Value of a brand: kate spade

I'm often asked the very popular "What is your favorite brand and why?" question, in one form or another. It may disguised as a "what company do you think has a strong brand?" or "What is a company you admire?" but none the less, the question is a popular one—and with good reason. It's akin to asking a mathematician what their favorite theory is (I'm the opposite of a mathematician so that's as far as we'll go there) and its a simple reason why these questions are asked. It is the hope that the person we assume to be an expert has some unique insight into something we (the questioner) might not be inclined to see.

My favorite brand

Normally, when asked this question, I would say brands like Nike, PUMA, or Coca-Cola—super established brands that everyone knows. It wasn't until recently that I realized why this was a mediocre answer: These brands are so big, they are ingrained in our culture and we often know why they are our favorite: decades long of making great products everyone enjoys.

Kate spade brings colorful shapes in unique arrangements that bring it's identity to life [...] crafting their own unique space filled with pink champagne and yellow bows.

With this in mind, I reevaluated what I thought were great brands and the one that came to my mind was kate spade (since my wife is a lover of kate spade, I have grown more accustomed to seeing their products). It is unique for a few reasons: One, a man is saying a woman only brand is a great brand, two, it is not typically part of the big fashion brand conversation (Chanel, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, etc), and lastly, it is greatly unique in the fashion world!

(Kate Spade New York_Landing A_1920x595.jpg)

The kate spade effect

Every brand dreams of having the recognition to be instantly recognized, some achieve this, many don't. There's no replicable formula, only the perfect combination of product and style. Coca-Cola's logo would mean nothing without their product loved around the world. The Nike swoosh would be empty without the athletes and products behind it. It is a magical combination that few companies get to.

The kate spade brand is a great marriage of product and brand. Fully embracing their colorful charm, playful language, and spirited women, kate spade builds a brand that even men can notice from afar (and often I do). Kate spade brings colorful shapes in unique arrangements that bring it's identity to life, setting it apart from the competition, crafting their own unique space filled with pink champagne and yellow bows.

The "husband who can spot kate spade" is an invaluable customer for a brand dedicated to women. 

The mark of a great brand is to take someone who is not a customer and turn them into a brand advocate. The "husband who can spot kate spade" is an invaluable customer for a brand dedicated to women. Not only do women buy for themselves but men buy for women and that means they've expanded those who would never buy for themselves to buy for someone else (whew that's a mouthful).

(Kate_Spade_May_2014_CATEGORY_banner_1.png)

Of course being entrenched in brand conversations and observations on a daily basis, I may be more inclined to notice things where others don't and surely this is why the original question "What is your favorite brand and why?" is asked. It is nonetheless a question creatives will always get because its always relevant. It pokes the mind of a creative and brand pro to think beyond logos and products, and think about a brand's feel, reach, and vision.

(p.s. I intentionally lowercased kate spade, that is their brand style as you can see in the images above.)

What is your favorite brand and why?