Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Lawrence Preaches Use Of BrandSource Name


BrandSource CEO Bob Lawrence
pushed expanded use of the group’s brand
name for all of its members and its new brand ambassador
— Kathy Ireland — as tools to successfully compete
with national chains.

Lawrence’s speech to members during the group’s
Summit at the Marriott World Center, here on Presidents’
Day weekend, sounded like the introduction
of “BrandSource 2.0,” saying, “BrandSource is the
only industrywide initiative that will help the independent
reverse a 10-year trend and create awareness
to help independents successfully compete
today and in the future.”

He revealed that the BrandSource concept, which
was fully implemented in 2002, is used by 30 percent
of its members in signage on the exterior of their
stores, and 35 percent use it in their advertising. “With
Kathy Ireland as our brand ambassador, there is no
excuse anymore not to take advantage of the brand.”
Lawrence bluntly said, “I expect a year from now 100
percent of our members to use BrandSource” in signage
and advertising, but not necessarily in place of
his members’ store names.

He added that national advertising available to all
members will increase, which will feature Ireland by
midyear. The group will “partner with manufacturers to
develop ‘branded’ BrandSource strategies,” he noted.

Ireland’s role as brand ambassador will enable
BrandSource members to attract “younger customers
in the 34- to 55-year old demographic, and women.”
Usually BrandSource customers are an older demographic,
or as Lawrence illustrated, “In core appliances
… we are golden with the 65-and-older demographic.
That’s fine if we want to sell wheelchairs.”

Lawrence pointed out that in the past year Brand-
Source members have performed well. In appliances,
BrandSource did 1 percent better than the
industry last year and did 3 percent better than all

In electronics, the industry was down 7 percent.
“We were down 2 percent, and other independents
were down 15 percent.”

Lawrence said BrandSource will be “price competitive
in all categories with acceptable margins.”
He said the economy, which he thinks will improve
by the second half, and the industry have created a
“six-holidays-a-year” philosophy where the industry
is “training consumers to wait for the next holiday
to buy. What are we supposed to do, shut down the
other 359 days a year?”

BrandSource said it will continue to back instant rebates, which are “difficult to track,” but will be compiled
via “an online tracking system to make the process
a whole lot easier.”

• Lawrence urged members to continue to back
Expert Warehouse because it is 40 percent owned
by group members. He quoted Jim Tracy, a Brand-
Source member, who once commented, “Why buy
gas someplace else when you already own your own

• Expert Finance is close to being implemented
and will be offered along with BrandSource Finance
to provide financing for all members. The group is
“close to signing a deal.” Once that is done, it “will be
ready in 60 days.”

• And Ireland, CEO and chief designer of the $1.5
billion Kathy Ireland Worldwide, will develop product
exclusives for the group, which could include “detergents,
floor coverings and others … products that
are solution-oriented,” Lawrence told TWICE. Initially,
BrandSource will be able to emphasize products
that are already being carried by group suppliers like
Bush, Shaw Living and others that carry her license.