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Changing a Brand Position Takes Time

November 14, 2006

This morning, at another American Marketing Association event, I listened to Jay Gillespie, Vice President of Marketing at Famous Footwear (USD 2.3 billion company, division of Brown Shoe), give a presentation on Repositioning from the Inside Out.

He talked about the process they undertook to stop the negative impact of

  • Declining visits
  • Lack of differentiation
  • Not listening to customers

A couple things were really interesting from the presentation.

  1. In their extensive studying of the customer, they came to a point where the target was more “attitudinal” than demographic. Their target turned out to be “people who love shoes” (or something similar).
  2. After massive research and sweeping changes to reposition their brand, it took Famous Footwear 1-2 years to see results.

That second point is worth comment. If you think a couple band-aid changes to your brand will reap massive overnight results, more often than not you will be wrong. Turning around brands takes time.

In fact, Jay said that the 18 months after initiating the changes were the hardest period of his career because they continued to lose market share for the first while and his management was full of naysayers. It takes time for your brand to gain or regain creditability.

Just something to chew on. And, if you need help, contact me, John Pollard, at Morsekode.

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