I am not loyal to brands. I like to experience the product or service and the thought of the brand is secondary. When I shop, I look for shirts with no logo on the front. I have always declared that I don’t want to be apart of the” shopping army”. Not sure how I got to this point and if I’m alone in this. (I even took the John Elway decal off of my car after I bought it and will always take the wrapper off of the Burt’s Bees lip balm when I buy one.) Just don’t want to be a walking billboard for a company. Buying their product and recommending it is enough for me.
I do however look for quality products and am interested to see what brand it is when I find something of quality. I recently came across an article about a new company called Scapegoat that sells outdoor wear. This company has been in the featured product section of my site (top right) for the last couple of weeks and I have a meeting/interview scheduled with founder Eric Lyon and will let you know how that goes.
The issue for businesses lies in that they are unable to get my loyalty. I enjoy discovering a new brand, especially a micro-brand or global micro-brand.
Air Jordan is a sub-brand of Nike and Converse is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nike. Yes, this is apples to oranges and yet it is important to realize that one is not afraid of the parent brand while the other is purposefully staying clear of the parent. The core of this issue is the perception of the parent brand.
It would be interesting if there were a shell company that generated brands (products/services) like limited edition pieces of artwork or Mandala sand paintings? I’m sure a lot of businesses believe they are doing this now and yet, if you’ve heard of them; then it’s not exactly what I’m talking about. Anonymity is the key. There are several things that would make this model compelling
- The mystery of not knowing who the parent company are
- Discovering new products/services (brands) on a relatively regular basis (assuming their marketing expertise)
- Would be easier for companies to stay current as they would not be bound by their own brand
- Create the feeling of participating in a once in a lifetime experience
This last one may sound a bit grandiose but clothing, much like music is a very personal thing and many people associate a garment, a watch or a piece of jewelry with a period of time in their lives. This model would make “the find” a part of that experience.
One of the first things this shell company would do is address the increasing refinement of niches within social networks. Currently there are groups on MySpace and Facebook and an increasing number of specialized social networks like imeem and UGAME. As these tribes become more clearly defined it will prove easier for this shell company to exist. The trick of course is to then market to that tribe in the right way.