Question :
Multiple stores / Multiple brands = What to market?

Over the past couple years I’ve acquired 3 retail stores in 3 regions, so very wide spread. While the stores are almost the same (product/target market) they have their own historical brand. We created a new brand to unify them and make marketing easier, but I am struggling with the culture and legacy to cut to chord and re brand fully. Not to mention retail have been very tough and we just don’t have funds to run a big branding campaign right now.

Keen to hear from multi-branch retailers who may have had similar experiences, when do you drop the legacy brand and the ‘loyalty’ people have to their local shop and roll out the corporate brand? Do you loose the locals loyalty, do you maintain separate Facebook pages, pitfalls and advantages?

ps: None of the stores had a website of any significance previous so we started with the new brand from the get-go. We do get customers confused at the various identities though. www.craniums.co.nz

Question submitted 14/08/20 @ 07:15am
Industry: Retailing
  • Up

    Hi there – this a super good question that may not have one answer, it depends on timing and also resources and I think you are right to ask yourself the question ‘when is the right time’ to unify the brands into one (if at all).

    Are you losing sales right now as a result of not having one brand for all stores?

    Is it operationally painful and stressful having 3 different brands for the parts of the business?

    What would happy if you rebranded all of the stores? Would you lose customers as a result of not having affinity to the new brand?

    What would the ‘staff’ in the stores say and how would they react when / if you rebranded?

    There is no point in doing a rebrand, if you actually go backwards and are not better offer. Often people maybe resistant to change e.g. your staff so talking to them about the change, why you want to do it, and when you want to do it, so as to give them a chance for input and engagement is super important to get them on board and supportive – you don’t want the counter. So talk to your team, try and turn it into something they co-own and are a part of – so that they are excited.

    One option for you is that you do it store by store, and/or you just start with Online to use the new brand to drive ‘national purchasing online’ as they are typically buying from ‘one virtual store’ and not one of the three actual stores.

    Final thing – what most owners have said to me about branding/rebranding is that they never regretted doing a rebrand and getting it into the market, they just think that they could have done better around the timing and sequencing – so having a clear plan and sequence is important.

    Good luck. Andy


    Great question and the points Andy makes are on the money. Culture and the legacy as you point out is important and due to you living and breathing it daily you can become deeper in your own belief that change could be a negative verse positive.

    Personally I would involve your team as they will be in touch with what your local customers are thinking and having a quick review of your website your existing retail store names are almost call to actions of what Craniums deliver? so there could be a nice creative solution that keeps the local connection and legacy too.

    As Andy points out review your decision with both cost and revenue up/downside assumptions and engage/review with your team so the outcome you decide to execute, you are in it together which is important given the local nature of what your doing. But I’m in the positive camp for brand change, however it’s the execution that is everything! So you and your team have to believe and be committed to ‘why’ you are doing it and have your story clear and simple.

    I’m happy to have a chat if that works, so feel free to give me a call 021714318.


    Thanks Craig and Andy. I would be keen to chat Craig and will call today if you don’t mind taking a Sunday call


    No problem… call me after 10.15… just sorting pancakes for the kids!


    Hope that call with Craig helped – so good to be able to help you with some big decisions!

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