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Branding Power

Jeff Falk

During the holiday, I watched a Cary Grant movie I had never seen: “Room for One More.” It’s a good little film, but I mention it not for the plot but for the fact that a kid wore a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star athletic shoes (called “Chucks” or, generically, “gym shoes” in my part of the world) in it. When I was in Paris in late 2010, I also saw Chucks on every other fashionable teen. All these sightings got me wondering about branding. I’ve owned a few pairs of these shoes throughout the years, and they are, frankly, among the most uncomfortable shoes in the world. Granted, they look pretty cool, but they’re only good for sitting around. Forget running in any semi-athletic endeavor, let alone on the basketball court (for which they were first designed), and their lack of support, nonexistent cushioning and canvas construction makes even short walks less than thrilling. Really, there are plenty of cool-looking shoes at more reasonable price points (Chucks will typically set you back $30–50).

So, what is it about shoes with less-than-stellar attributes that have been around for 50-plus years? It has to be branding, and that power is impressive. I’d like to hear your “power of branding” stories—either about your own brand or a brand you simply admire. E-mail me at or comment on the GCI Facebook page.


In the Form and Function sidebar of the December 2010 feature “Sustainable Innovation,” we should have credited the “Battery Operated” and “Roll On” content to Amy Marks-McGee of Trendincite LLC. GCI magazine regrets this error.

In the print version of this column, I wrote that Steve Herman's 99th column created quite a bit of feedback. It was actually number 98, his November contribution Two Views of Safety.


I’m happy to welcome Rick Ruffolo, executive vice president, global brand marketing & innovation, Crabtree & Evelyn; and Marie Alice Dibon, the principal at Alice Communications, Inc. and frequent GCI contributor, to our editorial advisory board. As we rotate in new advisors, previous advisors rotate out, and we would like to sincerely thank all those who have served on the board and provided their valuable input.

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Branding Power: Reader Feedback


Love your trend spotting eye in "Speaking of Branding", a great example on how branding often trumps product in customer value. My favorite example of the power of branding also comes from a film... Made in 1961, "Lover Come Back " stars Rock Hudson and Doris Day. Rock plays a marketing executive who tries to trick Doris, a competing marketer by creating branding for VIP, a bogus product, and has her film a TV commercial for it. Accidentally, the commercial is aired and creates a huge demand for a product that does not exist. They then try to figure out what this product should be and make some! A more fun and romantic take on "Mad Men"... Its a great movie and testament to the power of branding.

Cathy Gins
Founder and Designer


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