Morning Brew - ☕ White space at the right time

How FedEx came up with their hidden arrow logo.
Morning Brew October 07, 2022

Retail Brew

Rosenthal & Rosenthal

Happy Friday, and an even happier one to McDonald’s Happy Meals enthusiasts, as the fast food restaurant is bringing back its iconic Halloween Boo Buckets after a six-year hiatus. Bon appétit!

In today’s edition:

—Andrew Adam Newman, Jeena Sharma

DELIVERY

A logo that delivers

A FedEx shipping box with its logo prominent. Oxford/Getty Images

These logos are imprinted in our minds. This is a recurring feature about where they came from and why they work.

Brand: FedEx

Designer: Lindon Leader, Landor Associates (now Landor & Fitch)

Year: 1994

Get shorty: Not long after Federal Express began operations in 1973, the company really took off, befitting a company selling the then-novel service of overnight delivery by plane. Within a decade, it had made its first billion.

In 1994, as Federal Express was expanding its international service, it hired Landor Associates (now Landor & Fitch) to rebrand it.

“The word ‘federal’ especially was a bit of a noose around the brand’s neck because it kind of connotated bureaucratic, slow federal government,” Mary Zalla, global president of consumer brands at Landor & Fitch, told us.

Consumers at the time “had started to use it as a verb anyway: ‘fed ex it,’” Zalla said. So before the firm even started to design the logo, it persuaded the company to drop nine of its 14 letters.

Whoa, an arrow: It started as an accident.

Lindon Leader, senior design director at Landor at the time, told The Sneeze in 2004 that the team working on the FedEx logo had already mocked up more than 200 designs, and had refined them to six, when he first noticed it.

“If you put a lower-case ‘x’ to the right of a capital ‘E’ (Ex), you can begin to see a hint of an arrow, though it is clumsy and extremely abstract,” Leader said in the interview. “If I could develop this concept of an arrow, it could be promoted as a symbol for speed and precision, both FedEx communicative attributes.”

Keep reading here.—AAN

        

TOGETHER WITH ROSENTHAL & ROSENTHAL

Grow your own way

Rosenthal & Rosenthal

Businesses are like plants: Both need unique conditions to help them grow best. Some plants need to bask in sunlight for 8 hours a day; others thrive in shady corners. And some businesses need factoring to flourish, while others need a boost with purchase order financing. 

Fortunately, Rosenthal provides customized financial solutions to businesses that meet their specific needs. As the largest privately held factor and finance company in the US, they partner with companies across industries and sectors: fashion, food and beverage, even consumer tech.

Their newest division, Pipeline, focuses on high-growth D2C and e-commerce businesses. With Rosenthal’s working capital solutions, brands can grow quicker than bamboo—without giving up equity or diluting ownership.

Learn how Rosenthal can help you grow your business.

        

RESALE

Buy back

Model showing off a luxury purse Fashionphile

Men are buying Birkin bags and pearl jewelry, and women are investing in Rolex watches.

These are just among some of the interesting findings of online consignment store Fashionphile’s 2022 ultra-luxury resale report. Suffice to say, the luxury resale world has changed a lot over the past few years, particularly with the pandemic and the increasing focus on sustainability. Still, Sarah Davis, founder, president and CCO of Fashionphile, believes some things are the same, including the durability of secondhand items. “I feel like one of the things that’s really nice in luxury: There’s not a trend that’s…not going to sit around for two months. I mean, if you want to get in on the trend in our category, where it’s more expensive, it’s just nice that it's got staying power.” Anyway, back to men buying Birkin bags and jewelry.

  • Sales for larger Birkin bags (that men also purchased in hordes), like the HAC and the Birkin 40, were up 35% this year, per the report.
  • Meanwhile, pearls remained popular among all genders, in part thanks to celebrities like Harry Styles sporting them, and saw an uptick of 60%.

All around the world: Davis attributes the burgeoning interest from men to the rise of gender fluidity, yes, but also a larger Asian influence, including K-pop. “We’ve seen [this trend] in Asia for really the past 10 years,” she said. “And we see a lot of trends move from Asia across the globe.”

Gender fluidity has also lent itself to women investing in watches, as premier watch sales at Fashionphile went up a whopping 95% in 2022, with “more women-identifying shoppers tapping into the watch category more than ever,” according to the report.

Keep reading here.—JS

        

TOGETHER WITH PLACER.AI

Placer.ai

Reflect and move forward. 2022 has had some rough retail patches so far, but what lessons can we take into Q4? First up: Time to deliver customer experiences built on value and authenticity. Get the specifics in Placer.ai’s latest white paper, 2022 Halfway Point Lessons.

        

SWAPPING SKUS

Today’s top retail reads.

TikTok on the clock: From Pepsi to American Eagle, retailers are partnering up with musicians to create custom TikTok sounds to reach more consumers. (Modern Retail)

Out of control: The dollar keeps going up, worsening rising food and fuel costs for low-income nations. (the New York Times)

Unequal footing: As retailers hastily cancel orders to optimize their inventories, trade unions and labor activists say that garment workers are paying the price. (Vogue Business)

Lights, camera, Brew: Morning Brew is on YouTube! Our shows cover the tech, trends, and companies you care about—and don’t worry, we’re not jargon people. Watch here.

EVENTS

Win tickets to The SKU!

Win tickets to The SKU!

Today is the last day to enter The SKU ticket giveaway!

If you’re interested in networking and engaging with top retail brands, give us a quick update on what you’ve been up to in the world of retail and you’ll be entered to win a ticket to The SKU.

We almost forgot the best part: You don’t have to come alone. You’ll also get a second ticket to give to one of your colleagues.

Enter to Win 🎟

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Dunkin’ will replace its DD Perks rewards program with one called Dunkin’ rewards, and not everyone’s happy about it.
  • Nordstrom CTO Edmond Mesrobian will step down from his position.
  • Adidas is placing its partnership with Kanye West “under review.”
  • Walmart will acquire warehouse automation company, Alert Innovation.
  • Under Armour will replace Stephanie Pugliese, the brand’s president of the Americas, after three years.

FRIEND OR FAUX?

Three of the stories below are real...and one is most definitely not. Can you spot the fake?

  1. Martha Stewart has joined forces with Liquid Death for a limited-edition, all-black candle modeled to resemble a severed human hand holding a can.
  2. Bottega Veneta has created a sneaker that offers wearers a caffeine-like boost any time they run.
  3. A giant Cheeto statue has been erected in a small Canadian town inspired by its iconic orange dust.
  4. A cast-iron cookware manufacturer has built a 18-foot, 14,360-pound skillet that is now on display.

Keep reading for the answer.

FRIEND OR FAUX? ANSWER

It’s official: Only coffee can wake you up like coffee.

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Written by Andrew Adam Newman and Jeena Sharma

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