Martha Stewart Brand Dilution

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1. What is Martha Stewart the brand? What is the brand identity? Do multiple brand identities exist?

Martha Stewart's brand stands for stylish and traditional American living. She is brilliant at channeling the taste and passion of her customers into new products and media. She is said to turn "dreamers into doers". Taking this in to the context of how corporate strategists want the brand to be perceived by internal and external constituents arrives at a brand identity. The core identity or primary associations include such words as "American living", "homemaker", "tasteful", "stylish", "how-to info", and "home". Extended associations include words related to the product offering such as "gardening", "cooking", and "home renovation",
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The brand is about the audience - Martha Stewart knows what an American homemaker would find most useful and you can trust her, and MSLO, to deliver the right mix of advice and products.
4. 2001 sale of ImClone Systems stock - In light of this situation, and the intensive media exposure surrounding the case, do you believe that the Martha Stewart brand has been diluted? What evidence can you find in support?

When assessing brands and their relation to a personality or celebrity that is inextricably entwined in the brand it becomes very important to understand the affect that any personal crisis with this individual may have on the brand. Take for example, CEOs like Enron's Ken Lay and Tyco's L. Dennis Kozlowski who were intimately tied to their enterprises. They were not the brand itself but through their failures, or crisis's, the brand became severely impaired. In the case of Martha Stewart, there is evidence that shows there were plans in place for when such a crisis arose. First, it was important for the company to stand alone from the personality, this is not to say abandon Martha, but rather focus on the MSLO offering. The best example of this is that at no time was the Martha Stewart brand allowed to stray from its positioning. Martha took a timely resolution to her conviction in order to take the spotlight off the company as best as possible. "Part of the

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