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Earlier this month, Starling Bank announced it had become an official sponsor of Team GB for the Tokyo Olympics.

While there is mounting uncertainly as to whether the games will go ahead, given the coronavirus outbreak, Starling’s Head of Brand Rachel Kerrone went on the record about the Team GB sponsorship, which was announced just days before the outbreak of the virus.
 
She said: "We are closely monitoring the situation and are in daily contact with Team GB, who are keeping us fully updated. If the games are postponed, we would still remain the official bank of Team GB - the timings would just differ.”
 
“We have contingencies in place from a campaign perspective, but the most important thing is that we are positively supporting our athletes whatever happens.”
 
One of Starling’s key 2020 goals is to increase awareness right across the UK and its partnership with Team GB will help. “This partnership is brilliant because it unites two British brands celebrating national spirit and belief in the extraordinary,” Kerrone said.
 
Not to be deterred, Starling is also considering a number of other sporting opportunities. Kerrone said: “We have already done a small sponsorship with GB Archery through our Chief Banking Officer and former Olympic archer, Helen Bierton and definitely see the value in sport to reach new audiences.”

Deliveroo has seen almost 3,000 new UK restaurants join the platform in the past month, as they try to generate revenue after being forced to close.
 
Some well-known brands who have joined Deliveroo recently include Dishoom, Song Que, and all of Gordon Ramsey's Restaurants across London.
 
The food delivery business has also launched a new campaign #HereToDeliver to support the restaurant sector.
 
Restaurants turning to delivery on Deliveroo include large chains, local family favourites, high-end Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as takeaways. The majority of which did not perform delivery services previous to the pandemic.
 
Will Shu, CEO and Founder, Deliveroo, said: “We are here to deliver for restaurants who want to carry on offering their amazing food to families at home during this difficult time.
 
"We are working with restaurants to optimise their operations for delivery, and we are doing everything we can to make sure people still have access to the food they want and need.”
 
The company is now using experience gained from opening their own kitchens to help guide restaurants as they make the transition from dine-in to delivery-only outlets during the period of the pandemic.
 
Responding to the needs of the restaurant sector, Deliveroo has also introduced 'contact-free delivery' and dropped onboarding fees for new restaurants
 
The delivery giant has also developed bespoke online marketing support for restaurants to let customers know they are operating delivery services.
 
San Carlo, which specialises in award-winning contemporary Italian, and Michelin star Chinese restaurant Hakkasan will be joining the Deliveroo platform soon.
Emporia Telecom’s January launch brought competition to a market segment currently controlled by Doro
 
In January, Emporia Telecom added much-needed vitality to the senior market when it launched in the UK, joining a segment currently controlled by Doro.
 
Tasked with spearheading the Austrian- based business on these shores is Chris Millington, who was appointed as managing director for the UK and Ireland towards the end of last year.
 
Millington, who spent over a decade until 2017 in senior roles at another well- established vendor for those aged over 65, Doro, says he has “unfinished business” in this seemingly niche market.
 
It’s a segment of the market he says is usually ignored and needs reinvigorating.
 
“This segment of the market needs to be reignited and we believe we can re-energise this at Emporia,” says Millington. “It’s dead right now and that’s disappointing, but we can change that.”
 
“I want to build the Emporia brand, but I also want to change the mindset of people towards the older user.”
 
Based in Linz, Emporia operates in 30 markets – mainly in central Europe – and has enjoyed particular success in its home market plus Germany and Italy, says Millington.
 
The company, founded in 1991 by Albert Fellner, initially specialised in general telecoms products for older people, with the first mobile handset for seniors released in the early 2000s.
 
Fellner stepped down in 2015 and the business is now owned by Eveline Pupeter, who joined Emporia in 2003.
 
In Europe, the company has partnerships in place with a number of key operators, including Vodafone, T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom, while distributor Eurostar Global is aiding Emporia with its UK push. Eurostar Global head of commercial and vendor management Steve Hankey says the distributor opted for Emporia based on previous work Millington had done in the market and the segment’s value.
 
“Myself and Chris have worked together before, and I know he’s got some very sensible plans as he looks to replicate the success he had with Doro,” he says.
 
“There’s room in our portfolio for a service that encompasses easy-to-use phones for the over-60s. You just have to look at the demographics to see the UK is an ageing country.”
 
Millington says of the partnership: “We chose Eurostar Global because the company gives us the flexibility and capability to get out to market. It’s a proper partner and not a typical box-moving business, but instead is much more hands-on. I have every confidence in its ability to help us.”
 
Emporia has also listed its roughly 20 phones on Amazon UK’s website, and has recently gone live with mail-order service Scotts of Stow.
 
After Millington took a brief hiatus from this market segment, during which he did some consultancy work, he was raring to go again.
 
“I love what I do, having worked in this area for a long time,” he says. “I enjoy the complexity of it and the challenges involved in trying to convince people of the need for these products.
 
“For older people, having a phone targeted towards them is a way for them to quietly stay involved in the life of their family. When you’re selling to this demographic, you have to understand their needs are going to be different and their value for phones is completely different.”
 
He likens his task to the one he faced at Doro, where he helped grow the brand in this country.
 
“I managed to help build Doro from nothing in the UK to one that has now sold a few hundred thousand devices and I’m very proud of that – but for me, I feel like I have unfinished business and I’m not ready to accept the level the market is currently at.
 
“We plan to build through strong PR and marketing campaigns. It’s important to get out there to increase the reach of the brand. However it’s not just about the product; it’s also about the vision and strategy of Emporia.”
 
Millington is driven by his search for fresh means to improve access for older customers.
 
“My passion is about finding ways to address the needs of the audience and helping them to become more technologically enabled and be considered by retailers and operators,” he says.
 
“This group should be a target for these players, but they just don’t know how to get through to this audience.”
 
Just over four million phones for the senior segment were shipped in Western Europe last year, according to IDC – the vast majority being feature phones, at 3.6 million.
 
And although shipments of senior-targeted phones have fallen each year since reaching 5.6 million units in 2016, potential is shown by substantial growth
 
in smartphone take-up at the expense of feature phones in this segment. According to IDC, smartphones rose from 379,000 in 2018 to 667,000 last year.
 
In the UK, meanwhile, senior-targeted phone shipments numbered just over 583,000 units in 2019 – making the country one of the biggest markets in Europe in this segment, behind Germany and France.
 
Simon Rockman, editor at CWJ Press and former founder of senior-targeted Fuss Free Phones, said: “It’s a massively underserved market and, although it’s hard to complete the sale, there is a real unmet need.
 
“The reason an older person buys a smartphone is because they want to be like their children or grandchildren, and they want to feel a part of that.”
 
IDC research manager Marta Pinto also sees a market for Emporia in the UK, and in the senior segment as a whole.
 
“There are definitely opportunities in this market,” she says. “Senior people today are going to be very different to the senior people in about a decade’s time. Within 10 years, there will be seniors that are very used to using these phones.”
 
Despite volumes being small in comparison to the overall smartphone and feature phone markets, Millington insists the senior segment is not niche – especially given current population dynamics.
 
According to Statista figures from 2018, there are more than 12 million people in the UK aged over 65.
 
“That’s a lot of people,” says Millington. “If it’s niche, then it’s a big niche – and the UK is an ageing population.”
 
To make the customer experience easier, all of Emporia’s handsets come with a step- by-step handbook detailing their functions and how to monitor data use and set up the SIM.
 
“This older group of people won’t want everything done for them,” says Millington. “That’s why we provide a handbook with each phone so that they’re able to gain the confidence to navigate the phone themselves.
 
Each handbook has spaces where people can write notes to help them remember certain actions, enabling Emporia to “take them on a ‘digital journey’ ”,says Millington.
 
To help educate this sector further, Millington says Emporia is planning later this year to offer training that will help to push both the brand and the notion of devices targeted at the senior segment.
 
“Training is something we want to push, ideally through some retailers, charity and local governments,” he says. “We want to train people around how to use technology and get them to see the value of a smartphone.”
 
But the potential in this market is sometimes viewed with scepticism, given that seniors are perceived to be more savvy now than in previous generations and more at ease with existing phones.
 
Pinto says, for example, about iPhones: “The UK is one of Apple’s biggest markets and with Apple having such a user-friendly interface, this could be another challenge. Will these users want to go from an iPhone to a device for seniors?”
 
While Pinto believes there is a market for seniors, she thinks Emporia will face difficult competition from Doro.
 
“Emporia could struggle to compete with Doro in the UK. Doro already has a sizeable ecosystem,” she says.
 
However, Millington says he is not worried about competition, arguing that it’s the tonic the industry needs to grow.
 
“The market has been in decline, but not because people don’t want to have a feature phone for the older user,” he says. “It’s in decline because there has been no advertising or promotional push to grow it.
 
“This is why I try to broaden the appeal – and not just necessarily for Emporia as a brand, but for the whole market. Even when I was at Doro, I wanted another brand to come in and succeed, and to drive the market to grow. In the last few years, it’s been evident to see the market has shrunk. However, I see gaps that can be attacked, especially around the smartphone in this sector.”
 
As for the question on the simplicity of an iPhone, Millington argues that these devices are designed for the younger audience.
 
“These brands such as Apple will push what they think the younger generation wants. They don’t think about the older person, none of them do. These brands will regularly update software and change things, and the seniors aren’t interested in this,” he says.
 
With Eurostar, Amazon and Scotts of Stow on board so far, Millington also hopes to strike deals with the network operators to further expand its presence. He adds that he has a patient, long-term outlook rather than expecting a surge in growth overnight.
 
“This is a five-year plan. The market is down right now, but I think we can grow this market, and I reckon by year two we’ll be able to see the results we’re looking to see,” he says.
 
“But the market size is there and this particular audience is growing. We hope to get a major network on board this year, plus a few retailers in the UK and Ireland by the end of 2020.”
Healthy snack bar brand Kind is to enter the breakfast category this April with a new breakfast bar.
 
Available from 1 April, Kind Breakfast bars will be available in three variants: Blueberry Almond; Peanut Butter; and Honey Oat. All the bars are gluten free and high in fibre.
 
Each bar is soft-baked and features a base of five whole grains: oats; millet; buckwheat; amaranth; and quinoa. The Honey Oat bar is the first in the Kind product portfolio not to contain nuts.
 
The handy pocket-sized format and transparent packaging have been designed to appeal to the consumer looking for a healthy, on-the-go breakfast option. Each 50g pack contains two bars.
 
UK marketing director John McManus said: “We know there’s a huge opportunity for us here in the UK to bring our expertise to the on-the-go breakfast category. Research shows that 30% of us skip breakfast because of lack of time, and we’ve created a premium product that is not only convenient, but delivers on health and taste, too. We’re really excited to see our latest launch roll out nationwide from next month.”
 
Kind will spend £1.3m in digital media this year with a dedicated focus on the Kind breakfast launch, along with a robust field marketing campaign which will see Kind sampling more than one million breakfast bars across the UK.
Honda Power Products has launched a multi-channel advertising campaign to support the launch of its new lawn and garden cordless range.
 
The campaign conveys the long-lasting power of the Honda cordless products, that also celebrates the energy and passion of the gardeners that use them. The work launched across Europe in March and will run across digital, OOH, press, in-store and at events.
 
Southpaw has worked with Honda Motor Europe for the past 50 years and it is the lead strategic creative agency for Honda Power Products. Honda have been producing lawnmowers for over 40 years, and as a result it has grown to be recognised as one of the world’s most reliable garden equipment manufacturers, something which sets them apart from its competitors.
 
The creative work aims to focus on people, different environments, terrains, weather conditions and times of the day, that the new cordless range can be used. The tagline; ‘Power that lasts – for the gardener that just keeps on going’ has been developed to highlight the enduring power of the Honda products and the gardeners themselves.
 
The campaign launches with a 60’ hero film, as well as 30’, 15’ and 6’ cut downs for social. In total 206 assets were produced for nine key markets across Europe, with further markets expected to roll out the campaign throughout the rest of 2020.
 
Nikhil Menon Nayar, marketing and communications – section manager, Honda Power Products, said: “Our ambition for this Pan-European integrated launch campaign is to stand apart from the competition by confidently positioning Honda’s new Cordless range as the best in class within the Lawn and Garden sector for performance. Southpaw’s strategic approach really helped us to identify our core consumer insights, and from there we’ve been able to build a campaign that really resonates with our consumers. This is just the beginning of a new direction for Power Products and we will continue to build on this momentum.”
The Wine Society has announced it is not taking any new orders and it will stop making any deliveries, with immediate effect.
 
In a statement to its members, chief executive officer, Steve Finlan, said: "The Prime Minister's statement was very clear that the single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
 
"I wholeheartedly support the need to do this and as a result we need our employees to stay at home. Many of our employees are already working from home, but this latest development means that our warehouse and transport operations will now be suspended.
 
"Many of you will be disappointed and some may not agree with our decision, but it is simply impossible for us to argue that it is worth putting our employees at risk in order to deliver a non-essential service. I believe that this is the responsible action to take right now and I hope that most of you will agree.
 
"I am extremely sorry that this will mean that we are unable to fulfil outstanding orders for the time being. It is uncertain exactly how long this position will prevail.
 
"Our Member Services lines will be not be taking inbound calls today and will reopen with a smaller home-based team tomorrow. In the meantime, the team will start immediately to contact members about the status of their orders so that we can bring clarity to the situation. My sincere apologies if our automated systems for communication around delivery are not quite in sync with the speed that we have taken this action.
 
"We pride ourselves at The Wine Society in always doing the right thing. I believe strongly that we are doing the right thing in this instance.
 
"We will endeavour to provide timely and effective communication as this rapidly evolving situation continues to develop. In the meantime, I would like to thank all members for your understanding and support, and to extend our very best wishes to you all."
 
Pierre Mansour, the company's head of wine buying, said the first priority for the company is protecting its staff. He said: "We are putting their health and wellbeing first."
 
He confirmed that over the last two weeks the business has seen "unprecented demand" but that staffing levels had dropped by 50%.
 
He said: "This means that our biggest challenge currently has been dealing with the increase in orders from our members and then getting their orders and wine out of our warehouses and into delivery. It has been all hands on deck and we have had people from all different types of roles in the company all coming in to help, if they have been able to."
The Works has reported a significant uplift in sales last week as customers bought products to support their child's ongoing education following the closure of schools in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
 
The listed retailer has now temporarily shut all of its stores to encourage social distancing for the safety and wellbeing of its staff, customers and the wider community. The company's website will continue to trade as normal unless further restrictions are put in place by the government to restrict the movement of people and/or goods.
 
Trading in the nine weeks since 16 January 2020 had been strong, The Works said, with like-for-like sales growth of 2.9%.
 
Last week, despite declining high street footfall, the group experienced a significant uplift in sales, both in stores and online, as customers snapped up products to support their child's education, material to support mental health or products to "beat the boredom" during this period of social distancing.
 
In response to the disruption created by Covid-19 The Works said all non-essential capital investment has been temporarily suspended, including the new store rollout programme.
 
All discretionary operational expenditure, such as store point of sale and marketing spend and travel costs will be managed to minimum spend levels, while discussions with landlords will be held regarding measures to reduce rents while stores are closed.
 
Planned stock intake will be reviewed and the company's board said it did not currently expect to declare a final ordinary dividend for the year to 26 April 2020.
 
The Works said it noted and appreciated the various actions taken by the Government to support businesses and their employees.
Tilda and the United Nations World Food Programme are bringing back the ‘Helping Mums Together’ campaign this year, partnering with influential TV chef, author and sustainability champion Cyrus Todiwala.
 
Specially marked Tilda Pure Basmati Rice packs will fund an equivalent of one nutrition-boosting meal for new and expectant mothers in Bangladesh to help them stay healthy and fight malnutrition. The nutrition-boosting meals come in the form of a Super Cereal for mothers and Super Cereal Plus for children, which are vitamin and mineral-enriched porridges that help provide vital nutrition.
 
Jonathan Calland, head of external affairs at Tilda, commented: “We understand the vital role that nutrition plays in proper cognitive and physical development, especially in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. For the past five years, we have helped provide the equivalent of almost six million nutrition-boosting meals to expectant and nursing mothers and young children who are most vulnerable to malnutrition.”
 
Jane Howard, head of communications, advocacy & marketing at the World Food Programme’s London Office, added: “The work that we do with both refugees and local people in and around Cox’s Bazar is a vital part of our programme. We want to help create a strong community that is able to cope better with emergencies. We are actively working to provide more economic opportunities to Cox’s Bazar such as setting up a farmers’ market where local smallholders, including women who have received WFP training in entrepreneurship, can sell their produce to refugees.
 
“Nutrition and food security are at crisis levels in Cox’s Bazar with 80% of new arrivals fully dependent on humanitarian assistance. Tilda’s support over the past five years has contributed to the wellbeing of those most at risk: malnourished mothers and children under the age of five. We are grateful for the support of Tilda for the sixth year.”
Beach resort operator Sandals has announced that it will close its properties from March 30 to May 15, 2020.
 
Founder Butch Stewart said: "Never could we have imagined the impact the current global health crisis would have on the world. In these unprecedented times, and now more than ever, the safety and health of our valued guests is of paramount importance."
 
As a result of the closure, the chain, which includes its Beaches Resorts locations, will not accept new arrivals as of March 23, 2020.
Boost Drinks has launched a new ‘Flavour Studio’ campaign to promote their full energy range in Northern Ireland.
 
Developed by Belfast-based promotional marketing agency, Elevator, the activation includes a combination of experiential and sampling with an injection of colour and creativity to showcase the 7 flavours available in Northern Ireland.
 
The immersive experience invites consumers to download the interactive Boost Flavours App and do a quiz to help decide which flavour to try. They would taste the flavour for themselves and determine their appropriate ‘flava’ by expressing it in colour on a customised wall.
 
The ‘Flavour Studio’ tour is promoted through social media as well as by tactical ads near or in each location.
 
Kim Jacks, Brand Manager, Boost Drinks Ltd, said: “We’re really proud of the range of flavours Boost Energy has in Northern Ireland including our NI exclusive Cola flavour. We wanted our consumers to taste and experience the fantastic range for themselves inviting shoppers to visit our ‘Flavours Studio’ across a 4-week roadshow to showcase Boost’s fun brand personality in a very real and unique way.
 
We worked with a local NI artist to create the stand design that shoppers were able to colour and add to following a flavour quiz to help them decide which flavour they should try next. Once the tour is complete, as well as engaging and sampling with our target market, we’ll also have a completed work of art created by 1000’s of NI consumers which they’ll be able to view across our dedicated social channels in Northern Ireland knowing they contributed to it!”

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