Happy toughts directed homeward

I was far happier about the Red Sox’ win last year than I am about the White Sox this year: for me the Red Sox’ win was a matter of faith borne out, but the White Sox are about place and personal history. While there was something appropriately revengeful about celebrating the Red Sox’ win in New York, this time I feel proper celebration could only be at home. Too much happiness for the win seems incongruous being in New York.

From here then: Congratulations to Chicago and the Sox!


Ask Philosophers

As noted in the Leiter Reports: http://www.amherst.edu/askphilosophers/

It strikes me as a smashing idea.


Just in case you're as out of touch as I am

I just heard about this on Friday — where have I been? Oh, that’s right, in New York. Yuck.

From the Chicago Tribune: “Field's no more: Chicago retail icon to become Macy's in '06”

Beyond simply having fond memories of Field’s, especially around the holidays, I think Federated is making a mistake with this name change, at least regarding Field’s flagship State Street location. For a long time now State Street hasn’t been the preferred place for many people in the Chicago area to shop, although it has improved somewhat in the last five or so years; as shoppers live further away from downtown, it is an inconvenience for them to come downtown, pay for parking, etc., in order to shop there. What Federated has missed, I think, is that they did continue to come in large part because of their connection to the Marshall Field’s brand, and the atmosphere of the State Street store in particular. While a name change may go down alright with mall goers, I suspect it will break a connection many others have with the State Street location. I’d be willing to bet that the change to Macy’s will be negative for the flagship location.

Here’s a bit from the article where doubts are also expressed:
Several retail consultants think Federated is being short-sighted by changing the name.

"Chicagoans and folks in the central United States tend to be more brand loyal," said Burt Flickinger, managing director for Strategic Resource Group in New York. "While Field's was a broken business, it was not unfixable. Federated has taken a broken business and made it a much more broken business."

Another retail consultant said Field's could be fashioned into an upscale brand.

"Retailing has been skewed to the low end and the high end. Marshall Field's would be a powerful high-end brand. Why would you bring it down to the mushy middle?" asked Al Ries, author of the "The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding."

"This is particularly bad," he said. "I'd rather have a name that no one has heard of with potential rather than a name like Macy's that everyone has heard of but has no potential. People know about it, but it will never be perceived as a high-end brand."


Spotlight for the web


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