Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another Dead Trademark Being Revived

If you are my age, you may remember one of the hottest high-end audio brands was Technics.  I remember how DJs coveted a Technics turntable.  Heck, even now, DJs remain attracted to the last turntable carrying the Technics brand--made in 2008.  The owner of the brand, Panasonic, decided to consolidate its corporate brands.  As a result of that consolidation, Technics was put out to pasture, so to speak.

Well, now, Panasonic is reviving the brand.  Panasonic hopes to attract those who are looking for more high-resolution audio since the current most common data formats are compressed (to fit on your music player, smartphone, or other device).  Since Panasonic is seeing the compressed format (which is more affordable) market shrinking, it believes that it is time to bring back Technics and capture a broader market.  Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Anti-Brands Are Taking A Bite Out of Gucci

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about how Gucci's brand is suffering.  According to the article, prior consumers of Gucci have decided to purge their Gucci inventories in favor of other logo-less brands (e.g. Bottega Veneta).  The article quoted one customer as indicating that she preferred not to let everyone know who made her bag or how much she paid for it.

I sure hope that these customers can talk to all of the women at my gym who insist on bringing their big, expensive, logo bags into class.  I always wonder why there is such a need for them to make sure everyone sees what label they purchased and are carrying.  Of course, I freely admit to being somewhat of a hypocrite when it comes to my cycling and soccer gear.  While I do not necessarily flaunt my gear, I do prefer certain brands over others.

Anyway, enough about me, back to Gucci.  Part of Gucci's problem is the explosion of other "fresher" labels.  Part of the problem is the general economic downturn.  Another problem is that Gucci put its brand on too many products thereby undercutting the uniqueness of its brand.  In trying to reach more customers, it appears as if Gucci has actually hurt its brand.  Apparently, once there is a feeling that almost anyone can own a Gucci product, then those who like the idea of carrying a brand that most of us "average" citizens cannot have will seek out another, more exclusive brand.  Indeed, if you are purchasing a product for status, you are probably a fickle consumer--always looking for and trying to get the "next great brand."

Now, Gucci is going to have to reverse the trend and rebuild its brand.  It can do so, but let this be a lessen in how one's trademark can lose its lustre.  As you are building and nurturing your own brand, always take stock of the message you wish your trademark to convey and ensure that it does so.  Also, learn from Gucci's mistakes and be sure to protect your trademarks!