DFS is the world’s largest retailer of duty free goods, headquartered in Hong Kong.
It is the key member of the specialty retailing division of LVMH
We have been working with DFS for more than 25 years.
DFS has two distinct arms to the business, that until recently, were branded in the same way:
- Downtown retail stores focused on luxury goods
- Airport duty free stores, selling liquor, beauty products, etc.
Operating both of these types of stores under the same brand name means that consumers don’t differentiate the two. So, even though the downtown retail stores are much more focused on luxury goods, they don’t get credit for it.
A secondary problem is a lack of differentiation between DFS and other duty free stores. Consumers think they are all the same and run by the government, so there is no benefit to trying to promote the DFS brand.
These issues can be resolved without the aid of research but there are some critical inputs from consumers that can help produce a better result:
- Knowing what value there is the current brand. What does it stand for and with whom?
- Understanding the appeal of that the downtown luxury stores and their relation to the airport stores.
The RIGHT ANSWER
The right answer involved the creation of a new brand architecture with sub-brands underneath – one for the airport duty free retail stores and a separate brand for the downtown luxury goods stores. Both under the recognizable brand name of DFS to capture the 50 year history of the brand