PLEASANTON, Calif – House brands seem to be all the rage these days. They go in and out of favor at grocers; these days national brands seem to be the brands that are on the outs. Apparently, part of the acquisition value of Whole Foods for Amazon was their experience withMORE HERE

As a social service agency or company or government mandated service, the only brand you need is really your business name, and a decent level of service. Of course  you need something written on letterhead, and an address, but your “brand” is really about how you deal with people. AndMORE HERE

Our occasional ventures into oddlots, dollar stores and the like deliver quite special brand extensions and brand licensing. Our tops for today (and we admit we spotted this over Christmas at a Tuesday Morning) were an Izod branded leash and tennis ball set, and a Laura Ashley dog pen. Sorry AlligatorMORE HERE

Remember the great blizzards of 1966, 1993, and all those other Nor’easters? They made for the need for snowmobiles. Lots. But over the years, fuel prices, competition, and warm winters have put many snowmobile brands off the market. Some brands, like Arctic Cat, returned. The Arctic Cat company was once popular, wentMORE HERE

SAN ANTONIO – Sears has opened a new spin-off concept, the Die Hard Auto Center. Of course, Die Hard is a strong Sears brand, and this news is just coming off Sears’ sale of Craftsman for an astounding $775 million to Black & Decker. Currently, Sears Holdings is on trackMORE HERE

There is a large amount of room in the marketplace for small, regional, handcrafted fashion and craft brands. One of the many surviving leather companies is J.W. Hulme of St. Paul, Minnesota. They make excellent leather goods, including bags, briefcases and wallets; it’s a luxury approach with a simpler, less fashionMORE HERE

That Arby’s CEO Paul Brown has joined the board of JCPenney has got me thinking. After JCPenney brought back appliances, why not bring reintroduce food? Part of the old joy of going to department stores was the element of surprise, and options for repeat visits. One way to do that is a restaurantMORE HERE

Uniforms are the original way to rebrand an institution. From Roman soldiers to Olympic athletes, clothes make the man. And the woman. And the institution. Alitalia figured this out in a stylish rebranding. Late this spring, the national airline of Italy unveiled a new branding campaign with its central identity createdMORE HERE

There are a large number of helpful websites that detail retail history. While Wall Street has finally understood the dangers lurking in American retail, these websites have been detailing what has been happening, some of them for the last decade. Many of them also have ideas and answers and solutions, shouldMORE HERE

As American companies have abandoned their legacy and sold out or turned into ever larger monopolies, new companies, often non U.S., have reaped the great rewards. One such story is Rockwell, which was one of the stellar brands of the United States space program, and best known and most trusted industrialMORE HERE