What is a brand? A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or a combination of these that identifies a product or service and what the product stands for.
Corporate Identity While a brand can be product specific, corporate identity is how a whole company presents itself. Corporate identity merges strategy, culture, and communications to present a memorable personality to prospects and customers.
The main objective of corporate identity is to achieve a favourable image among the company’s prospects and customers. Once this has happened, the company is more likely to achieve customer loyalty.
In fashion today, most companies have access to the same technology. To differentiate themselves, companies must focus on the customer experience. This is communicated through corporate identity and brand.
In fashion, companies are often created around a personality. This can be most often seen when a fashion company is named after the designer and founder This was the case at Benetton and Boss, Escada, Prada and of course Chanel and Manolo Blahnik.
A brand is a seller’s promise. The best brands convey a guarantee of quality.
Developing a brand requires high marketing investment. Greatest expenses are on advertising, marketing and packaging.
If a brand becomes powerful enough, it will gain customer loyalty Some brands gain so much loyalty that shoppers refuse substitutes. This is called high brand equity. If this happens, the company does not need to worry about its competition as much as other players.
Brands can offer four levels of meaning: Brand attributes Brand benefits Brand values Brand personality
Brand attributes What does the brand make people think of? It is likely that these attributes will be used to advertise the product Chanel = quality, high prestige
Brand benefits People can’t buy the brand attributes, they buy for the brand benefits. Attributes can be transferred into brand benefits High quality = emotional benefit of feeling important & admired
Brand Values Brand values relate to the buyer’s values. People who buy Chanel are more likely to value prestige and high quality. Brand values are key in establishing a target market
Brand Personality Brands project a personality This is often used in market research. “ If this brand were a person, what kind of person would it be?” Brands usually attract people with the same, or desired, personality.
Fashion is usually considered as something that creates an identity. It is used to express yourself. It shows what you identify with, and with what you are identified. This makes brand personality particularly important in fashion.
Only a few fashion manufacturers have the strength to build up strong brands. Fashion houses need to reinterpret their style every season. Customers want the latest fashion but a reliable style at the same time.
If the fashion changes too much, recognition of the brand can be damaged. For this reason, most fashion companies only last between three and 12 years. Escada is one of the few fashion companies that has passed the age of 25. (only 5%) ESCADA IMAGE
Above all, fashion brands are characterised by their product language: Colour (Missoni) Material (G-Star) Shape (Birkenstock, Timberland, Lacoste) Pattern (Burberry) or a combination such as colour, workmanship and cut (Armani)
Signature patterns, shape or colours embody the key properties of the brand. Boss of Escada Wolfgang Ley has stated “ Our secret is our colour code. Escada colours never change in their basics.” The Escada red has been the same for their 25 years of operation.
Fashion brands based on product characteristics can be copied relatively quickly. That means the market is becoming more uniform. (remember McFashion?) As a result, some companies are opting for emotional positioning of their brand over product characteristics (Tommy Hilfiger)
These companies sell a lifestyle, and the product characteristics follow that – instead of the other way around. Usually American companies, not common in European fashion.
Brand names are a powerful source of information and consumers often have a better perception of clothes carrying a brand name In fashion, branded garments are better perceived by consumers than unbranded items.
Although brand is very important, consumers shopping for clothes also assess the garment by: Price The type of store selling it The image of the stores selling it
Many stores have now introduced their own private store brands, consumers tend to view these as inferior to national brands . However, the perception of product quality is directly related to the store’s image For example, David Jones vs Kmart
Although brand is important in fashion, customers are also influenced by their reason for purchase. Something that is worn everyday may result in less importance placed on the brand. Something for a special occasion may result in high importance placed on the brand.
Assessment #1 Fashion Brand Complete the worksheet on a brand of your choice. Come prepared to discuss next week!