It’s been a long time coming. After working on Standeazy for quite a few years, we were always looking for an opportunity to use what we’ve learnt in terms of customer service, engaging with clients, talking about the product and applying our creativity to it – on a wider range of products instead of being limited to just one or two.
That’s how Essence Gifts was conceived. Utilising our design and technical skills, we’ve embarked on a new adventure to create an online store for personalised gifts for those moments when you want things to be just that extra bit special.
Our argument is that it’s getting harder and harder to find something truly unique for a loved one, so creating a personalised gift is a great way to bridge that gap between wanting to get something unique for the person that already has everything…
Have a look in our online gift shop https://essence-gifts.co.uk and let us know what you think, what you’d like to see… We have yet to implement an exciting feature, which basically means you can commission us to create a completely personalised design for you. Watch this space for when we’ve launched this add on service.
Yesterday’s news of the leader of the EDL Tommy Robinson causing a stir at Selfridges when a member of staff refused to serve his friend, all conveniently documented on video and published on YouTube, has seen many finger wagging for or against the reaction of the retail brand.
Whilst the suspended shop assistant is not receiving any disciplinary action, the brand’s PR team will have a bit of work cut out for them to counter the dismay of many about the fact that they apologised profoundly and offered the two shoppers a free lunch – which, may I add, at £80 does not exactly do them any favours in this situation.
It reminded me of one of the key tasks and capabilities of a brand strategy that is thought-through and includes risk assessments and training for all those involved in representing the brand. This may not be the worst-case scenario, but the clash of political opinions, especially in a high profile brand that will frequently be dealing with well-known personalities or celebrities, and how to behave humanly yet with the brand values in mind surely seems one eventuality worth considering.
A Selfridges spokeswoman said ‘We’ve been in business since 1909 and we serve everybody regardless of who they are or their political views.
‘We investigated the incident involving one of our sales assistants and he fully understands our position and we won’t be taking any further action.
‘The suspension has been lifted and he is aware he can’t refuse to serve customers.’
The shop manager’s decision to apologise may thus have been in line with the view from the top, but it backfired in how it was perceived by us normal folk and seems to have brought to light a discrepancy in values between management and staff on the shop floor, never a good sign for brand managers.
Politics are precarious of course and with all the equal rights and freedom of speech elements, it is a complex one for sure. It’s just tragic that the only winner out of this one is actually the leader of the EDL who got great coverage and will perhaps find his upcoming court appearance for public order offences on October 22 eased by the media attention.
Could have gone better, Mr Selfridges