In much of my career I have worked in companies and sectors that have had an unusual view of marketing or openly opposed it. Clear exceptions would be ADOC, FootJoy (Acushnet) and ECCO where their great marketing skills taught me a lot. Increasingly through the 21st century marketing has become better utilised, even if not better understood, and much easier to discuss than ever in the past.
Most of all when we work in an industrial area with products that are going to be sold on a business to business basis the producer company retains an orientation very much towards the product. One that says “this is what the product is like, and therefore you must accept what it is and take it more or less like this”. In older times when consumers had less knowledge and less choice this was often successful. Rarely will it succeed in the modern world.
The opening picture was taken in late 2015 in Waalwijk, in the Netherlands. I was delighted to be invited to the Stahl Chemical HQ for the opening of their Automotive Centre and the picture shows me withWith Huub van Beijeren, CEO of Stahl (centre) and Prof Ferdinand Dudenhöffer of the University of Duisburg-Essen on the right. I like to watch the automotive industry carefully as it does some great strategic marketing but is also an industry that tells us about the big trends evolving in society that all marketers must watch. It both drives and is driven by the megatrends.
Simplistic approaches are also common. Taking an item like leather and explaining it away as a “component branding” is far too simplistic as its role as a component varies hugely with end product. Sometime it is just a component but often it is the only component or only significant component and clicking into a historical or text book ingredient branding mode will create all sorts of issues.
Equally identifying the role of strategy within branding, the increasing dominance of the brand and the ever changing consumer is vital. What now gets termed as “post modern” marketing where the consumer uses the brand to express individuality or where they want to be in society, and thus plays a role in defining the brand has become a vital element. The concept that management can control the brand and manage it via the 4Ps is less and less true. Areas like service dominant logic, and understanding the dynamics of business networks are vital in being successful.
My area has been in strategy, and strategy in selected segments in a global environment. I look a lot at B2B from a network perspective and this defines the way I have looked at the Booth Group (on which you will find here a full section on the company history).
To keep up to date with my thinking read my regular articles in ARSTannery and International Leather Maker, and my Blogs in ILM and on the University of Northampton website. They are all partially in support of the LeatherNaturally! programme but usually talk about it from the marketing perspective.
Here are some things I have written, with the more academic first:
Redwood M (2013) Corporate Social Responsibility and the Carbon Footprint of Leather. Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists. 97(2):47-55 Corporate social responsibility
Redwood M & Ford D (2012) The Role of a Single Actor in Technical Innovation and Network Evolution: an Historical Analysis of the Leather Network Journal of Customer Behaviour. 11(2):181-196. DOI:10.1362/147539212X13420906144750
Redwood M. (2008) The challenges of the leather industry: Wolstenholme Memorial Lecture, Journal of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists 92(2): 47-52 DOI: N/AWolstenholmeLecture-redwood
Ford D & Redwood M. (2005) Making sense of network dynamics through network pictures: a longitudinal case study Industrial Marketing Management. 34(7): 648-657 DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2005.05.008 Making sense of network dynamics through network pictures
Ford D & Redwood M. (2005) Managing Technology in Complex Networks Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association 100(3): 93-101
The Challenges and Opportunities ahead for European Tanners and their workforce as the opening paper for the EU Social Dialogue programme Objective 2025. Presented Bucharest April 2015 Cotance Bucharest final
Managing Public Relations in the Face of Attacks and Misdescriptions The Leather Forum, APLF, Hong Kong, March 2015
Who needs a car when we all live in cities? ILM automotive supply chain Conference, Shanghai, September 2014
The Significance of Good Science in Marketing JALCA Keynote talk, New York, June 2014
FILK Germany Keynote 2013 Extracting the True Value from Leather: a Marketing Approach
ISPO Sport show Munich Traceability in Leather 2014 (public lecture to European Outdoor Group members)
World Leather Congress, Branding and Marketing Rio, Brazil 2012
Cradle-to-Cradle Manufacturing Innovex (Innovations for extremes conference) 2011, University of Lancaster
Prime Source Forum HK 2012. “This House believes that countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam and Sri Lanka will soon displace China as a desirable region for sourcing textiles” proposed by Mike Redwood, and opposed by Tom Nelson, SVP and MD Asia of VF Corporation.
Asian Leather Chemists Conference, Carbon Foot printing & Corporate Social Responsibility Taipei November 2012
The Role of Ingredient Branding, Textile Institute Conference, 2013
Globalisation BASF Global Campus Session Keynote, Suzhou, China
Where is the Consumer value, Automotive Conference, Shanghai, 2012
How consumer power is defining activity in the tannery, presented at the Textile Institute Centenary Conference in Manchester.2011
Educating the Consumer, COUROMODA & CICB, Sao Paolo 2011
Strategic Plan for the Pakistan Leather Industry, commissioned by the Ministry of Light Industry (done with the late Dr Warren Weinstein) Finalised 2010
Future Trends and Expected Status of the Leather Industry Keynote Speech at the XVII UITIC Annual Conference, Leon, Mexico, also presented to the ￼17th UNIDO Leather and Leather Products Industry Panel, Addis Ababa 2010
Future Trends and Expected Status of the Industry to 2030 was a paper I co-wrote for UNIDO, completed in 2010