It’s been years. I actually cannot think
of a specific retail-related topic I’ve
written more about than branding.
Back in my early (apparel and sport)
trade publishing days it was more
commonly referred to as “licensing” but the basic premise
has always been the same.
The crux of “branding” revolves around folks feeling
secure in the comforting environment of loyalty. And it is
not just a consumer issue. It’s a “people” thing. In mucho
matters from religion to nationality to locality, there is a solid
need for a sense of trust, community and near spiritual loyalty
when it comes to human beings and their relationships
to brands especially relating to food, clothing and shelter.
I guess I originally became aware of this loyalty as a child
observing (and blindly following) paternal decisions in such
diverse matters as cars (my dad was a Chevy guy), tools (he
pledged devotion to Sears Craftsman gear) and toy trains
(Santa delivered American Flyers to me while most of my
cousins got Lionel). My high school and college years saw a
steady revolution of London records on my (Emerson)
stereo since that record label specialized in British groups.
And by the time my first work gig kicked in, a fledgling
group of mostly American clothing designers where busy
finessing the bond between lifestyle and fashion branding,
most notably Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.
This seemingly limitless quest to secure a person’s loyalty
via branding grows stronger day by day. In this particular
20/20 we’ve played around with the three-pronged approach
to eyewear branding breaking it up in digestible categories
of lifestyle, fashion designer and actual eyewear designer
collections. We could have cut the deck in a plethora of situations.
We do just that every year with our annual March
What’s Brand New issue. Gloria Nicola does it every month
as she delivers the latest in “What’s Right Now,” our opening
new product page devoted to brands impacting trends.
Jackie Micucci tracks that same branding factor monthly as
she vacuums the red carpet in search of brand loyalty on
the faces of celebrity royalty. And next month she’s freshly
exploring the branding topic as it relates to specifically to
sunwear in our quarterly SunVision
So I guess you could guess we’re quite “loyal” to the concept
of branding. That said, here’s hoping one of YOUR
favorite “brands” is 20/20.