I spotted a sizeable "Martha Stewart Pantry" shop filled with Martha munchies going up at J.C. Penney today even as it announced a deeper than expected fourth-quarter sales drop. JCP is temporarily blocked from selling cookware, bedding and other household items under the Martha Stewart brand. Is Penney brandishing the Martha moniker in food because it can or are food forays part of returning CEO, Myron Ullman's master plan?
How can you tell when a brand is overextended? In her latest contribution as a Retail Wire panelist, Carol comments on the lack of true lifestyle brands in retail and why Martha Stewart's brand stretches may only be scratching the surface.
Here's what she had to say...
The proof is in the sales and in many categories, Martha remains a top seller. Macy's fight for Martha isn't just a grudge match and Martha was the one major brand acquisition announcement that J.C. Penney saw fit to include in its transformation strategy under Ron Johnson (even as Penney hints at rationalizing its overall brand portfolio). The fact is, there is a dearth of true lifestyle brands in retail; there are Ralph, Martha, then all the rest. I've said many times that "Omnimedia" is one of the more prescient names for a lifestyle branding company. Martha got it from the get-go that each channel and touch point would build brand equity that supports all of the others. Martha coined the name years before omni-channel was cool and the brand is now living up to its promise: omnimedia, omni-channel, omnipresent.
Is your brand living up to its full potential? Have you really plateaued or are you leaving opportunities on the table? Contact Carol directly to discuss your 2012 retail and brand expansion goals or to book Carol for your sales, marketing or strategy summit.
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