Brand challenges: New media, new distribution channels

From a recent RetailWire discussion about brand management, my comment is below. The topic focused on whether brands (vs. private label) still have a significant role to play in today’s retail landscape and — if so — how they can adapt their strategies in order to thrive. Here’s my perspecctive:

There is no doubt that social-networking tools can reach consumers who are unplugged from conventional media. Perhaps they don’t read the printed newspaper, or perhaps they watch TV on demand while skipping through the commercials. In any case, any brand needs to figure out how to reach this growing customer base in new ways.

Beyond the marketing question looms the question of distribution. Have you chosen the right stores to carry your brand? Is it a mass-market product that demands the widest possible distribution, or a brand with more high-end appeal and limited availability? Once you have answered these questions, it’s time to partner with retailers who have also figured out how to move their customers from satisfaction to loyalty.

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