Hard times for retailers: how strong brands can help

Retailers in tough markets must cultivate their brands. This paper argues that the level of bonding between customers and a retailer's brand is a greater driver of long-term sales than advertising campaigns.

Hard times for retailers: how strong brands can help

 Peter Walshe, Millward Brown

  Gloom is beginning to pervade retail commentators on both sides of the Atlantic .

The dreaded ‘R’ word - recession - hovers over retail brands like the sword of Damocles, and every financial update from a publicly-quoted major chain such as a Wal-Mart, Tesco or Gap is scoured for evidence of an underlying trend. If markets detect weakness, the retailer’s share price inevitably suffers. Too often, however, analysts ignore the “B” word - namely, brand. Yet years of...

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