March 1, 2016
Branding and Labelling Menswear: A different game?
By: Lynsey Bowen
With its ever increasing popularity, we take a look at branding and labelling Menswear to see if there are any significant differences these brands need to be aware of to ensure their success in this growing marketplace.
On the face of it, branding and labelling Menswear seems to be taking a similar route to womenswear with their own fashion weeks, stores and celebrity endorsements. But should this be the case?
Essentially the actual, physical labelling of a menswear garment is broadly similar to labelling other apparel in as much as the branding needs to be present and the type of label used must be appropriate to the garment itself.
However, other elements must be taken into account with menswear garments such as; Would a metal clothing label have a more masculine appeal? Would chunkier designed zipper pulls make it easier to use with bigger hands? And, would a larger woven badge make a stronger statement about the wearer identity than a more subtle one.
Labelling can have a huge impact on perception, impact and desirability of a garment or piece of apparel so getting it right is key to making your menswear brand a success.
This is probably one of the few elements that applies in the same way as it does for womenswear.
Creating and communicating the brand attributes of a Menswear brands is essential if you are going to secure market share in this growing market.
Men’s tastes have changed and the definition between men’s and women’s fashion has blurred. For example, men carrying bags is as common a sight as women carrying bags these days.
However, men still have their own identities and social tribes in the same way that women do and they want to wear brands that reflect their personality traits. This is why it is so important for brands to create and communicate their brand attributes to their target audience.
One of the key differences in the marketing mix of a Menswear brand is the pricing strategy. As there is very little previous data for brands and retailers to rely on, many of the Menswear collections available at the moment are pricing their products beneath the price-point many men are willing to pay for designer items.
This is according to Greg Petro, the president and CEO of First Insight Inc, an analytics company that provides predictive data on products that haven’t gone to market yet. During the men’s fashion shows in Milan, First Insight asked consumers which items on the runway they preferred and how much they’d be willing to pay for them.
For leather jackets, the most popular style within the coats category, men said they’d be willing to spend 44% more than the retail price. Depending on the brand and clothing item, Petro said, retailers could be charging 30% more than they currently do — and boost their profit margins in a big way.
When entering a market, especially a new one, it is important to anticipate it potential. For example, the Menswear market in China is bigger than the womenswear market where men’s clothing is worth $73.3 billion in the country.
As a result, it essential the marketing and branding of Menswear is based on market research and a thorough understanding of the market potential.
By understanding the potential of a market place, you can build a marketing strategy which takes this growth into consideration.
Understanding the niche and USP that your Menswear brand occupies is essential – You need to know where in this developing market your brand fits as this will shape your entire marketing strategy.
The possibilities are endless with any new and emerging market because it is still defining itself. The target audience doesn’t yet know what it likes and what it doesn’t providing a certain amount of creative licence, not just with the products but with the branding and marketing as well.
Menswear has been an off-shoot of the fashion sector for a number of years but only now is it creating a market in its own right. This means the target audience is in charge and not simply making-do with what is available.
Listen to your target audience and they will tell you what they want, when they want it and how they want to purchase it. Engagement is key, don’t assume anything based on what you already know from the womenswear market.
To conclude, labelling Menswear is a different game from traditional womenswear fashion marketing, not because men are so different to women but because the market is much newer and the target audience is still defining their preferences, both in terms of style and communication channels.
However, branding and labelling Menswear should essentially follow the same golden rules as womenswear in that the brands attributes and personality need to be both defined and communicated effectively for the brand to come alive and appeal to the target audience.
Also, labelling is just as important to Menswear as womenswear so make sure you contact the experts and get your labelling right first time.