Tag Archives: clothing

Naming a New Brand is Tricky!

How important is naming a new brand? It is absolutely critical – and also exceedingly difficult to accomplish. Marketers have to come up with a new name that represents the product’s value and attributes, AND be attractive to customers, AND it must not be taken by another company, AND is not too common a name, AND is not offensive to any population. Whew. No wonder so many companies use made-up words as brand names.

A recent case about the perils of naming a new brand was the ‘Kimono’ shapewear brand developed by celebrity icon Kim Kardashian West. Although the branding was rigorously researched, the ‘Kimono’ name was criticized globally as being offensive and profiting from a traditional clothing article that was a cultural symbol of Japanese heritage. The name had to go, along with the Kimono Web site, logo, labels, and more. More than two million garments will need to be relabeled so that no products are wasted.

The stakes are high for the new brand. The global women’s underwear industry is valued at approximately $83.3 billion and is still growing. It is also fragmented with new comers gaining market share at the expense of older more established brands. To her credit, Kardashian West listened to criticisms and has decided to change the name prior to releasing any product. (The new name has not yet been announced.)

What’s in a name? Everything!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about their viewpoints on the Kimono name. Do they agree with the decision to change the name?
  2. Discuss competition: Who are the direct competitors for this product? Indirect competitors?
  3. For ‘Kimono’ put students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis.
    1. Strengths: What is the company good at?
    2. Weaknesses: What needs work?
    3. Opportunities: What is going on in the marketplace that is positive?
    4. Threats: What factors should the company be wary of?
  4. Put students into teams. Have each team develop a new name for the Kimono brand.
  5. Post the names on the board and vote on a winner.

Source: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fast Company, other news sources

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Psychological Pricing – Payless Becomes “Palessi”

Pricing is a complex topic – it is both strategic and tactical and is influenced by a variety of factors such as demand, costs, profits, and competition. But probably the most important part of pricing for marketers is its psychological impact. After all, there is a common phrase that “you get what you pay for.” But, is that always true?

Consider a recent experiment by Payless Shoes conducted in Santa Monica. Payless opened a shoe store named “Palessi” in a former Armani store and stocked the store with Payless’ low priced shoes and boots. The shoes, usually priced at $19.99 to $39.99 were examined by a group of influencers who were invited to a grand opening party and asked their opinion of the “designer” products.

The guests, who had no idea they were looking at low-cost Payless shoes, all praised the look, materials, and style of the shoes. That might not be so surprising, but what was astonishing was the amount that the guests were willing to pay for the shoes and boots. The top offer for shoes was $640 – a 1,800% markup!

What are you willing to pay?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the six steps for pricing: determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments.
  2. Discuss the importance of psychology in pricing.
  3. Show the Palessi videos: https://youtu.be/xpqqKRlqZfU and https://youtu.be/7YR2bovjfMU
  4. Payless Web site: https://www.payless.com/
  5. For Payless Shoes, divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  6. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  7. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.

Source: Stanley, T. L. (28 November 2018). Payless opened a fake luxury store, ‘Palessi,’ to see how much people would pay for $20 shoes. Ad Week.

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Diversity: Brands Embrace Hijabs

Macy’s recently made history (or is it herstory?) as the first U.S. department store to sell hijabs for Muslim women. Fashion designer Lisa Vogl developed the modest active wear line for the store. The Verona Collection includes a selection of ready-to-wear items including tops, dresses, pants, cardigans, and hijabs in a variety of fabrics and colors. Items are priced between $12.95 and $84.95.

And, Macy’s is not the only company to carry modest clothing for Muslim women; designer Hana Tajima has several collections carried by international brand Uniqlo. Fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana has also debuted hijabs on the runway.

Nike has also gotten in the game. The company designed and sells a performance hijab for Muslim female athletes. American Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made history by wearing a hijab at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Nike Pro Hijab will be available soon and is priced at $35.00.

And, let’s not forget Mattel, a classic American brand that now has its first hijab-clad Barbie doll. It also honors Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad. The doll is part of Barbie’s “Shero” line of toys that celebrate women breaking boundaries in sports and science. Also in the Shero line are athletes including Gabby Douglas and Chloe Kim, pioneers Amelia Earhart and Katherine Johnson, and artist Frida Kahlo.

It’s time for inclusivity.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Are there market segments that are marginalized? How can these segments be included by brands to expand their reach and encourage diversity?
  2. Video of Macy’s: https://youtu.be/aWVB_bi8RQ0
  3. Video of Nike ad: https://youtu.be/T1Qyg8l-l8U
  4. Nike Pro Hijab Web site: https://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/women/nike-pro-hijab
  5. Video Uniqlo: https://youtu.be/5xbLFJulZNo
  6. Mattel Sheroes Web site: https://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/role-models.html
  7. What other market segments could be represented with new lines of products?
  8. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a product for a different market segment.

Source:  Brandchannel.com. (7 February, 2018). Diversity watch: Brands making strides, slowly, on hijabs.

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