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March 2006



Hi Laura.

I'm Yuta from Japan and am fan of your books. This is my first time to leave comment.

■Brand Identity / Consumer’s Perception

Just as Wal-Mart gives people ingrained perception such as ‘everything is cheap’, so companies consciously or unconsciously give a certain perception. From this point of view, I’d like to bring up the matter of brand identity / consumer’s perception with one example of i-Pod. As you know, Apple has a tremendous success with i-Pod, and many are discussing the reason for it. In my opinion, one of the reasons for its success is that Apple deeply understands its own brand identity / consumer’s perception. People consider Apple as creative, innovative, unusual, unique, and so on: Macintosh is a good example. Therefore, the reason for i-Pod’s success is that “i-Pod was produced by Apple”. i-Pod’s simple and unique design, innovative size and function, and creative concept are absolutely connected to its own brand identity / consumer’s perception. I believe that if i-Pod is produced by TOSHIBA, not by Apple, it never succeeds at the same level as Apple, even though it has same design, size, function, etc,. From this conclusion, what Wall-Mart try to do completely contradicts its own brand identity / consumer’s perception, so the result would be easily predictable.


I wish you'd quit trying to make Walmart smart, Laura. I like having stores around to shop at that aren't Walmart owned.


Fun thing #55 of 68 fun things to do at Walmart:

55. Ask other customers if they have any Grey Poupon.


Mack Collier

Laura I thought that comment was hilarious! I just hate that I missed it!


I hope CNBC will make it available online i the near future. I would realy like to see it...hope Wal-mart will learn it soon. In the book The origin of brands you predicted Porsche Cayenne was not a wise extension. I saw in a newspaper some time ago Porsche did launce Cayman (not a suv) to make up for dropping sales of the Cayenne model....ones againg you were right...by the way it is the best book I have ever read.


"Superty-duper!" Yes, that was me. Gosh I still can't believe I said that on live TV. Thanks for watching.

Mack Collier

Laura I watch CNBC but missed your comments this morning. They just showed a clip of a woman on there saying that the new store shouldn't use the Wal-Mart name, and mentioned how Toyota used Lexus instead of 'Superty-duperty Toyota' LOL Was that you?


Thanks Mack, smart and funny comments!

You are right, egos are involved. They think they can do it "better" where others have failed.

But it is not execution that made Sears fail in soft good it was the strategy.

Mack Collier

"All this with the Wal-Mart brand name."

I heard this story, and my first thought was that if they keep the Wal-Mart name, that this will never work. My second thought was that if they do, Laura will quickly tell us exactly why it won't work. ;) As you said, Wal-Mart is 'cheap' and 'low cost', and upscale is neither of these things.

Why do companies keep thinking they can chart waters that have sunk others? Is it purely ego?

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