FUSE 2010 Conference Starts With A Bang

The FUSE 2010 Conference focused on Design & Culture Brand Identity and Packaging opened this morning with talks from co chairpersons Debbie Millman of Sterling Brands and Cheryl Swanson of Toniq presenting exhilarating presentations to begin the day. My favorite quote came from Debbie who as a child loved supermarkets saying, “I considered the supermarket to be the most magical place on earth.”

Next came  marketing demigod Jim Stengel, the former global marketing officer for P&G, who is now on the board of directors for both AOL and Motorola  in addition to consulting with Dell, Yum Brands and Google just to name a few.

Jim’s presentation “The ABCs of New Business Success. Rethink marketing, branding and life.” Featured his ongoing work on brand evaluation and development.

“I have found there is a deep recalibration going on, and I think what is going on here is that we have to come to terms with the fact that what we are doing has fallen off big time. The best brands do things differently and there are many brands out there that are showing us the way.”

As part of his ongoing work he fielded a large study with Millward Brown called “Best of Brands.” The study created a ranking of the top 50 best brands around the world. Of note to retailers and Private Brands is the inclusion of Target, Waitrose and Wegman’s who each excel at Private Branding.

Out of this research evolved the “ABC’s of New Business Success.”

Activate a brand ideal to supercharge their business

  • The ideal is the higher-order benefit that a brand gives to the world
  • To reveal an ideal capable of transforming a brand, we must apply life’s inspirations to marketing. Though the use of Creativity, Empathy and Generosity.

Brand your culture around your brand ideal

The example he used was Target. Using their brand as a pervasive theme and truly guiding their culture.

Communicate your brand ideal to engage customers

Ideal engagement must include:

  • Know who is important to you
  • Show, don’t tell
  • Pull, don’t push

Deliver a near-ideal customers to customers

Evaluate your whole business around your ideal

This taste of the work Jim is doing was fascinating and will lead to the launch of a book completing the ABCs called, “Grow: How the world’s best businesses use the power of Ideals to Outshine the Competition.”

I look forward to learning more, as we build Private Brands the conversation must necessarily become about creating great Brands and stop focusing on Private vs. National. The work Jim presented has the potential to turn your also ran store into a compelling and differentiated Brand.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.