Carrefour’s Global VP of Design about branding, design and innovation


The slide says : "It's not the consumer who does change with the time, but He changes the time"

Yesterday, the Design & Innovation club of the ESSCA-Alumni invited Philippe Picaud, VP of Design of the world’s second-largest retailer Carrefour, to speak about his experience and the role of design in corporate strategy. The speaker is learned designer, and highlights that “in the 70’s, designers were not meant to stay within corporation“. He did. He took on more and more design responsabilities in companies such as Texas Instruments, Philips or the French sports retailer Decathlon, which he morphed “from a retail-company to a brands-company“. It’s his fault if Decathlon is the only credible and innovative sports vendors in France! ūüėČ Continue reading →

The Freestyle fountain: the largest¬†equipment¬†investment¬†in Coca-Cola‚Äôs history

Rankings and articles show how high the Coca-Cola Company ranks among the world’s largest firms : on the top ! For the marketing student that I am, the company undoubtfully is one of the best examples to observe this enormous system, particularly its brand identity. One of the recent projects is a new distribution concept which is currently tested on USA’s West Coast : the Freestyle‚ĄĘ fountain.

Code-named “Project Jet” in Atlanta, the project was one of the top priorities of Coca-Cola Company in the last four years. The challenge was to find a way to surprise and satisfy customers by offering the maximum of company products, while reducing the carbon footprint of the distribution and, last but not least, ideally get feed-back on customer choices. Good luck.¬†To tackle this challenge, David Butler, Vice-P of Global Design¬†and Todd Brooks, Design Director for Global Brands formulated four core principles for the design process of a Coke product : simplicity, authenticity, powerful red colour and being “familiar yet suprising“. The particularity of a beverage-firm like Coca-Cola is that design and marketing have more visibilty than product innovation. Actually Coke doesn’t change at all, the growth potential is external : the recent acquisition of Vitamine Water is one of many examples.

Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispenser - design

Industrial designer Raymond Loewy designed fountain dispenser for the 13 billion-dollar-company decades ago, and the Freestyle’s design emerged from the offices of the Pininfarina studios, one of the 300 design agencies worldwide Coca-Cola works with, also renown for numerous italian automotive designs. But it’s Butler, who mastered the whole development process, partly with Vince Voron, who came from Apple a couple of years ago to manage Cokes machines design. The resulting Freestyle machine aims to conciliate the global brand ID with a specific focus on local expectations. As another of the company’s executives states : “we have created a concept […] a representation of the way people will experience our beverages years from now“. “Experience” beverages !



The machine enables the customer to chose within more than 100 different low-calorie beverages (and hybrids of various Coca-Cola sodas, juices and waters : Fanta, Sprite, Minute Maid etc.), from the authentic Coke beverage to more exotic ones like Minute Maid Raspberry, Caffeine-Free Diet Coke with Lime or Fanta Peach ! But it’s the touchscreen that is remarkable : intuitive browsing through the company’s brands, variants and tastes. And the machine gives feedback : not only about customer-preferences (tastes, peak times, locations etc.), but also allows quick product recall if necessary. Finally, the use of highly concentrate syrup reduces the impact of transport and packaging to a minimum. It’s already used in the McDonald’s dispensers, never watched at it when the Coke pours into your cup?


Select your mix ! (recognize the Apple-like design ?)

Fast Company wrote a very good post about David Butler and his work on the Coke fountain. According to them, he doesn’t use the expression “design thinking” but prefers to “create more value“, and design is one of numerous tools that allow it (“improve the experience to make more money“). It’s as simple as that, and reminds us that design isn’t only about products, but also processes. As Butler repeats at the end of the Fast-Company-journalist’s visit : “This is not a design story […] we’re leveraging design to drive innovation and to win at the point of sale“.

I’ll tag this post with the D-word anyway !

Bike Europe : L‚ÄôEurope veut-elle tuer la¬†distribution s√©lective ?

La distribution est une des quatre variables classiques du mix-marketing, et la distribution s√©lective est tr√®s courante dans l’industrie du cycle. Comme on l’apprend aujourd’hui du site sp√©cialis√© Bike Europe, l’Union Europ√©enne pourrait bient√īt mettre fin √† cette logique, et pas seulement pour les cycles…

Giant Store Inside (GSI), un nouveau concept de collaboration étroite entre la marque et le distributer


Ce sont aujourd’hui les propri√©taires des marques, ou Original Equipement Manufacturers (OEM’s) tels que Lapierre, Giant ou Cannondale qui d√©cident de la distribution de leurs produits. Elles ¬†peuvent √©galement d√©l√©guer cette responsabilit√© √† l’importateur -exclusif ou non- de la marque dans un pays : la soci√©t√© TwoLambs distribue par exemple les marques allemandes Nicolai et IXS. Dans beaucoup de secteurs, le contrat de distribution stipule que le distributeur doit atteindre certains objectifs, qu’ils soient quantitatifs (volume de ventes) ou qualitatifs (pr√©sentation des produits). Dans une interview accord√©e √† en juin, Paul Didier, responsable de BMC France, pr√©cise : “nous recherchons des revendeurs sp√©cialis√©s dans le haut de gamme avec des comp√©tences techniques solides et des surfaces de vente honn√™tes (…) la solidit√© financi√®re du partenaire est √©galement primordiale“.

La Commission Europ√©enne est en train de statuer sur une r√©vision des r√®gles de la concurrence, r√©visions qui pourraient interdire le distribution s√©lective. Les changements apport√©s aux r√©gulations n¬į2790/1999 (qui s’appliquent √† presque tous les secteurs industriels) pourraient in fine mener √† une lib√©ralisation totale de la distribution. Pour en revenir √† l’industrie du cycle, cela voudrait dire que Lidl pourrait vendre du Specialized, que Dectahlon aurait la libert√© de proposer la gamme Orbea etc. D’apr√®s Bike Europe, la sp√©cificit√© accord√©e jusque-l√† au secteur de l’automobile (√©pargn√© par ce changement, puisque les r√®gles sont diff√©rentes) pourrait √©galement dispara√ģtre, ce qui √©quivaudrait √† une petite r√©volution !

MBK Cycles pourra être distribué par n'importe quel commerçant, comme Schuller ? ;)

MBK Cycles pourra √™tre distribu√© par n'importe quel commer√ßant, comme Schuller ? ūüėČ

Les lobbies de l’automobile font sans doute des pieds et des mains pour s’accrocher √† ce privil√®ge, ceux du cycle n’auront certainement pas la m√™me influence… La European Two-Wheelers Retailers’ Association (ETRA), un des groupes de pression de l’industrie du cycle en Europe, a particip√© aux discussions avec la Commission et revendique l’application des r√®gles (sp√©cifiques) de l’industrie √† l’automobile aux distributeurs de cycles, motoris√©s ou non. L’√©mergence des e-bikes est effectivement un ph√©nom√®ne qui fait converger les constructeurs de cycles (comme Giant) et de motocycles (comme Yamaha). Une majorit√© de distributeurs de cycles vendent des v√©los ET des scooters, et les ventes de deux-roues √©lectriques explosent ; ce ne sera sans doute pas suffisant pour argumenter… surtout si les associations professionnelles se font la guerre (lien).