A Question of Sears’ Brand Handling

Jul 03, 2002

Now that Sears has access to Lands’ End branded product, will it be savvy enough to evaluate the brand as one with more value than solely that of a branded assortment that can be significant to its overall apparel strategy? That question, asked by Cathy Halligan, a director with the San Francisco office of Prophet, a consulting firm specializing in brand and business strategy, speculates on Sears’ following Target’s as opposed to Kmart’s model of brand handling.

Where Kmart took for granted its Martha Stewart Everyday collection as merely access to branded products to round out its offerings, Target developed a compelling value proposition in a brand that significantly enhances the image of another brand through a partnership or other affiliation. The Michael Graves brand became the silver bullet that has enabled Target to position itself as the mass merchandiser with a designer twist.

Moderator Comment: Should Sears be more like Target?

It would be nice if Sears could simply figure out what Sears is. Now that we think about it, however, it might not be so bad if Sears was Lands’ End. Of course, we’d hate it if Lands’ End became Sears. [George Anderson – Moderator]

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