Activating the Power of Brand

Toys “R” Us is an unforgettable part of many Americans’ childhoods, bringing back nostalgic memories of aisles upon aisles stacked high with all the toys a little mind could imagine. That’s why it was saddening for many who grew up with the chain to hear they filed for bankruptcy in September of 2018.

It’s quite possible, with the toy store opening back up within every Macy’s store across the U.S. as of last year. And one brand management company, WHP Global, is to thank for that.

What is WHP Global doing to use the power of brand and boost high-profile brands like Toys “R” Us that may have been struggling with sales to get them back on the upswing?

On today’s episode of Retail Refined, host Melissa Gonzalez, speaks with Yehuda Shmidman, Chairman & CEO of WHP Global, to discuss branding in high-profile companies and how WHP Global tackles branding to improve sales in high-profile brands.

A brand is more than a logo. It’s an identity—a personality. The power of brand is that it attracts and keeps people interested, builds trust amongst customers, and creates loyalty inside the company. Shmidman explained, “Think about opportunities where the brand is almost worth more than the business. And so, we’re looking for those opportunities. We’re looking to invest in that brand which to us, is the most valuable asset in any company, period. And we’re looking to invest in that valuable asset. And then we’re looking to get involved and really isolate how the operational side can be transformed. We’re not looking to change the brand, but we are looking to change the business model such that there is really a payoff on the other side.”

Gonzalez and Shmidman also discussed…

● The decision to open an international Toys “R” Us store and how smaller stores are outperforming their past performances

● What WHP Global has changed with the Toys “R” Us in-store experience and what opportunities it has unlocked

● WHP Global’s digital omnichannel experience

“We’re looking for really three things, right? We’re looking for brand awareness to the target demographic…You’re then looking for how they feel about brand affinity. So, the person you’re targeting has heard about it and she or he likes it or dislikes it or is neutral…And then the third thing of course is purchase intent which is if your target audience has heard of it, if they like it, will they actually pay for it and pay the price you’re hoping to sell that for?” Shmidman commented.

Yehuda Shmidman is Chairman & CEO of WHP Global, CEO of Toys“R” Us, and a Board Director of Express, Inc. (EXPR). He is a veteran of the brand management industry with direct leadership over dozens of world-famous brands including Toys”R”Us, Anne Klein, Martha Stewart and Peanuts. Shmidman is a Volunteer Board Member of the Fashion Scholarship Fund and attended Yeshiva University, where he earned a BA in Political Science.

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