Category Archives: Brand Managment

Another meaningful brand going the wrong way.

Crying over another brand being dilutedThere was a news release on the B2B News Alert this morning that just had me shaking my head.

What has Rupert Murdoch rendered upon the Wall Street Journal?

Here’s the story:

“Wall Street Journal’ glossy magazine renamed ‘WSJ.’

“New York—The name of The Wall Street Journal’s glossy magazine, slated to debut Sept. 6, has been changed from Pursuits to WSJ. WSJ., which will

focus on luxury markets, will be delivered to 800,000 subscribers of the Journal as an insert in the newspaper’s “Weekend Edition.” A spokesman for Dow

Jones & Co., which publishes the Journal, said the name WSJ. resonated with both readers and advertisers.” Continue reading Another meaningful brand going the wrong way.

The troubled Sears brand:

another voice heard from.

Well, I’m not the only one to have expressed an opinion about Sears and their brands. (You can read that blog by clicking Salvaging Sears.)

Jack Trout, long-time advisor, speaker and co-author of a dozen branding books (including the pioneering classic, Positioning: the Battlefield for your Mind with Al Ries) , blogged at Brand Strategy Insider about Sear’s seeming abandonment of its sub-brands.

His take is that those sub-brands are the only way Sears differentiates itself from J.C.Penneys, Target, Kohls and other general merchandise chains. He be-moans Sears seeming lack of aggression in promoting and backing these child-brands..

My take was to spin those sub-brands into separate specialty chains. If Batteries Plus can succeed, then certainly Die-Hard could.

Anyway, we both see that the Sears brand is in deep trouble. We both have doubts if they’ll survive taking the course they’re now on.

Martin Jelsema

Competitive assessments lead to strong positioning strategies.

More about the brand platform

How to perform competitive profiles for your brand platformI promised to speak to competitive information relevant to establishing a brand platform. So here goes.

Actually, I’ll devote three blogs to this subject because the type and source of information will be different depending upon what you’re branding.

This post concerns branding a locally-owned retail company.

So first, why assess retail competitors in the first place?

You’re attempting to find a “position” in your prospects’ minds you can call your own – a positive, relevant position people will warm to. If a competitor already owns a particular position, you cannot own it, too. You must find another way to position and differentiate your business. It’s important. Continue reading Competitive assessments lead to strong positioning strategies.

Criteria for logo development and evaluation

Logo design goes way backCertainly there’s quite a bit of subjective opinion being expressed when it comes to selecting a logo for your brand. Branding is more than designing a logo, but the logo is an important branding element, so it should be evaluated with the same thoroughness as the brand name itself.

Don’t just rely on opinions: Someone doesn’t like a certain color, another thinks the type isn’t distinctive enough, and you think the proportion is all wrong. Well, everyone has a right to their opinion, but for brand elements, professional criteria should reign.

A better way to evaluate and select a logo: Continue reading Criteria for logo development and evaluation

If I were CEO, I would discourage departmental brands

Internal branding can be derisiveMy long-time blogging cohort and sheriff of the posse of pundits at BrandingWire, Steve Woodruff, just did a post at StickyFigure about branding departments of organizations.

He suggested six reasons why you’d want to brand a particular department.

There are:

* Create a more consistent visual presentation
* Seek to crystallize and communicate the purpose and goals of the department
* Build esprit de corps among those within the department
* Create the sense that the department is a valuable “destination” for potential recruits
* Elevate the identity and value of the department within the corporation
* Put forth a distinct message separate from (but not in opposition to) any overall corporate branding

Well, I don’t agree that departments should have their own brands. As I commented at his blog…

There are two reasons why I believe departmental branding is a bad idea:

1. It dilutes and causes confusion around the overall corporate brand. It’s difficult enough to get everyone rallying around the corporate brand, its messages and signals. But when you add the parochial brand, people get two messages, and perhaps, contradictory ones.

2. Thinking a department needs a brand is the thinking of empire-builders. At least that’s my belief based upon observation. Departmental branding leads to “us against them” attitudes which are simmering within already.

You can read Steve’s entire blog by clicking Branding Departments

So sorry, Steve, hope you won’t kick me off the posse.


Helping to salvage the Sears brand

I’ve blogged a couple of times about Sears and its troubles. Even though I’m oriented toward small business branding, I feel qualified to at least offer my opinion and a little advice to this beleaguered retailer.

According to Thom Forbes in a Wall Street Journal article last month, “Retail experts say it is now clear that Sears Holdings chairman Edward S. Lampert must engineer a radical makeover of the 121-year-old retailer to prove it can thrive alongside bigger rivals … such as Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Target and Wal-Mart. Continue reading Helping to salvage the Sears brand