Today’s consumers are smarter, more involved and more frustrated than ever before, said Madonna Badger, founder of Badger & Partners and Beautylab, during her Power Point presentation.
“After buying just about everything three times over and being surrounded with more stuff they could actually ever need, people have finally become numb to material things,” said Badger, who referred to the modern shopper as a proactive, connection-seeking ‘prosumer’ (part consumer, part producer). “Creating for selling sake has no meaning to these prosumers,” said Badger. “Today’s prosumers will not accept marketers pushing content on them; they are our co-creators, our co-innovators.”
In a time when most goods have been invented and reinvented over and over, how to create innovation? How to speak to the savvy and stressed prosumer? “People are craving meaning and purpose,” said Badger, who stated simply that for today’s shopper, “innovation is empathy.” To this end, Badger cited car company Hyundai as an example of this less tangible, more emotional form of modern innovation. In early 2009, Hyundai launched its Assurance Program, which spoke directly to customers’ fears by offering the opportunity to give the car back to the company if they lost their job. “[Hyundai] saw the brand through their consumer and realized they were afraid to buy a new car,” said Badger. “They were the only car company that actually had an increase in sales in first-quarter ’09.”
When it comes to beauty brands, Badger said the consumer process must be reverse-engineered so the client’s emotional needs come first. “[We must] experience the brand in its entirety with all our five senses, just as our consumer does,” said Badger, who named iPod, Bare Escentuals and MAC as brands that have successfully harnessed and reinvented niches in their respective categories. “[The consumer] makes beauty choices emotionally…it makes sense to create the same way.”
Furthermore, Badger said, while focus groups and statistics are important for product creation, they are not necessarily the tools for shaping the personal experience the consumer is seeking. “We must quiet down statistics, logic and rationality and dial up experience and connection,” said Badger, who names the Internet a place where brands can take their DNA and empathetic message directly to their customers. “The medium of mass communication might be the most intimate conversation you have with your consumer yet,” said Badger. “Digital is just the delivery system, connection is the important part.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion