Monthly Archives: June 2010

Stockholm Love 2010

Gave a short presentation yesterday evening on the branding of Stockholm (The Capital of Scandinavia) at one of the Stockholm Love 2010 events. The royal wedding is this coming Saturday in Stockholm, and there are celebrations and events happening all week. The venue for last night was right on the waterfront by the Royal Palace and we had a full house. One of my fellow speakers for the evening was Ingrid Rudefors the film commissioner for Stockholm. It looks like the Stieg Larsson book The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor in Swedish) will be remade in English with an all star cast and that will certainly be good for Stockholm. We have been pushing for some time to get some big international productions made in Stockholm – the place looks like a movie set already, so it’s about time. Julian Stubbs at Stockholm Love 2010 One of the guests at the event was Lars Rambe a new Swedish crime novel author. With the success of Stieg Larsson the whole crime novel genre seems to have really taken off in Sweden. Check out the latest book from Lars Rambe ‘Skuggans Spel’. He’s working on a release in English shortly. I was at the book launch a week ago, picture below with Lars. img_3668.JPG Sale Windows 7 Ultimate Order Windows 7 Ultimate Discount Cheap Windows 7 Ultimate Order Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Cheap Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Buy Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Sale Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus

Do They Honestly Care?

I’m in the business of helping organisations build brands. Helping them define what they are all about, what they are best at and then converting that into a promise to take into the marketplace. And as we all know, branding is all about delivering on that promise to the consumer. Now this has led me in recent years to examine closely not only some of the brands I’ve personally worked with but some of the brands that I chose to buy myself. Over the years I suppose I’ve become a bit cynical when I hear marketing people talk about their customers and how much they really focus on them. Customer focus is obviously a good thing and the logic is that if you talk about it enough, people will believe you genuinely put customers at the top of the agenda. What I’ve discovered is that for too many companies it’s pure mouth music. They say it but don’t genuinely mean it. Truth is I’ve come to discover that most companies are far more interested in themselves than their customers. All this came home to me personally in an incident with Louise Vuitton. My dear wife bought me a beautiful, and extremely expensive, LV carry on flight bag. Well to cut a long story short a wheel on this elegant piece of luggage literally dropped off on a trip to London less than a year after having bought the bag. I couldn’t believe it. Literally it fell off. I spent the rest of the day dragging and carrying the bag around the city. I was sure it must be a freak occurrence and that LV would make amends. The store that my wife had bought the bag from however refused to offer any replacement or even to repair the bag for free. They didn’t seem to care at all. I was shocked. We then tried the Swedish consumer protection agency, but they proved to be worse than useless. After twelve months of frustration and complaining I decided to resort to the only course of action I could. I wrote a letter to the Chairman of Louise Vuitton, M. Bernard Arnault. It took me two hours searching on the internet and a phone call to get his personal office address but I did. A hand written envelope addressed to him, for his eyes only, was then dispatched to Paris. The letter is below. M. Bernard Arnault LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Dear M. Arnault, In December 2007 my dear wife bought me a Louis Vuitton carry-on travel bag as an expensive, but wonderful, Christmas gift. As someone who travels a lot, I was delighted. It looked beautiful, and coming from Louis Vuitton, I imagined spending a lifetime with this particular item of luggage. Growing old gracefully together, aging beautifully with it as my constant travel companion. Maybe I’d even end up looking just a little like Sean Connery in your advertisements. Ten months later things had gone very sadly wrong. On a trip to London in October 2008, the wheel fell off my bag. Literally fell off. I spent the rest of the day dragging and carrying the bag around the city. My immediate reaction was that the bag was, to borrow a car analogy, a Friday bag. The artisan French worker who had crafted my $1200 bag must have just had a bad day. Maybe he didn’t feel too well after a heavy night out with his friends and a little too much Pernod perhaps? Anyway, I was sure the Louis Vuitton store where my bag was purchased would immediately replace or repair the defective bag. Ten months old and only used on about eight trips as cabin luggage. Louis Vuitton must have a lifetime guarantee right? At $1200 a shot, I expected it. The answer when I returned the bag to Louis Vuitton was non! Forget it! LV does not have a lifetime guarantee, nor does it have even a 12-month guarantee. In fact it has NO GUARANTEE WHAT SO-EVER! None. Zippo. Zilch. After two years of complaining, I’m just totally appalled at the service LV offers its customers. But I haven’t given up hope. I write to you to find out if the LV store in question and its response reflects the standards of Louis Vuitton. Can you help me? With Regards, Julian Stubbs enclosed photos of my wheel-less LV bag ———————————————————- Now I wrote the letter as a last resort, not expecting much from it, but about a week after the letter had been sent the most amazingly helpful and concerned manager of the local LV store contacted me. She wanted to apologise personally for what had happened and have the bag fixed, at no cost of course, as soon as possible. She was genuinely concerned. Amazing what a letter to the chairman can do. Anyway it made me ponder the question again how many companies and brands really do care? Really understand that to be better than their competitors takes much, much more than just running advertising saying that you do. Anyway, I think I’ve also discovered that I’m not bad at complaining and it seems to be a lost art. Power to the people. 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