Here’s the season to be jolly. Or not. Depends on what you did last year, depends on the numbers. Let’s take a look at what Daimler did last year: it achieved new records, the sales went up by 12%, the revenue climbed up by 15% while the operating profit was up 36%. As I mentioned a few days ago when analyzing Renault’s decision to invest in a Chinese manufacturing unit, China is a good market to Daimler and its competitors. Which is only to demonstrate that China, even stagnant, is a better market for luxury goods than for mass consumption. Sales in China were increased by 41%, which is where Daimler’s records are probably based. Daimler was not affected by the emissions scandal at Volkswagen.
Uber became a statement with many startups positioning themselves as “uber for x”. Besides the power of example and an analogy needed when pitching a new idea, Uber is an example of contemporary, a bit avant-garde success. With Uber being valued more than traditional automakers, it makes sense to offer the leader as example.
Hah, it seems like the guys at Harvard Business Review also like the analogy of dancing elephants in the case of giants trying to adapt to a new type of market. Today they are discussing IBM and what it needs to do in order to adapt. A point in their analysis grabbed my attention: foster a startup culture and spread it to the rest of IBM. Very few giants are good with that, actually, most of them aren’t. However, IBM has come a long way in its 104 years old existence, it survived revolutions. I’m sure the ability to change and adapt to the market in somewhere in the DNA of IBM, being probably the oldest tech company still on the market.
In matters of design, today I will replace presenting an object with discussing a brand: Dolce & Gabbana. The fashion world was not very happy with their last collection, claiming they should change the recipe already. However, customers love them. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the financial report for 2015, but back in 2014 Dolce ended the year rather well, 7,1% up from the previous year.
Dolce & Gabbana is finishing up its 2014/2015 financial year with a flourish, while strengthening its presence in the high-end fashion segment. According to data published by the Milan daily MF Fashion and confirmed by the luxury fashion house, the latter has recorded revenues of 1.03 billion euros for its fiscal year ending on March 31, 2015, up 7.1% from the previous year and opened 50 stores. You see, I love dancing elephants and joyful dinosaurs and Dolce and Gabbana has the moves in the fashion industry. One of their recent fashions featured their models taking selfies, they have released a line of clothing featuring hijabs and they now have same sex couples on some of their bags and clothes. This is what I call and elephant who knows how to dance and a disruptor of the fashion industry. Lovely business strategy too.
Speakng of Italian fashion brands that know their way around the world, the first connection that came to my mind when writing about Dolce, is Benetton. Benetton’s most iconic campaign is probably Unhate:
Here’s what Benetton is doing these days:
Super Bowl advertising:
Volkswagen releases the first commercial after the scandal, speaking nostalgia language and trying to rebond with its audience:
Iconicness: the car, the road and the bed. The car: there is one muscle car I particularly love and adore, one I’d imagine travelling route 66, or trying to rewrite Kerouac’s On the road: Dodge Challenger, 1970’s edition.
The road: route 66.
The bed: keeping the original spirit, yet iconic, glamping, gone missing today, please imagine the rest.