Harrods: The Premium Private Brand Experience

This is the second in a series of store-focused posts that came as a result of my recent trip to London, this one features the iconic London luxury department store Harrods. The department store Harrods is located on Brompton Road in Brompton, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London. The Harrods brand also applies to other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including Harrods Bank, Harrods Estates, Harrods Aviation and Air Harrods.

The iconic store occupies a 5-acre location and has over one million square feet of selling space with over 330 departments.

The store features Harrods Food Halls which are simply amazing they are elegant and expansive offering not only exceptional Private Brand products but a true luxury food experience. Harrods offers everything from fine chocolates to super premium cuts of meat and seafood, cheeses, baked goods, and fine wines, with tasting events. There are also restaurants serving up gourmet meals, sandwiches, and snacks so you can taste before you buy. And it is all wrapped in the Harrods Brand, Private Brand takes many forms in the Food Halls but they all deliver on the Harrods Brand strategy and values.

Every American retailer could benefit from walking these halls whether you are a dollar store or a premium grocers there is something to be learned from the brand and the experience that Harrods has created.

The following is an excerpt from the Harrod’s Brand Guidelines. Do you have this level of insight and rigor devoted to your retail brand or your Private Brands?


One Brand. One Vision

The Harrods brand – our brand – is unique.
It is admired, valued, and respected throughout the world.
It is the symbolic representation of our family values
and our long history of providing unrivalled customer service.
But we must never become complacent about our brand.
We must always defend it, by upholding its values.
We must maintain its integrity by never lowering our standards.
We must drive it forward by continually seeking improvements.
Never forget that our customers have a choice. They can go elsewhere.
And they will, unless we continue to offer them a sophisticated and enticing
retail experience that is not available anywhere else.

Harrods Brand Strategy

A brand needs a strategy…
A mission statement
To increase the value of the brand is to increase business potential and turnover.

Harrods Mission Statement

To be the number one department store in the world for luxury branded merchandise, maintaining an unprecedented level of retail standards, expertise and profitability.

Through a combination of product, innovation and eccentricity, we aim to provide every customer with a truly unforgettable experience in our quintessentially British environment.

Coherence… In our Mission

Our brand is the life force of our business.

What sets Harrods apart is a commitment to exceeding expectations. Our mission is to always go one step further – to offer an exclusive, sophisticated and irresistible retail experience; an experience that is without equal throughout the world. Each and every one of us plays a par t in achieving this mission.

Communication… of our values

A brand needs to communicate its values clearly.

The primary focus of a brand message is to communicate how special
the brand is and to establish an ongoing relationship with the consumer.

Harrods Brand Values

The DNA of the Harrods culture…

BRITISH Heritage meets cutting edge
LUXURY New premium – not necessarily expensive
INNOVATION Always at the forefront of retail trends
SENSATION The greatest place on earth
SERVICE Everyone is special

Harrods Brand Values: British

Embracing the diversity of modern Britain today…
Heritage and cutting edge
The rich cultural blend
Sophistication and eccentricity
Traditions and contradictions

Harrods Brand Values: Luxury

Redefining luxury for today’s lifestyle…
A new premium, for which value is more important than price
Providing rare commodities: leisure time, uniqueness, experience
Luxury is not a category you decide to be in, it is a side-effect of excellence

Harrods Brand Values: Innovation

Always at the forefront…
A leader rather than a follower
A pioneer in product, service and retail trends
Building on past experience to progress into the future

Harrods Brand Values: Sensation

Providing a retail experience through product, environment and entertainment…
Sensations See / hear / smell / taste / touch
Sensational Surprising, exceeding expectations
Experiential The place to be

Harrods Brand Values: Service

Making every customer feel special…
Service of the past and service for the future
Service that is both expected and unexpected
Service products to indulge, entertain, or make life simpler
Service that is intuitive, personalised and bespoke
Above all, service that is authentic and delivered with integrity.

Harrods Motto

Anything is possible

Harrods Tone of Voice

We should endeavour to be…
Authentic / honest
Insightful / authoritative
Sophisticated / chic
Humorous / charming
Unexpected / compelling
The way in which we present ourselves speaks volumes about our business.

Harrods Brand as a Business Driver

The Harrods brand is luxuriously refined and completely inimitable; it is also one of our most valuable assets. Protecting and developing this precious asset to drive the business is an ongoing challenge that requires unified strategies:

The buying strategy
The business development strategy
The marketing strategy
The selling strategy
The service strategy
The communication strategy

Harrods Brand and You

Your Mission

As a champion of the Harrods brand, you have been entrusted
with a unique personal responsibility…

To be an inspiration to both customers and colleagues

To be a positive influence in all areas of the business

To always praise the Harrods brand and the Harrods retail experience

To exceed expectations

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Christopher Durham
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.