Thursday, December 15, 2011

Personal & Company Branding: A Tale of Two Brand Personalities

In great branding, the expression of the professional’s personality or the company’s personality shines through the brand identity in everything from the logo and slogan, to the website and the design of a store and the packaging, if it is a retail business. Clearly representing your personality in your own brand, as a luxury real marketing professional is important. You want your target market to grasp the essence of who you are immediately. You also want your potential clients to quickly see how you are distinct from your closest competitors.

In the world of cookware there are two stores that come to mind most readily—Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table. Each has a distinct brand personality. Here is an analysis of the two personalities:

What makes them the same?

1. They both sell cookware and other items relating to dining. Many well known brand items are sold in both stores.

2. They both have stores located in shopping malls or highly trafficked streets

In Santa Barbara, both stores are thriving. Sur La Table is located in our Downtown area, an area frequented by locals and tourists. Williams Sonoma is located in the La Cumbre Shopping Center, known to locals and less to tourists.

What makes them different?


“Serving Serious Cooks since 1959” (Williams-Sonoma)

“The Art & Soul of Cooking” (Sur La Table)

Store Décor and Cookware Display

Williams-Sonoma has wide aisles with wood cabinets and wood floors. In many of their stores they have an open kitchen where they are continuously demonstrating cooking techniques and offer food samples to customers. The merchandise is artfully placed in sections, and those sections are clearly marked. The look here is traditional and elegant; the energy is calm and relaxed.

Sur La Table has a contemporary industrial look with lots of merchandise arranged on “high-tech” tables. They demonstrate some products such as coffee machines. Everywhere you look there are aisles filled from top to bottom with interesting kitchen gadgets and cookware. The energy is fast paced and fun.


Williams-Sonoma: traditional and welcoming.

Sur La Table: casual, fun, relaxed

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, does your brand identity clearly express your personality or the personality of your company? Does it help to sharply differentiate you from your competition?


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