Friday, May 27, 2011

Lifestyle, Branding, and Location

So much of our time is spent making decisions today that will dramatically impact our future based upon our experiences from the past; that not only sounds counter productive but it might actually be counter productive!

We are currently reorganizing and repositioning our company, a company that produces goods in Central America while also screen printing goods domestically which we distribute, both B2B and B2C, throughout the world.  Currently, we are located in Bowling Green, Kentucky which is ideally located, from a logistics perspective; along the I-65/I-40 corridor and some what centered both east to west and north to south.  Then, there is also Western Kentucky University; which graduates some very talented young people!

As a manufacturer and distributor, location of our operations is critical considering the market that we serve.  But, our anticipated future growth, which will be primarily in the area of product development, web development, and marketing, makes location less relevant.

With the internet and various other communications development why do all of ones operations have to be located together?  Does location matter and what is the future of location?

We do represent an established brand and we will build upon that foundation but why be just a brand when you can also be a lifestyle?  Would L. L. Bean be what they are if they were not located in Maine?  What were the benefits for Nike to be located in Oregon?  Can you imagine Jimmy Buffett without Margaritaville?  Imagine Ralph Lauren without polo, yachts, or the cowboy….

What if we moved certain aspects of our operations to…..Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin?

It’s definitely a great place to live with sense of lifestyle that is all its own.  Small town, beautiful natural scenery, and an active year round schedule of activities.  Door County offers all sorts of potential for adding a sense of ‘lifestyle’ to a brand.

Now I realize that 'lifestyle' can be created very easily by any half way decent advertising or marketing firm, but that doesn't make it real.  To be real it has to become part of a corporate culture; the whole 'outward' facing aspect of the corporation has to become part of that lifestyle; for one simple example we can turn to Patagonia

What about employees? 

Does location play a role in the choice of jobs employees make?  Wouldn't lifestyle be a great fringe benefit to an employee? 

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