In her latest article for the International Licensing Merchandiser's Association (LIMA), Carol Spieckerman writes about the changes that are occuring within retailer organizations as retailers become more brand-centric.
Brand integrity is always top of mind in retail, and is usually associated with brand protection, guarding against counterfeiting and trouble-shooting reputation taints (or leveraging them as a PR stunt, as Abercrombie and Fitch did by offering Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino dough for ditching its duds).
As retailers build up their internal brand teams, staffing them with rock stars from major brand companies rather than home-grown merchants, brand integrity has evolved into internal struggle. An executive from a major retailer recently told me that determining “who owns and who influences” among the company’s merchandising and brand teams is a constant conundrum, as categories that were once managed as products are now being managed as brands. This is particularly true as retailers invest in plumping up their private brand portfolios and marketing them as a proper brand company would. Private brands are no longer the un-brands. Read the rest of the article.