*Cataloger: Branding Adds Company Value

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BOSTON--Kicking off the 15th annual Catalog Conference & Exhibition with a look to the future, Rebecca Jewett, president of cataloger Norm Thompson, Hillsboro, OR, predicted that branding was the competency that has the potential to add the most value to the company's share price over time.


In a speech made to an overcrowded luncheon audience here June 1, the conference's workshop day, Jewett used examples from companies as varied as catalogers, retailers and auto makers to show how branding has contributed to a company's strengths.


"Branding is a profitable tool to both consumers and companies alike," she said, noting that brands helped companies segment the marketplace and helps customers process price and quality decisions faster. "I believe that the L.L. Bean customer differs from the Lands' End customer, who in turn differs from the J. Crew customer, even though much of the merchandise offered by the three companies is essentially the same. The merchant-buying experience represents different things for customers of each of these three companies. The customer prefers to shop at one company over and over."


This brand loyalty maximizes lifetime value of a customer, allows companies to use marketing expenditures more effectively and increases profitability, she said.
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