The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Commodity Couture
Bob Deutsch, President, Brain Sells
Bob Deutsch

If there were any sleep-plaguing doubts that designers matter, the recent crash of Target’s website as it debuted its collaboration with Missoni should help you rest easy. Yes, the real-world votes are tallied, and designers seized the day and took the web platform with them.

The bigger question is why, of course. It’s easy to look out over the retail landscape and report that everything the couture sun touches is in its kingdom. But Missoni is no Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein. This is an Italian brand founded in 1953, and while highly respected among those that lunch as a living, it is hardly a household name. So what was it that drove a niche luxury brand to crash a sturdy mass retailer’s website?

To sum it up in a word: meaning.

A brand is a product, service, concept, or even a person, that is publicly distinguished from other products, services, concepts, or people by meaning. And sometimes two meanings can be put together and not be simple addition, but have a multiplication effect. Not always, and not often even, but sometimes.

Such as when Target, differentiated from other mass retailers by its central mission of “design for all,” connected to Missoni, a luxury brand known for, well, its design. The very recognizable zig-zag pattern of Missoni is both retro and modern at once and, importantly, that design is at the very core of the brand. Ask someone about Missoni and they talk about the design.

With this hook up, luxury truly did become design for all, with a real happy ending: A very nice retailer married a very beautiful brand and had little babies born on ebay within hours, at three-times their size (aka cost) at birth. So proud.

Meaning is what matters when it comes to brands. And successful brands know that the meaning has to matter to consumers if it’s going to make offspring like that.

Subjects: Brands, Consumers

21 September 2011 10:02

There are 0 comments on this blog

(Want to have your say? Add your Comment)

Comments IconAdd your comment here:
Email :  
Forename :  
Surname :  
RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
Toolbar's wrapper  
Content area wrapper
RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.

Blog Search


  • 2015
    • September (3)
    • August (13)
    • July (17)
    • June (18)
    • May (23)
    • April (19)
    • March (21)
    • February (20)
    • January (16)
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010