average growth of 4.6% and the 12-month average growth of 2.1%.

Food sales increased 8.5%, both on a like-for-like and total basis, above the 12-month average of 5.8%. In March, food sales were in growth year on year.

Meanwhile, growth in non-food sales was more modest, rising 1.4% on a like-for-like basis over the three months to March and 1.8% on a total basis. This figure is above the 12-month total average decline of 0.1%.

The sales figures are not adjusted for inflation.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson says a wet March “dampened sales growth for fashion, gardening and DIY products”. She says upcoming events like the King’s Coronation will likely give a boost to retailers alongside recovering consumer confidence.

“However, extensive cost pressures on business remain, and government must ensure it minimises incoming regulatory burdens,” she states. “Unless these future costs are brought to a heel, we will likely see high inflation continue for UK consumers who already face rising household bills from this month.”

IGD CEO Susan Barratt claims “shoppers are becoming less fearful” about inflation, citing research that just one-third (33%) now expect food to get much more expensive in the year ahead, versus over half (53%) in August 2022.

However, inflation still “looms heavy” over consumers, she admits.

“Retailers are striving to deliver value with loyalty schemes, quality private label products and meal solutions that enable consumers to recreate restaurant experiences at home,” Barratt states.

Premier League gambling sponsorship proposals criticised by campaigners

Premier League clubs are reportedly close to agreeing on a deal which would see them voluntarily give up gambling sponsors from the front of shirts.

However, the proposals have been criticised as “incoherent” by some campaigners as they ignore more prominent forms of gambling advertising, such as pitch side screens.

Without any consideration for other forms of gambling advertising, the action is “incoherent and loses impact” former gambling addict and founder of campaign group Big Step, James Grimes, tells The Guardian

“For every advert on a shirt, there are hundreds more flashing around the pitch – each one is a threat to my recovery from addiction,” he says.

According to research from the University of Stirling, pitch side adverts are the biggest channel where gambling ads are visible during a football game, accounting for 38% of locations where the sponsors are seen.

The proposals are expected to go to a vote of Premier League clubs before June. The government is currently conducting a wider review into gambling laws and is due to publish a white paper on the topic later this month.

The Guardian reports clubs and the government want to avoid any “hard restrictions” on advertising in the white paper, preferring to address issues through voluntary measures.

READ MORE: ‘Incoherent’ Premier League gambling sponsor proposals ignore hoardings

Waitrose introduces Gail’s bakery areas in 64 shops

Waitrose is expanding its partnership with bakery chain Gail’s and will introduce 64 dedicated areas stocking the brand by the end of next month.

The supermarket chain has been selling Gail’s products since 2010 and currently stocks the brand’s baked goods in 95 of its stores.

The move to introduce the dedicated areas follows a successful trial in three of Waitrose’s stores at the end of last year. In addition, the retailer is doubling its range of sourdough breads and other craft baked goods.

“The Gail’s brand is really loved by our customers, so I’m delighted that we’re rolling out this bigger range and dedicated areas,” says Waitrose bread buyer Aileen Kell.

Waitrose parent company, the John Lewis Partnership, last month reported an annual loss after exceptional costs of £234m for 2022. The group said sales, which were down 2%, reflected “strong sales” at John Lewis and a decline of 3% at Waitrose.

The supermarket chain repositioned its brand last year under the ‘Food to Feel Good About’ platform. Last month, Waitrose executive director James Bailey said there would be “a lot more to come” from the brand in positioning itself to be “a little punchier” about what makes it unique.

Wizz Air performs worst for 2022 flight delays

Wizz Air was the worst-performing airline for UK flight delays in 2022, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The airline’s departures were an average of 46 minutes and six seconds behind schedule in 2022, found analysis from PA news agency. Last year was the second year running Wizz Air was ranked the least punctual UK airline.

Its average delay time was more than three times longer than the previous year in 2021.

The next most-delayed airline according to the analysis was TUI. Its flights were an average of 40 minutes and 18 seconds. Qatar Airways was third with 31 minutes and 48 seconds.

The analysis found May and June 2022 were plagued with the most delays, as the airline industry struggled to adjust to soaring demand amid staff shortages post-Covid.

Norwegian Air Shuttle was the best performing airline assessed, recording delays of just 13 minutes and 42 seconds.

The CAA consumer director Paul Smith says the regulatory body has already raised concerns with Wizz Air and is “working closely with the airline to improve outcomes for consumers.”

“The CAA has regularly asked for stronger consumer enforcement powers, including the ability to impose fines on airlines,” he says.

READ MORE: Wizz Air performs worst for flight delays

Costa Coffee launches new creative platform

Costa Coffee has launched a new creative platform, ‘Made a Little Better’, which highlights the emotional uplift that a cup of coffee can bring.

The platform has been launched with an integrated campaign, created by Wunderman Thompson UK. It will run across print, radio and video-on-demand.

The various iterations of the campaign show Costa Coffee drinkers contending with challenges including muddy dog walks and sleepless nights and then finding respite from their coffee.

The creative platform is Costa’s first brand platform refresh since it was acquired by The Coca-Cola Company in 2019. It is based around the insight that “everything is made a little better when your coffee is”.

“With all that is going on in the world, at Costa Coffee we believe that everything can be made a little better when coffee is made a little better,” says Costa Coffee global CMO Phil Thomas.

“A well-crafted Costa coffee can uplift everyday moments, and this new campaign brings this to life in new and joyful ways that all coffee fans can relate to”.



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