If you have ever shopped Michigan Avenue in Chicago, you have probably seen girls clutching distinctive big red bags that are signature to a retail brand phenomenon.
You don't have to be a girl or even like dolls to understand how American Girl is the epitome of a retail company that has found a way to resonate, interact and emotionally connect with consumers young and old.
While today's column strays a little from our regular format and local business focus, a recent study completed in part by a University of Notre Dame professor proves interesting in how it confirms the importance of the connection between store and brand.
The $436 million American Girl brand is showcased at American Girl Place, a Chicago megastore where Notre Dame marketing professor John Sherry and five research colleagues spent three years observing and interviewing shoppers about their experience.
"For a long time, marketers forgot that the original marketplace was a place where people came together not to buy stuff but to interact and trade information and entertain themselves," said Sherry, a 1974 Notre Dame graduate. "We are returning to these roots."
Read the entire article at http://www.southbendtribune.com/article/20100711/Biz/7110474/1084/COLUMNISTS