What Is Brand Dilution?

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Symbolism Debasing


When luxury brand Burberry had lots of videos being bluetoothed around on those brick nokia phones and uploaded to “viral feed” websites. This was before youtube was invented. The videos were of poor working class people, under the pejorative of chavs, who were notorious for having antisocial behaviour and violence.

chav = council housed and violent

Back then there was a lot of teenagers and young adults, who were exploiting weak laws, by commiting antisocial behaviour to be bluetoothed around, just for bragging rights and to go viral.

The government had to create new types of punishment, to go beyond the prison and fines, for people who were brazen enough to commit low level offences in a routine and orchestrated fashion as a group, to prevent people committing quasi-legal crime, just for the views and likes. Now they call that clout lol.

ASBO = antisocial behaviour order

In the retail industry, there are 3 ways to get a brand’s product

1) Black market = illegal = counterfeit and stolen
2) White market = the manufacturer’s official supplier, selling to a merchant that the manufacturer approves
3) Grey market = legal but unsold or disregarded stock, typically outlet shops that sell outlet products when their original shops got rid of the products that never sold

The chavs who had videos of them committing ASBO’s while drunk, got the luxury Burberry clothes while bluetoothing them round and uploading them to “viral feed” websites (including link aggregators like digg, reddit, i am bored).

This hurt the Burberry brand, where their luxury clothes can often cost £800 or £1000 just for one coat.

Burberry then did the following things to prevent themselves and their profits being hurt due to brand dilution (it wasn’t intentional).

1) Stop selling their clothes in other companies shops and only sell it on their website and their own high street shops, therefore killing the gray market
2) Start burning their unsold clothes, so nobody can get the clothes that never sold
3) Stop selling their clothes with the iconic trademark Burberry tartan pattern, that was previously on the outside of their clothes, as nowadays it’s only on the inside of their clothes.

If you ever see a celebrity wearing the Burberry tartan pattern on the outside of their clothes, it’s custom made specifically for that celebrity.

Inclusivity vs Exclusivity

American Apparel before and after Dov Charney

Dov Charney who was previously the CEO of American Apparel, got fired by the major shareholders after receiving a sexual harassment allegation. He got metoo-ed over before everyone knew what #metoo was lol. American Apparel was always a hated target of feminists for their highly objectifying adverts of women. Regardless of whether you agree those type of adverts should be allowed or not, let’s not get into that as it’ll derail the topic.

The new CEO who was a feminist, decided to make the branding and adverts, especially the adverts, more inclusive, by including lots of LGBT people, ethnic minorities, disabled people, etc. Although American Aparrel always did that to some extent, under the new feminist CEO, it happened more often, along with the header and text in the advert, highlighting their minority demographic status.

All while the adverts were talking about how ethical they STILL are, like paying a living wage, being manufactured in NYC instead of a sweatshop abroad and by having good sick pay, healthcare, maternity pay and holiday pay.

However despite being ethical and inclusive, the company started to lose loads of money, they lost most of their high street stores so they only have a third. And most of all, they had to be bailed out TWICE from the threat of bankruptcy, by the shareholders taking out debt consolidation loans.

The feminist woman didn’t understand 2 things about branding.
1) American Apparel don’t sell clothes with patterns, logos or graphics. The vast majority of their t-shirts are plain coloured. So if their clothes are much more expensive for plain colours, why would someone buy a t-shirt for $30 of plain blue, if they can get one cheaper at Forever 21 for $12?
2) Although being inclusive works in Hollywood movies, when it comes to fashion, you have to be EXCLUSIVE.

The hipster customer base who previously were frequently buying the hipster brand, stopped buying it as under the new CEO, it no longer became associated with hipsters.

The woman didn’t understand the American Apparel brand.
The Helvetica font, minimal layout and ethical policies wasn’t the brand.
The CEO Dov Charney was the brand.

When Dov Charney ran American Apparel, when you visited the home page, you didn’t see a shop, you saw a Geocities/Angelfire style braindump website, where the main menu had 8 items and only one of them was the shop.

When the new CEO ran the company, when you visit the home page, you saw only the shop and nothing else.

When Dov Charney ran the company, they had a radio station for indie rock that played obscure indie bands, they had a listing of every advert they ever made, they had videos filmed by drama/media students who they allowed use their building as a free place to film their videos, along with loads of other content.

When the new CEO ran the company, she deleted all the content from the website so it only has a shop and nothing else.

All she could think about, was that it wasn’t inclusive enough.
Being inclusive, killed the brand.
Although being inclusive works in Hollywood movies, when it comes to fashion, you have to be exclusive.

Add a third example here

Some company, place or organisation

Overselling Replicas

Delivery companies

Marks & Spencer

iPhone apps

Working with culture vultures

Wiley dissing Ed Sheeran