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F MYER GRAGE BR(}$ Y(}UR STOREP ls your store living up to its brand promise? Come to mention it, what is its

brand promise? Brand Behaviour went on a mission to find out.

*%R AUSTRALIA'S remarkable

pull away from the middle market by repositioning as a'House of

Brands', hosting a deliberately selected mix ofestablished concessions with enough brand show space

Pass crediJones as an

of their own to

bility onto David

authority in leading brands.

resilience to the global economic

The responses we received indicate that the campaign has succeeded in making people sit up and take notice, but the ensuing store experience has left them feeling empty.

Some said

"My Store..."

means that we should feel comfortable when in the store. Others said "My Store..." mean that this shop has everything anyone

slowdown has allowed manY retailers to flourish. However,

The Suspect

some parts ofthe retail sector are not responding as well as theY

from here?

could need. Some even figured that Myer/Grace Bros is pro-

might like. The problem is the declining middle market. In response to the buoyant housing market, the past few years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of decentralised'value' stores selling fumiture, whioe, brown, electrical and household goods. In other words, a significant proportion of the Myer/Grace Bros product range can now be bought cheaper and more con-

The Promise

fessing to have the skills to cater

Aside from still struggling with its name change issues (doing it no favours from a consumer Per-

for individual preferences and

veniently elsewhere. But the

again own Myer/Grace Bros in our hearts and minds. But what does "My Store..." mean to the average puntcr and how is this

problem doesn't end there. This commoditisation of household goods has enabled consumers to save money and indulge themselves on expensive and more desirable items that are usuallY sold in environments far more

Myer/Grace Bros-Where to

spe,ctive), the brand doesn't seem to be articulating a clear proposi-

tion. "Oh yes it is," we hear You

needs. Sadly, a large number (around one third) didn't really know what it meant.

The Expectation

say, "It's My Store, Grace Bros..." or "My Store Grace

Tbe perceived ownership that

Bros" or "My Store Myer". The wonderfully emPowering campaign from Singleton OgilvY

Store..." gives the impression that things will be more relevant than they have been in the past. The fact that it is 'our' voice in the ad making a statement about

& Mather, allows us to once

comes with the phrase "My

how much we love that brand, and not that of the brand telling us something, cleverly makes us

promise being delivered in

think that Myer/Grace Bros is


now more desirable to us as individuals.

What you think



personal than your average

Again we surveyed more than

department store. So the dePartment store loses customers from both ends. David Jones has managed to



out how they were interPreting

To get this right we visited Chadstone in Melboume to see the lat-

00 consumers from a varietY of demographic backgrounds to find the brand promise

"My Store...".

est incarnation of Myer/Grace Bros' store environment. This store has it all; brighter lighting, better circulation, focal points at the end of the aisles, dramatic perimeter and centre floor merchandising-in fact, everything you'd hnd in any other contem-

porary department store. And herein lies the problem.

Apart from the very dynamic

floor{o-ceiling photography at every tum depicting My Bath, My Summer, My Kitchen, My Bed, (My God have we finished yet?) this could be any other department store. Unfortunately the flexibility and cost savings that inform the similar aesthetic in every department do not give Myer/Grace Bros credibility or category authority. There is a



different finishes

throughout the store but that's where the variety ends. How can

girl's street apparel require the

Relail branding is more than iust lhe physical envilonmenl. same physical language as men's formal wear? It's not convincing. Retail branding is more than just the physical environment you pass through and it's more than just reminding customers about what they saw on TV. It's about communicating what is different and special about your brand with a uniquely recognisable personality and style. This should come across in the signage, the way in which the staff

The Delivery-Human

interact with you, the tone of

questions by customer service staff. Questions like "What soru

voice of all the promotional material, even the store bag. It's also

about understanding your customers' behavioural mind set within your store and delivering to their needs and expectations at every key touch point with aconsidered brand message.

Almost every opportunity to initiate dialogue with Myer/Grace

Bros' audience has been passed up for another generic solution, serving only the practical function it was originally designed for all those years ago. Take the fragrance floor for example. The most impressive thing about it? Est6e Lauder's new concession design (also available at David Jones and the airport). What a golden opportunity for Myer Grace Bros to interact with its customers in a meaningful way by creating a fra-

From a customer service perspective, the opportunity to communicate in a manner that is special, unique and specific to the brand message appears to have been overlooked also. If we are to truly feel that Myer/Grace Bros is interested in me the individual and my needs ('My Store"), then those needs must first be identified. To identify individual needs. we would have to have answered

of things can I help you with today?". Questions that were never asked.

The Verdict We believe our suspect has missed a golden opportunity to deliver its brand promise in store by empowering its staff and by clearly articulating its brand idea. The re-appearance ofthe promise throughout the store with no further explanation or tangible delivery seems to add to the confusion and frustration that some customers are feeling. Kad Treacher is managing

partner of ADCom Worldgroup and founder of Brand Behaviour. Send questions or suggeslions to E:

grance bar (exclusive to Myer/Grace Bros by the way) where you can sit and test any new fragrance and be taught about the various scents and aromas by a Myer/Grace Bros in-store expert.

. .....




Is Myer really 'your store' | Professional Marketing Magazine | August 2003  

Brand Behaviour MD Karl Treacher looks at whether Myer is delivering on it's brand promise.