Luxury brands and charity partnerships

Isaac Mostovicz writes that that charity partnerships can form a positive part of a luxury brand's CSR strategy...

British luxury designers, including Mulberry, Erdem and Giles Deacon, are creating limited-time teddy bears for this year’s BBC Children in Need auction reports Luxury Daily.

Luxury brand Mulberry create bear for BBC Children in Need

Luxury brand Mulberry create bear for BBC Children in Need

Children in Need is a BBC-owned charity that gives grants to local projects in Britain that focus on helping disadvantaged children.

Emma Hill, creative director of Mulberry, said of the project:

“When we were approached to design the fashion bear, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to use our resources and create something genuine, loveable and close to our hears to support the cause.”

I found this interesting, because I have been recently thinking about the role that Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, plays for luxury brands.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be defined as “a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model”. In the past, CSR has been seen as an ‘extra’ that is nice to do but not necessary, and that may well leave the company out of pocket. However, this view is rapidly changing, with brands that are not undertaking CSR initiatives and reporting on these finding themselves scrutinized.

It is not accidental that brands such as Mulberry have chosen to partner with the BBC Children in Need. The cause is one which resonates with the consumers of those British luxury brands – in fact, the article states that many luxury brands have chosen children-focused charities recently to connect with their customers. This does not weaken their brand identity, but rather strengthens it, positioning their brand as socially responsible whilst resonating with customer’s wishes to ‘give something back’.

Kahro, a jewelry stores Raleigh NC store which I run, has teamed up with Kay Yow Cancer Fund, a Raleigh NC based charity that work to fight female cancers. The charity is close to the heart of Kahro’s clientele, which creates a link between the way the customers wish to act and the way the company behaves. Giving to charity is seen as an aspect that Kahro shares with its customers; just as they spend extra, Kahro spends extra. This charitable giving builds self-esteem for all the Kahro employees, as they know that their workplace gives something back to the local community. In turn, this raises productivity and staff commitment.

For me, the key to successful charity partnerships is to ensure that they are aligned to employees, brand values and customers, and that they feel authentic rather than driven by profit.

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Why British Luxury Brand Mulberry is Soaring

Isaac Mostovicz writes that that Mulberry is another example of luxury brands going from strength to strength...

Mulberry Group, the British luxury apparel and accessories brand, has become the worlds best performing fashion retail stock, according to Bloomberg.

Their bags, such as the ‘Alexa’, have become iconic, and expansion in the US and Asia has seen Mulberry’s stock rise by over 500 per cent in the last twelve months, whilst the companies profits have quadrupled to £17.1 million.

This recent Forbes article suggests that Mulberry would do well to follow in rival brand Burberry’s footsteps and bring newer technology into stores if it is to continue expanding throughout Asia.

Whether Mulberry becomes more tech-dependent or not remains to be seen, but one thing is certain – they are another brand demonstrating that luxury sales have not been diminished by the recession, and that luxury brands are now poised to be stronger than ever as they are further immersed in the booming Asian markets.

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