The San Francisco based branding agency Landor released it’s annual Breakaway Brands Study this past week. The list includes 10 brands with the notable inclusion of two retailers: Trader Joe’s and Payless Shoe Source. As in previous years, the study uses data from Young & Rubicam Brands’ Brand Asset Valuator (BAV) to identify those with the most sustained growth in US brand strength over the past three years.
Landor inaugurated its Breakaway Brands Study in 2004 to recognize those brands who best exemplified true, brand-led business transformation. After evaluating approximately 2,500 brands in BAV’s US database, Landor identified those that exhibited the greatest increase in brand strength over three years of BAV, in this case from 2005 to 2008. (Excluded from the study are nonprofit brands, brands with low levels of recognition among the general population, and brands with inconsistent trends in brand strength.) The result is a select group of ten leadership brands that have remained true to their roots while effectively capitalizing on influential consumer trends.
This year the inclusion of Private Brand trendsetter and uber cool Trader Joe’s is an exciting indicator of the power of branding and Private Brands in the grocery category. As we begin to emerge from the economic troubles of the last few years it will be interesting to see if retailers learn the lessons of trendsetting branding based retailers like Trader Joe’s or simply cling to the fuzzy middle which has been the hallmark of American grocery for many years.
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