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Here’s how brands should handle Black Friday, according to the retail expert
Diamon Retail’s Ola Gejde shares his do’s and don’ts as we enter the annual week for over consumption.
Gejde’s background is in international business development, spending most of his career in various product segments. About 10 years ago he started his own niche retail and brand consultancy, called Diamon Retail, together with Linda Bradley and Camilla Strange. They’re helping brands and retailers within fashion, beauty and interior design with international expansion, both with strategical advise and hands on operational support to navigate in new markets. They also invest in selected eco striving brands, primarily in beauty, that they think have a strong niche and global potential.
What’s your main concern with Black Friday?
— It all depends on the mission and core values of the brand, he says. If the mission is to promote longlivety and slow consumption it of course goes against your brand message, but if this is not the case, sales offers and promotion is part of everyday business. However, I must say that the ”fear of missing out” has been obvious since BF entered the Scandinavian retail scene and many brands should go back to their core values.
How do you think they should handle it, this year and next?
— If you have a sustainable message my advise would be to neglect BF. Don’t even market that you are against it. Act like cool sustainable brands do, it is just part of their DNA and nothing they brag about, says Gejde, continuing,
— I guess this year it is too late, you have either decided to join the ride or not. However, next year, management should definitely have a long discussion about how to set up a healthy sales strategy and still nourish the brand value. I think it is wise to treat your true customers with respect as they chose your brand for a reason, if that reason was long lasting sustainable products, don’t let them down by lowering your standard.
Do you see anything good about it?
— That’d be the discussion around consumerism, and I think this is good for the whole industry, especially fast fashion.
What’s the status for retail as of today?
— I think brands in general are struggling with their pricing strategy. It is an uncertainty and as said before the fear of missing out mentality is striking, at least in Europe. The consumer is not stupid and the way it is going, no one will be willing to pay full price for any products anymore. You know you can always get at least 15-20% of the price if you wait a week so why buy now. There are some exceptions, of course. One is Sézane in Paris, which I urge everyone to study in detail.
Ola GejdeDiamon RetailLinda BradleyCamilla StrangeSézane