HomeNEWSThe retail yearbook: FCB’s Kamran Kazalbash on the year that was

The retail yearbook: FCB’s Kamran Kazalbash on the year that was

Kamran Kazalbash is the general manager of retail at FCB New Zealand, the agency responsible for the ads of big Kiwi brands like Mitre 10, Paper Plus, Vodafone, Noel Leeming and Pak ‘n Save. He shares some thoughts about retail advertising in 2015, and what retailers should be keeping an eye out in the new year. 

1. Which retail company stood out in 2015 and made some bold and smart moves? Warby Parker, the US eyewear retailer continues to do well. It’s only about 5 years old but already worth over US$1 billion. It started as an online-only retailer selling affordable eyewear but has just started opening some physical showrooms in the US. It’s also given away over one million pairs of glasses via it’s commitment to making a pair for charity every time someone orders a pair, which is pretty cool. In case you’re unsure how the glasses you choose are going to look when they arrive, they’ll send you a dummy frame so you can see before they make the real pair for you. Very smart.

2.     What was the best local retail ad campaign of 2015? Obviously Pak ‘n Save’s enduring Stickman campaign continues not only to be incredibly entertaining but also highly effective, although I’m probably not supposed to mention our own work.. Rather than single out just one brand/campaign I’ll mention a few, as I think 2015 has been a pretty good year for great retail campaigns. Hallensteins Freedom Brothers is helping them reposition themselves, DDB’s Lotto work is nicely crafted and very emotive, New World have really pushed the creative boat out with their “Fresh Every Day” campaign and “Easy As” for Mitre 10 continues to get Kiwi’s doing DIY (whoops, that’s ours too).

3.     What about internationally? I’m a sucker for the Christmas campaigns, so I’ll go with Edeka’s Christmas campaign from Germany which culminates with a pretty emotional TVC, that crafty old man eh? In my opinion much better than the John Lewis Christmas campaign this year.

4.     What are some of the best retail brands of this year? Farmers and Hallenstein/Glassons have done a good job at revamping themselves over the last couple of years. From a more niche point of view, I’ve always been very impressed with Superette here in New Zealand. They’ve just opened their fourth store, their online offering is slick, they know their audience and they have a very loyal following as a result. Lastly, the Nespresso stores are impressive; clean, simple, exceptional store fit outs and importantly the Nespresso Coffee Club is executed with the same high standard.

5.    What issues or ideas in marketing should retailers have at the front of their mind for 2016? This is nothing new, but in my opinion what they should be doing is getting better at using what they already have. A good example of this is data and analytics; Retailers are in the most part sitting on, or have access to, large amounts of data which could (and should) lead to them being able to be so much better at communicating to their customers when they want to be spoken to, how they want to be spoken to and about things in which they are interested. So many retailers do a bad job in this area. Blanket spamming customers about products and services they have no interest in whatsoever is a pretty quick way to turn customers off. 

6.    What’s your big ambitions and ideas for retail in 2016? What do you want to see happen? I think we’re going to see more of the big international retailers start to take an interest in New Zealand. I think Zara, H&M and Topshop are just the first of a number of retailers that will enter the market, maybe not next year but certainly in the next two to three years. This in turn means our existing retailers are going to have to work pretty hard to stay relevant, fashionable and cost effective versus the shiny new ones that will invariably have pretty deep pockets. 

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