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Marketing, Rubbish and Retailing

John Long
paper stack

Rubbish reduction in the form of no more single-use plastic bags has been in the news lately. This is a good move as we at RCG support really sustainable practices but not marketing and packaging rubbish.

That reminds me of some thoughts I had when putting out my wheelie bins last week. In my letterbox was a 50mm thick stack of retail ‘flyers’. I put them straight into the wheelie bin (perhaps I need a “no junk mail” sticker). I reckon most of these ‘flyers’ are rubbish and another big waste of scarce resources, along with some forms of packaging, and a lot of retail marketing dollars.

Some retailers, like Harvey Norman spend over 8% of their sales on marketing, while the thrifty Warehouse and Farmers spend under 4%.

Think about the marketing budgets spent on newspaper and magazine ads, radio (maybe still a winner) T.V. (mute during ads or make a cup of tea?) and increasingly digital/online media. Consider the information overload for the customer?

How much of this noise gets through to prompt customer decision making and buying action? Can we prove this is still good value?

At least digital has some real direct metrics associated with it, rather than decisions being influenced, arm’s length, by media buyers, commission structures, ratings and the like.

My thoughts were that a good store environment will become more important to a retailer’s marketing strategy and in fact, total brand experience.

Personal and useful collateral, centred on a person’s instore and online experience, will pay off (and save trees) and a lot of mass media stuff will be seen as rubbish, both environmentally and economically, unless it can still somehow, engage directly with the customer.

I think Farro’s regular instore ‘magazine’ is on the right track, in that you get it ‘instore’ and it’s part of their whole food experience. I’m watching out for more online and instore! This is where the new retailing model is heading.

Constructive Thought

Christchurch City Council has approved a three month pilot scheme for 700 shared electric scooters to be on the city streets. Will we soon see these in Auckland too?

They have been in the states for some time and have been a huge hit. Associate Director, Andy Florkowski, was in Los Angeles last week and caught up with Christopher Hawthorne, the Chief Design Officer for the LA City mayors office. He voiced concerns around the electric scooters ‘littering the streets’, although suggested that ‘geo-locations’ could be incorporated into the app – meaning you can only ‘log off’ if they are left within a designated area on the digital map. Although this would be slightly less convenient for the user, it would certainly help keep everyone happy and ensure they are a success going forward. Watch this space Auckland.

In the Press

Local Media Highlights from the past week...


Even if free trade is ultimately broadly beneficial, the fact remains that as trade has become freer inequality has worsened, Jayati Ghosh argues

For most critics of globalisation, trade is the villain, responsible for deepening inequality and rising economic insecurity among workers.

This is the logic driving support for US President Donald Trump’s escalating tariffs. Why, then, does the message resonate far beyond the United States, and even the advanced economies, to include workers in many of the developing countries that are typically portrayed as globalisation’s main beneficiaries?

(Source: Interest)


Becoming New Zealand's first CTO is quite the job - and here's why

Justin Tomlinson, a former corporate CTO, is the founder of Delivery Craft, a digital consultancy and advisory company that helped the re-launch of Pottermore, the digital heart of the Wizarding World created by J.K. Rowling. Here, he questions why New Zealand isn't leading the world in agritech R&D and in all fields where our market size, but physical space, represent an advantage, like energy, food and infrastructure, as well as whether appointing one person as CTO to tackle all this is the right solution.

(Source: Idealog)


Belt and Road doesn’t mean anything to most of us. Here’s why it really should

If NZ wants to continue to build the relationship with China, we need to get serious about the initiative that defines the country’s view of its place in the world, writes Stephen Jacobi of the NZ China Council

Five years ago when he announced his grand vision for investment-led development along ancient trade routes linking East and West, Chinese President Xi Jinping called it “One Belt, One Road”. 

(Source: The SpinOff)


Massive boom set to corral Pacific Ocean's plastic rubbish

Engineers set to sea to deploy a rubbish collection device to corral plastic litter floating between California and Hawaii in an attempt to clean up the world's largest garbage patch in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.

The 600m-long floating boom was being towed from San Francisco to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an island of rubbish twice the size of Texas.

(Source: NZ Herald)

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