northernmakers.com   Welcome to Northernmakers.com – our brand new webshop! For the last four years we have celebrated everything made in Copenhagen, because we are so proud of most of what is produced in our capital. We have through the years proudly told all of you about all the products and in detail described the craftsmanship behind and about the passionate artisans living their dream. Everything on the CPHMADE site is truly Copenhagen made! This we have been communicating to the best of our ability – but we just forgot one slightly important thing – Everything made in Copenhagen is a proud part of the Scandinavian Design label. Hence we have decided to bring new life to our webshop – and boldly broaden our webshop perspective. From our International customers we know how many appreciate Scandinavian products and Scandinavian Living in general. Hence the new offer in the all Scandinavian webshop. Northernmakers.com is a platform that embraces everything authentic from the Nordic countries. Northernmakers is first a foremost a webshop and presentation of an all popular range of Nordic and Scandinavian brands. Just like in the case of CPHmade all brands and products is locally made and have been audited and curated by us. We hope you will enjoy this new offer. Click here to go to the new webshop – www.northernmakers.com   The rest of CPHmade remains the same – staying true to the passionate few in our capital. Supporting them individually in the aim of presentation and development in general.   We hope you can appreciate this new offer and will support our local heroes like you have done so far. We know that you will love our new shipping offer – everything up to 100€ is shipped for only 15€ – everything over 100€ is shipped free of charge.   Now go have a look and tell us what you think.   Visit Northernmakers.com

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I recently discovered that for the first time in 500 years the east has developed a higher gross domestic product than in the west. Consequently, we have lost the concept of entrepreneurship while our competitors in the east created a new business platform founded on their success.

As emerging markets continue to gain momentum, complacency lingers among western leaders. Why should they boldly invest in the long term when shorttermism is the simple option? Corporate boards sadly endorse this attitude, where ‘good governance’ standards have sanitised the decision making process and turned our largest companies into fortresses of conservatism.

If Europe and more specifically Scandinavia are to succeed, this attitude and approach must change. The general estimated growth prospects ( between 1.2 – 3.3 per cent – according to IMF ), shouldn’t be cause for much celebration and doesn’t caterpillar us into a more blooming future.

Our business should emphasise an entrepreneurial approach and put it back at the centre of our economic model. The chief executives of large corporations should be encouraged to behave accordingly. Learning from the smaller passionate business’ for which entrepreneurship is raised above everything else.

Large corporations should be assessed on simple metrics including revenue growth and profit margins, rather than their company’s share performance that can be impacted by expansive monetary policies more than value creation.

If we want to revitalize Scandinavian and European business creation and performance, we need to address what’s wrong.

Globalisation and crises isn’t to blame, but it is our own business conduct that is to blame for the blurry estimated growth prospects – which point to the fact that we forgot to drive and innovate in every sense.

We are suffering form a chronic Entrepreneurial Deficit Disorder, which needs the right diagnosis and stimulus – and since the highly skilled from the top of the business pyramid perhaps has forgotten about passion, belief, value creation and dedication – then just maybe
this stimulus should come bottom up!

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Høvl

Proclamation: Products of poor quality with no soul seem to be an incorporated part of our lives. The stores around the globe seem to have lost their integrity, and are presenting the audience and their customers with poorly produced products with no story or soul. In fact, most stores are carrying, if not the same product range, then at least the same brands. It seems like a big a gap is emerging between consumers and retailers. Consumers demand high quality in a diverse range of products. However, stores here and there only present their customers to a “safe” selection of products, made in quite poor quality.

 

The solution seems indeed within reach. Storytelling. High quality products quite often have a great story attached to them. For instance, the products could be undergoing a unique way of manufacturing process, or the products could have been the results of funny and quirky ideas. Customers do want to hear that story.

 

In a recently published survey about tourism in Copenhagen, it was quite clear that the commercial expectations to Copenhagen were not met. Tourists want more than just the little mermaid. They want original products, made in Copenhagen or at least in Denmark – they don’t want products branded Danish, made in China.

 

Sadly, the survey also made it clear that products made in Copenhagen were quite hard to find, especially since we do have a wide range of fantastically skilled craftsmen and small enterprises. All these craftsmen and small enterprise are all enthusiasts that do offer storytelling, impressive quality and much needed diversity within their product range. These are what I would state define as the “local heroes”, who are protecting our retaining our traditions of local production. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to show the world what Copenhagen is made of? I personally believe that this will change the way we consume and experience the cities we’re visiting.  Local production is in other words a direct influence on the diversity of a given city. This is why we want to protect our local heroes! Join me and our humble organisation in the fight about indifference and sad quality, and experience for yourself how much more you will get if you just know where to go… look no further just, visit www.cphmade.org here are some of the local heroes from the greater city of Copenhagen.

 

My name is Brian Engblad and I’m blogging live from the European Commission’s 2nd annual forum on the EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

I’m here since I find the region an asset and caterpillar to strengthen business competitiveness on a global scale.

I’m situated i Gdansk, since the summit is held here!

I’m together with more politicians than business people…perhaps there is a reason for than – because most business people would expect more than just words and blurry

But do we need blurry directions and fancy words? I think we need leaders and a clear focus!!

They are talking about boosting the region competitiveness through better knowledge and stronger education – but isn’t than the focus of all countries on the globe, and are we really ahead…I’m afraid that they didn’t read the book ‘tiger mom’. Because our hopeful and esteem politicians might rethink strategy.

But in all fairness there are some positive keywords coming out – like invite Greece, Italy and other de-vast economies to Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia to learn how to change economic directions!!

I will return with more observation during the next days and comments from the summit

I often ask myself why sustainability has been framed within compliance – this don’t’ affect profits, increase competitive edge nor celebrate a distinct footprint.

The world is not perfect and neither is the way that companies address new opportunistic business by only getting on board with sustainability through compliance.

Sustainability is widely seen as the ‘new’ thing next to Lean, Glocalization and Retention. But it’s not – it’s so MUCH more than your usual buzzwords and kind of inevitable.

Nevertheless sustainability is anchored as sanctuary for dead fish already going down stream – not as the solution to gain new business or as profit generator in general. Why would companies otherwise categories sustainability as just a focus within compliance.

Sustainability needs to grow beyond compliance and in to highly creative development, like any profit center that wants to stay in business!

Think about how often upgrades to your computer are made available. How often new, faster and better systems are presented to us. If it isn’t Apple it’s Google or one of the other players, in or outside the Valley, which have seen ways to improve or revolutionize.

They are constantly developing – to win share of wallet the next 6-9 months. But what we have today will be made twice as fast in just 9-12 months.

The developers never stop exploring, and creativity blooms like never before – and today developers can be everybody from a 9-year old girl or boy with a great idea.

These developers are motivated by stock options, dollars and cents, market share and personal accomplishments that equal size of paycheck and attention. As many before them they sadly didn’t learn about creativeness. They themselves have to develop, secure and constantly improve on creative technical skills and are NOT motivated by taking part in sponsoring, in the world at large getting smarter!

They are always on the lookout for new inventions, and of cause have the budgets to do so, since the business’ know what would happen if they were to take out all efforts from innovation and development departments!

These business’ also recognize than “change is the only constant”, hence don’t applaud a common misunderstood say – “why change a winning formula”!

Whether they are seen as true future explorers I doubt, but I know that among our esteemed employees in sustainability, CSR and CSI we must find legitimate future explorers and innovators.

This is NOT the fact in 95% of all companies today! Here compliance rules only. They don’t invent and create as they do in Silicon Valley. Fact is that only few have the true skills to actually do so or claim the room to develop!

This is wrong! Because there is huge potential in turning sustainability into a reel profit center.

We should applaud these explorers, give them creative skills, room to operate and discover! Yet we merely laugh or get annoyed about the work they do – since they are NOT truly a part of the team, because they measure and regulate instead of developing. They are reactive instead of being proactive explorers and inventers like the ones in the Valley!

But sadly it seems like the older the ‘developers’ get the more restraint and non-creative they get, yet good employees since they were trained – or should I say restraint – to work within compliance!

And from this position they do only very little good!

We need to change this picture!

We need to start documenting that companies can profit hugely from sustainability and position themselves in a blue ocean zone.

Because then other companies will rise to the opportunity – since there have always been money in being between the first!

Just an example, I know about a company within work wear that went beyond compliance – they are today number one Internationally in the category!

I know that we kill peoples interest if we constantly and only talks about the devastation and how ugly our beloved planet is becoming – so please Al, stop talking about the problem and become part of the solution!

I learned from Anthony Giddens – a man of great expertise – that we should not wait for government or the international society at large!

So start to create before it’s too late – for your business!

I’m Brian Engblad

In my job as CEO and founder for a sustainable focused consultancy, I have the pleasure to visit summits like the one taking place in Copenhagen right now.

Through all I’ve already heard here, I feel a need to spread the message as wide as possible. The message is that too many people talk about the reactive CSR and the proactive Sustainability issues – but the majority are more than reluctant or at best fumbling, hence making unnecessary large investments with negative return on all parameters as result!

It is one very important thing – Sustainability!

We need change as fast as results – but foremost we need companies get it right the first time so we can change the negatives to positive vibes

We need environmental changes fast – we REALLY do! Getting these changes implemented and later to get actual results is one tuff assignment. It is my strong belief that we need good and well-documented stories. Stories about governments, companies and individuals producing massive and positive results (and with nice kickback as side effect moneywise)– not before can we start a broader acceptance and accelerate people’s movement towards a new future.

We need leaders, strong leaders – very strong leaders!

Demand is changing but too slow – so changes happen too slowly. And I honestly don’t know who should go first – the government – the companies or us consumers. Therefore we need leaders on all levels to secure focus and acceleration. Because it’s like everybody are expecting everybody else to go first. What a terrible situation to be in, especially since every day and every action counts!

We all have excuses, for not going first – and since we do too little or nothing – nothing happens, you would think! But there are stories – about early movers, about great and rewarding returns – all are about the very few individuals wanting to do better, about early movers in government and business’ hunting for better!

I learned today that we should not expect big changes from established markets since they are pretty comfortable as is – although they are trying they still are building from an old platform, and since that is burning, I have difficulty in understanding their path.

But ideas on new sustainable solutions coming from those that don’t have the means to buy the established solutions – these are the people, the real entrepreneurs of tomorrow, since they are not restrained by the past or by the solutions available right now.

I have seen stories and documentations today, about great revolutions coming from India within the electricity category, from people who don’t even themselves have electricity!

Nobody do anything, unless money is a positive kickback – and the most terrible thing that I have experienced today, is the fact that gradually the first moving passionist, starts giving up, thus good initiative is not appreciated in larger scale. Which is why I would argue that initiative easily would be invisible at best, if not all together forgotten – if we don’t take action in a broader sense!

Just take the hole in the ozone layer this is no longer a topic consequently not nearly top of mind! But have no fear, the ozon layer is actually closing! This is a fantastic reminder, showing us that we can do a difference hence create tremendous results.

Now we have to focus elsewhere – stop coursing unnecessary sustainable harm

What to do?

Start by scoring your self, your friends and your company – discuss the score and figure out easy wins. Asked questions – buy and support sustainable focused companies and their well thought product – by the way, there are a lot more of these products on the shelf that you think.

Follow this blog – Help me help others in creating a better change for sustainability and for all of us in the future!

 

As part of my passion for shopper psychology and my constant super-search for the perfect store, I have over the years learned that value created through WOWability, or if you in an other way manage to cross shopper expectation with something unanticipated, you have managed to create positive tension to attract traffic.

But business can’t exist from only attraction, WOWability or positive tension without a positive revenue stream. We need to convert traffic! Get people to buy regularly and take the basket size to the next level. Get consumer interested in visiting more often, stay longer, we need people to talk to people about the store, to become one with the store. We need our traffic to carry an evolving message about the entire extra that we offer.

Therefore we need to offer something special – in terms of product, knowledge, service, presentation, interaction, relation and much more – all because retail is detail!

Let’s take a short look at some of the key words.

Product – if we don’t offer the expected – we can’t get them to buy something else! We simply give them a reason to walk away empty handed, and by the way somewhat disappointed!

Knowledge, Service, Presentation and Interaction – here lie a distinct possibility to do far better than what a website can offer, hereby really stand out store wise – offering consumer appreciated competitive advantage compared to overall competition.

The “much more” – well you, as a retailer know something about this already. But because of the workload in the day to day operations you frequently tent to forget, your responsibility in development! Taking into consideration that this part has to be revisited daily or weekly – most stores simply fail to comply – and after a couple of years perform poorly at best.

Admitting to the fact that price is always an issue, even for the best in class that I briefly will present. None of the below mentioned have surrendered to just being discount bookstore – because they don’t have to!

All below asked themselves – Am I special? Can I offer anything that the next in line can’t? Do traffic experience the difference that I’m trying to make, or is that just something I think is obvious?

How often, do you ask yourself these questions?

These stores – all except one, make larger changes regularly (at least 3-4 times a year). They proudly present a simple strategy – that talk about focussing on taking business to the next level. Strategy is then based on tools such as conversion rate, basket size, basket content and track and trace results. They all managed to have very positive revenue streams – even in troubled times!

Photo wise I have been focussing on presentation. Remember that these stores earn good money – based on the belief that by building special, you ARE!

If you want further information on the individual bookstore strategy and shopper behaviour take aways – don’t hesitate to revert to me!

MY personal Awards 2009 Retailwise

•Best in class (fnac 2009)

•Distinctiveness (Shakespeare & Co)

Shakespeare & Company
37 rue de la Bûcherie
75005 Paris

•Business (Academic Bookstore )

The Academic Bookstore (Akateeminen Kirjakauppa) in the center of Helsinki is built by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto

•Wow factor (Lello)

Rua das Carmelitas 144, Porto 4050 – Portugal

•Traffic (Borders)

•Conversion of traffic (192 bookstore)

•Time spend (Lello)

•Third world (Calcutta roadstop)

•Interaction (Le Bal des Ardents )

•Basket size (Noels & Barnes)

No photo!

•Design (Le Bal des Ardents )

•Oldest (San Francisco bookstore)

With presentation come conduct and service – conduct and service fitted to presentation. The above mentioned has not in any way left any detail untouched.

But what about business figures – and other important figures! I’ll let the average figures talk for them self!

Trafic conversion rate (+29%)

Trafic (+49%)

Revenue (+19%)

Basket size (+47%)

Stockturn (+21%)

There are many stories/stores like this spread around the world – but for each good story there is a 1000 or more stories sadly pointing in the opposite direction – they simply don’t get it! They still think that the old way is the right way – you can tell, that they never read BlueOcean strategy!

Remember also – most of these bookstores have all the cheap extras, fancy coffee shops and alike they do great in terms of traditional core business.

This research has been conducted over the last 2 years

My pictures have not always been the best, so some has been borrowed from friends and likeminded, that like myself share a common interest for shopper psychology, in-store presentation and offer.

But believe me when I say – that the photos are nothing in compares to the original stores.

For Retailwise

Brian Engblad