Ubiquity vs Exclusivity

I suggested this morning via Twitter that the North Face logo (particularly on back packs) was becoming ubiquitous and possibly therefore over-exposed. Someone thanked me for ruining his coat and another said that the “combination of quality gear, items in black, no odd sizing like Berghaus and Japanese design collaborations” were more than enough to keep it cool – – Ged is much cooler than me so he probably knows what’s what on that. But then I picked up Marketing Week where the same question is being asked about BMW. Is the ubiquity/exclusivity balance the most difficult for a brand to strike?

[tags] Anthony Mayfield, Ged Carroll, North Face, BMW, Marketing Week, Ubiquity vs Exclusivity [/tags]

Links: Ged Carroll, Anthony Mayfield (he of the ruined coat).

David Brain


  1. All I know is that there stuff is totally warm. I froze for years before I picked up my first NF coat. Now I have a closet of them – logo or not.

  2. Hi David,

    I don’t know about being cooler than you, I am a bit of a design and streetwear geek/obsessive but don’t have a decent suit or dress shirt in my wardrobe – its horses for courses.

    I thought that you may find this article on brand channel quite interesting: http://www.brandchannel.com/features_profile.asp?pr_id=368

    I think that ubiquity versus exclusivity is a topic that deserves much more discussion (has perfume and underwear sales devalued luxury fashion brands for instance, or are the ubiquitous white earbuds of the Apple iPod stealing the company’s coolness?) and look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

    Best regards,


  3. Burberry is a bit of an odd one, by friends from HK, KR and JP have a completely different perception of the brand. Then you have the supersaturation of many asian markets by Louis Vuitton, yet the demand is apparently insatiable.

  4. When I bought a new North Face parka back at the begining of the winter the first thing I did was colour in the logos with a big black permanent marker.

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