Competence Centre Retail Branding Creating and implementing differentiating activities to build competitive advantage constitutes the focus of the competence centre for retail branding. The competence centre for retail branding focuses on developing scientifically grounded differentiation activities on the strategic, tactical and operational level. All efforts aim at creating a unique and clear identity for firms in retailing to impact consumer preference. Differentiation in the retail industry Differentiation efforts may either be carried out at the company level or for specific divisions, assortment categories or product groups. The developed zone model of differentiation is a holistic approach combining scientific research findings in a pragmatic and easy-to-use tool kit for retail managers. The competence centre for retail branding focuses its research activities on coordination and management of the central differentiation criteria in retailing constituting the zone model of differentiation, i.e. price, assortment, presentation, service, marketing, staff, location and technology. Branding activities A series of seminars on differentiation, consulting and research projects with various retailers on topics such as market research, branding and assortment management as well as the integration of our expertise in our courses and teaching at the University of St.Gallen and on international conferences complete the activities of the competence centre for retail branding.