Viewpoint: Tony Cortizas, vice-president of marketing, premium portfolio and the Americas Meliá Hotels International

MeliaHotels

A brand is not a logo and a logo does not a brand make. It is about the experience. It is one thing to announce your arrival then get your share of voice and build your reputation. But then [there comes a point when] everyone knows you; you’re no longer new.

So, how does a brand stay desirable? In terms of luxury brands, if there is a limited edition £30,000 handbag, does it need a logo if Kate Moss is seen wearing it? Her social equals might realise [the fact that it is a special, designer bag], but if no one else does or it takes them months to find out who made it, it means the brand is rebuilding cachet.

[Some luxury brands] have gone from exclusivity to considering how to go mass-market. Mercedes, for example, created more accessible sub-brands. That might be great if it sells more cars, but perhaps the traditional customers, who are really its brand ambassadors, might start thinking: ‘What is the big deal about Mercedes – everyone’s driving one these days?’

So perhaps Mercedes could create a limited edition without the logo that people will recognise by shape or design but only you and a few others will know [what it actually is]. This way, you are recreating and somehow separating the brand.

I think the only danger of this is what a brand does afterwards to make sure the business isn’t being split. You have to make sure you don’t split your brand in half and leave [one half] in the mass market that you don’t want – and, if you’re not careful, that [will be seen as your brand].

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