Friday, December 19, 2008

Aston Martin designs Routemaster

Thank God for that! The Aston Martin/Foster pitch has won through and they will be in charge of redesigning the beloved London Routemaster bus. Why the relief? Well if you take a look at one of the other designs that was in the running by Capoco design you'll see not so much a new design as a redesign. The losing Capoco design was said to combine " the best of the old with the best of the new" but to me it looks like a compromise botch job. And so thank god the AM/F design won (see opposite). This winning design may not look like the Routemaster but I don't think it should (too much)! It should recreate the feelings we had about that lovely old bus without making simply an updated version. I want to think quirky, particular and peculiar when I see the new design and that's what it does! Simply beefing up the old Routemaster look seems, to me, pointless and a bit of an insult really. Do they really think we want to see the classic design reworked? Not really-a rework is not good enough. A new design is needed which shows a certain classiness and identity for London and the brand of Britain, which I think this new design does.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Crunchy sales

So a main trend in the marketing press these days is the discussion as to whether flash sales will pose any long term threat to the business. Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and BHS all announced sales in their stores recently and analysts worry that not only will this give just a temporary boost in profit but that long term consumers will see the retailers in a different way, damaging their brand position.

Discount stores threatened Tesco's 30% lead in the grocery market and replied by introducing the Discount Brand. This, claims the Fool, has brought in 300, 000 new customers but The Independent recently reported on the company's worst sales in the UK for 16 years, so maybe things are catching up with Tesco.

My question is, though, what else can be done? These companies are attempting to stimulate spending in a rather flat economy and hopefully long term marketing budgets and planning won't suffer for it. this will be key to keep companies afloat during the difficult times-creative and canny PR and marketing to help sell products and ultimately contribute to a bounce back in the economy.