Many companies, or even colleges, end up as brands. Laurie Essig, over at True Slant, is bemoaning the way the college she attended, Franklin and Marshall, has become one of the most wanted casual clothing brands in Europe and Japan, without the actual clothing line having anything to do with the college at all!
At the same time, HMV are hoping to turn around a declining market share by creating an ‘entertainment-inspired’ clothing range that launches in June. The line will feature rock and film imagery on music themed T-shirts aimed at the 18-30 male market and checked shirts and scarves for ‘festival-chic’ women. It’s the spearhead of a strategy that will move the company away from its traditional lines of CDs and DVDs into more ‘lifestyle’ sales.
So while your business might not seem to lend itself to establishing a strong clothing brand, it’s worth considering if the next Caterpillar boots trend or the rapidly building craze for cowboy hats could launch from, or help support, your business. There’s a current desire for retro style aprons which any catering or hardware company could tap into, by creating branded pinnys for sale. And skinny leg jeans are being supported by husky work shirts, which is a great chance for engineering and trade businesses to put their workforce into fashionable uniforms that can also be sold or given to clients as a goodwill gesture.