Martha’s Back at Kmart

Discussion
Oct 16, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


USA Today reports Kmart is rolling out new holiday season ads on Saturday featuring Martha Stewart.


Ms. Stewart is due to go on trial in January for alleged securities’ law violations concerning her sale of ImClone stock. In an interview to be broadcast next month on the ABC
News program 20/20, Ms. Stewart tells Barbara Walters she’s scared about the possibility of going to prison, but she doesn’t think she will be sentenced.


Kmart will air three commercials with Ms. Stewart promoting her Everyday line, a strong seller that is an exclusive brand of the retail chain.


“We had a strong need, emerging from bankruptcy, to drive customers into stores,” says Karen Austin, Kmart’s chief marketing officer told USA Today.


Others are not so sure that Kmart should be airing the commercials with Ms. Stewart.


Peter Montoya, a branding expert and author of The Brand Called You, said, “Both brands are on shaky ground and her brand has been very polarizing over the past 18 months.
People who love her, love her, and people who hate her, hate her. There’s very little middle ground.”


Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Kmart using Martha Stewart in its holiday season commercials? What is your evaluation of the retailer’s
exclusive brands marketing strategy?


Kmart may be taking a risk bringing Martha Stewart front and center as it is doing and we think it’s great. The only way Kmart is ever going to make it
back is by taking risks and being willing to be different. Martha Stewart is a difference maker for Kmart.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]


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