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By Joel M. Albrizio, President

Consistency Is How A Brand Evolves......

Branding is a word we hear so often, does it mean anything to us any longer?

  For many years few considered branding or what the ingredients were to a great brand. All anyone said related to branding was "hey' that's the best coffee or that's the best store......but why? We all knew great brands but failed to recognize the process of branding and its effects on sustainable success.

  Kroger is a great example of "The Brand". Like them or not we all understand what Kroger sells, where they they sell it and our reasonable expectations of the customer services Kroger will offer the shopper.

  So as time moves on we come to realize that many great retailers and items have disappeared due in part to no recognizable differentiation between the product or services they offered in comparison to the competition.

  Why didn't that company tell a better story about who they were or did they forget who they were? The latest "BUZZ word branding is now everywhere. You need branding, I need branding, we need branding! Without branding how can we sell anything?

  Over and over we forget the obvious. Your brand is the result of your actions and your actions should be the result of your predetermined business plan. For good or bad this is your brand. No plan, no consistency, no brand!

  "Through the successful repetition of your proven accomplishments, based on your plan you will develop a recognizable quantity we come to trust as a brand."

  That in itself is a huge accomplishment. Once we have defined "The Brand" we then research and define the most desirable products and services we can and should offer.

  A successfully branded  retailer has choosen a sweet spot of products and services that can be offered while reasonably exceeding customer expectations. This is the most important part of the plan or the proposed brand.

  That combination of products and services coupled with competitive price points creates "The Brand" and it's resulting value proposition.

With this we have an aura of "The Brand."

  We have defined our products and services, then advertised them at a reasonable prices eliminating potential barriers of entry in order to reasonably expect to attract the new customer.

  To be successful you will need every employee educated as to "The Brand" to fully promote that brand and exceed the customers expectations. The process promoting "The Brand" lowers customer acquisition costs, an important metric. The return on investment of any advertising comes from increased customer counts and basket sizes.

  This process with continued refinements along with new ideas properly aligned will continue your success and customer loyalty.  Sales don't just happen.

  Some find growth by accident or are fortunate to experience lower levels of competition. The experienced retailer however recognizes more competition is always coming and the brand and the confidence it employs within its customer base is the best defense against any competition. 

Thank-you for your e-mails and ideas.