A split means more work for the Barnes & Noble brand

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

18 March 2013

Plus, I’m not even sure it’s a good idea

Barnes & Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio is making a bid to separate the company’s retail and online businesses.

Question is, how will this affect the Barnes & Noble brand?

“If the split takes place it’s critical that the two ends of the business adhere stringently to brand standards. Every detail matters when creating brand preference.”

Investors are clearly heartened by the announcement. Stock in the company jumped 17 percent simply on rumors of the move. Investors seem to see the Barnes & Noble brand’s current split personality – half retail bookseller, half online retailer – as a negative.

How smart is a Barnes & Noble brand split?

They may be right business-wise, but a division like this could hurt the brand.

barnes & noble brandOstensibly, the split would allow greater focus on each segment of the company. But it could also feed the perception that this is a bi-polar business.

A lot depends on the moniker. If the Barnes & Noble brand stays with both ends, the company will continue to be seen as one by the public. Any inconstancies in how the two businesses are run have the potential to hurt the entire company.

Barnes & Noble should proceed with caution. If the split takes place it’s critical that the two ends of the business adhere stringently to brand standards. Every detail matters when creating brand preference.

Slip up and Amazon is the winner.

See more posts in the following related categories: Barnes & Noble brand consistency public companies

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