Take a look at this written by Jamey Boiter of the BOLTgroup‘s He has worked with numerous national and regional brands including: IZOD, G.H. Bass, Marc Ecko, , Ryobi, Coca-Cola, Kraft and Phillips-Van Heusen. This is an interesting take on the homogenization of brands and perhaps more importantly the impact of the Walmart mega Private Brand, Great Value. I have also included a clip from the academy award-winning animated short Logorama, which was used in the article. If you haven’t seen the clip it is very cool.
Have you seen Logorama, the movie comprised entirely of animated logos, that just won the Oscar for best-animated short film? It’s an excellent representation of the technicolor tapestry of branding that our world has become. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on your point of view.
But what would the world be like if there were no more brands to differentiate products, inspire us, or give us a good feeling about a company or product we’ve never tried before? I’m one who thinks it would be bad for brands to meld together into a homogenized mess, and I see that starting to happen in places. At the rate things are going, someday soon all brands will look like Walmart ‘s Great Value label.
Why is this happening? It’s partly because value is in great demand now, with unemployment still in double digits throughout parts of the country. It’s also because retailers are putting pressure on manufacturers to differentiate their brands inside their stores, so that a brand doesn’t look and act the same in one store chain as it does in another. If brands fold to this pressure, they become diluted and change what they really stand for. This erodes brand equity with consumers and eventually, retailers decide they don’t need certain brands anymore and can easily outsource the product cheaper themselves to increase their margins. So now those manufacturers are out, and jobs are lost. And so is the brand.