Taking Branding to the Next Level

We talk about branding here every single day. At Quaintise, we live, eat and breathe brand marketing. Whether you’re in LA or Scottsdale, brand marketing can be applied to every aspect of your business. However, there are instances when you can take branding to the next level, and not at all in a good way.

 

Brand Image To The Extreme

When you create your brand, you want it to convey a very simple, easy-to-understand message. You want your brand message to be consistent across all of your locations or stores, and you want it to resonate with your audience. So, for example, if your audience is teenage girls and you own a popular clothing store you’d want to brand your business with those aspects that teenage girls are looking for. But this is just going to far…

 

Wet Seal Inc has been sued by three former employees who accused it of discriminating against black store managers because they did not fit the image the U.S. retailer, which sells clothes for young women, wanted to convey. – Reuters.com

 

According to the complaint, a senior vice president of Wet Seal store operations allegedly emailed subordinates on March 3, 2009, after touring 20 stores in the Philadelphia area and Maryland, writing: “Store teams – need diversity/African American dominate – huge issue.”

 

Soon thereafter many African American employees, including store managers, were consequently fired and replaced with employees with “blond hair and blue eyes.” The suit includes over 250 current and former Wet Seal employees, all African American.

 

According to the Huffington Post, this case is extremely similar to a case that created headlines nearly a decade ago ‘accusing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co of hiring and promoting whites at the expense of blacks, Hispanics and Asians.’

 

Branding Gone Wrong

Of course you want your brand to resonate with the targeted audience, however there are instances when branding can be taken too far, and this is a perfect example of that. What will this do to the Wet Seal brand? When Cracker Barrel took a lot of heat for discrimination, it changed the way that people saw their brand. Perhaps the brand message was meant to be discriminatory all along, but there is no denying that racism and discrimination tarnished this brand forever. Cracker Barrel went from a warm, inviting, Southern cooking hospitality restaurant to a harsh, racist, discriminatory establishment overnight.

 

Wet Seal has placed itself into the category of branding gone horribly wrong. Could it be the consistent losses that Wet Seal has been seeing lately? Could it be pressure to harden their brand image that pushed them over the edge? According to a recent report, Wet Seal management “is geared up to make its women’s top stocks more trendy and increase the variety available in its stores.”

 

Rich Text Area Toolbar Bold (Ctrl / Alt + Shift + B) Italic (Ctrl / Alt + Shift + I) Strikethrough (Alt + Shift + D) Unordered list (Alt + Shift + U) Ordered list (Alt + Shift + O) Blockquote (Alt + Shift + Q) Align Left (Alt + Shift + L) Align Center (Alt + Shift + C) Align Right (Alt + Shift + R) Insert/edit link (Alt + Shift + A) Unlink (Alt + Shift + S) Insert More Tag (Alt + Shift + T) Toggle spellchecker (Alt + Shift + N) ▼ Toggle fullscreen mode (Alt + Shift + G) Show/Hide Kitchen Sink (Alt + Shift + Z) Format Paragraph ▼ Underline Align Full (Alt + Shift + J) Select text color ▼ Paste as Plain Text Paste from Word Remove formatting Insert custom character Outdent Indent Undo (Ctrl + Z) Redo (Ctrl + Y) Help (Alt + Shift + H) We talk about branding here every single day. At Quaintise, we live, eat and breathe brand marketing. Whether you’re in LA or Scottsdale, brand marketing can be applied to every aspect of your business. However, there are instances when you can take branding to the next level, and not at all in a good way.   Brand Image To The Extreme When you create your brand, you want it to convey a very simple, easy-to-understand message. You want your brand message to be consistent across all of your locations or stores, and you want it to resonate with your audience. So, for example, if your audience is teenage girls and you own a popular clothing store you’d want to brand your business with those aspects that teenage girls are looking for. But this is just going to far…   Wet Seal Inc has been sued by three former employees who accused it of discriminating against black store managers because they did not fit the image the U.S. retailer, which sells clothes for young women, wanted to convey. – Reuters.com   According to the complaint, a senior vice president of Wet Seal store operations allegedly emailed subordinates on March 3, 2009, after touring 20 stores in the Philadelphia area and Maryland, writing: “Store teams – need diversity/African American dominate – huge issue.”   Soon thereafter many African American employees, including store managers, were consequently fired and replaced with employees with “blond hair and blue eyes.” The suit includes over 250 current and former Wet Seal employees, all African American.   According to the Huffington Post, this case is extremely similar to a case that created headlines nearly a decade ago ‘accusing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co of hiring and promoting whites at the expense of blacks, Hispanics and Asians.’   Branding Gone Wrong Of course you want your brand to resonate with the targeted audience, however there are instances when branding can be taken too far, and this is a perfect example of that. What will this do to the Wet Seal brand? When Cracker Barrel took a lot of heat for discrimination, it changed the way that people saw their brand. Perhaps the brand message was meant to be discriminatory all along, but there is no denying that racism and discrimination tarnished this brand forever. Cracker Barrel went from a warm, inviting, Southern cooking hospitality restaurant to a harsh, racist, discriminatory establishment overnight.   Wet Seal has placed itself into the category of branding gone horribly wrong. Could it be the consistent losses that Wet Seal has been seeing lately? Could it be pressure to harden their brand image that pushed them over the edge? According to a recent report, Wet Seal management “is geared up to make its women’s top stocks more trendy and increase the variety available in its stores.”   Path : p