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Interbrand Design Forum's Top 50 US Brands

Interbrand Design Forum's Top 50 US Brands



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Published by: ibdf on Jan 10, 2009
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The Most
Valuable U.S.
Retail Brands

The Age o\ue002 the
Retail Brand

Pro\ue001les o\ue002 The Most Valuable U.S. Retail Brands 2009

Lessons \ue002rom
the Brands
What the Leaders
do Right
Narrowcasting \ue002or
Fatter Margins
Scale Alone Does Not
Make a Grocery Brand
The Upside o\ue002 a
Down Economy
The Curious Case
o\ue002 Walmart
p01 The Age o\ue002 the \u2018Retail Brand\u2019
No longer just the \ue004ocus o\ue004 the marketing team, brand is being
adopted as an idea that drives business strategy.
p02 Interbrand Design Forum\u2019s Most Valuable
U.S. Retail Brands 2009
p04 Pro\ue001les o\ue002 the Most Valuable U.S. Retail Brands 2009
A snapshot o\ue004 the top 50 brands and insight into what\u2019s
driving growth.
p13 Canada\u2019s Most Valuable Retail Brands
With a look at how the top 5 brands are growing.
p14 Mexico\u2019s Most Valuable Retail Brands
Insights into the success o\ue004 the top 5 brands.
p15 Lessons \ue002rom the Most Valuable Brands
O\ue004 the 1.6 million retail companies that populate the U.S.
shopping landscape, 50 remarkable brands rise to the top.
p16 What the Leaders do Right

The moment consumers decide to make a purchase, they are
con\ue004ronted by myriad choices and interchangeable products.
What do the Most Valuable U.S. Retail Brands do to consistently
\ue004all into their consideration set?

p17 Where are the Department Stores?

Although their brands have high name recognition, department
stores as a group are perceived as lacking innovation, unique
experiences and exclusive merchandise.

p18 The Misnomer o\ue002 Specialty Apparel

Fashion retail presents great opportunity and great risk\u2014the abil-
ity to generate high margins with the uncertainty o\ue004 the duration
o\ue004 trends. However, the lack o\ue004 di\ue003erentiation among the top
brands suggests that the \ue002eld is su\ue003ering \ue004rom risk avoidance.

p19 Narrowcasting \ue002or Fatter Margins

The brands that score highest on unique shopping experience,
exclusive private labels and di\ue003erentiation \ue004all into the hardline
specialty sector. The brand idea that serves a narrower consumer
base with more speci\ue002c needs will deliver more value.

p20 Scale Alone Does Not Make a Grocery Brand

Traditional grocery earned the weakest customer loyalty scores.
Over-reliance on discounts, rewards and promotions undermines
any move towards a meaning\ue004ul proposition and results in low
brand strength.

p21 Every Brand Tells a Story

Retailers have an advantage in being able to use a physical space to tell the brand story to \ue004orge closer customer connections. To do it well requires an understanding o\ue004 your audience.

p22 Location-\ue002ree Shopping

Just as our de\ue002nition o\ue004 \u201cphone\u201d has come to mean a mobile
multimedia device, so has the notion o\ue004 \u201cstore\u201d evolved to encom-
pass non-traditional commerce. The best orchestrate the brand
experience \ue004rom start to \ue002nish.

p23 The Upside o\ue002 a Down Economy
Created to address complex problems quickly, intelligent
branding can help retailers seize opportunities in a downturn.
p24 The Curious Case o\ue002 Walmart

It began as an old-school discount store with goods piled high and sold cheap. It grew to a wonder o\ue004 operational excellence. Now it acts like a brand.

The Age o\ue002 the
\u2018Retail Brand\u2019
Lee Carpenter
Chairman & CEO Interbrand Design Forum
and Interbrand North America
Most Valuable U.S. Retail Brands 2009

No longer just the \ue002ocus o\ue002 the marketing
team, brand is being adopted as an idea
that drives business strategy.

A\ue004ter thirty years o\ue004 creating retail brand
experiences, I can tell you this: companies
still don\u2019t have a clear idea o\ue004 what brand is
and what it can do. And there\u2019s an urgent
need to clear up the misunderstanding.
Not just because we\u2019re in a major recession.
But because within the downturn there are
opportunities that brand can capture.

So let\u2019s cut to the chase. What is a
retail brand?

A brand is not just a logo, a name or a
snappy slogan. It\u2019s the particular set o\ue004
tangible and intangible assets (or liabilities)
that customers attribute to a retailer. A
brand is a shopper\u2019s perception, the sum
o\ue004 all his or her experiences doing business
with that store.

Shopping de\ue002nes modern li\ue004e. Because it
accounts \ue004or 70% o\ue004 the U.S. gross domes-
tic product, the growth or contraction o\ue004
retail as a total market impacts us all. While
shopper attitudes are changing rapidly due
to economic conditions, the subsequent
discounting and promotions are only part
o\ue004 the story.

Consumers thrive on change. They judge
stores by how well they keep up with the
\ue004ast pace o\ue004 li\ue004e. Retailers have stepped up
their speed-to-market imperatives to \ue004eed
shopper appetite \ue004or newness. Yet most
retailers still cling to a 20th century view o\ue004
themselves as an operations-driven enter-
prise, not as brands. Numerous distribution
points, hundreds o\ue004 SKUs, and thousands
o\ue004 daily transactions between custom-

ers and vendors have until recently made
retail seem too complex an enterprise to be
encompassed by one idea.

A study o\ue004 the top retail brands shows
otherwise. Case in point: Walmart tops
the list, not simply because o\ue004 its o\ue003er-
ing and scale, but because o\ue004 its place in
shoppers\u2019 hearts and minds. It is, in \ue004act,
the most valuable retail brand\u2014proo\ue004 that
brand is not the sole province o\ue004 \ue004amous
makers such as Coca-Cola or Rolex. All the
same principles are at work in retail. A clear
proposition creates demand because o\ue004 the
value it bestows on the product or service.
Brand thinking provides a way to orches-
trate everything about the business that
attracts and touches the consumer\u2014\ue004rom
the real estate, to human resources, the
supply chain, store design, e-commerce,
private labels, messaging and packaging.
In \ue004act, retail is branding at its best and
most complex.

Understanding brand dynamics through its
concerted analytic tools gives a company\u2014
especially retail\u2014the ability to measure the
economic power o\ue004 its brand and iden-
ti\ue004y which business elements create that
power. The role brand plays in any business
decision versus the other components o\ue004
that choice can be gauged and connected
to strategy. Legacy biases can be overcome
so that managers can make smart deci-
sions that take brand, space and \ue002nance
into account simultaneously. Light can be
shed on previously unrecognized market
opportunities and new investments justi-
\ue002ed. Brand helps a retailer create demand,
not cater to demand.

Interbrand has been studying the world\u2019s
most valuable brands since 1984. Today
brand decisions can be measured and thus
held accountable \ue004or the investments that
make a brand stronger. A strong brand
ensures relationships that create \ue004uture
earnings by growing customer pre\ue004erence
and loyalty.

Which brings us to the list\u2014our \ue002rst \u2018Annual
Report Card\u2019 o\ue004 the most valuable retail
brands in the United States, plus the top 5
in Canada and Mexico. It\u2019s an assessment
o\ue004 the companies that are most success\ue004ul
at managing their brand, as well as a look
at those that didn\u2019t make the cut. We\u2019re de-
lighted to share the lessons \ue004rom the lead-
ers, and give some insight into how they
tackle the challenges o\ue004 today\u2019s market.
We also hope it provides a push to those
who still cling to the outmoded operations-
driven way o\ue004 viewing their business.

The Most Valuable U.S. Retail Brands report
sends a clear message: The rules o\ue004 success
have changed. Brand has arrived at retail.

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