Tag Archives: brand value

The power of branding, a lesson from Rodeo Drive

It’s hard to imaging spending $300 on one pair of jeans, let alone spending that kind of money on denim when our country is in a recession. But, designer jean companies have figured out how to keep selling their high-ticket items and thrive during the downturn.

While most wouldn’t put designer jeans and training products into the same category, they do have one thing in common – they’re both viewed as nonessential items when tough times hit. Training and development is often one of the first places companies look to cut when under financial stress.

Like training programs, when consumers start to feel the pinch it means cutbacks on “non-essential” items including expensive clothing. Michael Ball, creator of designer jean brand Rock & Republic, explained how he built his denim empire and what he’s doing to handle the economic downturn in a recent BusinessWeek article.

With no fashion experience, Ball created a line of jeans just over five years ago that immediately caught on in the Los Angeles celebrity scene. His high-end, $300 men’s and women’s jeans developed a cult-like following that turned his idea into a $300 million brand.

So, how did he do it?

Start with a high-quality product that people find value in. “Certain denim brands have made it their focus to be a game-changer. They make you feel really great and you will pay twice as much for those. What [Ball] is able to do is get the consumer of many different age segments and deliver on the implied promise that these jeans will make your life better, you will feel better.”

Change with the market. Ball understands that people have less money these days and are changing the way they spend money. While they may not buy three pairs of jeans at a time, they will buy one great pair from the brand with the right message. “The top-tier has fallen off,” says ball who has repriced his jeans due to the struggling market.

Develop a powerful brand. Believing that “all publicity is good publicity,” Ball is never shy when it comes to media attention. Strong brands are more likely to hold up better than weak ones when the market hits a slump. Ball was able to create a distinctive position in his market with a “real perceived differentiation” than others in his industry.

Position your product as an essential part of your consumers’ lives. Whether it’s a pair of jeans or employee training software, only the most powerful and adaptive companies will survive.

Fun with links: Communicate like Mr. T, Twitter as a Twool and more

There’s just too much great marketing news out there today to split it up into separate posts, so here’s a quick list of links for you to enjoy:

In the words of Mr. T, Mark at Business is Personal pity the fool (and business) who doesn’t communicate. Mark uses recent personal experiences with his cable company, movie rental store and bank to explain how thinking like the customer can pay off.

Marketing guru Guy Kawasaki explains how to use Twitter as a twool in an awesomely in-depth post today at the Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog. If you’re looking for more Twitter for business ideas, read this post.

Greg Verdino clears up some commonly cited, but unfounded social media marketing concerns in a post from earlier this week. Find out how B2B marketers are generating and closing leads through digital channels over at gregverdino.com.

Almost 70 percent of the time customers leave a business it’s because they don’t feel appreciated or valued. Take some advice from a recent post at Compelled to Market and use this holiday season to appreciate everyone who keeps you in business.

How do you clean up a 7-year old list with 2.8 million emails? Sounds like a daunting task, but according to DJ Waldow at Brontoblog, it’s actually quite simple. Read the post to learn how to clean up a messy email list in no time.

Election Day marketing links, cast your vote

After months and months of tireless campaigning and inspirational marketing messages, November 4 is finally here. To help celebrate this Election Day, here’s some election-inspired marketing advice from across the blogosphere:

The 2008 election has been “the biggest marketing event” ever seen, according to Danny G. at AdPulp. This election has uncovered a number of lessons marketers and advertisers can apply, just read through a few of his random election eve thoughts.

Brand managers fight to influence how their brands are positioned in the minds of their target audiences in almost the same way political strategists fight to position their presidential candidate in the minds of voters. Brad VanAuken from the Branding Strategy Insider compares the benefits of two brands (McCain and Obama) and what qualities their target audiences find most important.

“There are some lessons for every marketer, regardless of nationality or political leanings,” to be learned from “the most talked about election in the history of the world,” according to Seth Godin. He put a lot of hard work analyzing the election and how it can teach marketers some valuable lessons, so get over there and read his post.

Are the majority of Americans brand buyers or value shoppers when it comes to choosing a president? Read Tom Pick’s latest post, “McCain, Obama, and Marketing Part 2: Brand vs. Value,” at WebMarketCentral.com.

Just for fun, here’s a classic video from ToddAnd for anyone who needs a little review on the Electoral College.