I have been a branding guy for longer than I care to admit — ok, 30 years — and there is a lot of truth in what you are saying. Logos are not brands. The big difference you are seeing here is the difference between branding a product and branding a company. Anne chose to brand the product, which works in some cases, but not here. Indeed, if RTR had done that, they probably would have ended up the same as Anne, and you never would have written the article. RTR
RTR chose to brand the *experience*, which means they have a lot more to talk about than just clothes and that played with their audience a lot better. As you imply, RTR took the time to really understand their audience and play to it; Anne just marketed a product-service.
Anne took the easy, cheap way to do it and lost; RTR took the hard and expensive way to do it and are still winning. Says a lot for the benefits of branding and design thinking (in which the market is understood *first*), rather than the “we built it…are they coming?” type of marketing.
Anne chose the easy, cheap route and lost. RTR took the expensive, hard way to do it and is winning. Says a lot for