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Owning Your Brand Identity

For years, I have wondered why a women’s clothing retailer would choose the name Dressbarn. It’s not like they sell outfits for female farmhands. The idea of shopping in a barn for dresses conjures nothing positive. And surely this couldn’t be some sort of bizarre, politically incorrect way to indicate that that its customers are animals. The brand name has been such a turnoff to me, that I simply haven’t stepped foot (or hoof) inside. More: it has bothered me so much that I have brought it up to my husband repeatedly whenever we see the store or a reference to it. Why? Why? Why?

Then I saw this billboard in Times Square last week, and I couldn’t wait to write about it. Yes! If you are stuck with a bad brand name, then own it. Make it mean SOMETHING. Stop hiding behind it. Is it weird that there is a woman in a chic dress standing next to livestock? Of course it is. But it does get attention. It does differentiate from other brands. It does make me remember the brand name. And it does make me read the rest of the ad, where I see that the prices for said chic ensemble are pretty affordable.

Based on that last sentence, I suppose that the “barn” in Dressbarn is supposed to indicate that the prices aren’t fancy. Kind of a stretch, but ok. Regardless, I now have a reason to check out this retailer. Kudos to you, Dressbarn. Way to make hay. I hope it works for you!

~ Denise Blasevick, @AdvertGirl & CEO, The S3 Agency


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