Focus on the Brand; Not Just the Price


Everyone seems to agree with the principle of brand focus, however, large and small retailers have let the brand-value proposition slip away because of their focus on the price-only strategy. Ever since Wal-Mart burst into the national (and international scene), this strategy has become the “order of business.”

With the economy the way it is, the battle for price isn’t finished. While may retailers feel the force of value/price retailers and are consumed by ways to try and beat them. As a result retailers large and small can’t differentiate themselves from the competition in any marketplace and they are vulnerable.

Here’s a tip — you ain’t Wal-Mart.

Now, knowing that, here’s some sound advice:

  • Decide who you are and what you want to be known for. What’s your distinctive? What do you want customers telling other customers about you? Is it really only about price? That’s a fool’s game that is a downward slope. Do you want to be known for merchandise breadth? Selection? Location? Choose it and stick to it.
  • Shoot for a lean cost structure. You don’t have to be the cheapest; just take the time and be relentless about reducing unnecessary costs. Remove bottlenecks and focus on your distinctive while also managing every cost.
  • Deliver value and get credit for it. What are some things you could do that would increase the customer’s feeling of value (not just captured by price) from your store? Make sure it matches your distinctive and you use it as a marketing tool.
  • Grow through new categories and formats. Don’t stay where you see declining sales. Find new categories that surprise and delight your customer.

You don’t need to be the price leader. People don’t always shop for low price. If they did retailers like Apple Stores, Chicos, REI and others would not exist and be profitable.

What are some things you could do today that sharpen your store’s brand?


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

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