State of the Brand :: by Jason Voiovich

A weekly discussion of how branding affects the world around you.

Losing “Freedom” won’t be easy

1. Leasing for the new One World Trade Center has proven difficult, and the name “Freedom Tower” was complicating matters. The Port Authority dropped it.
2. Risk analysts point to the name’s symbolism as a reason for terrorists to again target the site.
3. However, emergent branding tells us “Freedom Tower” is here to stay anyway, and planners would do well to take advantage of it.

Wisconsin’s new slogan might be ill advised, but it is not illegal.

Key Points:
1. Wisconsin’s new slogan has some individuals and companies in quite a tiz over possible trademark infringement.
2. This common string of words, however, isn’t really “protectable” in a meaningful way.
3. This is not a legal, but rather a branding problem: Wisconsin’s slogan fails the “uniqueness” test.

Who really is the low price leader?

Key Points:
1. Claims made by major grocery retailers regarding low prices are not always warranted by an objective review.
2. Grocers (and other retailers) use common techniques – low price shockers, non-comparable packaging, and consistent advertising to nevertheless reinforce this perception.
3. That brand position has paid off materially for Wal-Mart, and hurt Target, even though the two retailers closely track and match each other’s pricing.

Spring Break in Mexico: Stay or Go?

Key Points:
1. Increased violence along the U.S./Mexico border has led the U.S. State Department to issue a travel advisory.
2. The warning has spooked some parents, but many younger spring break travelers are taking it all in stride. For now.
3. This issue has the potential to damage the image of Mexico as a tourist destination; they should act now to inoculate the issue.

Branding run-amuck is killing auto dealers

Key Points:
1. Japanese luxury auto brands reinvented the dealership experience in the 1990s to put the buying experience in line with the image they wanted to project.
2. Other lux brands followed suit, and could afford it. Dealerships for cheaper auto brands also followed suit, but they cannot afford it. Huge numbers of dealerships are failing.
3. The dealership model is likely forever changed; survivors and thrivers will turn to online sales to rebuild their businesses.


Jason Voiovich
director_corporate marketing, Logic PD
Black Belt
Caffeine Addict

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