An Exclusive Doth Not A Brand Make
By Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, 3/27/2006 12:00:00 AM
As we move into another home textiles market cycle – and this year, most everyone seems exhausted by markets and it's only March – the epidemic of “It's mine and mine only” seems to be on the increase.
The ever-growing number of so-called designer programs in home textiles appears to be designed to satisfy the almost insatiable demands of the retailing community for exclusives.
What is rarely being analyzed from a marketing perspective is that slapping a name, designer or otherwise, is no guarantee that any product will be a winner.
But even more critical is exposure. Few retailers have the wherewithal in dollars or marketing acumen or presentation to create a strong brand, promote it and sustain it for the long term. And if the product or collection is buried or scattered anonymously within a store, as so many are these days, the likelihood of success is remote.
So here we are going into another market with a plethora of new names and faces to behold, and most have been picked up by their retail outlets in scenarios that border on an “If I take it, Sam can't have it” mentality, regardless of where it fits, and how it will be marketed. The likelihood in many cases is that these programs will follow the pattern of: scream sale … lower the price … and get out.
For the owners of the brand or designer name, this is no way to build anything of long-term value. The so-called gambit these days seems to be just another way to offer a sale price on something no one else has – and perhaps few want. For the creators of the design concept, it's time to take another look at the relative aspects of the quick buck. It sounds good today, but the future often is dim.
With this marketplace overloaded with product, the coming week could be a good time to reevaluate the entire “exclusive” mania.
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