New Asos CEO will inherit a strong brand

Despite Asos’ co-founder Nick Robertson stepping down as CEO and being replaced by COO Nick Beighton with immediate effect, Asos is in good brand health according to the latest YouGov BrandIndex figures.

Asos is dialling up personalisation to boost sales growth.

Robertson is stepping down as chief executive after a rocky 18 months for the online fashion brand, which has seen a series of profit warnings, a fire at its warehouse and poor international sales due to the unreliable strength of sterling.

Over recent times, Asos has focused on reducing prices and taken spend away from marketing. Its marketing spend was down 16% to £26.4m for the six months ending 28 February 2015.

“Our spend on international marketing campaigns is limited whilst we focus on restoring the price competiveness of our products,” said Robertson back in April.

However, despite its noted issues and falling ad spend, the brand appears to still be in good health.

Asos’ ‘Index’ rating on YouGov’s BrandIndex, which includes consumer perceptions of quality, value and reputation, has increased by 1.1 points over the last year for a score of 5.9; a rise deemed ‘statistically significant.’ This places Asos at 18th on a list of the UK’s 32 biggest fashion brands.

For the same period, among its target audience of men and women between 18-34, Asos places 7th out of the 32 brands, with a flat brand index score of 15.2.

Crucially, its reputation rating is also growing at a statistically significant rate, according to YouGov BrandIndex metrics. Its reputation score has risen 1.4 points for a score of 7 over the last year.


Today (September 2nd), Asos’ shares fell as much as 5.7% in early trading reflecting initial uncertainty as to whether the loss of Robertson could hinder its growth.

Conlumino’ retail analyst Rebecca Marks says the decision to change CEO is the ‘right’ one.

She told Marketing Week: “ASOS’s performance has struggled the past year, and it is right that change is made when needed to enable the brand to grow and adapt, which includes management changes at the very top.”

Marks also defended the brand’s marketing.

“In terms of marketing, ASOS is still a very strong player in the market. Its social media set up enables them to have over 3 million Instagram followers, with high consumer interaction through Twitter and Facebook – something its competitors are still aiming for,” she added.

“Yes, they will need to continue and grow upon its digital strategy as consumer demand changes, but it isn’t its communication with consumers that is letting it down.”

New CEO Beighton joined the London-based Asos in April 2009 as chief financial officer, before becoming COO in October last year. He is stepping into his first CEO posting, after amassing more than 15 years of experience in CFO roles.

Robertson, meanwhile, will remain part of the group as a non-executive director.



The height of fashion

MaryLou Costa

Fashion leader maps out an international future: Online fashion retailer Asos racks up profits of more than £28m and is aiming for a £1bn turnover by 2015. MaryLou Costa talks to chief executive and founder Nick Robertson about his plans for global expansion.

Asos: ‘We are investing in price first and marketing second’

Sarah Vizard

Asos chief executive Nick Robertson says the fashion retailer’s priority is to improve its price positioning first before it considers a marketing push to increase customer acquisition as it looks to boost sales following a difficult year that has seen sales decline internationally and growth slow in the UK.


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