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Saks in Branding Deal With William Morris

NEW YORK — Seeking to reach customers in new ways, Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises has struck an agreement with William Morris Consulting to “leverage the Saks brand and build alliances in different industries,” Saks Inc. vice chairman...

NEW YORK — Seeking to reach customers in new ways, Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises has struck an agreement with William Morris Consulting to “leverage the Saks brand and build alliances in different industries,” Saks Inc. vice chairman Stephen Sadove said Wednesday.

“Think of it as a consulting partnership,” Sadove explained. “We want to identify new partnerships in entertainment, publishing and other industries where we really haven’t had a presence before.” Hypothetically, it could involve getting Saks in a movie, as part of the plot, perhaps as the scene for buying a wedding dress, he said. Sadove also hopes to maximize Saks stores and windows for tie-ins with other brands and products and cultural events, and as entertainment destinations.

William Morris Consulting is a unit of the William Morris Agency.

Sadove pointed out that Saks has already embarked on new marketing strategies, noting that this fall, Mercedes Benz is making a Saks Fifth Avenue edition, and last April, the Saks flagship here placed the Wall Street Journal in its windows to promote the new look of the newspaper. “Today’s retail environment demands an enriched customer experience” Sadove added.

The agreement is reminiscent of Kmart’s recent announcement that it retained Creative Artists Agency, the talent and literary firm that also represents Coca-Cola, Motorola and Boeing, to help it develop entertainment-related marketing strategies and brand-building programs. Kmart hopes to capitalize on projects in film, TV, music and video games as they relate to its existing marketing efforts and exclusive core brands, such as Martha Stewart and Joe Boxer.”