B R A N D A N A LY S I S
By VICKY CHANG
PA GE 1
“Kenneth Cole Production is making urban style apparel, footwear and accessories
for men and women in 20s and 30s. Their designs range from suits for office, to
casual and trendy dresses and jackets for after-hours wear.”
Kenneth Cole brands itself as an “affordable luxury” company.
The consumers of Kenneth Cole are following fashion trend and like to read fash-
ion magazines to gather information about what’s in and hot recently.
They’re caring about the quality of living, such as living environment and how
they look every day, and like to show their personality to other in order to impress
people and make themselves more eye catching.
They may like pop music, R&B, urban, soul, and blues.
PA GE 2
Kenneth Cole currently operates 3 separate clothing and accessories lines with
different price points and one shoes-only line:
• Kenneth Cole New York ($60-$795)
-The original and most expensive line consists of fashion
and accessories for men and women, watches
• Kenneth Cole Reaction ($35 to $395)
-Introduced in 1996 as a more casual, less expensive
component to Kenneth Cole New York.
-The secondary line for more affordable products consists
of fashion and accessories for men and women.
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• Kenneth Cole Unlisted ($25 to $80)
-The tertiary and cheapest line consists of handbags and
clothing for men and women.
• Tribeca ($50 to $70)
Since Kenneth Cole has 4 product lines and the main goal is to become affordable
luxury brand for consumers, they devote into producing the products, which the
prices are affordable for average consumers who want to be trendy and stylish.
They don’t have to spend too much money but they can get better quality apparel,
accessories and shoes.
The brand is different from others because Kenneth Cole is more encouraging
people to do what they dream to do, just like how Kenneth Cole Production Inc.
began, and caring about more social consciousness, pshing fashion design, etc.
PA GE 4
Club Monaco alternates between less formal styles during the northern spring and
summer and more formal offerings during autumn and winter. The company is best
know for its classic ‘black & white” styles. From the onset of the label, this black &
white has been Club Monaco’s foundation from which hits of color are injected.
Club Monaco’s tailoring takes its cues from Europe. Its design is more like Euro-
pean style and trying to proceed to high fashion level.
Aldo Shoes & Accessories
The ALDO Groupe owns and operates a worldwide chain of shoe & accessory
stores. It has grown to become a worldwide corporation, with over 950 stores un-
der 6 retail banners: ALDO, ALDO Accessories, Spring, Feetfirst (FIRST in the United
States), Globo and Little Burgundy (formerly Stoneridge). Each banner caters to
a distinct well-defined customer group. There are also ALDO outlet, ALDO Kids,
ALDO Liquidation, Spring Liquidation, and clearance stores in select locations. Ca-
nadian, American and UK stores are corporate stores while international stores are
franchisees. The company once operated the now closed or re-branded banners:
Simard & Voyer, Pegabo, Transit and Stoneridge.
PA GE 5
Many labels and brands have branched off of the original DKNY brand/label includ-
ing DKNY Jeans, pure, DKNY Active, DKNY Underwear, DKNY Juniors, DKNY Kids,
and DKNY Baby. After eight years of creating only women’s apparel, this new label
consists of tailored suits, dress wear, formalwear, casual wear, sportswear, and
shoes. The DKNY beauty collection was also derived in 1992. Since then, DKNY has
created a successful skincare line and popular fragrances. In 2001, the DKNY Home
collection, which includes traditional luxury bedding and accessories, and DKNY
LIFE, which has more contemporary and fashion-forward bedding, were intro-
duced. Also DKNY have launched there line of clothing and accesories in www.
Stardoll.com , which the users can buy and dress up their avatar in.
Since 2005, Donna Karan has offered online shopping of its DKNY and associated
lines at the label’s web site. Products range from DKNY and DKNY Jeans womens-
wear, accessories, underwear, shoes, baby clothing, the PURE collection to DKNY
menswear. The latter was available up until the spring 2007 season. Since then
only the DKNY Jeans label, underw ear, eyewear and watches have been offered
online for men.
/ DKNY Life Style /
PA GE 6
How the brand reinforces its positioning in the marketplace?
Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. is well known for its socially conscious and often
controversial advertising. Campaigns often incorporate topical issues, such as ad-
dressing Imelda Marcos’ shoe fetish in 1986 with the line, “Imelda Marcos bought
2,700 pairs of shoes. She could’ve at least had the courtesy to buy a pair of ours.” In
1994, the company ran its first partisan political ad for the New York state guber-
natorial race featuring George Pataki and Mario Cuomo, Cole’s father-in-law. The ad
was an image of a muddy boot with the words: “Next time you hear George Pataki
speak, might we suggest the appropriate footwear.” George Pataki did end up be-
coming governor and Cole received some backlash for his decision to run the ad.
Not all of their ads are as overtly political, but most have a humorous tint to them,
often incorporating word plays or puns. Some of his better-known lines include:
“What you stand for is more important than what you stand in,” “Are you putting us
on?” and “Today is not a dress rehearsal.” Popular topics in his advertising include
HIV/AIDS, homelessness, gun control, abortion, the environment and same-sex
The current advertising campaign uses the tagline “We need more than a surface
mentality. The writing is on the wall.”
Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. is active in charities and often uses advertis-
ing, publicity and other corporate initiatives to support charitable causes. Cole’s
advocacy for AIDS awareness and research has made the fashion house a legend
in philanthropic circles. He is a longtime board member and current Chairman of
the Board for The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). His involvement with
amfAR began in 1985 when he organized a public service campaign that was pho-
tographed by Annie Leibovitz and featuring high profile models such as Christie
Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova and Andie MacDowell. The tagline was, “For the future
of our children. Support the American Foundation for AIDS Research. We do.” At
the time, AIDS was still a relatively unknown and misunderstood disease.
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Cole is also very active with HELP USA (his wife Maria Cuomo Cole is currently
Chair of the Board), a non-profit organization that is the nation’s largest provider
of housing, jobs and services for the homeless. Recently, he partnered with rock
star Jon Bon Jovi to create a line of jackets, t-shirts and fragrance under the Ken-
neth Cole New York label. The proceeds from the sale of these items supported
HELP USA. Other charity campaigns include establishing relief funds for victims
of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina respectively through the sale of t-shirts, giving
discounts at his retail stores for donating shoes or clothes to the homeless and
hosting numerous charity shopping nights at retail stores throughout the nation.
Kenneth Cole also publish his book “Footnote” to tell audience that how to know
shoes and your foot better.
PA GE 8
How the brand’s marketing mix supports its brand’s promise?
For the past 25 years, Kenneth Cole has been an innovator in the fashion world. In
the 1980’s, he was the first designer to combine fashion with philanthropy; he has
also consistently pushed the edge in his advertising campaigns in an attempt to
spark public debate about AIDS, homelessness and social injustice.
Kenneth Cole is now embracing the Internet as a way to have a more personal and
interactive dialogue with people who also feel passionately about social issues. On
February 18, he launched the AWEARNESS blog, an issues-oriented website that
addresses four major social issues: homelessness & poverty, social rights, health,
and political justice. In addition to weekly commentary from Kenneth himself,
the site will also feature content from a number of guest contributors -- including
high-profile photographers, actors, musicians, filmmakers, artists and writers.
PA GE 9
Kenneth Cole’s gay marriage ad is part of a larger issues-driven campaign that
looks at HIV, affirmative action, the deficit, censorship, and the presidential elec-
tion (partisanship was carefully avoided). The marriage ad ran in both gay media
and the magazine GQ, though it is still rare for advertisers to run gay-specific ads
in both general media and gay media. Since 1994, Kenneth Cole has created adver-
tising sensitive to AIDS and gay issues, positioned as clever one-liner comments
from Cole himself.
PA GE 10
What the brand must do to maintain its position.
From the company’s inception, Kenneth Cole has always targeted young, urban,
and fashion conscious men and women with trendy clothing and accessories that
are relaxed yet professional. This strategy paid off for the company during the first
half of this decade: net revenues increased 22 percent between the U.S. recession
of 2002 and the peak of the economic boom in 2006.
However, as consumers (particularly the younger, less established consumers that
form the base of Kenneth Cole’s market) have less discretionary income in periods
of weaker economic growth, the economic downturn has taken a toll on apparel
companies: Kenneth Cole saw 2007 Q3 net revenues that were down 11 percent
from the previous year due to general weakness in the apparel and footwear
Since Kenneth Cole’s targets younger, middle-income customers, they should keep
focusing on how their lifestyle changing and held more events to the public. Also
Kenneth Cole can focus on website agenda, such as blogs, columns, which can
make people get the latest news from Internet every day.
Kenneth has described himself as, “a reasonably successful designer, businessman,
parent, philanthropist, and frustrated activist.” These frustrations have driven him
to create his own AWEARNESS blog to encourage a relevant and inspiring dialogue
for social change - and now he’s set his sights on more actions than words.
But this is Kenneth Cole, so words are never too far away. In fact, it was his idea
for a book that became the genesis for what AWEARNESS –KENNETH COLE really
PA GE 13
Kenneth started reaching out to his influential friends and contacts to ask them to
write personal essays about how they were inspired to be called to action. These
wise words of experience are in the form of advice on how anyone can utilize their
own unique resources to give back.
Throughout this enlightening process, he realized that we were just brushing the
surface of opportunity in using our platform of the Kenneth Cole community and
we could do much more. The book, AWEARNESS: Inspiring Stories About How to
Make a Difference is only the beginning - no good deed should go unpublished (or
untold) and so we need to help others create more inspiring stories in the future.
Through the AWEARNESS Fund, we aim to grow and activate the AWEARNESS com-
munity by supporting, encouraging and empowering acts of service, volunteerism
and social change.
We’ve just begun, but we will build AWEARNESS in phases as we increase our mem-
bership, partnerships and product offerings.
PA GE 14
Kenneth Cole Awareness is an encouraging website that customers can get many
thoughts from it. It’s a place that can keep attracting people to see what Ken-
neth Cole is doing now and what’s their goal and ideal. It’s also a good place to
let people write their opinions. Fashion industries are combining with world issue
in recent year, it would be come a main stream very soon, or it already is a trend
to do that. Since fashion industries is a kind of using earth sources, Kenneth Cole
should follow this more and let audience know more about environment caring,
sex issue, or others.
To make Kenneth Cole brand itself more into social consciousness is a better way
to maintain the position in the marketplace. It will also define the brand itself
more clearly and tell the consumer what’s the difference between Kenneth Cole
and other brands.
PA GE 15
This campaign is a good example of how Kenneth Cole can maintain its
brand awareness and recognition.
We all walk in different shoes campaign
PA GE 16
Shopping is also donating. It would make consumer be willing to shop in Kenneth
Cole and they also can fulfill themselves of doing charity at the same time, not just
spend money to make themselves look good. It’s a merit to do both things.
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