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Who’s NOT Going to Rock the Holidays, Retail Style?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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There are brands that are expected to win this holiday season and then there are those that haven’t made a plan. They are unprepared, simply hoping for increased sales with no strategy in place. Simply having doors open and websites up during the holidays does not automatically equate to a sales bump. There are months of planning and time strategizing needed to make the holiday a success. So which brands forgot to do the work?

Abercrombie & Fitch. This brand forgot to stay relevant and lost its hype. It was successful at one point in time, but without planning there was little growth with this brand. The unattainable message from this brand doesn’t apply to a core target audience and therefore decreased sales will probably be a result this holiday season. A brand’s message needs to be direct and specific and can’t simply focus on attractive half-dressed models. No one’s listening anymore.

Best Buy. There was high success with this brand in the past and for many years it was on the holiday positive list. This year, however, the brand is on the other side. It seems outdated, unneeded and not a brand that pushed to keep its customers. Was the strategy simply to hope customers would walk through the door? With the rise of online retailers and the inability to sell as many Apple products as needed, customers have other options and unfortunately they are using them. There is no longer the appeal or the exclusivity of the products at Best Buy because margins have dropped and everyone is selling everything. At least that’s what the consumer feels this holiday season. No jingle bells for this brand.

Sears. Here is a brand that is trying something new, but unfortunately it’s not enough to carry the brand to a happy holiday season. The celebrity apparel lines are a great addition for this brand and do bring about a new or re-engaged customer set, but it’s not enough. The brand’s positioning is still confusing to the customer and the organization is still seeing declining sales. Without proper planning and strategy, Sears can’t simply hope for an end-of-the-year sales bump, but needs to put a focus on using this time of year to build the business.

The brands that lose are those that lack the motivation to effectively plan and execute. It’s not enough to go off of last year’s successes or the name of the brand. Customers want more and expect a brand to tell them why they should come in and make them understand. It’s not all about sales and discounts to customers, but where they can find those items that help them cross things off their list.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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