Branding – with Staying Power

    Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

    Consumer behavior today has been tested, pushed, analyzed to the ends. This is indicative of the economic times, and nowhere are such issues as prevalent as in retail – online and brick-and-mortar. As brand promotion and multi-sensory experience have fallen to price promotions, I can’t help but question the validity of short-term thinking. Will brands still come out strong in long-term equity when washed down with fire sales and dollar stores? Can scrutinized A/B testing and shopping cart abandonment truly enrich the customer brand experience and loyalty? On a simplistic level, it seems a past focus on visual merchandising is being replaced with a left-brained pricing focus.

    Beyond product-focus, retail has traditionally held a unique place by capitalizing on the emotional engagement of consumers. Certainly we can say that Americans are extremely price-conscious today, but it’s just possible that marketers are forcing customers into that box. Brand loyalty and brand communities are still important. Apple, often cited as an enviable brand with raving fans, has been accused of abandoning its traditional Mac user groups and brand communities to focus on new, churning peripherals’ sales instead.

    They say desperate times call for desperate measures. But who wants to fan a brand acting out of desperation? Retail products and brand images at large need to weather this storm by standing tall, deepening the emotional ties between customer and brand – not building the story of the brand that caved under pressure and price promotions.

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    Jake Aull | Marketing Strategy | Social Media & SEO | Digital & Creative
    email | | @jakeaull |