I read in the March issue of Home Accents Today that Hearst Magazines is debuting the Esquire Home Collection of furnishing and accessories at the April High Point Market, which is one of the most important markets where the home decor business unveils its new offerings each year. I quote the announcement by Glen Ellen Brown, VP of Hearst Brand Development that appeared in Home Accents: "The Esquire Home Collection extends the 77-year-old magazine's philosophy of "Man at His Best," a lifestyle of luxury, sophistication and comfort," and that they want to embark on delivering the ultimate "man space."
Interesting brand extension, isn't it? This is a topic I address all of the time in my presentations, because you want to make sure that your brand extensions are grounded in something credible and sustainable, much like your core brand. Esquire has a long history to build on, and it is something that they communicate right up front in their communications. This is one of the ways in which they differentiate themselves from other men's magazines. So there is the connection: heritage in publication, and as their tagline has said for years, "Man at his Best."
For those of you who read the NY Times online, there was a front and center article today talking about how amateur photographers are affecting professional photographer's abilities to make an income. It's a rather simplistic view of the profession as a whole, and concerns itself primarily with an analysis of photographers who make a living by shooting editorial photography, and amateurs whose images are being found online through Google's arrangements with Flickr.
I've been saying for quite some time now that there is going to be a shake-out in the photo business, as there is elsewhere in the current US economy. Photographers who continue to shoot, edit and market based on a branded model and who continue to put new work out there will yield results. You simply can't sit in the corner and wait for the sky to fall. Interesting research studies that I've read have shown that companies that continued to spend money on marketing and advertising during the Great Depression came through positioned well to reap the benefits of the improved economy, and that their businesses prospered as soon as the economy turned. I do feel that there is something to be learned from the past, don't you?
In the course of doing tons of research for my Brand Like the Big Guys presentation, I spent a lot of time thinking about, listening to and looking at where Donna Karan has been and where she is now. Boy, this lady is on fire these days. Her recent high-end collections have been getting rave reviews in the press and tons of editorial coverage.
The clothes are absolutely beautiful. She has reconnected with the core of her brand -- sensual, comfortable, body-conscious.
What does this mean for your brand?
Any brand, big or small, needs to do the same thing.
Consistently keep your focus on the core.
It definitely yields results. xo beth
The other night I debuted a new branding presentation called Brand Like the Big Guys at ASMPNY. Rather than give a topical view of the branding process, I decided to give a grad school level talk with case studies on some uber brands based around one person, or persona. Pretty interesting stuff. At least no one was snoring out loud! I'm going to post a essential point for all brand analysis tomorrow. xo beth