Sure it is fun to see who makes the list (and who doesn’t) but the narrative is what I find most helpful. Yea, yea, Target is on the list, HomeDepot is on the list.
But read what they say about Dollar General: “the brand speaks to value and convenience, recently updating its visual guidelines for a friendlier and more welcoming vibe. Dollar General remains committed to remodeling 500 stores and rolling out 625 in its new format. Employee training has reduced turnover. The in-store experience, mailing, and social media touchpoints all connect with the new and improved Dollar General brand.
Or how about AutoZone: “An internal brand engagement policy encourages employees to drop everything to assist shoppers within 30 seconds of their walking into a store. This is earning AutoZone credit for being more helpful than its competition.”
Here’s one I love — this is about Anthropologie: “Anthropologie continues to weave together compelling stories around apparel, home, and accessories for the 25- to 40-year old wealthier woman, a position that makes it largely immune to downturns. A devotion to the brand keeps the individualistic stores, catalog, and online experience fresh, authentic, and worldly. It would be very difficult for a competitor to imitate. This year saw improved integration of the online and in-store experiences. The CEO of both Anthropologie and sister company Urban Outfitters won “Retail Innovator of the Year” from the National Retail Federation. The brand represents best-in-class merchandising and design, emotionally connecting with customers.”
I urge all of us to study this list, then visit each noted retailer. What one or two things can we do today to grow our own brands to make them competitive with service, design, and — most important — “emotionally connecting with customers.”