getbusiness: What does your branding say about you?
October 17, 2012
Have you been into the shops in Reading Town Centre lately? Already the Christmas decorations and gifts are on sale in some places.
Mind you, the local retailers are not as keen as Harrods; they started their Christmas campaign back in June...!
Harrods, if you didn't know, is now a Berkshire company. They have moved their distribution centre to Thatcham, so you are bound to see their olive green vans more frequently than ever before.
However, it is just a distribution centre – a warehouse with shelves and fork lift trucks. It is nothing that special. There are loads of them dotted not too far from the M4. Yet, the opening of this warehouse made the TV news.
It is because of the name – "Harrods". The mere mention of the word makes people think of things like "exclusive", "special", "quality" and so on. Harrods is not alone in making us think certain things when we hear their name.
For instance, hear the word "Volvo" and you probably think "safety". Consider the name "Apple" and you probably think "innovation" or "quality". And when you hear the word "Disney" the word "magic" is not far from your mind. Many big brands focus on trying to get us to think of single words when we hear their name. They want us to associate their company with the way we feel about them.
Which really begs the question for local businesses, what is the single word you want people to think of when they hear your company name? If there is no word which comes to mind it implies that you need stronger branding. Sometimes, though, for some businesses the wrong words come to mind, such as "cheap", "tacky", "lazy" and so on. You definitely don't want those words associated with you...!
So what words come to mind for the brands trying to sell us Christmas decorations alongside the Halloween costumes? "Profiteering", "desperate", "pushy"...?
PS. The reason Harrods start their Christmas campaign so early is for the foreign tourists coming to London in the summer, doing their Christmas shopping...!
Visit Graham's blog at www.grahamjones.co.uk