Home Work #SideHustle Favorite Stocks, Favorite Brands?

I had a really fun conversation with a stock analyst I met at the dog park today.  This conversation confirmed my belief that great branding goes way beyond creative ad campaigns and cool in-store displays.  It also confirmed my beliefs about the way women invest.

It all started because the woman next to me heard me call to my dog.  My dog’s name is Giada (like Giada De Laurentiis) and of course, the fantastic new “Giada De Laurentiis for Target” kitchen line just came out.  My new friend, we’ll call her Jill, told me she was just researching this new product line for work.  Then we started talking about some of the stocks she loves and holds in her personal portfolio.

Not surprisingly, this very financially savvy woman (who I later found out has held some VERY impressive job titles at top financial firms and also happens to have an MBA from The University of Chicago-WOW) invests in brands she believes in.  She reads about the company’s philosophy, what they do differently, how these brands make her feel and what values these companies are founded on.  But it’s not all fluff. She also does in-depth quantitative research on financial performance and trends. But when push comes to shove, a brand she believes in tips the scale.

Consider the connection between financial performance and “brand performance.” Remember that in the stock market, perception plays a huge part in driving the market price.  Therefore, could strong branding keep stock values on an upward trend, even in a down economy? Perhaps.

Do Top Female Brands= Top Female Stock Pics?

Do women invest where they shop?  Here are four of Jill’s personal favorites.

Lululemon Jill and I LOVE Lululemon for so many reasons.  Lululemon sells “yoga-inspired apparel for healthy living.” This store is more than a store.  It’s a lifestyle.  It’s a chain store that feels like a local boutique.  It’s a place where employees are encouraged to grows people. Where neighbors can stop in for a free Sunday morning yoga class. And it’s a brand that has (in my opinion) no direct competitor.  No one can touch this brand right now.  They entered early, they entered with personality and they love what they do.  Their brand is way beyond nice work out clothes, it’s contagious!

Petsmart Jill and I are dog owners so we may be a bit bias, but we both agreed that Petsmart is doing it right in the pet sector.  People love Petsmart because of its variety, caring staff and impact on the community. Not to mention that I don’t like carrying a 40lb bag of dog food through the city in heels, Petsmart offers premiere brands, price matching, in-store returns, easy online shopping, dog training, boarding, “day camp,” local adoptions, grooming and many other services that make it more than just a store. As long as they do their branding and customer service right, I think we’ll see Petsmart outlast its competitors.

Kohl’s This conversation MAY have started in a whipser. Yes world, we like Kohl’s.  A few minutes later we laughed because we knew that brand snobs would be missing out big on this stock.  They’d also be missing out on some serious sales.  Anyone who has shopped at Kohl’s knows about their pricing strategy. What woman doesn’t love [and justify excessive purchases because of] a “sale”.  I mean for real, Kohl’s, you are rocking!  In fact, Jill thinks they are in the process of putting out brands that even beat out Target’s “cheap chic” products.  An example is Lauren Conrad’s clothing line.

Energizer Holdings Yep, batteries and tampons ladies.  We all need ‘em, right?! We all know about the energizer bunny but most of us probably didn’t realize that Playtex products (which includes many consumer goods way beyond tampons) also falls under this brand category.  Regardless of the economy, we all need these products. We also trust them and depend on them.  Many of Energizer Holdings’ brands fall in the middle in terms of price point but have very trusted names with the perception of high quality and longevity- key factors in picking stocks.

Do your favorite brands mirror your favorite stocks?

What are your favorite brands?  Do you love these brands enough to buy their stocks if you were looking to invest?  Which stocks do you own and why?

*Curiosity Question* after seeing the media coverage on the recent oil spill, how does this affect your views of BP as a brand?  Would you have bought their stock 6 months ago?  Would you buy it now?

7 replies to this post
  1. Hi,

    this value-investing style is the way Warren Buffett does his investment. When Buffett invests in a company, he isn’t concerned with whether the market will eventually recognize its worth; he is concerned with how well that company can make money as a business. I think that this is a very intuitive approach which works very well when you have the right in formation. Not being experts in measuring the intrinsic worth of companies, I think it is very natural for us to measure its worth by deciding whether we value the company ourselves. You could definitely be quite successful with that strategy if you have the right timing.

  2. YAY Kohl’s, it’s so funny how people always avoid this brand in conversations… and then you see them there during the next sale.
    Kohl’s saved me when I moved to the States with nothing but what I brought for my summer vacation. I was able to stock up on all the basics for little money and didn’t freeze to death during the Midwestern winter.
    I have to admit I don’t invest in stocks at all, my hubby does that for me, but I research companies before I buy there and my husband has a huge social conscience and doesn’t touch a company if he thinks they’re unethical. For us, the way a company carries itself is a big part of the spending decision.

  3. Funny, I was just having a conversation with my boyfriend’s mom about investing (she is an accountant) and she said invest in stuff you love. She adopted her first dog two years ago and just put some petsmart stock in her portfolio becuase “they are the best at what they do”!

    • Hey Amanda!

      Thanks so much for visiting. :) I’m going to check out your blog today- always looking for great new blogs to read. I’ve heard of this “smart cookies” group- I will have to look into it!


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