This is the fourth edition of B-M EMEA's quarterly trends newsletter FUTURE Perspective. This edition focuses on responsible luxury, sponsorship trends, cyber security and the hot issue of “black swans”.
Going green is a luxury
CSR/CONSUMER: ➔ There has been talk lately about how going green
RESPONSIBLE LUXURY is itself a luxury: what people want during a
recession is cheap goods, whether or not they are
The movement towards 'responsible luxury' is the most environmentally friendly products
gathering force, as companies come to recognise available.
the advantage of talking publicly about their new-
found ethical credentials. ➔ There is a counter-trend too: the UK industry self-
regulatory bodies the Committee of Advertising
Mother nature is the new fashion icon Practice (CAP) and Broadcast CAP (BCAP) have
revised their codes to clamp down on
➔The difficult economy and a fundamental shift in the “greenwashing”. They said absolute claims of • In order to have credibility in the green arena,
market for luxury goods are forcing an industry that environmental benefits “must be supported by a luxury brands need to be hyper transparent
worships names like Chanel and Versace to high level of substantiation” without omitting about their “back story.” Those brands that
embrace a different icon: Mother Nature. “significant information”. “Green” claims must can show that the path from production to
also cover the full life cycle of a product and marketing and selling is a green one will gain a
➔ Over the past year, many of the world's best-known recognise areas where scientists’ opinions are huge amount of traction.
luxury labels have started to introduce eco-friendly divided. The Codes, due to come into effect in
products, snap up brands that tout their social September 2010, will be administered by the • To do this brands should look at linking their
responsibility and weave environmental themes Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). purpose and performance, they should publish
into their advertising and marketing. a clear CSR policy, and look to set up
➔ On the other hand, the market for luxury goods is interaction with key stakeholders and
➔ Recently, French luxury conglomerate Moët a tiny market. So how much effect can greening it consumers.
Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) took a stake in really have? In terms of promoting
Edun, an organic-clothing company founded by the environmentalism as a trend, the greening of • Any eco labeling should be evidence-based and
singer Bono and his wife. In 2004, it conducted a luxury brands has to be a good thing. After all, preferably have 3rd party endorsement. NGOs
"carbon inventory" to gauge its impact on there are plenty of people out there who will have called for sustainability certification
greenhouse-gas emissions. Afterwards it cut back follow faithfully whatever example their favourite schemes to incorporate rigorous, independent
on corporate travel and air shipment of goods. celebrity sets. evaluation into their design.
➔ Long time eco-friendly designer, Stella McCartney is ➔ It's also worth considering that environmental • Co-branding or partnering with an appropriate
finally being recognized for her steadfast promises made by high-end brands may be among NGO – after quantifying NGO vulnerability - is
commitment to cruelty-free, green luxury fashion. the most reliable. They've presumably got the worth investigating.
resources required to do very careful sourcing, in
➔ Other companies have begun to advertise initiatives order to make sure that the organic, low-carbon, READ:
they took years ago to promote resource union-made, fair-trade cotton that goes into their WWF DEEPER LUXURY REPORT
conservation. $200 t-shirts really is what it claims to be. What’s http://bit.ly/d5yQF
more, it is clear that these brands would seriously
damage their cachet if they didn't live up to their
B2B/B2C/TECHNOLOGY: ➔ In addition because of the increasing number
SPONSORSHIP TRENDS of sportsmen/women communicating directly
via Social Media there needs to be very clear
The rise of social media will inevitably have a major policies governing that interaction to prevent
impact and be a key driver in the globalisation of potential embarrassment to sponsors.
sponsorship. Whilst the economic downturn may not
have an impact overall, there is a need for vigilance in Relatively recession proof
the choice and management of brands. The industry
is becoming increasingly evidence based. ➔ In spite of gloomy predictions about "the
death of corporate entertainment" it is
The drive for data and accountability expected that the present global recession
will have no long-term impact on the • Companies that can get ahead of the curve
sponsorship market. The sponsorship industry and build in social/mobile media activation
➔ Twenty years ago only a handful of sponsorships to sponsorship deals will prosper.
were purchased based on sound marketing in Europe has followed global trends in its
rationale with an expectation of fulfilling set growth rate this decade with expenditure on
rights fees growing from an estimated €5.6 • Similarly, no sponsorship deal should be
billion in 2000, to €7.7 billion in 2007. negotiated without tight evidence-based
performance measurements in place.
➔ Today, rising prices have driven most sponsorships
to be purchased in conjunction with some form of ➔ B2B corporate entertainment will return once
the glare of the public spotlight has passed • Social media is in some ways a friend and a
independent research or goals.
elsewhere, and the financial sector has foe. As privacy boundaries blur, there is more
recovered fully. risk of sensitive information being revealed.
➔ Research techniques have advanced to the point To counter this possibility, policies and
where sponsorship ROI can be measured with the
➔ With regard to pricing, history suggests that guidelines on the use of social media need to
same accuracy as advertising. It is likely that more
pent-up demand to spend as a downturn be very clearly communicated and crisis
sophisticated sponsors will demand performance
ends tends to actually increase sponsorship plans should be in place.
clauses based on such research.
prices somewhat, through competition for
the better deals. VISIT:
Impact of social media on activation & globalisation
B-M’s TOTAL SPONSORSHIP WEBSITE
When sponsorship turns sour http://www.totalsponsorship.co.uk/
➔ Sports fans are rapidly moving across to social
media (Facebook/Twitter/blogs) and mobile media
(iPhone apps) because these media offer even ➔ The increasing incidence of issues
greater immediacy and ease of access than surrounding celebrities and their sponsors
traditional websites. [need we mention Tiger Woods?] highlights
the need for companies to have robust crisis
➔ What is more, the growth in digital media - which plans in place to deal with communications
is not subject to any national broadcasting rights - should the celebrity/brand suddenly develop
will only accelerate the globalisation of the issues that could impact the sponsor’s
sponsorship industry. reputation.
ORGANISATION/TECHNOLOGY: COMMUNICATIONS TAKEOUT
THE AGE OF CYBER WARFARE ➔ There have been earlier attacks that smack of
cyber warfare too. Estonian government and
Threats of cyber warfare have been hyped for commercial sites suffered debilitating denial-of-
decades but a report by McAfee contains proof that service attacks in 2007 and in 2008 sites in
cyber attack preparation is definitely happening. Georgia were attacked during the South Ossetia
war, orchestrated by civilian attackers.
Cyber Cold War
Cyber warfare will soon be a reality
➔ Major countries and nation-states are engaged in a
"Cyber Cold War," amassing cyber weapons, Tips for staying as safe as possible online:
➔ Over the next 20 to 30 years, cyber attacks will • Know who you’re dealing with
conducting espionage, and testing networks in increasingly become a component of war. If
preparation for using the Internet to conduct war. • Keep web browsers and operating systems
networks become ever more pervasive and
up-to-date by setting them to automatically
unprotected cyber war operations could even
➔ Key countries gearing up for cyber offensives are update
the U.S., Israel, Russia, China, and France. • Back up important files
• Protect children online
Google Attack: “Digital Commercial Pearl Harbour”
➔ So far nations have been reluctant to use those • Use a full suite of updated security tools as a
capabilities because of the likelihood that a big first line of defence
➔ There are increasing concerns about financial • Use wireless devices and networks securely
cyber attack could do harm to their own country losses and security breaches in the commercial
due to the way in which the world is so highly • Use hard-to-decipher passwords (long with
world too, especially after Google was targeted by
interconnected these days. numbers and symbols)
cyber attacks from China. This “digital commercial
Pearl Harbour” has dramatically raised awareness
➔ Because pinpointing the source of cyber attacks is We all need to employ the same judgment we
of this threat to businesses.
usually difficult, if not impossible, the motivations use in the “off-line” world by remembering
can only be speculated upon, making the whole three letters: WWW
Every computer user plays important role .
cyber war debate something of an intellectual Whenever you are asked for information
exercise at this point. online, make sure to ask yourself:
➔ There are 32,000 suspected cyber-attacks every 24 1.Who is asking or going to see this
➔ The July 4 2009 attacks denial-of-service on Web information?
sites in the U.S. and South Korea could have been a 2.What is the value of the information I am
➔ Reports are that almost 90% of all email today is being asked to share?
test by a foreign entity to see if flooding South SPAM. Every computer user plays an important
Korean networks and communications between the 3.Why do they need to see it?
role in using the Internet safely and securely by
U.S. and South Korea would disrupt the ability of protecting themselves and the networks they are
the U.S. military in South Korea to communicate READ:
with military leaders in Washington, D.C., and the 7 PRACTICES FOR COMPUTER SECURITY
Pacific Command in Hawaii. http://bit.ly/bK6s1t
Recent and Future Black Swans
ORGANISATION/CRISIS: COMMUNICATIONS TAKEOUT
➔ The eruption of the Icelandic volcano
BEWARE THE BLACK SWAN Eyjafjallajökull was a surprise to most of us and
had a major impact on air travel. After it occurred
Black Swan is a highly topical term that is used in
plenty of experts said they could have told us it
horizon scanning and future planning scenarios.
was going to happen. Airlines are now all vying
The origin of the term Black Swan with each other to produce volcanic ash detectors
to prevent the repeat of the havoc that caused
➔ The "Theory of Black Swan Events" was developed wide scale grounding of flights .
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain the
disproportionate role of high-impact, hard-to- ➔ Since there has been oil-drilling in the Gulf for • Taleb believes that more disasters along the
predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm more than 40 years, with over 30,000 oil wells, lines of the Gulf of Mexico are waiting down
of normal expectations in history, science, and BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill certainly qualifies the line and that we are woefully unprepared
technology. as a Black Swan event. to predict their occurrence in advance or to
deal with them once they happen. He blames
➔ Taleb regards almost all major scientific ➔ As per the previous item on cyber warfare, data an overreliance on theory for some of the
discoveries, historical events, and artistic security products, such as antivirus software, can't most seemingly insoluble problems troubling
accomplishments as Black Swans — undirected protect you against Black Swan viruses, i.e., the us today.
and unpredicted. He cites the rise of the Internet, ones that are out in the wild but haven't been • It is essential that companies confront their
the personal computer, World War I, and the identified or found yet. doomsday scenarios and build crisis planning
September 11 attacks as examples of Black Swan around them.
Events. Learn how to turn the Black Swans White • What is Your Company’s Deepwater Horizon?
➔ Criteria for a Black Swan event : ➔ Taleb’s advice is not to attempt to predict Black READ: TEN PRINCIPLES FOR A BLACK SWAN-
oThe event is a surprise (to the observer). Swan Events, but to build robustness against PROOF WORLD http://bit.ly/9F2UG7
oThe event has a major impact. negative ones that occur and work on exploiting
positive ones. Taleb contends that banks and
oAfter the fact, the event is rationalized by
trading firms are very vulnerable to hazardous
hindsight, as if it had been expected.
Black Swan Events and are exposed to losses
beyond that predicted by their defective models. To request further information, give feedback
When is a Black Swan a Black Turkey?
or suggest a future topic for the newsletter,
➔ Taleb states that a Black Swan Event depends on please contact:
➔ There has been much debate as to whether the
the observer. What may be a Black Swan surprise Elaine Cameron
financial crisis 2007-2009 was a Black Swan or
for a turkey is not a Black Swan surprise for its Strategic Research & Trend Analysis, EMEA
simply a Black Turkey : an event that is
butcher—hence the objective should be to "avoid firstname.lastname@example.org
everywhere in the data—it happens again and
again —but to which one is wilfully blind. being the turkey" by identifying areas of
vulnerability in order to "turn the Black Swans And don’t forget to follow on Twitter: