Filenes RIP

About this time every year along with the new baseball season, the end of skiing, and the sighting of the first mosquito comes the annual hit parade of brands. The usual suspects (Coke, BMW, Microsoft, …) appear. Top brands have great value.

More remarkable is the brand, which falls into a black hole – not because of an disastrous event such as a tainted product, which harms customers (Bausch & Lomb will likely survive despite the response of its clueless management), or slow erosion from years of mis-marketing (any number of the brands of yesteryear, say Westinghouse).

Such an implosion of brand equity seems to have happened to long time Boston retailer Filene’s. After its acquisition by Federated, its tangible assets are being sold or redeployed into other brands such as Macy’s. Thus Filenes and what it stood for is valued at bubkas.

As marketers one of the reasons for care and feeding of our brands is the value they add to the whole enterprise. Filene’s and it’s indistinct value proposition seems to forgotten this.