Apparel product extension: development, marketing and brand opportunities
This latest first-edition report from just-style explores the opportunities for extending the product mix in the apparel industry. It looks at both brands and retailers of apparel that have a wide range of existing products positioned in terms of price, fashionability and reputation. The report contains case studies on the following apparel brand and retail positions:
- Luxury goods companies
- Designer names
- Top brands
- Better brands
- Middle brands
- Lower brands
- Better own label retailers
- Mass market own label retailers
- Budget own label retailers
Like so many things in life, the motivation for changing from the status quo is either greed or fear. The company sees what it perceives as more attractive opportunities to increase sales or make more profit in a new product or new market position. Alternatively, it believes that if it stays where it currently is, it will be defeated by new or more powerful competitors.
This report aims to offer advice and guidance through its strategic thinking on how companies can succesfully extend their products and analyses the various opportunities and threats of taking this product development route.
The research is based on the author's own strategic experience, from speaking with industry experts and from just-style's recent survey questionnaire. The survey asked key questions on this subject and the results are provided in this report.
Chapters in the report discuss:
- Changing your market positioning
- Extending (changing) the market through internationalisation
- Changing the route to market or the customer positioning
- The power of the brand name (with results and analysis from an exclusive just-style readership survey)
- Micro product extension
- Limited, moderate and substantial product extension
- Product extension beyond apparel
- Thinking outside the box; brand extension to retail, design anything, reverse into apparel
- Failed product extension; how to shoot yourself in the foot
In the author's experience, it is actually cheaper for a brand to design a new sub-range for the existing customer base, than it is to try to open new types of retail account or venture into a new territory or country. It is also cheaper for a retailer to invest in new merchandise, either a new brand or an internally designed own label range, than it is to invest in new markets. New markets, be they in the same locations but at different price points, or in new locations or countries require significant cash to be invested in retail property.
An interesting example of this at the moment is the own label re-positioning being undertaken by Sir Phillip Green at Arcadia and BhS in the UK. His intention is to have fewer, but on average, larger BhS stores, which will stock other Arcadia labels, such as Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Miss Selfridge.
just-style’s view is that extending the product is an easy and relatively cheap option for apparel brands and retailers considering their strategies.
Table of contents
The arguments for and against moving quadrant in the product-market matrix
The cost of each approach
Chapter 2 Changing market positioning
The price-fashion matrix
Going sideways, extending the product mix
Chapter 3 Extending (changing) the market through internationalisation
Extending the geographic market of a brand, locally
Extending the geographic market of a retailer, locally
Extending the geographic market of a retailer globally
Extending the geographic market of a retailer internationally
Chapter 4 Changing the route to market or the customer positioning
Extending the route to market of a brand
Combine market and product extension
Chapter 5 The power of the brand name: findings from the just-style brand extension survey
Recognition, intellectual property, integrity, relevance
The just-style brand extension survey
The survey questions
Set 2, apparel companies extending outside apparel
Chapter 6 Micro product extension
Small styling changes, whilst remaining in the same range
Small styling changes at lower or higher prices
Chapter 7 Limited, moderate and substantial product extension
Product extension, the concept of “creeping” range changes
Ted Baker, gradual and incremental product extension
Burberry, changing the perception of the brand
H&M, designer collaborations
Zara, brand extension using the fast fashion approach
Versace, wide ranging brand extensions
Liz Claiborne, many brands confuse the consumer
Esprit, many product categories, organised in world regions
Chapter 8 Product extension beyond apparel
Armani, the classic case study of the leap right out of apparel
Chanel, a name that can be attached to anything
Versace (again), anything Armani does, I can do better
Tesco, “every little helps”
Chapter 9 Think outside the box 1; brand extension to retail
Corporate brand licensing
Attitude plus belief leads to consumption
Apparel in supermarkets
Home furnishings in supermarkets
Planet Retail interview
Chapter 10 Think outside the box 2; design anything
Philippe Starck, I can design anything
Back to apparel design
When brand power threatens brand extension
Chapter 11 Failed product extension; how to shoot yourself in the foot
Chapter 12 Think outside the box 3; reverse into apparel
Conclusions, apparel brands extension outwards
Conclusions, other industry brands reversing into apparel
List of tables
Table 1: Esprit worldwide sales organisation
List of figures
Figure 1: Empty product-market matrix
Figure 2: Moving quadrant in the product-market matrix
Figure 3: Empty price-fashion matrix
Figure 4: Brand and own label price-fashion matrix
Figure 5: Enlarged product-market matrix
Figure 6 : Brand price-fashion matrix for bras company?
Figure 7: Which of the following global apparel companies do you recognise?
Figure 8: With which price level do you associate each company?
Figure 9: With which merchandise category do you associate these companies?
Figure 10: Do you think these companies have general recognition?
Figure 11: Do you think these companies have general reputation?
Figure 12: Do you think these companies have general respect?
Figure 13: Which of the following qualities do you associate with these companies?
Figure 14: Which merchandise areas do you think these companies could extend their products in to?
Figure 15: Which of the following global apparel companies do you recognise?
Figure 16: With which price level do you associate each company?
Figure 17: With which merchandise category do you associate these companies?
Figure 18: Do you think these companies have general recognition?
Figure 19: Do you think these companies have general reputation?
Figure 20: Do you think these companies have general respect?
Figure 21: Which of the following qualities do you associate with these companies?
Figure 22: Which merchandise areas do you think these companies could extend their products in to?
Figure 23: Which of the following global companies do you recognise?
Figure 24: With which price level do you associate each company?
Figure 25: With which merchandise category do you associate these companies?
Figure 26: Do you think these companies have general recognition?
Figure 27: Do you think these companies have general reputation?
Figure 28: Do you think these companies have general respect?
Figure 29: Which of the following qualities do you associate with these companies?
Figure 30: Which merchandise areas do you think these companies could extend their products in to?
Figure 31: New styles at different prices
Figure 32: Product extension hierarchy
Figure 33: Brand portfolio strategy
Related research categories
By sector: Apparel and clothing