Branding Strategy for an Adaptable Future - Coley Porter Bell

Branding Strategy for an Adaptable Future

Featured in Brandingmag

Written by: Jenn Szekely, President 

We’ve seen the swift decline of many legacy brands. Despite their rich heritage and household names, many renowned companies have been unable to adapt to today’s customer expectations. While the digital age and the impact of the pandemic have played a role in the demise of many, the failure of legacy companies to recognize that brands can drive business has also had a major impact.

Take the much-revered department store Sears, which in recent years filed for Chapter 11. Once a leader in its category, the century-old brand has gone from operating 3,500 stores at its prime to only 23. The decline of an empire like Sears only proves what branding experts know all too well, that any company can fail if it neglects to adapt to the changes in consumer needs and desires.

There are two key aspects of the Sears brand that should have been part of the strategy to reclaim its position in the retail landscape. Unfortunately, it failed to capitalize on both.

  1. Sears was one of the first brands to create coveted private label brands, truly trusted brands that provided a halo effect to the parent brand. This was long before brands like Target built multi-billion-dollar private label businesses that now make up 1/3 of its revenue. Instead of Sears embracing the value of its brands like Craftsman and DieHard, it went and sold them off.
  2. Sears was one of the first content brands, famous for its catalogues, which are still collected by many today. Instead of examining this as an insight and exploring how it could be leveraged as a tool to lead, it basically walked away from it only to mimic the go-to-market strategy of others.

Whether your organization is seeking to diversify its business or reimagine its next chapter, you might want to consider the following:

  • Expanding the job of your brand strategy
  • Moving your purpose from functional to emotional will pay off
  • Giving your CMO a seat at the business table

Read the full article here to learn more.