What does Jeter bring to the field beyond athletic skill?
Allen Adamson
Chairman, North America,
based in Landor New York

Jeter

A class act right up to the very end. I’m not just talking about Derek Jeter’s game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 6-5 walk-off win against the Orioles, the last home game of his storied career. I’m also talking about the fact that Jeter, the five-time World Series champion, made it a point to wish the Orioles luck in the play-offs. “They deserve it,” he told the on-field postgame interviewer.

A couple days later, I watched Jeter’s last game with my son, just one of the many Yankees’ games we’ve watched together over the years. As I did, it occurred to me that like many professional athletes before him, Jeter has an incredible opportunity to cultivate his brand-name status. However, by this I don’t mean merely to use his name to cash in quickly with product endorsements, talking-head gigs, or car dealerships. But rather to transform his brand in such a way that 20 years from now, my son will be able to talk to his own kids about the Jeter brand in a whole new but equally substantial way.

As a brand professional, I’ve often been asked what to do if the thing a brand has been famous for is no longer relevant to the market. Jeter’s brand success has been based in good part on walk-off singles at critical moments, and this has served him well. But this chapter is over. He will no longer be able to deliver on this aspect of his claim to brand fame. Or, said in a more commercial way, he won’t be able to deliver on his once-relevant offering. This is the unifying challenge for all brands faced with the need to transform, whether it’s Radio Shack and the fact that radios and electronic components are a thing of the past or BlackBerry with a customer base no longer enthused by email-centric keyboards, or Kodak, which sadly totally missed the boat on picture taking in a digital world.

As Derek Jeter looks at his brand and starts to think about how to reinvent it in a meaningful way, he shouldn’t think short term, but long term. And in the off chance he wants my advice (not likely, but nice to think about), I’ll give him the same advice I’d give to any brand, in any category looking for a way to maintain leadership even after its original key offering becomes history. I’d tell him to look at his brand’s essential DNA to determine the values that already exist that can be recast. Not a new spin on the old story, but an entirely different way to use what’s there in a meaningful way. For example, IBM used to be a brand leader in PCs, punch cards, and printers until a bunch of PC clones came in and beat it at this game. Looking at its DNA, what IBM was inherently good at—information technology—evolved into a powerhouse of IT expertise and overall computing services.

A similar story in a completely different category is the National Geographic brand. First published in 1888, the magazine continued to be filled with stunning photographs of exotic locations, intriguing cultures, and glorious animals until the early 1990s when it knew the traditional publishing model was quickly eroding. The organization reinvented itself by drawing on its DNA as an expert in showcasing far-flung, fascinating people and places along with the magnificent flora and fauna of the world and expanding across a multitude of media platforms.

Jeter, unlike many star athletes before him, has more to his brand DNA than just baseball statistics. He was an outstanding team captain with all the leadership qualities inherent in this title. In my opinion, he has the opportunity to base the new Jeter brand offering on these leadership credentials. This might be in the form of a university curriculum or a summer camp, or even recreation centers for inner-city kids. Whatever it is should be built with an objective toward lasting value, a brand based on his expertise that is also meaningful for its time and place in the market.

Real brand reinvention is hard. It’s not a matter of tweaking a few product features, rearranging retail space, or developing a new ad campaign. These are tactical initiatives. The list of brands that have truly transformed themselves is pretty short. Sure IBM and National Geographic did it, as did Apple, which would have been dominated by Microsoft had it stuck with computing and not developed the iPod. Jeter had a magical career and is riding high with a magical brand image. The opportunity that lies ahead for him is not to squander this image with a few product endorsements or variations on this theme. As with any brand looking to transform itself, Derek Jeter should look at what he brings to the field beyond the thrilling bottom-of-the-ninth win. I want to hear my grandkids talking about Derek Jeter, not relative to his past glories, but his current ones. Given who he is, given his DNA, my bet is that it will happen. 

 

Originally published on Forbes.com.
Image of Derek Jeter courtesy of Flickr user Keith Allison.  

Category: Brand strategy & positioning

Into the wild

September 26, 2014
The last of seven trends we gleaned from Vogue's September issue.
Heather Ingram
Designer,
based in Landor Cincinnati

55006D1_Into The Wild _Blog Post _hi 01-02

Concrete jungles may be our reality, but this bold feminine look reconnects us with our natural state. Beasts and botanicals abound, so take a walk on the wild side.

55006D1_Into The Wild _Blog Post _hi 01-03

Inspiration images:

2014 Schiaparelli Vogue Belle Fleur article
IRO Paris: 2014 Fall Campaign
2014 Gucci Vogue Belle Fleur article

Merchandise:

1. Gucci: Double-Breasted Alpaca Jacket
2. Oscar de la Renta: Painted Rose Cocktail Ring
3. Ami Paris: Floral Print Five Pocket Jeans
4. Tom Ford: Chesterfield Evening Slippers
5. Carolina Herrera: Botanicals Dress

 


55006D1_Fashion In Action _Blog Post _hi 01D-02-04 


All images copyright of their respective authors. Permission being requested.

Category: Customer experience

Seasonal affair

September 25, 2014
The sixth of seven trends we gleaned from Vogue's September issue.
Heather Ingram
Designer,
based in Landor Cincinnati

55006D1_Seasonal Affair _Blog Post _hi 01-02

Pastels are no longer just for spring. Soft, romantic colors are flirting with fall, taking on more dusty, muted tones and alluding to something secret.

55006D1_Seasonal Affair _Blog Post _hi 01-03

Inspiration images:

Georgio Armani: Fall campaign 2014
Gucci: Fall campaign 2014
Gucci: Fall campaign 2014 

Merchandise:

1. Stella McCartney: Oversized 54mm Cat's-Eye Sunglasses
2. Chloé: Cate Medium Smooth and Pebbled Leather Satchel
3. Reiss: Men’s Blazer
4. AllSaints: Mitre Deck Shorts
5. Cole Haan: Bergen Wingtip Mint Leaf Suede 


55006D1_Fashion In Action _Blog Post _hi 01D-02-04 


All images copyright of their respective authors. Permission being requested.

Category: Customer experience

The Feminatrix

September 24, 2014
The fifth of seven trends we gleaned from Vogue's September issue.
Heather Ingram
Designer,
based in Landor Cincinnati

55006D1_Feminatrix _Blog Post _ji 01-02

Femininity as a force to be reckoned with—dominating, commanding attention and complete submission. Part leather and part lace, there’s nothing more powerful than a sharply-dressed woman.

55006D1_Feminatrix _Blog Post _ji 01-03

Inspiration images:

Versace: Fall campaign 2014
Oscar De La Renta: Fall campaign 2014
L’Oréal: Fall campaign 2014

Merchandise:

1. Helmut Lang: Petal Leather Puff Vest
2. Versace: Medusa Studded Bracelet
3. Dior: Small "Lady Dior" Bag
4. Christian Louboutin: Rouge Louboutin
5. Louis Vuitton: Perfecto Sandal
6. Versace: Studs Ladies Cat-Eye Black


55006D1_Fashion In Action _Blog Post _hi 01D-02-04 


All images copyright of their respective authors. Permission being requested.

Category: Customer experience

Modern nomad

September 23, 2014
The fourth of seven trends we gleaned from Vogue's September issue.
Heather Ingram
Designer,
based in Landor Cincinnati

55006D1_Fashion In Action _Modern Nomad _ji 01-02

Life is a journey—a trip through different cultures, experiences, patterns, colors, styles, and fabrics. To be a nomad is to be a canvas layered with stories and meaning. 

55006D1_Fashion In Action _Modern Nomad _ji 01-03

Inspiration images:

Con Brio: Fall campaign 2014
Burberry: Fall campaign 2014
Vogue, “Carnival of color,” 2014

Merchandise:

1. Saint Laurent: Multicolor Crewneck Sweater
2. Anthropologie: Under Sun Pillow
3. Burberry: The Bloomsbury in Hand-painted Leather
4. Candela: Arlo Heel
5. Etro: 100% Wool Cape


55006D1_Fashion In Action _Blog Post _hi 01D-02-04 


All images copyright of their respective authors. Permission being requested.

Category: Customer experience
Displaying 1-5 of 311
More results
Choose one:
Share Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInEmail