UEFA – the next brand to disrupt?

It is tempting to consider marketing and finance to be completely separate business disciplines. European football club eager to launch a new competition dissident to UEFA have just been recalled the two are deeply entwined in the successful management of a venture

The super league – a business decision mainly driven by financial dimensions luring:

+   the clubs with the perspective to secure €400m funding / year to participate to a competition they were certain to be selected
+    J.P. Morgan financing the project with a potential low risk venture supposed to attract millions of fans able to generate sufficient revenues.

…but avoiding marketing dimensions to disrupt efficiently a strong heritage
UEFA brand has built a strong heritage with generations of customers (fans) who gained intimate experiences with its product (competition) at a point in their live. As customers expressed it loudly, the super league case demonstrates that customer centric approach is not another marketing verbiage but a reality.

Today, to succeed a business venture, leaders shall look at both
Marketing dimensions of Financial decisions and
Financial dimensions of Marketing decisions.

At Parallell Advisors we support organisation bridge the gap between #marketing and #finance 👈🏻

3 majors take aways’ from 2020

parallell advisors - change

After a year like no other, 2020 is ending with an impressive number of changes, which have impacted each of us both on a professional and personal level, allowing new trends and consumer behaviours to emerge. Never in such a record time have we experienced so many profound changes which are expected to last. Being more specific, the fashion, lifestyle brands and retail sector have embraced digital and moved even-closer to the consumer within the last 8 months, catching up with a trend already well established in China and the Asia-Pacific  – Out of this pandemic, there are to my view 3 majors take aways’ from 2020:

  1. The acceleration of digital and the amplification of e-commerce, leaving space for the outburst of digital stores on mega platform, such as TMalls “luxury pavillon”. Gucci announced recently the expansion of its footprint reaching 750 million Chinese customers thanks to this partnership with Alibaba. The shift of advertising from physical to digital, a process already in progress pre-pandemic, has sped up; thinking of Ikea, the Swedish firm took the bold decision to drop their well-established catalogue of 300 pages (!) and reinvest those costs as part of their strategic digital transformation. We’ve seen greater convergence of social video and commerce as well with Amazon and Facebook who have already made significant strides in live shopping, adding commerce functionalities to their sites.
    Connecting the dots between content creation, engagement and the ability to purchase directly, has become paramount for brands and retailers, to enhance their customer experience.
    More luxury brands have shifted towards livestreams event on Twitch for their catwalk and there is a high probability to see this trend staying for good. And as conversational commerce channels are growing, shopping AR in 2020 is no longer wishful thinking but a reality that retailers physically embraced even more.

  2. The emerging trend of “Resale-Reuse” as a new way of thinking and buying. Impossible for luxury brands to think of this model a couple of months ago….Interesting to see that well-known brands such as LVMH, Gucci, Aigle, Levis’ launched their initiative of resale in Direct to customers claiming strong commitment towards sustainability and the necessity to bring more transparency in the fashion/ luxury industry.
    If resale as a potential initiative to increase longevity of product lifecycle, you can also argue that it gives extra opportunity for those brands to sell their stock or products they would have normally destroyed. In any case, you can only celebrate this trend towards a different way of consuming, that individuals from all ages embrace via marketplaces such as RealReal. A luxury online fashion marketplace that offers authenticated luxury items reporting a total revenues of $318 million in 2019, up 53 percent from the previous year.

  3. The change in organisations and the enhancement of collective intelligence. During this period, you could see initiatives which encouraged co-creation both with internal employees, consumers, partnerships, associations in order to reinvent their business model towards a more strategic sustainable model. Encouraging cross functional expertise, enhanced with external partnerships from wide variety of sectors became even more strategic. Lego is one of them to invest 400 million euros to accelerate its engagement towards sustainability, taking its brand responsibility to the next level.

What 2021 will bring, is hard t see in a crystal ball. However, prioritising DtC, enhancing data capabilities and e-commerce with AI experience through social networks don’t seem idealistic. To strive for better customers centricity, combined with an “Hyper local” distribution model could be an opportunity for brands and retailer to amplify a strong sense a community and create additional customer experience with authenticity. In any case, whatever 2021 brings, we believe in turbulence there is opportunity.

As we end the year, at parallell advisors, we have one wish for 2021, ….we wish to talk to you again soon and wish you an optimistic and creative start in the year 2021

Best wishes and Merry Christmas.

Claire, Debbie, Samuel

sharper focus – smarter work – stronger brands

parallell advisors is a business, marketing & organisation solution led advisory firm based across Brussels and London.
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understand and develop your corporate culture

parallell advisors - design organisation and coaching

we love exploring business and workplace cultures which at the end of the day is a company’s external and often internal equivalent of a brand.   all those company values, norms and taboos, how and when it’s ok to challenge an idea and how easily trust is built or destroyed.  what does the employee experience really feel like and does it marry up to a customer centric culture?

for many the topic is complex and intricate.  what if it doesn’t need to be?  what if changing your culture can be achieved overnight or at least the start of it can!?

at parallell we like to live in the moment it’s the best way to listen to you and really hear what you are saying.  we like to role model self-care in our own leadership so that others see it’s possible to be resilient and successful!  we are grateful for each opportunity to work with a client and for the privilege of seeing behind the scenes.  mostly we embrace our strengths and talents and when needed, seek guidance from you the client. these ingredients describe how we work and important aspects of our desired culture.

one of our guiding principles when helping to change a client’s company culture includes not telling people how they should feel, we know from experience how futile that can be.  feeling pride in your product, affinity with your customer and optimism about the future business health, sounds like employee engagement and it is.  culture is all about the buy in levels and the extent to which organization culture is lived. we don’t find preaching to employees how they should feel lasts beyond the town hall launch meeting!  we do know that a focus on specific desired behaviours that drive feelings of pride, customer centricity and a belief in the business purpose, will stand the test of time.

why all the fuss about behaviours? because they can be clearly expressed, observed and taught. this gives them relevance, specificity and longevity. Longevity to morph and evolve alongside the business maturity or to be discarded when outdated.

of course other mechanisms of good organization design must also be in place to support the culture change you seek.  such mechanisms include how work is organised (structure) which must not block desired behaviours of collaboration, rapid decision making, contracting with internal customers etc.  ways of working (custom and habit) must align with newly desired problem-solving behaviours. Rewards and metrics must reinforce only the desired new behaviours and clearly signal the new priorities.

it takes courage to tackle the core of a business i.e., the way people actually go about their work.  few will enjoy hearing “out with the old methods and ways of working” however, don’t be fooled into thinking customers can’t see behind your corporate walls, they can, and they do. the external experience of each employee matters, a lot! that is the organization culture.

yet with courage, a desire to move ahead, and the clarity of working with behaviour’s a business can accelerate its growth and sustain its performance.  culture change is all about knowing how you are successful.  when you know exactly how you do that you can replicate it and repeat your successes.  that’s a performance cycle we relate to. that’s a performance cycle we aim to help you embed and become your culture.

at parallel we combine due diligence, marketing and organizational experience. we are not a traditional consulting company we are devoted to advise on strategy but also share hands on expertise and best practices from our senior advisors coming from various sectors. through our approach we are all aligned to create value to employees, customers and shareholders.

sharper focus – smarter work – stronger brands

+ debbie percy is advisor at parallell leading design organisation and coaching practice

parallell is a business, marketing & organisation solution led advisory firm based across Brussels and London.
follow us on linked-in