Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Branding Cacophony?

In an effort to increase sales and appeal to a larger target audience, Sears has partnered with MTV to co-market the The American Mall. On August 11, children will have the option to wear clothing that appears in the musical, which was filmed in an actual Sears in Utah. Harmonic note for Sears, considering the stock is down 55% for the year and is labeled one of the year's worst managed companies by 24/7 Wall St.

Why not partner with a cool company? After all, MTV is the same network behind Laguna Beach, The Hills, Life of Ryan and Rob and Big. But, can you imagine any of these characters or their core audience shopping at Sears? I mean, how "cool" is Sears? ...Then again, The American Mall's co-marketing will move MTV to a larger demographic. ....But how far to the periphery should a company move to attract an audience? ...Why not focus on its primary consumer and risk diluting its brand equity?

Maybe MTV heard that the new "LL Cool J" urban fashion line is launching this Fall at Sears. After all, Sears must now be "cool" if LL is going to be featured in the store.

It will be interesting to see if Wall Street hears harmony, when clothes from the musical are sold alongside urban hip hop apparel. Sometimes the bigger the risk ...the bigger The American Mall.

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