It’s no secret that several major high street brands have recently found themselves either closing retail outlets on the high street or descending down waist deep into administration. Sadly HMV was one of those brands. And here is the interesting thing, it is sad; people actually have feelings about it.
Venture-Three, HMV’s longstanding brand agency has noticed the flow of emotion following the announcement of HMV’s fall in to administration. They reported through Design Week that they had been “struck by the outpouring of positivity for the brand” despite that fact that it has been struggling in business terms for quite some time.
This clearly demonstrates the power of a good brand.
A brand represents the promises and expectations that customers hold in their minds when they think of you, it is the essence that is recognized and connected with every time they come into contact with your products and services and it is the greatest entity you share with them.
The HMV brand represented the passion and care they put into selling music, films and games and above all else, it was this passion that customers most appreciated and no doubt this is the reason why we are all filled with a sense of loss now it has closed its high street stores.
In Venture-Three’s own words: a bigger retailer than HMV may be able to sell you the same CD with ‘78%’ off, but it can’t engage you in conversation about how good that CD was. The local supermarket may sell the same film for a fiver less, but you don’t hang out with your mates there for the afternoon, rifling through the shelves.
The fact is, HMV’s passion was more powerful than any price reduction at connecting them with their customers. So yes, HMV didn’t make as much revenue as Amazon or the likes of Asda, HMV didn’t survive the current market, and HMV has gone into administration, but HMV certainly hasn’t lost everything.
The HMV brand is still a hugely strong one despite everything else and it is this asset alone that may ensure its survival (albeit in a different incarnation to the high street stores we’re used to), in the coming years.
HMV serves to demonstrate first, how good brands can develop a strong sense of identity and allow trusted relationships to build between businesses and their clients and second, how a strong brand could be the saving grace in this most unforgiving, current marketplace.
How strong is your brand?