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London: A Brand Project

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London lacks certain Texas brands. The concept of bringing one of these brands to London presents an interesting challenge. I've decided to explore the idea of bringing Neiman Marcus, our beloved Dallas retailer, across the pond. Neiman works well in flagship environments, and the high-fashion atmosphere of London would play well with the selection they already offer.

The best idea for immediate promotion would be to hold fashion shows. Interestingly, the first retailer to hold weekly fashion shows in the United States was Neiman Marcus back in 1926. The history of the Neiman Marcus brand can easily play into promotion. An older building on Oxford Street, preferably one with a deep history, would work perfectly. Oxford is already home to many of the brands Neiman Marcus carries, but the atmosphere, selection, and experience should set Neiman apart. Large, extravagant, people-drawing events is the best way to draw attention to the name, while staying true to the heritage of the brand. When dealing with luxury brands, the history is key.

Neiman Marcus, being strictly a retailer, has a very interesting history of its own. Since 1926, Neiman Marcus has published The Christmas Book, a catalog featuring a famous "His & Hers" section. The book has historically featured strange and outlandish gifts, including a live bull, and now regularly features custom cars. This year, a $400,000 trip to India is for sale. That tradition can be directly continued in London. An international approach, where the same catalog is used internationally, would be the best way to preserve its authenticity.

The campaign's approach would have to allow for the story of Neiman Marcus to be told. Nothing cute or funny, the idea is to get people interested in Neiman as an alternative to the luxury retailers they already shop with. In order to do that, they have to see the brand as an added value, in Neiman's case, that value comes through the brand experience.

Before arriving in London, I wasn’t aware of the incredible fashion scene. Oxford Street is seriously amazing to walk down. One thing I have noticed on that street however, is that the storefronts are massive. Lush, the cosmetic chain, has their biggest store in the world right in the middle of the madness. A good lesson for any concept on Oxford to keep in mind is "the bigger the better". To compete, you have to stand out.

Shawn McKay