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Go Logo! A Handbook to the Art of Global Branding114
strong brand is vital to most businesses today, and that emphatically extends
to all retail in this global/local world. The phrase, “Bring the brand to life by
creating ideas they can see, really says it all. This is a key priority for success-
ful marketing and merchandising in retail. Each of us is exposed to thousands
of impressions a day. The retailer’s concern is to create an impression that will be iconic
enough to be memorable. While there is truth to the adage that the big will get bigger and
the successful more successful, there is also a parallel adage taught to us by biology prin-
ciples. Just prior to the collapse of any species, it attains its largest presence in size. In other
words, the big will get bigger—until they don’t.
Today’s mega-mergers grab the headlines, but the quiet story is that the largest growth in
retail continues to be by the independents. In developing parts of the world, such as Asia,
South America, and Africa, retail is still very much an activity between an owner and a
customer or the producer and the consumer. This phenomenon is not totally without logic.
Who knows the customer better than the person who lives in the community, than the
next-door neighbor whose needs and wants are no different from those of his customer?
Independents have a significant competitive advantage, due to their ability to respond “just
in time, whether or not they are impacted by the weather or by changing community and
social rhythms. When neighboring retailers start a price war, introduce a new product range,
or create new, innovative presentation formats, the independent merchant can respond
very quickly. The giants find it difficult to achieve this degree of market awareness. It takes
intelligence, personal energy, and nerve to be a just-in-time-at-the-right-time retailer.
Iconicity: Standing Out in the Crowd
KENNETH NISCH, Chairman of JGA in Southfield, Michigan
Kenneth Nisch is an architect and chairman of JGA, a retail design and strategy
firm in Southfield, Michigan. Named one of the industry’s “Most Influential” by
DDI (Display and Design Ideas) magazine, Nisch applies his knowledge and en-
trepreneurial insight into consumer markets to create concept and prototype
development, brand image positioning and architectural direction. JGA’s clients
include Godiva, Yankee Candle, Brookstone, Levenger, Hershey’s, the Henry
Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and the Saks Department Store Group.
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