Simon mall branding homogenization

BatteryMill
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Simon mall branding homogenization

Post by BatteryMill » June 8th, 2019, 1:57 pm

While not that much of an issue, this is something rather curious I have seen going on at Simon malls.

In recent years Simon has strived to streamline their mall branding, such as making all logos identical and placing the Simon brand openly throughout their properties. To additionally note I am unaware of any shared decor packages across their malls - most of the remodels/construction I know of occured prior to Simon's plans.

This is especially true online as every Simon property is a small URL under the simon.com/premiumoutlets.com domain. Those websites all look the same and feature generic stock photo icons, not really having any local, or even individual character at all.

Is there any reasoning behind this? Perhaps, is cost-cutting at work or are they trying to make their malls feel more like they're part of a retail chain? And as so, leave your thoughts down below on this, whether it's good or bad in your eyes.

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Re: Simon mall branding homogenization

Post by buckguy » June 10th, 2019, 7:28 am

There malls are pretty uniform and have been since the wave of renovations they did to long neglected DeBartolo properties in the early 2000s.

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Re: Simon mall branding homogenization

Post by BatteryMill » June 10th, 2019, 1:14 pm

buckguy wrote:
June 10th, 2019, 7:28 am
There malls are pretty uniform and have been since the wave of renovations they did to long neglected DeBartolo properties in the early 2000s.
How so? I'm more familiar with their Mills malls and Premium Outlets than anything else they've acquired, so they are different than their core malls.

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Re: Simon mall branding homogenization

Post by SamSpade » June 10th, 2019, 2:44 pm

The only thing I really knew Simon for was Trolley Square in Salt Lake City, but they've offloaded that 15 years ago or so...
Looking at the region where I live, they only have one center. So I can't understand if they are doing a "rebrand" with their name or not.

It also appears they ditched the outlet mall here.

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Re: Simon mall branding homogenization

Post by Super S » June 11th, 2019, 6:25 am

They sold the Columbia Gorge Outlets a while back, and have two outlets malls in WA, as well as enclosed malls in Kennewick, Tacoma, and Seattle's Northgate Mall. Northgate has been talked about already, while Tacoma is undergoing changes. The Sears store is being demolished for new development. Not sure what's in store for the rest of the mall, but some aspects are aging.

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Re: Simon mall branding homogenization

Post by rwsandiego » June 11th, 2019, 6:10 pm

When I go to a mall I don't think "Oh, should I go to a Simon Mall or a Westfield Mall." I go to the mall that has the store or stores I am looking for. Here in Phoenix, they all seem to be owned by Macerich, so not much opportunity to choose between management companies. Back in San Diego I had Fashion Valley and University Town Center (UTC). FV is a Simon Mall and UTC a Westfield. Even after it was branded "Westfield UTC," no one ever used the "Westfield" name. It was just silly. Old Orchard in Chicago is another good example of silly branding. Westfield plastered its name on the mall and no one ever called it "Westfield Old Orchard." People went out of their way to avoid using the "Westfield" name because they didn't like it.

This is an excellent example of how to potentially tick off your customers.

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Re: Simon mall branding homogenization

Post by storewanderer » June 11th, 2019, 10:12 pm

Seems like what Westfield was trying to do 10-15 years ago before the last economic crash.

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Re: Simon mall branding homogenization

Post by BatteryMill » June 12th, 2019, 12:28 pm

rwsandiego wrote:
June 11th, 2019, 6:10 pm
When I go to a mall I don't think "Oh, should I go to a Simon Mall or a Westfield Mall." I go to the mall that has the store or stores I am looking for. Here in Phoenix, they all seem to be owned by Macerich, so not much opportunity to choose between management companies. Back in San Diego I had Fashion Valley and University Town Center (UTC). FV is a Simon Mall and UTC a Westfield. Even after it was branded "Westfield UTC," no one ever used the "Westfield" name. It was just silly. Old Orchard in Chicago is another good example of silly branding. Westfield plastered its name on the mall and no one ever called it "Westfield Old Orchard." People went out of their way to avoid using the "Westfield" name because they didn't like it.

This is an excellent example of how to potentially tick off your customers.
You make a great point there. It's honestly a moot point to try and make proper chains out of malls at this time. Especially when people don't even care about the whole branding shtick.

Hopefully Westfield isn't insisting clients/employees refer to their malls with the Westfield name... and hopefully Simon isn't to follow now that they've done all this consolidation.

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Re: Simon mall branding homogenization

Post by BreakingThrough » June 13th, 2019, 11:01 am

Agree with the comments above about trying to force a parent brand on a chain of malls being an exercise in futility. Especially when they plaster the name on a higher-end property like UTC -- adding that Australian outback "Westfield" brings the UTC brand DOWN, not up. I guarantee you ZERO people think higher of any property because of "Westfield" or "Simon." If anything, it hurts the property's image by making it seem mass-produced and homogeneous. But I get that marketing folks have to justify their existence.

HOWEVER, one mall that I think they have gotten traction on getting people to use "Westfield" is Westfield Culver City. Only because they changed the name of the mall completely from "Fox Hills." So newcomers to the area really do call it "Westfield Culver City." But those of us who have been here for a while still refer to it as Fox Hills.

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Re: Simon mall branding homogenization

Post by rwsandiego » June 13th, 2019, 8:21 pm

BreakingThrough wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 11:01 am
...HOWEVER, one mall that I think they have gotten traction on getting people to use "Westfield" is Westfield Culver City. Only because they changed the name of the mall completely from "Fox Hills." So newcomers to the area really do call it "Westfield Culver City." But those of us who have been here for a while still refer to it as Fox Hills.
Funny story about Fox Hills/Culver City. I lived in San Diego and would always pass Fox Hills Mall on the 405 when I would visit. It was a landmark, of sorts, that I'd use to gauge how much farther I had to drive. The one day...it was GONE! A few visits later I realized it had been rebranded.

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