A Case Study in Brand Differentiation
As a long-time “big and tall shopper,” I only shop from a handful of companies. Two of these happen to be Rochester Big and Tall and Casual Male XL. While owned by the same company, both have positioned themselves to different segments of the big and tall market. Rochester sells more upscale, pricier, higher-end merchandise, while Casual Male offers more affordable apparel. In my opinion, both have done an excellent job of differentiating themselves brandwise on their Web sites and in their stores with the products they offer.
With so little to choose from as a certified “big guy,” I buy from both and am on both of their e-mail lists. This week I received e-mails from both companies, and to my amazement — and a bit of horror — they were essentially the same message and offer. Both carried the same subject line (We want you back! SAVE 20% NOW on your order), showing up in my inbox on the same day within a few hours of each other. And when you open them, you get the same offer (although Casual Male's offer allows you to “grab” a coupon).
I assume that other big and tall folks out there got the same offer as well. So doesn’t this work directly against their branding? Am I hypersensitive to this because I'm in the business? Does this matter to the average consumer? Take a look at the e-mails for yourself (click on the images below), and let me know your thoughts.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing Inc., a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gilbertdirect or read his blog at http://gilbertdirectmarketing.wordpress.com.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.