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Ideations_AugSep2008

Ideations_AugSep2008

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Interbrand Design Forum's Ideations Newsletter - August/September 2008
Interbrand Design Forum's Ideations Newsletter - August/September 2008

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Published by: ibdf on Dec 23, 2008
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05/09/2014

 
Although retail may be everywhere atransaction happens, the same is not trueo the retailer’s brand experience.Today’s digital mobile media gives time-pressed consumers the ability to shop onthe y. So going to the store is rarely theevent it used to be, i it happens at all.Shopping is now more oten a spontane-ous reaction to requests rom sociallynetworked amily and riends. Combinethat with high uel prices and it’s clear whyretailers need multiple distribution chan-nels to get into this real-time market andcapture demand with combinations o in-store, catalog and e-commerce. But theseare three very dierent worlds and brandsare still learning how to live in them in away that leverages their strong suits.In reaction to the demand or location-ree shopping and the need to give theconsumer more control, brands are tryingto become less static while still pursuingthe retail shopping ideal in all their chan-nels: a unique experience that leads to adeeper involvement between the brandand the shopper.“We all understand that you can create ameaningul, relevant brand experience inthe store. You’re immersing the shopperin an environment with the opportunityor all kinds o sensory cues and emotionalconnotations that connect,” says LynnGonsior, executive vice president and CMOat Interbrand Design Forurm. “As or print,in the past catalogs like Frontgate, Land’sEnd, Cabela’s and J. Peterman have donea great job engaging our imaginations tobring the brand to lie as much as possiblewith only the visual cues.“Online has been more elusive. Despite its24/7 accessibility, in terms o brand experi-ence it’s a value-subtract medium. Soyou make up or it in customer-centricity.Online, everyone is in the service business.At the very least, merchandise and returnsshould be integrated across channels.Anything you can do to solve customerproblems will help you engage the shop-per and encourage them to return.”The most successul retailers across allchannels are those that began in the
Challenges of Multi-ChannelRetail
catalog business, perhaps because theyunderstand all the nuances o the long-distance transaction. The Land’s Endboutique in Sears eels right, with thesame traditionally ashioned, cleanlypresented aesthetic that appears in printand on screen.Brands that have built communitiesthrough consistency o approach andattitude across the store and the web-site include Apple, IKEA, and surprisinglyChipotle. All continue to be so distinctive,i the name didn’t appear on their real andvirtual sites, you would still recognizethem immediately. They share a distinctunderstanding o their customer’s sensi-bilities. However, Pink, is the bomb.Victoria’s Secret brand o sweats and jam-mies targets a very slim segment, collegewomen 18–22. Original expectations o $300 million in yearly sales have explodedto $1 billion. Pink built a unique consumercommunity in a very short time. How didPink do it? By their own account, it took avision or continuity and an understand-ing o how events threaded cohesivelythrough online, catalog and store displays.It is currently the largest retail presenceon Facebook.Why should retailers even worry aboutgiving shoppers an online brand experi-ence beyond basic e-commerce unctions?Because people become loyal to experi-ences as much as, sometimes morethan, products.“When they can rely on a company tooer a great experience across channels,they’re more likely to shop that merchantanywhere,” says Gonsior. “But theInternet channel is where many retailerslook stalled.”There are numerous examples o retailersthat haven’t yet gured out how to weavethe brand experience into their e-com-merce business. Stores like Sephora arechallenged to deliver their magic online,as well as Target.“Each channel has weaknesses that reallycan’t be overcome,” says Gonsior. “Notonly in how well it sells merchandise but just how it is able to enhance the cus-tomer’s total brand experience. But thoseproblems may not need solving becauseyou can compensate or them with theother channels.”One way to compensate is to integrate,starting with the merchandise teams,which are less eective when separatedby channel.Next, bring online into the store, anddesign the store to give the retailer creditor “endless aisles.” Add the opportunity ortwo-way conversation with the ability topost reviews, or oer a greater depth o in-ormation about the products than couldever be provided on the sales oor. Salesassociates aren’t always able to show howproducts solve customer problems. Withall our digital advances, in shopping thereis still no substitute or looking, smelling,touching, testing and physically compar-ing. So it’s a natural to put in-store andonline side by side.Expectations keep getting higher or allchannels, or immediacy, unctionality andservice. I brands let you dress your avataror build your dream car online, you expectit all to be in the store when you get there.That won’t happen until the channelsare integrated.“Rather than have their channels com-pete, or merely mimic one another, thebest retailers are taking their brand andmerchandising strategies to a higher levelso they can support one another holisti-cally in driving company objectives,” saysGonsior. “That kind o retail brand strategyis at the heart o your company’s growthand protability.
A Retail Publication
Ideations
August/September 2008
 
Chairman’s Commentary
The Value of Brands
Design Forum has changed its name…sort o.When we became part o Interbrand in2002, we kept the name o the companythat I ounded in 1978. Since then, we’veevolved rom a pure design entity intoa multi-disciplined consultancy with adeep pool o talent, including a lot o brand expertise.“Design Forum” contains valuable brand-ing in its own right. Our name has touchedhundreds o success stories and a lot o people who’ve become our riends duringthirty years in business.Anyone who’s been through a companyname change is aware o all the ramica-tions, rom switching the sign on the rontdoor to the logo on the coee cups. Andthe risk, o course, that customers willassume there’s been a change in leader-ship—in our case there has not.The time has come to take on the newInterbrand Design Forum identity inorder to ocus more precisely on what ourbusiness does—global retail design thatincorporates brand strategy, shopperanalytics, architecture, retail-sensitiveimplementation—and to stress our abilityto draw on resources rom around theworld: 1,249 creative minds in 36 ofcesand 22 countries.This month, Interbrand publishes theannual Best Global Brands in conjunctionwith
BusinessWeek
. It’s one o the top threepublished business rankings in the world.I you think your business is a potentialleader, here’s where you can nd out whatit takes. And o these 100 brands, you’ll seewho the top riser and aller were this year.(Spoiler alert: Google and Merrill Lynch.)Brand value is a simple idea. I brand playsa role in choice, and shoppers must choosebetween competing products, then brandmust contribute to earnings and prot. Itthen ollows that brand must be quanti-able and valuable to its owner.By using brand valuation as a diagnostictool, we understand the precise economicbenet that brand has on every aspect o business. Insights into which brand attri-butes are relevant at each step in the cus-tomer journey tell us exactly what must bechanged to make the brand perorm bet-ter. You can then invest in the touchpointsthat generate the most demand.The topic o brand management hasbeen generating more interest every yearin the ace o proo that strong brands,consistently managed, are more resilientin shiting economic climates. A study o Best Global Brands versus the S&P 500conducted by Harvard and USC showedthey outperorm the market.Yet, business pundits say we’re livingin a post-branded world and that tra-ditional branding is outdated. Perhapsthat shouldn’t surprise me. Although theconcept o brand value has been evolvingsince the ‘80s, it’s still misunderstood.Brand is not an advertising gimmick. It’s aset o attributes and a promise: the attri-butes consumers have ascribed to store orproduct, and a promise made by the com-pany to deliver those attributes throughthe way it does business. Ideally, the brandidea shapes the company and directs thebehavior o everyone in it. That’s why webelieve brands have the power to changethe world.There are some interesting new names onthe list this year. BlackBerry makes its wayonto the global brand stage. We’ll see i itcan outperorm the iPhone. Luxury brandFerrari zooms onto list. The debut o H&Mis a great example o a retailer understand-ing consumer demands, as is the entranceo Marriott.Our longtime client Honda still ranks high;also new to Best Global Brands is ourclient FedEx, whose promise we’rebringing to lie in the FedEx Ofce stores(ormerly Kinkos). Like all the leaders, theyhave managed to strike a clear note o dierentiation that we have translatedinto retail environments.Although we can understand nervous-ness in a results-oriented world, we’rehoping the current slowdown will pushretailers to change. The world is becom-ing one global economy. Competing init demands a connected and holistic ap-proach to brand management, not siloed20th century corporate habits. In order tostand out rom the crowd and engage ourassociates and customers, our businessesmust become branding communities,resilient and exible. Because—particu-larly in retail—there are always new andunknown challenges ahead.Thoughtully,D. Lee Carpenter
A Retail Publication by
7575 Paragon Road, Dayton, Ohio 45459
P
+1 937 439 4400
F
+1 937 439 4340retail@designforum.comD. Lee Carpenter, Chairman & CEOJill Davis, EditorMike England, Design/Production© August/September 2008
Ideations
For more information or to be placed on our mailing list, visit our website: www.interbranddesignforum.comand complete the contact form. Reprints of articles or excerpts without the express written permission of InterbrandDesign Forum is prohibited. Ideations is printed bimonthly. Subscriptions: $125 annually in the U.S.; $150 elsewhere.

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