Archive for July, 2010

July
20th 2010
Online retail, the brand message, and the sustainability message

Posted under Other news

Hi everyone, my name is Raihan Islam – I thought it might be a good idea to write my first post on the Mimimyne blog, and what better way for me to do that than to discuss some of my experiences this summer as an intern?

Tabitha at Old Spitalfields Market

For the past several weeks, I have been working to improve the web development and digital marketing strategy of Mimimyne, this has included adding new features such as e-coupons, reviews, SEO, and affiliate e-commerce integration.  Working with Mimimyne’s director, Tabitha, we have updated product listings and have taken search terms into account to ensure our customers can find the products they desire.  The first Sunday of my internship, we worked a stall at Old Spitalfields Market, it was pretty fun interacting with the customers!  I have also had the benefit of networking with various entrepreneurs, consultants, and other professionals in the green sector – it’s been a great run.

Ibis Kids Wallpaper

Online retail is becoming more competitive as new players enter the market, and for an eco-friendly company such as Mimimyne, all of the right factors need to be taken into account.  ”Right factors?”  For a company with a sustainable message, these include the way products are marketed.  It could be as simple as describing the product in a way consumers will understand “that’s progressive, that’s eco-friendly, that’s green,” and Mimimyne currently takes this into account by providing labels that consumers know and trust, such as FSC, Soil Association, and others detailed in its environmental policy.  Our product listings make use of bold, green copywriting as well as ethical standard seals to emphasize some of the ethical standards in adherence – see one of our new kids wallpaper listings for an example with just copywriting, and this funky baby romper suit for an example with an ethical standard seal.

Ogilvy Idea Shop East

About a week ago, I attended an Idea Shop East session with Tabitha, and the brand message was emphasized – “Growing Up Green” – and it makes sense, Mimimyne promotes the idea of families growing up green because not only does doing so benefit economic practices that are concerned with society and the environment, growing up green also builds a cultural understanding in those families – it is very much a grassroots process.  We will continue to improve our brand by leading the way forward for sustainable communities.

Gary Johnston, Alan Knight OBE, and Harry Wallop at Fishburn Hedges

Today, I attended the Fishburn Hedges event, What’s Next… for sustainability: is the message getting through? Although there is great cynicism as to whether the sustainability message is getting across today, companies across the developed world are hitting progressive milestones. One way to get the message across to the consumer is through the various sustainable labels and accreditations available in the marketplace.  Another is through participation in customer rewards programs for ethical trading companies like Mimimyne.  The hope is that such practices will flourish with implementation in the developing world, as it would be ideal if society in developing markets could enjoy a similar lifestyle as developed ones do.  I enjoyed asking some of the panelists questions – their insight is rather invaluable at a time when sustainability is the best progressive economic practice a company could consider.  When it’s done right, it cuts costs, allows for accelerated distribution, and improves societal development through efficient management of resources.

Alan Knight commented on sustainability as a “supply chain challenge,” and there are a few ways to look at this.  On a smaller scale, as Mimimyne retails in the UK, we focus on sourcing our items to be made by local designers and to be shipped by our suppliers within the UK, reducing our carbon footprint.  Regarding getting the sustainability message across, he noted that good retailing provides the consumer with the smallest possible choice, meaning that if there is too wide a selection and too much to think about, consumers will get confused.  Depending on the scale in which a business operates, supply chain management can either be relatively simple or quite complex, but the further sustainable practices are implemented, the more efficient large scale management can become.  We are taking this message on board by succinctly describing our products and making their ethical standard labels more clear, and as we continue to develop, we aim to distribute to locations outside of the UK.

Doug Johnston emphasized that failures in business strategy towards sustainability lack vision.  Companies’ strategic objectives do not properly incorporate sustainability, and as a result, instead of sustainability flourishing, there is confusion.  That is just the picture internally, that key stakeholders in the company must care about how sustainability drives the strategic objectives.  We focus on sustainability through promoting eco-friendly consumption, that is part and parcel of our objective.

Harry Wallop explained that media, marketing, and PR has its role in promoting sustainability, but the message has to be worth writing about – if no one will read about it, why write it?  In general, given that the message of sustainability does not resonate as well as we would hope in our society, companies have to work towards communicating a definable sustainable difference about their products and services to the consumer.  While we have a sustainable vision, we have more work to do in order to inspire consumers that sustainability is the economical way forward.  It is one objective to capture the market, but it is another to introduce consumers into that market.

As Mimimyne continues to grow, we will work to consider the best practices in sustainability, helping get the message across that growing up green is not only great for families, but also great for society, the environment, and the economy, too.  I’d love to read your feedback!

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July
20th 2010
Great news for Mimimyne! I’m a Finalist in Make Your Mark in the Markets

Posted under Mimimyne news

I’ve just found out the Final event for Make Your Mark in the Markets run by Enterprise UK is on Wednesday 11th August in London (at Old Spitalfields Market) and I’ve been selected as one of the top 14 businesses! This is very exciting news as it means Mimimyne is a Finalist (out of 197 applicants) and will be given an award on the day for Highly Commended, Runner up or Winner. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!

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