This is the outcome of a pretty awful 2013 for Lulu, which included a product recall and comments from founder and chairman Chip Wilson that were, shall we say, a bit insensitive. (In December, Mr. Wilson announced that he was stepping down as chairman in June of this year.)
Lulu’s struggles offer us all an opportunity to brush up on some key brand lessons. From where I sit, the four most important lessons are these:
At the gym I frequent, there’s a personal trainer I don’t think very highly of. Let’s call him Duff.
My issue with Duff is that he doesn’t push his clients to work out very hard. In fact, I’ve never seen one sweat. Instead, it’s more like Social Hour. Sometimes, Duff and his client are chatting it up during an exercise, which suggests a pretty low level of exertion. I wish his clients would stop wasting their time and money, and I want Duff to do better training on their behalf.
On a seemingly unrelated note, yesterday I visited a Walmart in Chicago’s west suburbs. At this store, merchandising took a back seat to other priorities; “cluttered” is a fair term to use.
The scene would be surreal if it weren’t so familiar.
A man sits before a table. He is in the desert, though he is oblivious to this fact; he sits in air-conditioned comfort in a building designed to evoke the city of Venice, Italy. Above him is a chandelier the size of a compact car. A vodka tonic is in his left hand; it was given to him, free of charge, by a leggy blonde in a revealing outfit. Continue reading “Brand Benefits – Beyond the Functional”
Meet Stan. Stan works over in accounting. He is, you might say, a little buttoned-up. His shirts are so well-starched that they deflect bullets. On Casual Friday, he lets loose by wearing jeans – with crisply ironed pleats. He has a picture of Rush Limbaugh in his office, which is so immaculate it makes his co-workers anxious. And a hair out of place? Not on Stan’s head.
But one Monday morning, Stan arrives looking like he missed the bus to Bonnaroo. He’s wearing baggy hemp clothing, his hair resembles a bird’s nest, and he hasn’t seen the working end of his razor in days. Barack has replaced Rush in the frame on his desk. Continue reading “Three Kinds of Brand Consistency”