Defensive Strategy

Three Notable Articles

17 Nov 2011  

Today’s Wall Street Journal has three notable articles about branding. All three are worth a read.

The first article is one about the challenge of creating a powerful brand experience when shipping items through the mail.

This is a significant issue; when a customer purchases a product at a high-end retailer, the buying experience is an important part of the proposition.

The article highlights the different things retailers are doing to create a similarly rewarding mail-order experience, from using hand-written notes to special wrapping techniques.

A similarly notable article focuses on the auto industry and the importance of the clothes worn by their models at auto shows.

Everything shapes a brand, of course, so this is an important question, just one we don’t usually think about.

The article highlights how brands are focused on identifying fashions that fit with the brand. What should a BMW model wear? How about a Jeep spokes-person, or a Chevy model?

And then there is a positively depressing article about Sears.

The main point: Sears is killing its brand by dramatically cutting back on investment.

When many brands are working very hard to create positive experiences, Sears is apparently concentrating on finding ways to reduce spending. One startling fact: Macy’s will spend about $400 million renovating its flagship store in New York. Sears will spend a similar amount across its 2,200 stores in the next year. With this sort of focus on brand building it isn’t surprising that Sears has seen declining sales since 1995. The brand really matters.

Here are the links:


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