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The Design Associates

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GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | Seattle

GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | New York

The Design Associates | Tokyo

Brands that are clear.
Brands that are fuzzy.
Brand Clarity
Smoky brands, uncertain visioning, vague commitments

fuzzy
ˈfəzē/
adjective

1. having a frizzy, fluffy, or frayed texture or appearance.
“a girl with fuzzy dark hair”
synonyms: frizzy, fluffy, woolly; More

2. difficult to perceive clearly or understand and explain precisely; indistinct or vague.
“the picture is very fuzzy”
synonyms: blurry, blurred, indistinct, unclear, bleary, misty, distorted, out of focus, unfocused, lacking definition, nebulous; More
(of a person or the mind) unable to think clearly; confused.
“my mind felt fuzzy”
synonyms: confused, muddled, addled, fuddled, befuddled, groggy, disoriented, disorientated, mixed up, fazed, foggy, dizzy, stupefied, benumbed
“my mind was fuzzy”
another term for fuzzed.

3. COMPUTING LOGIC
of or relating to a form of set theory and logic in which predicates may have degrees of applicability, rather than simply being true or false. It has important uses in artificial intelligence and the design of control systems.

In
the mysticism of brands
the messaging and statements that lie within, and beneath the surface, the heart that pulses beneath the skin of the exterior — there is sometimes a kind of haziness in how brands attempt to define themselves. These days — that could be a variety of scenarios — but inherently it comes down to the line between leadership to offer, to store, to object and shelf. At the top, there might be high-flying certainty about an internal driver of visioning — the stance of “what we stand for,” but there can be a smoky haziness in how this reaches from the executive suite to the front lines.

Nordstrom, for example, has inverted their pyramidal structuring in the modeling that suggests that the very service-focused offering and decision-making at floor, leads downwards to leadership. It’s the hands and minds on deck that drive the storied nature of that brand — and that presumes a prevalent attitude of clarity in leadership, to managing relationships at purchase. The customers themselves are the ceiling of the entire business — everything goes down from there to leadership.
Customers first, topmost. How to serve them is the foremost proposition.

I was struck by this action at a Nordstrom event, where the Family members sought to explain a new store presentation directly with newly visiting customers.

Brand Clarity

I wasn’t surprised.
Nordstrom’s core attitude is a familial genetic code —
a DNA of certainty of customer care.

What about brands that are fuzzy — uncaring and un-cared for?
Brands that are generic attract commodity relationships, that focus less on the holism of experience and more to the base transactionalism* of cash changing hands, as fast as possible, for the cheapest settlement of relationship.

“I buy there because it’s cheap and easy.”
“I buy there because I like the people, the story and their stores.”
“I buy that because I like…”

Or, in other layers of fuzzy thinking, reflecting the store, the story, the maker and the user, which is the fuzzy purchasing strategy —
“I don’t care, I buy where I do.”
Or conversely, “I buy, I don’t care.”

That’s about as fuzzy and ill-distinguished as it might get —
“just buy and get it over with.”

Who fits in there?
Some offer:
Macy’s.
Cheap?
Brand Clarity
Others suggest WalMart.
Cheaper?
Brand Clarity
What’s at the top, positioning?
Walmart. Save Money. Live Better.

Are these merely transactional —
and in that, is there
a place for soul
fullness?

Sometimes, the nature of the struggle to survive presumes focus on moving merch. But there can be a layering of messaging that feeds more to a depth of storytelling soul, attitude, dimension.

Brand Clarity
Go look, see what you think.

Being clear isn’t about just stating the message, but layering the tiers of how that story is told. Simple, clear, direct? Buy more now? Lean into culture? Merchandising attitude?

All, the journey.

Tim | GIRVIN Decatur Island
…..
G I R V I N | RETELLING RETAIL
DESIGNING THE STRATEGY OF SELLING :
BRAND STORYTELLING ENVIRONMENTS, EXPERIENCES = PLACES

http://goo.gl/ZO8cVO