Friday, May 14, 2010

Branding: High & Low Brow

In an order to increase market share, Starbucks is reviving its brand portfolio to connect with a diverse target audience. The world's largest coffee company is expanding Seattle's Best, a brand it acquired in 2003, to several national retail locations, including Borders Books, Subway, and Burger King. With a refreshed logo design, Seattle's Best will rival McDonald's coffee as an alternative to premium coffee without diluting the parent company's brand equity.

Starbucks' brand positioning is similar to business decisions implemented by other large retailers. According to Tom Ehlers, a former Starbucks executive who is now VP of retail for Seattle's Best, Starbucks' business model is similar to Gap and Old Navy. In 1994, Gap launched Old Navy to appeal to a target audience who is price sensitive. Old Navy allowed Gap to survive in economic downturns as consumers purchased Old Navy's inexpensive apparel, while Gap closed some of its locations. Last year, Starbucks closed 600 shops in an effort to reduce company expenditures and maximize performance. Repositioning Seattle's Best as an affordable solution allows Starbucks to connect with price sensitive consumers and maximize performance with its premium coffee line.

As you move forward with business endeavors and desire to connect with a new target audience, consider establishing a different brand to preserve your current image and expand to more consumers.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Google Labs: Browser Size

(Google Lab's Browser Size)


The next time you make website edits, consider the different browser sizes of your target audience. Although it can be beneficial to place interactive features in aesthetic locations, not all of your target audience may easily find them. Google Lab's Browser Size allows designers, programmers, and online managers to easily audit websites and see calls-to-action that visitors may miss.