There has been much discussion in the media lately about MSLO and the Martha Stewart brand. Martha is a recognized and much-admired personality, but the challenge faced by the company is how best to convert Martha’s reputation for quality and entrepreneurship into revenue. They have already made cuts to reduce expenditures, but Wall Street and others are watching to see how MSLO navigates the road ahead. Forbes is confident the company will thrive. As they point out, “She can figure it out. Martha is one smart and tough cookie.” Agreed!
In the Forbes article, the magazine outlines its own plan to revive the Martha Stewart brand, which I’ve summarized below:
Make Deals to Evolve the Brand
Evolving a brand is different than growing a brand. To evolve a brand you need to find new affiliations to update the brand message. Here are three ways.
1. Find New Partners. Making deals to breathe life into the brand is essential. Stewart says “We are forging ahead with new partnerships and new products, and we expect to be able to gain the international foothold that has been so elusive in the last few years.”
2. Find New Platforms. Another important task is to get the new brand message to new audiences in new ways. For example, Stewart is now exploring reality-TV deals and developing short how-to content for the Web and mobile devices.
3. Find Ways to Diversify. Having only one voice of the brand does not cut it anymore. Over the years, the areas of the homemaking that Martha pioneered have since splintered into market segments. Forbes points out that Oprah diversified into market-specific segments by promoting Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, both of whom are leaders in their respective areas. Martha has started to do this with Emeril (whose licensing rights were acquired in 2008), and with “Mad Hungry” lead by MSLO Food Editor, Lucinda Scala Quinn.
You can read the entire Forbes article here.