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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Tuesday, April 8 2014 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

    Best Retail Brands 2014

    Interbrand has released the Best Retail Brands 2014 report. The report examines 150 of the world’s most valuable retail brands across four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

    In addition to ranking the top 50 North American retail brands, the top 50 European retail brands, the top 30 Asia-Pacific retail brands and the top 20 Latin American retail brands, the Best Retail Brands 2014 report also provides readers with key digital trends, global insights on enhancing in-store experiences, regional overviews and a close examinations of seven sectors within the retail space: Apparel, Electronics, Department Store, Drugstore, Grocery, Home Improvement, and Mass Merchant. Exclusive and in-depth interviews with executives from top retailers such as CVS/pharmacy, Darty, The Container Store and PriceMinister are also available.

    This year, Walmart is the most valuable retail brand in North America (and across all four regions) with a brand value of USD $131.877 billion. Looking beyond North America, the following brands ranked as the top retailer in their respective regions:

    H&M – USD $18.168 billion (Europe)

    Woolworths - USD $4.948 billion (Asia-Pacific)

    Natura - USD $3.156 billion (Latin America)

    As the role of digital revolutionizes the world of retail, leading retail brands are adapting more quickly and successfully than others. From mobile shopping to virtual fitting rooms, the world’s most valuable retail brands are proving that reimagining the customer journey through a digital lens is the path to success.

    “The structural shift from physical to digital retail has not been painless—and reinvention is a must,” notes Interbrand’s Global Chief Executive Officer, Jez Frampton. “But we know that extraordinary retail brands will not only survive the transition—they will become more extraordinary because of it.”

    Click here to read the 2014 Best Retail Brands report in full or follow the conversation on social media by using #BestRetailBrands.

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  • Posted by: Sharmilee Rau on Monday, March 10 2014 09:56 AM | Comments (0)
    Victoria Beckham

    What do The Remington Arms Company and Victoria Beckham have in common?

    First impressions would suggest very little… but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that both are reportedly entering "‘lifestyle" brand territory.

    The Remington Arms Co. started to leverage its 200 year history last year, as one of the USA’s oldest gun manufacturers, capitalising on its heritage, expertise and legacy in the gun market by developing a line of clothing and accessories - the 1816™ Collection. According to Ross Saldarini, Senior Vice President for accessories and lifestyle, the new range has been designed to “celebrate the Remington lifestyle… for the field and beyond."

    Driving deeper emotional engagement with firearm enthusiasts, this new venture taps into an associated lifestyle. While there is significant controversy in America regarding gun policies, the brand's strategy recognizes an emotional connection intrinsic to the lifestyle of its consumers.

    On the seemingly other end of the spectrum, after achieving success as a global fashion brand and, perhaps more significantly, acceptance from the famously closed set of the fashion elite – being recently named one of The Top 20 British Fashion Players by The Guardian – rumours have emerged that the artist, formerly known as Posh Spice, has set her sights on launching a more affordable "lifestyle" brand to be sold in department stores.

    Anticipated as a brand for the masses, it will give consumers the opportunity to own a slice of VB’s lifestyle. Numerous other celebrities have adopted similar approaches in different guises (Goop anyone?). The general approach is based on packaging up the celebrity lifestyle and selling a curated version of it to the general public who are aspiring to live like their idols.

    These two examples illustrate how "lifestyle brand" has become a catch-all phrase to encompass anything associated with lifestyle. On the one hand, it can be taken as a brand that extends beyond functional product features to display an emotional characteristic (attitude, value or passion) that people identify with as part of their own lives. While on the other hand, it can be understood as a more clearly defined way of life that encompasses the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of a specific group of people.

    What’s clear is that lifestyle brands operate in much the same way as other strong, powerful brands – they are authentic, based on a clearly defined philosophy that’s underpinned by a clear set of values. They represent and celebrate ideals, creating deep emotional connections based on shared interests, attitudes and beliefs and they become a symbol of personal identity that consumers use to reinforce their own personal identity.

    So far, so good…but what makes them different? A true lifestyle brand is so relevant and specific that it becomes incorporated into the natural rhythms and patterns of a life for a clearly defined group or subculture. Brands achieve this status by exhibiting a clear attitude that reflects a philosophy that influences consumer behaviour and choices. In this way they can become essential to that culture, often show-casing an idealised representation of a lifestyle and becoming a symbol for the lifestyle.

    Sharmilee Rau is a Consultant, Strategy, at Interbrand London.

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  • Posted by: Bill Chidley on Friday, October 18 2013 05:01 PM | Comments (0)
    Amazon Wine

    Availability drives consumption.

    Amazon, a top riser on Best Global Brands 2013, is now shipping wine to New York, Michigan, Arizona and Louisiana, upping its distribution to 20 states and the majority of Americans. This is good news for wine makers, but a cause for concern to wine retailers who may fear obsolescence.

    “Disintermediation” is the driver of ecommerce and what keeps traditional retailers up at night. Whole industries have changed as a result of taking steps out of the distribution model. How we acquire and enjoy books, music, movies, even travel, are forever different… and now wine appears to be joining the mix with the biggest e-retailer.

    Lowering the cost of goods to consumers is the obvious upside of disintermediation, but an often overlooked result is a change in consumption habits. Make something that is inherently appealing cheaper and easier to get and without fail more will be sold.

    The advance of Amazon's wine sales will have at least three profound collateral effects on how consumers engage with the wine category that will impact consumption habits:

    1. Reduced entry barriers for new consumers: Shopping for wine can be intimidating for shoppers and a barrier to entering the category. It is complex and difficult to navigate, with many varieties and price tiers. The Amazon experience offers the shopper the ability to educate themselves without pressure, use reviews for comparison, and filter search results to suit their priorities that will reduce the entry barriers for new consumers, and then keep them in the Amazon franchise.
    2. Frictionless purchasing for current consumers: The ability to easily repurchase favorites, put wines on a wish list to purchase in the future, immediately find a wine that was recommended or experienced at a restaurant, and then purchase with one-click, all will drive consumption. Furthermore, the ability to use Amazon’s “subscribe and save” option and push notifications for cool new wines to try, (or deals), will positively impact frequency of purchase.
    3. Contagious consumption for all consumers: Wine is a highly giftable and sharable category, and Amazon will be a great platform for both. Wine as a gift for friends and family in other zip codes gets little consideration, but Amazon introduces project-ability to wine, making it like flowers. Amazon will enable us to share our favorites not just in social media, but by actually physically sharing a bottle across the miles. This will not only increase purchase occasions, but also introduce more consumers to wine, or more varieties and premium tiers if they are already buying wine.

    These three collateral effects will drive consumption and grow the wine business while also changing how consumers experience the category when they shop. Like iTunes and music, wine is highly fragmented so shopping online will be a great equalizer for small brands “on the shelf,” but give disproportionate advantage to brands that have the ability to pay to be featured or promoted.

    Based on my recent Amazon Wine experience, it will also impact the design of packaging for wine if/when online becomes a top channel of distribution. The role of the bottle will be minimized and the label will be the single focus, and need to attract attention as a postage stamp in a sea of postage stamps.

    Regarding the brick and mortar wine shops, they will feel the impact of Amazon and other e-commerce players eventually, but they still have their place for convenience. They will see reduced traffic and smaller purchases as “stock-up” trips migrate to online sales. But there will always be a need for brick and mortar wine stores until someone figures out a way to download a great Malbec!

    Bill Chidley is SVP, Executive Consultant, Interbrand Design Forum.

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  • Posted by: Ariën Breunis on Friday, June 7 2013 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

    Walt Disney World

    Recently my wife and I returned from a road trip through Florida. Planned beforehand, of course, was a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando. Something you just have to do, right? Upon arrival at the Disney resort, we were greeted with the magic words: Welcome Home. With that, we knew that our visit to this place would be different.

    Walt Disney himself said, "I don't want the public to see the world they live in while they're in the park. I want to feel they're in another world." Indeed, the world-famous amusement park lived up to its moniker: "The Happiest Place On Earth."

    While many restaurants around Walt Disney World such as Sanaa in Animal Kingdom and Citrico at The Grand Floridian have received rave reviews from travel and dining critics, the food within the Magic Kingdom remains traditional amusement park fare, but the whole experience made me quite forgiving of lengthy ride lines and somewhat limited food choices. Both of these issues, the lines and in-park dining, Disney has plans to improve upon as well with the addition of a new and improved Downtown district, Disney Springs and the implementation of MyMagic+ digital wristbands.

    I admit that I did spend money on a Disney t-shirt that I might not have seen myself buying beforehand, but when in Rome, right? After all, the experience was proving to be more enjoyable and relevant than I had ever imagined.

    What began with one little mouse has transformed into one of the world’s largest and most beloved entertainment companies. While Disney is primarily understood to be a children's entertainment brand, there’s more than just great experiences for kids.

    The different parks are meant to have a differentiated positioning, taking on their own life and in turn attracting their own crowd. While Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Toy Story Mania appeal to kids, with Cinderella’s Castle as a backdrop, a spa at The Grand Floridian and adult focused entertainment at a piano bar, Jellyrolls, dancing at Atlantic Dance Hall and live radio sports shows at ESPN Club, Disney is expanding its appeal and becoming a wedding and honeymoon destination. Each of the resorts on the property has its own brand experience as well.

    Despite the bubble-like atmosphere, sightings of external brand stores and restaurants provide flickers of reality, a fleeting reminder of the world beyond and an intricate part of the complex brand identity that is Disney. As with any retail hub, Disney is working on activating changes—some subtle, and others major—that will keep visitors from ever having a need to exit the resort. The planned overhaul of Downtown Disney into the new Disney Springs will include an expansion to over 150 retail and restaurant outlets, spanning an area double the size of the current park. The brand also recently began allowing alcohol sales in the Magic Kingdom, proof of the purchasing power that adult consumers hold for the brand.

    As a branding professional, I can see why it isn’t any wonder Disney has ranked consistently in the top 20 of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands ranking. While the global economy might be recovering slowly, Disney continues to see increasing consumer demand for its parks, various resorts and retail merchandise. I’m sure that Disney’s rich heritage and continuing quest for relevance holds a strong promise for future success.

    Ariën Breunis is Associate Director Brand Analytics in Interbrand Amsterdam.

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Thursday, March 22 2012 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

    Jez Frampton

    Welcome to part 2 of this Demand and Desire special, where Interbrand’s Global CEO, Jez Frampton, joins Global Chief Communications Officer, Karen Burke, in examining what 2012 has in store for these eight sectors:

    • Financial
    • Hospitality
    • Food & Beverage
    • Healthcare
    • Luxury
    • Telecommunications
    • Media
    • Retail


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