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Brands

Status of luxury brands ‘being ruined’ by customisation

As the fashion industry continues to give customers a more active role in designing their own products, luxury brands must be careful not to take customization too far, according to new research from Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna).

Many brands make it possible for customers to make their own design choices when it comes to selecting colors, fabrics, and cuts. But does this approach also work for luxury brands? Headed by Martin Schreier and Silke Hieke, researchers from WU Vienna’s Institute for Marketing Management set out to answer to answer this question, finding that, for luxury brands, there is such a thing as too much choice.

With new manufacturing processes opening up greater possibilities when it comes to customization, consumers now place a greater value on customized than on standard products.

However, while existing marketing research has shown that consumers like customized products because these unique products communicate their identity more effectively. This is only true for mainstream brands.

The WU Vienna researchers carried out a series of studies, showing that while luxury brands can indeed benefit from customization, there is also the risk of going too far. Particularly fashion-conscious customers – the primary consumer base of luxury brands – place great importance on their appearance and are more sensitive to prestige. Its because of this that these customers are highly aware of the signal value associated with luxury brands.

Customers pay a premium for the designer’s expertise and the status luxury brands convey. This means that the brand must remain clearly recognizable. If customization is taken too far, the consumers’ desire for self-expression can potentially erode the product’s signaling value.

“It pieces” like the Hermès Birkin bag have a special value because they are exclusive and they convey a clear brand identity.

According to the researchers, luxury brands can protect their ability to convey status by making the brand more prominent through overt means, for example through the obvious display of brand logos.

By assuring luxury consumers that others can receive the status signal that they are sending, these brands are able to give their consumers greater freedom for customization decisions.  In general, however, luxury brands should leave only a few design decisions to their customers to protect the signal value created by the brands and their designers.

The study has been published in the Journal of Marketing Research.

Shift to subscriptions increases brand connections

Subscription businesses have grown nearly six times faster than the S&P 500 over the last nine years, driven by an increase in consumer demand for the use of such services.

That’s according to  Zuora’s bi-annual Subscription Economy Index (SEI), which was conducted online by The Harris Poll among 13,626 adults across 12 countries.

It reveals the growing consumer preferences for use of subscription services over the ownership of physical products. Results found within the End of Ownership report include: 

  • Use of subscription services is growing. 78% of international adults currently have subscription services (significantly higher than 71% in 2018), and 75% believe that in the future, people will subscribe to more services and own less physical ‘stuff’. 
  • Subscriptions increase brand connection. Nearly two-thirds of subscribers (64%) feel more connected to companies with whom they have a direct subscription experience versus companies whose products they simply purchase as one-off transactions. 
  • Consumers want to pay for what they use. Nearly three-quarters of international adults (72%) would prefer the ability to pay for what they use, rather than just a flat fee. 
  • Convenience, cost savings, and variety are top subscription benefits. Convenience (42%) tops the list of benefits for subscribing to a product or service instead of owning it, followed by cost savings (35%) and variety (35%, up from 32% in 2018). 

As a result of this burgeoning consumer lifestyle trend, subscription businesses have grown. For the first time since its inception in January 2012, the SEI growth rate reached 437% growth as it analyzed the impact of subscription businesses by sector, comparing subscription businesses in Software as a Service (SaaS), Internet of Things (IoT), Manufacturing, Publishing, Media, Telecommunications, Education, Healthcare and Business Services to their respective S&P 500 Industry benchmarks. 

When looking only at the year 2020 the Subscribed Institute found that:

  • Subscription business revenue outpaced that of their product-based peers. Last year, revenues of subscription companies in the SEI grew 11.6%, while the S&P 500 sales declined -1.6%. In Q4 alone, subscription businesses experienced revenue growth at a rate of 21%, seven times faster than S&P 500 companies’ growth rate of 3%.
  • Revenue per subscriber surpassed the 2019 rate. Subscription businesses in Q4 2020 had an 18% average revenue per user rate, compared to 14% in Q4 2019. The increase indicates that subscription businesses in the SEI are deepening relationships with customers and delivering services that increase in value over time. 
  • Subscription companies in the SEI performed better compared to regional stock markets. In Q1 2020, lockdowns and other safety measures seemed to slow subscription revenue growth (in APAC, revenue even contracted), but when lockdowns returned in Q4, subscription revenue growth accelerated, indicating that subscription companies were effective in adapting their offerings quickly. 

“The time is now for companies to embrace the subscription business model,” said Amy Konary, Founder and Chair of The Subscribed Institute at Zuora. “Our bi-annual Subscription Economy Index suggests that brands can increase value to their customers through the on-going delivery of services when and where they’re needed.” 

Download the Subscription Economy Index and the End of Ownership reports.

The eco-brands seeking to help the world

Although us as consumers might do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint like recycling all items possible, taking public transport, cutting down on meat consumption or switching from oil to gas, there are 20 firms behind a third of all global carbon emissions. According to researchers, these companies are responsible for knowingly accelerating the climate crisis even after scientific evidence.

Climate change is a global threat which requires global reforms enforced by governments across nations. Although the power of consumers pales in comparison to international corporations, consumers have a responsibility to spend their money which will have a positive impact rather than further empowering these harmful companies — eco brands that are sustainable. Research shows that 88 percent of consumers want brands to help them be more environmentally friendly, 

Here, we’ll take a look at the top brands that are making the biggest green waves in terms of sustainability, diversity, and equality.

Patagonia

The apparel industry as a whole accounts for around 10 per cent of global carbon emissions due to production, manufacturing, and transportation of the millions of pieces of clothing purchased each year. To put that into perspective, aviation only accounts for two per cent of global emissions.

Patagonia is a popular outdoor adventure-wear brand which is committed to respecting the outdoors and nature that its shoppers respect. Patagonia is a B Corporation, with the “B” standing for “benefit.” These B Corps must meet extremely high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Brands must score a minimum of 80 to be certified, with Patagonia at 151.

All of the cotton and fabrics sourced for the clothing is certified organic as well as a high proportion of eco-friendly and recycled materials. Patagonia’s strategy is the opposite of fast fashion, creating products that are high-quality and long-lasting so that less is bought to replace garments that fall to pieces after a few wears. Shoppers are encouraged to buy and sell worn wear, with the option to send back in used items to be repaired and resold. The company donates one percent of sales to environmental organisations such as Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), with $89 million being donated since 1985.

The company is also known for progressive procedures and services like onsite childcare, three-day weekends every other week, and has pledged to bail any employee out of jail who is arrested for peacefully protesting for the environment.

tentree

It seems that outdoor brands are leading the way in sustainable business practices, with tentree, who create outdoor clothing and base their whole marketing strategy around planting ten trees for every purchase made. In 2016, tentree became a certified B Corp, scoring 124. Since the company’s start in 2012, tentree have planted almost 40 million trees in more than eight countries, with a corporate mission to plant one billion by 2030. Trees absorb and store carbon dioxide emissions that are driving climate change, with research estimating that a global planting initiative could remove two-thirds of all emissions from human activities in the atmosphere.

tentree’s mission is reflected in the materials used as sustainable materials like lyocell and hemp. The brand endorses complete transparency in their operations, providing insight into its ethical manufacturing and disclosing the environmental footprint for each product made. In terms of inclusivity and diversity, tentree’s products are inclusive to body types.

CanO Water 

As mentioned prior with Coca-Cola being the world’s biggest offender of plastic waste, plastic water bottles are one of the biggest causes of ocean pollution. Statistics report that in the UK alone, 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used each year. Water is an abundant and natural resource, so with bottled water essentially being unethical and unnecessary, the thought of shipping water across the world seems absurd. What is our obsession with bottled water when we have a tap feeding unlimited amounts of water to our homes? Well, with water quality deteriorating due to pollution and sewage companies in the UK, many opt for bottled water under the misconception that it’s cleaner.

CanO Water is packaged in recyclable and sealable aluminium cans that can be recycled an infinite number of times, creating a plastic-free cycle. You can refill and reuse these cans of water as you please, making them convenient and eco-friendly. ‘Wave Goodbye to Plastic Pollution’ is an ocean clean-up campaign created by CanO Water to both make our seas cleaner while raising awareness of the looming crisis our oceans are facing. The campaign encouraged the public to post a ‘wave’ emoji 🌊 on CanO Water’s Instagram post, with each wave equivalent to removing 3.5 plastic bottles of plastic from beaches.

Fairfields Farm

Essex-based potato farmers, Fairfields Farm, are playing their own part in the fight to become more sustainable. Thanks to a packing facility, that is supplied daily with potatoes grown on the farm, their food miles are as low as possible, giving them low carbon footprint produce. 

They also use fertiliser from its renewable anaerobic digestion site for potato growth, which results in less carbon being released into the atmosphere. It also powers the potato cold stores with renewable energy from both solar power and its digestion site, which saves several thousand tonnes of carbon per year.

Their work has not gone unnoticed, as HelloFresh, the recipe delivery service, will be using the farm for their supply of potatoes. 

There are plenty of sustainable brands playing their part in creating a clean and safe planet for us. Make sure you do your research so that your money goes towards a greener future. 

UK Consumers’ Favourite Brands revealed – And Amazon is top

The DMA has revealed the findings of its latest ‘How to win Trust and Loyalty’ research, which set out to gauge which brands UK consumers are most loyal towards.

Amazon turned out to be the most mentioned brand, with 15% of consumers naming it, followed by John Lewis (4%), Sainsbury’s (4%), and Tesco (3%).

When the DMA asked the same question back in 2018, the top choices looked very similar. Indeed, consumers mentioned Amazon (14%) followed by equal percentages selecting Marks & Spencer (4%), John Lewis (4%) and Sainsbury’s (4%).

Somewhat surprisingly, despite Amazon’s near-ubiquity across so many areas of consumption, the brand hasn’t gained any further traction with customers over the last 2 years.

The DMA says that, hypothetically, a reason behind such consistency can be explained by consumers’ view of Amazon more as a service provider rather than a brand to engage with. Data also reveals consumers’ loyalty to Amazon as being driven by convenience (54%) rather than a genuine connection (46%).

When consumers were asked to tell us their favourite brands, a quarter (25%) mentioned other brands outside the top ten, highlighting the variety of businesses that have managed to conquer consumers’ loyalty and that big brands are not as dominant as we might expect.

Data also revealed that about a third of consumers (35%) report not feeling loyal enough to any brand to name it as their favourite. This group’s voice is a clear testimony of the daily challenge brands must deal with: connecting with customers, gaining their trust, and being thought of when it’s time to purchase.

The DMA also dug further into why these consumers do not feel a sense of loyalty towards any brand. Consumers offered a range of reasons, from simply not feeling strongly about brands to wanting to try new ones.

The good news is that two out of the three reasons given are barriers that brands should be able to overcome themselves, with the right strategies.

Indeed, reward mechanisms for continued loyalty, such as wider benefits and offers, can be revisited to give consumers relevant value. Furthermore, the DMA says innovation and communication about improvements can be used to attract those who seek change and novelty. 

Read the full report here. 

Digital Insights: Tips to prepare for the Golden Quarter

By twentysix

The peak retail period of October to December (aka The Golden Quarter) isn’t far away and this year it’s going to be an interesting one. Following the “lockdown” disruption, 2020’s peak is going to be a vital sales opportunity for many retailers.

But how can marketers plan ahead when a global pandemic has turned everything upside down? How are consumers going to behave? Will they be in buying mode? Or will the impact of lockdown dampen demand as we’ve seen earlier in the year? Will there be a second wave and what will this mean?

Much of this depends on the course of the virus and as a digital agency, twentysix, we’re not going to attempt to predict that! But amongst the uncertainty, there are things we can still rely on: Christmas is still Christmas; people will still want to buy; and there will be pent up demand and a hunger for deals – all of which will open opportunities for your brand.

With lockdown accelerating online behaviours there is one thing that is certain; digital is going to be an enormous part of the mix for all advertisers. You need to make sure you have the right mix of channels with a solid foundation in search, affiliates and user experience to capture demand, alongside upper funnel activity such as display and social to help create it. But it’s not just about having the channels in place: success will also be about building the agility to adapt to conditions as they unfold – a must in this uncertain environment.

So whether it’s scenario planning, solidifying your technology and tracking foundations, assessing your SEO trajectory, or reviewing your website to ensure your UX is up to scratch, now is the time to start getting ready.

Download twentysix’s guide to the Golden Quarter to unlock 6 key principles to help you create competitive advantage, along with tips from the agency’s digital channel specialists to help you prepare for the most significant quarter of trading we’ll experience for some time.

Download the full guide here

Brands ‘struggled to respond empathically’ to Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter

While most brands want to be more empathic to social change and global issues affecting customers, many have struggled to respond effectively to recent events such as Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter.

That’s according to new research, which says 81% of brand representatives surveyed in July said they adapted their marketing due to Covid-19, while 60% found it difficult to display appropriate empathy when doing so.

The research among 250 senior marketing decision makers in the UK was conducted by Sapio on behalf of marketing AI company datasine

Over 90% of marketers are trying to be more empathic in their marketing campaigns which shows a genuine understanding of the need to respond to issues and societal events impacting consumers and audiences. However, 75% said they were unable to respond quickly enough to rapidly developing situations such as Covid-19.

Empathy has increased in importance for brands and marketers during 2020. 84% of those surveyed said that the need to respond to events with empathy has increased over the past 6 months. The top three empathy focuses identified in the research for brands right now are:

  1. Covid-19
  2. Black Lives Matter
  3. Mental Health

The two most common barriers stopping brands from responding faster and more effectively to change are; the inability to measure and analyse sentiment; and a lack of knowledge around how to use data to predict the success of future campaigns, both at 38%. To help solve these issues and others, 97% of brands want to adopt technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, to help them use data more effectively for predictive analysis and automated decision making.

Emma Bonar, head of digital, Les Girls Les Boys, said: “Now more than ever it’s vital that we are able to demonstrate that we do empathise with our customers – after all these are issues that really do affect all of us. There’s a need to respond quickly and appropriately to changes in sentiment, which is where AI can help us use data to make the right decisions, and make them fast.”

Chris Loy, CTO, datasine, added: “A brand’s ability to respond rapidly and appropriately to external events affecting its audiences and customers has probably never been tested more than it has in the past six months. Truthfully, it’s becoming critical to their success. Digital marketing demands instantaneous response to the things that are happening in the world. That requires marketing professionals to be able to use data to adapt their creatives, message, visual and textual content on a continual basis in line with changing audience attitudes.

Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay 

Nielsen seeks to demystify influencer ROI

Nielsen has launched its Influencer Brand Effect, a measurement solution to help brands and advertisers evaluate the effectiveness of influencer marketing. 

The company says brands are set to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022, but says there remains a lack of transparent, independent and comparable metrics for brands and agencies to measure the true ROI of their influencer investment. 

It also says there’s a need for greater understanding of the true impact of influencer activity at a time when social media platforms are testing the removal of traditional engagement metrics such as likes, views and shares. 

The Nielsen Influencer Brand Effect solution is a measurement tool uses metrics such as brand awareness, ad recall, favourability and purchase intent. The solution also provides content metrics to assess the perceived ‘fit’ between a brand and the influencer, the right influencers to drive specific brand goals and whether content is effective at shifting audience perceptions.

Barney Farmer, UK Media Commercial Director, Nielsen, said: “Influencer campaigns can be a very effective way to engage audiences around products and brand messaging. However, measurement of the effectiveness of these campaigns is currently inadequate. The Nielsen Influencer Brand Effect solution looks to solve this challenge by giving brands and agencies a greater understanding of the impact of their influencer campaigns. By analysing KPIs such as familiarity, likeability and branding, research can provide actionable insights for brands to ensure that they are always improving their communications and relationships with their consumers.”

Image by cloudlynx from Pixabay

3 brands that have gone the extra mile for inclusivity

‘Don’t talk the talk if you’re not going to walk the walk’. This is the sentiment that consumers are expressing to their favourite brands. It’s all well and good talking about inclusivity, but if brand doesn’t make tangible steps towards an inclusive environment, then their customer base is likely to suffer.

It has been proven that millennials in particular tend to gravitate towards brands that can evidence their inclusivity efforts, rather than the companies that just make sweeping statements. So which brands are succeeding in this mission? Read on to find out… 

Morrisons  

In recent years, this supermarket chain has made some real changes, with a focus on its customers with autism. Morrisons introduced a new ‘Quieter Hour’ scheme across all of its stores in 2018, working alongside the National Autistic Society. The supermarket explained that it is aware that the experience of shopping can be a difficult one for those with autism, or parents with autistic children. At best, it can be an anxious endeavour; at worst, it can be overstimulating and terrifying. 

Morrisons have attempted to lessen this potential stress by introducing a ‘Quieter Hour’ between 9am and 10am on Saturday mornings. During this time, the lights are dimmed, the music is turned off and tannoy announcements are reduced to the bare minimum.

Staff also reduce the movement of stock trollies and the checkout sounds are turned down. This makes for a quieter and hopefully more enjoyable experience for customers who find an excess of noise and movements a struggle to get through. 

Jeffree Star Cosmetics 

Jeffree Star cleverly utilised social media to achieve brand success. With 13 million YouTube subscribers, 3 million Twitter followers and 11.8 million Instagram followers, celebrity entrepreneur, make-up artist, and singer Jeffree Star has worked his way up to become one of the ‘original’ internet celebrities. 

As a key figure in the LGBTQ+ community, Star has made countless efforts to give back to his LGBTQ+ fans. One of the best examples of this came in the form of his cosmetics company, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, partnering with the Los Angeles LGBT Centre. Star launched a new product bundle specifically for this — the rainbow-coloured ‘Equality’ bundle, which contained a rainbow of liquid lip products. Proceeds up to $125,000 were donated to the centre in June 2018. 

Utilising the money he earned through discount code links with Jouer, Star donated towards the centre as well. Given his popularity among the digital generations, it’s clear that Star knows exactly what his customers want — for the brands and icons they follow to make meaningful gestures towards solving social problems. 

Gola Shoes

Veganism has taken the world by storm in 2019, and brands such as Gola have not been left behind. According to statistics from the Vegan Society, the number of British vegans had quadrupled from 2014–2018. But while most news headlines concerning veganism tend to be around the growing choice of food options available meat and dairy free, brands are also increasingly aware of their own products containing animal products. 

Gola has asserted itself as a trailblazer in terms of vegan trainers. With their new online ‘vegan’ badge and dedicated vegan section, customers can easily locate a range of footwear options that are free from animal materials and components.  The shoes have undergone intensive Ve-MAP chemical testing that identifies any trace of animal DNA from chemicals within Gola’s footwear and the manufacturing process, meaning customers can be assured of their purchase.

In addition, all Gola vegan styles are registered with the Vegan Society, the oldest vegan organisation in the world. Founded in 1944 the Vegan Society is a world leader in its field and Gola has partnered with them to give customers additional reassurances.

It’s a widely varied range too, with everything from celebrity-picked women’s classic tennis Mark Cox trainers, sported by actress Kristen Stewart’s stylist girlfriend, Sara Dinkin, to the timeless white and black contrast men’s classic trainers. 

Hopefully, the amount of brands making actionable changes towards inclusivity will only increase. While companies and brands can’t, and shouldn’t, present themselves to be resolving these societal problems entirely, their efforts to stand for something certainly don’t go unnoticed. 

Sources: 

https://www.gola.co.uk/womens-gola-classics-c60/vegan-trainers-t189

https://my.morrisons.com/blog/community/quieter-hour/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/314156

https://winsomeandcanny.com/home/2017/6/6/jeffree-star-gives-back-to-the-lgbtq-community

Guinness, Kit-Kat and Jaguar Land Rover – Quirky brand facts you never knew

It’s easy to get carried away with our stereotypes and assume we know which countries love specific products.

We would rightfully expect sales of Yorkshire Tea to be high in the UK and Volkswagen to be the leading car manufacturer in Germany.

However, there are many global shopping trends that come as quite the surprise. Because many companies have grown to the status of global brands, their popularity has surged around every corner of the world.

What’s more, your favourite brands such as Kit-Kat sometimes completely alter their products to appeal to a whole new country of potential consumers. 

Read on to learn some little-known facts about the strange successes and unexpected alterations of some famous companies…  

Nearly 40% of Guinness is consumed somewhere in Africa

Despite the association we have between Guinness and Ireland, the drink’s homeland is surprisingly not its biggest consumer. In fact, Guinness is more popular in Nigeria which is the beverage’s second largest market. Most people associate this popular drink with cozy Irish pubs or rowdy St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. This all seems completely at odds with its hype in so many African countries.

A potential cause for this anomaly is that Africa is actually home to three of the world’s five Guinness breweries, with Guinness-loving-Nigeria taking pride in one of them. This explains the love of the drink over the African continent but, despite this, the UK still retains the top spot for Guinness consumption (with Ireland coming in a disappointing third place) 

Japan has over 80 different flavors of Kit-Kat

One brand that has gained a massive following overseas is Nestle’s Kit-Kat. Over in Japan, this tasty chocolate bar is adored and hugely popular. In fact, Japan is so obsessed with this snack that they currently sell it in over 80 different flavours! You’re familiar with the Kit-Kat chunky, dark chocolate and white chocolate, right? But have you ever tried flavours such as soybean, Earl Gray tea, Camembert cheese, baked potato and cucumber? I thought not! 

Some of these flavour options definitely sound more appealing than others, how many would you dare to try?

China is the new biggest market for Jaguar Land Rover

British brands like Land Rover are constantly growing their customer reach. Despite these cars perhaps being most associated with rural England, China has recently become one of their new biggest markets and their demand in Asia is every growing. 

One possible reason for this is that many Land Rover models such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Evoque have been manufactured in China since the early 2000s. This increasing rate of manufacture has been reflected in the growing Chinese market.  

India is the country that drinks the most whiskey 

What do you associate most with whiskey? Perhaps you think of remote Scottish distilleries or the famous Edinburgh whiskey tours. Scotland is definitely the country that you’d assume loved this drink the most, but they have been pipped at the post by a surprising rival: India. 

Since 2015, studies have told us that India consumes nearly a half of the world’s supply of whiskey. To put it another way, that’s almost 1,600,000,000 liters of whiskey each year! 

Of course, India’s vast population gives it a certain edge in this competition. When it comes instead to whiskey consumption per capita, France takes home the trophy. On average, the French are known to drink more than two liters per person per year.

Mexico is the biggest consumer of Coke 

Although Coca-Cola is a brand that embodies everything American, the USA is astonishingly not actually its biggest market. To find the biggest consumers of Coca-Cola you have to look a bit further south, down to Mexico. 

The Mexican market for Coke products is immense, with the impressive consumption of 728 per capita! This massively outweighs even America who are the runners up at 402. No other country even comes close to these Coca-Cola fanatics. Of course, this is including all coke products rather than just their iconic eponymous beverage. When a company makes over 3,500 beverages, then it’s bound to up its number of consumers.

From drinks, to chocolate, to car brands, global businesses are making colossal waves in unexpected places. It is also clear that some brands are going the extra mile to mix-up their products to suit these new audiences, in weird and wonderful ways!

Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

Brands urged to embrace the ‘purple pound’

Businesses are being encouraged to register for Purple Tuesday to learn more about the purple pound – the spending power of disabled people and their families.

Over 13 million people in the UK, one fifth of the population, live with a disability and households with a disabled person spend a combined £249 billion a year.

But many businesses could do more to provide for disabled customers, according to the organisers of Purple Tuesday.

Purple Tuesday is an international call to action which will take which place on 12th November 2019. Created and coordinated by disability organisation Purple, it celebrates the power of the purple pound and asks businesses to make a commitment to improve their offer to disabled people. Businesses that register for Purple Tuesday will benefit from free resources from Purple on topics such as website accessibility and customer service training.

Last year over 750 organisations participated, including retail giants Asda, M&S and Sainsbury’s. This year, Purple Tuesday will engage with organisations across multiple sectors on an international level.

Geraldine El Masrour, Centre Manager of Motherwell Shopping Centre, worked with Purple to prepare the centre for Purple Tuesday and saw first-hand the impact of the day on her staff and customers: “Following Purple Tuesday, one of our Security Officers put his dementia training into action to support a shopper, who had previously been seen as disruptive, to make a purchase. The customer was so happy he cried.” Geraldine has since been nominated as Centre Manager of the Year for the SCEPTRE Awards, she says: “I’m sure that working with Purple and taking part in Purple Tuesday has helped me to be shortlisted and I’m looking forward to making continued improvements to our services for disabled people as we build up to Purple Tuesday 2019.”

Mike Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Purple Tuesday said: “Meeting the needs of disabled customers makes commercial sense for businesses of all sizes, from all sectors.

“Purple Tuesday is a milestone moment, but the issue is relevant 365 days a year. From retail to restaurants, tourism to insurance, we’re calling on businesses across all sectors to back Purple Tuesday and commit to changing the customer experience for disabled people for good.”

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “A day out for disabled customers should be an enjoyable experience to share with family and friends, but for so many it can be such a hassle that they end up staying at home instead.

“That is a terrible shame, not only for the UK’s 13 million disabled people but for Britain’s businesses who are missing out on the huge spending power of these valuable customers. It’s also not acceptable in this day and age.

“I want businesses across the country to get involved with this year’s Purple Tuesday and open their doors to disabled customers – not just on this day but all year round.”

Disabled people tend to be more brand loyal than the average consumer, yet less than 10 per cent of businesses worldwide currently include disabled customers in their marketing plans. By failing to meet the needs of disabled people, businesses could be missing out on a share of £2 billion a month.

As well as providing free resources for Purple Tuesday participants, Purple provides tailored accessibility consulting and support to businesses through paid Purple Memberships and Partnerships.

Purple Members receive benefits including website accessibility diagnosis with recommendations which are free of low cost to implement, as well as consultancy with Purple and support through the Government accredited Disability Confident programme.

A Purple Partnership is designed for organisations with experience of disability issues who want to benefit from longer-term consultancy to address employee, consumer and supply chain related issues. Both Members and Partners receive discounts on Purple’s additional training and auditing services.

To register for Purple Tuesday and join organisations across the globe in changing the customer experience for disabled people, visit https://purpletuesday.org.uk/.