11/17/2012 11:56 EST | Updated 01/16/2013 05:12 EST

Rebrand -- Tyler Brule Graces Toronto With His Presence


Repeat after me boys and girls...

When building a legacy brand that resonates with the consumer the first rule of thumb is...wait for it...


And so, it is with some amazement that I note that someone forgot to tell jet-setting "tastemaker" (the Globe and Mail's words, not mine) Tyler Brule that golden rule.

And so, as a result, Toronto is now officially home to Monocle -- Mr. Brule's latest self-indulgent retail offering, a 238 square foot boutique that stocks "well designed objets" (I guess when they are useless and expensive you get to loose the "c" in objects). Whether we like it or not.

But, what stuns me the most is that Mr. Brule thinks that he is the hero of his own brand story and he is constantly telling any media outlet who will listen that he "defines" the places that his stores operate in.

Really Tyler? Really? How self indulgent are you?

And, then to add more fuel to the fire (and that could possibly be his motivation all along) he is constantly dissing Toronto to all and sundry. So, if you are not that fond of us, why are you here Mr. Brule?

Ahhh it's for the money -- no love for your customers, but much love for the dosh -- I get it. So, how can you think that any Torontonian with any sensibility or sense of self will want to shop at your "well curated retail outlet featuring a high level of platform integration" (I'm a marketing person and even I find that downright ridiculous) when you have nothing but disdain for the city, its inhabitants, architecture and whatnot?

It's bad brand strategy, Tyler, and I'd have trouble defining your value proposition to any smart marketer or any smart consumer -- affluent gadabouts et al. Imagine that conversation.

So what's the value proposition -- from a consumer POV -- what do I get functionally and emotionally from this brand? Well functionally, I get a very small shop stocked with expensive, bric-a-brac and emotionally, I get dissed from the "jet setting tastemaker" in charge.

Right, I gotta get me some of that...

Smart brand strategy always recognizes that the consumer is the hero -- and so with that in mind, Tyler Brule, you get an F in building emotional cement between your brand and your customers. (Except from the rare masochist among us.) And I can already answer the question posed by the Globe and Mail -- "will Toronto return the love?"

Good God almighty, I hope not.