Branding Overload

13 Nov

I recently read an article in INC. that states that “branding” is a myth, the author was careful to apologize for his opinion, no need to say sorry to me. Over the last to decades I have watched the power of the term rise, along with a number of retail terms that have been replaced with more “modern” terms. The effects of  “branding mania” have altered the language my profession, once called “Display” it is now “visual merchandising” a term that is an appropriate companion for the somewhat haughty definition of “branding”. The Visual Merchandising magazine used to be called “Display” [Does anyone remember that?] I can go on,” product” used to be called “merch” a “floor reset” used to be a seasonal display change. I used to be called a “trimmer” now I’m a V.M. [veritable masochist] just kidding.

The author went on to state that all the advertising, lifestyle articles and tag lines can’t hide inferior “merch” excuse me “product”and bad retail practices.  This brings me to the point of this ramble. Lynne and I have discussed a number of web sites mounted by itinerate branding practitioners, gliding along on a vague definition of “Brand recognition”  Many claim to be professionals in all aspects of retail which includes, store planning, merchandising and all the consulting services of “keeping shop” [ another old term] We have decided that those who claim to branding experts are blinded by their belief that they can brand themselves into a career. Brand recognition is earned over time and reputation, not purchased, Branding is simply a more expensive form of advertising. Todays sophisticated customer can see through the hype and decide whether they like the product or not.

 Logo strewn fixtures, light box transparencies and interactive kiosks do not a brand make. Brands are created by quality products and word of  mouth the most elaborate campaign cannot save a bad reputation. Brooks Brothers is a brand, Chanel is a brand, Hermes is a brand established by years of customer satisfaction and real service. I totally agree with the article, don’t be seduced by adjectives, seek the assistance of those with credentials and a loyal customer base. When seeking advice consult a  ‘trimmer” to implement your “window display” and “seasonal display” with quality fixtures and “display” your “merch” with care, attentiveness and creativity based on true old school retail experience. Then and only then you will have branded your store and earned a reputation as a [the most important word of all] a “merchant” in every sense of that old word.


2 Responses to “Branding Overload”

  1. rkshute November 14, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    Well said in the article and in your comments, Vori! Just because new technologies and methods arrive on the scene, we mustn’t forget the core principles. Those classic brands are the legacy of vision and persistence, nothing replaces hard work!

    And what about the term “Merchant”? I don’t hear that much any more. The term encompasses all the virtues; display, customer service, marketing, advertising, buying, signage, and more!

    • vori52 November 14, 2011 at 5:04 am #

      thanks….How could I forget the most important word of all…..You provided a perfect closing sentence…and thanks for following…..comment anytime I adore the feedback

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